Some of my patterns

25 November 2006

Surprised myself!

I was rummaging around in a drawer a couple of days ago looking for my old magazines. I was doing a teaching application and needed to find 'evidence' of what I'd done in the past. Anyway, much to my surprise (being a bear of short memory!) I found that I'd actually had my Christmas tree earrings (similar to the ones I've been selling on ebay) published in monthly magazines (Popular Crafts and Practical Crafts) as far back as 1993 & 1998. I honestly thought I'd got the pattern from somewhere else but obviously not!! They had probably been in a Ring of Tatters newsletter before that. I also found other patterns of mine which those two magazines had used too. I knew about the My Weekly ones which were later in the 1990's/2000.
My first ever published piece was done in about 1971 for Lady magazine. I remember waiting for about two years for them to use the piece which was about Netting. I 'spent' the money I thought I'd get for that many many times but in the end it wasn't much!!!!
In the past I used to take payment for patterns used by magazines but quickly found that if I did then the copyright then belonged to them!! As payment is so little for all the work involved I decided to just give the work to them. This is why I am now able to put those patterns onto my site once the magazine have used them (I usually wait about four months before I put them on the internet).

23 November 2006

Eye couldn't resist making another one! Just had to try this pattern out again!!!

22 November 2006

Eye've Finished - I think!

The eye is probably finished. I say probably because I always look at further suggestions. Sue, my mentor (and in some cases - tormentor!) in London, has already suggested that the shape could be modified to make one corner more 'pointy' and the other more rounded. I will look into this but am reluctant to go into 'over design mode'. This version of the eye has now got beads (well, one can't live without beads) and I've also added 'glitter' to the white by using a Madeira thread along with it. It should be ready for a trip into cyberspace shortly.

18 November 2006

Sally's Christmas Tat Bangle

My sister (Sally) has been nagging me for ages to find/make her a motif to put inside some bangles she'd bought. I'm afraid to say that I didn't quite get roundtuit!!! Blame ebay and other orders! Anyway, I was chatting to her yesterday evening on messenger and she said she'd found the solution - see below. She found a motif and adapted it. The motif was in an old Ring of Tatters newsletter. It can also be found here http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~nickeb/motif_3.htm Sally has just used the centre of the motif and added beads in places I'd not thought of!!! This is the same motif I used for the garden mat too http://janeeborall.blogspot.com/2006/07/finished-mat.html

15 November 2006

Thinking about ebay

This is a rambling post today. I've been talking to Sue Hanson (yorkiesuelace) about listing stuff on ebay as we've both got stuff on there at the moment. I'm not an expert but these are some of the conclusions we've both come to over the months.
When listing anything that is tatted you also have to get the word 'tatting' into the title as well. If this isn't possible then forget 'tatted' and stick to just 'tatting'.
Also it doesn't seem to matter if you don't have a gallery picture when selling low cost items. After all another 15 pence is a lot on a low cost piece.
Another tip that I use is to start a word document with all the items you intend to list. Gives you the chance to add stuff whenever you get time. Then when you're actually listing all you need to do is copy and paste.
Postage costs. I use kitchen scales to weigh my stuff. Always remember to allow for slightly more particularly if you live in the UK as the new postal 'regime' is not as easy to work out costings!
Very clear photos/scans and explicit descriptions are also a must and don't forget to tell the potential buyers that you are happy to make in other colours.
I am also listing on etsy
http://www.etsy.com/index.php which is a lot, lot cheaper - 10 cents per item and for 6 months and a lot, lot prettier too. Only problem here is that it just hasn't 'caught on' yet.
Well, tat's all for today. Please let me know if you have any more tips!!

14 November 2006

Eye, eye!!

It must have been two months ago that I made a new shopping bag for myself. As I live in the centre of town I do lots of 'on the hoof' shopping so to help save the environment from the relentless plastic carriers, I take a bag with me. Anyway, fabric was bought (denim), bag made and tat was the end of tat!!! I wanted to decorate it with tatting but didn't quite know what. I then had the idea of doing and eye, heart, 2 and then the letters T A T. Having spent the last month completing orders for customers and selling other bits and pieces on ebay the project has been on 'hold'. Now I'm back onto it. The eye beneath is almost sorted (probably need to sort the sides a bit). Perhaps a few beads here and there in the green and the white parts to make Irish eyes. Will explore further when the muse takes over again!! I used the small shuttle shaped motif that is here http://www.ringoftatters.org.uk/patterns/janeshuttle/janeshuttle.html and then had to start again from scratch!!! Don't worry - I know my eyelashes need trimming but I didn't finish until late last night!!!

