29 December 2017

The answer

To whether it's going to be a long thin mat or something else!!! You can now see it's taken on the decision to be 'not a long thin' thing but something a bit wider!!!!

Of course this won't necessarily mean that it'll become a round mat as I could make it into a long fat one! Who knows - I don't. Not yet.  Still enjoying the process of making it, though.  Now to decide what the next colour will be!!!!

27 December 2017

The joys of a big project

Here you are - 5 diamond stars now done.

I do really enjoy large projects like this one - particularly as there's no plan of what it's going to 'be' or when it's going to be finished. 

From this point it could be a long narrow mat for, say, a radiator shelf or it could become a rounder mat as I could add two more to it keeping the green one as a central motif. Who knows but decisions will have to be made soon!!!

23 December 2017

Four stars completed

Another done plus another started. This has taken me two days to get this far. Mainly cause I've been doing other things in between. I reckon to get around four diamonds a day and a whole star in a day and a half. 

Upwards and onwards!!!

21 December 2017

3 little stars in a row

Well I did it. I flipping DID IT. I remembered to join the green to the pink!!! 

I'm so chuffed with this I'm going to add more to the 'whatever it is' while I'm rocking and rolling!!! 

When I had the threads off Sue Hanson she'd wound some HWT onto small embroidery floss thingies but most of them seem to have three or four strands  (4 actually don't work out to the size that I need and sometimes 3 don't either!!!). All this is trial and error.  Sometimes 1 of the strands is thicker than the others.  To even things up I've sometimes had to add a thicker thread to get the right size.  My aged fingers are getting quite good at feeling the right size!!!

I've split her wound threads up again and added others (sometimes thinner) too. It's amazing how adept an old git can get at doing this without wasting a scrap of thread!!!! There's been some cussing though as occasionally I've nearly got a true tangle but the air still isn't blue in this corner of Tat Land!!!

I test each new HWT out with a few rings and chains of the pattern to make sure they'll work with each sizing before I start another star.  

20 December 2017

The scarf is finished

I really enjoyed doing this chevron pattern and hope to use the idea again sometime in the future.  I think it would be really good for making blankets using up scraps of yarn.  Still, that's for the future - if ever!!!
I love the way the two yarns of quite different colours worked so well.  Interesting as one had browns in and the other mainly blues.  Just shows you (or, rather, I) can never be sure how things will turn out!!!

18 December 2017

I have a plan.

It's 'plan B' and it's going to work out just fine. 

Least that's what BC3 keeps telling me!!! I've started a green diamond star and just hope that we both remember to join it to the pink when the time comes!!!

16 December 2017


Well I finished the pink diamond star but I went and forgot to join the two points to the purple 'star' so I'll have to look for another plan. Plan B, I guess.

I was afraid this would happen. Simply because I was stressed and not concentrating on what I was doing. Ah well, I think I know how to solve this problem without undoing anything. Hope to show you sometime next week. 

I think next week I maybe a bit quieter as somebody told me it was the Silly Season coming. I think it's commonly known as Christmas!!!!  Just another day on the calendar!!!!  

15 December 2017

Guess what?

This is going to be!! It's the crochet I promised to show you. 

No prizes for the right answer as it's pretty obviously going to be a scarf! I'm using up wool that I had leftover from a cardigan and another ball of the same brand that I won in a raffle. 

I love this chevron pattern although it took me time to get my head round how to do it. It's so darn simple really that I just couldn't 'see' it at first.  I found the destructions on the internet and watched a video too.  I think I'm about halfway now and once it's finished I may put a border round it to tidy up the edge where I've run the threads up the side.

14 December 2017

Three more diamonds done

Again using HWT I've managed to get another three diamonds done. I will be joining this 'star' to the purple one when I do the next diamond. Least, that's the plan. Just hope I don't forget!!!

I'm also slogging away at some crochet which I keep forgetting to take a picture of. I'll do that right now and show you tomorrow. 

Actually 'slogging' is the wrong word as I'm thoroughly enjoying doing it. 

12 December 2017

Mice in Singapore

There's been a small infestation of mice in Singapore!!!! Val has now joined the Exclusive Tatting Club!!!! 

Like me she struggled to get the bauble 'going the right way' but she's now cracked it. Aren't they cute? I'm dying to get back to baubles but I've got other things 'on the go' at the moment.  This is what Val said.

"I quite like how they turned out, although I think my tension has lots of room for improvement. Now that I’ve got the hang of doing them up, I might just be tatting more of them! Some pictures below for you to see my ‘babies’. 
Oh yes, they couldn’t wait to scuttle across the room!"

