Some of my patterns

31 January 2011

I'm SO ANGRY!!

Do you know what really, really, REALLY makes me totally angry?

I'll tell you.  People who can't read my patterns.  They're tatting away and then see they've made a mistake.  That's after all the hours and hours I spend doing them and THEN they have the nerve to complain.  Complain to ME.  That's right - they complain to MEEE.  MEEEEEE the best thing since sliced bread!!! HOW DARE they?  

Who is it who has upset me?  I'll tell you and I hope you'll send her to Coventry. 

It's MEEEE who has upset me.  I can't STAND it when I can't even follow my own patterns and then I complain to me!  I was working on the sheep yet again and mis read it AGAIN and in the SAME place!!!  I drive me MAD!!!!!

OK, off to Coventry - I'm not going to speak to me again all day!!!  I'll speak to everybody else in tat land but just not ME!!!

Here's the offending sheep who's now eating grass in Etsy.

30 January 2011

Day 7

In case anybody has come to this blog I'm putting the link here for Day 7 of the TIAS.  Here it is!!!

Day 8 will be on Wednesday.

29 January 2011

More magnetic bookmarks

This is another 'batch' of bookmarks which were ordered by friends.  

The first 'batch' is for Dinah who used to live in this town.  She wanted 4 for female readers and 1 for a male reader.  Easy for the ladies but the gentleman needed a tad more thought.  Thus was born the bowler hatted bookworm who you can see top left!!!

The penguin is another request in the second picture alongside the butterfly for the 'lady at the post office'.

Next?  Well, baaaaing too many distractions - sheep!!!!  

28 January 2011

Changes in tatting

Don't forget - today is Day 6 of the TIAS.

Following on from yesterday's post about starting and finishing tatted pieces today I want to ramble on about picots and front side back side tatting.

It's not until I came online in the early days of the internet that I'd ever heard of picot gauges and I still to this day don't know what use they are except for the longer picots that have to be a certain length to make a pattern work.  For the smaller decorative picots I'd never slow myself down by relying on those - eyes are better than gismos!!! Also a slight variation in sizes gives a piece a more 'easy' look to me.   Please note, however - I am NOT and never have been a perfectionist!!  I enjoy my craft but I don't want or expect each piece to be perfect.  Using a gauge seems to be quite a popular way of working nowadays but as far as I know there's no record of it being the way our ancestors worked.  Certainly it didn't show up in any instructions or patterns when I learnt to tat!!!

Now the question of whether to use front side, back side tatting.  I can certainly see the effect of tatting this way (with a 'right and wrong' side) and now notate patterns to help people to do it.  But I'm not convinced it's important.  I DO use it when I'm making a piece that will be sewn or stuck onto something but if it's going to be 3D or given away to somebody then I stick to the 'old fashioned' way of not worrying about it.  Why?  Well how many people would NOTICE or know if a tatted doily was the 'right way' or 'wrong way' up on a table?  I'm sure no non tatters would!!!!  Again looking through old patterns it's obvious that this was never done in the dim and distant past.


Well, that's enough of me for today - tomorrow I'll show you something I've been working on.

27 January 2011

I've been thinking!

No, don't worry - it won't last and I'm sure it's not catching.

As the TIAS has been progressing I've noticed 'things' about the way people work.  Only minor 'things' but 'things' nonetheless!!!  

The first thing that sprung to my attention was that many people nowadays  seem to start their tatting with CTM (continuous thread method) which  obviously couldn't be done with the TIAS.  The CTM  while allowing the worker to avoid tying a knot at the beginning, seems (to me!) a big fiddle before you even start.  Unless you know exactly how much thread you're going to need (and not many patterns tell you) there seems little point in doing this as you'll still have some thread left on the shuttles when you finish!  I know some people then use the 'remains' to make little diddly things (I personally take the thread off and re-wind it back onto the ball).  The TIAS involves starting with two colours which prevents the CTM totally!!

A lot of people have used an overhand knot like this to start.
Now obviously this isn't 'wrong' and people have their own reasons for starting this way but there are other ways.  Personally I do prefer to knot my ends together when I start IF the item is going to be a 'wearable'.  But I always use a weaver's knot which can be found here.  Why a weaver's knot?  Simples (does anybody from the UK follow the meerkat adverts?) - because it makes a much, much smaller knot.  I then tat over the two ends too - one end in the first ring and t'other in the following element.  I just sorta feel 'safer' using a knot too!!

If the item isn't going to be worn or suffer a lot of wear then I just start without a knot - here's a link for some ideas.

The one 'trick' that I've only ever used once or twice is the magic thread trick for which you can find a link here.  


