31 December 2016

I'm BACK!!!

That's a warning that trouble is back in Tat Land after a few days of doing very little except tat and crochet!!! Here are four of the Pinwheel motifs based on the first one I did right here - BUT

There's something wrong. Can you see what it is? It struck me immediately that I'd joined the final square wrong!!

So, back to the scissors and snip, snip, snip!!! Fortunately only most of the final round so it wasn't too bad. 

Now to put it right - back tomorrow (or whenever) with the amended square!!! I HOPE.

24 December 2016

An invasion of mice!

This will be my last post until next week. Mainly because I'm feeling lazy and also partly because I really don't want to start showing you other things until after the festivities are over. 

I have, however, got these mice to show you.  Just couldn't resist this little pattern I found on the internet!!!  

I love making small quick things occasionally although my main love is to be stretched by the craft of tatting - either by designing or by trying to understand and work some of the older patterns.  Dora Young - you ROCK.

Hope you all have a good Christmas and don't eat or drink too much.  I'll be ignoring my own advice, I expect!!!

23 December 2016

Another pinwheel

This is the same pattern as the one I showed you here.

Heidi Nakayama (the lady who is getting Dora's book re-printed next year) showed me her version of this design worked in two colours and my poor old BC3 was blown away. It was STUNNING. She taught it as a class and I bet the people who were in that class were also amazed to see how it worked in two colours.

In this pattern is a technique I've never seen before and one which I am currently exploring for myself. Dora certainly gave a LOT to Tat Land when she was designing. I'm in awe of the woman.

22 December 2016

Another rabbit

Today I've got another rabbit to show you. This is from Geraldine who has combined her rabbit with - well, I'll let her tell you!!!!

"Got there at last, finish him today. He's feeding his carrot to Rudolf. I've made 56 Rudolf's this year for friends and family. Merry Christmas."

Thank you, Geraldine - just in time for the next TIAS!!!!

20 December 2016

Just when I thought it was all over

I found another pattern lurking on the computer. This time it's a Flipje

Now WHAT is a Flipje I hear you ask!!! Well this next link will explain it all. I hope you can translate it via your browser. I've got a google plugin on my browser that allows me to translate most pages to English so I'm hoping you can too. It's an interesting read. 

You'll see from the date at the top of the pattern that this was done a while ago! I'm not sure who asked for it but I know I'd never heard of a Flipje until then. 

This is one of the reasons I LOVE Tat Land. I learn all the time.

19 December 2016


This is another of the patterns from Dora's book. It's called the Pinwheel. I've been working on this for a few weeks but didn't have time to show you until now. 

It's a pretty straightforward pattern to follow and to work BUT it does have an intriguing technique that I'd not met before. 

Be assured - you'll be seeing more of this technique if I can get BC3 to work on the idea!!!!  I can 'see' myself using it in something I'm quietly looking into designing and between starting yet another pattern from 'the' book.

I have had one or two people ask for copies of the patterns but, as I've explained, I can't share as the book is under copyright to Dora's family and I wouldn't dream of breaking copyright laws.  

17 December 2016

Yet another!!!

Not so bad this time as it's only been forgotten for a while!! 

Today's pattern is based on this original diamond that I made for a patchwork type theme some years ago. A little adaptation and it's become a matching pendant and bracelet set. Obviously this would also work for earrings too!!!

I think my backlog is now clear but you never know what I'll find somewhere on my computer!!!!

16 December 2016

Another missing pattern and thoughts .....

It wasn't until I got a comment on the TIAS blog on Sunday that I realised that I'd never put the completed TIAS 2015 pattern up on the pattern page!!!

I'm hopeless I know. Finally it's here.

I also got thinking yesterday over a comment that Diane made on her blog about Facebook. It was interesting as a few weeks ago I stopped receiving any notifications from the tatting blogs on there. 

