30 June 2012

Yes I have been tatting!!!

Yes, I have been tatting - in the evenings while the web stuff was going on in the daytime.  

This is a pair of earwigs that I made the other evening.  It's this pattern but the outer part only.  Can you see how I've added beads to the picot coming through the button's hole?  I LOVE doing this!!!  It's a tad fiddly but well worth the sparkle it gives to a plain button.

29 June 2012

Roundabout pattern itself

Before I start today I want to have a gripe.  I belong to lots of groups on yahoo and on one group I am on permanent moderation as the owner doesn't trust me to post messages that aren't contentious!!!  Anyway, I don't mind about that but what really makes me cross is that my messages (the same messages which I send out to all the yahoo groups) are always deleted and never appear there.  That STINKS in my opinion.  I feel like leaving the group but I do find from time to time that I can help answer a question privately (obviously no good trying to do it in public or my help would also be rejected).  Just so annoying as I can't announce a new pattern or TIAS matters on that group.  Moan over!!

Now for a big thank you for those who have been offering input on the width of both the blog and the web page.  I'm slowly getting there even though I don't understand the web page stuff very well!!!  Keep me posted, please as help is always welcome.

OK, on to more cheerful 'stuff' here it is - the pattern for the Roundabout motif.

Tat's all for now so on with the day!!!

28 June 2012

Shuttle winners announced

The web site is finished and WHAT a relief!!!  I have had somebody say that the front page doesn't fit on their monitor and that they have to move over to the right to see it all.  Does that happen to anybody else?  Is it the settings on their computer or (more likely) is it me and the way I've got it set up?  Any and all comments and help on this would be VERY welcome.

Yesterday afternoon I had the following message from Barb at Handy Hands regarding the naming of the new Aerlit shuttles (for more information visit this post).  CONGRATULATIONS to the winners.  This is what she said.

"We have the winners for the Aerlit shuttle names. So you can post on the blog, we will let them know later. We found that there were several that had the same name idea but the ones that submitted first will be our winners."

Later in the day (early evening) I was told I'd won a set of shuttles with one of my suggestions.  I'm just over the moon and back again - thanks Barb a million times.  Here they all are with their names.  

A strange notion crossed the mind of brain cell 3 - will Barb have a ceremony to present herself with a set of shuttles (see mint chocolate) or will she mail them to herself?  There's a conundrum!!!

27 June 2012

After the scrap bags even more!!!

At the time of this post I have just a dozen or so pages left to sort out on moving the web site.  So yesterday I decided to 'move people' over by putting a big link on the old site to the new one!!!  How's that for genius thinking, eh?  I'll be SO glad when it's done as it's a really BORING job but needs concentration while you do it.  Here's the new link if you don't know where to go!!

So, as I didn't find the last bag was 'quite me' I set off on another adventure.  

This one is squarer and has a zip on the top but under a flap.  Now, I like this one but I'm still not sure it's right for all occasions!!!  I'm such a fusspot.  It's just right for my teaching sessions in the library but not quite big enough for when I go walking!!  Told you I was fussy!!!!

26 June 2012

More about the Roundabout motif

I'm now motoring on the web pages so will soon put a notice on to say that the changes are finished.  I'm 'down in the doodles' section.  Not looking forward to the techniques section as there are so many - BUT they'll be quick as there are only the home page and footer links to do.

Here are a few more of the Roundabout motif for you to look at while I get on with sorting the pattern.

This is a simple pattern OR an advanced (ish) one depending on how you want to work it.  I'll give instructions for both ways but the 'advanced' way has the megga advantage that you only have the finishing ends to deal with. It's worked from the inside to the end without any cutting and tying.

25 June 2012

About Aero shuttles

Before I start - progress on the web pages is going well.  I'm about to start on the heart section today or whenever I get some time.

I had a message asking me to clarify the differences between the Aero bobbin type shuttles so I'm going to try and see if I can explain it - as I have fathomed it.

Milwards and Aero were, the same company and were at one point part of Needle Industries in Redditch - a few miles away from where I live.  This is an interesting link.  This also makes sense from what I know too.  Another link here is interesting as I read somewhere that the molds for the shuttles were destroyed in a fire but here it would appear that it was the records which were destroyed.  As my ex husband worked there after this date and found shuttles still there then I feel that it was simply that the mold was taken over to Germany for manufacturing in that country.

The company started off making the Milward black shuttles with the 'dip' in them and the hook with a green ribbon on.  I started life with those at the age of 13.  Then I tried the 'new' grey Aero ones as they had the integral hook.  It wasn't until I bought one with instructions on on how to load the bobbin and which way to put it in the shuttle that I became comfortable with using them.

