30 January 2010

Introducing Robin the robin!

I'd like to introduce you to Robin the robin!!!!  

Named after a friend of my sister's, whom I have never met (and who's name IS Robin), I wanted to show you this wee chap.

Sally asked me if I could make her a Robin a few weeks ago after she'd posted this one on her blog.  So this is what I came up with.  Not an easy task as there are so many colours in the wee chap.  Brown, black, red and white.  

As you know I'm not a lover of sewing in ends so it was a challenge to get to do this without too many ends.  Still, after re-writing it only once I did manage to avoid a few!!!

I've listed a couple of Robin's robins in my Etsy store.  I know it's a bit stupid at this time of year but I SO wanted to share him!!!!  Here are a couple of pictures of 'the bird'!!!!

29 January 2010

Playing around with leaves!!

Last week Sue Anna sent me a lovely gift of some threads and odds and ends.  The threads were some of Yarnplayers.

I've resisted buying the HDT's as I've always thought of them as variagated threads.  I'm not very fond of variagated threads.  That's just ME being an awkward old moo.  I can get on with them if they are gradually changing colours but stark changes frighten me.  I'm not that fond of them as the main 'element' in lots of patterns but DO work with them quite a lot alongside a plain.

Sorry, I'm rambling again - it's what old people do when they get - well, OLD!!!

So, one day I was looking at Yarnplayer's HDT and spotted celery amongst them and thought - hmmm, that looks good, very good.  Imagine my delight when two skeins (1 size 20 and another size 40) were in the bag from Sue Anna. 

I couldn't wait to get my mucky mitts onto using them and eventually I got there!!!

This was the project I'd got in mind and it's just the loveliest thread to work with for these leaves.  The thread 'glows' alongside the beads which sparkle.  Aren't I a lucky old git?

28 January 2010

Secret Santa - follow up or IS ERIN PSYCHIC?

I was so surprised when my secret santa showed up but when I opened it and saw one of the items inside my stomach turned before I burst out laughing.

Why did my stomach turn?  I thought that Erin was psychic.  I'm not sure if you can see on the previous post as I didn't want to make it look too obvious.  

This was what was in the package.  A fat quarter covered with Normans and Aileens!!!!!  Now what AM I going to make?!?!?

27 January 2010

Final day of TIAS 2010

OK, this is the link for the final day and hopefully the beginning of a farmyard full of roosters.

You will see on the final day that there is more for you to make.

I would love to welcome all the roosters to come and take their places on the TIAS blog!!!!!

Thank you ALL for taking part. Without you all this would've still been an egg!!!!

26 January 2010

Mary Konior

Since the death of Mary Konior two weeks ago I've thought a lot about this lady.  I never knew her or anything about her but her books were published at a time when I needed to tat something different.  Most of my books and leaflets up until then had been the old Coats and Penelope ones with just doilies, hanky edgings and antimacassars in.  I think of her with the following memories of how and when I bought the books.

Back in 1985 I bought her first book just after publication.  I can't fathom where I got it from as there's no sticker in it to say.  It cost me the sum of £6.50 though and it has my married name in it so I was 42 when I bought it.  This would have been at a time when I was happily married with teenage daughters and a full time teaching job.   The book is A Pattern Book of Tatting. 

Her next book came out in 1988 and is the one called Tatting in Lace for which I paid £8.50.  Interestingly this hasn't got my signature in it but the following year when the next book came out I have signed it again with my married name.  That book (Tatting Patterns) again cost £8.50.  I can even track the time of year I bought this book as my ex 'went walkies' in November that year with my friend.  So I must've bought it earlier on if I was using his name to sign with!!!  I ditched 'that' surname shortly after he went and returned to my proper name!!!

The final book was published in 1992 and is called Tatting with Visual Patterns.  I must've REALLY valued this lady as I was having a tough time around then financially so to pay out £14.99 on a tatting book was a BIG DEAL.  It must've been an 'egg on toast' week that week!!  It was a real inspiration to carry on tatting.  

Which is my favourite of the four?  ALL of them.  I've enjoyed many hours not only making up the patterns but also just browsing these wonderful books.  

Thank you, Mary for being in my life when I needed you most.  We never met and never will but I feel I know you through your work.

25 January 2010

Day 10

Here is the link for day 10 which is again very straightforward!  

Day 11 is still scheduled for Wednesday.

24 January 2010

Day 9 - out NOW!!

Here's day 9 with just two more to go!!!  

Please just check before you go on that you DID join the last part of the last chain to ring 4 on the top of the (dare I say it?) wing!!!!
Here is where I mean - see the highlighted part of that chain.