You can see Val's mice on the Exclusive Tatting Club page which is here.

11 December 2017

Pretty, pretty, pretty.

There's been the first ever Victorian Christmas Market in town over the weekend. It was pretty darn good but even better was the chance to meet up with Ruth Mary. That's her in the first picture. Poor lass (and her husband) looked frozen. It was a VERY cold two days for them standing out on the street and unfortunately the third day (yesterday) had to be cancelled because of snow. In fact they had probably the nicest spot in town - about 100 yards from the Bard's Birthplace and almost directly outside the library. 

Now Ruth Mary's work is well worth seeing. She's selling tatted jewellery but with a huge difference. Hers is in silver and gold.  To call it exquisite is really an understatement.  Here's a link to her web site where you can find out more but please be careful - you don't want to drool all over your keyboard, do you?

What was interesting is that she didn’t know who I was (lucky woman!) so obviously doesn't spend a lot of time in Tat Land.  She also referred to her work as 'lace' and didn't mention tatting.  In a way I can understand that as I feel that the word 'tatting' doesn't do our type of knotted lace justice.  I forgot to ask her if she did any other types of lace.  Ah well there’ll probably be another time when I see her again!

9 December 2017

Facebook - what I'm going to do next!

Having thought long and hard (yes, it HURT) I've decided to unfriend a lot of the friends I've got on Facebook. 

Now this isn't because I'm an unfriendly sort of person but simply it's to make my life easier!!! I didn't understand the difference between 'friends' and 'following' on Facebook so I looked it up and it seems that anybody can 'follow' anybody but that means they don't show up on their timeline. If you're 'friends' with people then they show up when they post!!! Now this has meant I've lots and lots of 'stuff' going on on my timeline which I'm simply not interested in. People's private lives just don't interest me like I'm sure mine doesn't interest many others.  This unfriending will take me a while and I'll probably have accidents and delete people I don't mean to delete so please bear with me.

So, if you don't see me on your timeline in the future it's because I've 'unfriended' you but I do hope that IF you're interested enough you'll 'follow' me instead. Particularly the Jane Shuttle Tats Lots page.  I hope this isn't going to upset people but I do need to protect my sanity and it's going to mean that I may use Facebook a bit more if I'm not overwhelmed.  

Well, that's the plan but who knows how long it will take!  

8 December 2017

One done but ...........

A few days further on and the first diamond flower is finished!!! I must admit I'm enjoying continuing my 'not designing' phase but will also admit to fiddling around with something which is now beginning to annoy me. 

Well the 'something' isn't the problem - it's my BC3 that just can't get my head round what I'm trying to do with my hands.

You see I don't appear to design like most people. They have a drawing and notes to start with but I have - well, simply, shuttles and thread!!!! I tend to just fiddle until something works. If I'm doing an animal or something that has a definite 'look' to it then I do study images - and lots of them too. 

Meanwhile I'm going to start another diamond flower but will have to raid my stash and decide which colours I will use next!!!!

7 December 2017

A Christmas present

Now this is for a little girl I know who is 'into' unicorns!!! Anything (particularly cuddly toys) with a horn is what she loves at the moment!!! Ten years old and easy to please.

I just LOVE Martha Ess's designs. They are just SO easy to follow and work out exactly right too. You can find her books for sale in many places and I've given you a link to her blog. If you've never bought one of her books before then you don't know what you're missing.

The unicorn I've done is from the book Flights of Fantasy.

The picture below hasn't really worked out that well under the scanner as the pink background is VERY bright. I'll hopefully remember to take a photo once the picture is put together. Keep your fingers crossed that I do remember!!!

6 December 2017

Another project started AND finished

I just LOVE this pair of gloves that I made last year. They are SO useful when out shopping.

A couple of weeks ago I came across the yarn I'd used for them and wondered if there was enough to crochet another pair. I weighed the original gloves and then the 'leftover' yarn. Result - PLENTY. So, out came the crochet hook and off I went on another journey.

Now what I love about crochet gloves is that I don't get those wretched holes at the bottom of the fingers that you get when you knit gloves. Well, probably nobody else gets holes but I do!!!! However careful I am I have 'air conditioning' in my gloves. 

This pair have full fingers/thumbs so are now designated 'out for a walk' gloves!!!! 

I managed to make these (I find crochet a lot faster) while I was fiddling with the TIAS during the day. Crochet in the evening was a lovely change.

5 December 2017

Facebook mumblings

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Actually it verges more on hate than love!

