31 December 2011

Happy New TIAS!

Happy New Year to all in Tat Land.  

I would now like to announce the arrival shortly of a new Tat It And See.  The starting date will be the January 10th.

As usual I will announce each part on on this blog and on the TIAS blog

The introduction can be found here and gives details of what you will need.

Let the fun begin!!!!!

30 December 2011

Karen's first butterfly

Do you remember that it was Karen who started the quest for a 3D butterfly?  I am absolutely thrilled to show you her first of the new 3D butterflies here.  Karen is a relatively new tatter.  Actually she helped a great deal with getting this pattern 'sorted' as her questions led to constant improvements.  I finally asked Karen when she'd learnt to tat and she said this:-

"Hi - I first picked up a teach yourself kit mid 2009 after watching a friend of mine try to teach another and thought now that looks interesting.  I sat for for several Sunday afternoons in my mum's garden getting very fed up and cutting  off one attempt after another   I tried several times and finally got the flip,  I then started to follow a few you tube vids and finally started following very simple patterns around Dec 2009,  I then joined the tatting group around mid 2010 so about 2.5 years since I first picked up a shuttle and about 18 months since I started tatting  properly.  LOL no I take a challenge head on and am a devil I hate being beaten."

29 December 2011

More of the butterfly!

Here is the butterfly with beads on the lower wings.  I actually used four colours on this one - not that you can tell!!!
There are two shades of green on the lower wings which show up fine but the contrast between the blue and the variegated on the upper wings doesn't show so well.  

I'm going to make another!!

28 December 2011

The story of a butterfly

Now a few weeks ago I was asked if I knew where there was a 3D butterfly pattern.  The person who asked (Karen) said that she had one from Monica Hahn's book.  She worked it up and it was a tad too large for her project.  I then pointed her at two in Teri Dusenbury's books but she hasn't got those books.  I think they would've been too small for her project too.

Then I thought of this butterfly here on my own site and pondered it's possibilities.  Off went 'you know who' (# 3) and he came up with the one below.

Now the resident expert on all matters pertaining to critters and who is my bestest EVER critic (he always tells me the truth) said 'wow' when he saw it.  So, I present you with a 3D butterfly.

Now this isn't as hard to work as it looks.  The top wings are made first and cut and tied but the bottom and body are worked all in one whilst 'adding' the top wings.  There are no sewing in of ends as the feelers are the ends!!  I added the bead in the centre of the body 'just because'.

27 December 2011


Yes, that's me and I LOVE it.  

On the Monday before Christmas Sue Anna wrote and said she'd mailed me a packet.  That was the 19th December.  So I started looking forward to it's arrival between the 25th and New Year.

Guess what?  Royal Mail got it to me on the 24th - Christmas Eve!!!  You know what I'm like when I've got new threads in my life - I grabbed an Ezybob and instantly started winding.  Then I realised I hadn't take a photo to show you all what a lucky, lucky old git I am.  Thank you SO much Sue Anna - I will take 'revenge' in the New Year!!!

As you can see - in the packet was Marilee's new book.  Signed (see bottom photo) too.

That brings back memories of the day I met Elgiva Nicholls back in 1976 at the Lambeth Town and Country Festival and bought her latest book off her asking her to sign it.  Little did I realise the value it would add to an otherwise splendid book.  So, Marilee, it won't be long before my ancestors (aka my kids) get their mucky mitts on my stash (after I'm gone, I hope!) and sell your book for squillions on Ebay because of the signature!

25 December 2011

Reporting on Christmas!

So far, no disasters and no drama.  

Not eaten too much, not drunk too much and a new edging design well under way. 

How's that for December 25th, eh?

24 December 2011

And one for MEEEEE

Two more bookmarks.  
The lilac one is for my friend Ros - it's her birthday on the 30th.  Finally decided this would 'suit her' as she loves lilac.  The other is for me - at last.  My present to me!!!  AND IT WORKS.  I must say (sorry, it's bragging) that this is my bestest idea EVER.  I'll make more for the shops (Etsy and Folksy) once I've sold two or three more.

