28 February 2015

House keeping and more

The housekeeping refers to the blogs that I follow.  I spent ages yesterday afternoon sorting them out. 

Why? Well, I went to add another one and got my wrists slapped by blogger who told me I was already following 300 which is the limit they allow!!! Naughty, naughty Jane!!!

So I went on a journey and checked each blog and deleted all those that hadn't been updated for over a year.  It was a sentimental trip as I deleted old friends who's blogs I'd been following.  BUT I couldn't delete Gina Brummett's blog - not yet.  There was one blog left there that I thought I'd deleted ages ago as when I visited it and clicked on a picture it took me to some very suspect places.  It's gone now too.  Frightening as who knows what nasties are on that person's computer.

I've got the list down to 204 now.  Next job is to go and remove from the front of the blog (that's the bit you see on the right side of the posts) those who don't blog regularly and add those that do!!!!  Well, that's the plan but I need another stretch of time to do it in!!!  I just hope that people will let me know of (or that I'll find) new tatting blogs to add.  I'd hate to miss anything to do with tatting!

Just for a change I made a Fandango coaster - and then I didn't like it!!!!  It just wasn't quite right for some reasons - just the colours, I mean.

27 February 2015


I have had one of 'those' weeks when the sort of problems that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy have assailed this poor old git. They're ongoing at the moment and soooo complicated I couldn't possibly explain it all and anyway, I wouldn't want you to fall asleep either.

So, between dashing around yesterday I did manage to finish off the second bracelet and have listed it in the Etsy shop too

Well, I say 'too' but the other bracelet I put in yesterday has already sold. How COOL is that? That'll help pay for the web site when the payment is due later this year.  Thank you my lovely purchaser.

26 February 2015

Bracelet Snowflake

Just remembered that I've made two bracelets quite recently but they managed to lose themselves!!!  I found them yesterday and got this one packed up and listed before I got interrupted by life yet again!

This one is made with Yarnplayer's Snowflake HDT and is soooo pretty. 

As you know I have an addiction to making these bracelets but there are only so many I could possibly wear so I've now listed this one in the Etsy shop here. Hope to get the other one packed up and ready tomorrow. I'll let you know!

25 February 2015


What IS it about my brain? Why do I start something then dither? Have I got a touch of the 'ditherifications' in my old age or have I always been like this? I can answer that one - I've always been like this.

So, I started the diamonds as a 'big project' as I'm just not in designer mode at the moment!!!! I'll get back to that mode in due course, but I do enjoy just tatting for play and without having to think too much.

Most of my life I've used size 20 thread as that was the only size that was readily available when I was a kid. Lately (and with poorer eyesight) I've decided to partly switch to size 40 as well - as 'they' say in America - go figure!!! So I have a smallish collection of 40 threads and want to play with those. 

The centre of this project is made with Lizbeth threads - rainbow taffy (which I always think of as the smiley thread - because it always makes me smile) and 'a green'. Now the pink centre is again a Lizbeth thread for the centre (something spring, I think) and then (and this is where the problem MAY lie) an Olympus plain pink. To me the pink looks like it's a thicker thread. OR is it the colour that's making it look that way? Well, only one way to find out is to fold the motif so that a green one sits on top of the pink. Guess what? The difference is SOOOOO tiny that a blind man would be very glad to see it.

So, onwards and upwards!!  OR does the ditherfication set in again and lead me to something else.  Time will tell!!!

24 February 2015

Making new friends

One of the reasons I love living in this town is because people come here! 

Katte and Darla are in England at the moment taking in as many of the sights as they can fit in during a two week stay.  Fortunately they came through town yesterday and we had a lovely day walking around the sights.  Shame they brought a really cold wind with them but at least they left the rain down in Portsmouth!!!

So, when we got to the theatre and had a cuppa and a bite to eat it was then time to talk tatting.  We highjacked a table and got our goodies out.  Well, they did but I left home in such a rush I'd got nothing with me except what is always in my handbag.