My main reason was because I found it so repetitious. Somebody would ask a question and people would answer. Everybody has different opinions and ideas and that's fine but it was the constant repetition of the same comments and opinions on the SAME thread because nobody read back through previous comments that really 'got' me. 

I also found I was beginning to spend very precious tatting time on skipping from comment to comment and seeing and hearing the same old things. I haven't 'left' any of the groups and am still available but I just don't get notifications. Actually I must admit I don't often go onto the site after I've posted a blog link in the mornings. I LOVE MY BLOG!!!

15 December 2016

Finally the six point star

I've finished another Dora pattern (this one) which I'm really pleased with. Pigmini suggested doing it in two colours but by the time I got her suggestion it was well under way. 

I'm not sure it would work with two colours as the stars would get 'lost', I think. Can you see how cleverly Dora uses the chain sections to make the stars stand out? Those chains then become a design feature in themselves. 

I'm off on another pattern now and will start to show you that shortly. Are you getting bored with hearing about my adventures? If so then I'll just carry on quietly. There's no way I can give up working on this book just yet. I'm making notes as I go along too as a reminder for myself and they may come in useful for others too.

13 December 2016

Using a picot gauge

As you know I bought a set of picot gauges last Saturday when I was at the Lace Fair. 

Of course, as with any new toy, a person HAS to play as soon as they can!!! I'm working on another Dora Young pattern (not telling which one yet!) and thought they'd be darn useful. BUT I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

They may well work for 'normal' picots but for those being followed by lock joins they're not good. Well, that's my opinion.  Or, rather, that's what I think right now.  

I struggled to get a decent picot to sit properly or stay the same size as it's next door neighbour. I've put them to one side for now but will have another 'go' when I'm doing 'normal' picots which aren't followed by lock joins!!!  

12 December 2016


So you've had the sun, the moon and now you're going to get (whether you like it or not) the stars. 

Based on my original ancient star this is what I offered as a lesson to Palmetto this year. I've now added the pattern to this page and it can be found in the jewellery section.

10 December 2016


I missed blogging yesterday because I didn't have anything to show. Least I thought I didn't think I had until I was looking at my photos last night and realised I'd got some of the Lace Fair that I went to last Saturday.

So here they are. The person standing in the photo is Sue (commonly known as Pigmini) who blogs over here. The lady behind the stall is Lyn. 

I have met Sue several times before but didn't realise how dangerous it is to talk to other tatters when there are supplies being sold nearby!!! I'd come back well stocked from America but temptation (neatly egged on by these two) got in my way yet again.

It was a good day and thankfully not as crowded as it was last time I went which was a few years ago.  

8 December 2016

The 6-point Filet Star

Do you remember this post?  This is the Filet Star on page 18 of the All New Knotless Tatting Designs book by Dora Young.

Well I managed to do one of these little motifs (no failure this time!) without using a picot gauge and it looked pretty darn good!!! So, off I went on another motif. The reason why I made another one will become obvious when I've done another five!!! The effect when you've got a lot joined together is a bit like the first Dora motif that I did. VERY, very pretty. 

So, back to the tatting shuttles and upwards and onwards with my Dora work.

6 December 2016

Introduction to the TIAS

I've just added the introduction to the TIAS on the web site. I hope many of you will have the courage to join me again in my rather ridiculous little game!!!! 

For those who haven't heard about this game before - it's simply a pattern which is 'chopped up' into small parts and each part is given out every few days. The fun part is that you don't know what you're making. Guesses, pictures and anything goes in the four to six weeks that it takes to complete the uploading of the links. There is no time limit and there are no rules either - except I ask you to make it as fun as possible. 

If you need help at any point please ask although I can't help needle tatters. Before I forget - I'd better let you know where the introduction can be found. Here's the link.  There are also links on  Riet's blog to her translation (Dutch) and Julie's translation is here (French).  Julie's link maybe wrong but I'll update it when I see it appear!!!  I'm also putting links on the side of the TIAS blog too.  My thanks go to these two for all their hard work on this and the upcoming game.  They will be translating all the TIAS as it happens.

