This blog is where you will find the ideas that I am currently working on. They all eventually (some via tatting newsletters, magazines etc) find their way to my pattern site - see link at the left side of page.
When I did this pattern in 2007 I needed or wanted a way to progress from the centre of the work to the next round. I 'devised' the method shown on that page and thought nothing of it!!!!
I was talking to Georgia Seitz a week or so ago about this, tat and t'other and she sent me pictures of the Dora Young split ring.
Finally, but finally the penny dropped. Oh, if you're in America it would be a cent that dropped, I guess!!!
What I'd used in that pattern was what Dora had devised many years ago.Further playing with the idea and again another penny went 'clunk'!!! What a fantastic way of making two coloured split rings and single coloured ones. So I finally (and again with help from Georgia and Jennifer) got this page together.
It's been a looong week of tatting for Nicole but today I'm going to take time out to return to the MOP's. My hands are beginning to ache by the end of the evening of constant tatting.
I realised why. When I'm working on new designs I keep stopping to type in the text as I go along but when I'm doing something like Nicole's order I just tat and tat til I drop!!!!
I've done 72 and a half motifs now in strips of 10 and I hope to get another 4 strips done at least. The deadline has now been changed from 2nd to 9th March so that gives a bit more of a breathing space.
Nicole is going to send me photos of the finished garment with a tatted collar too. Forgot to add - she's a tatter and a young 'un too which is very, very pleasing!!!
Well a busy day in tat land!! In the morning I decided to do another technique page showing what can be done with Dora Young's technique - very interesting when you start using coloured threads. I'm hoping to post it on the web page either later today or sometime this week.Took ages to do and I got my fingers tied up in knots too!!
In the afternoon I wanted to get started on Iris's TIAS. I tried it a few days ago but just couldn't 'see it' without a diagram. Ah, now I know why I have to draw everything - not for other people's benefit but for my own!
Anyway I cheated and looked to see what others were doing and used their day 1's to guide me. Once I got started, though it wasn't hard at all. So, having completed day 1, I put down the shuttles and decided to see what was happening in tat land. I use my 'dashboard' here at blogger a LOT to see what the people I follow are up to.
Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs - Iris had just published day 2!! So, while I was in TIAS mode and sitting next to the shuttles I worked that up. See below!!!
I've got nothing to show and not a lot to say either!!!
I'm back to doing motifs for Nicole again. Deadly boring but at least I get to watch the telly while I'm doing them! I might take some time out when I get REALLY, REALLY bored to do the MOPs again in colours. I want to sew them onto a tshirt - a short sleeved one but first I need to find and decide which one!! Then there'll be the fun of choosing the thread and beads.
Before all this I have to take myself to one side and give myself a good lecture on tidying up tat corner. Not just a lecture but the follow up action MUST be taken too!!! How do I get in such a mess?
As I'm now back tatting the black motifs for Nicole I thought I'd show you the set of four buttons together. I will get back to working them all again when I've done Nicole's work and will then put the patterns out on the web page.
I must say that although these are really, really easy to do the biggest problem has been getting the stitch count right in the middle so that the inner round of beads 'frame' the button. The next 'lot' will probably have dangles and things but - we'll see!!!!
So, below on the left is the set of 4 and on the right are the backs of the buttons.
I decided to re-tat the largest button again to make it much simpler. There was actually no need for the complicated way I did the orginals.It looks the same - but it isn't!!!!
I did this on Tuesday evening as I didn't do any tatting at all yesterday. In the morning I went to the saddest funeral of my life, then onto a meeting for tutors who teach silver surfers followed in the evening by a tatting talk.
Now this was interesting because Phyllis Sparks used to live in the village where the meeting was held. In fact one lady there helped out with all the photographs in the book. I've got a copy of this particular book but have never worked anything from it. It was published at a time when there was a dirth of tatting books available. Sadly Phyllis died of lung cancer in her mid seventies although she hadn't smoked for many, many years.
One compliment on my talk (which was lively!) was from one lady who said that I'd kept her awake which didn't normally happen!!!! They all had a 'go' at trying to turn the knot and a few succeeded.
