Some of my patterns

31 January 2009

Up and Running

Let me explain!!! I've always kept two web sites going in tandem 'just in case'!!!! I base the links on the one and then everything reverts back to that. I'm pleased to say that everything is working again.

WELL, I'll say that with my fingers crossed as I'm sure there are bound to be hiccups in the links or something. I'd be grateful for any reports being sent in!!!

My next task will be a re-vamp of the index (home) page. Any suggestions on that would be MORE than welcome!!! I'd like to make it more 'modern' and lighter looking. It'll have to be done in html as that's what the servers accept - I THINK. Again I'll use the tried and trying and often tested method of 'hit and miss'. The 'Jane' way of bumbling through life!!

I'm also going to add an extra page - a links page. On that I'm going to add tatting blogs and other urls. I'll need help with that so if anybody has a useful link then please send it to me!!! I would like a 'classification' with any links. Information like are they patterns only, techniques only or links with both (like my site would be)!!!!

30 January 2009

OUCH!!!

I hit my head on the end of the tunnel!!! Some silly 'person' switched off the light!!!

YES, I got there. Finished the main 'lot' yesterday evening.

I still have the 'guest designers' to do and about 8 pages to upload (after changing them to pdf's) but that's all. I now need to check what all the other files are that I've found sitting on the server!!! I know that I've often uploaded stuff for people to 'collect' and (me being me) then promptly forgotten that they were there!!!

So, there is just a 'little light dusting' to do after these last few files have been completed and then I can tackle the upload to the mirror site. When all that is done I'll change the front page. Not sure what I'm going to do with that - all suggestions welcome!!!

I will allow myself to pick up my shuttles again tomorrow evening. PHEWWWWWWW!

29 January 2009

There's light at the end!!!

There's light at the end of the tunnel!!!

Just a quick post today to thank all who have offered encouragement with my addiction to pdf ing!!!! I'm getting there slowly!!!

28 January 2009

So it continues!

I think I'm just about half way through the Spring cleaning. It's SO boring!!!

I've not done any tatting now for two days. Once I get a bee in my bonnet I have to continue!!!
I'm just hoping that all the links are working and will work!!!

Yesterday evening I prepared lots of pages ready to be pdf'd today and upload - IF I get time.

26 January 2009

More Spring Cleaning

I nearly went cross eyed yesterday with my Spring cleaning but it's well worth it.

I love the look of the new files on the web pages. I'm still being methodical about it and have now got several rows down into the 'animal' section. When I've done all the patterns I may take myself in hand and 'titivate' the front page too. Hey, steady up, Jane, that sounds a bit drastic!!!

Some of the patterns are taking a long time as they were done so many years ago. I have to put in colons to separate the element from the numbers needed to work the ring or chain etc. Also there are links to check. I'm also trying to condense some of the patterns so that there is less white space and so that it's more economical for people to print them.

The three sizes of fishes were a total nightmare and one still lacks a link but it can darn well stay like that!!!! Well, for now!!!
Actually, once you get into the rythm of it it's not hard - just time consuming. I even sat and worked at some more patterns in the evening instead of tatting. I'm very motivated when I get a bee in my bonnet!!!


I'm even going to move the Tattysaurus back onto the main site now that he's going to be much smaller in file size. It's with a certain amount of glee that I'm deleting as I go along too!!! The web site looks so much tidier. I just hope that I can keep it up.

25 January 2009

Spring Cleaning!!!

Spring Cleaning? NOT a favourite occupation of mine - particularly when it comes to the house!!!

So, I'll put you all at ease. Don't worry about me - I've not taken a turn for the worse. I'm not cleaning the house!!!

What I'm doing is converting all my web site (in theory) from html files to - wait for it - pdf files!!! I LOVE pdf files - they always look so clear to me and they have an added advantage of taking up far less room on the server!!!