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have all those new Lizbeth threads at my fingertips!!!  I've got them all in one box and the bestest part of all is 'cracking open' a new bag!!!   I love the fact that they arrive in the bags but they take up room in my storage system.  When I get time (and the inclination) I will order one of the thread holders which look fabulous online.

I also love my stash of HDT - that stays in a big ziplock back by the side of my tatting chair.  Where else would I keep it, eh?   It never goes back in the tatting cupboard where it 'should' be living!!!

23 December 2011

Bah Humbug - Christmas!

What does this time of the year mean to me?  Well, as a non believer in anything it's often been something I'd rather 'do without'.  I've had some terrible Christmases like most people, I guess.  

Nowadays I find it quite useful.  By that I mean it's a good excuse to buy presents, eat, drink and see the grandkids.  Really, though, I consider Christmas to be a good 'anchor point' to get things 'done by'!!!   

So this year the main thing that we decided back in November (or was it October?) needed doing 'before Christmas' was a new front door.  Easy - just ring our favourite 'window and door' people and get a quote.  Fine, quote arrived, deposit paid and then we realised there were cables running through the frame of the old door.  Importantly the telephone cable!!!  Telephone means internet and no internet would mean total disaster!  So a day was spent trying to organise that and now everything has had to be postponed til January!!!  That's 'after Christmas'!!!

The garden reorganisation DID happen and that's looking good.

Then there's been the washing machine which sprung a leak this week.  Mind, that took two attempts to get sorted!!

Still so far it beats the years I've spent dealing with the 'man on the roof' incident (trying to get a crime number from the police wasn't easy), trying to speak to NHS Direct (on Christmas Day), having to sort out plumbing problems for my dad (again on Christmas Day) and last year spending Christmas Eve in A & E after digging the car out of the snow!!!

21 December 2011

More lovely tatting in Chile

It's so good to hear from Irma again.  I'd sort of lost touch with Chile over the past few years for some reason or t'other.  Still we're back together again.

The first two pictures show work from Anita Muñoz and the third is made by Lily Brieba.  At the bottom is Irma's own version of the Snowflake 2004 - least I think that's what it's called!!!  Ah, just checked - it is and it's here!!!  How clever to find a small finding to replace the centre ring. Now I must go hunting in my stash to see if I've got anything like it.  Such pretty colours, Irma.

Irma said this "All jobs were different despite having the same instructions each of the girls put their best effort in carrying out their work.

Greetings and a big hug and thank you very much for spending part of his blog to Tatting is done in Chile."

20 December 2011


Today I'm going to show you pictures of Anastasjia and her cute little daughter called Margarita I am also showing my attempt at her little motif. 

The motif is challenging but when you've got the second repeat really simple and very pretty.

I have also added the pattern for the edging that I showed you the other day.  Here's a link.      the pattern for the edging (which is here) and the motif (which is here) have been added to the 'guest designer' section of my site.  Soon Anastasija will have her own web site but she's a very sensible lady and makes looking after Margarita her priority.  

19 December 2011

Hospital waiting rooms

Last week Nick had a hospital appointment and as we were a bit early out came my tatting.  I'm not a great one for tatting when we're out and about - crikey, moses, I need a break sometimes!!!  

Anyway, we were sitting there and suddenly a male nurse and two, three, four others descended on us all fascinated by it.  One of them even took my email address to get in touch with me for links on how to shuttle tat.  Will I end up in hospital teaching tatting while Nick's getting 'sorted'?  Who knows!

On the way back I mentioned all the excitement it had caused and he was heard to mutter - "Hurrumph, that's what happens when you get one nutter and a bit of 'string' - people are fascinated!!!"

Before you ask - I didn't clout him as he was only stating the truth (and I was driving at the time)!!!!  I did give a lot of butterflies away so must replenish my travelling kit sometime!!!

