Tied Up in Knots: The Tatting Art of Pat Moffatt

8 November 2023

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I first discovered Pat Moffatt’s work in one of our local art galleries. When I asked the curator who was the maker behind the beautiful earrings in the gift shop, she was kind enough to connect me with Pat, a tatting artist living in Haliburton County, Ontario. I recently met with Pat over Zoom to talk about her craft.

(The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

Victoria Bingham: What is tatting? Are there different types?

Pat Moffatt: Tatting is a form of lace making. I believe it dates from the Victorian era, but there is lots of debate on forums as to what inspired its origins. Tatting has certainly evolved over time. It would have started by making just rings with the bare thread in between since they only used one shuttle. Where there is a double stitch between rings, that requires two shuttles, so that is a later form of tatting. Today, I would say, it just keeps evolving.

A lot of people find it difficult to use the shuttle, but it is the traditional way of doing tatting. There’s a method now called needle tatting where the needle is threaded like you would with a normal needle. You lay the stitches on the needle and then you pull that long needle through to create your loop or your chain. It’s a slightly different technique, so there are some patterns that a needle tatter can’t do simply because they are using a needle rather than a shuttle, but if they can’t do the shuttle they have another option at least.

Blue Earring

If you want to try it yourself, we have an introductory tatting tutorial coming from Pat in the near future!

All images provided by Pat Moffatt.

Copyright © Victoria Bingham except as indicated.

About Victoria Bingham

Victoria Bingham currently lives in the Haliburton Highlands of Ontario with her dog, Molly. She is an avid supporter of arts and culture and can often be found in the audience or on the stage at local events. She loves cooking, baking, embroidery, and knitting, and is attempting to learn how to garden. She is also the resident studio minion at indie yarn dyeing company, indigodragonfly.

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