13 November 2006

Earrings!

My eldest daughter saw the earrings I listed on ebay back in August and asked me if I'd make her a pair. Time has gone on and finally I was in the right frame of mind to make them. I've made two pairs - 1 for her and one to probably list. Not sure!! These are some of the prettiest ones I've made, I think.

10 November 2006

How did I do this?

Sometimes, just sometimes it's good to have the 'spots' showing through when using two colours. BUT how did I get them into the middle of the inside picots? This is only a very rough piece so I've just tied a knot at the end.

9 November 2006

Ta de dah - t'is done!

The dolphin is sorted!! I shall work a final one this afternoon or evening just to check my text and then he'll be ready for the great big cyber sea. In fact the split chains work well but can be omitted by cowards! In this final version I've altered the beak once more (just the odd ds here and there) to make it less swordfishy!! Hopefully over the next few days I will get the chance to do a final tat of the starfish and then with the new small fish the three can be launched into cyberspace. Next project? Hmmmmm - finish my Secret Santa and get it photographed and packed ready for mailing.

8 November 2006

Another look at the dolphin

I gave this pattern a rest yesterday evening to complete my last lot of orders but decided to look again at him in the light of day. A comment left on the blog gave me food for thought and a giggle too. Why not call it a sword fish somebody said!! Yup, it certainly was starting to look more like a swordfish than a dolphin and I put that down to altering 2 ds on the chain from SR6 to R9. I shall revert back to the stitch count on the previous version to see if this changes it back to a dolphin!!! What a difference a day makes - or even a few double stitches!!! Underneath you will see my amended drawing with faint double lines and question marks in two places. I've got to see if I can work in split chains here to make the appearance of the dolphin more pleasing. Perhaps when I've done this it may throw the whole thing out of kilter again!! So what, it's fun playing with the dolphins!!!

7 November 2006

I had another attempt at the dolphin but although the flukes are now sorted I'm not happy with the beak!!! When will I ever be happy with anything I do?

6 November 2006

Back to the Dolphin

A fairly good evening for making dolphins. I've put a link in the title to the picture I'm using and this also gives the 'proper' names for the dolphin's tail, fins etc. Interesting.
The first picture is a retrograde step going back to rings and chains after the last trial with SR's! Notice I've now tried the flippper!!

The next picture is there to show just how often I 'lose the plot'!!! Really lost it this time so had to start again!! I'll really HAVE to learn to count!

The last picture below shows my final attempt last night. It was late but I did have a final inspiration on the flukes (that's the tail to you and me!). If you look at the link in the title you will see that they should be much 'fatter' and this is what I've attempted here. They need more shaping as the lower one is trying to go the 'wrong way'!


I'm not happy with the space just below the dorsal fin. There seems to be a bit of an anomally there!!! I also need to look at the beak again and see if I can get the chain running from the actual top of the beak to the eye ring a bit more shapely! This is called the melon!!!
Right, enough rambling - time to get on with the day. Back to the dolphin (probably) this evening.

3 November 2006

Dolphin design

Now this has come about as a result of Connie's fish. While I was working on that design I suddenly 'saw' the one that I'd been thinking of for months and months - a dolphin. I saw the dolphin's beak (yes, that's what the dolphin's nose is called) while I was working round the mouth of the fish. This time I decided to start the whole process in a slightly different way. As the dolphin was to be loosely based on the fish I took the fish drawing and 'played' with it. This is the result of that play.
I also downloaded a picture of a bottlenosed dolphin which I then 'traced' over using Serif DrawPlus and the fish drawing. This gave me the 'perfect' outline. BUT!!!!
The following is my first attempt at tatting this. You will see that the beak is totally wrong!!! I thought about using a very long picot for the top fin but if I do this it will need beads added to it and - well, I'm not sure about that. The tail on this first attempt is too floppy and I just didn't bother with the lower fin as I got disheartened!!!
In the next attempt (below) I think I've resolved the floppy tail by using down picots and lock joins. The top fin is now a chain but again I'm not convinced!! I've also used split rings instead of 'ordinary' ones to try and shape the back. The beak is looking better and you can 'just' see where I've used a down picot (which WILL have a bead) for the eye. I think I may well go back to the straight rings and chains on the next version. As I write these patterns down I keep all versions of it so that I can refer back. So, this evening. I need to make one or two of the chains shorter, go back to rings and chains, sort out the fins (top and bottom) and tat, re-tat and re-re-re-tat until I get what I want!!!


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