Yesterday we collected the laptop from hospital and the diagnosis was a fried motherboard. Thank goodness it was still under warranty!! After making sure I'd done all the updates it was very happy and willing to work again. There was a total scare two hours after me starting it up. The screen went black, very black! I thought it had died again. Took quite a few minutes to realise that although the power cable was plugged into it the plug on t'other end wasn't in the socket!! DUH, how stupid can you get?
This is the latest button - I really am enjoying these!!!
This evening I'm giving a talk locally and hoping that a few will 'take up the thread'!!!!
Before I forget - which you know I'm very good at! I must tell you that I've added two more technique pages to my site.
The first one is about the Daisy Picot technique. Please do take a look further down the page at the lovely selection of patterns that Riet has done using this method. It's well worth buying - I promise.
The second technique is one of Georgia's which shows how to work encapsulation of threads. This is something that I now want to have a go at - Georgia makes it look SO simple.
Below are the smallest MOP buttons I will be doing!!! I think! I've still got at least one more size to play with!!!
Although Rosemarie Peel calls this book 'Tatting Basic Patterns' I'm finding lots for all tatters in here. As usual, and as I've said before, this book is very clearly written with excellent instructions and diagrams.
For an ancient tatter like me it's ideal to work with after a glass and a half of red wine because you just can't go wrong!
The thread is some of Handy Hands Lizbeth in number 20. This arrived in my mail box on Saturday morning from a potential UK supplier. I won't mention names until I hear that they will stock it. I LOVE this thread. Very reminiscent of Flora. Firm, easy to work with and the colour changes are good too.
I had absolutely no problems with twisting or any of the other 'rumours' I'd heard about so I guess that the problems that the original batch had have been ironed out. I'm not a great lover of variegated thread but this works well for me.
I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that the supplier does import this into the UK as I've got my eyes on several colours in the Handy Hands shop already!!!
At the moment I'm doing some tatting for a lady who is in a hurry to get the results. 10 small motifs in a strip using Venus 80 black thread. As many strips as I can make before March 2nd!!This got me thinking.
I asked her where she got the pattern from and she said from The Craft of Tatting by Bessie M Attenborough. Now I've had this book forever so that got brain cell # 4 out of the cupboard. He was CONVINCED that the little motif I'm tatting for Nicole was the same one I used about 35 years ago when I was slim and less aged than I am now!!!! So, off I went to investigate.
WRONG!!! Not the same motif but I DO wish I could remember where I got this one from. The jacket I made using it is below. I used sewing thread which my ex husband brought home from work - along with two England Aeros he'd found in a cupboard.
For a short time he worked at the Needle Factory in Redditch where the Aero shuttles were made. The only time he was ever useful!!!
One of the very few times I ever wore this jacket was to a 'posh' dinner party at one of his work colleague's houses. I'd never met any of the other guests before so I put on my best clobber (that's another word for clothes) for the evening. Mind, must admit, I did wear a pair of rather outrageous earrings. They were real bath plugs on chains!! One guy there thought I was amazing having the courage to wear these!!! So funny. My sense of humour always used to get me into a lot of trouble. Still does, I guess.
I stuck my nose into a discussion on etatters on Wednesday and realised that what I was trying to explain was a bit complicated without pictures!! The discussion was about pearl tatting. Pearl tatting is, as you know, a very old technique and one which I dabbled with 'in my youth'!! A LONG time ago!!!
I'm a lazy old moo as you all know and if there's a simple way round doing something I'll work my butt off to find it!! Thus few years ago I realised that there must be a simpler way to do pearl tatting without all the hassle of picking up and putting down of shuttles!!!
I'm darn sure others have realised this long before me but I've searched the internet and not found any shuttle tatting instructions for the lazy way!!! So yesterday I sat down and made this page. I just hope it makes sense but if it doesn't then do let me know!!
UPDATE to this posting. My dear friend Riet pointed out a much better way to do pearl tatting. I think this was the way I was originally trying to remember BUT I must thank Riet VERY much for pointing this out. I've now amended the page!!!
Before I forget - which I'm very good at!! I had a phone call from Lyn Morton yesterday afternoon. She rang to tell me that they (that's Tatting and Design) have now got supplies of the new GR8 book by Gary and Randy Houtz. Woweeeee.
I've managed to sort one size out with the buttons. The patterns will all be very simple BUT they're not easy to get right as you need something behind the button to 'anchor' it to the tatting. However, here's another on - the white with pink beads. I'm going to post the first two as well so that you can see the bit of progress I've made!!!
