Tatting, patterns and the World Wide Web

I have been tatting my heart out!

The 10th Anniversary Tat Days is coming in September and many of us who are members of the Palmetto Tatters Guild are offering our services to make the event a success. My contribution is to create centerpieces for 2 tables and accents for the speaker’s table the night of our Banquet. To help with this, my new Tatting friend Maggie Brown has agreed to make some gorgeous flowers which, together with the leaves I am making, will be part of the centerpieces using the “Flower Garden” theme of the 5th annual Tat Days Convention. While working on these leaves, I have certainly learned a lot! Among the new lessons are adapting patterns to meet the needs of someone else’s work, how many colors of green there really are, whether or not to bead and so much more!

Another Tat Days attendee has agreed to create a few butterflies for our table decorations as well. We began to collaborate on patterns for use and I wanted to share with her a pattern Reit Surtel-Smeulders had created some time ago. The pattern was once available as a link on Bella Online’s Tatting section but is no longer available by that site or any other as far as I can tell.

Websites came and websites go and this is important for those of us who depend on the web for access to free patterns and pattern advice. In the early days, registering with Yahoo entitled a person to not only an email account on the Yahoo server, but also to a Geocities website that could hold several GB of information. Yahoo discontinued Geocities as a service to their registered users several years ago and when this happened, number of webpages that contained patterns for tatting as well as other crafts and information were no longer available. Yahoo’s “WayBack Machine” can sometimes help locate certain of these older sites, but many are just simply gone.

Georgia Seitz administers her own site as well as the tatting portion of the Bella Online site. She asks visitors to report when broken links are found or when links lead to other webpages that are no longer functional. Sometimes this happens because web domains go unpaid from time to time and therefore may be picked up by almost anyone to be used for any purpose. So because of illness, financial reversal or any of a myriad of reasons, websites and the information they contain simply go away. I happened to have printed out Reit’s pattern for 2 butterflies and have since committed it to a digital version in my personal tatting library. I would encourage anyone who keep patterns from the web to be sure to save them in a way that helps maintain the information contained in them as more than simply a bookmark on your computer’s browser. While such a strategy is certainly acceptable, saving the website itself to your hard drive, printing out the pattern or saving .pdf files takes one a step closer to preserving a personal library.


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