Some of my patterns

30 October 2007

Finally the bag is finished!

On Sunday I listed some more Aero shuttles on ebay - I was lucky enough to come across some more.
I also
stuck animals all over the bag. I think it's finished although there is still room for more critters on it. I feel that if I add more then it will be too overpowering!!!
Here is the front.

This is another view of the front looking down onto it.

Next are the two sides.

This is the top at the back which is wider than the front. Yes, tat is a deliberate design feature.

Finally and because I just can't resist a bit of a giggle there's the back!!! Thank you Martha for this pattern and all the others of yours (mainly from New Critters on the Block) which you know is one of my favourites. Hidden because I can show it for a giggle to stop people getting tooooo sentimental over the bag!!!

29 October 2007

Gluing onto my bag

I've been gluing the animals onto the bag. This is the glue I've been using. I do like it a lot and am very happy with the results. It really does dry clear although it's a bit 'gluggy' to use. By that I mean it's thick. In a way that's easier than using the ordinary PVA which is toooooo fluid for this type of task. I hope our local craft store continues to stock this glue as I can see me 'needing' it a lot!!

I'm going to test out a sample today to see if it's happy with Scotch Guard and once I've done that and sprayed the bag then I'll be able to use it!!! I will also take some photographs today too.


Last night I did two more Christmas giveaways. See them below.

28 October 2007

Luck strikes again!!

In all the years I've been going to the car boot market at the end of the road I've hardly ever seen tatting. I found this yesterday. That's three doilies in two weeks!! I had to release it from captivity!!!! I think I may add the three doilies to my ebay listings eventually and/or my etsy shop. Just really need to admire them for a while, though!!!
I am going to be busy this afternoon as I've got some new pieces of tatting to put on ebay.
A few weeks ago I started making Christmas tree earrings - like the ones I did last year. These proved very popular and I was making them right up til the last few days before Christmas - in spite of having to run (well, waddle quickly) down to the library to use their computers cause our broadband had gone down!!!
I've also got a few more Aero shuttles to list (there are some already on etsy).

27 October 2007

Another two

Only two animals got done yesterday. Well it was Friday and a bottle of red wine usually finds it's way into the 'scheme of things' on a Friday evening!!!
I did, however, manage to pin the critters I've already done onto the bag during the afternoon! I raided one of my boxes of completed stuff and found a few more animals to add too. Maybe today I'll get the two new ones on and start sticking them.
Not sure if I mentioned that I got some new glue from our craft store last weekend. It said on the packet that it would stick anything to (more or less) anything but that it was also washable too. Ah, tat's exactly what I needed for my bag!!!
When I got it home and opened up the packet it said that before using you should wash the garment well! Also mentioned that denim should be washed four times before sticking!!! On yer bike, thought I!!! When I made my shopping bag (translated to American as tote bag!) about six months ago I stuck the bits of tatting on with some other glue that I'd got. This isn't washable and I didn't expect the bits to stay on. They're still there and looking just as good as the day they were added!!!

SO, I reckon that I'll just use this stronger glue on the 'virgin' denim and see what happens. After all, if the pieces fall off I can stick them on again AND knowing me - I'll not like the bag in a few months time anyway!!!!
Below are two fishes that got done before the red wine took too great a hold!!!

25 October 2007

Playtime!

Well I'm playing. I've still no plan for what is going to go onto the handbag but I'm going to tat lots of bits and pieces. Below is what I've done over the past two/three days. If they aren't used for the bag then I'm sure they'll find a home somewhere else (unless I lose them first!).
I just LOVE Martha Ess's little New Critters on the Block book so that came off the bookshelf too. These are just the right size for the 'in between' places on the bag. I think another evening of tatting should see enough to start sticking them all on. The really, really exciting part!!!

24 October 2007

Testing the new handbag!