I must say I was very impressed with Katte's tools that she's invented and shared and will tell and show you those another day. Meantime I've managed to scan two shuttles they gave me. The one is made of leather and the other is hand painted bone. It's SOOOO delicate that the lady who does them has to use a magnifying glass.  

You can see the two tourists doing 'touristy things' and taking photos of the Birthplace.  Bless their cotton socks.  OR in Darla's case - hand knitted socks!!!

Great day and thank you both for 'popping in' to my town and getting in touch.

23 February 2015

A busy day

That was yesterday. I spent a good part of the day sorting out the beading section of my tips and techniques pages.

Before I give you the appropriate links I must say that it amazes me that the idea (which I know had never been thought of before) that I had for adding beads without loading them to the shuttle or chain thread some years ago was seemingly ignored for many years!!!!

It sort of amused me as I was using it but nobody else seemed to want to. Nowadays I'm tickled to see it being used all the time but what I find extraordinary is that it's also being used when only one bead is involved. Each to their own and I've found myself doing that too lately!!!!  I'm talking about the long beaded picot.  Now I've simplified that page here and amended the similar (BUT THEY'RE NOT THE SAME!!!) page which is here.

I've also added this page with additions too.  Part of it used to be on the long beaded picot page but I've now made it into a 'floating beads' page.

Not sure if you've seen this before but it's talking about how and where beads can be used in rings and chains.

So, that's what you call a busy day!!!  What else happened?  It rained and rained and rained!!!

21 February 2015


First of all I must mention that sometime today (got to check my listings again) I will be launching the next batch of shuttles from 'im in the garage here in the Etsy shop.

There are times when all I want to do is tat and play. After the TIAS I decided I wanted to do a bigger project but in size 40 thread. I decided on the diamond motif as it's so flipping versatile when you've got no particular plan!!!!
So I chose these colours. The variegated one is Pansy from Yarnplayer and the yellow is an Olympus thread. I decided after two parts I didn't like the yellow - it's just tooooooo bright. Anyway, I couldn't just leave it after using good HDT thread so I completed the six. Mind, knowing me I'll probably decide I do like it eventually especially if I put a darker thread next to the yellow. Hmmmm, that's an idea - maybe I will do just that!

20 February 2015


Just wanted to share some of the scissors that I made while working on the TIAS. I think I must've made nearly a dozen before being satisfied with the pattern!!! 

I'm really pleased with the number of finished scissors that have come in so far with this year's game - we've now got the magic 100 already.  Thank you to all those who have taken part and those who will still arrive. 

19 February 2015

An addition

One of the things I enjoy about the nearly sixty years I've been tatting is that I'm still learning. I have a need to learn all the time - probably because things don't stay in my brain for long as I think it's sprung a leak!  Send for a brain plumber - QUICK!

Remember the page I uploaded a few days ago about putting beads onto a thread before you start? Well Carolyn contacted me yesterday and showed/explained to me her way of adding beads.  I've tried it and it works well.  She said you need to sort of 'train' the needle threader by squidging it so the beads go on a bit easier but that's easy.  It's a great idea so it's now on that page.

I truly appreciate all the help everybody gives when compiling techniques as there are so many ways to do things that I could never manage to learn and illustrate them all.  Anyway, here's the link.

18 February 2015

Shuttles for Etsy

The good news for me is that we're now at 97 pairs of scissors which is, I think, a record for this shortish time after the TIAS.

Now, I have the shuttles below to list in my Etsy shop here on Saturday.  I'm not sure what time I'll let them 'out' but they'll be there.  A lot depends on how busy I get between now and then!!!  Note I can now accept credit cards as well as Paypal too.



The top one here is a Pop A Bobbin Snakewood shuttle and the one below is a Kingwood post.

17 February 2015

Second bead page

Well it rained nearly ALL day yesterday so I found time to do the second beady page.  I've got another one 'in the pipeline' but that may take a few more days.  Also I may re-furbish one or two of the others while I'm in the sorting out mood!

Today's page is about the placement of beads within the work which is a question that often comes up.  I'm hoping this page will help.

16 February 2015

Working on techniques

I've been working away on technique pages over the past few weeks.

