Saturday, May 31, 2014

Copytatting - a Soapbox Post

First off, please read the whole thing. Second, do not quote from this out of context. OK?

"Copytatting" is a newly coined word for working tatting from a photo or finished piece without the pattern.  This is a valuable skill.  If you can do this, you have developed an understanding of how tatting is constructed.   This skill is sometimes invaluable for figuring out patterns with poorly written directions, or for adapting patterns to make them easier to work by employing new techniques.  For many, this is a step in learning how to design. But just because you have developed this skill does not mean you should always use it.  A locksmith may know how to open various locks without keys, but shouldn't be doing it in the wrong situation. Just as locksmithing should not be used for burglary, copytatting morally should not be used for copyright infringement.

When is copytatting NOT OK?

  • If there is a published pattern that you do not have a copy of.  Some people say it is OK to copytat for your own personal use, but this is rather like reading a magazine at the newsstand instead of buying a copy.  Even if you are not getting income from your tatting, you are depriving the author of the income of a sale.

  • If there is a picture available, but no pattern, and you have not received permission.  The original tatter who has published/posted a picture, but does not have a pattern available, may wish to produce and sell the pattern at a later date.  They may want to be the only one selling items made from their designs, so making your own deprives them of a sale.  They may wish to make or sell one-of-a-kind pieces, and unauthorized knockoffs could lessen the value of their work. 
  • You really, really want to work a pattern, but you can't afford to buy it.  I actually see this rationalization online.  Oh, come on.  If you wanted something in a store and you couldn't afford it, would you just take it? Well, some people would, but it's not right.  If you can't afford to buy patterns, that's too bad, but it's not a good excuse.  There are more free patterns and public domain patterns posted online than a person could work in a lifetime, so go find some of those.  Also, tatters tend to be very generous people. If you make friends, sometimes they will give you gifts you can't afford yourself.  
  • You can't find a copy of the pattern book. Just keep trying.  Between ebay and used book sellers, you may get a copy later.  Meanwhile, tat something else.

When  is copytatting OK?

  • If there is a piece of vintage tatting, and a thorough search has been made and failed to discover any evidence the pattern was ever published. Example, Georgia's Mystery Doily.
  • If there is no published pattern, and the designer is deceased, and the heir has given permission.  Example, Lucy Consistre's Rose Doily on Georgia's site.
  • I once copytatted Elgiva Nichol's Rococo Heart, with the rationalization that there was no published pattern, and as the designer was deceased, she would not be losing any revenue.  I did not ask anyone's permission.  Was this acceptable? I don't know. This is a very grey area.  Would I do it today? Probably not.
I admit that in my younger (pre- and very early internet) days I did copytatting without thinking much about it.  Tatting patterns were rare in those days, and I didn't know how to find books that weren't on the shelf at the bookstore.  I was ignorant about the concept of copyright. I don't do it anymore.  Nowadays, if you are online to read this, you have the ability to search and locate legitimate sources of patterns for purchase, and the ability to find countless free patterns.  I didn't know any better then, but I do now.  And if you have read this, or Jane's recent posts, so do you. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

In the Garden

It was a harsher winter than usual, and some of my perennials did not survive.  But still, most of the garden is there, and there continue to be surprises.  An unidentified bit of greenery I had been tolerating in the back yard has turned out to be a Lenten Rose, pale violet in the beginning, now fading to yellow.

The concept of change is one of the joys of flower gardens.  One day, just stems and vines, and suddenly, iris in all their glory,

and the clematis on the trellis blooming all at once.  Too bad the picture doesn't show them better.

I was a little concerned about the gardern while I was away at the beach, but when I returned, everything was still alive, and the tomatoes were blooming.

Monday, May 19, 2014

More Little Hearts

Time rushes on, and my blogging lags way behind real life.  Here is a group of hearts I made when I was still in "heart mode" even after Valentine's Day.  They are all in one scan together so you can judge the size.

The first is "The Heart Within" by Frivole, (also known as La Cosette).  This delightful pattern has several variations and is available through her Etsy Shop.  I do need to get around to doing the other versions.

The second is the "Basket Heart" by Rosemarie Peel.  I have admired this pattern for years, but somehow not gotten around to tatting it until now.  How many of you also have stacks of patterns printed out waiting to be worked someday?  The is worked in King Tut quilting thread that I got from Deb Arnold at DS9 Designs.  She says it is comparable to a size 100 cotton thread.  It is one of the thinnest threads I have ever used, but it tats wonderfully.

Number 3 is an old favorite I have done before, the Peacock Heart by Birgit Phelps.

The fourth one is the "Ruffled Heart" by Vicki Clarke.  I adore this pattern with its ruffled set stitches, though I have not done it justice here, with unequal tension in the long chains.  The thread is a Valdani perle cotton, probably also from DS9.

The final heart is another that I made for the first time, "Minnies Love" by Heather Johnston.  It's a very nice pattern, too, don't you think?

The threads not noted are are size 20, though I don't remember what kind.

There were more heart patterns in my stack, but I get diverted to something else after this many.  I'll get back to those someday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Beach Vacation

We went to the beach!  I love walking on the beach, wading in the edge of the surf.  

We took a day to go to Brookgreen Gardens.

One area has beautiful gardens and sculpture and stately oak trees.

And the other end of the park has a natural area with playful otters, an aviary, and other wildlife.

It was a great vacation.  Back to regularly scheduled tatting sometime soon.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Dainty Antique Treasures

My sister came to visit, and had on loan for the day some dainty bits of lace.  She thought they were tatting, but they are crochet, of course.  This is very tiny, delicate work, which I would estimate used a size 13 or 14 steel hook.

Here is a bit of rick-rack lace with a penny to show how tiny it is.  

These were made in the early 1900's by our great-grandfather's second wife.  These were her display samples for taking orders to sell lace.  the rick-rack edging above was 10 cents per yard, can you imagine!

I am glad I got to see them. I recognize some of the patterns from antique publications, but I don't know if I have them all.