For the first time in years I've now got a handbag that I like!!! So cool!! The only thing I don't like about it is the fact that it's dull and boring at the moment. So, to put this right I've started to think about decorating it. Well, what would anybody in their right minds want on a handbag?
Tatting, of course!!
As there are many 'facets', sides, ins and outs to this bag this will be a tricky one. So, last night I started on some odds and ends. As usual there is no forward planning to this task - just the regular 'hit and miss' method. I think all those years of planning lessons for youngsters has knocked this skill out of me. OR, did I ever plan that well anyway? Hmmm, won't go down that road!!!
I thought I'd make this an animal bag. So I've started with a gecko and a couple of pigs. There's an owl half done and then I thought I may do a seahorse (or 2). One of the pigs may go elsewhere as a present. Just like doing things in pairs as once a couple of shuttles are wound it's easier to use most of the thread than wind it back onto the ball (ooooooh, I LOVE my Aeros for that!). I always wind thread back onto the ball when I've finished a project so that I know where the thread came from. This also frees up the shuttles. One of the advantages of using a bobbin shuttle.
Anyway, I digress, as usual!!! I may do some flowery bits too but it's early days.
At the only local craft store we have (yes, we do have one - only one) I noticed some glue that they had. This is glue that you can use to stick stuff onto fabric AND still be able to wash the item. I'm going to give this a try on the bag as I doubt it'll need washing that often. Here are the first contestants for a placement on the bag!!!

23 October 2007

Snowflakes

I found that the new motif (now known as snowflake 2007) fits into a 3" bangle. I spent a few hours tying the first eleven in using invisible thread.
One hint is to tie them in, put a blob of strong glue on each knot and let them dry.
I also made three more over the weekend at odd times.

Oh, I know I've been tagged by several people but the brain hasn't worked on the seven facts yet!!! I'm not sure I can think of seven but I'll try!!!! Check back later!!!!

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by TatBit and Julie - to share 7 facts about myself! I know several people have tagged me and I've been so busy that I've not done my 'confessions' until now!

1. I'm 64 and living in sin!! Actually I was married for 24 years when he walked out on me with my friend. Instead of a silver wedding anniversary party - I threw a divorce party. The hangovers lasted a full week!! I now live with a second cousin (been together for about 14 years) and we both have the same surname (Eborall IS my name and I reverted to it when the ex walked out). Actually, he ran!!!!

2. My mum never liked me but that's never bothered me as in the end the feeling was mutual!!!

3. I've lived in the same town most of my life and I used to teach very young children and LOVED every minute of it.

4. I love to make people laugh and my only unfilled ambition in life would have been to have 'made it' as a stand up comedienne. Too late now - I can barely make myself laugh some days!!

5. When I die I want the Beatles music played, no religious 'stuff' and I want everybody to party, party, party. If somebody stood up and said 'she was OK' then that'd be good too!! Oh, I want 'Give me Sunshine' played too and I want everybody to laugh and laugh.

6. I have three grandsons aged from 7 to 3 and a granddaughter due in three weeks. She'll get all my tatting stuff whether she likes it or not!!!

7. I don't like sport of any sort - either to participate or to watch. I don't watch telly very often but listen to bits of it. (I love Corrie, though!!!) I've always got shuttles and thread in my hands and a laptop on my knees!!!!

Now I've got to tag three people and I'll do this with apologies to those who don't want to take part!!! I didn't want to either but now I've done it I'm VERY pleased I was tagged!!!!

First is Sharon she's a megga tatter.
Next is Riet a dear friend from the Netherlands
Finally Tanya another of my good tatting friends.

Got to dash - got an emergency with my dad!!!

22 October 2007

Who said I was an old bag?

