I tat. My 95 year old grandmother-in-law taught me almost 20 years ago. Tatting is 17th century lace making based upon island and coastal women looking for something to do besides fixing fishing nets for the men of the village. They got creative with their netting shuttles to make fine lace doilies, scarfs, edging, table cloths, clothes, and even bedspreads.
After learning the basics, I headed down to my local fabric and craft shops and found they knew nothing about it except that they needed to keep a few plastic shuttles and thread around for the old grandmothers who came in once in a while looking for tatting supplies. No one knew anything about it, so I turned to books. Even these were hard to find, written 25 to 100 years ago or more, often in another language. Instead of giving up, I felt compelled to keep tatting if just to keep the skill alive.
When the Internet finally got to saturation point with enough people and information to make it valuable to the researcher, I started hunting for tatting information. Low and behold, I wasn’t the last tatter, the youngest among the ancient women familiar with the antique technique. There was a huge world of tatters out there from Australia to Netherlands, Russia to Japan, and many men!
All these tatters had felt isolated and alone, the only ones in their community familiar with tatting. Together, we represented thousands and thousands of like minds fascinated with this old lace making skill. On the web, we gathered virtually and patterns were shared, stories told, projects photographed, and enthusiasm encouraged.
My husband’s hobby is woodworking – not just any woodworking. He wants to build furniture, big and small. He isn’t interested in the DIY home woodworking projects like making planters and benches for the yard. He wants to make chairs and tables, lamps, bookcases – serious furniture. He wants to build the tools to make that furniture, too. After months of investigating woodworking forums, he finally found one not only dedicated to furniture, but right up his alley. They love to make the tools that make the furniture. These are extreme woodworking specialists, as fascinated with their tools as much as their projects.
No matter what your skill or talent, there is a community out there for you. Today’s blog exercise is to find it.
There may be more than one group specializing in your talents. Explore them all. Create a list of all of the social media groups. Explore them thoroughly and consider sharing the list with your readers.
What makes one group different from another? Do they have different rules and processes? How do they share? What do they share with each other?
It may take more time than you have today, but schedule time to thoroughly explore these forums and social media groups. You don’t have to participate to learn about them. Read, watch, listen, and lurk. Do they look like your kind of people? A community you in which you could invest yourself?
Write up one or more posts about the groups you find and share them with your readers. Be sure and describe the value you found in each group so your readers may find a new community for themselves, or be open to sharing their opinions about the groups if they have experienced them.