So from what I've gathered over the years I thought there was just a Made in England grey bobbin shuttle.  They were easily available and cheap so I suppose I never gave them much thought.  Then the making of the shuttles was re-located to Germany and some of them were a bit problematic.  They even tried using carbon hooks on them as I've mentioned in a previous post - a disaster.  I got round the odd problems with the German ones by swopping bobbins and they used to work fine for me.

Barb actually told me the following last week which goes to prove how little I thought about it.

"I do not know if you know this or not but there are 2 different old shuttles.
1.       “Made in England” – this is all it states on the shuttle and is the OLDEST original one-in my opinion is the BEST and those that have this one agree it is the BEST!
2.       “Aero Made in England” – this is what it says on the shuttle, this was made second and has a little different design in the middle where the bobbin is.
The “Aero Made in England” one – Pony and Susan bates tried to copied this one.
The “Made in England” – this one is the same as the original Made in Germany ones. – but the mold was used so many times and needs re-worked it finally lost its click click."

At the end of the day it's all down to the skill of the mold maker and the type of 'plastic' which is used, I think!!!!

23 June 2012

These things are sent to try us

I'm SOOOO fed up with BT.  They're our isp and they suddenly sent this message which you can read below.  This means that EACH and EVERY one of my files has to be changed on my web space.  

A few years ago I decided to buy space on freeservers for the excess files which wouldn't fit on the BT free space but I kept the main home page with BT.   Now I've got to change every darn link in every file.  

Fortunately I did upload the entire site to freeservers when I first bought in so at least I can find stuff there - with a bit of 'research'.  Now every image, home page link, other links and all the footers have to be changed too.  I'm also cross as it does appear that they'll give us very little final notice so I need to get it done quickly so I can find the links on BT easily to 'match' to freeservers.

Soon you'll see a message on the BT front page saying that I'm moving but I want to get more done before I do that.  I've done the animal section (that's taken almost three days) and I'm going to go down the site in a logical order except that I've not done the Tips and Techniques section as there aren't any images to link to - I'll leave that until last!!!

So, please if you're interested do bookmark this page as my new home page while I slowly and painfully work my through.  At a guess there are roughly 300 files that need 'attention' and I can get probably 8 done in an hour!!!  If you find links that are wrong in the animal section then please let me know.  I'll update you on progress.

22 June 2012

After the scrap bags - more!

Now you've seen the larger shopping/tote style bags and now (sadly for you!) you're going to see what happened next!!!

This one is a simple box shaped bag with a fold over flap - like a messenger bag.  I like it lots (ideal for carrying a phone and an ipod touch when walking) which is really what it was made for - but.  It's not quite right for me.  It's perfectly made but there's something about it which isn't 'quite me'!!!

Don't worry - it won't be thrown away as it'll become a gift for somebody or even, maybe, a part of a giveaway sometime in the future.  I just love to play!!!! 

21 June 2012

More on the shuttles

Now I expect most of you out there in Tat Land know about Handy Hands and their offer of 25 free balls of thread if a colour suggestion is chosen for the Lizbeth thread but what you may not know yet is Barb's latest offer which I for one am thinking HARD (ooooh, brain cell # 3 is HURTING big time) about too.

She's offering a full set of the Aerlit shuttles (see this post) for suggestions on what to call the colourways.  Below is her last message to me and pictures of the colours.

"I have attached the colors the color on the left is the shuttle color and color on the right is the bobbin color. We are looking for names for the combination so if someone comes up with a name they will win a full set of ALL the colors. There you can see we have some named mint chocolate."

I've added them all below including the already named set (mint chocolate is second one down) so that you can see the colours and a good idea of the sort of name that Barb's looking for.  

PLEASE don't try too hard cause I want to win a set!!!!!  Mind, I'll have to give brain cell # 3 a rest after this - he's working SO hard on it.  If you come up with a suggestion then please email Barb - her address is here.  

Here's another post about the Aerlit shuttles too.  I didn't know that Ambitatterous was testing too!!!

Seriously - good luck to all of you. 

20 June 2012

Fantastic shuttle news

Not Pop A Bobbins, sorry.

No, this time I'm showing you the prototype new Aerlit shuttle from Handy Hands which will be available in the Autumn (translation to American - Fall).  Barb has spent a lot of time and effort finding a supplier to make a replacement for the original Aero Made in England shuttle.  She very kindly sent me a couple to try out last week.  These (as you will see - cause you're all clever) are black but they are going to be in colours which will be fantastic when working with two shuttles.  I have resorted to a 'blob' of sharpie on the shuttle I use as shuttle 1 just to try to remember which is which when I'm using England Aeros!!!  What pure joy it will be to have different colours and us bobbin shuttle users will be able to play catch up with all the post shuttle people who have Starlit, Clovers, Sew mate and other 'varieties' of shuttles to play with.  You will no longer be able to brag about colours over us boring bobbin shuttle users - so THERE!!!