Yup, well known for it too!!! It's something that Nick and I have in common - a love of bags! Not posh bags, expensive bags, but downright useful bags!! Wherever we are we seem to be drawn to bags. We buy bags and then find that the 'new and REALLY useful' one that seemed like our dreams come true in the shop turns out to be flipping useless!!!
I also make bags - I have a 'thing' about making them too. The last one I made was a shopping bag, the one before that a tatting bag and the one before that was a 'quite useful' handbag. Most of them never really 'took off' except the shopping bag which I use all the time.
I honestly can't remember when I made the first bag but it was many, many years ago. I've made them from Laura Ashley patchwork pieces, I've made rolly polly bags and straight sided bags. My main love is denim as it 'goes' with anything.
Well the week before last we had a 'turning out' of bags. No more, we said to each other. This bag business has to stop. Duh! During the the painful operation of deciding which ones had to go I came across a favourite one which I'd put to one side as it was made of hard plastic. I liked the shape and size of this one but it sort of 'crinkled' and looked really nasty. Ah, I thought, I could make a bag like this but out of fabric and not hard, ugly plastic.
Out came the denim and the sewing machine. Making a bag is like a jigsaw puzzle. I start with a tape measure and pins. A ruler and pen are also useful. Usually I cut out the main pieces and then start putting them together as I think they should go. Seems to work. Here's the bag - fully lined and stiffened too!! Ta de dah!!! Far left is the front, then a side view followed by the back. What it needs now is some tatting on it. Tat's the next task!!!

PS - yes, I'm allowed a PS in a blog, I'm sure!! Before I put the sewing machine away I made two more little 'quickie' bags. Sad old woman!!!

21 October 2007

How wrong can you be?

Yesterday morning I emailed Georgia about tatting stuff and personal things. At the very end of the email I said the following.

"Well, time for a trip to the car boot market. Just for eggs - there's rarely anything interesting to find!!!"

The car boot market is held each Saturday on a bit of waste land at the end of our road. A car boot market is similar to garage sales or neighbourhood sales. People come along to a given place with a stack of stuff they don't want, open the boot (trunk) of their car, put out a table and the stuff from their boot goes onto the table. Good way to get rid of stuff you don't want!!!
I normally go up to the market for eggs and vegetables cause a man sells them from his small holding. Yesterday the local hospice had a 'pitch' too and I was dozing past there when I saw the two doilies at the end of this post. I started looking at them and the lady told me they were crochet. Sorry, says I, they're not crochet - they've been tatted. Out come my shuttles and thread, which I happened to have with me, and on a very cold morning and only half awake I showed the lady how the mats were made.
Well I couldn't leave them there. Unloved, unappreciated. I told her that I didn't want or need them but that they needed liberating. So, for the princely sum of a whole round pound they came home with me.

20 October 2007

Still in the Tat Doldrums

I rarely get these moods but I've got one at the moment!!! I have a project 'on the go' which I'm excited about but can't get past the hiccup bit!!!
In cases like this I abandon it for a while and go off on other projects. So I'm back to doing giveaways and making some Christmas tree earrings. The giveaway below is done in brownish and pink colours - don't look toooo closely at it yet as it hasn't been pressed. I do like those two colours together. I might do another later today using other 'duller' colours together. I find that colours that don't 'look good' when you put the balls together sometimes are stunning when tatted together. Strange. Also the duller colours when mixed brighten themselves up. Do you understand what I mean? I think I know what I mean!!!!!
Ah, another project which has been keeping me occupied is nearing completion. I'll blog it when it's done. Not tatting - sewing. Well, there may be tatting on it eventually!!!

18 October 2007

Off the subject!

During our tidying up session the other day I came across this. It's a Teneriffe wheel. It's made of brass and says 'Briggs patent' on it.
I have a book on how to do Teneriffe lace and actually saw an old lady making it half way up Mount Teide which is the highest mountain in Spain and on the island of Teneriffe. The old lady was sitting outside her house at the roadside and I was able to persuade the people I was with to stop so I could see how she was doing it. She appeared to be using a small, very old padded 'pillow', shaped like a mushroom.
When we got to the end of the road I walked to the top of Mount Teide - quite a struggle. The mountain is a volcano and this was many years ago - I was aged 46!!.
Question is - do I take up Teneriffe lace now and abandon tatting? Hmmm, I think not but I may have a dabble sometime now I've found this wheel.
I have many books on all types of lace which I collected during my working years. The reason for this was so that I'd be able to learn them when I retired!!! Now, where's the time I need to do this?!?!?

17 October 2007

Finally and at last!