Ch: 5 Lj (vsp last Ch above join btwn R12 & R18) 1 + (p above R4 – holding it on to p of the Lp’s) 6  Lj  (1st vsp last Ch) RW SS

Thank you to everybody who reassured me yesterday that they were managing TIAS.  It was SUCH a relief.

23 January 2010

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear

I'm worried.  VERY worried.  My inbox isn't quite empty but it's not heaving with finished day 8's like I expected.

Is it because everybody in Tat Land had given up on the TIAS?  

Is day 8 too hard or is it because it's badly written?

Is it because it was just a 'Friday' thing and nobody's had time to do it?

Is it because nobody wants to play anymore?

I wish I knew.   

All answers on a postage stamp to moi!!!!!!

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear

I'm worried.  VERY worried.  My inbox isn't quite empty but it's not heaving with finished day 8's like I expected.

Is it because everybody in Tat Land had given up on the TIAS?  

Is day 8 too hard or is it because it's badly written?

Is it because it was just a 'Friday' thing and nobody's had time to do it?

Is it because nobody wants to play anymore?

I wish I knew.   

All answers on a postage stamp to moi!!!!!!

22 January 2010

Day 8 out NOW!

Just when you thought you were on the 'home run' here's day 8 with a few 'twists and turns'!!!!  
As usual - if you have any problems just email me on lovetotat @ gmail.com.  I'll be here to help - promise!
Also after this I will be 'hotting things up' as a lot of people have guessed what you're making.  
So, depending on how tomorrow goes my timescale will be 

Day 9 on Sunday
Day 10 on Monday
Day 11 (last one) on Wednesday.

21 January 2010

Talking about Aero shuttles!

An interesting comment on Aero shuttles has been made on Fox's blog here.

I did think about sending out the 'tat police' to arrest Fox for murdering an Aero shuttle  but then thought better of it.   She is after all a tatter!!!!

It reminded me of the one I've been using for about six months now.  I've scanned it to show you.  This is an England Aero but it has a crack.  Can you see it on the first picture?  It goes nearly the whole way across the shuttle.  I cannot bear to part with it until it has finally fallen to bits.  I use it constantly and push the bobbin in and out as usual.  It's still got the right tension, the hook is fine so why should I throw the poor wee thing away?  Then I see murder being committed on Fox's blog.  Ooooooh, I grieve!!!

20 January 2010

Day 7 - TIAS

Here we go - another day and another part of the TIAS!!!!

I'm sure that somebody will guess today - unless, of course, they have already guessed right.

OK I will tell you now that I've had two correct guesses but I'm not going to say who or what they said.  I will tell all when we've finished!!!!

19 January 2010

Secret Santa arrived

My Secret Santa package arrived last week.  Yup, it was late BUT that was really good because it was a surprise!!!   Also nobody else had one last week so I was the only one to be bragging!!!

I'd convinced myself that it was totally lost on it's way from 'wherever' but it arrived safe and sound and it was from that all time one off STINKER called Erin!!!!!!   I'm calling her a stinker cause she teased me about it unmercifully saying that there was a ransom note from her postie on it too.  

What was in it?  As we say here in the little old UK - 'everything but the kitchen sink'!!!!

Here's a picture for you to see.  There will be more on this subject at a later date.  Believe me, Erin, there will be more!!!!

18 January 2010

A coincidence!!!

T'other day I was browsing the blogs (as an old git HAS to do to avoid doing the dreaded H word) and was looking at the HDT's on offer.  I'm a fussy OG when it comes to variegated threads so have never really been that interested until I saw celery by Yarnplayer.  This one caught my eye.  I've got some lovely Lizbeth threads and others in green but really you do need an variegated one for leaves as I found out when I was playing with the beaded one a week or two ago.

Well, having convinced myself (yet again) that I didn't 'need' more thread I wandered off to other blogs.  Well, imagine my surprise AND joy when a packet came from Sue Anne Scriber on Saturday with - go on, I know you're better at guessing this than the TIAS - yes, some celery HDT in it.  Not only 20 but 40 AND some sugar maple in 80!  There were two wee butterflies that Sue Anne had made out of the celery and which confirmed what I'd guessed - there is a lovely graduated colour change in the dying.
Oh in the picture you'll see some chocolates there.  Ummmmm, there was one more but it got 'lost' on the way upstairs to the scanner.

Thank you, Sue Anne for the surprise package AND especially for the lovely letter which came with it - I'm still blushing.

17 January 2010

Day 6 now added

Good Sunday morning to all in tat land!!!

I've just added the link to day 6.  This, along with days 7 and 8 will be slightly more challenging as you do a few changes of direction and adding in and taking out of your THIRD thread.  After day 8 the rest will be 'plain sailing'.

Please don't give up now as you are roughly half way and I'm sure you will like the result!!  I will be here to offer advice, support and extra drawings should they be needed.

