An introduction!

Alright! All set up. If you are curious, you might be wondering where I came up with a) “Knotted Threads”, and b) the user handle “nardhelain.” Well, the second one’s easier, so I’ll start with that.

One of the many things that I am is a bit of a language nut. English is my first language, and I’m reasonably fluent in French. I speak enough Mandarin to get myself into trouble, and I dabble in the Gaelic dialects (three so far), as well as some scientific German. I’m also fascinated by JRR Tolkien’s contrived languages that he used in Lord of the Rings and related stories. “Nardhelain” is a contraction of the Sindarin Elvish words for “knot” and “thread.” If I wanted to make it literally “knotted threads”, I suppose I should’ve gone with “nyrnelain,” but I liked the sound of the other better.

As for the origins of “Knotted Threads”, itself, I have to start about ten years back. When my great-aunt passed away, her son, my uncle, had to go through her things. Among the items he found was her stash of tatting shuttles, thread, and tatting books. For those unfamiliar with the art, tatting is a fiber art that has been around for a couple hundred years and involves the tying of many tiny knots in equally tiny thread to make a sort of lace. You can find some examples here. I was about sixteen at the time, so my uncle gave all her tatting supplies to me. He had some fond memories of her tatting from his youth, and he didn’t want to just discard all of it. So he gave it to me. It took me two years of squinting at booklets published circa. 1912, but I finally managed to teach myself to tat. It was the first fiber art I ever really got into. “Knotted Threads” is something of an homage to tatting and to Aunt Ellen, for being indirectly responsible for giving me the art. There are other reasons for “knotted threads”, but those will become more apparent over time, I think.

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