This 'need' to add to the 'tips and techniques' section of my website has been brought on by questions asked by beginners in a group (or two) on Facebook and a recent realisation that some of my technique pages are quite useful.  

When I started the original website I was only interested in getting rid of patterns.  I honestly can't remember when or why I started adding techniques but eventually I did.  Actually it was probably to explain some of the things I was doing in patterns.

Then a few years ago I began to think that my printable techniques were 'old hat' when people started putting techniques on youtube.  I stopped doing them for a while but recently I've found that they are being used.

So I'm off on another adventure!!!  I need help, though.  I have 'my ways' of tatting and using techniques so need guidance and information about other ways.  

The first page I've re-done is this one.  Simply putting beads onto threads before starting a piece of work.  If you can add to this page then please let me know.  Simple but probably needs explaining.  

Next project is going to be about beads within/on rings and chains and any suggestions will again be VERY welcome.

14 February 2015


Yesterday it was 'Crafternoon' at Alcester library - the second meeting. 

I have two great friends who I volunteer with on Wednesdays/Thursdays and they'd asked if I would teach them to tat. 

It's ages since I've taught people right from scratch and I found it so interesting.  I realise that my hands are 'trained to tat' and that holding a thread is no problem because of that.  It's hard for new tatters to first of all 'see' the flip and secondly to achieve it.  I try very hard not to be a prescriptive teacher but to watch and see how a new student is comfortable with holding the threads and then work from there. 

Actually they did very well for a first lesson - just hope they come back for another 'go' rather than hit me over the head with a mallet!!!!  If you don't hear or see me after next Friday you'll know that the mallet came to Alcester!!!!

13 February 2015


It's hard to believe that it's two years today since Gina died. She was my buddy for such a long, sweet time.  Although we live thousands of miles apart her quiet humour and patience with me was immeasurable.  A true lady.

I know lots of you have seen this picture before and I was really lucky to take it as we'd spent the whole day together without any cameras being taken out of our bags!! Gina was just leaving (you can see her car keys in her left hand) when I realised and took this one picture.  This was only a few months before her problems started.

Between this picture and her untimely death we spent hours emailing each other and talking about the dreadful fight with the cancer she'd got.  Always, but always Gina was positive so it came as a terrible shock when it won the battle Gina  had so bravely fought.

Miss you, Gina - the TIAS hasn't been the same since you left.  I miss you testing the pattern beforehand.  

11 February 2015

Second version

Now this is the second version of the motif I showed you yesterday.  I went to make one of these a few weeks ago and couldn't follow my own directions.  I was tired and BC3 was on a short break away from me - said I was causing him too much stress.

Anyway, I finally got the motif finished and then decided that I really needed to do the directions again from the start.  It's only the final join that's the problem and really it's easy.  The hard part is explaining it.  In the end I decided to do it with pictures rather than drawings.  I hope this works for you.  Here's the link which I forgot to put on yesterday with this version at the bottom.

10 February 2015

Playing around and updating.

This has always been a little favourite of my older designs.  Not sure why but I think it's cause it makes an ideal pendant.  

Often pendants swing round when you wear them and the backs aren't always as pretty as the fronts.  Well, in this case - that's not so.  As you can see - both sides are the front (or back if that's what you want to call them).

During this 'reincarnation' I decided to add beads.  Well, more beads!!  I've also changed the centre and got rid of a large picot that all the SCMR's had to join to.  Instead I've put in small vsp's and added beads to the rings on the SCMR.

Tomorrow I will show you the other version - IF I remember, of course!!!

9 February 2015


I have two things I enjoy in life - one is my crafts (mainly tatting, of course) and the other is teaching elderly people computer skills.

I teach on Wednesday mornings and nearly all day on Thursday. In the morning on a Thursday the sessions are in Alcester which is a few miles away from where I live. So ten days ago one of the library staff came into the silver surfer sessions and put a poster on the table advertising their new 'Crafternoon' which was starting on the 6th. 

Well, you know who was tempted, don't you? Yes, me. What a wonderful atmosphere in that room. Betty arrived who also attends silver surfers and she had us in stitches. Not the knitting, sewing or tatting ones but the 'can't stop laughing' ones. 