What was I making?  The small SCMR butterflies which are here.  Oh, and here below!!

17 December 2011

Another batch!

Well here's what's been keeping me busy the last few days!!!  Although sales in the shops have been slow they certainly haven't been via my big mouth!!!!

I've had a return customer who ordered the panda - she missed the one I had in Etsy earlier this month so bought a seahorse instead.  That arrived safely in the USofA and she then decided on a panda next.  It's always good to have a returning customer on something like this as it's reassuring to know your daft ideas actually work!!  Anyway, I digress.  The new seahorses and snowflake were ordered by a neighbour - after a 'good gossip' earlier in the week.

The sewing part of these is done in the conservatory which we don't heat.  Can you imagine me sitting there in the cold (but not tooooo cold) room sewing?  I've got it down to a 'fine art' now.  I do all the preparation in the warm and then dash out to sew.  

The other day I was halfway through when a couple of guys came to collect the garden rubbish that they'd left after a day's 'landscaping'.  There I was with two double doors open while wheelbarrows passed by me.  Needless to say I scarpered and came back to it later after they'd gone!!!

16 December 2011

Tatting in Chile

This is some work I've recently been shown by Irma in Chile.   She and her friends have found a supply of metal inserts rather like the ones I used here.
Here are the pictures she sent me.  At first I thought the purply one was mine!!

What a lot of lovely neat work.

15 December 2011

Christmas card

A few weeks ago Karen of Crafty Ideas here in the UK (click on the link!) popped into my inbox.  She's learning to tat.  She has a wealth of craft experience behind her so it's no wonder that she's taken to the shuttle like the proverbial 'duck to water'.  Quack, quack, quack.  Sorry, couldn't resist a bit of stupidity!

Anyway over the past few weeks and despite being probably the busiest woman I've ever spoken to, she's managed to make her own cards WITH this snowman on!!!  She sent me one and it's perfect.  I've been meaning to make some myself but - well I keep getting distracted!!!

Must admit to those who don't know me too well, that I'd forgotten this chap!!  He's lurking here (no danger of him melting at the moment as it's SO cold).  So if you live anywhere near East Sussex it looks as if you could be in for a treat if you visit Karen's shop.  Wish I lived close by - it looks like a treasure trove.

14 December 2011

The snowflake

It's done and dusted and floating in cyberspace in all it's 'glory'!!!!  Here's the link.

In the end I changed the orinal pattern slightly adding some very small picots to stabilise the points on the SCMR's.

Then I did two versions using two colours and a split chain and two SSSR's.  Sounds complicated but I'd rather it be seen as 'stimulating'!!!  Obviously you can avoid the  split chain and SSSR's if you really, really love cutting and hiding ends!!!  Is there anybody 'out there' who does?!??

Here's the final of the final of the very last one.  Least I think it will be but I keep wanting to make them so we'll see!!

I would love to contact Gina Shilitani but each time I reply to her email message it bounces.  Any help would be appreciated - I'd hate her to think I was ignoring her.

Finally my apologies to people to whom I haven't replied to messages on Facebook.  I heard the other day that some messages could be found in the 'other' box and darn me - so there were!!!  Some were SO old there were mushrooms growing on them!

13 December 2011

Anastasija's edging

You are NOT going to believe this.  Just the most beautiful eye candy I've ever seen.

Anastasija sent me this picture a few days ago.  Isn't it amazing?

12 December 2011

The final

First of all - does Gina S (@tampabay.rr.com) read this blog?  If so can you try emailing me on another address - every time I try to reply to your message it bounces on me!!!  I have the answers for you!!!

This is the last of these - I keep promising myself!!!

When I get a 'bee in my bonnet' I can't leave a design alone.  This one intrigued me as I wanted to use two colours in it but didn't want the 'fiddle' of cutting and tying.  So I decided to 'wing it' and this is what happened.

