23 May 2015


Last week (not yesterday!) one of the group brought some fabric that she had leftover after making herself a skirt. Isn't it pretty? She gave it to Debbie to make 'something or other' with it. Debbie and Sarah are the owners of Bumblebeedown which you may remember they have set up to raise money for the local Alzheimer's Cafe in Alcester. 

Isn't this a pretty set? Not sure when it'll be in their Etsy shop but it'll be there soon. 

Meantime too, please take a quick trip to my shop too. It's here!!!!

21 May 2015

Another pair!

Yes another pair of scissors has arrived.  This pair has come from Axa who lives in Hungary.  Please take a look at her scissors.

There are now 114 pairs on the TIAS blog which is here.

20 May 2015

More mutterings

I'd like to continue on my thoughts again today so if you're not interested please don't read the rest!!!

Another 'trend' in pattern writing is one which uses lots and lots of photos of work in progress (WIP).  Bit like a 'still' video.  I worry about this for two simple reasons.  The quantities of paper and the amount of ink used - particularly in the colour pictures.  Surely some carefully thought out text could replace a few of the pictures?  Do we actually need everything spelled out for us or are these just very complicated patterns?  I'm not sure.

Some time ago I was asked to test tat (or maybe I volunteered) a pattern.  I do like test tatting although I try hard not to enforce my ideas on the designer - I  also learn a lot too.  The pattern I'm talking about was last year or the year before and (IF I'd printed it) it would've been 15 pages long. That's 15 sheets of paper and a lotta ink!  Not a problem IF it had needed 15 sheets of paper!!!  

The 'introduction' took 3 pages and the whole of the pattern could've been placed on around 3/4 pages.  By the way - it was for a small motif measuring just 4"/5".  Fancy fonts, great areas of white paper don't make for a good pattern in my opinion.  In fact I'm afraid I never did fully understand it in spite of the 15 pages and had to very reluctantly give up on it.  This is a pattern which is now for sale.

Now if I'd bought that pattern for a few pounds and then had to spend lots more on printing it I would've been a very unhappy lass.  I saved my printing costs by working with it on the laptop - not ideal but better than wasting a tree and ink (which, by the way, is almost as expensive as gold).  

End of mutterings!!!

19 May 2015

Thinking and pondering

Pleased to report that I'm feeling a lot better now, thanks.

I've been thinking about things while dozing in bed which has been a strain on the aged brain! 

Over the years since the internet became such a big part of my life, sharing tatting patterns and techniques has changed a lot. 

Back in the 1950's (when I took up tatting) all patterns were on paper and written in 'long hand' with lots of words. The only picture was that of the finished item.  Although symbols had been used before then (I researched this some years ago) they hadn't 'caught on' as written patterns were few and far between and sharing was slow. Once the internet came about most people seem then to have adopted the shorthand/symbolic way of notation and now use diagrams/pictures to help patterns become easier to understand and follow. 

The internet has also allowed us to be able to take our own pictures easily and then (with little effort) to add numbers, letters which has now become another way of sharing patterns. No longer is it necessary to learn how to draw on the computer or even write down the directions for some of the simpler patterns.  I feel it is necessary to still have some text with a visual pattern for dodos like me who struggle with 'just pictures'.  I like words to reinforce what I 'think' I see in a picture!

Videos of techniques are another great way of communicating too although I still cringe at the sight of many I've seen.  

A concern I have now is that some people are beginning to think that videos are the way forward for patterns.  I was asked recently if I could do a video of one of my patterns.  Well that's something which won't happen for two reasons.  Firstly I'm averse to spending the time as it would take me away from tatting/designing.  

Another reason (which I'm more concerned about) is that this may be the start of a trend towards every pattern being presented in that format.  If that's likely to happen then I feel that the skills required to read written patterns will eventually be lost.  It takes as much skill to read patterns as it does to write them.  Are we going to lose those skills?  I look back at the old 'patterns I used as a kid and realise that it's through using those and understanding them that I am now able to write my own. 

More mutterings later this week or maybe even tomorrow!!!

18 May 2015

Nothing, nada, ziltch

That's it. Thought I ought to tell you, though in case anybody had missed me and my inane ramblings. 

I have been working on 'things' but this weekend I've been 'proper poorly'. Just a stinking cold/flu thing but it's knocked me flat for two days.  I do get colds from time to time - roughly one in every six years or so!!  I'm lucky so I'm not moaning. 

Imagine me - two days and no tatting done. I've slept loads and read a bit in between. Just hoping that today will be a day of getting back to normal. Whatever normal is in my corner of Tat Land.

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Happy Beaks

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