Over the weekend I went on the search for some more of the special tiger eye's beads that I told you about yesterday.
Of course, me being me, I got sidetracked.
While we were in the 'laptop hospital' shop on Friday I went to pay a visit to the haberdashery section. There I saw some really pretty shell buttons. Well the sight of those awakened brain cell # 3 and during the bead search I thought I'd see if I'd got any shell buttons or mother of pearl ones!!
I've got a tin full of buttons that I inherited from my gran so those were the first stop!!! Look how many I found!!! I'm going to have to make something special with a few of those. I love necklaces, bracelets, brooches and earrings so will be thinking along those lines. I didn't realise how many there might be in the tin!!
Sometime last year Bev sent me a packet of fabric to make her a roly poly tat bag set. Not only did she send fabric for hers - being the generous lass she is, she sent lots more pieces.
In it she'd 'hidden' some Tiger eye beads. These are the darker ones shown below. I knew that somewhere in the house I'd got some similar beads but not as dark. I'm not sure whether they are unpolished tiger eyes but they go well together. The tatting has been done with some C-lon thread which I bought at the Lace Fair just before Christmas. I've used it double and it's quite a slippery thread. Gives a good crisp finish though - just as I like it!!!
Whilst looking for the lighter beads I found .....................
Well, that's another story and can wait until tomorrow!!!
I've changed the colours on the home page of my web site. I want it to look a little 'warmer'.
Also there is now a link to the whole of the button family which formed the basis of my last TIAS. I've put it there for all those who didn't manage to take part when it was running and for new people. It's amazing what I keep finding during the Spring cleaning!!
My old laptop died yesterday which reminded me why I bought the new one!!! We've had to strip it completely down to it's 'bare bones' and Nick's now re-installing Windows XP. Meanwhile I'm using his old laptop in the evenings!!
I will have more to show tomorrow in the way of tatting. I've been working on .........................
The laptop has gone into hospital. Poor thing. We managed to get to the town where I'd bought it today. The snow had melted enough for us to feel it wasn't 'silly to travel'. In fact the roads were very clear, although soggy.
The guy in the shop examined the patient - I think they would call him a triage nurse in hospitals. There was that 'dread' when he tried to turn it on and we sat and hoped it wouldn't start up properly and make us look complete idiots. Bit like a false labour!! Anyway, it breathed a small sigh and did nothing. A tear rolled sadly down my face as it was 'booked in' and taken away on a gurney. Such a sad time. No visiting hours were mentioned so it's probably going to be in the ITU department.
So, it's on it's way to hospital and will be home in about three weeks - if surgery is successful. Meantime I'm working on a very old laptop in the evenings. I have to stoke it with coal every so often as it keeps slowing down. It's got a thatched roof and is built of wattle and daub. Then it would be as I live in a historic area with lots of thatched roof houses!!!!!
All greeting and 'get well' cards should be sent to Hospital HP, Somewhere Town, Somewhere in the UK!!!!
Well yesterday I was mainly snowed in which gave me a long time to spend sorting out a pattern that I've been working on for ages. Well I've done other things in between but I've finally completed it. Just a little more work to do on it but it's virtually 'there'.
I have one more pattern to check over tomorrow and then I will allow myself to start something new. Not sure what yet but I've lots of ideas mulling around in the head and brain cell #3 is raring to go, go, go!!!!
While tidying up my computer desk yesterday I found these two motifs!!! I
did them a couple of weeks ago - before the Spring cleaning!! They are both from the new GR8 book. I really enjoyed working both of them.
First 'incident' was at the library when I handed over my ticket to check out three books. The lady said 'you've expired'.
Well, I said, I feel alright, nobody told me I was dead and I haven't been ill for a long time. Poor lass didn't understand at first!! I knew that she meant my ticket was out of date. They now have to be renewed every year.
The next 'death' in the family is my laptop! My link to the world in the late afternoons/evenings and the place where most of the designing is done. I write things down 'as I go' in a Word document. For two days it's been 'problematic' starting up so yesterday I started it while eating lunch. It was fine - although it did need two attempts. When I got downstairs to use it at four o'clock it had died!!! So, a mad panic to find the receipt because I couldn't remember exactly when I'd bought it. Ah, November 2007. Thankfully the shop I got it from does a two year extended warantee so we decided to take it back there this morning.