There's one split chain and two SSSR's with the second thread hidden in the first half.  Really, really not hard - I promise.  AND the best thing is - I've written the pattern down for myself!!  Do you think it's worth putting it on my web site?

10 December 2011

Something to do with pink!

While I've been working on the TIAS during the day I've been very pleased to have something relatively straightforward to play with in the evening.  

Again this is a modification of my Snowflake 2004 but this time I've worked it with two threads.  Plain and variegated.  Now for this to work you need to know how to do a split chain and a SSSR (hiding one thread in the first half).  There are two SSSR's and one split chain so it's not that bad.  Good practice too!!!

Can you see - I'm still playing with the new thread?

9 December 2011

Day 3 from Anastasija

Today I'm going to show you the explanation that Anastasija sent me.  Well you should've seen it yesterday but I forgot to schedule it as I was in a hurry to get out of the house!!!  

Can you see the progression?  Very interesting.

The thread she has used here looks very slippery to me and would be a challenge on it's own.  I'm hoping to try this myself this evening.

7 December 2011

Day 2 from Anastasija

Now the next subject we talked about (which I find VERY interesting) is the SSSR (single shuttle split ring).  Now when Anastasija sent me this conundrum I was deeply involved in the TIAS and I'm afraid I didn't look at it closely for a day or so.  When I did I just couldn't 'see' it.  Here's how she explained it.

"During designing I come to a question how to tat with one shuttle following the shape of SCMR? And tried to make half moon SSSR. I perform the 1st half of this ring as usual, then rotate already made knots upside down towards myself - so now they are looking down, and the other half perform also as usual. When tighting the half moon the knots have a tendency to make a ring, but they should be formed with fingers to the needed shape. Of course it's not ideal half moon, but you can see what was made. I have previousely noticed that if I tighten SSSR too hard, It's halves become unequal, so in half moon I did not make less knots in innere half. Only in the last one I made 1 knot less - and it looks like semicircle =)))
It is microfibra thread. I should try also with cotton."

It wasn't her explanation that was a problem - I think it was me just being plain thick!!!  Anyway, Anastasija then uploaded a youtube video which made it very, very clear.  Here's the link.

Please listen to her daughter talking in the background - I couldn't resist turning up the volume to hear her.  Here is a photo she sent me but there will be another tomorrow explaining it all.

6 December 2011

Let me introduce

Anastasija who lives in Russia.  

I had an email from Anastasija a week or more ago and she said (blush, blush) that she uses my tips and techniques section on the pattern pages a lot.  She wanted to ask permission to use them to teach other people in her town of St Petersburg.  Naturally I was very, very happy to say yes.  

Anastasija's English is excellent and she's a very pretty lady with a dear, dear little girl so talking to her is a lot of fun.  I am so impressed with how much she's learnt in the two and a half years she's been tatting.

This is what she's found out about pearl tatting in her own words:-

"2 days ago I looked through "Tips and techniques" on your site, noticed "Pearl tatting-the easy way" and thought, what it will look like if we make only half stitch with each shuttle? I also remember that something like this was in macrame technique, and found it in the book published in1986 (see photo1, the right side), it is called there "the double loop". I tatted a sample, it turned out to be more narrow in thickness than pearl tatting. I wanted immediately to design a pattern with this I do not know how to call it. It is very convenient to tat it holding shuttles like in pearl tatting. I hold the part that is already made firmely with thumb and 2nd finger, ball thread (in my pattern it is shuttle thread) is stretched, 3rd, 4th and 5th fingers stand together and do not move at all. Half stitches are performed round the stretched part of thread between 2nd and 3rd fingers. Sorry that thread is of the same colour - photo 2, 3 and 4.
So it is 3-shuttle edging, 2 shuttles are with white thread. 

Below is picture she sent.  More from Anastasija tomorrow.

