Hand Carved Owls with Tatted Glasses

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I am a Tatter (a person that does Tatting – making Lace with a Shuttle). I am also a Wood Carver… and in this post you will see some Owls that I have created by carving a tree branch.

In my first edition of these Owls I carved them and then add wood burning(Pyrography) to show feathers and finer features.  In that the owls are not very large the strokes of the pyrography pen are very small.

I am participating in Textile and Fiber Arts show soon which is entitled “Fabrilicious” at Lang Pioneer Village in Ontario, Canada.  As a Tatter and Artist I love presenting new ideas for the folk I meet at the shows.  What better way to show off Tatting in a very small way – that with Owls.

Every one loves Owls – so Owls with Tatted Sun Glasses in summer should be fun.

So here are my Tatted Sun Glasses.  Hopefully my fellow Tatters can pick up the pattern (and the idea of the pattern) from the photo.

Each Owl will be a little different ion that each Owl is a different size. I vary the cotton size from 40 to 20 – as well as the number of double stitches and picots.


August 9, 2018

Just completed more Owls – Big and Small –  “A “Parliament” of Owls –  (Note – Owls are generally solitary, but when seen together the group is called a “parliament” as they have long been considered to be of a wise disposition. In Greek mythology, the owl is the symbol for Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Geese are called a “gaggle” as the word is imitative of the noise they make.)

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Tatting from around the World

Just completed a Tatted square that is on its way to Brussels, Belgium. It will join many, many, other tatted pieces to be added to a Monument in Brussels.

I only wish that I could attend the Lace Congress in Bruges in August 2018.

If you, as a Tatter, might like to join this effort please follow the instructions given in these Links of Cathy’s message.  I am making this post February 24… they have asked to have send tatted pieces sent by March 1, 2018.

The following message is from Cathy / Canarithy – a Tatting friend from The World of Tatting.  The Info I shared above is listed here.

Dear Tatter,

I entered the world of tatting a few years ago, when Facebook was already a big thing. This is why I didn’t know anything about the historical importance of tatting-blogs’ world until I met Tatty Tally a few weeks ago.

On 15th November, I launched a worldwide action with two goals : promote tatting AND women’s rights, by dressing up a Brussels’ Monument in Pink Tatted lace, just before the lace Congress in Bruges in August 2018, with the help of tatters all around the world.

This action is already a big success on Facebook (I’m member of about 70 different tatting groups) and on some blogs but I really want to involve as many tatters as possible and from as many countries as possible too. This is why I contact you.

You will find below useful links about this action.

It would be an honour if your could join us and let know all the tatters following your blog.

Thanks for your attention, benevolence and answer.

Cathy / Canarithy

Links :

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Carved Hearts with Tatting

Wood and Lace Together

I love Tatting and I love Wood Carving.

With this post I would like to show you the two combined.

The design is simple and is made as a Necklace Pendant.  A small eyelet is attached at the top to be ready to hang on the chain.

So – if you have a Wood Carver in your life somewhere… engage the person to get involved with your Lace. They work great together.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

The two white hearts are the example of the Pine as they are prepared for carving

The two white hearts are the example of the Pine as they are prepared for carving

Carved Heart with Tatting Carved Heart with Tatting

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One Hole, Two Hole Button Angels – and Sea Shell Angels

This gallery contains 18 photos.

Just before Christmas 2012 I discovered “Birgit’s Tatting” Blog and the Simple Angel – which I label as a “Button Angel”.  Her Blog posting can be seen at http://birgitstatting.blogspot.ca/2010/03/simple-angel.html With a few adaptations to this pattern I have created many … Continue reading

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My Tatted Tea Pots

This gallery contains 51 photos.

It has taken me almost a year to complete this project of designing and placing Tatting on my Tea Pots. It all started in our backyard flower garden. After a move 14 years ago we had a number of Tea … Continue reading

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City Sidewalks – Peterborough Festival of Trees December 2011

I took part in the City wide Fundraising event this year by creating another Christmas Tree covered with Tatting and Wood carving.  The design and production of this tree started in early November, about 6 weeks prior to the event.

This Year’s Tatted Tree was raffled off. People interested in the Tree caught a first glance of the Tree at the Crop Circles Store in the Peterborough Square. They then went over to another venue and placed their raffle tickets in the box dedicated to the Tatted Tree.  The response was very good with many tickets being sold.

Christmas Trees of all kinds were set up all over the Downtown Area with idea people would visit the sponsors’ stores at the same time as they toured the Trees.

The funds raised went to support our local Hospital and certain clinics in community.

Here are some of the photos that were taken along the way as the Tree started to receive its new Ornaments.  Enjoy!

