Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Let's Tat!"

Thanks for telling me what you want to know about Angeline H. Crichlow's self-published book, Let's Tat!

Q: Who was Angeline H. Crichlow?

A: Okay, I admit, nobody asked that question. I just wanted to share a photo and some information about this lovely woman. This is the write-up I posted several years ago on my (now defunct) web site. It was originally submitted by Georgia Seitz:

Angeline Crichlow was an inspirational tatter. She was also a wonderful tatting designer and author of many tatting books.
Angeline lived in Carmichael, CA and was the fourth generation in a family of tatters. Sadly, she died in 1997.
In her hard cover book, Let's Tat, she tells of watching her mother tat and hearing tales of her great grandmother Margaret Robinson (1827-1890) tatting. Margaret Robinson was an immigrant of Ireland into San Francisco in 1854.
Some of Mrs. Crichlow's books are still available from her daughter Jeani Crichlow-Weick.
Although it is now out of print, Angeline's hardback book Let's Tat, is a must have. Let's all encourage Jeani to reprint it for the next generation of tatters.

Q: How did I acquire this book?

A: It all started with a comment made in Georgia Seitz' online tat class about how Angeline Crichlow was an inspirational tatter. Then I followed this reviewer's (Hope) sage advice.

Here is the review by Hope (pasted in from Georgia

In the back of my copy, which is kept wedged between books because the cover goes soft and curly in humidity- is an email... and I know AKTATTER was blessed with knowing in person this lovely lady!!! because the letter tells of Georgia's learning to tat in 1979 in Sacramento California.
I still have the check where I ordered my books because she endorsed it.. have one of her volumes of poetry.. and adore this book ...and I feel so blessed to not only have the book & 5 of her small ones, but the memory of talking to her on the phone & a letter from her.
"Let's Tat!" is 352 pages, hard bound- and more special- printed and hand bound by a beloved tatter who wanted to share tatting with everyone. It is b-n-w with very good photos of the tatting, I was constantly amazed at all the techniques that she teaches and for me it was a book that I "read" practically from cover to cover- because it was so much fun. It was delightful because of her descriptions of the patterns- where they came from- and often memories that they evoked.
Page 91 is a particular favorite- Centipede Edging... the story about it is precious- taking us back to pioneer times & wagon travel. Her mother called it Centipede Edging- and Angeline was so fearful of centipedes that it was quite unpleasant to think about having this edging on her own clothing. This book is like a recorded history of tatting. If you can ever borrow one and spend time just reading it for pleasure - don't hesitate. and if you find a copy somewhere for sale- don't hesitate- BUY IT!!

So I bought my copy of Let's Tat from a seller on eBay. (And I paid a pretty penny for it too. But it is worth it. This book is a real treasure!)

Q: What more can I learn about this book?

A: In her July 1990 newsletter (TATtle TALES) Teri Dusenbury listed this book in her Top 10 Book Shelf Picks:

9. Angeline Crichlow's Let's Tat. A Books Publications. 1981 A wonderful book comprised of 5 generations of tatting women and the designs that they tatted in a one-hundred-year span. (Out of Print)

Just as an FYI--the Dayton Metro Library system lists this book in its networked libraries, namely the Burkhardt Library. If you live in or around Dayton, Ohio, or Burkhardt, check it out!

Lace-lovin' Librarian, would you be able to request it through Inter-Library Loan?

This was all I was able to find about this book online. (Thank you, Internet Creators, for making information so readily available and bringing us closer together. What did we ever do before you?)

Just one last thought on this topic before I close. Every time I review the information I have about Angeline H. Crichlow or flip through her book, my heart feels like it grows three-sizes bigger (kind of a Grinch-y comparison, but it works). That's how I know she is a National Treasure.

I think to myself, "Some day when I'm gone, I hope someone thinks of me this way." By 'this way' I mean with reverence for her legacy and kindness, and gladness that she was here on this Earth. There is no greater gift than to know that you mattered.

(If anyone is still reading, I want to be remembered like Edgar Allen Poe's mysterious midnight visitor. For details, read Oh Poe, How I Do Adore Thee.)

Cognac and roses, baby. Cognac and roses.

Come to think of it, that might be an awesome name for a custom-dyed thread.  (Hint, hint.)


Fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fox said...

Well, you have certainly made an impression on me!

I scoured the Internet and TA- DA - I bought the book!

Now, I am awaiting delivery, but I found the 93/100 signed copy of the first printing! For $30.00!

Bonus: It is said to be in excellent shape.

So, on the strength of your post, I slapped down my tender and I am very excited for it to show up in the mail.
Fox : )

IsDihara said...

Wow, Fox, that was fast!

I'm so glad you were able to find a copy of the book. (I paid twice as much for my you got a good deal too.)

FYI--the note about pressing the book between two other hardback books on your library shelf is very good advice. Don't want this treasure to get a warped cover!

Do share your thoughts and impressions of it once it arrives and you have a chance to read through it. I treasure my copy! I bet you will too.

Fox said...

Thanks, D!
I remember reading about this woman before I even found eTtatters! I was thirsty for knowledge about the arcane art I had stumbled on and I was on the Net all the time trying to figure it all out! I remember the photo.

Thanks for the post. I love books anyway, but do not collect anymore - if I can possibly help it. I use the library and have sold hundreds and hundreds of the library I had amassed.

However, I DO collect books on whatever hobby I currently am into. Now it's tatting and I will not fess up to what I have greedily gathered for my bookshelf!

So, long story shortened, I am so pleased to add this to my growing stash of tatting lore!
Fox : )

Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

How could I not read this entire post? It's wonderful! Thank you! I will be checking to see if this book is available through interlibrary loan. I've not had much luck with tatting books in the past... I wonder what Illinois libraries have against tatting? ; )

In the meantime, I will be scouring the Internet as Fox did with the hopes of finding this gem for my collection!

Tatskool said...

Wonderful post, was enthralled.

Gina said...

There was a display one year when I was at Palmettos of her books and some tatting - not sure that the tatting was hers tho it was vintage but it was certainly her style. I love looking!

Sally Kerson said...

That was such an interesting post, what a legacy to leave behind, and what an interesting life this dear lady must have led. Its lovely hearing about family history, cor wish I could find a copy of the book - back to e.bay yeh!!!!
thanks so much

Carol Schockling Lawecki said...

Wow, what an amazing lady, what an amazing tatter!! I enjoyed reading your entire post, who wouldn't. I too will be checking with Inter-Library Loan to see if they can find this book. The Library Inter-Library Loan program is a great way to see some of these older books that are out of print. I have done so many times. Thanks Isdihara!

Hope said...

ROFLOL- Hope here- in absolute amazement to see my review- and delighted! How awesome that someone got 93/100!! what a treasure! Good to know that this volume affects other tatters the same way! And Carol- when I finally get to come visit you I will bring my copy!!!

Unknown said...

Thank you for this educational post! Ms. Crichlow has a delightful smile! That book looks interesting! I'll have to snatch one up if I find one. My tatting budget is on hold for a while, but that's okay! I'll live. I might be able to survive on the "few" books, threads and shuttles I have managed to scrape together over the years...ha ha ha!

Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog today! Yes, Hyacinth Bucket is quite a character! She terrfies everyone around her with her hilariously pretentious snobbery!