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Tat's the truth
It was more than just a hobby - it opened the door to a fascinating part of my grandmother's life.  When I'm crafting, I feel real kinship with Danaw
My grandmother, Georgia Alma Elberta Newsome Azmon, 1899-1995, was a tatter.  I never knew her to sit "doing nothing," and so even conversation or watching TV were shared by the making of tatting or the hand-stitching of it onto a project. 

I, being young and stupid, took her skill for granted, and did not realize that not everyone had tatted chokers, tatted bracelets, tatted edgings on dresser scarves, and tatted medallions for a wedding gown.  I don't really think my grandmother appreciated her own talent either -- often she would "dress up" an old uneven scrap of fabric to protect the top of a dresser with yards of her priceless tatting.

This page is prepared in loving memory 
of "Danaw" and to showcase her remarkable
tatting skill with the examples below:


Danaw developed a technique for adding pearls or other beads to her tatting -- not "stitched onto" the tatting at the completion of the piece, but were rather "worked into" it as it was made.  I don't know how she did it, but it involved keeping a needle strung with beads in her lap along with the shuttle and tatting thread.  From time to time, she would pick up the needle and wrap the thread and beads around the tatting thread somehow.
I used these little tatted medallions with pearls on my wedding gown when I married Roz in 1980.  Danaw gave me a little envelope stuffed full.

Danaw won scads of ribbons and
cash prizes (her favorite) each
year at the local fairs for her
skillful tatting.

My great-grandmother, Celia Ella Spainhour Newsome, taught tatting
and needlework to her many daughters, but encouraged each to master just one form.  Danaw spoke of trades she worked out with her sisters - "I'll tat this for you, if you'll crochet that for me!"

The Master's Hands

Danaw admired the permanance of tatting.  She used to say, "You can cut it anywhere, but it won't unravel."
I think family relationships are like tatting.  You can cut them, and it might make a flaw in the piece, but they won't unravel because they're knotted by love.
These amazing black and white photographs were taken by my mother.  I am so grateful for her clear preservation of this rare and interesting skill, which was one of the hallmarks of the rare and interesting woman who was my grandmother.  Thanks also to my sweet sister who graciously shared her stockpile of Danaw's tatting with me.  I wish I had learned to tat like she did!

Thanks for sharing memories with me.
If your grandmother (or mother or
aunt or cousin or godmother)  is still alive,
go give her a hug or call her on the phone
right this minute.  Let her tell you about her
life and times and learn from one of our
greatest natural resources.

You might even learn to tat.

"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as
becometh holiness . . . that they may teach the young women . . ."


Thanks for the inspiration, Martha!

Music: "Bonnie Kellswater"

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