This altar lace is a beautiful example of needle tatting. It was recently finished and donated to the Gila Valley Arizona temple by lacemaker Barbara Barney. It’s a size ten thread, and took her nearly a year to complete, with approximately 250 hours of labor. I asked her about needle tatting and she wrote:
“I have always had a talent for needlework, crochet and knitting at a very young age. I always wanted to learn to tat and my grandmother knew how. The problem was that she lived in Idaho and I lived in New Mexico and our visits were never long enough for her to teach me. I tried teaching myself from several different sources but it wasn’t until I got a copy of Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework that I figured out how to tat with a shuttle. I added it to my list of abilities and moved on to other things.
About 10 years ago, I was introduced to needle tatting and I gave it a try. Love at First Project!! I can do both methods, needle and shuttle, but prefer the needle for so many reasons; much more forgiving when you make a mistake, it seems faster to me, my work comes out cleaner and I love the uniformity I can get with a specific needle and thread size.”
Barbara already has another two needle tatted altar cloths in progress. Her goal is to make an altar cloth in honor of each of her 9 children.
I am not as familiar with needle tatting as I am with shuttle tatting and crochet, but this turned out to be just beautiful.
This is the pattern from Pinterest: