Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Instant Heirloom: Tatting by Kersti Anear

I've been really interested in tatting lately and love that I am seeing more and more people reviving this lace making technique. After we posted this video on how to tat over at ReadyMade and what a shuttle, which Kersti mentions below, looks like), I found my way to Kersti's work and just had to share.

Name: Kersti Anear
Location: Dublin, Ireland (by way of Australia)
Sites: kersti.com, intatters.com, etsy.com/shop/kerstianear, twitter.com/intatterscraft

How did you first learn to tat?
Way back in 1989 when I was 16

Why do you think it became your craft of choice?
I loved how unusual it was, no one I had ever met knew how to do this, also loved the portability and I adore the actual lace that I make, it's a very distinctive look.

What are people most surprised to learn about when you explain the process involved in tatting?
Tatting is essentially one stitch. Once you get "the flip" it's very easy - it took me two days and 6 different sets of written instructions to get the flip.

How does the history of tatting influence you- do you look at old patterns?
Always. When I started tatting the only patterns available were old ones. Lately with the boom in this craft more and more patterns are available which is brilliant. My own patterns are spring boarded off old ones, generally.

Is this your fulltime work?
Not at all, although my partner says I spend so much time on the website that it might as well be.

Just rely on the basic technique but reinterpret it in your own way?
It's not a technique that is open to interpretation, but the patterns certainly are. I'll often take a section of an old pattern and expand it into something else.

How long does it take you to make, say, a bracelet?
I've just started needle tatting, which is quicker than shuttle. A bracelet would take about 2 hours, although I'd easily spend double that picking the right pattern and choosing which yarn and beads I want to use!

Tell us about In Tatters.
It started as a mailing list 17 years ago and over the years I've grown it into the forum site that it is today. Most of my tatting time is spent on upgrading and maintaining the site. I'm not the best tatter myself, but I'm so proud to be able to say that I've helped others to find inspiration and help to become better tatters through the website. I've got great plans for it, now if only someone would pay me not to go to the office I could spend all my days on it :)


  1. Wow - thanks for introducing me to this beautiful craft! I just scoured Etsy for my favorites and picked out two pairs of very reasonably priced earrings here:

    I might have to give this stuff a try!

  2. beautiful tatting - wonderful post