Are you familiar with ‘tatting’?
Tatted lace is made with one or two finger-held shuttles and very fine cotton, a bit thicker than sewing thread. I was visiting a friend in Quebec nearly 30 years ago and his (at the time) 92 year-old grandmother lived with he and his family. She saw me crocheting and asked if I was tatting. I’d never even heard of tatting before.
She showed me the basics and gave me a tatting shuttle. There’s a trick to it, which took me a couple of weeks to get, but I finally did, and the rest is history… I’ve been tatting off & on ever since.
The last couple of years it’s been more ‘off’ than ‘on’ but I picked it up again over the Christmas break and have been glad to get back into it when time allows. There’s a life lesson in there that I was reminded of, but first, let me bring you up to speed…
Happy New Year
New Year’s Eve was a bit different for us… there were only four of us around the table. Dominic spent the night at a friend’s home with 4 other classmates (small numbers to be in accordance with government Covid19 restrictions).
We listened to President Macron offer his greetings, had a raclette, enjoyed a traditional ‘galette des rois’ for dessert and watched a movie together. I forget what it was, but we were into it enough that it was 4-minutes past midnight before we realized that we’d missed the count-down. 🙂
FYI: Galette des Rois is a puff-pastry cake that’s traditional around Epiphany (Jan. 6th). It has a small figurine hidden inside and whoever gets it in their slice, is king or queen for the day. Timo was our king.
… started back up this week and is still going to be a bit of a mish-mash with various mixtures of in-class vs. distance education. For now, I’m still teaching from home… which, on one hand, suits me fine.
Sophie & Dominic both had a couple of exams this week (normally, they’d have been before Christmas… but it was 2020; ‘nuf said!). Timo had classes, but for the next couple of weeks, he’ll be doing an on-the-job training internship at a local optician.
Last weekend was the first Bible School session of the new year and Liz accompanied me just to get away for a bit.
You’ll recall that I shared a post about stopping at Chambord castle back in December, on my way back from Bible School last month as well. I ended by saying that the only way it could’ve been a nicer walk, would have been to have Liz accompanying me.
This time, I remedied that.
We left early enough in the day that we could stop on our way up to Melun. As you can see, it was a foggy day… adding a degree of mystery to the place.
We couldn’t do the full walk around the Canal, as I’d hoped, because there was a hunt in progress. So with beagles barking, stags braying and the canal path closed, we just walked around the main building.
Snap Decision: Overnight in Belgium
After teaching in Melun, we made a rather off the cuff decision.
Four things went into making it…
- We hadn’t seen Liz’s parents in over a year.
- Being in Melun, roughly 1/2 of the distance is already covered
- Lockdown has been really quite tough on them (Belgium has had a rough go of late and restrictions are quite stringent).
- Liz’s mom’s birthday was this week.
So even though the kids weren’t with us (they would’ve obviously loved to see their grandparents) we decided to make the trip up for supper & then drive back home the next day.
Lessons from Lace
I love tatted lace. Not only is it fine & delicate, but there’s a lesson in there as well – this is a piece I just finished.
Just like knitting combines various combinations of ‘knit’ and ‘pearl’ stitches, so tatted lace is really only a series of double knots, combined using one shuttle or two, and forming the knots on one thread or the other to make either loops, chains or picots.
Knots: When you think about knots, what do you think of?
If the knots are in your long hair, in your shoelaces, in a piece of rope that you want to use or, heaven forbid, in that long string of Christmas lights… they are a down-right curse and a source of frustration. It requires a lot of work to get the knots out, IF you can get them out at all.
Tatting is no different… if you make a knot the wrong way, it’s more than a pain in the neck to undo (it it CAN be undone). When you stand back, however, those tatted knots form a pattern… something beautiful.
The Lesson: We all go through various seasons of life and circumstances that are sometimes very much out of our control. We question “Why?” and don’t always get the explanation we need. We’re in a knot, so to speak, and it’s painful to undo (or get through).
We rarely appreciate the ‘knots’ of life when we’re going through them, but it we can put enough time or distance between us and them… we look back and may just be able to appreciate that those knots taught us something, made us stronger or, better yet, drew us closer to the Lord because we put our trust in him.
With hindsight… the knot produced something beautiful. We were reminded of that again this week in a powerful way. Praise God that he ‘undoes our knots’ to reveal something beautiful.
(IF by chance you’re a tatter, you can find the pattern for this heart here.
It’s Susan K. Fuller’s “Heart’s Desire“)
God bless you today.
Thanks for stopping by and, Happy New Year!
Tatting-an almost lost art=your lace is beautiful. Surely you are a man of many talents. Covid here is awful. I have lost two dear cousins this week. I hope you all are safe and well.
Oh dear, Michele. So sorry to read about your cousins. What a trial the past year has been for you. I pray the Lord strengthens you today & that you feel his strengthening presence daily going forward.
As for ‘many talents’ … unfortunately, for those around me, my talents lie mostly within the realm of the “not-as-practical-as-would-be-useful”. 🙂 … light fixture, plug to redo, mechanical… I’m useless. HaHa. But beautiful things, and the ability to find, see, appreciate and create beauty is its own kind of rewarding. You’re good at that as well.
That is funny-Artists do seem to struggle with such things! Thank you for your prayers.That means everything.