I like that I can meet people there and that there are lots of tatting groups which I belong to too. I have turned off most notifications that used to come into my mail inbox each time somebody from each group posted something.  I found that it was all impinging on valuable time especially if I wandered off to follow them!!!  I do keep about two or three groups 'actively' sending me notifications and if somebody mentions my name then that seems to trigger an email too.  

When I do get a notification with a question in it and when I think I can answer it then I normally click on the email link, go to the page and then turn on 'notifications' for that thread. Sometimes I actually go and offer help or advice immediately but not very often.  I like to see what others have to say first.  Once I see that somebody has answered the question I take off the notification.

What really, really annoys me about Facebook is that people don't read what others have put and so there's lots and lots of repetition. I've thought long and hard about closing my Facebook account but I'm a nosy old person and once every so often something that interests me does come up!! 

So, if anybody wants me on Facebook then they've just got to mention my name on there - think it's called tagging? I will then bumble along and see what I can do to help. Getting 30+ emails from Facebook in my inbox each morning meant that I tended to be later and later getting on with the day. Sometimes I think I had more time when I was working!!!!

Below is a TIAS teaser!!!  Well, actually, it's just a picture of a shuttle and we'll be using shuttles in the TIAS so it's no help at all to you!!!!!

4 December 2017

Still not sure!

I'm still not sure what I want to do or how I want to do it but I THINK I need a big ongoing project that I can pick up and put down when I want to. 

I sort of know that I want to play with HWT (Hand Wound Threads) as they give SUCH a lacy look. This is going to be one of those decisions which I may well regret (starting out on a big project) although I've done massive ones before. This is sort of what I think I may replicate BUT with a different layout and with negative spaces. The one I did before back in 2011 (remember sitting in the yard in Blue Ash, Cincinnati childminding and making this) was done in a size 20 thread and is ENORMOUS.

This is going to be known as the 'diamond project'!!!!  Yes, it's one of my patterns which is somewhere on my free pattern site!!!!

2 December 2017

Playing with ideas

I've started playing with ideas for a project. This is the Fandango coaster which you can find here.

I've used my current favourite thread - HWT (Hand Wound Thread) and I decided to use it with two different combinations. As you can see - it didn't really work and by the time I'd finished the motif I'd gone off the idea anyway. Can you tell - I'm just not motivated to settle to anything!!!

Having said that I have a glimmering of hope with some cabochons that Sue kindly sent me. Not sure yet what'll happen there but I can assure you that BC3 will have to get his act together to help me.

1 December 2017

Bookmark Ring of Roses

I'm in a state of dithering at the moment. I can't decide what I want to do. I think (just think!) I want to do a big project but no idea what and don't really want to be tied to a big project either!!! That doesn't make sense, I know!!!

This is normal for me - I go through phases of not knowing what I want to do so I expect I'll think of something in the end.

Meanwhile the HWT was and is tempting me so I got some out and made this bookmark. Just a simple one that can be put in a book. No tail as they tend to catch on things and then pull out - thus losing the place!!! I used one of my own designs as I was too lazy to go looking elsewhere!!! It's the Ring of Roses bookmark - just in case you wanted to know!!!

30 November 2017

New pattern

I keep forgetting to put this one on my web site. I think I'm sort of winding down after the 'chopping up' of the TIAS and the uploading of the files. I prevaricate yet again!!!

This is the heart I taught in Canada at the Fringe Element in September. I suppose I really ought to have waited until after the festive season and closer to February but I'm afraid of forgetting about it altogether. Well, you know what BC3's like by now!!!

So, all you need now is the link so here it is!!!

28 November 2017

1st Blue sock finished

This is the first of my blue socks - finished. A real pleasure doing this as the pattern is in the wool and you just keep knitting while it does it's own thing!!!! 

There's a matching 'other' thread which you use on the heel and toes although I didn't use it on the toe. It blends in and strengthens the wool. I can't wait now to start the second one!!!

27 November 2017


Well that was a long week away from my blog!!!! I missed it dreadfully.

I'm pleased to say, though, that the TIAS is ready to 'rock and roll'. For those who don't know what TIAS stands for it's the 'Tat It And See'. 

In fact the introduction can be found here on the TIAS blog. My poor translators (Riet and Julie) have only just got the files and images so it'll be a while before I am able to add the Dutch and French translations for the introduction. Meanwhile don't forget to visit the TIAS blog which can be found here.

So, today I have no pictures to add to the post as I don't want to spoil the surprise!!!!

20 November 2017

Things will be slow

I'm afraid things may slow down for a few days on the blog.  
I'm hoping not but I am struggling with the TIAS (Tat It And See) 2018 .  In fact I think this will be the last TIAS.  