I started yesterday - and in a logical place, the top of the list!!! Now, let me explain. I'm basically self taught and HATE reading up 'how to' instructions. Nick's forever saying RTFM - which you all know by now stands for Read The F"%&*^% Manual. I can't. I HAVE to work with a little knowledge and instinct!!

So far that's working BUT I've got to work out how to alter some of the links. I know how to do it the 'long way round' but need to do it the 'easy way'!!!!
This is going to work out a lot cheaper than buying a Nintendo DS with a brain training game. I HAD thought about that and a Wii but really, honestly don't know whether they'd ever be delivered to tat land and IF they were - would I have time for them?!?!?!?

24 January 2009

Bragging time!

I have a sister. I've had her for less years than I've been on planet earth so that makes her my 'little' sister. She tats too. Not probably as much as me as she's still working and doesn't get a lot of time.

Anyway, just after Christmas she was up in my little corner of tat land and showed me what she was intending to do with some tiny baubles she'd bought. These two pictures arrived yesterday and I have her permission to share. I'm SO impressed. Just HOPE I can force her to write the pattern down - the little stinker!!!


23 January 2009

Another new book

Now this is strange, verrrryyyy strange. Two days ago I received Rosemarie Peel's new book in the post. So, what's strange about that? Last week I had the Houtz book and the place I met Gary 'in the flesh' was at Rosemarie's house!!! There's a piece of totally useless information for you!!!!

Anyway, seriously. Here are my thoughts on Rosemarie's book. It's called 'Tatting - Basic Patterns'. Inside there is a free copy of her Learn Tatting leaflet which is the best I've ever seen for learning to shuttle tat. With the leaflet and the book it would be very easy to learn to tat. Simple instructions and excellent visuals are very much aimed at somebody who wants to know 'what do I do next?'!!!

The patterns (there are 16) are simple at first and develop the new tatter from very basic 'just rings' to using rings and chains. One pattern which I hope to have the excuse to make is Edna - a horseshoe. Although only rings and chains this is an elegant pattern in it's pure simplicity. BUT it also has a the 'wow' factor - I'm thinking of adding beads to this one!! As I haven't got the excuse (no weddings to look forward to!) to make the horseshoe I decided to make the pattern called 'Rachel'. I also decided to use my favourite colours. I'm not really that enamoured of variagated threads but do love to 'mix and match' fine threads. In the piece below I've used a variagated number 80 (or thereabouts!!) alongside a plain machine quilting thread. I just LOVE these combos and the results you get. I've added Rachel below and suggest you click on the picture for a closer look.

To sum up - this book would be ideal for starters although (as you can see) there is a heck of a lot of inspiration in it for the 'old' tatters like me.

22 January 2009

Just a very quick post

Retired? Hmmmm, then why is life always so darn busy!!!

I've got something REALLY good to show you tomorrow but this is what I've got today!!! The earrrings you saw the other day but the pendant to go with them is now completed.

21 January 2009

HOTP

Or, Hot Off The Press from Tat Land!!!

I have recently been asked to take back on the duties of 'bookmark maker' for the Ring of Tatters. Whilst sorting out this task during the past few days and trying (against all the odds!) to organise myself, I found a picture of the finished bookmarks from the last time I was 'glue sniffing'!!! See below.

Since my return to the glue pot the design has been slightly changed so they'll not be quite like the ones shown below!! Once I've got a few done I'll scan them and show you. At the moment I've got as far as getting the card (69 - A4 sheets) printed up and have cut it up (using the guillotine). I am happy to report that I missed my fingers!!! I'm SO pleased as they are SUCH useful digits to have!!!

I have a problem, though!!! No motifs to stick on!!! I'm awaiting some from the 'gals' at the Ring. An email yesterday evening told me that they will be heading my way on Thursday.

The bookmarks are given away at shows where the Ring demonstrate and do help us to promote and gain more members to the Ring!!!

20 January 2009

Now, what have I got to show today!

Sadly, not a lot!!! I'm back to working on Palmetto patterns. I HATE myself for the amount of work I put on my own back!!!

