31 December 2015

Further progress on patchwork

Every time I finish a round on this patchwork I think to myself (and BC3) - well, that's nearly done now. Then I look at it and think about clearing up all the fabric and bits and bobs and I find I can't let it go - well, not yet!!!

So, here's where I am now and I'll be adding more to this!!! I think it will only be one more round or it'll become too big for the table it's supposed to be used on. It's not a big table!!!

30 December 2015

Bubble gum bauble

The urge came upon me a few days ago!!! I realised that I'd been suffering withdrawal symptoms due to 'lack of baubles' in my life!!! Sad, isn't it?

So, what to do about it? Well, obviously the answer is - make a bauble!!! 

To really understand and come to terms with a technique I can't 'sit and study' the written word or pictures. I have to simply 'do it'. So, that's what I'm going to do - make baubles to understand more about them.

You'll see that in this one I've started making it on a split ring finding. That means the knots don't have to be hidden inside and it also gives me something to 'hang on to' while starting. By hooking all the ribs round the finding (and the ball/shuttle thread) it means no knots!!!

The bottom is interesting too. First I added beads to each rib (and the ball thread) and then took each thread back through the beads (except the bottom one which remains as the 'anchor') to sew in or 'lose' (tied in a knot in the middle).  The final shuttle thread was taken through a last group of beads but then taken through each of the bottom beads of the other groups and back through it's own group leaving just the one end to sew in.  

28 December 2015

Tat It And See - 2015

Ah, bet you thought I was going to be talking about the upcoming TIAS!!!! Well, no, you're wrong!!!

I'm actually talking about number 116 of this year's game which arrived - well, not going to tell you anymore as you'll have to go and see it over on the TIAS blog which is here!!! 

I'll show you the picture, though - just to tempt you to click!!!

Don't forget - start date for TIAS 2016 is in roughly ten days (January 6th).

21 December 2015

Just saying!

I'm going to take a few days break from blogging. Least, that's the plan but whether it works or not remains to be seen!!

The reason? Well, not run out of ideas as I can always talk tatting but need to get the ancient head sorted and other 'stuff' settled too.  Baubles are the main thing on my mind at the moment when I ought to be thinking of new stuff!!!!

I thought this might be the time to remind you all that the TIAS starts in less than a month. The link is here to the introduction and explanation of what it's all about.  In fact, (YIKES), just a couple of weeks or so!!! I'm SOOOO looking forward to it.

Please don't forget me (and my blog) or I'll feel mega lonely. I need y'all (as those folks in the south of America) would say. I'll be back with the TIAS shortly and hope you all have a lot of fun.

19 December 2015

Even MORE!

Just when you thought you'd been spared from MORE snowflakes here they are again!!! 

Now interestingly the top two or three are using a thread I was given by Edda Guastalla.  The thread actually has a glittery element in it which is well twisted with the main thread which could be polyester or cotton.  

I must admit I wound it onto the shuttles in great trepidation as I was sure it wouldn't be easy to use.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  It was really really easy to tat with and gives a lovely sparkly effect too.  In fact when I offered this selection of snowflakes to friends to choose from the red ones went very quickly.

18 December 2015

New friends and a new shuttle

Look what arrived a few days ago.  All the way from Australia.  A beautiful shuttle.  The flower is the Cooktown Orchid, the state emblem of Queensland, so Judith told me.  It's much, much prettier in real life.

The shuttle came from Judith Connors who I had the pleasure of meeting in Canada.  I must admit I was nervous about meeting her as she's such an iconic person in Tat Land.  A true expert whereas I dither at tatting, Judith has become a guru on the craft.  AND you should see her work.  WOW.  

Now, the ladies in the picture below the shuttle are Terry, Judith, Ruth and (the dozy one on the far right) - me!  I can't tell you how wonderful those three ladies were.  I'll never be able to thank them enough for their hospitality and the truly wonderful time I had with them.  Can't WAIT to go back.   

17 December 2015

Look what I found!

