Friday, March 6, 2015

Fiber Arts Friday: Tatting with Marilee Rockley

The first Friday of every month is Fiber Arts Friday! Join me as we expand our horizons beyond crochet to focus on other interesting fiber and needle arts. Enjoy the beautiful projects and learn something new along the way. Today we are indeed in for a treat! Master tatter Marilee Rockley is here to tell us all about tatting. What is tatting? "Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops." Ready to learn something new? Take it away, Marilee!

About Marilee
Hello, my name is Marilee Rockley. I live in the exciting, culturally diverse area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with my husband and 3 sons. Over the years I've experimented with many fiber arts, but tatting remains my favorite. I discovered tatting as a girl when I found a small needlework how-to book stashed among my mother’s art books. Between those sketchy instructions, library books, and trial and error, I soon taught myself and fell in love with the art.

I especially enjoy designing tatted jewelry combining colors, beads, thread, and pattern. I also dye some of my own thread to achieve unique colors.

How long have you been tatting? How did you get started?
I’ve been tatting over 30 years, and designing and selling tatted jewelry since 2004. Magazine articles featuring my tatted jewelry have appeared in Bead&Button (April 2012) and Belle Armoire Jewelry (Winter 2015). I am the author of the book Tatted Jewelry published 2011 by Annie’s Attic, as well as 3 self-published books: Up and Tat ‘Em (2010), Boutique Tatting (2008), and Marilee's Beaded Tatting Finery (2014).

What advice do you have for folks who are interested in tatting?
I teach an online video Shuttle Tatting course on Craftsy and video is a great way for people to learn how to tat. The basic "double stitch" of tatting is actually a knot most people are familiar with as a "Lark's Head" knot. The tricky part in tatting is that although the thread that the shuttle is carrying does the movements to form the knot, the knot itself must be transferred or "flipped" to the other thread that's wrapped over the other hand. This takes some practice to develop a muscle memory in your hands before it becomes easy and automatic. I compare it to learning to ride a bicycle without training wheels! But, once you've "got it" about the basic double stitch, it's easy to move on to more complex designs.

Here is some of Marilee's work...

For more information, check out my blog and follow my page on Facebook. I sell my patterns, hand dyed thread, and finished items on Etsy.

Absolutely gorgeous work, don't you think? What a cool hobby. If you're interested in learning more about tatting, here's a nifty website you can visit. Thank you so very much for sharing your expertise and your pretties with us today, Marilee!

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