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“Easter Thingies”


Easter Thingie

Easter Egg decoration is done by a number of my friends. I don’t do the coloured Eggs so well.  Realizing that and thinking about my Tatting I designed a “Easter Thingie”.  Here it is.  First without any ears.

Body: 2 Rows or Rings and Chains

Top Row; R 3-3-3-3; C10-10 . Repeat until it surrounds the Egg.  In this Example it has 7 repeats.

Lower Row: R 3-3+3-3(join to picot of the Chain); C 8 -8 .  Repeat until all picots are joined to.

Ears: Clover leaf of 3 rings; R 3-3-3-3-3-3; R 3+3-3-3-3-3-3-3; R 3+3-3-3-3 -3 with additional small Rings tatted into the base of the Two Smaller Clover leaf rings to provide support to attaching to the Egg.

All the tatting is glued to the Egg with a quick drying, transparent craft glue.

Further examples of “Easter Thingies” with ears.

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My First Tatted Piece

I mentioned in my last post about seeing my Great Aunt and her tatting. I also told of how I asked her to teach me how to Tat. She thought that was very funny.

When I left the Senior’s Residence I asked my cousin to take me to a Craft shop that might sell Tatting Shuttles and the cotton that was needed. She knew exactly where to go.

In the shop I bought my first Susan Bates, chrome plated Tatting shuttle.  I also bought a ball of #20 cotton at the suggestion of the owner of the small shop. She pointed out that she had a simple book on Tatting entitled “Learn to Tat”.  We left the shop with my new treasures and headed to the Airport for a flight home.

From Des Moines, Iowa I flew to Chicago, then waited a while and finally boarded a flight for Toronto.  There was lots of time to read and figure out what the little book was telling me to do.

Wrapping the thread around my left hand in a circle was easy enough. Next with the shuttle in my right hand it said to pass the shuttle under the thread that was between the first and second finger… then bring the shuttle back over thread.  The next step was to pass the shuttle over that thread and then back under the thread.

The small drawings were simple enough.  With a little effort the shuttle could be pushed under the thread between my fingers on the left hand. I let go of the shuttle and then picked it up to pull back over the thread and under the one that was wrapped around my right hand.

No kidding… it was hard to do this. It didn’t look a bit like what my Great Aunt was doing… but I was able to make it happen. Small knots were appearing between my thumb and finger of my left hand.  But some turned over the wrong way!  Nuts!

At this stage I was sitting in a Chicago airport waiting room with another hundred or so busy people waiting for a flight to Toronto.

I was concentrating so hard one what I was doing I had not noticed that I had an audience with puzzled looks on their faces.

One brave guy near me ventured a question, “What are you doing?”

“I am trying to do Tatting… but I am not sure what I am doing.  Do you know what it is?” was my frustrated answer.

He asked me, “Why are you doing Tatting?” Leaving the question like that made me clearly understand that in his estimation that surely their must be more productive things for a MAN to do with his waiting time in an airport.

This was 1976 and there was no Internet yet. No lap top computers and no hand held devices to suck your brains out at that stage. The best most guys had at that time was “Sports Illustrated”, which if it was the right time of the year it could have been the “Swim Suit” edition.

As Man among other MEN, that were likely all executive types, traveling to very important meetings to and fro, across the world… Tatting was a wee bit weird in most guy’s eyes… and minds… and having a guy do this near them was way too weird.

When I arrived in Toronto I had mastered the wee knot… had made a ring or two and also had the chain idea down fairly well. There wasn’t much to show for the hours that I tried – but there was something. I also had a kind of Bird’s Nest made from the pieces that I had cut off and discarded.

Fast forward a few weeks…

I had found a Tatting book in one of the stores in Oakville, Ontario, were we lived. It had some doilies in the book that kind of caught my eye. It seemed simple enough… one small ring… then a small chain… then another ring… and so one – Ring Chain Ring Chain.. I could do this. As I made more Rings and Chains it told me to attach the rings that I was making to the Chain before… AHA!  Got it!  It is going to go around and around and around…

Three months later the doily was done! I was so sick of this %^$#*^ pattern I couldn’t explain to any one what I really felt. They complimented me on the piece I was working on and I smiled. I really wanted to throw it against the wall. Sheesh!

I can’t remember exactly… but I think that when I got to the outside the pattern said simply – Repeat 43 times! Or was that 84 times or maybe 128 times???? I should have looked before I started.  But I had no idea what I was doing! Blahhhhhhh!

I continued to travel via air back and forth across Canada as I tatted that piece. Hundred of people saw this strange guy moving his hands as if he was trying to speak sign language and was in distress. Some came to ask me if I needed help… yikes!

