3 October 2009

Fishes galore!!!

This is a picture of a 'boy' chain that Jane made.

Isn't it lovely?  She went off to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe last Tuesday and took gifts for the children of the friends she's staying with.  Lucky kids.

While she was there she met up with Judith and they had a mini 'tat day'.  Here's a bit out of her message:-

'Judith showed me how to tat using more economical hand movements, which I've been trying earnestly to use since I got back home! I showed Judith how to tat over the ends at the beginning of her work, which should save her a lot of sewing in ends. I left some doilies with her, which she's going to show to her tatting group and put on the Bulawayo show next year. Oh, and Judith gave me a clover shuttle and I gave her some thread I'd dyed. Judith gave me copies of patterns for edgings, which she has 'translated' from old patterns into more modern style.'

2 October 2009

How to load a shuttle!!!!

As most of you know I'm a shuttle only tatter!!  Born and bred to it.  I did once try the needles but as they're not traditional and didn't give me a good result they were soon abandoned.

What always surprises me about shuttle tatters is the various ways they start to load their shuttles.  I've seen so many struggle with tying to the hole in the bobbin or the hole in the centre of the post shuttles that it amazes me that they ever get started!! 

Life can be so much simpler if you use a slip knot.  Let me tell and show you.

First make the slip knot.  Easy peasy.  Start like this leaving about a one and a half inch end.

Pull a loop through the loop and then wrap this round the shuttle.  Either the bobbin type or the post type (with the post type you obviously have to go through both ends).

Tighten around the shuttle and wind away from the knot so that it tightens.  The small tail will help you to get the end bit off the shuttle when you've finished.

Hope this helps.  I always wind back my thread onto the ball I've been using.  Mainly because so many shades are so close to each other and once or twice in my tatting 'career' I've had a nasty shock when I've thought I'd got the right shade and it's been 'wrong'!!! 

1 October 2009

More Palmetto pictures

Now I get teased unmercifully by the Palmetto girls.  It was a few years ago that I discovered where they 'hid' the ice cream at the last venue that they used.  I didn't find it until the last evening meal and then every time I went to get some I was called away!!!  Frustrated?  You betcha!!!

So then Tat Days was moved to White Oak where - HORROR of HORRORS there is NO ICE CREAM!!!!

This year dear Bonnie Gieger was determined not to let me go a whole weekend without ice cream.  Joanie picked me up (along with Hope Green) from Columbia airport and off we went to Bonnie's for lunch.  YUMMY - this wasn't just ordinary ice cream - it was home made ice cream and chocolate too WITH chocolate chips in.

Thank you Bonnie.

Must tell you about the evening after tat days when Hope, Joanie and I 'invited ourselves' back to Bonnie's to eat again.  WHAT a nerve the three of us had, eh? 

We did take the makings of a meal (Joe and Bonnie cooked the salmon which was delicious) and - guess what?  Bonnie made MORE ice cream and this time it was coffee.  Want to see?  Here's a photo.

Now you didn't really think you were going to get any, did you?

30 September 2009

Palmetto pictures

I'm not going to show you many 'normal' pictures of tat days - mainly because I didn't take many 'normal' ones!!

Each time I'm lucky enough to go I make a pact with myself to take pictures of my students.  Trouble is I get so involved with the teaching that I forget!!  Always want to put too much into a short time.

Anyway, I digress as usual.

The first picture I want to show you is of my winnings after the corn hole game!!!  This is the link to that post.

Pam and Jerry Freck kindly presented me with the popcorn (DIY variety) and the lovely scarf.  I can't wait to get back over to play again.

Thanks must go to Joanie Culverhouse who actually put up with me at her house.  I'm not much of a guest as I'm so distracted by the hummingbirds and the other birds that she feeds.  Joanie - you're a star.

29 September 2009

One of my favourite tatting tools.

A few years ago I discovered this type of safety pin - a coilless (or, coil less!!) one.  It's about 2 1/4" long and doesn't have that 'bit at the end' where you always get the threads either caught or on the 'wrong side'!!!

I now cannot tat without them!!!  I'll show you  why and what I use them for.

Firstly I use them to hold bits and pieces!!!  These are the small centres of motifs, tiny butterflies and anything which might otherwise get lost down the side of the chair.

Secondly I use them to make a very small picot space.  It's not really a gauge but it's sometimes useful just to 'mark the place' of a vsp  (very small picot) which might otherwise lose itself!!  Sometimes they do that if you put a vsp at the base of a chain or even sometimes when working block tatting.

Thirdly I use it to 'hold' beads on a very long picot.  It leaves enough of a space at the end to enable a join (later) which is very useful.  In the 'To Bee or Not to Bee' pattern which I taught at Palmetto it not only held the beads at the end of the first very long picot in the tail - it also held all the others too.  This meant that I only needed one 'holder' for the entire tail - fewer safety pins/paperclips to get muddled up!!!

Finally I use it for this trick.  It's a neater way of making the first split ring after a ring (when CTM can't be ued) - OR of adding in a 3rd shuttle  like when making Millie and Carrrter which were two patterns I taught at Palmetto tat days!!

You add the second thread whilst working the first ring.  Just put the safety pin on the end of shuttle 2, hold both shuttles together and work a few doubles to cover both the ends.  (See below).  Now, of course, you can do this without the safety pin but I used to pull that short end out time after time by mistake.

When you're ready to start the second side of the following SR you can pull the shuttle up so that the safety pin lies next to the ring.  Don't take it off until you've worked the SR and then tug it before cutting and the end will hide itself in the ring. 

PS you can buy these in the USA - here's a link.  http://tinyurl.com/y8vpsy2 
I ordered mine online in the UK.

28 September 2009


Before I start my morning's ramble I must tell anybody who drops in that I've started listing the bags (and some tatting) in Etsy again.  

Just realised after my post yesterday that I'd actually not put that edging on my web page!!!  Thanks to Maureen too for checking!!!

Then I also remembered that a heart I did for a few special people hadn't been 'made public' either!!!  So, please take a look.  You may not be really interested but as I'd got nothing much else to say today then I'm sorry - tat's the end of tat!!!

Oh, here's a picture of the heart - good practice for the 'other' way of closing a SCMR!!!

27 September 2009

Handkerchief edging - finished AND sewn on!!

'They' say that miracles never happen.  Well, here in my small corner of tat land they sometimes do!!!

I not only finished the handkerchief edging but I also sewed it onto the cotton.  Actually I hand sewed the hanky itself a few months ago.  These 'blanks' were a batch I bought probably twenty years ago and they were machine sewn and not straight.  Well, not to my eye!!!

I cut off the excess round the woven section where the weft and warp were slightly whiter and hemmed them up along the outer 'line' of white.  I used white sewing thread for this. 

However to add the edging I used invisible thread - known by me as 'nightmare' thread!!!!!  Still, keeps an OG out of mischief!!!

I'll check later to see if the pattern is already on my pattern pages.  Not sure as it's been a long time since I last 'inspected' that area of my life!!

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
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