Needle Exchange – In Tatters Part II

Hello Everybody! Look! It’s Friday!

Last time we looked at the history of tatting, but really I just copied and pasted awesome books about it. It was pretty cool. Click HERE to see. Because I know so little about tatting, I asked readers to send me any corrections or info I may have been lacking, and because my readers are awesome, they obliged! TattingChic writes a great blog on tatting. She’s friendly and knowledgeable and I highly recommend checking her out for tips, questions, and inspiration.

Also, The Textile Blog, (which might be my favorite blog in the whole world) has an amazing post on tatting, complete with vintage patterns.

So let’s take a look at some pieces! One of the best known contemporary tatters (tatter-ers?) is TotusMel.

Needle Exchange - In Tatters Part II

Needle Exchange - In Tatters Part II

I’m crazy about her masks. She also does chokers, and beautiful accessories like tatted spats and cuffs. I love how edgy the designs are, while still maintaining the heart of traditional tatting patterns.

I love how prevalent jewelry is in the contemporary tatting scene. Before I started really looking at lace, I figured it would mostly be used as an edging or as an embellishment. But the more I dug and researched, the more stand alone pieces I found.

Yarnplayer’s work is just fantastic. I love the colors she uses, as well as the beads worked through the knots.

Needle Exchange - In Tatters Part II

Needle Exchange - In Tatters Part II

These tatted frog closures hurt my heart, I love them so much.

Speaking of tatting being used in an unusual way, check this out!

Needle Exchange - In Tatters Part IIAre those slippers? Holy Cow! This piece by Plum Fairy Creations really pushed the boundaries!

I spent a lot of time trolling flickr for tatting examples, and I noticed quite a few people had found tatting treasures in antique stores, and in family members’ belongings.

Needle Exchange - In Tatters Part IIThis photo by Decrepit Telephone is called Grandma Rosie’s Tatting Shuttle, and the description that follows explains the history of this family heirloom. “She was Bohemian and she tatted. She probably had this shuttle for years, as the worn spot in the middle tells the story. Imagine the hours it spent between her middle finger and her thumb, spinning and spinning end over end. I imagine after she finished a doily her fingers would look slightly metallic due to the silver-plate rubbing off on her fingers.”  Click the link above to read the full description.

And finally, we can’t talk about lace without looking at pretty, lacy clothing, can we? Of course not. This dress and necklace by AllThingsPretty is a riot of texture while remaining delicate. I love it. It’s frilly without being prissy. Want.

Needle Exchange - In Tatters Part II


Penny Nickels is a printmaker that started playing with needles with tremendous effect. She and her husband, Johnny Murder, have been described as the “Bonnie and Clyde of Contemporary Embroidery” and you can discover the power of her creativity at her blog.


All photos are property of the cited artists. Please click on the highlighted links to learn more about their work