Hi everyone! I am Ruth Perry.
I write tatting books under the pen name Rozella Florence Linden which is my grandma’s first name, my mother’s middle name and my sister’s favorite tree. When I wrote my first book, Easy Tatting (Dover) my last name was the name of my X husband. I kept the name because of my kids, but I didn’t want to publish under that name,
I was born in 1948. I grew up in Warren Ohio where there is lots of snow and ice. My Husband, Dan, and I live in Tampa Florida now where the only snow I have is made of thread.
Here is a photo of me at age three when I started learning tatting from my mother. I made a tatted ring that would close correctly before I started kindergarten. It took me a long time to learn, but the learning was fun. I didn’t do anything with this skill until I was a teenager and wanted to make Christmas presents for my family. I made crosses from a pattern my mother taught me.
I did not have any tatting books except one from the thread company that taught knitting, crochet & tatting. The only source for patterns was Workbasket magazine with maybe one tatting pattern each issue. I tried to get a tatting book through the library and they told me there were no books about tatting, even through inter library loan. Tatting was a lost art.
So, I started designing tatting, but kept the instructions in a journal. Here is one of those pages from 1978.
After my kids were in school, I went back to college and studied Computer Science. There were a lot of years that I didn’t do much tatting. When my daughter, Emily, was in high school and Jennifer and Paul were on their own I taught some tatting classes.
I taught anyone to tat who wanted to learn. When I taught a class at SW MI college my students told me I had to write a book. So I contacted Dover publishing because I love their book quality. I sent a query letter with a CAD drawing of one of my designs. They were looking for a book of Easy Tatting and my work interested them. The patterns were designed over many years but the book was written in 1993 and published in 1997.
My second book, Celtic Tatting Knots and Patterns was published by Handy Hands at the insistence of my friend, Wilma Walker. Her daughter, Patty was in a dulcimer group with my sister in Cincinnati. Wilma demonstrated tatting at the Cincinnati museum center. My sister told me I had to go meet this lady who tatted. We became fast friends. Wilma passed away from cancer some years ago and I really miss her. Can anyone be as precious as good tatting friends?
I enjoy designing, teaching, and demonstrating tatting. Writing a tatting book is WORK. I don’t think people understand what goes into creating a tatting book. It involves designing the content, photography, graphic design, layout, editing, and much much more.
It is sad that copyright infringement is so common these days. I have decided not to do all that work to do tatting books, just to find pirated PDFs of them for sale on Etsy and Pinterest. The crafting community needs to come together in support of designers and authors if they want to keep these creative people.
The tatting and designing I do now is just because I love doing it. Tatting is very relaxing and just plain fun.