30 June 2009

I never enter these - BUT

I never get round to entering blog giveaways but sometimes, just sometimes, I'm tempted!!!!

This is the
giveaway on this blog!!!

I am honoured

I feel very honoured to have been involved with the ongoing saga of the SSSR. Miranda wrote and asked if it was possible to join to another element while making the SSSR.

She did find a way (which was extremely clever) but then decided (she was right) that it was too unstable to use.

Jeanne came along with the answer which is stonking clever. Matthew has approved the idea and now between us we've got together and are putting together a web page.

This is taking time as we're all on different planets. DUH, I mean time zones!!! I hope we get ourselves sorted within the next few days.
Long live tat land and all the talent in it.

Whilst doing the drawings in the daytime I've been playing with the idea in the evenings. Remember this bell pattern of mine? Well, look what happens when you use the SSSR (not joined as you work - just the simple variety) in this previously plain bell shape.

In fact you can put in the new red thread during the working of SSSR3. I'll probably not put this alteration on the internet as few people will want it but I will have the pattern on my system should anybody be brave enough to try it!!! Just write in and ask!!!

29 June 2009

I know, I know, I know!!

Don't remind me that Palmetto tat days aren't until September!! I know this as fact!!! BUT I have to be ready well ahead of time as we leave the UK some weeks before I fly to SC.

This means that I have to be ready with threads, beads etc long before we leave as I never know what last minute 'happenings' might happen back here at home.

I like to get shuttles wound and beads loaded and some of the patterns worked up to the place where students might get 'stuck'!!! This means brinigng out brain cell # 3 for a jolly good airing.

Below are two photos of the tatting cupboard open and things strewn about while decisions are made. Then there's a picture of 'tat corner'!!! This is relatively tidy for once!!

28 June 2009

Another bracelet

Now this scan doesn't really do this bracelet justice!!!

The thread is black - Flora black! The beads are golds, browns, purply/greeny/black ones too.

I made this a week or so ago for my neighbour - it was her birthday. I am the replacement babysitter for her boys when her mum can't do it. Love those kids to bits.

27 June 2009

Seahorse shuttle

Do you remember that I won a shuttle in a raffle at Rosemarie Peel's tatting afternoon? It was this adorable toucan.

Carol Lawecki and Rosemarie both told me about it's provenance here.

Shortly after that Mimi Dillman
(the Queen of the Clunies) wrote to say she'd got the seahorse in the set and had - well, this is what she said:-

"I have what I think is a Sebalace Seahorse shuttle that I won in a raffle sometime I can't remember when or where (an early Shuttlebirds workshop most likely). I've never used it nor have I pulled it out much other than to look at it and wonder who really should have it. Is it you, an ace Seahorse designer and tatter?"

So we did a trade!!! Mimi wanted a bag for her tatting and I offered to give the seahorse a good home too. Look what else came in the parcel - I'm officially a tatter now.

Thanks, Mimi - I'm VERY happy with our trade.
I wonder if there is anybody in tat land who has the fish to complete the set? Wouldn't it be great to have all three together?

25 June 2009

Tea for one

Oh, oh, oh. You're not going to believe this dear little teaset.

It's from Martha Ess's latest book 'Tea is for Tatting'.

When I first got the book I told Martha that this was one of the patterns I wanted to tat and she said that the teapot would be boring.

She was so WRONG. It's definitely and categorically NOT boring. It's actually very interesting. All the elements in the set are easy to follow and a pleasure to work. The only 'alteration' I made in the pattern was to use as size 20 rather than 10 thread.

Wonderful, wonderful little pattern. Thanks, Martha.

The apple is a small one to give you some idea of the scale of the set. The boys next door saw the set and just ooohed and aaaahed. I'm going to look for a transparent box of some sort to put them in. Stick them to the base and seal the box. Not sure where I'll get them from in our town so it'll probably be an internet search project.

24 June 2009

Another new book from ............

The boys are back in town!!!

Yes, the
Houtz brothers have 'done it again' and with the promise of more to come too!!!

Their new book has arrived in the UK at Tatting and Design. I know you can order from their own web site here but I'm pleased to say that Lyn has it now in the UK.

Of course, I had to have a copy, didn't I? There's only really one word for this book. Inspiring.

If you ever think of giving up tatting then go and look through this book and you'll be getting out the shuttles darn quick. Although it's in black and white only this actually makes it more inspiring as the 'greys' make
the imagination run riot. I've just found this page on their website which will give you an idea of some of the things which can be done but there's SO much more in the book.

Thank you, Gary and Randy - an old git in the UK is happy again!

