I was on Pinterest, and something new popped up on my feed. Not cool. I haven’t even tried the ply-split braiding or the Japanese hook-tatting yet, and here’s another thing coming along to pique my interest. This time it’s micro-macrame.
I wouldn’t have thought macrame. In fact, I’ve seen macrame pop up on my feed before, and I’ve laughed, because I tried it back in…well, never mind when. 🙂 The point is, my thought was that macrame was outdated. Then macrame jewelry started showing up on my feed. And it was gorgeous. And it was colorful, which it really wasn’t when I was a kid. It was always the rough brown hemp, and everyone had nets for hanging plants or decorative owls. That’s the extent of what I remember macrame being used for. But now there’s all this coming up, which necessitated the starting of another board. So what was there to do but start looking into it?
Lo and behold, I already have most of what I need to play with this. The thread that I bought for kumihimo and discovered I hated for that purpose is suggested for use in micro-macrame. The design board I made for my stained glass class is perfect for working on it. I have a self-healing cutting mat. Scissors abound…there must be four or five of those in my studio alone. Really, the only thing I don’t have is head pins or T-pins, which are easy enough to find, and cheap enough to buy. And I do have all that thread in my stash to use up, after all…
Yup. Another rabbit hole.
Celtic tatting isn’t going all that well right now. It’s very confusing, in and of itself, and the first mistake I made was in the thread I was using. I had a sample of a tweedy, red-white-and-blue #10 Lizbeth thread that I’d gotten in the mail for free. The thread really doesn’t appeal to me, so I thought it was perfect for practice, and really, how hard could this possibly be, right? I mean, I use double stitches every time I tat. And after the number of times I did that bookmark, I’m really good at chains, so it can’t be that bad…
Yes, oh, yes it can! I was warned. I should have listened. Celtic tatting is weaving long chains together to make knotwork. I’m not making combinations of rings and chains, I’m only making chains. Very. Long. Chains.
I fought with that pattern until four am, at which point I ripped it all out in frustration. The mistake I made in the thread resulted in the fact that the very busy-ness of the coloration made it nearly impossible to differentiate between stitches, and then by line three of the instructions, the directions given were confusing to me. So I’m going to try again, this time with plain white thread.
The tatted braid projects are going very well, though. I’ve discovered that I really like doing the braids, and I’m trying to figure out how to turn them into something other than bookmarks. Not that there’s a thing wrong with bookmarks, but I’m fond of bracelets, necklaces, and barefoot sandals too!
I’m finding that tatting–other than Celtic, that is–is not so much about complexity. At its most basic, from what I can see as a novice, it’s mastering rings, chains, picots, and joins, and a design is maneuvering those same items into an aesthetically pleasing configuration. The complexity comes from how many of those things are used in the design, and keeping track of both them and where they go. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!!! I freely admit that I’m a novice, and may be missing aspects of things! And even if I’m right, it doesn’t make it less of an art form. Sometimes it is gorram hard to keep track of everything!!