Well I finally got the motif finished and uploaded onto my web site on Monday. It isn't difficult to make but proved a problem to notate. I managed to sort out all the final tweaks over the weekend. The only perceived problem for a new tatter with this pattern is that there is a split chain in it.
I was struggling to do the motif (now known as a snowflake!!) when Marie Smith emailed me and suggested a way of progressing out of the centre using a 'false split ring' which is, actually a split chain. Sounds hard but it's really easy. I'm hoping the diagrams I drew will help too. Gets easier the more you do it, of course!!!
I always agonise over using the 'harder' techniques as I feel that they may stop some people from doing patterns with them in. Then again I also think that if a person really, really likes a design then they'll either learn/use it OR find a way of tatting the piece another way!!!! Personally I like a challenge if I can see a reason for it!!! There's no better reason for using a new technique than it enabling you to avoid tying,
cutting and hiding ends!!!
I also finished the alphabet beads pattern which can be made into a bracelet. I've actually used this idea to put a name on my tatting bag. Just for fun, tat's all. I'm particularly pleased with this pattern as the beads lie really well within the framework. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that they are placed between split rings which means finger tatting the centre. I may make another one of these for a 'zipper pull' as they are such fun and are fast to make.

15 October 2007

The one thing I HATE

The one thing in my life that I hate above anything else is wasting time! I don't mind waiting for doctor, dentist or any appointment even if they are very late. After all you can always be doing something like tatting or reading dreadful magazines. I don't mind time spent on a tatting idea that doesn't work - this is a normal part of the process.
BUT I do HATE what ha
ppened to me yesterday evening!!
I remembered the other day that I'd been playing with alphabet beads before I went to USA in August. I made several bracelets as presents for friends. On Friday I realised that I'd not put the pattern on my web page yet. Well, last night I finished the centre of the bracelet which I was making to test the pattern. I tied and cut the ends and then realised I'd missed out a chain. Not too bad as all I needed to do was cut back a bit, re-join and do that part again. Oh, no, wrong again!!! I cut the wrong bit!!! So I decided that was scrap and it would be better to start again from scratch!!!
That's the sort of thing I call a waste of time!
Below is the final motif which now confirms the pattern is ready to 'go'!!! When the bracelet is finished I'll launch them both together.

14 October 2007

Nearly sorted

Although I've been quiet on the blog for a couple of days that doesn't mean I haven't been tatting!!! I'm still working on the motif and I think it's 'as good as' finished. Although it is really easy to do it's proved quite difficult to notate. The problem is that I was determined to make it easy for those doing 'front side / back side' or whatever people like to call it without it being something you have to conciously think about while tatting. This has meant about 11 motifs made just to resolve a few SLT's and RW's!!! Dedication or what!!!! Actually I've nearly thrown it out of the pram several times. Anyway, here are a few of my 'trials and tribulations'!!!!

11 October 2007

Heart Picture

Finally I've got my new heart from Mark Myers framed (see below). Well it only took so long because the framing shop were lollygagging (that's my favourite American word)!! The picture will now go in my 'rogues gallery'. This is a place on the wall just in front of me when I'm sitting tatting in the evening. I've got a bell (again from Mark) and a flower which Gina (Brummett) gave me in the gallery too. I'm very proud of these little pieces.
Hanging from the lamp by the side of me are several bookmarks and other tatted pieces that I've been given in exchanges. Also a couple of little 'dangles' from the mad witch in London - love, light and peace!!! Well, we all know who THAT is!!! SueH!!!!! Ah, there's also a tiny witch hanging there too which she sent me - just as a reminder that she's forever watching me!!! Actually, she's more likely to be 'watching out' for me (as in looking after her aged tatting friend when I get myself into bother). She's the sort of mate that even if she thinks you're wrong she'll stick up for you through thick and thin.

Crochet hook

I'm popping a picture of this crochet hook that I bought at Tat Days. It's from Georgia Seitz's fair hands (or maybe Rich's)!!!! I bought two as I'm always losing things!!! It takes up to 7 seed beads at a time and will load them onto a picot worked in number 20 thread. The hook size is 0.4mm.