Happy tatting!!!

P.S.  I thought I'd just add the following comment from Isa after she'd done day 6.  I asked her (because she was SO fast) whether she'd had any problems.  This is what she said:-
"Yes the was a little difficult but I read all the instructions very carefully twice and after I understanded all.
I'm so happy with this play because I'm a begginer. I'm learned in May 2009 to tatting. Today I'm addicted to tatted every day. "

15 January 2010

14 January 2010

Re-inventing the wheel!

Well sort of.

I'm working on something new and part of it involves this wee sample.  

I did it one way and (as usual, having a butterfly brain) as soon as I'd finished I thought of a better way of working it!!!  So I decided to do just that to find out what the difference would be.

Can anybody spot the difference?  Same stitch count.

13 January 2010

Day 4 is out

Wednesday morning and I think it's now time to release day 4!  How do I know this?  Because my inbox has quietened down!!!  There are one or two to add to the blog but I felt I ought to drag the aged bones out of bed early to post the new link and I'll sort the drifters in later.

There is no such thing as 'being late' with doing the stages of a TIAS.  Take it all in your own time.

11 January 2010

A useful piece of information!!

Yesterday while 'sorting through' and listing the TIAS offerings I visited Isa's blog which is all in 'foreign'!!!!  

Thankfully I noticed a google translating gadget on there so clicked on that.  WOWEEEEE.  It all suddenly became English.  THANKS ISA.  I've now put a gadget on my blog so that anybody can read it - if they're brave enough!!!!

10 January 2010

Day 3 now up on the links

Let's see if I can get the links right today!!!  For those expecting another boo booo on my behalf - sorry!!!!

Here's the link for day 3!!!  Remember this is a 'new start' but please don't lose the other part which you've put to one side!!!!  You WILL need it later!!!

9 January 2010


Well I let myself down yesterday - I made a mistake on one of the blog postings - took me most of the day to find it too.  Thankfully Katie V and Wendy told me about it and Sally pointed me to the right place.  I've been trying to say thank you to Wendy but my message keeps bouncing.  So, thanks, Wendy from here!!!

What had I done wrong?  I'll explain!!!  As we're snowed in (I did manage to stagger out and get milk and bread 'on the hoof' yesterday) I thought I'd have a lie in and read in the morning.  So on Thursday evening I did a draft post but put in the link for day 3 by accident!!!  DUH, where IS my dear number 3 when I need him!!  So a few people picked up the wrong link.  I will NOT be doing draft posts again on the TIAS unless I've had a glass of red wine beforehand which might help, of course!!!  

I did explain to myself that it wasn't really the 'end of the world' as I'm not charging for this so in the end I gave myself a good whack on the bum, smiled and got on with the day!!!!

Tomorrow is day 3 and a whole new 'part'!!!!

8 January 2010

Day 2 now available!!!!

Still 'snowed in' here in my part of tat land.  Beginning to go 'stir crazy'!!!  Who said that I'm already crazy?  I know I am!!!

Anyway, here's the link for day 2.  Now that everybody has got into the swing of it I think I'll be 'hotting up the pace' for a few days although things do get more 'challenging' later!!!!!

7 January 2010

Only 1, so far!!

This is the first of a set of 3 small crosses which will go in my Etsy store later (or tomorrow).

I'm really enjoying doing these but need soon to get back to designing!!  I've got a brilliant idea (with a nudge from a friend) for another ............

6 January 2010

It snowed so I Etsy'd!!!!

Yesterday it snowed here.  Why do I mention it? Simply because it's a rare occurence here in this town.  Even 10 miles away people can be badly affected by snow but not here!!!

So, that's got the boring bit out of the way so now to tell you what I got up to while it snowed!!!!

First of all I launched the Tat It And See and all went quiet.  VERY quiet!!  Is that good or is it bad!!!!!

I decided to list some crosses that I made over the Christmas period on Etsy.  You can find a link on the sidebar to the shop.   I am VERY pleased with these.   There's one with a flowery centre, a Celtic one and an Iona cross design.  I'm not going to put these on my site for a while as I may offer them to other places first.  We'll see!!!!  I used some of Lyn Morton at Tatting and Design's threads - two sorts wound on the page together.  It required care to tat them but well worth it.

5 January 2010

TIAS - Link to Day 1

OK, here you go!!!!!  I'm putting this link on both blogs just so that I 'catch' you all!!!!  

I will publish all comments and work in progress on the other TIAS blog which can be found HERE!!!

Here's the link you've been waiting for.  Happy tats to all!!!!

4 January 2010

All about shuttles

Yesterday I rambled on at length about not needing shuttles to tat with and how tatting is basically manipulating the thread 'as is'.  But when making a larger item it can be useful to own the odd shuttle or 100!!!

