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Guild Meeting
September Meeting: Elaine O’Donal
September 25, 2016

September brought us the start of another amazing season of fiber learning! We welcomed Elaine O’Donal, or as we’ve been affectionately calling her “Elaine the Tatting Lady” for a lecture and a weekend of classes. Look forward to another post on the classes, as this writer was unfortunately unable to attend.

Elaine’s talk was titled “What is and isn’t tatting”, but we got much more! Elaine anticipated the question that at least I had going in… why does someone get started in tatting in this day and age? Elaine started by talking about her early fascination with detail. She was naturally intensely interested in detailed art and with detailed lace notions.

Now, let’s take a moment for us younger fiber fiends to remember there was a time before the YouTube and Ravelry. When Elaine decided she wanted to learn to make lace she went to her library and bookshop and all the books were about tatting. So, lace must be tatting, huh? More on that in a moment.

Learning from books can be tricky, and Elaine eventually found someone who would teach her to tat.  They spent about an hour together and only made a single stitch.  A little bit of time away and the pieces clicked into place. She was off to the races, and eventually learned about all the many different kinds of lace making (tatting isn’t the only way to make lace!). Tatting is her first love though.

Elaine explained that tatting and lacemaking are very much still living arts. People from all different walks of life make lace, and it’s a constantly evolving art form.  Elaine showed us a number of her pieces, small and large, and it was obvious to me that she is a major force behind innovation in tatting! Definitely check out her website to see some of the amazing pieces she makes:

You’ll have to forgive my aging phone’s camera, but I had to try and share some of the lace samples Elaine brought. These are pieces she’s picked up or been given over the years showing a variety of different lace making styles- tatting, bobbin, tambor, cutwork, Tenerife, chemical, and Irish (apologies for spelling!).


Thank you so much, Elaine, for joining us and sharing your passion!

Codders, join us on November 11 when Phil Lindsay will share about his fiber business!


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