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What is that old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” About half the students in my Citizen Schools tatting class were getting the hang of the shuttles and making rings and chains galore. This week we even added picots!

Look at these shuttle tatted rings one of the students made:

Though half the students were getting it, about half were still struggling with making the flip consistently. So, it occurred to me that shuttles are not the only way to tat, and I brought in my collection of needles. I myself started out by needle tatting for the first couple of years, and had just enough for everyone to have one (though they were a mishmash of sizes).

Without having to conquer the flippin’ flip, the students took right to the needles and were churning out rings and picots within half an hour.

These students were so proud of their accomplishments, and I am proud of them. They were enjoying making long rows of stitches on the needle and pulling them off to make rings.

Here are some of the needle tatted rings they made. The middle one is super tiny, but it is a ring of (a few) stitches.For me, the best part of this apprenticeship so far has been to see the students work hard at mastering a skill, and take pride in thier hard-won accomplishments. Tatting is not an easy skill to learn (especially with shuttles) but it is that very struggle that makes it worth it. The working at it and getting frustrated and trying again and eventually, painstakingly, in tiny baby steps, succeeding.

Next class we’ll take what they learned and bump it up to a whole new level, with making actual patterns.

Till then,

celebrate the butterfly!