There are two reasons for this - the main one on which I fall at the first hurdle is planning!!!  


Also I feel there is no point in using it at the start of the work as the ends can be hidden so easily.  The second reason is that it does take some working out on where to put the additional threads - if you are using it as a finishing off method.  


I did try it once but the ends came out a few days later!!!  I know, I know that some people will say that I got the 'wrong sort' of additional thread and probably I did - BUT it's something I'm not going to risk again.  Not when I know that for me it's so much easier to tie a double knot (reef knot) and then, using a self threading needle, sew the ends in!!!


Which reminds me - another tip is to add the needle onto the thread before cutting it.  That way you can judge exactly how little you need!!!


The above are only my personal opinions and are a true report of how I work!!!  Here endeth today's ramble!!

26 January 2011

Welcome to my new dating agency!

Well I should've learnt by now to keep my BIG mouth shut - see here!!  There again you can't teach an old dog new tricks, can you?  

Please, folks, it WAS a joke the other day about starting a dating agency but if at the age of 67 I have to start along new career path then that's what I'll do.  Actually what better way to spend my time than fixing pandas up with dates!!!

Please meet Bo who is the progeny of Sarah.  Now what a bobby dazzler.  

Oh, Sarah says that Bo's top hat is a pattern by Teresa Woods, 2006. She wanted to make sure she got credit.
 The news on Royal Mail is now gettng slightly better.  I had a message as I was lying in bed last night from one of my bestest customers saying this:-
"I don't know if you put the fear of God in your postal workers but one of the missing packets showed up today! Yeah (happy dance) and I have hope that the next one will arrive in the next day or two.  Funny post mark is Dec15, 2010.  HaHaHa if I was that slow with doing my job I wouldn't have a job."
It's the packets that I mailed on that date or the day before/after that have been causing me to worry.  I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed that the others turn up over the next few days.

25 January 2011

Done and dusted!!

Here is the chicken wing doily with MANY thanks to Geraldine for pushing brain cell 3 towards this!!!

Also, believe it or not, the Fandango bookmark!!!!  I'm going to reward myself now with some chocolate this evening.  
Next task is catching up on bookmark orders!!!!  Also I need to make a kitty cat for bookmarks too but brain cell 3 isn't QUITE ready to tackle that.  7 bookmarks first, old lady, 7 bookmarks first!!!!
More news on missing mail - Maureen's has turned up in Brisbane despite the floods.  Still several not arrived in the USA.

24 January 2011

Panda talk

Today it's time for day 5 of the TIAS. This is the halfway point but there's still plenty  of time for people to start and catch up!

Meantime here is a picture of Erika's panda which she sent me a few days ago.  She's looking for a boyfriend for him - does anybody have a panda who needs a partner?

Oh, heck, does this mean I've now started an animal dating agency? Get a life, old woman, get a life!!!

I'd not long finished the above talking about Erika's panda when who should pop in but Sarah's pair below!!!  

Now I'm seriously wondering if this really is going to be the start of a new animal service.  Sarah said:-
"I thought I would show you what I have been doing while waiting for day 5 of TIAS... I had a hard time with the SCMR. I had never tried it before and for some reason the loop kept knotting when I tried to close it ... don't know what I was doing wrong but with some fiddling and a lot of un-tatting ( I seem to spend much of my tatting time un-tatting rather than tatting! ) I think I got it worked out. Think I will try another one to see if I can do it with out so much taking apart!  Lol ...I am in awe of you and many of the other tatters I see on the internet who seem to be able to whip up something in no time at all... these little critters took me hours and hours over three days! Well I do think they are cute and well worth the time...Thank you for sharing the pattern and the instructions for the SCMR...  don't know what I will do with them but I'm sure something will come to mind."

22 January 2011

Still counting sheep!!

Another day, another sheep.  Baaaaa, baaaaaa, baaaaa.

I nearly didn't bother but then thought long and  hard and had a strong, firm word with my brain cell 3 and told him he COULD do it with a little more effort!!! 
I can't stand seeing patterns that are 'nearly there' but not quite and only because of another day's work and a bit of 'tweaking'.  I've got some on the pattern page like that which I really ought to sort out.  So I took myself in hand and (with the help of my Friday glass of red wine ) settled down to another sheep.

So here they are - the 'not so good one' and the 'bit better one'!!!  Am I there yet?  Is this sheep ready to be made into a magnetic bookmark for Gina S?  Answers on a postage stamp addressed to 'the OG'!!!

21 January 2011

Does this look like a sheep?

Today it's day 4 of the TIAS.  Here's the link.