About four months after I started Tatting and about one month after I had finished the ridiculous doily with what seemed a million Rings and Chains combination… my wife and I were in a local Mall.

I had found the washroom and when coming out, there was a bulletin board with all kind of stuff on it.

Go figure – there in front of my eyes was a small poster that asked, “Do you want to learn to Tat?” and followed that question with the needed info about the Class that was happening right there in the Mall with a Mrs. Tatton.  No kidding that was her name!  Tatton!

Surely Mr. Tatton could help me get a better handle on this Tatting thing!

On the evening advertised I showed up with my Tatting shuttle and my two books, my cotton and my one magnificent Tatted Doily.  I opened the door and the class was already in progress… all 12 ladies listening closely to what was being said by the teacher, turned and looked at me.

Mrs. Tatton stopped what she was saying and looked at me asking, “Can I help you? This is the Tatting Class… the other class to do with home repairs is just down the hallway…?”

I told her that I was there to learn Tatting… and she slowly said… “Okay… let’s find you a chair…”

The ladies were just introducing themselves and then it was my turn to say something.

I stumbled a little with my story of Des Monies, Iowa, my Great Aunt being a Tatter and me teaching myself. There were giggles from the ladies in the class… oh boy…

Mrs. Tatton asked to see my piece of Tatting… and I reached into my bag for my ridiculous doily…

Mrs. Tatton said kindly, “Oh my… this is beautiful… but it is a little loose… it is a little limp…”

I had no idea what she was talking about. Loose… Limp… weren’t terms in the book?  My ears were already reddened up and my face was growing pinker by the minute. There was way too much estrogen in that room and I was uncomfortable to the Max.

Mrs. Tatton asked me a very intuitive question, “Did you teach yourself from a book entitled “Learn to Tat”?

I nodded in the affirmative… slowly. At that point I was wishing that I had not come…. Oh boy oh boy!

“If I show you a little different way… would you try it?” she asked.

I nodded excitedly.  I was ready to try anything at all.

She held the shuttle between her right thumb and finger… then fired it at the thread on her left hand… without taking her hand off the shuttle… first under and over and then over and under… zip, zip, zip, zip, zip… In a matter of second she had made a dozen double stitches before my very eyes. I am sure that my mouth must have been open wide.

For the past four months my speed and ability produced 12 double stitches in about 5 minutes! She did it in 30 seconds or less. This woman was a cotton pickin’ machine!

It was then that I saw that her knots were not Loose or Limp! Ahaaa!  I got it! Wahooooo!

It was about then that I realized that the ridiculous doily might have been completed in one week – not one quarter of a year!

In the weeks to come on a whole bunch more airplanes and meeting dozens upon dozens of women and men – I tatted dozens of pieces… that were tight and even and amazing! I was now a Tatting Machine of sorts…..!

I thank Mrs. Tatton for her kind word… simple instruction… and ability to set me free!  I had always hoped to find her some day and tell her what she did for me.  Maybe some day…

~ Murray Lincoln ~

My First Tatted Piece – above and below – the “Ridiculous Doily”

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My Roots in Tatting

The year was about 1977.  As I walked into my Great Aunt’s room that day in Des Moin, Iowa, she was sitting on the side of her bed. In her hands she held a small wooden thing with thread wrapped around it.  Her hands were working quickly back and forth. From below her left hand was a section of lace hanging down.

After the introductions and the catch up that was needed I asked her what she was doing.

She had continued this hand action all the time that we were speaking.

She laughed at my question. She stated that, “You of all people should know what this is. It is Tatting and your Grandma Lincoln was one of the best Tatters in the country!”

My Grandma Lincoln had lived with us from time to time when I was younger. I remember her teaching me how to play dominoes.  I also remembered her being a quilter. I kind of remember her doing something that I didn’t understand.  It was likely the Tatting that she was famous for.

My Grandma Lincoln had married my Grandpa in Springfield, Illinois and then left for her life with him in Southern Saskatchewan, in Canada in the early 1900s.

She would have four kids in that small shack that my Grandpa had built for them.  It was in the middle of the flat prairie surrounded with miles of wheat, more wheat and still more wheat. There were mostly no trees – anywhere where they lived… just scrub bushes.

The wind blew through the small shack endlessly.  And in my mind the fact that she had brought her Tatting shuttle in her apron pocket from Illinois, was about the only thing that kept her sane.

As my Great Aunt, my Grandma’s younger sister told the full story I was amazed.

My Grandma had passed away a few years before this time.

