Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Christmas Presents for Me...

We really wanted to get out of the house today, but since the weather was dreadful, had to resort to secondhand bookshops and antique stores. In the second of these I found several treasures. In all the years I've been scouring antique and bookshops I've never found any patterns for tatting, but here was a collection of patterns and instructions. I sifted through them and bought the best ones. The newest seems to be from the early seventies, the others from the sixties or maybe late fifties.
There were also crochet patterns, so I picked out a few of these too.
But the major treasure was four boxes of vintage crochet cotton in various colours. As you can see, three boxes were full of cottons which were either new or barely used. The fourth box was labelled "various craft" and contained cottons (mostly used), metallics and other thread.
But it also contained some part-completed tatting, as you can see above;
a lovely part-completed tatted edge for a handkerchief, a crochet pansy and an orange crochet flower.
And at the bottom of the box were a part-edged handkerchief and two tatting shuttles. I was particularly pleased with the tatting shuttles as I had seen some lovely old ivory/bone ones in the shop but couldn't bring myself to spend £20+ on them. So here were two shuttles, one large and one small, already wound with thread. I got to thinking about the woman who had owned these and all the other items I bought, wondered what had happened to her. I might try to finish the tatting she started in due course.

Anyway, the little lot above cost £33 in total, which I thought was a bargain.
In the other shop we visited, I found this book on dyeing with plants, a really useful and comprehensive tome for £2.
And a set of crochet hooks in a zip up case for £3.50. While I did have some hooks of these sizes already, I have now filled in some more gaps in my collection and have a lovely carry case for them.


  1. Oh, what a lovely lot of tatting books! Some of those I also have as I've been doing the craft for some 40 years now - but only off and on. It will be good to see if you can continue any of the part-finished items. Altogether an excellent haul!

    Melinda in Accrington (Melindaj on Ravelry)

  2. Hi Melinda, I'm afraid I haven't started my tatting yet, still finishing off Christmas presents! I find knitting more conducive to winter evenings, somehow I need daylight for tatting.

  3. Rosalind in The Hague18 January 2011 at 08:38

    Just found your blog through Ravelry (Baywrap ... ) You lucky, lucky thing! What a gorgeous treasure trove. If it were me I'd sit and admire them for ages, but you seem to be slightly (!) more energetic than I am, so I shall try to take inspiration and get some UFOs out of this house :)

  4. Roslind - thanks, I am maddeningly energetic, being unable to sit in the evening without something in my hands. Watch this space for the story of the weaving loom...

  5. Hey there Ruth...Wow. Lookit your haul! I'm interested to know if the vintage cotton still has strength enough to use. I found a box of silk thread - turn of the century stuff...um...not this last turn, either...and it's just weakened. The box is neat though! And the spools are very pretty!

  6. Hi Elle
    Yes, the cotton is good - it's not very old, can't be because it's measured in metres, not yards. So 30 years old at the very most. I've found cotton doesn't deteriorate quickly when kept well. I have been tatting with it, getting better...