After a few days of struggling this sheep has finally (I think!) been 'born'.  No, not quite.  Three of my best critics have flown their eyes over it and said it's still 'wrong'.  I'll have another go at it in a few days after a 'rest'!!!

Strange that Nick is asking for a lamb roast for Sunday dinner - must stop showing him and asking him for his opinions.  I mean, what if I make something like a dinosaur, eh?  Where would an OG buy a dinosaur for Sunday dinner?  Also how would you get it in the oven?  

Oh, Jane, what on earth are you rambling about?  The TIAS is going to your head.

More good news - shuttles posted in December are slowly arriving in the USA.   

20 January 2011

What am I doing?

Before I start - tomorrow (Friday) will be day 4 of the TIAS.

Next some good news - Royal Fail has reverted to Royal Mail.  Not sure how long it will last as they're now pulling out all the extra workers who've been taken on to clear the backlog - but we'll see.  Also USA Snail has finally delivered Martha's book which was sent around the time of the 'missing shuttle packages'.  I'm hoping they all turn up this week or next week too.  Must've all been because of the snow back in December here in the UK.  One snowflake and the UK grinds to a halt!!!


Well, what am I doing while the TIAS is going on?  I finished off the bookmarks and listed those yesterday and then had a look at doing a sheep for the same purpose - to make into a magnetic bookmark.  I did one yesterday evening and was going to show it here but I DON'T like it!!!!  I'll try and improve on it this evening.  Next?  Well that will be a cat for bookmarks.  Again I've had a try at one but it was dreadful so it'll be 'back to the drawing board' - or the tatting shuttles!!!!

19 January 2011

The bookmark bug!!!

Darn this bug - it bites and bites HARD.

This is the next batch ready to go in my Etsy shop.  I just needed to finish off the elephant and he's done now - see below.  If the critters look a bit wonky it's because they kept being attracted to each other - little stinkers!!!

I promised I'd do the chicken wing doily and I have started but I keep thinking of new critters to make into bookmarks.  I really want to do a sheep, a small cat and a dog but then I need a 'colour fix' so have to make the flowers or butterflies.  It's a sad OG that I am.

Oh, did you notice I'd put Mark's picture taken in Moo Street on my page?  As one comment suggested quite rightly - it's too good to 'lose' in an old post.

18 January 2011

The tatbead family are BACK!!!

Before I start - Day 3 is now here.

Now I did give Sandy a warning when she first wrote and said she was going to do the Tatbead family but she didn't listen.  Sadly the addiction has struck!!!! 

The first picture is her family.  The second is her Dr Who themed session!!!!  The Tardis is a pattern made by AnneB and can be found here.  Don't you just LOVE the cyberman?  Inspired.  Now I haven't heard about any new members in Sandy's family for a few days but when I do I'll keep you posted. 


17 January 2011

At LAST!!!

At last I've got a tiny owl's face that I'm happy with.

Two whole afternoons have been 'wasted' on this wretched little critter's face!!  I think it was worth it in the end, though.

I used my original pattern taken from here but that was done in two parts - just for the face!!!  This time I've finally managed to get it down to one round with the 3 beads included in the tatting.  I NEVER EVER sew or stick beads onto tatting - I feel that's cheating and certainly isn't safe as beads can so easily fall off. I needed to resolve the problem in case I wanted to make more of these owls as too many cuts and 'sewings ins' take too much time - they're a 'lost leader' anyway!!!

Sorry about the wonky looking picture but the magnets kept trying to get together again.

Tomorrow I NEED to go back to colour and beads.  OR another sort of critter - wonder what it'll be?

15 January 2011

Look what Mark did!!!!

First of all just to remind you - day 2 is ready to go!!!!  Here's the link.

Isn't Mark a STINKER?


Look what he did to my picture!!!  Now who is he calling an old git, do you think?  
This is one very, very funny tatting man with a talent for tatting and manipulating pictures!!!!  DOO visit his web site for loads of tatting tips and truly wonderful patterns.  Well, I guess that's what he does for a living!!!!  Taking the mooo out of old gits!!!!!

More news on Royal Fail and USA snail!!!  Apparently it's more like 190,000 pieces of post behind at the local sorting office (according to the postie).   I have outstanding packages that I mailed (shuttles etc) on and around the 14th December to the USA which still haven't arrived - three or four of them.  Now, is this my end or their end - the mystery continues.  SOOOO cross about it all but what can an old git do?

14 January 2011

I have a habit!

Not a disgusting one or naughty (well, not really) but it's a habit!!!
I tend to call people a 'daft old moo'.  Well I also call myself that too (when I'm not being an OG!!).  This is a friendly sort of thing and it's something I've always done.  Probably stemming from my days of temping round and about and not being able to remember people's names!!!  I used to call people 'old moo's' back then!! 