18 November 2017

Just remembered!

I have got something to show you!!!

When I was in Canada I bought some sock wool because I love knitting socks. Well, that's usually the reason a person (and an old git) buys sock wool!!!

I made a pair with the brown speckled yarn and I've shown you those - I think!!!

This time I've started with the blue yarn I bought. What do you think of it so far? Dare you to say 'rubbish'!!!!

17 November 2017


A few weeks ago Sue Hanson wrote and said she'd got some threads that she was no longer using - would I like to buy some from her. She'd seen my posts about hand wound threads (HWT).

Well my cupboard is full but I could hardly say 'no' to the offer. We agreed a price - well, actually, I said I'd have threads up to the value of a given price. So, I assumed Sue would send me three or four spools (which she'd already shown me via a couple of photos). I certainly did NOT expect the amount she sent. What a generous lass.

Interestingly I'm going to have to rename Royal Fail after this experience. Sue mailed the box to me at 5pm in London and it arrived with me the following morning at 11 (ish). I think I've got to rename it Royal NOT Fail!!!!

15 November 2017

Two more bugle snowflakes

Back to the bugle snowflakes yet again. Not that I've really stopped making them. I think I've now got enough for Christmas giveaways but I can't stop making them. Specially with the HWT (hand wound threads). 

The top purple one is made with the two variegated threads and a plain one. You can see them just below the snowflake. The variegated ones were from Ginny and the plain one from Cincinnati!!!!

The pink one is made from the threads below that snowflake. I haven't a clue where the variegated came from but the plain was another Cincinnati one!!!!

13 November 2017

Look what I found!!

I was rummaging around my tatting stuff the other day and found these two little Rachel doilies. I don't think I've shown them to you before and I probably made them just before or after I went to Canada. I say that because of where I found them.

11 November 2017

Remaining Pop A Bobbins

The remaining Pop A Bobbin shuttles that I have right beside me in their travelling box (they travel in style from Southampton to Stratford!) will go into my Etsy shop later today. 

If any sell (via the blog) then they'll be mailed tomorrow (Sunday). Yes, the Post Office does open in town on a Sunday. One of the joys of living in a touristy town, I think.  Any selling from Etsy will go on Monday.

The remaining shuttles are.

1 EBONY £22.50 
1 CHERRY £18.00 
3 APPLE £18.00 

10 November 2017

Notes on HWT and reminiscing

I love this one. I MAY have to keep it. I did find that it worked out slightly smaller than the others but I knew it would. Sadly the picture doesn't do it justice as it's truly BRIGHT!!!!

One of the 'knacks' of doing HWT is feeling the thread between the fingers. After 60 years of tatting my digits sort of have a 'sixth sense' on the thickness of a size 20 thread!!!! One could say I must've been 'born to tat'!!!! 

Joking apart - there is a feel to threads so when doing HWT it's a good idea to get used to that feel. I thought this one would work out smaller as when I put two strands of the variegated and one of the plain together they didn't 'quite' feel right. BUT as they're both slippery polyesters I wasn't about to add another strand to the equation!!!!! The variegated is thinner than the others you've seen.

Just one note on this - the plain orange is neon and 'right in your face'. This was a legacy that Gina Brummet's daughter gave to the Palmetto tatters.  I was at the guild meeting a week after Tat Days few years ago when a bag of Gina's threads were offered around. It tickled me to choose the neons that were in there as I just KNEW that Gina would know exactly who would choose them and would smile.

9 November 2017

Two more variagated

Now these are true hybrid HWT snowflakes!!! 

The top one uses some thread (the plain green one in the middle) that I bought in Cincinnati years ago. It's a machine quilting thread. The other two came from Ginny.

The bottom snowflake is made from thread that I've had for sometime. I used two strands of the variegated and one of the plain (another from Cincinnati).

You know what? This is the cheapest way of making anything tatted as the spools last forever and ever!!!! I'm cheap as chips - that's English chips and not American/Canadian chips!!!!

8 November 2017

Coming shortly - Pop A Bobbin Shuttles

Sally managed to find the key to lock 'im in the garage in there for a week or two. Don't worry - he was fed and watered in the meantime.

I've got the following shuttles to go live towards the end of the week in my Etsy shop.  I've added a picture of my favourite one - the spalted beech.  The graining on these is truly magnificent and each one is different.

I am prepared to sell any of these privately if you want to do things that way!!!    I can only do this via Paypal and will give you a total (including postage) so you can send the money.  

