29 February 2008

Sharren's Angel

I've tested Sharren's angel and it's a darling to do. You need to know the split chain and the SCMR. The split SCMR is drop dead easy too. Here's my test tat.

28 February 2008

100 today!!!

100 done and tat's the end of tat for a while!!! This is what I've been tatting.
Now I can go and play with my other big project after I've done one more test tat for somebody else!!

26 February 2008

Thoughts about time and tatting

The hardest 'job' I had with time was adjusting to being retired. For all my working life my main ambition was to retire. I worked full time as a teacher (mainly the five year olds) at the same time raising two kids with an ex who was more often than not away on business or with his stupid hobby. After the teaching I then did temp office work. I rushed from place to place (mainly on my bike) sometimes working three jobs in a day.
Thus retirement was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
BUT when I got there it took me several years of self training to manage the time I supposedly had. I couldn't get it through my thick skull that I could read that extra chapter or three in bed in the morning and that I didn't have to rush around anymore. I'm there now and the only rushing I ever try to do is to appointments.
What I suppose I'm trying to tell you is that I love having too many tatting projects 'on the go'. I'm in my element at the moment although my own projects are having to wait a week or two.
Yesterday evening (no tatting in the afternoon as I was helping a couple of friends out with computers) I did another 20 of the small snowflakes - tat's now 72 completed.
Towards the end of the evening I had an email from Iris. She's asked me to test tat a pattern for her. Now, who could resist that? Well I had to at that time of the evening as I think I need a well rested brain to do it!!! Also I will have to get into my tat cupboard to find beads etc!!!

So the list is sort of not getting any longer but also not getting a lot shorter either!!!!
Isn't life good? I've never been bored in my life and as long as I can manage a shuttle I'm sure I never will be!!!!

25 February 2008


I couldn't resist making the kit that Lyn from Tatting and Design sent any longer. It's been sitting on my tat table looking at me and tempting me since it arrived so yesterday afternoon I tatted these two dear little motifs up. I'm not sure if she sells these little kits but if she does then I'd recommend them to anybody and everybody. I do so love the thread and the beads.
The list is dwindling now. 52 snowflakes done and I feel that today should break the back of them. Hope to reach 70 by the end of the day!! Phewwww.

24 February 2008

The list!

Well I forgot to add one more thing to the list yesterday - a couple of pendants.
When I was at the Lace Fair last November I met up with Lyn Morton. I couldn't take my eyes off a pendant she was wearing. I asked her what thread she had used and she told me it was some of her
Oren Bayan metallic thread. Of course that made a dent in the purse!!! Anyway the other day I realised I was running out of the colours I need for my large WIP so ordered some more from her at Tatting and Design. What did the dear lady do? Not only sent my threads very quickly but also gifted me a kit with the pattern, thread and beads for the little pendant. Now I HAVE to make those sooooooon. In fact, I might take 'time out' from my list this afternoon to make them!!! Well, you have to, don't you? I'll show them tomorrow if I get them done.
Back to the list. In spite of a relatively busy day yesterday I managed to get the bracelet done (see below). I also posted the 25 garlands which I'd completed as my friend wanted those urgently. I also got another 15 of the snowflakes done too and also 'timed' them - ten minutes each (with no interruptions). I can relax on those when I've got past the 60 mark!!!

23 February 2008

My tatting list!

The reason I've nothing to show at the moment is because I'm 'quite' busy!!! This is what I've been doing, or have left to do over the past week or two or three!!!
1. Test tatting for Martha Ess's new block tatting book or books. Done and dusted! Can't wait to see it in print.
2. Working on a very big pattern which has involved lots of 'parts'. Still a WIP!!
3. Test tatting for Hope Green (I think she's submitting it to Palmetto tat days). A smashing little butterfly which had me reviving my long lost (about 40 years ago!) knowledge of hair pin lace.
4. 25 large garlands for a friend. These are 10 rings and chains and each takes about 20 - 30 minutes each. Done and dusted and in the post this morning. That was urgent!
5. 100 large snowflakes (well, not that large - 5 rings and 5 chains) for the same friend. Still a WIP with only 10 completed.
6. Bracelet for a friend of my sister. Thread, letters, beads and bits sorted and ready to go. May take a break from snowflakes to do this today.
7. Playing with angels. Naughty of me but I needed to get the idea 'out'. Still a WIP as the pattern has to be tested again and drawings done!
8. Something else - not telling!!!!
9. Forgot - also test tatted another pattern for a friend who is going to submit it to Palmetto Tatters for their tat days. This is another little gem too. Done and dusted.
Still to come, I hope, is some test tatting for SueH. Everything else will be put to one side to do this when she sends it.
PS I forgot to say that I'm also doing Diane's TIAS too!!!!!