Just to pretty up the blog post - here are a few pictures of past Tat It And See games.

5 December 2016

It's Monday - let's all start the week

with a smile!!! The next pattern on my list that needed to be uploaded is the one that I did for Tat Days. I did this as a sort of 'instead of' pattern as I suddenly realised that the sun would be tooooooo long a project for a lesson. Thus the Sunny Smile was born!!!

I suppose he's almost another emotitat too!!!  Ooooops - forgot to put in the link!!!!

3 December 2016

I will NOT be beaten!!

Off on another Dora adventure!! I've now decided to return to the one I tried (and failed with) earlier - this is the post where I was mumbling on about picot gauges!!!

This time I'm tatting it 'naked' without one of those wretched objects!!! Bet that made you sit up and notice when I said naked.  If I was tatting without clothes on it would frighten the local residents!!!  Result (so far) is faster tatting and a pretty neat motif. 

We'll see what happens over the next few days/weeks!!! I'm going to try and stay focussed on this without wandering off to other things. Well, that's the aim but the best laid plans of mice, men and, of course BC3 etc!!!!

2 December 2016

Another project is


Isn't this delightful? Actually I take back what I said the other day and once again I cannot believe that Dora Young was such an innovative tatter and I've missed getting to know her for all these years. I just envy those who knew her  'back then' but also wonder if her talent was recognised when she was alive as much as it will be once her book is again available as a re-print.

Somebody told me the other day that they'd been looking for a copy of the original book but I explained that it was like hen's teeth. I still can't quite believe that Patti Duff gave me a copy of the book. I have the proof, though, and am slowly working through it but not in any particular order!!!

I started with my favourite and then went onto the next - which I then realised was going to be my new favourite!!! So each new one that I tackle becomes 'my favourite'!!!! Told you before - BC3 doesn't make sense from time to time!

1 December 2016

Next new pattern

Here's a little sunshine for your life. Don't get too close or you may get burnt and don't look directly at the sun as you'll harm your eyes!!! 

Well I thought I was going to get these new (ish) patterns sorted sooner than this but sadly time seems to fly out of my hands lately. I'm not sure why, really. I'm not doing anything spectacular apart from keeping the aged head above water and continuing my addiction to Dora Young!!

This is a pattern that I didn't really offer to Palmetto - mainly cause it's too long for a lesson and we'd all have fallen asleep by the time it was done. In fact it would've taken probably 3 or 4 lesson periods!!! There will be an 'off shoot' of this one (when I get round to it!!!) which I'll put up another day. 

I found that I was getting into a horrendous muddle if I tried to do them all at once. In one way it would be easier to do the 'lot' at once as it would mean one login onto the server but dancing around from folder to folder on the server (which is more like a tortoise than a hare) gave gaps of time in which BC3 (brain cell 3) wandered off to do something else and then got lost!!!

30 November 2016

So sweet

Before I forget I want to give a plug to a lovely young lady's new Etsy shop. Her user name is thestrugglingactor which is exactly what Gemma is. She lives along our road and has just started up her Etsy shop while she waits to get her foot on the first rung of the stage ladder. She'll take custom orders too. Please visit her new shop.

I've just added another bauble to the exclusive club.

This time it's a bee with flowers from Bev. She's already got a mouse and is therefore an exclusive member of the exclusive club!!!! 

She sent this in specially for Gary. This is what she says.

"Hi Jane I'm already in the Exclusive Club with my mouse, but here is a bee and some flowers to wish Gary well. Bev"
Isn't that the sweetest thing?

29 November 2016

Patterns galore

This week I've told myself (along with my sidekick) that we're going to get all the patterns I took to Palmetto this year up on the pattern pages.  Of course you can still get them (and all the other AMAZING patterns from the other teachers) from Palmetto Tatters. Here's the link.

