I have discovered that I LOVE looking at tatted items. I love their beauty, their texture, their complex look. I have also discovered that while I enjoy looking at the more complicated items, I enjoy tatting the more simple patterns. It's not that I'm not up to the challenge or that I lack the skill. I think it's because my grandmother was a 'simple' tatter and when I am tatting simple things I see it as a tribute to her.
I've learned that I have a "go-to" ring. My grandmother's was 3-3-3-3. Many of her doilies and edges are worked with that simple ring. I make lace edging for a sweet lady who adds it to her handmade baby blankets. The other day I was tatting away when it dawned on me - I use 4-4-4-4 for my ring on all her lace. I use 12 Perle Cotton in white and ecru for her edging and keep it simple because I never know if it will be a boy blanket or a girl blanket. Ring and Chain only - nothing complicated. When I try to vary the count it feels foreign. So now I find myself wondering if other tatters have a "go-to" ring or chain.
The other day I saw a post on Facebook where someone said they had been holding their tatting the "wrong way". It got me to thinking - what is the right way? Is there a "right" or "wrong" way? I pinch between my pointer finger and thumb - Moving my shuttle between pointer and middle finger. (That's the way I learned.) I don't hold my crochet thread the same way some others do - but it works for me. So I think that's the way it is with tatting - if it works for you, it's right!
I've seen the debate "Needle or Shuttle" - which is "real" tatting. Aren't they both? I love to see someone needle tat - it is fascinating! Maybe because I don't do it...but still it is beautiful to watch. I have tried using a needle - but it just doesn't "feel" right to me. Again, I think it's because I first learned using a shuttle, and that's what my grandmother used. I have also tried my hand a cro-tat but didn't feel a connection there, either.
So for me - I'll stick to my simple tatting with my simple shuttle and continue to tat happily along!