21 February 2008

Angels keep arriving!!

Well it might have taken me several years to do the angel for Sally but now I've started I'm finding it hard to stop!!!

Anybody who's ever tried to 'adjust' a pattern will know that it's not easy. First of all it's easy to adjust stitch count when working on a small motif like this. BUT this doesn't always make a big enough difference to the finished size. On this angel I've not only adjusted the stitch count but also knocked out entirely some of the split rings. To keep it balanced was then another consideration.

This one will fit into a 2 1/4" bangle so eventually people who want to make it will have a choice. You'll also see that in the centre of this angel there is a teardrop bead (plus two seed beads). This will give an alternative way of working BOTH angels without necessarily meaning people have to find and buy the heart shaped beads. An ordinary round bead will do just as well and I still have to work the larger version with the round bead and put the text for that into the pattern. Alternatives, that's what it's all about - alternatives. By doing this I hope that the pattern can be worked by anybody with 'normal' tatting supplies!!!! By that I mean a lot of beads, threads and bangles!!!!

Meanwhile this blog just MIGHT be quiet for a while as I have a lot of motifs to make for a friend. I'm still working on a big, big project which is nearing completion and which I'm very excited about. The angels were just a sidetrack from my 'real' projects!!!

20 February 2008

Another angel

Thanks to all for explaining HDT (hand dyed thread). The penny dropped as I got into bed last night!!! I'll have to get me some - one day soon.
I feel another angel like Sally's 'coming on'. I would like to do a smaller pocket sized one and also another like the first one but with an 'ordinary' bead inside!
While I'm nattering on about angels I must show you this.
Remember me playing with the split SCMR? Well Sherron Morgan and I are still discussing this as she 'got there' before me last year. I've managed to persuade her to do a !!! to submit to Palmetto tat days and she's also sent me the following angel that she did. She said that she'd only played with it and used thread that was on the shuttles to make it. Hmmm, I know the feeling, Sharren!!! I think this is going to make a lovely angel so showing you (with Sharren's permission, I might add!!) might 'force' her into writing it down!!! Hey, Sharren, get the hint?!?!?

19 February 2008

Sally's Angel - finished

The angel is finished. I realised the night before last just as I was falling asleep that I'd done the first half of the notation all wrong. Not a lot wrong but all wrong. I'd looked at doing it from the backside point of view when it could easily be front sided!! Took all of five minutes to sort out in yesterday's allocated 'tat time'.
I asked Sally what colours angels were but she said she'd never met one!
I also haven't a clue as to whether they are women or men so I decided to not make up my mind!! I do have such huge arguments with myself so tat's why this one is mixed gender!!!!!
If anybody does have the answer, please let me know as I'd like to make some more and list them on ebay.

16 February 2008

Sally's Angel - Eureka!!!

I think it's finished. Well, apart from more testing and tweaking. I've only shown a few of the trials I've done of this but it's been a nightmare. Finally I started in another place to get this one!!! Sally suggested that the wings coming out by the neck were probably half the problem!! SO right. This meant a whole re-write. Thank goodness for copy and paste in word processing and a long cold day here in the UK!!!
I've only roughly tied her into the bangle but I'm so much happier with her. Not sure whether to do the wings differently. Again Sally and I discussed whether to make them rings and chains. I may try that as an 'alternative' idea although I do love the effect of these lock stitch chains in two colours.
Oh, I also left off the fingers too on this one!!
I've scanned her twice so that if you look at her carefully you'll be able to see all the little faults that may need correcting. I'm not sure about the halo either. Should it be bigger/smaller, come from another place or what?

15 February 2008

Sally's Angel - part 3

Well this relatively simple angel has caused a lot of problems! I wasn't at all happy about the neck/head/body region so thought I'd start from a different place!!
Originally I'd started with the body ring which was attached to the bead and then worked the arms, first wing, skirt, second wing finishing with the head.
Next I tried starting with the head, following with the same order as before. Nope, tat didn't work either.
This time I started with the arms then the body ring (joining to the bead as before) followed by the head, first wing, skirt, second wing finishing back at the neck. I think this gives a much better look to the whole design. I now am happy with the head and the skirt (apart from a little more tweaking) and the arms (still wondering whether to 'do' fingers or not). The only thing I'm not entirely happy with is the wings. I like the lock stitch chain but I'm not totally happy with it yet .............
Ah, the surprise is that it will fit snuggly into a 3" bangle. Sorry, Sally, is that too big for you? I will try for another smaller angel when I've got this one sorted out!!!
All suggestions will be welcome!!!
Now I'm happy to go back to my big project for a while!!!