I cannot leave a pattern alone until I've got it right!! How many of these earwigs have I tatted now to make sure the pattern is correct? Hmmm, daredn't answer that one!!

Anyway, here's the final pair!! (Who am I kidding?). No findings on yet as they lie better on the scanner. I think this will be my longest lesson. Why? because there's a lot to teach and there's still the pendant to finish off this evening.


Why is the picture SO small, did I hear somebody ask? I'll tell you why - to tease everybody in tat land!!!!

18 January 2009

Lucky, lucky ME

Look what came in the post yesterday.

These are from my favourite (and only) son. Well, not really my 'proper' son but one I adopted some years ago. His name? Mark Myers!!!

With the earrings came a lovely letter from him and Kim (his wife).

He made these earrings using that beading technique that I made the butterflies and flowers with but Mark, being Mark, couldn't resist taking the idea one step further - the little STINKER!!!!!

Actually he'd already discussed this with me and I bet yer bottom dollar he already knew of the idea anyway. Hmmm, perhaps not as Mark doesn't 'do' beads - YET!!!!

Mind, why would he do beads in tatting when what he does do is so spectacular without? Mark has added another dimension by passing the single beaded picot through two or three other beaded picots to make the fuschia which is below.

Amazing and SO pretty. Thanks, SOJ. I LOVE them.

17 January 2009

More about the Shuttle Brother's book

As promised yesterday I am going to tell you more about this book but first you're going to have some 'history'!!!

Way back in the dark ages before the Internet was properly established I met up with Rosemarie Peel who lives about twenty miles away from me (just noticed - she's got a new book out!). I remember sitting having a picnic lunch with her in a local garden (I was working nearby) and talking tatting. She told me about a new book by Gary and Randy with a new technique called the Self Closing Mock Ring.

I quickly got hold of a copy (probably via an advertisement in the Ring of Tatters Newsletter) and I was gobsmacked. What a wonderful technique. Gary and Randy have always said that this technique wasn't 'theirs' but that they discovered it 'from history'. That makes them pioneers, I guess.

Now, after another ten years they've brought out this second SCMR book with promises of another in a few months.

OK. Let's talk about the new book. First of all it's in black and white with both visual and written instructions which are very clear. Actually the lack of colour makes this book clearer.

The first section of motifs in the book build on one basic pattern and thus take even the newest tatter from very basic rings and chains (motif number 1) building up to the final motif - number 10 in this section.

Edgings are included and again start with basic rings only, rings and chains and again building up to edgings with the SCMR.

Collars are also done in a similar way and I can see those as edgings on T-shirts, round table linens etc.

There is a section with bookmark patterns too - one just calls out for a woven ribbon down the centre!


Then there's a section on the split ring followed by the 'ring on ring on ring' which looks really good fun.

There is a pattern for a multiple SCMR 5 point motif and the pearl tatted SCMR is also explored. There are 41 patterns in this book which makes it excellent value and invaluable to both those who are new to the SCMR and even to those 'old gits' like me who have been twice round the block!!!!! If you look here then you'll see that Riet has been playing with the more advanced stuff and it DOES look good.

Tatting and Design here in the UK are currently awaiting stocks whilst the American market is covered by writing directly to Gary and Randy.

16 January 2009

The Houtz Brother's new book!

Today I'm going to brag, brag, BRAG!!! Unashamedly and with no guilt at all I'm going to BRAG.

I've got my copy of the book. THE book. THE LATEST book by Gary and Randy. Not only THAT but it's signed by BOTH the brothers.

Long story for those who are in the UK but I asked Karen in Cincinnati to send a $ check to the brothers so that they wouldn't be bothered by finding out international postage rates. They sent it to Karen and she
sent it on to me. Gary is still recovering from his 'dice with death' last year and I didn't want to put them to any trouble.

I will give you a full report on the book tomorrow - but I'll tell you now that it'll be excellent!!!

Meantime here's a 'taster' from it which I worked up yesterday evening.