New Idea

Bad, bad, bad day yesterday with the new and 'top secret' (at the moment) idea. I'm ready to give up designing and tatting. BUT I've lived through these times before so I'll throw this second start at the wall, pick up the shuttles again another day and do what I always do - start again and again and again!!!!
I think the main problem this time is that I've tried to be too organised and have not used the tried and tested 'hit and miss' method. Because of what I'm going to do with it I'm also having to think very hard about the progression.

Oooooh, it's SO tempting to tell everybody about it - but I won't!!!
I may make some more giveaways for a few days until I've recovered from this latest frustration.

10 October 2007

Ta de dah! Trumpets blowing!!!

Finished. It needed some SLT's and that's made it work a treat. The only thing left to be done now is to re-organise the drawings, check it out again in a week or so's time and then put the web page together. Oh, forgot, I need to make loads and loads more for my Christmas giveaways!!! I shall do those on evenings when I'm not in the 'mood' for designing. I've made a grand start on a new design. This time I'm not sharing until it's done and then I'm going to do it a 'different' way. Not telling you what I'm up to this time but I can promise you it'll be new!!!!!!

7 October 2007

Progress and a final solution!

Yesterday I made time to stock up my Etsy store which you can find here. As well as some new tatted items I've added some Aero England shuttles. Now to sit and wait and see what happens!!!! I've sort of given up on Ebay at the moment just to see if I can make a 'go' of Etsy. I've got some earrings listed which are pretty cool and very sparkly. Also a couple of seahorses and a butterfly or two!!!!

Another look at the centre of this motif and I decided (not only to make it faster to work) to change it quite drastically. Instead of small SRs I changed them to larger ones and then left out the round of chains joining to them. This now means I can add beads to the centre which is always a good thing as far as I'm concerned. I'm really pleased with the way the 'odd' sort of split chain is working but I promise to write out the pattern for those who don't like split chains and who are happy with tying, cutting and hiding ends!!!
Don't look toooooo carefully at the scan as you will see that I haven't blocked it. I don't very often block things out relying on a 'perfect' (I know, there's no such thing!) design to make things lie flat in the first place. So I will block this later BUT I'll also look at the stitch count on the lock stitch chains too. Tat'll keep me out of mischief for a while!!! This is, by the way, at least the 5th whole test tat of this motif and I'm still not quite happy with it!!

The motif again!

OK, so this is a fine design as far as I'm concerned and is probably worth putting on the pattern pages. The two examples below are worked in a number 40 (on the left) and number 20 (on the right). The only 'concerns' I have over this being my Christmas giveaway is the amount of time it's taking me to do the centre. As I need to work between thirty and forty of these they have to be relatively fast to make. I am going to have to look at this again carefully. The part that slows it down for me is adding beads to the central SRs and performing a lock join at the same time. Perhaps it's a case of me needing more practise doing this. However I will see if I can simplify the pattern by replacing the chains round the SRs with larger SRs

5 October 2007

A grand idea

Joanie Culverhouse sent me this picture yesterday. Remember the stork carrying a baby in a sling? It's here.
Well she used the baby in the sling for an announcement card. Isn't this a grand idea? LOVE to see what people do with my ideas.
Thanks for sending this, Joanie.

4 October 2007

Back to the motif

I seem to have mislaid another two scraps that I did for the centre of the motif but I think the two below will show how I progressed with it the other evening. The larger of the two scraps (below left) shows how I decided to try a different centre and then promptly got into trouble with the colours and moving outwards!! The smaller of the two scraps is a result of an email from Marie Smith (she of the fast and easy split chain) who suggested that I tried the following.
Take a chain out from the centre, do a SLT and then make a SCH back from the previous round out again. The second scrap proves that this is the answer!!! I didn't use it on the large trial snowflake as the email didn't reach me until I was well out of the centre! Thanks, Marie for a great suggestion and the answer to another problem!
Oh, if you click on the motif you'll find that I've added beads too. They will be an integral part of the design as they help to hide places where there are two colours of threads used to progress from round to round!!!
More tomorrow when I hope to have the basics of the motif completed. For anybody who might be remotely interested in this design - I've done the drawings to go with it so it shouldn't be too long reaching my pattern pages!!!