1 EBONY (without hook) £22.50 
1 EBONY £22.50 
2 CHERRY £18.00 
3 APPLE £18.00 
1 ROSEWOOD £18.00 

7 November 2017

More small bugle snowflakes

Now I said on Saturday that I was bored with white but still have a few more snowflakes that I want to make as giveaways. So I headed for the sewing weight threads!!!

As you know by now - I LOVE HWT. I love the subtle unexpected changes which give a pattern a bit of a 'lift' without destroying the design by constant rapid colour changes. 

I pulled this reel out of the drawer - just read and white. With the one snowflake I added red beads and I think you can see/guess what colour I used for the other one!!!! This is one of the threads that Ginny kindly sent to me while I was in Canada. I used 3 strands wound together which made it a size 20 thread.

6 November 2017

Finished socks

I finished the socks!! 

That photo looks very odd with the left one looking as if it's about to take up ballet lessons!!! I was trying to squidge them into an uncluttered area of the conservatory floor so I could take a picture!!! I assure you - I'm not about to take up ballet unless they offer them for geriatric elephants!!!!!

4 November 2017

Bored with white!!!

I've made more of the snowflakes for the Christmas 'party' in December  - the  day when we have a 'bit of a do' after our normal Tuesday crafting session.

That's all I've really got to say today!!! There you are - no problems reading my ramblings today but wait til Monday as you never know what will happen in BC3's brain!!!!

3 November 2017

Jane's baubles

This is a set of baubles I made for Spinning Jane who comes to Crafternoon. 

She arrived one day with a handful (or two) of big beads and asked if I could make her some decorations for her mini tree. 

Jane is a very generous lady with her homegrown fruit and veg so it was a great pleasure to say 'yes' to her request. The top picture is the baubles just finished and the bottom is when I'd added 'tops and bottoms' to them!!! She was very pleased with them when I handed them over last Friday.

2 November 2017

Butterfly for Fringe

Finally I've got round to getting the butterfly I did for the Fringe weekend up on my site. I do mess around and put it off as it takes a lot of time to get a page ready to publish!!! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!!!

I did this on a pin for a change but the butterfly could be used as a brooch or sewn to a garment. As buttons are washable anyway there'd be no problem to adding it to a t-shirt or something!!! Trying to think of other ways of using it!!! 

I used an idea or a 'technique' that I found in Dora Young's book to make the lovely edges to the wings and to deliberately give the 'blips' of colour to them too. Anyway, perhaps you'd like a link to the pattern?

31 October 2017

Bugle Snowflakes!

Not sure why I like doing these so much but I think it's the technique I use in the centre which fascinates me most. That and the fact that I can make two in an evening!!  I now know the pattern off by heart which I should do as it's one from BC3!!! 

I was intrigued, when reading another blog a week or so ago (can't remember which one, though), to find someone explaining how to add beads to get the same effect as in the bugle snowflake pattern (beads facing the centre of the ring).  I'm pretty sure the blogger was measuring picots and working out how big a picot needs to be to take so many beads etc, etc.  Seemed a bit odd when my technique does away with all that angst and gives a reliable neat finish too without the variances that happen when using picot gauges!!!!  Maybe I misread it!

These (each one is different) are going to be sold (hopefully) at a little Christmas 'do' we're going to throw after our regular Tuesday craft morning one week in December. We're hoping to raise a bit of money towards another summer party 'bash' which was hugely successful in July.

30 October 2017

The answer!

This post was scheduled to go out on Saturday but it obviously didn't!!!  I've had trouble with Blogger over the weekend and even in my drafts it appears to have 'gone out' on Saturday.  Goodness knows what they're up to at the moment!!!!

To those who hadn't guessed - here's the answer to Friday's quiz.  Well, sort of!

They're Randy's shoes. Well I thought they were but Jane says (in a comment on yesterday's post) that they're Cliff's (her husband's) shoes and this all took place in her house!!!  There again Terry says they're Randy's and she was there too!!!!  Well I'm still going to pretend to myself that the title of the picture should be 'in the master's shoes' but if they're not Randy's then I'm still going to pretend that they are!!!!!  One has to amuse oneself when one's an old git!

Here are two more sensible pictures to show you. The first is at the Fringe when we're obviously into a deep discussion and the second is at Jane's house where again Bev has caught us talking earnestly. Strange really as neither of us 'do' earnest but when it comes to threads and shuttle tatting it's all we talk about when we get together!!!!! 

Randy was showing me some techniques from the book "Tatting GR-8 Alternate Threads" (which I've already got).  I can thoroughly recommend it to give you inspiration for the new ideas the brothers have come up with.

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
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