Well, today I'm going to ramble about something dear to my heart - shuttles!!!  I started off in tat land using the Milward shuttle as that was all my gran and I could get our mucky mitts on!!!  I loved the 'dip' in it but not the separate hook which usually found it's way down the side of the chair never to be seen again!!!  I then 'progressed' onto the Aero - which I still use and also the Silent Tatter which again I like loads.  BUT I now have another shuttle.

This one is the prototype that Sally's husband is making in their garage.  I haven't told you before because it was sort of TOP SECRET but now I'm going to share my opinions of this shuttle.

Well, it's light, it's wood and it feels great.  During the design progress several improvements have been made and the latest design (which I saw and held yesterday) are really lovely to hold and use.  Nick (Sally's husband) is even making the hooks to fit in the ends!!!!  There's a lovely 'finger dip' in them too.

We've been discussing marketing them and are thinking about doing that through my Etsy shop.  When that will happen will depend totally on the temperature in the 'factory' - AKA Sally's garage!!!  You can't lock a guy in a freezing garage!!!

More to follow on this subject!!!!

3 January 2010


TattingChic and I were having a 'natter' via email a couple of days ago after a remark at her Lace Guild about something and this got both of us thinking and talking!!!  I've had the same thing said to me many years ago when I abandoned the lace bobbins to return to the shuttle.

'They' say that tatting is NOT lace.  DUH!!!!  So off went dear old brain cell 3 into the unknown territory of the internet (without his safety gear too!!).  

First of all IS it lace or not?  The first link I found was this!  This defines for the clothing industry that tatting IS lace.  Then onto Wikipedia for this link.  Very interesting as it certainly does define tatting as lace.  

Another thing that number 3 learnt whilst on his outing was that the definition of TATTED lace was that it was made with a shuttle!  No mention of the needle at ALL!!!!  Personally I always call it a knotted lace made using a shuttle too.

This is really not at all surprising as the current way of needle tatting is a relatively recent idea - certainly within my lifetime.  In the 'dim and distant past' a needle was sometimes used instead of the shuttle to make the transferred knot.  The way the thread is manipulated using a needle nowadays is entirely different to the shuttle method.  I like the name of 'faux tatting' to define the difference between the two ways of achieving ALMOST the same thing.  I tried needle tatting in the past (actually as soon as I saw it advertised back in the 70's).

At first the needle appealed to me as a 'teaching tool'.  One that may help to show people and get them comfortable with the way the knot should look.  I realised that there were WAAAAYYYY too many ends to sew in and the resulting piece didn't 'do' it for me as it wasn't firm and was a a lot bulkier than that which I could achieve with the shuttle.  So tat was the end of tat and a rapid return to the traditional shuttle ensued!!!  

Nowadays there seems to be a 'zone' where shuttle tatting is being 'needled out' (get the pun?!?!?!) by the needlers.  Actually as you don't need either 'tool' I wonder what I'm talking about!!!  

Hang on, what did I just say?  

Actually that's right - you don't need a tool to tat - you can just manipulate the thread without.  Nowadays it's called 'finger tatting'.  VERY useful for many reasons.

BUT you can't 'do' needle tatting without a needle - you can't 'finger tat' it!!!  Tatting IS the formation of the stitch by reversing the thread as a reverse-hitch stitch onto it's own thread. The needle needs something for the thread to wrap round - without which it's a 'lost cause'.  AH, perhaps it could be called 'wrapped tat lace'!!!!  Somebody could then write a rap for the wrapped tat lace'!!!!  

BOY, all that thinking was hard work for number 3 to work out!!!

Hey, ho, this is all heavy going for only the third day of the New Year!!!!  

2 January 2010

Announcing the start

It's all ready to go!!!

TIAS 2010 (well, hopefully the first of many this year).  

Here's the link to the introduction and the start date will be 

TAH DE DAH - hmmmm, hang on a minute let me think.  

What have I got to do next week?

Which day shall we make it?

Ah, here we go - Tuesday 5th January. 

Ah, before you go may I just say thanks to all those people who left comments yesterday.  I honestly didn't think I'd said much that was worth commenting on!!!  I made the leaves during the evening, scanned them on the new 'toy' and then did that 'off the cuff' post!!!  Maybe I shouldn't think before posting in future as I normally do?!?!?!?

1 January 2010

On second thoughts.

On second thoughts and after thinking hard (well for about ten seconds) about the rigmarolle of making New Years resolutions I decided that (as usual) I wouldn't bother.  No point really as I never get past the first day!!

So instead I decided to turn over a new leaf.  Here's one of them!!!!

DARN.  Now I have more decisions - which one do I turn over and what WILL I find underneath!!

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Happy Beaks

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