Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unpick, Retro Tat or Tonk?

Beverly Elrod, BellaOnline's Tatting Editor, has proposed adding a new word to the tatting lexicon.

It wasn't so long ago that I picked up the term "retro tat" from other clever bloggers.

Retro tat refers to picking out stitches (or knots). Beverly's proposed new word – tonking – refers to the same thing.

(Click on the link for her full explanation.)

Do we need a new word? Maybe so or maybe not.

My humble opinion is that there is room for a new word in the tatting lexicon. Word diversity gives language rich dimension.

And it is always nice to know what a person means, isn't it?

So I am spreading the word about Beverly's new word.

Take the poll at the top of the blog and vote for your favorite!


Krystle said...

what about frog stitch? I recently picked that one up from quilters....riiiip it riiip's funny except for the fact that we can't really rip anything out, it's always cutting or picking..

Marilee Rockley said...

I don't know, "Tonk" makes me think of the character "Tonks" in the Harry Potter books. She could change the color of her hair just by thinking about it. We can't undo our tatting just by thinking about it - LOL!

Fox said...

Nope - tonk just doesn't do it for me. I like retat myself. And retro-tat sounds too pop culture, wannabee for me, now that we're talking about it.

But I am VERY PICKY! Not to say a little bit opinionated!
Fox :

Miranda said...

I've never cared for "retro-tat". It sounds like you're still doing something constructive; in fact, I think that's why the term was invented, to make people feel better about having to do it. But to me, there's nothing constructive about spending half an hour undoing two minutes worth of work. It's just frustrating, no matter what you call it.

I've always used "untat", as it described exactly what I'm doing without trying to put a positive spin on it. Having a positive outlook is one thing, but there's no need to be completely Pollyanna-ish.

I do like "tonk". Very clever.

IsDihara said...

Thanks for your comments, Krystle, Yarnplayer, Fox and Miranda!

Tonks reminds me too of the character in the Harry Potter books. LOL! Glad I wasn't the only one who thought that.

And retro tat struck me as odd at first, but it does put a positive spin on a less-than-positive process.

Unpick will never go out of style, but it is nice to know what people are talking about, if ever you see these words being bandied about.

Keep the comments coming! It is so interesting to hear other points of view.

Suztats said...

Knitters tink, so I guess tatters can tonk, although I prefer untat to tonk.

Cindy said...

I have always thought retro-tatting was a fun description, but I do like the idea of TONK being knot backward. Very clever! I say we keep both in our vocab :)

Ridgewoman said...

Oh, here I go…swimming against the flow ~ again.
Tatting terminology is so 'muggled' ('scuse the pun for the HP reference)…

I'll just stick with 'retro tat' having come from the 'retro fifties'. LOL


Jon Yusoff said...

I prefer unpick myself. Re-tat to me means the action of tatting the part again after the knots are undone. so, un-tat is fine with me too.
As for tonk, I figured the action will be tonking. Just for the fun of it, I searched for the word 'tonking' and found this definition,

Tonking is a technique used in oil painting for removing excess oil paint or oil from a canvas by blotting it with a sheet of absorbent paper (such as newspaper or kitchen towel).

The technique was named after the British artist Henry Tonks (1862--1937), who taught at the Slade School of Art in London.

Dale Marie said...

I have always just said retat. But you are right, it is nice to know what everybody is saying when they use different terms, and I have no qualms about using different terms for the same thing as long as I know what is meant.

Sharon said...

Hmmm. Knitters use the term Tink which is the clever Knit backwards. Tat backwards is still tat. We don't really make knots we make double stitches and if we do have knots in our tatting it's usually the unplanned kind that you don't want. So Tonk just seems like a weird knitters wannabe. We already have several accepted terms for undoing tatting like untat, unpick, or retro tat. We have many inconsistencies in our terms and in other areas effort is being made for more standardization. Do we really need to add yet another word when we can't agree on the handful of other terms used to describe the same action?

Kristina Plaas said...

I'm an expert at tinking and frogging in knitting (or as my mother calls it..turtle-ing...she couldn't remember which critter!. I've always used retro-tatting with my shuttles. I don't know about tonking...kinda sounds more like the big metal trucks my brother played with as a kid. I think I'll stick with retro-tatting