15 January 2009

Update on progress

Well I've done two tests of the pattern I'm working on and the verdict? Utter and unmitigated PANTS. True. Honest.

The second version does look SLIGHTLY better than the first in places but in other parts it sucks BIG TIME and is worse than before.

I don't know what to do. I'm at that stage where it would be wise to forget the whole thing and bin it, but there again it does seem such a waste of time to have got this far and then give up! I know. I'll simplify it. Just shown the two trials to Nick and he agrees with what I said I might do. Well this evening I'll give it another try. Perhaps third time lucky? It won't be right even then but after the next attempt with the alterations made it might then be a matter of simple (who am I kidding?) tweaking of stitch counts. We'll see!!!

14 January 2009

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Yes, that's what I'm doing at the moment. I'm testing a pattern for Martha Ess. I think it'll be going into a new book that she's compiling. Either that or she's going to teach it somewhere. DO hope it's a new book as I love her work.

We all know Martha as the 'Queen of the Block' BUT there's no block tatting in this pattern. It's true celtic in the style of Rosemarie Peel and I'm LOVING it. There's one book by Rosemarie which has the first celtic pattern in that I ever saw in tat land and I still reckon it's the best. This book is well worth adding to anybody's collection. It's called Tatting for Pleasure.

I did really well last night but got a bit mathered towards bedtime so left it to finish today.


Totally off the tatting topic but I must tell you that the 'man on the roof' has been caught!! The police rang to say they might need another statement from me regarding the costs of repairs. Thank you to our local police. I'm not a wimp and don't scare easily but I have woken several times in the night 'hearing' noises.

13 January 2009

Playing with beads in centre of ring

OK, time to talk to myself again!!! This time I'm trying to decide what or which is the best or worst way to do this!!!

Last week I worked on my SCMR page here. Some of you may have seen this already but don't go away yet!! The reason I updated the page was because Bev had just got the 'hang' of doing the SCMR and it reminded me of something that somebody had mentioned ages ago. Least, I'm sure it's not my original idea. Heaven forbid that I should have that sort of inspiration.

Anyway, I digress. The problems I have found with the SCMR in the past is that they often tend to 'gape' at the base when closed. I wanted to stop this. Anitra came up with this way. My problem was that I always forgot to close this way so remembered (I think!) another way.

So, onto today's topic of conversation. I decided to find out whether doing the 'extra bit' to the base of a ring after adding a bead would make a difference. Below you will see the result.

The ring on the left was worked first in the normal way. Pulling the core thread down, adding the bead, putting the shuttle through the loop just formed and tightening.

The next two were done by the 'other way' like the link to my SCMR page. I added the bead, pulled a
LOOP through the loop, posted the shuttle through and tightened carefully. Confused? Really confused? Shall I draw this out and add it to the web site? Personally I'm not sure it matters a lot but it does (for me) give a neater result. I await the comments!!!

Oh, before I go. Must say that the reason that the chain thread on the sample is now back at the start of the piece is because I left a length of thread between the rings and then decided to do split chains back to the beginning so that the the sample would lie better under the scanner!!!



12 January 2009

I'm doing a happy dance!

I'm not very clever! In fact I'm drop dead stupid when it comes to some things.

I struggle with understanding some of the computer stuff and use the same method as I do with designing new patterns - the 'hit and miss' method!!!

Of course Nick always says RTFM to me which, translated into English, means Read The F%*king Manual. So in the end I do. Great. BUT then I find I need help with understanding the manual so I give up on that.

What I'm really trying to say is that I've finally got my blog back onto google reader!!! Huge, huge and merry happy dance.
I really need to understand what a feedburner is. Again I've RTFM'd it but have come out none the wiser at the end. Ah, well, I'll give up on that and just be thankful that I now appear on the google reader. Another extremely big surprise is how many people have written to me saying that they're pleased I've got this sorted.