My Great Grandpa Phillips had done Tatting and then he had taught his three daughters how to Tat.  There may have been fancy stores to buy things, but Great Grandpa was more practical than that. He carved three Tatting Shuttles and gave one each to his daughters.

My Great Grandpa was also woodcarver – not just whittling with a pocket knife from what I was told. He was a quilter and a weaver as well.

After listening to the great stories that my aunt told me, I asked her if she would teach me how to Tat. She started to laugh and almost fell off her bed.  She declared that, “I haven’t got enough time left to teach you how to Tat!”

I guess she thought that I might have been a challenge, maybe even impossible to teach.

It was a fun visit hearing all about Great Grandpa and the things he did.

I left the senior’s home and went directly to a small craft shop. I bought a silver shuttle, a ball of white cotton and a book entitled, “Learn to Tat”.

On the Flight back to Toronto I taught myself how to tat from the little book.

My Aunt Annie heard that I was Tatting. She in her very kind way sent me my Grandma Lincoln’s wooden tatting shuttle.. the one that my Great Grandfather had carved from hickory for her as a young girl.

Along with the shuttle she also gave me Grandma Lincoln’s last handkerchief that she was working on when she finished lace making on Earth.

Above and below you can see my treasures.

I hope Great Grandpa Phillips and Grandma Lincoln are some how able to see what I have done with this gifts they gave me.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

My Grandma Lincoln’s last piece of Tatting… and another shot of Great Grandpa’s Hickory Tatting Shuttle.

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Peterborough Festival of Trees

Peterborough Festival of  Trees

Do you remember the TV Program that is a classic now.. “Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree”? It was way back in 1965 when it was first aired…

On November 22, 2010, I felt a little like Charlie Brown… with his little tiny Christmas Tree. We had just installed(dropped off) our four foot, black tree covered with Tatting. Yikes four feet is not very big!!!

As my wife and I left the Memorial Centre Hockey Arena it was hard walking away. We were overwhelmed by a strange feeling. She said, “It feels like we are leaving our baby behind…”

I nodded in affirmation. I understood completely. Our “baby tree” that we had worked so hard on was now sitting in that big, cold arena floor surrounded by big beautiful trees all decorated in unbelievable ways. Most were seven and a half feet tall and one was over 12 feet high!

I felt like I should be sleeping there overnight to protect it!

Earlier in the evening we had brought the tree into the Arena and were told to sit it on the floor near the stage area. On its left side was a three tier high set of speakers to blast out the sound from the stage area. On its right were three big, beautiful trees loaded with prizes and gifts from the sponsor.

The poor little black tree sparkled… and I blushed. My tree was so small.

Some of the other designers came over to look at the little, tiny offering that we had just set up. They stood staring at the tree without any words. I thought for sure they would bust out laughing at the shrub in front of them.

One lady then asked in a hushed voice, “Is that Tatting on this tree? Did you do all that?”

I nodded yes… and then felt a little bashful… like a grade three boy with his art project dragging beside him across the school ground… and then the older girls coming to ask to see it… sheesh!

I asked the ladies if they had decorated a tree as well. They said “Yes, but it is a big commercial thing, nothing at all like this one! This is beautiful!” motioning to the little black tree that I am sure was grinning from branch to branch.

As we wondered around the building taking many photos of all the trees… it was fun seeing what other “artists/designers” had accomplished with the decorations. These were Big League designers and decorators. Other than one other little tree decorated with Crocheted Christmas things, ours was the only one that had tatting on it… the only one that was very different.

My one thought was, “I hope they don’t think we bought these snowflakes in the Dollar Store! NO THEY WERE NOT MADE IN CHINA!”

As we arrived back at our little tree it was a good thing. The Hulks that set up the sound system were about to move the trees out of the way… kind of slide them over a little… so they could drive a rapid lift, huge machine through the spot where our tiny tree was sitting. They couldn’t run the big machine over their sound cords… but a small, insignificant Christmas Tree was another story.

YIKES! I felt like I did when my grandsons were beside me and the big truck was way too close for comfort as it backed up!!!!

I moved the tree to a safer place. I found a spot beside two other beautiful little trees that stood in a safer place. I am sure that the other trees giggled when the little black guy came over to stand with them. They understood!

I am so thankful for Dr. Bert Van Brenk stepping forward to sponsor this Christmas Tree Project. Without his support I may not have been able to get this done. I sure hope he likes it.

PS – Check out the Tabs above to look at more detail of the Tatted Motifs, Tatted Christmas Balls and Angels that decorated the Tree – under Tatting Demonstrations and The Gallery

* * * * * * * * *

The photo below (and at the Beginning/Above) shows the Christmas Tree installed in Katherine’s home – the winner of the 2010 Tree.

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