It's a long job getting the patterns ready for the site as I have to put on the abbreviations (Palmetto use standard notation for everybody's work), re-size things, put thumbnails on, upload images, add links etc. Not easy when you get multiple interruptions!!!!

This time I've deleted the mobile of the 'sun, moon and stars' which has been on my site for eons as the new versions are in this batch of patterns. They will be on separate pages to make it easier for downloading. Also I've added the star which wasn't 'needed on voyage' to America!!!! It's - well, I'll tell you more when I 'get there'.

So, today I'm introducing the first one. It's the moon and here's the link.

28 November 2016

Two more mice

I'm delighted to show you two more mice. 

Particularly pleased as it's a reminder to all of us that Gary Houtz isn't well at the moment. 

Here's to wishing him a good recovery with lots of tatting time when he's able to.

The mice today come from Anita and you can see what she says about them over here.

26 November 2016

A mystery

Well it is to me anyway. 

A week or so ago I spotted this shuttle on Fleabay. Whoops, I mean Ebay. I looked at it and wondered. As it was a BIN (buy it now) I flipped it into my basket and bought it.

Now I grew up using the original Milward black shuttles with the separate hook and know that they were made not far from where I live. Then the Aero was 'born' with the hook and bobbin and I converted to that (eventually) and never looked back. It was also made 'just down the road'. 

Now this new one has the Milward name on it and is blue and modern and made in Germany. Milward and Aero are related and Aero were re-located to Germany many years ago but what are these companies up to trying to confuse an OG? Does anybody know anymore about the Milward/Aero/Coats relationship?

I've just found another one like mine but in yellow on Fleabay (cheaper too, darn) and am now wondering if this is Pony (do NOT like their shuttles) who are now re-branding? The seller bought the blue one from a store near her a few months ago so that answers one question - it's new. She also said the shop was closing the haberdashery department due to Coats UK ceasing trading. Can the news for us crafters get anymore dire?

25 November 2016

I never seem to stay focussed!!!

What IS the matter with BC3? He can never stay focussed on one thing!! Instead of carrying on with the latest doily he's decided to have a go at more rings. Must admit I enjoy going from one thing to another.

Yesterday I didn't' achieve much in the way of tatting. I went to a nearby town to help out with silver surfers, shopped on the way back, had lunch and by the time I'd finished pottering and a little bit of time tatting it was quarter past four and time to meet a friend. We were off to see the lights switched on in town. There was a wonderful laser light show displayed on the front of the Birthplace too. Bet poor old Shakespeare was turning in his grave!!

24 November 2016

Life goes on!!!

And on and on!!! More progress on the doily. 

Actually although there's still some way to go I like this as a finished item with (probably) a little tweaking it could be a flower and stopped there.  BUT I will continue!!!

On other matters - I've changed the blog header (may work further on that!) and widened the page a bit. I think this threw out the comments section somewhat. I'm hoping it's sorted now after a few hours 'fiddling' with the settings. I also found that I was quite closely linked to Google+ which I never use. I'm not sure how it works as when I visit I find other people's 'stuff' on there. Is it like Facebook? 

I'm so enjoying 'life after Facebook' although I do pop in there to put my walk photos up there and very occasionally to check out other things but I'm now getting a lot more tatting done!!!

23 November 2016

Rings on and in rings

Ah, remember that necklace I got from the charity shop? This one.  Well, here it is in it's demolished 'state'. 

There won't be a pattern for this but there are some tricks to doing the joins. One day I may get round to writing that down. The second one down (variegated thread) has a missing ring in it but I don't think many people would notice - only you experts reading this!!!

22 November 2016

Two new techniques

Only really, really simple ones that I've been meaning to get round to for ages.

First of all is the lock chain which can be found here. 