Anyway, the following is a picture I took when I was in town early the other day - before the tourists were around!!!  I thought it was amusing (well, it amused me!!!).


More news on Royal Fail.  

Before Christmas the local sorting office were behind by 45,000 pieces of mail.  We're still getting Christmas cards - a neighbour had one from somebody 'down the road' two days ago which was posted at the beginning of December.  

Well yesterday the local newspaper stated that Royal Fail were now - wait for it - 90,000 pieces behind.  Now I'm beginning to suspect that this is affecting outgoing mail too.  The story continues.  Time for another walk to the sorting office to demand to 'speak to a manager', I think!!!

13 January 2011

Big booo bbbboooooo

OK,  Do you like this little owl?

This is one that didn't make it into the shop!!!  He's currently sitting on my side table in tat corner waiting for a grandchild to come round and 'choose' him.  
I made him for a magnetic bookmark but he got into trouble and got cut off in his prime!!!

Why?  Well let me turn him over for you.
Now you can see why he'll NEVER become a bookmark!!!!  I mangled his eye with the 'new' iron.  Silly, silly, SILLY woman!!!

So then I went back to the onion ring owl instead!!!

I'm now making more critters for the shop - two more pigs.  I LIKE pigs!!!!  As I seem to have sold loads of these bookmarks over the past three days I'm now making more!!!!  Well, as Nick says, they do keep me quiet.  I'm going to make more button flowers and butterflies as that means I can play with my wonderful stash of HDT and Lizbeth threads.  Oh, and beads!!!!  Then I'll go back to critters again!!!! 

12 January 2011

The end of an era!!!

Well, actually, only a temporary end!!!

The 'era' I'm talking about is a bookmark one - I've come to a temporary standstill having spent days and days making these!!!!  I finally got most of them finished and put in the shop yesterday afternoon and then had the final 'straggler' to do in the evening - before the TIAS takes over my life!!!!

Must tell you about the second picture here.  This is some of the thread that Sue Anna sent me which is from Yarnplayer's shop.  The flower is Garden Afternoon and the other green is called Celery.  They are drop dead yummy together.


11 January 2011

Royal Fail!!

Don't forget - tomorrow is the 'kick off' for the TIAS!!!!

I know you're fed up with hearing about Royal Fail but do read on today.

On Monday this dear little teapot arrived in a Christmas card (yes, I did say Christmas card) from - well, no need to give you three guesses.  Yes, Martha Ess.

If you haven't got her teapot book then I very, very much recommend it although sister Sally says she thinks this pattern is in Karey Solomon's Tatting Times.  

Thank you SO much, Martha - this little teapot is destined to be framed and hung in 'Tat Corner'.

10 January 2011

It's arrived!!!

Now on my web page - the new edging.

BUT hang on a week or two and I'll magic it into a bookmark for you all!!!  I thought that idea up yesterday and know exactly how to do it but just need time!!!  I may also make it into a small motif but brain cell #3 hasn't quite got his head round that idea yet!!!

I'm going to finish off some more magnetic bookmarks for my Etsy shop and list those later - IF  I remember and IF I get time (there's a pile of ironing to do first)!!!!

So, the list at the moment consists of - Fandango bookmark, Chicken Wings doily, more magnetic bookmarks, start another hanky edging (for my handbag project) and try and get some sleep from time to time.  Oh, I also need to clean the windows too but that's SOOOO BORING!!!!

8 January 2011

Hanky edging

First of all I must let you know that 5 Pop A Bobbin Shuttles will be in the shop around midday today (that's GMT).

Well it's finished.  I thought I'd show you how I attach to a hanky (Gina gave me this one in a giveaway and it's a really great quality cotton).  This is not probably the 'right' way but it's what works for me!!!  

Before I start, though, let me tell you that when I do an edging like this I work a few repeats, then a corner and the first side.  After the first side you've then got the number of repeats so the rest is plain sailing!!!

OK attaching the edging.  First of all I make sure both the hanky and the edging are pressed and then I lie them out on the ironing board.  Forget blocking - it should only need pressing!!!!  I rarely ever block anything!!!

I use sewing pins to attach each side of each corner so that they're 'fixed' in place.  Then a pin at the middle of each side is put in.  Notice that these are just inside the hanky.  A few more pins will make sure that it stays while you sew it on.

I use a thread to match the picots of the tatting and then hook into each one and slide the thread through the fabric in between picots.  Job done!!!! 

All that's now needed is for me to check the web page, put in links and upload. 

7 January 2011

Odds and ends!