14 February 2008

Sally's Angel - part 2

Life has been hectic the past few days. I've got the last few Aero shuttles listed on ebay and have a stinking cold too.

The angel is progressing in forward and backward leaps! I am also working on another large project too - no, sorry, not another TIAS yet but that is rapidly approaching on my list.

Back to the angel. This is the latest version. The head of the last one was too small but I've a feeling this one is too big. The halo is OK, I think!!! I've made the body above the bead smaller and also added two more SR's to the arms so that they have more 'definition'. Not sure that the hands really need fingers either. The lower wings have gone and that's made the whole thing better by a long way.

The skirt is slightly wider with an interesting further addition of anther ring and beads. I shall add beads to the bottom corner SR's too and maybe make them (the SR's) a little larger!!

The wings are dreadful. I mean - truly dreadful so I may have to resort to another long think about them. Not sure they need to be small SR's but maybe just a zig zag chain as opposed to a lock stitch chain. Maybe even an 'ordinary' chain with a picoted ZZ one in the middle. Goodness knows. I may take another shot at this tonight. I think the size will be fine for the bangle which I threw onto the platten with this sample. Whatever - it will be a quick and easy one when it's finished and I hope to be able to suggest other types of beads to use too (like teardrop ones)!!!

12 February 2008

Sally's Angel

My poor sister has been 'nagging' me for a year or more for an angel to fit in a ring!! I've tried 'adjusting' several other designs but couldn't quite get them right!! The only thing to do was to start from scratch myself!!! I've already got a good supply of these little heart beads so that seemed a good place to start!!!

Below is the first 'real' finished angel (scanned on both a white background and a black one). Not sure that I really like it yet. The lower wings are (I think) a bit 'too much' and will probably be left out in the next version or adjusted to come lower. The arms and hands which go round the bead are also not 'quite right' so probably they need adjusting too - maybe it's just the colours are the wrong way round. I like the head and the skirt. It's a reasonable start and I will get back to it so that we've both got a Christmas giveaway in plenty of time this year!!!

11 February 2008

More on the split SCMR

This is an attempt (and a very good one too) that Gina Oschmann who is one of Riet's guild sent in. Riet said the following.

Gina Oschmann , one of the members of the guild tatted chalenge number three she mailed it to me on saterday afternoon, but there was a problem with the picture, this morning she mailed the picture for the third time and now I could open the picture and could see what she did.
She started with a splitring, in the first part of the splitring an inwards picot (2 firsthalf ds - 2 second half ds) in the second half throw of rings and a join with bead the join is made with the shuttle thread by tatting first 2 second half ds make the join and 2 first half ds.
To write down the pattern is difficult, but I will try
Sp1 is dark blue,
Sp2 is light blue.
Sp1 SR: 3ds, 2(firsthalf ds), - 2(second half ds), 3 ds /
4ds, [R1: 4-4], 3ds, 2(second halfds) +b 2(first half ds), [R2: 6-6], 4 ds [R3: 4-4], 4ds cl RW
Ch1: 7ds RW

SR: 7 / 7 cl. RW.

Ch 7
go on with second eye in mirorlook of first eye and the hair are chains with long picots.

I'm not sure if this is the way that I did it as there doesn't appear to be a split self closing mock ring here but it certainly gives the same result.

10 February 2008

Split SCMR

Katie Verna had a look at Sharren's bookmark and decided to 'have a go' from just the picture. Well done, Katie. This is what she said and her picture too.

"I tried the Sharren's flower that you posted yesterday on your blog. When I read about it, I didn't think I could do it, but in trying I understood. Thanks to you and to Sharren for exploring this crazy, lovely little technique. I always have trouble figuring out how much thread to leave for the
split chain, but this one worked out. I think the secret is that you can always stretch the thread a little, but you can't shrink it."

8 February 2008

The answer - part 2

Sharren Morgan (one of the Palmetto Tatters) mentioned the other day that she'd played with this idea. She sent in one of her pieces this morning for me to see. It's SO neat it makes me hang my head in shame. Anyway, I couldn't work out how she'd done hers so the following is her explanation. Do hope she writes this pattern down and uses it as it would make a really good lesson.

"I started opposite the tail with a small split ring. I did the red side as an SCMR, throwing off rings that I joined together, then did the split part in white and mirrored the throwing off rings and joining them together. I finished with another small split ring, then did the tail. I had one that's been long since given away that I did in a single color. "

7 February 2008

The answer

It's a split SCMR? At least I think that's what I'd call it.
I found myself in the situation the other day when I needed a split SCMR!! Now we all go through phases, I'm sure, when we really, really, really need a split SCMR!! I wondered if this was feasible and it certainly is.
This is how it would work.
You make the SCMR as you would normally but when you come to close it you pull the loop up as usual BUT leave a gap at the base. You need to be sure to hide the loop back near the base of the left hand side but this is really easy.
Next you work back over the space you've left using a split chain. Is this a new idea or am I re-inventing the wheel once more!!!
Below are two drawings that I've done to show what I'm talking about!!!!
I know this isn't 'rocket science' but I think it may come in useful - one day!!