The next one is the real reason I started doing the these pages. Over the weekend I uploaded the TIAS (Tat It And See) and realised that there was little out on the internet about the ZigZag chain. As I'm using this in the TIAS I thought I'd better kick myself into making a page. It's SUCH a simple technique (like the lock chain) that I suppose I didn't feel it was worth the effort of 'paging' it!!! Anyway I have and here's the link to the ZigZag chain. 

21 November 2016

Dora page 12/13 start

The start of another Dora adventure. I've abandoned the other one for now but knowing me the temptation will still be there so I'll be getting back to it sometime. 

For those who have the book this pattern is on page 12 and 13. Just hoping that this adventure will last and succeed!!

Meantime when I'm not tatting (that's when I'm sitting comfortably in my armchair in Tat Corner) then I'm still working on the TIAS.  Hope to get the information page ready and available for you soon.  I'm pleased with this one although I think it's going to be an easy guess.  Mind, I think that every year!!!!

18 November 2016

A total failure

After the success (well, in my opinion) of my last Dora Young project I'm showing you just two pictures of this failure!!! 

This is the pattern on page 18 of the Dora Young book.  It's not an easy one to follow but has been made more complicated by trying to 'train' BC3 to use a picot gauge.

When I started tatting there were no such things as gauges and when they did finally become 'available' some forty years or more later I just didn't see the point as I'd got pretty good even picots by eyeballing them.  BUT when it came to this pattern it states categorically that all picots should be 3/8".  I decided that I'd better use one.  Well first attempt (not shown here) resulted in a real mess.  This was because I din't know whether to lay the gauge (made out of a milk bottle container), alongside the core thread or standing up!!!  Once I'd determined which way (standing up) I then made another which lay alongside as that made for faster tatting (for me!).  Lots of experiments to get the 'right' sized picot resulted from that!!!

It took these two attempts for me to realise that it wasn't going to work using a gauge when making lock joins so (for now) I've abandoned this pattern.  I WILL go back to it as I truly love the motifs when they're attached to each other - the negative space is pretty darn cool. Meanwhile I'm off on another Dora adventure so - watch this space!!!

17 November 2016

New technique page

Well I've finally remembered to get this one onto my pattern pages. How long does it take? How long is a piece of string?!?!?!

Now this technique could be used to add beads to the centres of motifs like this one, this one or this one (which I've already done in a previous post). 

So, do you want the link to the 'how to' page? Well, here it is!!!!

Here's a 'taster' for you too!!

16 November 2016

While Rome burns!

We've been fiddling!!! 

The source of that phrase (fiddling while Rome burns) is the story that Nero played the fiddle (violin) while Rome burned, during the great fire in AD 64. Bit bizarre really as there was no such thing as a fiddle back then!!  No proof that this happened but we'e definitely been fiddling on Tuesday mornings!!!

Anyway, I digress. If you take a look at the picture below you'll see seven fiddle muffs that the Tuesday morning group have made over the past month or two. 

This is the group that got together last year to make bunting for the street party that we had in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday.  We enjoyed it so much we've continued to meet!!!

If you want to know what fiddle muffs are then I suppose I'd better explain! Patients with dementia/Alzheimer's often get fidgety and like to touch things and play with them. The muffs are made (knitted or crocheted) and then objects attached so they've got something to play with - both on the outside and the inside. They can be anything from cotton reels, pieces of ribbon, velcro, curtain hooks or any item which has texture. Yesterday Sue and I took these seven muffs to a local home for patients with dementia. We had a very warm welcome from the staff which was lovely. Next project? Knitting and crocheting squares for blankets. 

15 November 2016

Page 15 done and dusted

FINISHED. Isn't this lovely? 

This was a pleasure to tat and easy to follow but (like my last Dora Young) I had to keep counting and checking on stitch counts!!!! I really, really love following patterns and will be tackling more from this special book. Watch this space!!!