The library staff had kindly baked cakes - YUMMY and provided tea and coffee. It was a wonderful afternoon meeting new (and YOUNG) people who do a variety of crafts. I'll be back next week with a garment a friend gave me which I'm trying to felt as there's a smashing lass there who does that. I'll be picking her brain!!!

Maybe I'll pick up a few tatters along the way but mainly I just loved being with people who 'make'.

6 February 2015

Another new member

First of all - tomorrow will be the final part of this year's TIAS.

Now today I'm going to introduce you to Margaret who has been making baubles for years. I've added her to the exclusive club which you can find on the tab at the top of the page.

"She says:-
"Right, Jane, nice sunny day here at the moment and I've been able to get a reasonable photo for you.
The hedgehog was made, about 10 years ago, at a tatting weekend, from a Shuttle Brothers pattern.
The bee, tatted as part of the Tatters Across Time course, was done about 5 years ago. After all the talk of tatted baubles on your blog, I got busy and did a whole bunch to add to purses for presents!
They sure are fun and the possibilities are endless!
Thank you for including me in your Exclusive Tatting club.

5 February 2015

Chicken coaster/doily

Well this HAS to be the last for a while. I'm not bored with them but need to move on to other things. 

The coaster at the top was made with - mmmmmm, not sure but it's an HDT and a plain. Least I think it's plain!!!   Yes it is in the coaster.

So I made the coaster and was very surprised at how the thread worked out that each flowery part was dark pink in roughly the same places all the way round. Once finished I thought that the plain outside was a bit light and it needed the doily round to contain it and add some definition.

Doesn't that sound posh? Well that's actually not quite what I thought - I really thought 'this darn thing needs the outer round' with a bit more colour!!!  So, that's what I did.  

4 February 2015

Out of the blue

First of all - here is the link to day 12.  Next one is the last!

Quite out of the blue (don't you just LOVE blue?) came this book the day before yesterday. It's HUGE and it's WONDERFUL and I must thank publicly the very kind person who gifted me with this.  She wishes to remain anonymous so I can't tell you her name.

This hardback book is by Edwige Renaudin who has put a LOT of work into the publication. The ISBN number is 978 2 84167 685 9. You can see the title on the picture. La Frivolity Aux Navettes.

At first glance it may look like a pretty basic book but on further exploration there's loads and loads in there to make BC3 sit up and think. AND try things out. It's all in French (obviously!) but with my schoolgirl knowledge (which is over half a century old and not as sharp as it used to be) and the help of Google translate, this book will be no problem. Why? Well, simply because it's so inspiring anybody would want to understand it.

I've posted a very small picture of a page - just to inspire you.  I'm very, very wary of posting pages from books because of copyright theft so I'm hoping the second picture will turn out REALLY small!!!!

3 February 2015

Yes, another one!!!

I really must find somebody or several people to give all these coasters to. I think I'll soon be stopping people in the street and handing them out to passersby!!! 

When not doing these coasters my day job (when I'm actively avoiding housework etc) is working on more technique pages for the web site. 

These will be very basic bead pages at the moment but if anybody has any suggestions for other pages then please let me know. I'm 'in the mood' to draw and make pages!!!!

2 February 2015

Another exclusive member

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Sara to the Exclusive Tatting Club. She's sent in a mouse to share with us and says:-
"I have made a mouse too, so maybee I can join your exclusive club now!? My mouse eyes and ears is a bit funny looking, maybe I made something wrong there, but it was a lot of fun making it! I thought I should find it boring to just do knot after knot, but it was just fun to see the mouse be created between my hands!Have a nice day, and thanks again just for beeing Jane who makes tatting even more fun!!"

She's really right about the 'not being boring'. I find it fascinating to see the little critters forming in my hands. Hats off to Randy and Gary for devising the whole book. There's not just critters in there - there are flowers, baubles of all types. I reckon it's really good value for money compared with a lot of books.

Well I am biased, I suppose but then I love making the critters and have several pairs of earrings too.

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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