I learned to tat about 25 years ago...I had a dress that had tatting on the cuffs and collar that did not fit from the time I got it...lol We all have that from our high school days....My mom gave it away!!!!!!!!! long before I wanted to get the beautiful lace off of it! I had searched and searched for a similar lace...no luck...when I asked her to think back to where she had gotten the lace she just laughed and said "Eloise made it." That put in motion a real challenge...Eloise lived in Missouri and we lived in southwest Colorado. Eloise was a l-o-n-g day's drive away. We tackled the drive with a 3 and 5 year old...we left home about 4 AM and got to Eloise's house about 6 PM......crazy way to get instructions on tatting...but we were on our way to Ashtabula Ohio--2 more days in the car to visit hubby's parents. After we took Eloise out to dinner then the tatting lesson began...She did not have any books just a shuttle and thread. Everything she had ever made she made up as she did it but she only had rings and picots...she called them loops and frills. I think I threw out at least a ball of crochet thread learning to tat...but learn I did. Eloise did not have any chains or joins and as far as split rings, split chains, and the host of other techniques she had not a one of them...nada. She did a loop with frills and then a short bare thread and another loop with frills and repeated it to the needed length.
One magical day probably 3 years later and bored with just rings with picots. I discovered / designed / stumbled across a connection aka join...off I went with that joining the picots together that would naturally be side by side...I actually made a wreath! Snow white but it was a circle of rings. The the reason I call it a magical day...I had to refill my shuttle...it may have been a great big Tatsy shuttle ( I'd never seen tatting thread...size 80! I'd have panicked if someone had told me to use sewing thread to tat with! It can be done tho...try the glazed quilting thread makes beautiful angels... ) as I only had crochet thread for tatting with at that time. I picked up a the ball thread instead of my shuttle thread and looped it over my hand and proceeded to tat the next ring....boy was I shocked when I pulled it tight and zip it came out!! try pulling the shuttle thread on a chain that isn't hooked to anything....it was amazing to me at the time. Eloise always used a very long thread to tat with and that is how I learned... The magical moment of discovery...I now had 2 things to put together...a ring with picots connected to another ring with picots and a chain between. I didn't reverse work or anything at the time so it did look a bit odd. Every "pattern" I made until about 2 years ago came from my head. I'm not all that imaginative but that is where I got them....all of them...from my head. I'd never heard of tatting books/patterns. Of course if I had I wouldn't have invented joins and chains...
Georgia's Advanced tatting class was so far over my head...I didn't even understand what they were talking about and I'd been tatting for over 20 years...She suggested without pointing out how little I knew about tatting that I try the Beginning tatting class. I, wisely, kept my mouth shut that first day and was trying to figure out what they were talking about...rings, split rings, picots, up joins, lock joins....you all get the idea. Well the beginning class was such a relief...they started out as if no one knew anything and away we went.
I was back to the advanced class and downloading every pattern I could find before I knew it. I tried to give credit to the designer and list their address but on some I didn't...for that I apologize. I now have three 3 1/2 inch binders with patterns! I download everything I can find!..Now I make sure I have the designers name on it and the blog site or where ever I got it.