These are only my 'experiments' with the threads and shuttles available in tat corner. Neither to be taken 'seriously'!!!!!

23 June 2009

What a difference a SSSR makes

Look what happens when you use the SSSR with the heart pattern!!!!

All I did was use this technique (running the second colour through the SSSR) to achieve a totally 'new' look to this old pattern of mine!!! I only did that with one SR too. Just a little longer to work but what a stunning idea.

If tattingchic hadn't put me onto this idea then I'd never been able to work out how to do this heart in one pass.

22 June 2009

The reversible motif

I said I wasn't happy with the way my pattern was written and on the web page but it's taken me ages to get 'in the right frame of mind' to do something about it!!

Finally the amended version is done and floating around in cyberspace!!!

I also managed to squeeze in Judith Smith's celtic cross and edging. If you go to my site and look under 'guest designers' you'll find them there!!!!

It's very odd because I thought I'd run out of space (see yesterday's post) but I've now been able to add the two new patterns without any problem at all. Maybe the host was having a 'bad day'. I'll still try to get my 'name site' back eventually.

So that's two things now scrubbed off my list of 'things to do'!!!!

21 June 2009

Split ring bracelets

Today's blog offering is from Juliet Herring. She's happily sharing her pattern for these little bracelets.

Split-Ring Tatted Bracelet by Juliet Herring

Materials: 2 Tatting Shuttles, (I use Turkish No. 50, about a British 30), Hook type jewellery fastening, 2 spacer beads (about 2.5mm 3.0mm diameter), 1 focal bead (8mm/10mm diameter), a small pair of pliers to open and close the small attaching loop on the hook.

I use a Turkish No. 50 thread. I measure out a good 6 arms lengths of thread (about 4.5 to 5 meters). You may find you need less, depending on your own wrist size and I would rather have a bit too much thread that run out and have to join in. Using this thread will make a bracelet about 15.5cm long. Thicker thread will make a much longer bracelet, or you could just use less stitches in each ring (using a no. 20 thread you need to use at least 2/4 stitches less per ring). A bit of trial and error is need here.

Start by winding your thread so that half is on each shuttle (keeping the thread as one length).

Ring No. 1 Make a normal ring of 10 double stitches. You will later attach you jewellery fastening to this.

The next stage uses split rings and both shuttles.

Rings 2, 3 & 4. Split rings of 20 double stictches—10 double stitches made using the main shuttle, flip the ring around and work the 10 ‘false’ double stitches using the second shuttle.

Rings 3 and 4 as Ring 2.

Rings 5 & 6. Split rings of 24 double stitches—12 double stitches using the main shuttle, flip the ring around and work the 12 ‘false’ double stitches using the second shuttle.

Rings 7 & 8 Split rings of 28 double stitches—14 normal and 14 false.

Rings 9 & 10. Split rings of 32 double stitches—16 normal and 16 false.

Unwind both shuttles and thread on your beads—one spacer, one focal, one spacer. You can use a needle threader or bead loader for this (a bead loader is just a long-looped need threader. I make my own using ‘Beadalon’ 0.12” nylon coated stainless steel bead string wirebead jewellery wire. I cut a 15cm length, cold it in half and hold the ends together using a couple of French crimp beads, or tie them. I add a bead or two to make it easier to find when I drop it on the floor). Rewind your shuttles.

Rings 11 & 12. Split rings of 32 double stitches—16 normal and 16 false.

Rings 13 & 14. Split rings of 28 double stitches—14 normal and 14 false.

Rings 15 & 16. Split rings of 24 double stitches—12 normal and 12 false.

Rings 17 & 18. Split rings of 20 double stitches—10 normal and 10 false.

Ring 19—The last ring will be worked as a normal ring of 18 double stitches. Begin by cutting off the second shuttle, leaving yourself about 10cms of thread. Darn this end in to the first 9 double stitches. You do this by making each half of your stitch as normal, cross the thread and before tightening the stitch, pull the end from the second shuttle through the stitch to lie parallel with the ring thread. To work the second half of your ring, take a thinner thread (I use at 30cm length of British no 40) folded in half and darn this in to the next 8 and half double stitches (the fold loop first so that it ends up at the closing point of the ring. Finish the second half of your last stitch and close the ring. Cut the thread from the shuttle, again leaving yourself a working length of about 15 cm. Pass this through ring number 18 (for extra security I pass only a loop of it through 18 and pass the end through that to create a simple knot). Pass the end through the loop on the thread you worked into the last ring and then gently pull the free ends of this thinner thread, pulling the end back through the stitches of the ring.