I find it so interesting the way we all use the internet. I've now got into the habit of using a browser with tabs. I've set it up (without using the manual!) so that when I open my browser my blog dashboard is always open in one tab (4th along from the left!!). This let's me go there from time to time to refresh it and see who (in the list of people I follow) has updated their blogs. This is part of the reason I've not got back to getting my blog on google reader sooner!!! BUT another 'trick' I've used is to go to google reader and 'collect' tatting url's and then add them to my personal list of people I follow!

So now I think life is back to being relatively normal again!!!

11 January 2009

Tiny flowers for a friend

A friend of mine down the next road has been making herself a new dress. It's the first time she's done any sewing for years and it's looking really good.

The fabric is plain apricot. Very plain - not even a slub in the weave.

A couple of months ago I helped her with getting the collar put onto the dress and she said it needed 'something' to break up the apricot. She'd seen some flower motifs in our local shop and decided that they 'might' do. I came home with a sample of the fabric and came up with these little flowers below which I delivered yesterday.



10 January 2009

A day without tatting!

This is what I did yesterday evening. NOTHING!!!!

I fully intended to start on a new idea but I was drop dead tired by the evening. Problem is that I woke up very early in the morning.
Well, I say early but I should say 'early for an old git'!!!! I normally prise the aged eyes open at around eight ish but yesterday it was half past six.

Do you ever get that feeling that you want to 'get up and get on' with the day? Well I did!! But there again I didn't - well, only at a snail's pace!!!
By the time I sat down late in the afternoon I was ready to tat.

But after 3 or 4 phone calls (including one from a friend in the USA) it was time to eat. Then there was a glass of wine (white, this time) to take care of and then - well, tat was tat!!!

9 January 2009

More stuff on Etsy!!!

Yesterday I finally managed to put some more tatting in my Etsy store!!!

The probable escalation in costs of flight tickets later this year has forced my aged brain to get and do something useful and 'sellable' to pay for part of those!!!! We're hoping to do the 'hop across the pond' again!!

I also listed some roly poly bags and pouches last week too. I'm keeping the old fingers crossed!!!

8 January 2009

Last one done!!!

I'm a first class plonker!! Yes, it's true!!!

I posted as usual this morning and then in a fit of enthusiasm and a totally out of character quest to tidy up my blog, I deleted this morning's post!!!

Anyway, here it is again!!! I apologise to the people who commented and hope they won't desert me! I can only state that this is NOT an illness (tidyness) that is infectious.

What I did say was that this is the last of the wheels. I like it in the two colours but I'm totally fed up with it now!!! OK, let's see if I can post this now and NOT delete it again!!


7 January 2009

Another wheel

Here's another wheel. I don't like this one AT ALL!!! It's the colours I don't like but then that's me!!! I did this one for a reason but I'm NOT telling.

OK, I will tell - well, I'll give you a hint!!! I've submitted the pattern to a tatting newsletter. If it's accepted then I'll be well chuffed but if it's not then I'll not be unhappy either!!! I'll just go and work on something else and pop the pattern straight onto the web site!!!!


The poor old brain is still full of ideas and works even better when #3 is around!!!


Ah, another 'thing that happened' yesterday (NO not another man on our roof again!!!) is that Claire from the Secret Corridor caught up with me again . We'd chatted ages ago about her web site for all crafts and then (well, you know me!!) we'd lost touch. IF ONLY I'd ever had a decent memory then I'd have had a much fuller life!!! It's always been poor but I do wonder on looking back whether it's because it's always been mainly living in tat land!!!!


5 January 2009

Was called a windmill motif

I rarely attribute blame to people but in the case of this design I am going to.

I blame Pamela Myers. There - named and shamed!!!! If she hadn't sent me a skein of her HDT I wouldn't have made this des
ign. I'm not a great lover of variagated thread as I feel they 'hide' the beauty of a pattern. So for this very pretty thread I decided the thread should dictate the pattern.

I've used a bastardised version of one of my other celtic patterns for the centre round but then brain cell # 3 came into play. Thanks go to Pamela for getting this idea up and running.