14 November 2016

Charity shop find

Two weeks ago I was in Alcester as I was going to Crafternoon. My trips to Alcester are a delight after a busy week. I always go early so that I have time to mooch around the town. This town is like Stratford used to be some forty years ago - full of small family businesses selling the sorts of things that the people want/need.  No big multiples - well, only Waitrose which is a small supermarket.

There's a greengrocers, a 'fifty pence' shop (that's what my parents used to call it), a chemists, a few estate agents, a bridal shop, coffee/tea shops, a 'vintage' shop and a few charity shops. It's mainly the charity shops that I visit.

I found this necklace in one of the charity shops. I see lots of necklaces with rings in them but most of them have 'gaps' in the rings and are rather 'bendy'. This one hasn't got any gaps and isn't bendy in any way. So, what will I do with it? You'll have to wait and see, won't you?

12 November 2016

One more

Thinking of Diane here as this one is in blue. Well, two blues, actually!!!  Now why did I write that last sentence?  It's obvious that there are two blues!!!  Old age and senility rearing it's ugly head again!

If I remember rightly this was two polyester threads.  I'm not sure I like this one as there seems to be a lack of definition in the threads.  They appear to be 'fuzzy' to me but perhaps that's cause I've got a fuzzy head!!!!  Back to the shuttles, Jane and forget this one.  

Having got my new gloves finished the weather has decided to go warmer!! Perhaps I should crochet gloves all year round to keep the weather mild!!!

11 November 2016

Gloves finished

It's gone really cold here so I got out my scarf and gloves to wear this week. Then I remembered that I hadn't shown you the latest gloves that I made. I showed them to you when I'd started one a few weeks ago but then forgot to update you.

These are crocheted and I've deliberately not finished off the ends of the fingers as I like to use them to get money out of my purse or use my phone. Yes, I'm still playing Pokemon  Go (level 16) when I remember!!! 

Last winter I wore a knitted pair that I'd made where the fingers were knitted upwards for just a few rows. I loved them but the fingers still got cold on very cold days. This new idea may prove better but only time will tell. Anyway, saves taking them off (and losing them) when you need to get money out of your purse. 

This is a free pattern I found on the internet but, obviously, I had to translate it from American to English crochet terms.

10 November 2016

Making up my mind

Now that's an impossible thing to do as I'm a real ditherer. I need nagging/prompting to make decisions but once I make them I act!! I really couldn't decide which colours to make the next snowflakes out of - thus the dithering.

Today I've got two more of the Snowflower pattern to show you. The green is a variegated cotton thread but the red is polyester.

You may ask 'why' or 'does it work' - mixing the two types? 

Well the answer to the first question (why) is because I'd got the green cotton thread out to work with and forgot a contrast. Rather than get up and potter back into the other room I grabbed what was sitting on the table next to me and that happened to be the polyester thread which came from Edda. 

I've not tried 'burning' the ends as recommended but automatically sewed in the final ends.  Not a problem at all!!!

Something else I did yesterday is to stop all notifications from the tatting Facebook groups. I was finding it was generating too many emails which distracted me from other things. I only really 'pop' into Facebook in the morning or when the rare email tickles my interest!!! I'd rather tat instead!!!

9 November 2016

Another project finished

Do you remember these flowers that I made sometime ago? I asked if anybody knew what or why I'd made them? Well here's the answer!!

First picture is the back of the brooch. You'll see that I've made a circle of tatting (chains only round one tiny ring). I did two of these rounds joining the second one to the first but before I finished I inserted two plastic circles to keep the shape rigid. It's amazing what you can do with plastic milk containers!!! 

Forgot to say - I sewed a clasp to the back of one of the tatted circles before joining the second one to it. 

When everything was done I sprayed with Scotch Guard to keep the whole thing clean. Why? Well it's going to be worn on my winter coat!!!  

In fact (as of yesterday) it's now on the coat and I'm now having to wear it as it's gone very cold.

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Happy Beaks

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