A Knack For Tatting
Nellie Kwas
The Butterfly Obsession

I started my magnificent obsession with the art of making tatted lace in 1984, after purchasing a craft magazine that featured a tatted butterfly motif on a note card inside. I wanted so badly to be able to tat that butterfly motif. Unfortunately, I did not know how to tat and there were no instructions on how to tat included with the pattern.
  Three years later, during the summer of 1987, my interest in learning to tat was re-sparked by seeing Mary Sue Kuhn's The Joy of Tatting at the local library. I was so distracted by how the shuttle should be manipulated that I still did not grasp the concept behind the process of making the main knot and how the hitches were suppose to transfer over from one thread to another to form the double knot.
  One joyous day in January of 1988, Mrs. Lucila M. Nani Diaz at the This 'N That Shop in Tacoma, Washington taught me how to transfer the hitches that comprise tattings mysterious double knot. (Unfortunately, this shop is no longer open, and Nani passed away on August 6, 1996 at the age of 94.
This is the actual receipt from the class. The best $4 bucks I ever spent!
   From that point on I was completely devoted to the art of tatting. Through the years, I have learned that tatting is not defined by the shuttle but by the knots and the combination of those knots to make beautiful works of art.
  All one needs to learn to tat are your hands and a few yards of smooth thread. Patience and a quiet spans of time are also very helpful.
  It is much easier to tat with your fingers using the Reverse Riego Method of thread manipulation then it is to learn to tat using a shuttle. The shuttle is merely an implement that holds excess thread and nothing more.
  The Reverse Riego Method is a slower, easier way of learning to manipulate the thread to form tatting's double knots. The novice can clearly see how the hitches are transferred from one thread to another, with the main emphasis on how the double knot is made, and not on how to manipulate a shuttle.
  I will include written directions and diagrams on how to tat using the Reverse Riego Method and possibly a video or two. I still remember how disappointed I was that there had been no directions included with that tatted butterfly pattern I yearned to tat so many years ago.
  If you are a novice to tatting, all of my patterns may be beyond your skill level as I considered them quite advanced.
  Practice, practice and practice again! It took me years to learn to tat and then more years to get to the skill level that I am at today. Be persistent! Tatting is an art form that takes a bit more devotion to accomplish. However, the results are worth all the effort involved to make the lace. 
Tatted Butterfly Examples by Mrs. Kwas.
For years, I had tried to contact Mrs. Kwas with no luck. I have always given Mrs. Kwas credit for my love of tatting in all the Internet publishing I have done during the years. You can imagine my joy when I received a snail mail letter from Mrs. Kwas.
Even though the time was short, I enjoyed our correspondence and feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to have Mrs. Kwas in my life for that short time.
Wedding Garter
Miss you, Jackie!