When I was tidying up my tatting corner the other day I found a nearly halfway finished Rachel (a pattern in Rosemarie Peel's Tatting for Pleasure book) here in a bag!!  I think I must've started it before my trip to Canada and left it behind cause I was using beads and I DON'T TRAVEL WITH BEADS!!!

Well by that I mean - I don't tat with beads while travelling!!!

I think this must be my favourite colour combination of colours and beads for this design - so far.   I say 'so far' as I'm bound to do more of these dear little mats.

15 December 2015

A sunflower

I saw that Janemactats had been making this pattern last week and then actually saw Amanda's mum the next day wearing the one I'd made her way back in 2003.

This pattern was made for her (Amanda's mum) as her daughter loved sunflowers. I'd met her out walking one day and she was telling me that it was the one thing she and her husband collected in memory of her daughter.  So that day I went home and designed the sunflower.

Over the past weekend I spent time making the pattern a little more 'modern' and updated it. You can find it here and then I took this new one round to Jacqueline yesterday.

14 December 2015

Fancy scarf thingy

When I was out and about in Canada with Kelly we went to a Michaels. Well, I think it was Michaels but it was a great shop with lots of beads and interesting 'stuff'.

Kelly spotted a ball of yarn which she said was great to knit with and so I bought a ball. It was really weird (but easy - ish) to make up into this scarf. The colours are gorgeous and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of making it up. Thanks, Kelly for prompting me to buy it.

12 December 2015

Patchwork progress

The top picture is where I am at the moment. Well it was until I changed my mind over those two little triangles sticking out at the top!! They've been cut off now.

The bottom picture is what I'm now planning to do - although I may change my mind several times before it's finished!!

I've got a feeling that there will only be two more rounds after this to fit the little table. I may well be wrong, though. I really admire people who can plan this sort of project in advance. It's well beyond my capabilities!!

11 December 2015

Two more teeny tiny snowflakes

Still playing with the snowflakes. In fact I've done lots more since I showed you that lot the other day. Good thing is - they're disappearing as fast as I'm making them. More 'stuff' out of the house which is the main reason for making them. 

Well, that's not really true - I'm enjoying making them as they're fast and simple for a brain free OG.

9 December 2015


This is my therapy!!! 

I really love making these and as I was asked for one recently it felt like the time I needed to return to therapy.

I now go to two craft meetings a week. Mainly for the tea and chat but also to work alongside other crafters. On the whole the Tuesday group knits but a few sew and there's a card maker there who loves my little SCMR butterflies.

Well yesterday the badminton group, who meet in the hall next door at the same time, invited us in for a Christmas 'nibble' - or two!!!  I got chatting to one of the badminton group and she was very interested in what I was doing - this week I was working on the bracelet below.  So, next year she's going to come and learn to tat. We had a quick session this morning and she picked up the 'flipping flip' straightaway. There are two others in the craft group who also showed an interest too. Who knows - maybe they'll become tatters too.

8 December 2015

Bored with these

I'm bored with these Chrystal snowflakes!!! Doesn't take a lot to bore me once the design is done. 

Having said that I also get bored with designing too!!!  Can't please myself either way sometimes.  

So I may as well keep quiet and get back to the shuttles, eh?

7 December 2015

Tat It And See

Finally after a pretty stressful few days (major computer failure and 'stuff') I've finally got the introduction done for the TIAS (Tat It And See) 2016 finished.

The link is here and it's also on the TIAS blog too. I've managed to make some adjustments to the TIAS blog to hopefully 'cheer it up' in appearance.

Meanwhile just to have something to show - here are a few snowflakes to keep you amused!!!  Another addiction nearing it's conclusion, eh?

5 December 2015

During a tidy up

I simply had to tackle the tatting cupboard once again. The second picture shows you just a small part of the - hmmmmm, 'problem'. 

The reason it gets in such a state is because I've never QUITE got BC3 trained  to put things away properly.  I try with bribery and corruption but nothing seems to work.  Well, not since I gave up on chocolate over a year ago in my quest to lose weight.

