Making Lace

If I used the word “tat” in a sentence, would any of you have a clue what I was talking about? I’m not referring to the old phrase “tit-for-tat,” but the ancient art of making lace, known as tatting.

My great-grandmother, Jonesie, knew how to do it. I have very faint memories of her working with string and a tool that looked a lot like a fishing lure to create something like this edged handkerchief. Unfortunately, the art form died with her (at least for our family).

She would bounce the string up and down, adding loops to a pattern that I couldn’t figure out. Mostly, it just looked like knots and circles…until you gave it time to develop.

Occasionally, Jonesie would hold the lace-to-be at a distance and smile. She could see what it was going to become well before I could. It was time consuming work, but when it was finished the patterns were intricate and incredibly beautiful.

My current WIP is a lot like Jonesie’s tatting projects. If anyone was to look at it now (and one very brave crit partner already has), they would wonder what in the world I was trying to create. The plot is much more complex than anything I’ve ever written, and there are so many layers of intrigue that I’m hoping will work out. I can’t hold it at a distance and smile…even though I know what it’s supposed look like. Most of the time, I just push it to arm’s length and wonder if I’ve bitten off way more than I can chew.

Here’s hoping that my jumble of strung together thoughts ends up looking like lace.


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