Tatted Christmas Stars

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Identifier

2022.001

Title

Tatted Christmas Stars

Creator

Curry, Esther

Date

circa 1971

Format

A dozen stars, approximately 3 inches in diameter, tatted in cotton thread

Description

My grandmother, Esther Curry, tatted these stars for me, at my request, when I was a girl of about 10 or 11 years old (early 1970s); they may well mark my very first personal acquisition in what has become a lifelong fascination & enjoyment of fiber arts. I remember Grandma was hesitant to make them, because as she finally admitted, she was unsure how to work them; as far as I know, she rarely - if ever - worked from a pattern, and I think she generally made edgings, rather than motifs. Nevertheless, she figured it out, and gave me 12 stars, which my mother showed me how to block & stiffen with starch for use as tree ornaments. They have been a cherished part of my Christmas tradition for about 50 years.

The stars are worked in what my grandmother called "tatting cotton"; I'm unsure of the size, possibly size 40 tatting thread. Tatting is worked with a shuttle, and my grandmother had two that she favored: a small silver one that she used for finer work and a larger shuttle, which might have been made of bakelite, that she used with larger gauge thread. I think these stars would have fallen into the "finer work" category.

Grandma always wore a dress, or apron, with a pocket, and she always kept a bit of handwork there, usually tatting (or a quilting square she was hand-piecing for one of her many quilts). If she had a few minutes, whether waiting for her yummy cinnamon rolls to bake, visiting with the neighbor or waiting for her bus, you'd see her reach into her pocket & draw out her latest project – this is how I always remember her.

These simple stars are not her fanciest work, but they do speak to her aesthetic – cheerful & homey, a soft personal touch that could raise a humble cuff, collar or hem out of the ordinary.

Provenance

Contributed by Cindy Cabler

Citation

clcabler, “Tatted Christmas Stars,” Center for Knit and Crochet Digital Repository, accessed February 4, 2023, https://digital.centerforknitandcrochet.org/items/show/28644.

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