BUMMER. There's four inches of snow on the ground!!! Mind, it may well be gone by mid morning.
Meantime I will try and work on a very old laptop which is SOOOO slow it's like riding a tortoise!!
I have the honour of being 'chief sticker' for the Ring of Tatters!!!! What that means is that I'm allowed to pretend I'm back teaching school kids again BUT this time I get to play with the glue and NOT the kids!!!
I use the PVA 'school' glue that I had in the classroom all those years ago. My equipment for this job of making bookmarks for the Ring consists of the following. An old and not required again CD (to put the glue on!), a fine double ended knitting needle, the card bookmarks and small motifs.
Last time I spoke about this task I said that more supplies of motifs were 'on the way'. Little did I realise there were going to be SO many!!!! I'm pleased to say that most of them are 'without tails'. That's the most annoying thing when you're doing this job - having tails to cut off. I never remember them until my fingers are covered in glue!!!
In the picture below you'll see some of the new style bookmarks. There are two butterflies shown. One a four ring one (very hard to stick down and get looking 'right') and one five ring SCMR one (easy peasy).
I like to play with the very small doodles, putting several on a bookmark sometimes. See the large one at the bottom left? I can't remember the name of the lady who sends these in but she used to send in loads and loads. Wouldn't it be funny if somebody recognised their contribution?
Yesterday evening I actually remembered to go to the online tatting class which Georgia runs!!! I do often wander in there and then forget I'm there!!
I use Mozilla Firefox as my browser and always have certain tabs open so usually flip between them all!! Bit like my brain which has often been referred to as a 'butterfly brain' as it flits from one thing to another!!! Also never seems to settle long in one place!!!
Anyway, I've remembered that somebody asked for the picture of the flowers in a ring which I did back at the end of last year. I couldn't find them last night but here they are now!! Safely hiding on my main computer!!!
I think I told you about the party I went to on Saturday. I had the best time ever. Just the sort of party I love. Champagne, Wii, egg sandwiches and two small boys to play with!!!
It was Sebastian's 7th birthday and he wanted me (second choice babysitter - grandma's first!) and another lady there. No small friends required!! How flattering is that?
When I sit for the pair of them (the older brother is almost 9) I usually play Wii and read stories. We also have 'in depth' discussions about life too.I gave them both a book token as I never can keep up with what they or my own grand kids are reading!!
Last night I made them a bookmark each which I'll take round later after school. I used my funny face bookmark pattern but had a problem 'starting it'!!! Not unusual as brain cell #3 had had the week off tatting. I thought I'd do some more drawing for it later today but have just looked on the computer and found that I've already got one there!!! When I've done the 'chores' I'll add the drawing to the page so that next time I'LL be able to understand it!!!!
Now the web pages are finished (well, I suppose they'll never really be 'finished') I can start playing again. Nearly a whole week without tatting - must be a record!!! Mind, when we travel to the USA I do tend to 'not tat' as there are so many more interesting things to do. Like visits to Wally World, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabrics and all points in between!!!
Must admit unashamedly - I LOVE America and Americans.When you think about it through my aged brain and eyes it goes something like this.
I was born in 1943 - towards the end of the war. American soldiers had arrived in the area to help us out around that time and they were very welcome - particularly by the young ladies of the time (I know that as a fact)!!!! Nylons, spam and other 'goodies' were 'available' at a price. Not telling what that was but it didn't always involve money!!!!
Some 16 or so years later (from what brain cell #3 can remember) the Americans were arriving again in droves to view the tourist attractions. NO, not me - I was a timid and not very attractive teenager!!!! They were loud and rich at that time although I guess the economy welcomed their money!!!
Some 18 or so years on from that date (I was a mother, teacher and all round idiot) I was demonstrating tatting occasionally at a local tourist attraction in the school holidays, I once again came across the American tourists. BOY, what a shock. Out of all the nationalities who passed through the venue and the many who stopped to speak to me, the Americans were the only 'nation' who not only knew what I was doing but were very interested.
Hats off to America and the Americans. Me? I'm not racist, sexist, anythingist but I am proud to be a human being (allegedly) and I LOVE my 'neck of the woods' and America!!