3 October 2007

Treasures unearthed

For reasons tooooo boring to mention I've been having a HUGE tidying up session. I found the following photographs which are very interesting and which I'd forgotten I had!!!
These were supposedly taken in 1966 (at least that's what it says on the accompanying letter) and I think it was at a tatting event which took place in Leicester. Not really sure about that, though! Looking at me in the photographs (horrid idea, I know!) I'm sure that it was much later than that as I couldn't drive at the age of 23 and I know that my ex husband never took me to any tatting events!! I think the year should be 1996.
However, I digress as usual!!! In the first picture you can see me with Toshiko Takashima who was the lady that invented the
Takashima Bari Tatting hook/needles. I remember that Toshiko had come to the event with her daughter who did all the translation for her and that she was booked into my morning class. She then asked to come to the afternoon one as well. She was a lovely lady and we kept in touch (via her daughter) for some years.
I would LOVE to know what happened to them both.
The second photograph shows us in a group and you can see in both pictures some of my tatting in the background and part of Pam Palmer's dragon on the back of my jacket.
I met Pam that day too and she took photos of my back - much the best pictures ever taken of me!!! I will blog those another day!!!
Beneath the photographs is the letter I received some months later from Toshiko.


Dear Jane October 6, 1966
Thanks very much sending a bird patern and other paterns so fast. I will make it soon.

Thanks again for teaching a wonderful technique of biginning of tatting. It is marvelous idea, is there special way of technique at the ending?
We are glad that you are interesting in our Takashima-bari. I am sure you find it very easy and fast.
We heard that some member asked to have work shop of Takashima-bari. If possible, we want to have the work shop so that the person having Takashima-bari will fully master how to use and fully use utilize it.
We enclose herewith a picture taken on that day. It was really a exciting day for us to attend Tatting day, especially your work shop.
We are very much impressed that so many persons loving Tatting got together and exchange such a nice knowledge and fasten friendship.
We wish to attend a Tatting day next year again. Looking forward seeing you soon.
Yours sincerely Toshiko Takashima

First attempts

This is a report about what I did on Monday evening - I'm a day behind with blogging this!!
Now to all intents the following look like a good start to the project! I always use two shuttles with contrasting colours as this helps me 'plot' where I've been and what I've done - particularly if I'm 'on a roll' and can't be bothered to type out each step on the laptop.

The first attempt (below) and I realised that I'd got too many ds on the chains.
The second one shows something better BUT there's a horrid space in the centre.
The third picture shows me trying fewer ds on the chains but I could see immediately that this wasn't going to work.
Finally (and quite out of the blue!) this is what happened.
You may well think that this design is almost there and I actually like how it looks in the final picture - needs beads but that's all. The problem is (if you click on it and look closely) there is a SR which progresses out of the centre and which is in two colours and is butt ugly!!! To avoid this I spent the whole of yesterday evening trying out different approaches to the design. I'll show those putrid pieces tomorrow. I'm now at the 'throw it out of the window' stage!

2 October 2007

Starting another design

This is going to be my Christmas giveaway. Each year I send out very few Christmas cards as I don't believe in giving them to people I see every day. What is the point when you can wish them a happy Christmas anyway? Also the whole event has become so commercialised that I have now got to the stage in my life when I avoid the shops as much as I can. Another thing that worries me is that there is such a lot of wasted paper/card from them which is mostly not re-cycled.
Instead of sending cards to those friends who live far away I send a letter. This is a standard letter telling them about the past year (each person has that plus a personal bit too) and how it's been for me and mine. Inside the letter I tuck a little tatted piece. I started this idea some seven to ten years ago and it's become something that my friends look forward to. I make the pieces in all colours so that they can keep them 'hanging around' all year. Gives me great pleasure to see Roz's kitchen with them hanging on her cabinets when I visit!!
Yesterday afternoon I started off with some drawings on the computer. This was what I thought I might do!!!! This time I cheated by using another design I'd done a couple of years ago as a 'starting point'. Yes, I know the drawings don't look much like the original but that's how I started on this design. I never tackle a new idea the same way but always use the 'hit and miss' method!!!
In the evening I sat down to try them out but I'll show you what happened tomorrow!!!

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