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.

8 November 2016

Dora's progress

More progress on the Dora Young doily on page 15.  My original post is here.

Actually this isn't hard to tat but it's hard trying to keep track of where you are!!!  I'd appreciate somebody inventing satnav for tatting but meanwhile I'll stick to my coilless safety pin and 'good old' BC3!

As I said - it's easy but it's wise to keep counting the number of picots you've got and now the number of chains too. As you can tell by progress - I'm REALLY enjoying this experience and can't wait to try another pattern from the book.  Meanwhile I've GOT to finish this one and won't allow myself to start anything else before it's done!  Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

7 November 2016

An apology

I apologise to all who were upset by my blog post the other day.. I thought someone had done a similar design after they had seen mine, but I was mistaken. They had 'got there' by their own means.

I would like to point out that I was in no way accusing anybody of copyright theft, please take time to re-read my original post. 

I guess I was excited to see a pattern I recognised. The whole situation got very personal and out of hand which has been immensely hurtful to all parties and this is not good for the tatting community.

Over the weekend I seriously considered taking down my site as it would appear that the only valuable designs are those that are paid for and that free ones are under valued. I decided not to as it’s something that I enjoy doing.

I will not be publishing another design based on my original but will (in time) add a technique page showing how I added the beads to the centre of the one I did.

4 November 2016

Finished and two patterns available.

Well in the end dear Nick solved the problems I was having with Pages and EazyDraw.  Not sure what he did but he 'bullied' Libre Office into working!!!  Every time I exported as jpg's from EazyDraw and inserted them into Pages they came out really blurred.  Horrid wasn't the right word for them.  I spent hours agonising over settings etc and in the end gave up.  Quietly, and while I was out, Nick sorted the problem.  No idea how but he did.  Same drawings but no blurring with Libre Office!!!  Go figure as my American friends would say!!!

Now the top snowflake today (the Snowflower) is done with a cotton HDT thread but the outside plain pink is polyester!

The bottom one is made with Eda's metallic thread - two colours, naturally.

So, does anybody want the pattern?  Well here's the link to it.  I've updated the main snowflakes, motifs and doily page too.  WHEN I found that my original had got itself stored on the cloud and not on my computer.  I must've had a ditzy day yesterday!!!!

3 November 2016

NEW Star and more snowflake talk

Yesterday I finished another star (below at the top) which now has beads in the centre too.    Here's the link to the new one.  I'll be updating the main motif page when I get the Snowflower Snowflake done.

The lovely thread on the snowflake at the bottom is one given to me by Phyllis Schmidt and is called 'Daybreak'.  This was another gift from Tat Days. I was SOOOO spoilt this year. 

I've outlined it with a plain colour on the second round - with the inevitable beads too!!! Thank you, Phyllis.

I'm working HARD on finishing the pattern but I've had a glitch or two.  

I've been working with Libre Office (free software) for years and just lately it's refused to work on the iMac (works just fine on the laptop!) so I've started using Pages.  I'm not a happy bunny but I will work through this somehow!!!!

2 November 2016

Sparkly star

When I saw this post the other day I thought it looked rather familiar!!!! So, off I went on a voyage of discovery.

This design must be at least twenty years old now and is now on it's third re-generation.  The first generation of this was done on a fancy metal finding and was submitted to a magazine along with three others.  The findings were quickly unobtainable so after a few years I decided to put them onto cabone rings (second generation!) which are easily obtainable and thus the pattern on my site was 'born again'!!! 

Now having seen Frivole's 'take' on the same one I thought I'd re-re-revisit it once more (third generation).  SO, in a couple of days time I'll get the pattern up on the web site - for free, of course!!!  Meanwhile I may tweak the centre but I quite like the shapes I've got here.  Maybe I'll make those chains a bit longer/shorter?  Who knows.  

The thread is some I had from Eda and it's lovely to work with.  The beads are so, so glittery too.  Sadly the scans don't give the true sparkle.

1 November 2016

Two people to blame for this

As you know I was so, so kindly given a copy of Dora Young's book a couple of weeks ago by Patti Duff and I cannot leave it alone!!!! I am forcing myself to do snowflakes in between but I simply HAD to start another doily - this time it's the one on page 15. So, I name Patti as the first person to be blamed!!!

The second is Bestitched who dragged me away from my promise NOT to buy anymore threads at Tat Days. 

I was doing pretty well on Friday and Saturday and only bought 3 balls of 'essential' colours that I was short of. Then on Saturday evening/Sunday morning they announced a price reduction and 'sadly' this packet of pastels 'fell' into my bag!!!! 

Those who were around at the time were astonished that I chose these plain pastel colours and at the time I had no idea what I was going to do with them either. BUT the blue was the first choice for the page 15 doily.  Oh, these are size 40 which is my new favourite size!!!

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