Gina suggested it looked like a ship's wheel when I'd just got the centre motif done!!! I thought that was a wheely good idea!!! Tat's IT!!! It's going to be called a Celtic Wheel Motif. Or, in Jane language - a wheelie celtic motif!!!!

I think this could be called celtic as there are three elements but the second one is 'sort of' attached to the first using a crocodile join whilst the third i
s attached to the second which is also interlinked to the first in one or two places!!!! Sounds complicated but it isn't.

It was way back a million years ago when Rosemarie Peel came up with the celtic idea of two elements intertwined and then 'locked' into place by a third element. I will never achieve her standards and skill with celtic tatting.



4 January 2009

I am NOT a party animal!!!

Nope, I'm not!!! Especially on a very, very cold winter's evening. Getting dressed up? Hmm, that means looking in a mirror TWICE in one day - I have to gear myself up for THAT!!!

I went to my dear friend's 60th birthday yesterday evening. Remember the card I made? The card was for this friend.

I took a taxi to get there as the thought of de-icing the car was enough to make a wee soul like me wilt. When I got there the party was under way (I'm always terrified of being first at an event - love to sneak in quietly!!). I had a really, really good time and am SO happy that I was invited and was able to push myself out of the door.

Perhaps I am a party animal after all. Least once every ten years or so!!! Thank you, dear Ros for inviting me - I SO enjoyed it.

Oh, a PS to this post. Ros isn't a tatter and nobody there was either as far as I know!!! How's that for stepping out of my comfort zone!!!!!!

3 January 2009

Not going to share - yet!!

I may have the latest project finished by Monday.

My sister's going to be in town today and tomorrow and I'm out partying this evening so that'll give little time for finishing it off.

I'll post as soon as it's ready!!!! All I will say is that somebody in tat land is to blame for this one!!!! I'll say no more!!! No hints.

Just be prepared to be named and shamed!!!

2 January 2009

Well I never - 60!!

Before I forget!! I've added more bags to my Etsy shop!!!

I'm SUCH a happy tatter!!! I know it might sound a tad pathetic but I'm very happy to see that just before the end of 2008 60 people follow this blog by adding themselves as 'followers'!!! How cool is that?


I can't think it's my beauty (OK, who's that I can hear laughing!!!), my magnetic personality or my wit or talent. It must be because I'm good at talking to myself!!!


This blog is the best thing I've done (so far!!) since going online shortly after the birth of the Internet. It keeps me focused on the one hobby that keeps me sane!!! Tatting.


It might have been the 'second best' lace to me when I was 13 (I really, really, really wanted to learn bobbin lace) but it's given me a focus to my life.
Here are some of the things it's done for me.

Given me a cheap hobby when I only had a few shillings pocket money a week.

Stopped me from ever taking up smoking as my hands were always too busy holding a shuttle to hold a cigarette!!!

Given me a talking point throughout my schooling and whilst at Teacher Training College (also encouraged me to take a main course in Arts and Crafts).


When I was first married and very badly off it again gave me a cheap hobby (and the continuing incentive NOT to take up smoking when all around me were!!).

In my later years and, thanks to the Internet, tatting has given me the biggest boost. I am now able to share my ideas freely and without hassle. Well, only a little hassle!!!! Why does life get in the way so often?

I quickly found that I had to learn how to build a web site (OK, it's basic but it works!!) and then the total and unmitigated joy of meeting tatters via email and then groups.
Of course, the added bonus (icing on top) is then getting to meet many wonderful people 'in the flesh' at tatting meetings.

Thank you, blogger for the opportunity to share a bit of me and what I do.

1 January 2009

My new earwigs!!!

Remember the beady flowers and butterflies?

I've made some new earwigs with the butterflies now.

This idea of covering the finding and attaching the motif as you go has opened up a lot of ideas in the aged brain!!! I feel a few more earrings for my Etsy shop coming over me!!!


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