Now I set off with great enthusiasm on Friday to try the pair out.  They were stiff but the feel of them is EXACTLY like the original Aero England.  By Sunday I'd changed bobbins (yes, Barb sent spares) and now they work just as I like them.  Actually I don't think the stiffness has anything to do with the bobbins - the shuttles just had had no work experience until I got them put 'out to work'!!!  There's just enough tension on the thread and no screeching noise when I pull it.  I'm totally and utterly in LOVE.

When I mentioned this initial stiffness to Barb she did say other test tatters had found the same and that they do need a little breaking in.  I'm going to start saving now for one of every colour.  Roll out the Autumn when they arrive in the USA.  I'll be there drooling and ordering.  It'll be SO hard to have to wait but I'm a patient OG.

19 June 2012

Roundabout motif part 3

So, after I'd killed the last trial it was a case of starting again in the middle!!!  After another evening or two I came up with this.

Next problem was 'what do I call it' so I asked Sally who suggested it looked like a roundabout - the sort you see in Children's playgrounds.  So it's got a name now!!!!  Quite nice when you've got a name, isn't it?  Now to tackle the drawings and getting the text and drawings put together.

After that a space of a few days to allow myself to forget how I did it and then I'll try the pattern again - to see if it makes sense to me!!!!  

18 June 2012

Final bags

OK, here they all are in all their glory.  I actually made six of them.  I kept thinking of reasons for making more every time I started sewing!!!  Fronts on the top photo, backs on the next and then the fronts of each bag.  

Note - one of the bags has no tatting on - that's for Sally so she can add her own.  I'm going to give one of the bags to the Palmetto tatters for them to do 'what they like' with to raise money for 'whatever they like'!!!!  They usually put any extra money towards their scholarship fund so that would be good.

The other four?  I have plans for those!!!!  Not telling what at the moment but you can bet they'll not go in my Etsy shop as I'm sure they'd never sell.  I'd have to ask waaaaay too much for each one to pay for the time involved - least I think I would.

Actually I've no idea what they'd be worth.  Any suggestions?  OR put this another way - what would YOU pay for one?  They're fully lined and washable.  I have a 'tamer' version of a scrap bag that I've been using for about three years now.  In fact, it's this one and it's been through the washing machine a few times too.  I use it most days!!!

16 June 2012

New design part 2

Now this is what happened the next evening - I made another using decent thread which usually means I'm happy with how the design is going - nearly 'there' would be the term I'd use.

Hang on, you may well ask, (or again you may not ask and may not want to know!) where's the bead?  

I attacked it with the scissors - I DIDN'T like the way it was going and it's now got a naked middle.  Back to the 'drawing board' again.

Mentioning drawing - I never draw up potential designs until they're done as they're usually nowhere near right if I do.  I might do a quick sketch on Eazydraw if it's an animal that I'm  going to work on but that's only to get the general outline.  I NEVER do it for a motif.  Perhaps I should!!!  There again - why change the habits of a lifetime, eh?

15 June 2012

Bags - again

First today I'm going to show you the scrap bags with all the pieces pinned on.  At this stage I'm ready to throw in the towel as it never looks very good.  Changes of mind happen every five minutes too!!!

After ironing, though, the piece takes on a new 'life' and look so much better.  The next part of the process is to stitch down all the edges.  That's another two hours or so per bag!!!

The following pictures are (first at the top) - just been ironed.  All the fabric is now reasonably firmly held in place.  The Second pictures shows the front when it's been stitched down.  Finally the third picture is the back of the stitched bag.

You can see now that I'm working on several bags at once.  Well, women CAN multi task, can't they?  Even this OG manages it once in a while!!!!

14 June 2012

Starting a new design

Sally, my sister, bought a lot of shell beads a few weeks ago (see this post) and that reminded me once more about this necklace which I bought recently.

So, off I went to try something out.  The top picture was my third attempt (plain green) and it's looking - well, scruffy I think!!!  I always use threads I don't like when designing.  Well, threads that I've gone off for now so that I don't waste good and pretty ones.

Next evening I had another go at it and that's the one below.  What a MESS!!!!

More on this disaster another day!!!

13 June 2012

Beaded purse.