The top picture is one of my 'finds'. Over the many years of being on the internet I've been given samples of threads. Wonderful - but me, being me, has always kept them 'for special things' and the stash has kept growing and growing quietly in a corner.  This tidy up has prompted me to use them so I'll show you another day what I've been using some of them for.

3 December 2015


Having 'done' the big patchwork I'm surprised to find I'm still 'in the mood' to do another. This time I do have an idea of what I'm aiming for - a small cloth for an occasional table in our living room.

The last one which I did many, many MANY years ago was made using tiny hexagonal pieces and I fussy cut some of those to highlight certain parts of the print. This really appealed to me as it was only recently, whilst researching for the last project, that I learnt that the way I'd done that cloth was using fussy cut - as far as I know in 'those good old days' it didn't have a name!!!

Anyway, here are a few pictures of progress so far.  The last picture is where I am at the moment!

2 December 2015

Jane's Christmas mouse

Now Jane from Canada is suffering from 'mouse addiction'. Can't say I blame her and am dying to make more mice (or other baubles) soon.  She and some other friends from the Toronto area traveled to Indiana for a weekend of fun and lots of tatting with (among others) the Houtz brothers.  

Here is her Christmas display.  I can tell you a secret - Jane is a HUGE amount of fun just like the other Canadian lasses.  This is what she says about her picture:-

"Mice get ginormous and grow antlers and Santa hats"

Actually I have a little rabbit to test tat for Darla sometime and I should be able to get to it soon. Where DOES the time go?

1 December 2015

A BIG mystery - what is this for?

During the current and HATEFUL tidying up of the tatting cupboard I came across these useful 'tatting things'!!!! 

They were in a sweet little packet alongside some buttons and bits - sewn into the clear packet too so a lot of effort was put into this little gift. Sadly due to my dreadful packing of the suitcase (not helped by having it searched by some security or other) I lost the plot on where they came from. Thankfully the search people didn't take my wonderful bottle of Maple syrup or if they had there would've been BIG TROUBLE.

Anyway I'm putting a picture below in the hope that somebody will be able to help me. I'm SURE they're useful for tatting somehow but BC3 hasn't been able to figure it out!!!!

30 November 2015

More shuttles

First of all some blatant advertising!!!  I'm not ashamed of myself for doing it either!!!  Just want to ask you one simple question.  Where can you buy 15 tatting patterns for just CD $20 which is USD $14.95 or GBP £9.95 all plus postage.  Well, the answer is here from the Fringe Tatters.  fringetatters@gmail.com  These lovely patterns are all available on their calendar so, as they only have just a few left, dive in quick.  

There are more shuttles listed here in my Etsy shop. A mixture of Pop A Bobbin Shuttles and post ones.  Well I hope there are some left by the time you read this!!!

I think that anything sent within the next week should make it to it's destination before Christmas. Obviously with Royal Fail I can't guarantee that but I can guarantee that this OG will toddle down to the Post Office each day to send out any orders. 

This is what I listed in the shop yesterday lunchtime.

3 CHERRY £18.00 with hooks 
3 APPLE £18.00 with hooks 
3 PEARS £18.00 with hooks 
3 AMERICAN BLACK WALNUT £18.00 with hooks 

2 PEAR £14.50 
1 CEDAR £14.50 
1 SNAKEWOOD £16.50

28 November 2015


I very nearly forgot to show you the finished patchwork. How silly is that? I suppose it's typical of me - once a thing is finished it's of no interest to me!!

It turned out to be just the right size to use as a throw for the back of the sofa. Least it will be when I find it again!!!

I'm so pleased with this attempt at patchwork that I've started another!! 

No, not hexagons (well, not many) and no, not big either!!! I'll show you another day!!!

27 November 2015

A teeny tiny snowflake pattern!

I've got a lot of Bob-eez (they seem to have many spellings!) with small amounts of HDT on them. I really, really need to free these up so I can wind on other new skeins of HDT that I've been given or bought over the past two trips abroad!!!! 

