The World Needs More Lace

laceBy Mary Kay Totty


I love to tat.

Tatting brings me joy and delight.

Tatting centers and grounds me.

And by tatting, I mean lace-making, not anything to do with tattoos.

Tatting is a form of lace-making using one basic double stitch to create patterns of rings and chain for edgings, doilies, jewelry. The world needs more lace.

This gentle art may seem archaic and unnecessary, but I believe that it is important for today. We live in a world where most of our leisure time is devoted to consumption and observation. We shop. We watch television. We go to movies. We watch sports. We surf the web. We post on Facebook. We tweet. We check in. We hurry past great art and grand views as we mark yet another item off the bucket list.

We live in expectation of being entertained. We fill our homes with mass-produced items. Rooms, closets, attics are stuffed full of kitsch made by some sweatshop who knows where. We strive mightily proving to ourselves and anyone around the truth of the adage "the one with most toys wins."

Into this entertainment-industrial-complex, into this be-a-good-citizen-buy-more-stuff milieu, we need lace, hand-made lace. We need to learn anew the value of something made by hand. We need to tap into creativity and release it in the crafting of beautiful, one-of-a-kind items. We need to be actively engaged in living, not just observing the lives of others.

In a world of abbreviated text messages, a hand-written letter is valuable. In a world of fast food, eat on the run, a home-cooked meal shared with friends around the table is luxury.

In a world where music, drama, art are no longer taught in school, singing in a choir is a commitment to keeping music alive. So here's to knitting and carving and furniture made by hand. Here's to singing and music-making and amateur theatricals. Here's to pie crusts made from scratch and mason jars full of home-made jam. Here's to calligraphy and gardening and playing Frisbee with the dog. Paint a picture. Learn to waltz. Make lace.

The world needs more lace.