5 December 2011

A busy weekend

My posts may dry up slightly for a while as I'm behind my self induced schedule for the TIAS (Tat It And See).  I'm also trying to keep up with bookmarks as they're slowly selling from both Etsy and Folksy.  In fact I've added two more here in Folksy over the weekend.

Oh, I have a very exciting introduction to make over the next few days.  A new delightful young lady and a technique of hers.  All will be revealed!

3 December 2011


Yesterday was birds - today it's bells!!!

I decided yesterday that I couldn't avoid Christmas any longer and had to get on with sorting it!!  So the grandkids presents got wrapped, cards and letters done and that meant I HAD to finish off the bells to put in the letters!!!  They just needed hangers but I needed to kick myself into doing them!  Now they're done, done, done.  Before I started 'hangering' them I tossed them on the scanner.  I did arrange them so that they were all facing the right way up, though.

Must say that I love this picture of them all - well those that managed to get onto the scanner!!!  I'm sure there are a few more somewhere in the muddle I call home!!

2 December 2011


Before I start - just a reminder that the book and leaflets here on Ebay are finishing tomorrow and that the WFM bookmarks are here!!!  I guess I should've mentioned that the Norma Benporath book is probably a 'collector's item'.  Still, that's what comes of having the brain of a nincompoop!!!  Sorry about the 'plug' on the bookmarks but I am SO excited about them!!!!!

Today I just HAD to show you these little birds that Sarah made from the robin pattern.  I couldn't resist them.  The top three pictures are how they came to me but I wanted to see what they'd look like all sitting in a line!!!
They remind me of birds sitting on the telephone lines here in the UK although we don't have many so beautifully coloured as these.  The red one even has a tuft on his head and looks just like a red cardinal.  I've always wanted to design one of those and now it looks as if I might've already done so!!!  Thanks, Sarah.

It always fascinates me when I go to the USA to see all the power lines overhead.  I always think that must be dangerous in high winds and/or freezing conditions.  Gives me the heeby jeebies just thinking about it.

30 November 2011

Sorry but more of the same!!!

Two reasons contributed to the first one on this post being made - first I'd forgotten to put the Pink Cocoa away (liar, liar, pants on fire).  Secondly I thought Ros might like one in the colourway that I suggested to Handy Hands.    But knowing me there may be more for me to decide to give to her as time goes on!!!  Ros is an avid reader so maybe I ought to give her two - now, where did I put those shuttles?

Over the past few days I've been VERY busy making more bookmarks which I've now added to the Etsy shop - no more in Folksy at the moment until I'm sure that people are visiting it.  Once I get bitten by an idea I can't easily let it go.  What does that say about me, eh?

I've added one or two of the new motifs below this one.  Mind, on second thoughts I've already listed Ros's cocoa so (what an excuse) I'll have to make another!!!

29 November 2011

The new bookmarks

Just a quickie today to let you know I've re-listed a tatting book and two leaflets on Ebay.  This is the link.  Also the answer to yesterday's puzzle was Snowflake 2 (used to be on a ring).

I'm obsessed with making these Wrap It, Flip It and Mark It bookmarks although they're proving to be sloooow taking off in both the Etsy shop and the new Folksy one.  Can't think why but ANY suggestions would be welcome!!!!

Here are some more motifs waiting to be finished - actually the colours are a lot better than the scanner is showing as I've a feeling that it's not feeling very well.  Once these are made up I'll take decent photos of them.  I'm not sure which one of these will be put in the shops but one will become my friend Ros's birthday present which is the week after Christmas.  She's SUCH a good friend she deserves a really pretty one.  Trouble is the more I make the more I think the latest one is the prettiest so none of these might be hers in the end!!

I love this new (ish) snowflake which is a variation of this one.  I didn't use a SCMR (and added a few vsp's too) as for this purpose it would've 'stuck out' too far and would've caught on the pages of the book - maybe, perhaps or possibly!  If you want the 'amended' text do shout.  I've not got any drawings with it - yet!!!!

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Happy Beaks

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