So, what to do with them? Well I decided to make this little star in my doodles section to put in my 'carry about with me' container which is always in my handbag.  Normally I carry two shuttles, loads of bobbins full of thread and make the little SCMR butterflies which fly out every time I tat in a public place.  Not that I do that a lot!!!

Then BC3 reminded me that it's almost the festive season!!!!  

Anyway - I realised that if I changed the little star slightly it would turn into a snowflake!!!   So, here it is OR here they are!!!  I can make these very quickly and will continue to bore you with them until I've released a few more Bob-eez!!!

26 November 2015

Robin's snowflake

Today it's all about Robin's snowflake which is shown below.

I just happened to be 'quick off the mark' when she asked for test tatters and I must make some comments about her pattern.

It's really cool. Clear, precise and easy (even for somebody with only three brain cells) to follow and she uses standard notation which I really appreciate instead of calling 'stuff' new names which would cause me to be forever referring to the abbreviations. What I particularly LOVED about it is that it's only two pages. I despair of 'fancily written' patterns with lots and lots of white space and 'silly' fonts (not easy to read for old eyes) and GINORMOUS pictures/diagrams. I think the 'fashion' for these has come from an idea that if you sell a pattern the buyer expects 'lots of value for money' and the pattern is expanded as much as possible. I've often been tempted to buy patterns (well, sometimes!) and the thought of having pages and pages of 'fancy stuff' on oodles of pages with a veritable storm of snow white space just puts me right off.

I never ever print off patterns - not even my own. I really don't see the point of wasting ink and paper on something I may never do many times so I always work from the digital copy or scan a book page and work from that. Habit formed over years of writing the darn things down, losing bits of paper, finding them and then not being able to understand what I was on about!!!

24 November 2015

Little box!

I'd forgotten this little box. This is a pattern that Judith Connors taught at the Fringe Tat Days. I was lucky enough to be in her lesson and started it off there. Finished it when I was at Terry's house and finally stiffened it when I got home to the UK.

It's a sweet little box and a joy to make. The flower on the top wasn't a good choice to make so one day I'll replace it with something better.

23 November 2015

A bit of a teaser!!!!

Before you all start worrying - yes, I'm still tatting. Can't break the habit of almost a lifetime, can you?

Today I'm showing you further progress on the patchwork. This photo was taken a week or more ago so and is well out of date as the item is actually now finished!!!!

As you can see - this is the back of the 'whatever it is' with all the papers in.  I tried another way of sewing round the papers which I thought was a brilliant idea. 

It involved just turning the fabric over the paper and catching (just the fabric)  at each of the corners. This meant no sewing through the paper which made it much faster. BUT I soon found that the papers quickly 'popped out' when I was sewing the patches together   So I went back to the original method of sewing through the paper. Not that it bothered me and it was a good experiment. Maybe I did something wrong so I'll wait for guidance from proper patchwork people over where I went wrong!!!!

21 November 2015

A tit for tat

If you didn't know that's rhyming slang for hat!!! 

I bought the most GINORMOUS ball of wool from Michael's the day before I left Canada. Ruth kindly took me on a visit to the one that was closing down near her house. I figured that I'd still got room (if I sat on it) in my suitcase for the wool!!! This is what I made with it along with a pair of socks for wearing in bed when the poor old feet are cold!!!!

This is a very old pattern that Sally shared with me. I think she said it was about 30 years old!!! Crocheted and a lovely shape too. Shame the weather isn't cold enough to wear it yet although 'they' say it's going to change today!!

Oh, since these photos I've added a yellow button to the centre of the flower.  Now I'm 'good to go' but need to decide when and where to go!!!!

20 November 2015

A bit of a failure

I'm a bit ashamed of this but I'm going to show you anyway. This was one of the gifts I came back with from Canada.  A lovely sort of oval shaped piece of linen with a great pattern to make it into a holder - for hanky's I think.  Anyway I didn't do a very good job of it at all as I've mis-counted the holes and really made a mess of it.

BUT Abbi (aged nearly 8) thought it was pretty and happily took it home.  Just goes to show that somebody who's been tatting waaaaaay too long can still make a mess of things.  