Trim off the ends, attach your hook fastening to the ring 1 by opening the small ring on the hook and then reclosing it. Your bracelet is now finished, and no ends.


Remember that when you are working your ‘false’ double stitches you must do the second half of the stitch first, then the first half to complete the stitch (and don’t cross the thread as your ring won’t close). This way, when the ring is closed, the stitches all look the same.

When choosing focal beads, remember that heavy metal beads will drag the bracelet. I prefer to use glass beads such as are used for lace spangling, or flatter glass beads, rather than round ones. I also use Thai Hill Tribe silver beads (the flatish round ones that have a raised thread channel) - these are really light and look great.

You can adjust the number of rings in your bracelet to suit your own wrist size, but don't make extra rings any larger than 32 double sticthes, they just don't look right!

Happy Tatting

20 June 2009

Hearts agogo

A change of heart (or hearts)!!! I've abandoned the double sided motifs for now but I need to do one more just to check the pattern a final time before uploading the updated version.

Here I have a problem. A problem with the web site. I've run out of space!! I have two patterns from a guest designer to put on but I can't! I'm prevaricating for another few weeks because I want to keep my janeeborall.com domain name.

A kid (now a young adult) who I taught when he was five set the domain up for me. All I've ever used it for was to point it to the btinternet site. The timing runs out on this soon. June or July, I think. When this happens I will register it again with another provider. Andy has disappeared to t'other side of the world or I'd email him for help. In fact, I've asked several times but I think he must be out of cyberspace for now.

Hopefully I'll be able to sort this and then use the web space I'll get with that to add more patterns.
Watch this space for further news.

Oh, by the way, I'm not clever with computer stuff. Just self taught by the 'hit and miss and make mistakes' method!

19 June 2009

New web page

I was very very pleased and proud to be asked by Bobbie Demmer to help out with her bauble technique about two weeks ago.

The page is now online and can be found here.

I think you should take note of the last paragraph on the page which says -
"Use this intriguing technique and add beads, picots, or cut picots to create critters, earrings, angel’s heads, or whatever 3D tatting your heart desires. Watch for book #4 from the Shuttle Brothers :-)) featuring many unique ways to use bauble tatting."

The first picture below is Bobbie's and so is the dear little purse in the middle. My attempt (first, I might add!) at making the bauble is on the right.

18 June 2009


Now I've got a copy of this DVD and it's megga good. If anybody in tat land needs a good instructional which you can play over and over again at your own speed then this is the one for you.

If you're a needle tatter and really want to learn traditional shuttle tatting then this is the one for you.

Produced by the Ring of Tatters originally to accompany their kits it's now available from them. I've put a link on my web site too so you can't miss it!!!

The person to ask for more information is Lynne and her email address is

Do I sound like one of those adverts off the telly? Sorry, but I seriously think this would be a good buy!!!

17 June 2009

Another bracelet!

I've almost finished my 'secret tats' so took an evening off to make this bracelet!!!

A neighbour saw my blue one the other day and asked if I could make her one in this lavender colour. Trouble is I now want one for myself!!! BUT I need to do other things. Ah, if I re-wind the thread back onto the balls and put the beads away then I won't be tempted!!!

Re-winding thread back onto the balls is something I trained brain cell # 3 to do many, many, many years ago. Back in the age of the dinosaurs!!!

This means that I always get the right shuttle threads matching back to the right balls. The joys of owning and loving
Aero shuttles, eh?

15 June 2009

What do I like about blogging?

Well, that's a little question with a big answer.

I suppose it's mainly that I like talking. Yes, that's it!!! I like talking but nobody around me likes listening to me!!!!

So on my blog I can talk all I like and never worry if anybody's listening!!!!

Another 'reason' for blogging is to keep me on track in my little corner of tat land. Before the blog I just used to make things and that was it - they'd be given away or go into my 'box of bits'.

Now I scan/photograph everything I make and then I can share - well, mostly share but sometimes I have 'secret tats' going on too.

Probably this is why I'm 'filling up space' talking about talking. I'm actually working on 'secret tats'!!!! Honest!!!!

This evening I hope to return to 'auto tats'!!! Things I've made before but am making again for gifts. I love the excitement of choosing new thread and bead combos out of my stash!!!

Orange bracelet

Another of 'those' sparkly bracelets!!!

Each time I get half way through one I start to think 'I really need one in ........ colour'!!!

I actually DO need one in lilac/purple and a neighbour has asked me to make one in those colours for her too. So, if I make one for HER, pretending it's for ME then I could get past brain cell # 3 and only have to make one more.

Do you follow the reasoning behind this? I don't!!! I'm lost!!!