I've put a post on the TIAS blog today so please take a look over there.  

Look what Royal Fail brought me last week!!!  Yes one of the 'let's spoil Jane' friends has sent me more threads and beads too!!!  Thanks Sue Anna.  

I finished the hanky edging last evening and will sew it on later today, I hope!!!   Well it is raining so I've got an excuse to stay in!!  Then I'll photograph it and will put it on the page ready for the pattern site.  Shouldn't take too long to finish the page off - it's almost ready.

Yesterday I listed a penguin and a dolphin in my Etsy shop but they flew out half an hour later along with a seahorse!!!  Guess what I'll be working on later this evening - more critter bookmarks!!!  

OR I may start another hanky edging!!!!

Another on my 'to do' list is to make the chicken wing coaster, sorry, doily that Geraldine showed us.  Good excuse now I've got lots of lovely new threads to play with!!!  I'll add another page to the web site for that.  So many things to do that I'll never be able to find 'mischief' again!!!!!

STOP PRESS - 5 new pop a bobbin shuttles will be in the Etsy shop tomorrow (Saturday).  I'll post pictures in the morning on this blog and will 'launch' them at around our lunchtime!!!!

6 January 2011

Chicken wings

Remember Norman and his family from last year's TIAS who was followed (thanks to some prompting) by the chicken wing coaster?  Well I had a message last week from Geraldine.  

Now what surprises me is that with all this prompting and help I've suddenly realised I must've designed my first ever doily!!!!!!   I think I've been put off doilies for several reasons - firstly because there was little else to tat when I was a kid and secondly because I live in a house where doilies would be pointless!!!  Why?  Because of our clutter!!!!  So, this is what Geraldine had to say and what she's made.

"Just thought I'd show you what I have done with your chicken wings pattern, I had a thought (husband says these thoughts give him a headache) I wanted to see if it would work as you see it did. The one on the left I used braiding thread and on the right Altin Basak 50. I took just the top of chicken leg and added one double stitch to each of the side rings other wise no changes."
 
I'm gobsmacked.  Personally and between you and me there's only one word for what she's done - stunning.

5 January 2011

Introduction and practice piece for TIAS 2011

Good morning.  Here is the link to the introduction and practice piece for the TIAS 2011. 

All links will be at the top of the page (above the posts) as they are released.

Please do shout if you need any help with this.  I'll be around most of the day and for the duration of the game.
My thanks must go wholeheartedly to three special people for being 'there' and for the following reasons. Gina (tattinggoddess) who has tested the whole pattern (brave woman!), Riet (Bengelblog) who is gallantly translating the whole thing into Dutch for her tatting group and finally Ridgewoman who tested the practice piece out for me with even fewer pictures.  She always says she can't 'fathom' techniques very easily so this is why I asked her to try it ahead of the TIAS!!!  I'm pleased to report that she flew through it!!!

4 January 2011

An new edging and a pattern is finished!

I finally got the panda sorted and he's now living here!!!!

Also updated on the pattern site is the snowflake which Sharren made out of one of my very early patterns.   It's a stonking great addition to this very simple snowflake - thanks, Sharren.

I also got an edging started too.  I wanted a fast and easy edging for hankies.  This is what I came up with!!  The thread is one of the new Lizbeth ones - called Rainbow Taffy.  I used a plain ecru/cream colour with it too.

Does anybody want this pattern?  If so I'll get it up on the pattern page sooooon.

3 January 2011

Something to make me laugh!

There's one person I can always laugh at and that is - ME!!!

At the 'tender' age of 67 I also feel I'm allowed to do that!!!  So my references to being an OG (Old Git) and a daft old moo are actually true and make me laugh at the same time!!!  I also think I'm funny - not necessarily funny as in funny, funny but just odd funny!!!

So, on New Years Eve the following card arrived which made me nearly pee my aged pants laughing!!!  It was from Georgia.

I cannot go through life without a giggle - even during my 'four bad years' I had to laugh at myself.  The Queen had an annus horribilis - I had 'four bad years'.  Perhaps she should've sent for me to help her see the funny side of her bad year as my four were a LOT worse than hers!!!

Thank you Georgia and all those who laugh at me and along with me - without you I'd still be laughing but very sadly, alone.

1 January 2011

Happy New TIAS to you all!!!!

And, of course, a Happy New Year.

I've come to a decision.  The Tat It And See is going to start on January 12th.  

BUT there will be a practice piece before then which I'll give you on January 5th first.  This will give me time to help anybody who MAY need it with this teeeeeny tinnnyyyy technique.  

For newcomers it will also give you a hint of what is to come too.  Only a very, very small one, though!!!

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