As a part of my New year's blog resolution, I decided that some book reviews were in order. There are quite a few tatting books available nowadays, unfortunately the description on most websites is limited to a small paragraph. I am going to do my best to provide some good information, and some tatted examples of my favorite books.
First up, both by tatting designer Teiko Fujito.
"The Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito"
"Tatted Fashion" was originally published in 1978 in Japanese, and later translated to English
and published by Lacis in 2002. I chose to purchase this book after having obtained the book "the Tatted Artistry of", originally published in 2001 in Japan, and translated and published for us again by Lacis in 2003.
"the Tatted Artistry" came into my possession last year when my Mom came to visit right after the baby was born. I had convinced Mom to try tatting again--she hadn't done so since I was small-- so she ordered some supplies from Handy Hands, as well as this book. She chose the book based on the cover art "eye candy". The cover is eye candy indeed! The pattern is in the book, it is a doily utilizing three shuttles. Containing 100 patterns for small motifs, some edgings, and a few larger doilies, the instructions are diagrams accompanied by photographs on the facing page. There are some hints and tricks tucked in among the patterns, as well as one page of basic tatting instruction. I don't feel that the tatting instruction would be adequate for an absolute beginner tatter, so I do not recommend this book as a first get-started-tatting book. After a few attempts at the patterns in the book, Mom moved on to other instructions to get her started, and left the book with me to enjoy when she had to head back home.
My first project from the book was this doily-
The book contains a lot of what I would call variations on a theme. Teiko employs this Rosette style center in several places, as well as a form of Onion Ring. The book is broken into 5 parts, Motifs for One, Two, and Three Shuttles, the last two sections being for advanced techniques and nature inspired patterns.
Below is my second project from the book-
It's a small doily that uses that onion ring type idea. The book does give thorough instructions on what Teiko calls the "outer thread joining method". It is used in the varigated doily above in the places where the chain joins to the chain below, and on this one to join the chain that surrounds the light green ring on round one.
Here is one of the three shuttle patterns in progress-
My favorite thing about this book are the different techniques, as well as the variety of patterns. I love to see how tatting has developed on the other side of the globe. Quite a few of these patterns are different than anything I've seen before. Geographically, it seems that tatting has taken on different forms. I also enjoy the challenge this book presents. When I get bored, I break out this book.
So, if you like working from diagrams, this book is for you. If you prefer instructions that tell you when to turn the work, switch shuttles etc, then you might not find it as useful. You will need basic assumed knowledge, as well as an adventurous spirit, to reap the full benefit of "The Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito", however, If you are in the market for a little "eye candy", you won't be disappointed. It's funny, because I might not have chosen to purchase this book based on the description available, but since it's come into my collection, it's become one of my favorites. In fact, it spurred me on to the purchase of the following:
"Tatted Fashion" (TF) as I mentioned before, was published before "Tatted Artistry"(TA) And after having seen both, I noticed that there are a few patterns that were repeated from TF when TA was published. TF contains over 120 patterns. Larger doilies, cusion and purse covers, shawls, edgings and more of her charming small motifs are diagrammed, and unlike TA, this book contains some written directions. Something in the instructions does seem lost to translation however. They are not as clear and helpful as I would like them to be. The other frustration I found is that the diagrams are often separated from the picture of the project, in some cases there is only a small paragraph of written instruction tucked 20 pages away from the photograph of the pattern. So, you need a good bookmark and a willingness to flip back and forth. The one up that this book does have over TA is that there are more instructions on the specific techniques that she uses to achieve her work. They are very well drawn
and show the different joins, as well as the order in which she turns the work in some tricky spots. I have had some trouble because at this point in my tatting career I am programmed for automatic frontside/backside tatting, which can become problematic when a certain join ends up needing to be done upside down from her instructions and I have to figure it out myself. But for me, that's half the fun.
After obtaining this book a few weeks ago, Here is the only pattern I've had time to play with so fair-
There is some evidence that this book was originally published in the '70's- some of the pictures are black and white, and a few patterns contain a fair amont of cut and tie.....I even found a suggestion to use a little glue on the knots before cutting them close...... (Nooooo! Say it's not true!). It seems to me that modern tatting sensibilities have evolved a little. All in all, I do enjoy this book. I really love that there are pictures of Teiko, as well as a two page bio about her love of tatting.
Both books are fascinating and inspiring to me. I love them both and am glad to have them. If you were going to buy just one, I'd say go for "the Tatted Artistry" first and if you fall in love with Teiko and her unique style like I have, "Tatted Fashion" should find it's way to your shelf as well.
That concludes my first book review(s)!
I'd love to hear from others who own these titles, as well as suggestions as to what sort of information you would like to see in upcoming reviews. Your comments are always appreciated!