Oh, the pretty large beads came from the Hospice shop. This is the place you can take things to re-use and is just to the side of the big re-cycle skips!!!! You take things that aren't ready to be thrown away but that somebody else might be able to put to further use. It can be the place to find treasures like beads - but not very often!!!

14 June 2009

My new designer bag!!!

Well here's the new bag!!! It's now a 'designer' bag!!!

First of all my apologies to Gina. I removed you from the bag!!! The badge was sewn on with heavy duty thread which proved pretty easy to get off.

No, I didn't tat these yesterday evening - I found them in my stash and thought 'they'll do'!!!!

My sister is up from Southampton this weekend and she'd seen my bag on the blog. This is her blog, by the way.

Well yesterday there was a repeat of the Friday market in town (this happens just twice a month on a Saturday) so she wanted to go look at the 'bag man's' offerings!!! I'll leave the rest of the story to her!!!

13 June 2009

Temptation got in my way!!!

On a Friday in our town there is a street market. This has been held for hundreds and hundreds of years. When I was younger you'd be able to buy almost anything there from fabric to rhubarb, from batteries to watches. Nowadays there are a lot fewer 'useful' stalls but nonetheless I always wander round to have a look and buy fruit. Well, it's on my walk into town so I can't miss the Friday market!!!

I was wandering through yesterday and this bag caught my eye. First of all the badge on it said 'Gina' so that drew my attention. Thanks Gina (tatting goddess) I blame you!!!

Then there was the label which amused me. It says

"Use attention. It will be caused and faded to grit and drench water. Please don't turn back the enclosure at will. don't carry the handle and zipper arbitrarily. Please don't use the pharmaceutical, petrol, etc, while maintaining."

Finally there was the colour which appealed. I took the bag over to the man who runs the stall and said I wished to complain about the bag. I love it when you say that to people and they immediately start to take a step backwards with a defensive look on their faces!

He asked me what my complaint was and I told him - "This bag shouted 'buy me' at me as I walked past". Six pounds lighter in my purse but I'm one happy bunny. Of course it needs something 'done' to it to jazz it up!!!! Tatting?!?!?!

12 June 2009


Another day, another heart!!! I didn't get much done in the way of tatting yesterday as I was babysitting last night.

This was actually finished two days ago!!!

11 June 2009

Lost but not found!!!

Do you remember this bracelet? I lost it twice due to the magnetic catch. Love these catches but they're not for me and bracelets!! I'll use them in future on necklaces only. I found it the first time I lost it, but sadly not the second!!! So, because this was one of my favourites (I wear a lot of denim) I made another (see below).

NOTE - I did not use a magnetic catch!!! I also lost an orange bracelet the same way so when I've got time I'll replace that too!!

Yesterday I lost something else!!! No, not brain cell # 3 - he's quietly working away on something else!!

I know it's here somewhere but I can't find it. A nearly new ball of black thread. Where is it? Can anybody help? I do hate it when I lose something like this!!!! Fortunately I have another ball of black so I was able to play with an idea for a proposed book coming out next year. I'm submitting one or maybe two ideas and hope that one is chosen. Yup, another book of patterns for tat land.

Talking books - I ordered a copy of the third Gary and Randy Houtz book off Tatting and Design yesterday. When I spoke to Lyn she said rumours were flying round that they were giving up the business. I can assure all out there in tat land that the rumours are wrong, wrong, wrong and that they've never been busier!!!! Rock on, Lyn and Mike (or should that be 'tat on')?!?!?!?

9 June 2009

More of the same thing.

Yesterday was 'difficult' in my wee corner of tat land!! Why? Regular maintenance of this main computer caused problems!! Yup, you download software to help and this succeeds in 'not helping'. Finally all was sorted.

This could be the 'almost last' of this session's double sided motif - just need to do a check list on how many I actually need for presents then add a few spares if needed.

While I'm here I must comment on something dear to my heart.

The closing of the tattinggoddesss list.

I follow Gina's blog avidly, and have been torn between commenting on the list and/or the blog and usually find that the blog comment is easier by far. I always have my blog open at the dashboard (in one of the tabs) so I can easily see what the people I follow are up to!!!

Blog commenting is almost a private conversation on a 'one to one' basis whereas the lists are very public. This means that I can say things on a blog more easily and in a more relaxed manner than on a 'list'. I will continue to follow Gina with gusto until the next development happens on the internet!!!

To use an old git's addage - Rock on Gina.

7 June 2009

Once upon a time!

Now this is a mat/doily that I found in that old suitcase of mine a few weeks ago.

