Interweave Press newsletters are great for inspiring provocative thinking.
The latest Handwoven newsletter, for example, got me thinking about "slow cloth" and consequently "slow lace."
It explains the slow cloth concept as being "a lot like the slow food movement. The point is not to do it fast, the point is a deeper, better, richer, fuller experience. Plus a better product."
Machines can, and do, churn out laces at a cheap price point. Computerized sewing machines are even making headway at turning out lace that vaguely resembles tatting.
But handmade lace is by nature slow, and therein lies the joy.
I find making lace to be gratifying and pleasurable. Winding shuttles allows me time to dream about the end product I have pictured in my mind. Passing the shuttle back and forth to form stitches and watching the lace grow is a rhythmic, meditative, and aethetically pleasing process.
My fledgling knowledge of needle tatting suggests that it also fits the model for "slow lace."
So to all those who shrug off tatting as impractical and old-fashioned, I would ask, "what do you do for pleasure?"
Hobbies take many forms. Potters throw clay onto a wheel and mold it under their hands. Painters use color and brushes and canvas to interpret what they see. Dancers interpret music and emotions visually with their bodies.
Manipulating fiber (in this case, making lace) by hand gives me many hours of pleasure and a marvelous, zen-like calm. It also exercises my mind.
Tatting is my Calgon. When a long soak in a warm bath is impractical, the rhythm, the pace and the pleasure of tatting can still "take me away."