Wednesday, April 3, 2013

You are smarter than..............

Are you smarter than......

Keep reading...this starts with knitting...A long time ago..okay 42 1/2 years ago before Doug and I were married.  I wanted to knit him a sweater and had a neat pattern that had a tree on it (Doug is a Forester)but you have to change colors to put the tree in.  I could not get it to work, my aunt crocheted not knitted so that didn't help but she said...let me call a gal I know as I bet she can help.  She did and off I went to visit a then 97 year old lady who could knit and did so beautifully.  She started by showing me a a table topper that was done with yarn that (at the time) looked more like thread to me that was an argyle pattern in about 1" squares!  At the time I knit with worsted weight thread!  I had never crocheted with anything thinner than the yarn I knit with and tatting was long in my future.  

The next thing she did was asked me to show her what I had and laughed that I used 'big' yarn so it would be a piece of cake.  We'll leave that to be seen.  She showed me the 'trick' of wrapping the thread around the thread I was working with.  She insisted I stay and knit for a bit...I did 4 more rows and got the hang of adding thread at each side of the big green tree.  It was not artistic it was more along the line of a first grader's coloring book tree but large enough to extend from the shoulder yoke to the ribbing on the sweater.  

As I left, she reached up, patted me on the shoulder and gently said "Sweetie, remember you are smarter than the yarn!"  At the time I felt I was being scolded but later I realize she was giving me a good piece of advice and I have laughed about it since...yes I AM smarter than the yarn.  I relate it to my beginning tatters when they tell me they are too 'dumb' to get the hang of it.  I change the subject and ask if they can drive a car?  Ride a bike? Type and chew gum?  Walk and talk or chew gum and walk?  If so they can learn to tat it just takes time to learn and then I tell them about the little old lady and her advice..."You are smarter than the thread."  I don't think she would mind my changing the 1 word as her thought are still there.  

Now go teach someone how to do something that is giving them trouble or read to a child or teach someone to tat.


Why not tat during the 10 o'clock news....

Last night I was ready to start a new washcloth...yes I tat around washcloths to make them pretty!  Also the tatting almost always outlasts the wash cloth and we get the 'good' kind not the cheapies.  My daughter had one that lasted almost 20 years before the cloth wore out so it is not a waste of tatting.  Also I was told to not use an item as in save it for 'good' or 'company' or 'the new house' was shaming the person who made it for you.  We use our tatted washcloths and hankies and everything else and enjoy it!

Back to the edging...I spent all the half hour of the news and the first part of the Tonight show tatting, cutting off or retro-tatting, and starting over on what should be an easy pattern...I had the "corner" directions.  I could see the first part would be the straight part for the edge...but could I just tat that?? NO WAY could I do it.  It was one failed attempt after another...I tried starting with the blind chain...the rings would not attach right, I tried starting with the ring but it would not work either....AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!
I considered calling my daughter, in the morning, and telling her that edging won't work...but instead, before I went to bed,  I emailed the problem to the awesome tatting goddess Georgia and asked her if there was "just the edge" not the corner available for the pattern.  In her great wisdom and tatting insight she sent me the better still didn't have the straight part shown but....ta...da....ta..da...(drum roll belongs here) it makes 100X more sense!  She didn't say duh just do the first 3 rings and chains repeatedly she just quietly sent the pattern in a better form and by golly it makes sense in the morning light.

I have completed 2...repeats and it works!!!!!  Even us experienced tatters can be stymied by a relatively easy pattern...maybe that is why I teach the beginners and will help them and not let them give up...I won't give up on them as I know they are "smarter than the thread"! 

When you are done laughing and rolling on the floor go tat something beautiful!