I've no idea where the pattern came from and I couldn't get it all under the scanner either!!!
Just goes to prove that I once used to do doilies!!!

6 June 2009

Another view of the motif!!

This one caused me a lot of heartache with the final ring.

One suggestion is to read the pattern CAREFULLY!!!!!

Wouldn't you think that after more than 50 years with a shuttle in my hand I'd learn to READ the pattern carefully? Even my own?

The last part of this one isn't hard but the first part of the last ring is fiddly.

I DO like this pattern though and the picture shows both sides of version two. This is
version one that I posted some days ago.

5 June 2009

Last of this season's bags

I think I've now got enough bags to take with me to tat days!!!

This is the final (and I think the prettiest) fabric. It's a gorgeous print and I've used a lovely deep lilac plain lining for them. I've made four so that I can keep one for myself!!!

I performed a ceremonial 'putting away' of the sewing machine and all the bits and pieces that go with it. I doubt it'll stay put away for long, though.

4 June 2009

Bagging again!!

This is what I made over the space of a couple of days for a friend.

On the left (plain blue) is a regular 2009 style tatting bag with a poke proof pouch lying in front.
My friend brought the shuttle print fabric and her own bag and asked me if I could make one like it. This is the one on the right and it is a lot bigger. I DO hope it's OK!!! The design difference is that it has pockets on the outside.

I actually have a similar bag which I used as a 'model' but decided (personally) that as I'm such a ditz I'd be safer having pockets on the inside of a bag!! Less chance of losing things!!

I'm on the 'home run' for bag making. I've another five or six cut out and 'ready to go'. Some are half done so won't take long to finish.

Once these are done I'll put the machine away and start preparing for Palmetto.

I like to - well, I'll tell you another day. Tell or bore you!!!

3 June 2009

News about my new shuttle

Carol Lawecki left this comment on my blog yesterday which I'm copying over here as it contains interesting information about my raffle win on Saturday:-

"I love that shuttle. I saw that shuttle in a catalog in 1998 and sent away for the catalog hoping to someday order that shuttle. Well I still have the catalog, but didn't order the Toucan Shuttle.

The catalog was called Sebalace and they are in the UK. Here is the address, but I don't know if they are still in business. Waterloo Mill, Howden Rd., Silsden, Keighley, W. Yorkshire BD20 OHA Tele: (01535) 655885. No web site listed.

There was also a fish shuttle and a seahorse shuttle like the toucan in this catalog along with other unique lace related items."

Following on from her comment I also had an email from Rosemarie Peel who also said the following:-

"Dear Jane I tried to write this comment on your blog but of course I was not logged in.

If the shuttle came from Sabalace it probably came to Caroline via the late Audrey Jackson who used to live up in Yorkshire.

She worked for Sebalace when they were still in business before she moved down to Warwick.

Prior to forming the Heart of England Tatters in 1999, I had a tatting meeting at my
house and both Caroline and Audrey came."

Sadly as Audrey is no longer with us so I can't check with her. Thank you, Carol and Rosemarie. This makes the shuttle even more precious. Hmmm, I'd now love the other two in the set!

2 June 2009

Where did yesterday go?

If anybody has the answer could they let me know?

After a messing around sorting stuff out morning, a lunchtime sorting out utility bills - grrrrr - I finally got round to some sewing. I'm desperately trying to build up a stock of bags to take to Palmetto Tat Days. I seem to be fighting a losing battle lately as life keeps getting in the way!!!

In the evening I settled down to tat another dangle but was really too tired to fiinish off the last ring of the round which is a little hard. Still there's always today, isn't there?!?!?!

I've been asked to do a design for an upcoming and top secret publication but so far the muse is eluding me. Maybe I'll get fed up with dangles soon and get cracking on that!!!

Below is one of the pictures that I took at Rosemarie's tatting afternoon on Saturday.

1 June 2009


Remember my friend that I did the small snowflakes for the other week? Well she asked me to make her 10 small (5 ring) butterflies.

I'd done them for her before many, many years ago but had 'lost' the pattern and hadn't got any of her blue thread. I had to ask for both!!!

The thread arrived on Saturday morning with the pattern. I'd forgotten that she doesn't do anything other than rings and chains so her pattern started with a back wing and followed on round with a long picot on the head ring which was later cut for the feelers.

Anybody who knows me and the way I design must realise that I HAT
E ends and will 'work round' them at every opportunity and find ways of avoiding finishing ends.

So the first thing I did was re-write her wee pattern to make the final ring the head using a SR and thus cutting the ends to form the feelers.
The butterflies are done and will be flying off in the post tomorrow!!

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Happy Beaks

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