The lesson for new tatters is - don't worry even ancient ones still don't get it right but it made one little girl happy!!!

19 November 2015

A bit of tatting!

Just for a change I'm doing a bit of tatting!!! I know this blog should be about tatting but sometimes I veer off course - particularly at this time of the year when I'm sorting out the TIAS!!!

This is another of the Crystal snowflakes. I love using colours but really must make one or two in white as that's more 'traditional'!!!! 

We've had terrible winds recently and we've got a noise from the roof. Not sure what's causing it but it sounds as if something is banging against a chimney pot. Result? Lack of sleep!!!! The arial man is coming to see what it is next week so I'm hoping that the wind will go away until then!!  

18 November 2015

This year's gloves

Now this year I decided that it would be quicker to knit some fingerless gloves! That was my first thought - not only to save time (although I'm not sure at my age what I'm saving it for - time, that is) but also to have some knitting on the go.

I set off using one pattern and then decided to go back to the one I used last year for yesterday's gloves.  I thought that putting in 'short fingers' it would be more comfortable to wear these than having no 'holes' to put my fingers through.  Time will tell and once it's told me I'll tell you!!!!

I love this colour - got the wool from Canada and it's easy to work with.

17 November 2015

Last year's gloves

This is a pair of gloves I knitted last year. I had made a pair of socks out of the same grey wool but when I was heading to the fingers on the first glove I could tell I may not have enough to finish both. 

I headed into the wool shop without the original wool and took a guess at the right shade of grey!!! Hmmm, I'll leave you to decide whether it was a good guess or not!!! I have my opinions.

Why am I showing you now? No idea - just found the photo on my computer and thought it was about time I shared it.

Are you wondering what's happened to the tatting lately? Well, lots of shuttle work is going on but mainly it's about the TIAS. That has now been 'chopped up' and drawings and pages have been created. Next step is to test tat it again from those pages. Heading that way later this week.

16 November 2015


Well I uploaded the new amended snowman pattern as I told you a week or so ago. Then Elizabeth contacted me to ask where the original one was!!! I sent her a copy of the original and told her that I would put it back on the pattern pages - must do that. Keep reminding me, people!!! 

I've never had a good memory - I tend to think that what's past is past and stuff I did then I can't undo so I really don't have an excuse for not having a good 'remembering' thingy in my brain!!!

14 November 2015

Last Rachel

Nearly forgot this one!!! 

The last of the Rachel motifs by Rosemarie Peel that I was working on.  I did this one on my travels so therefore - no beads.  I don't travel with beads - too dangerous.  Once dropped forever gone!!!

I worked on this in Birmingham airport departure lounge, in Terry's house, Ruth's house and finally in Toronto airport's departure lounge.  An international motif you could say!!!  A little bit here and there!!!

12 November 2015

Martha asked me a question

But I don't know the answer, really. 

I'm looking for the answer from 'you out there' so please if you know can you tell me? 

The question is about the patchwork I showed you yesterday. Martha asked what I did with the seams when I'd finished - did I press them open or all the same way.  Well in the dim and distant past I have pressed them open like they are in the attached photo (here they're just tacked into place, of course) but thinking about it I've no idea if that's the right thing to do. 


11 November 2015

Something different!

Here's what I was talking about yesterday.   Remember this?  Well further progress has been made!!!

What I like about doing patchwork by hand is the different stages.  First the decisions on what fabrics to use, then the cutting out of the pieces AND the cutting of the paper inserts (thank you to Howdens kitchens for their now 'redundant' catalogue) and then the sewing of the papers into the fabric.

Finally comes the sewing of the pieces together. 

Once the papers are tacked in I place them around the finished part on the carpet - you're getting lovely pictures of our carpet thrown in for FREE too!!!! Then I take a photo, gather up the pieces and retire to 'tat corner' (with BC3, of course) to stitch them together - referring to the photo when needed. No pesky beads to keep escaping - pure relaxation!!!!

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Happy Beaks

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