6 February 2008

Another suggestion!!

This is from 'Dani the geek'.

It looks like the eyes on the face and the top bead on the middle motif were done the same way. I'm suggesting that first you made a split ring with a bead on the core thread. then you took your core thread and (taking it off the shuttle, if, indeed, you had a shuttle to begin with) pulled it through the bead again in order to make a second split ring. I tried to make it look like a more complicated technique, but this brute-force ways seems the most fitting. (bigger pictures would help!) Thanks for the brain food, I need all I can get about now!

Tomorrow I will 'tell all'.

5 February 2008

Babette's way of working the doodle

The following is how Babette worked the little doodle on the left. It's not the way I did it but it's another way. Thanks for taking up the challenge Babette. Anybody else got any ideas?

Using your colour scheme: Started first green chain using a safetypin to leave vsp made chain of 3ds p 3ds, then turned and made white chain with picots and the centre thrown ring. Joined white chain to starting vsp of green chain. The rest was straightforward chains, split rings and normal rings, making sure the lower two rings were joined to the same picot. Perhaps you could put these notes into a more comprehensible set of instructions.

Once I had enlarged the picture of your doodle enough to see exactly where the picots joined the rest was quite simple, only the actual stitch count eluded me as the picture was not clear enough for an accurate count.

Another message from Babette on the third one (the face). She says -

Bearing in mind it’s 35deg C outside, England v NZ 20/20 is on television and we are almost through the 2nd bottle of wine (a woman after my own heart!) and supper has not even begun yet.

I roughly made motif in two parts. The first with two colours, the split ring, four small rings and 5 downward picots, the 5th also the join/finish. Second part with two shuttles wound with pink thread, joined at finish of first part, then chains and joins up to the first two small rings. Then split chain with split ring joining next split ring and split chain before finishing second side to match first, joining beads where shown. Very rough and ready description of method and probably more complicated than your original but it worked. The motif is not worth scanning in primarily because I was not particularly accurate on stitch count, picot size, tension and finishing off the threads.

4 February 2008

Some ideas about how I did tat!

This is what Babette Garman sent me.

I'm waiting to hear from her again to find out how she did hers as it looks so very close. It must be remembered that there are always many ways to 'skin a rabbit' and that sometimes the same results can be achieved by other methods.

There have been lots of suggestions about how I did it and the only one to get it right so far has been Sharren Morgan. She's already played with this idea before and I'm hoping she'll send me copies of what she's done.

3 February 2008

How did I do tat?

Three examples of something I've been playing with.
Challenge - how did I do tat?!?

1 February 2008

Riet's comments on red and italics

The following is from Riet but there are also two comments on yesterday's post which I'll copy and paste into today's blog too.

Hi Jane,
Just something we had a discussion about , not only the frontside backside, but what had to be in a pattern and in the diagram.

Well I think when you write a pattern just like you did it is the best way, everything you had to know is in the notation, when you wouldn't use the frontside/backside no problem just ignore the red colour or the italics.
The same if you don't want to tat SR or SCh just ignore it and cut and tie.

A pattern is a good pattern when it gave you everything there is. Honestly I wrote in my workshops until now: For those who want to tat frontside/backside they know where to change the ds. I will from now on use the italics and red tekst even while I know that some of the members off our guild say I dont need all this horns and bells (a Dutch saying for all the extra's in not such a nice way), ok ignore them, others want them and you are not alone in the tatting world.

When you gave a workshio you have the responsibility that every tatter can do your pattern. So Jane thanks for the Italics and the red text my 2 cents

Riet the B-engel

This is the comment from wickedtats.

When I first learnt to tat, my teacher taught me the difference between F and B tatting. It does make a difference especially with the larger patterns like doilies. However most patterns don't differentiate and it gets quite confusing and extremely saddening when there's only 1 row that done wrongly- I thank Ms Eborall for her extra effort in differentiating!

Lastly the one from Tattycats

Jane, I am glad that you posted this. It reminded me that I did not tell you how much your notations helped me with the back-side front-side instructions. It was great! I think this is a perfect way to highlight it and yes, we do need it. In fact, I need to do more of my tatting this way. It looks so nice. Thanks for all that you do.

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
I beg your pardon? I didn't quite catch what you said.