Before I start - Joanie has pointed out that I didn't tell you where to get the new book from.  The one I boasted about on Monday by Kelly Dunn.  Here's her email address for you to contact her.  Sorry, Kelly.

Now I'm not sure why I made this.  Honestly - that's the truth.  It's this pattern but made a little larger.

The one thing that I did try this time is to work the flap in one 'hit' too.  Ah, that's probably why I started doing the whole thing!!!  I like a small challenge!!!

I did this by using a 'whole' split chain (by that I mean just leaving a bare thread space before the last ring and then working split chain knots backwards over the bare thread) and then a split ring to travel from each row to the next on the flap.  I really love tatting just for the sake of it rather than writing things down as I go!!!!

I may make a handle for it one day - or there again, I may not!!!! 

Not sure if you can see but I've lined it with a purple lining as there's a purple tinge to the big bead - it's a carnival bead.

I suppose you could keep a couple of shuttles in it as it's about that size.

12 June 2012

The day job!!!

Now this is what I've been doing during the days for the last few weeks.  No, don't be silly - not housework.  Well, that's not strictly true as I spend a lot of energy avoiding doing it so sometimes it's easier just to 'hit the designer dust' where it hurts most.

No, what I've been doing is using up the scraps left over from making roly poly bags etc.  I have a 'thing' about throwing stuff away that may be useful so I decided to use the scraps to make what I call 'scrap bags'.

This is the start of one.  I am using that sticky back vilene or whatever it's called in your neck of the woods.  I lay the vilene down (sticky side up, of course!) and pin each piece of fabric on.  This takes roughly two hours per bag as I keep changing my mind as I go.  Plus, of course, the tatting takes an evening or slightly more too.  This one will be the size of a shopping tote - when it's finished.

BUT there's no point in getting out all the fabric and only make ONE so you might as well make a few.  Know what I mean?  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!!!!

11 June 2012

I'm a WICKED woman

I mean that.  I tease people unmercifully and sometimes they retaliate.  Read on!

On Saturday the postman came and as I rarely get any post I wasn't interested until Nick said that there was something odd about the post that had arrived for ME.  The sender was from Canada but there was an English stamp on it!!!  VERY strange.  

The package was from Kelly Dunn who I admit I tease about her being a needle tatter.  I've been desperately trying to convert her to a shuttle for years!!!  I wondered whether I should call the police or national security before opening - after all there might have been a letter bomb inside.

Well with great trepidation (I really mean excitement) I opened the package.  Took seconds as I was dying to see what was inside.  Do you want a peek?  First of all there's a pattern book.  I see that Kelly has been busy during her enforced time without work.  Well done - some lovely hearts in there.  Do hope you get a job soon, though.

Next there was some lovely tatting which is down below.  Also some 'toys' for the OG to play with too.  Thank you, Kelly.

The mystery of the English stamp was explained in a note - her family are over here in the wet, windy and cold UK at the moment so they mailed it for her.  There I was thinking there was an assassination plot ongoing!!!!

9 June 2012

FORCED into tidying up!

It's been raining for days and days and weeks over here and I'm going rusty.  I've run out of excuses now so decided I'd really have to tidy up the computer or the house.  I read Diane's post here the other day and thought about my tat corner and decided it really wasn't that bad!  Well it's worse than Diane's but not bad!!!!

Late yesterday morning I went to add another blog to my list that I follow on Blogger and was told by the 'powers that be' that I couldn't follow more than 300 blogs.  

WHAT? I don't follow that many, do I?  Well I must do.  So off I went to 'sort it out' and tidy up my list.  It took an hour and a half to go through them all on the dashboard and through reader but I've taken off 67 blogs.  

The criteria I used was to eliminate any blog that hadn't been updated for over a year and also blogs that had drifted away from tatting.  I'm always keeping a beady eye open for new tatting blogs so any suggestions for me to add to my following list would be VERY welcome as I now have room and I don't want to get bored!!!  If you think I took you off by mistake or start up your blog again then please let me know.  The 'following' list isn't the same as the blog roll which you see on the right side of the blog.  Those I try to keep to a few of the most active tatting 'bloggers'.

Interestingly I noticed while I was doing this that I now have 392 followers.  Not that I believe that as I expect a lot of people have drifted off and forgotten about removing ME from THEIR following list!!!  Actually I guess that it should be 391 as Gina (tattinggoddess) was a follower too and she's no longer sadly able to see my ramblings.  Now that I've mentioned it I expect that number to drop like a stone as people realise that they're bored with reading my ramblings!!!!  Ain't life fun - and WET!!!!

If you value this Old Git then please, please, PLEASE send some sun my way.

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Happy Beaks

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