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.

27 October 2017

A quiz for you

No, I'm not going to tell you but I want you to guess. 

Here's a picture of me wearing some shoes which don't belong to me!!!!

Who's shoes are they?

The person who they belong to doesn't know about this, by the way, and it's only thanks to Bev from 'down under' that  you have a picture to take the guess!!!  That in itself should give you a clue!!!!

Answer will be tomorrow!!!

26 October 2017

Sock it to me!!!

Now when I was staying with Terry in Canada I got severely and sorely tempted to knit some socks. I've always had a fascination for knitting socks and it's been a few years since I did a pair. 

I've always thought it was a lot of time to spend on making something that may wear out after a few 'outings'. Anyway, Terry assured me that if I got the right yarn it would be fine and promptly gave me some - so generous and thanks, Terry. 

So, Ruth, Terry and I went out one day for high tea (mega, mega yummy it was too) and just before that we visited a yarn shop they knew about. Well, yarn AND fabric - heaven without tatting threads!!!!

I decided to buy two more balls of yarn AND some new double pointed needles. Why? Well I figured that mine at home were older than me (probably) and I would spend hours trying to match sizes up. I was recommended to buy some carbon needles and that's the most sensible thing I've done in ages. They're fantastic. They don't slip out of the stitches but again, don't catch or 'stick', if you know what I mean.  Thoroughly recommend them.

A week or so ago I decided to start my first sock with Terry's yarn first. I found a pattern and then decided that I needed to learn to knit a new way (to me) - the continental way. MAN, was THAT a steep learning curve (thank you, Youtube) and it slowed an otherwise slow knitter down to slow, dead slow and 'nearly' stop. But a week later I'm now flying and the sock is progressing wonderfully. Here's a picture taken a few days ago. MUCH progress has been made since but you'll have to wait!!!

25 October 2017

New hobby?

Well I doubt it'll take off completely for me but I must say this is more challenging than it looked when I first saw it!!!

It's needle felting.  No, NOT needle tatting before you misread this and think I've lost the plot!!!

I'd already started thinking about needle felting some time ago and my friend Louise and I wandered into a shop in Alcester a couple of months ago and were browsing the craft section. I saw some needles for this craft so bought the equipment. Cheap as chips (as 'they' say).

A few weeks later Lou and I went to a wonderful open afternoon that the local Dyers, Spinners and Weavers (link to their blog) were putting on at a local venue so we wandered down there. Really only to support our friend from Crafternoon called 'Spinning Jane'. That nickname has been adopted to differentiate her from 'Tatting Jane'!!!!  I've found this link to the blog where you can see Lou and I learning needle felting.  Lou's got her back to the camera, unfortunately.  In fact further down on the page you can see 'Spinning Jane' teaching spinning with a drop spindle too.  It was a truly splendid afternoon in good company and with lots of interesting things going on.

During the afternoon Lou and I took two workshops one of which was for making Dorset buttons and the other was needle felting. The top is what I achieved 'on the day' and the bottom heart is my second attempt at home. I'll be interested to know where this is taking me - I know that BC3 already has ideas!!!!

24 October 2017

Back to boring!!!

First of all thanks to SueH who I'm going to promote to being my internet secretary!!!!  She tells me that the candles were put up in 2003 which is quite a long time ago!!!  It's a good job that she's there to keep an eye on me!!

Well here you are - back to boring. Two more Rachel doilies done while away from home. 

The first one is done in size 40 thread and the brown one in HWT. I do LOVE my HWT!!!!

23 October 2017


The other day I had a lovely message from Kay who had found my little candle pattern on my site. Oh, before I forget - here's the link. Oh, here's another link for you too - for the larger candle!!! 

Now these must have been some of my first patterns onto the internet (I think the owl family was the first) as the candles don't have a date on them. It must've been in the 'early' days of this wonderful invention called the WWW when dates just didn't matter and I was a lot younger and more innocent!!!

Anyway, I digress. I am showing you her candle today as I'm most impressed at her creativity in finding a solution to not having the right sized ring available. I used brass curtain rings when I was doing them but Kay didn't have enough of the right size of .......... Let her tell you!!! This is part of her message to me. 

"Each year for Christmas, I try a pattern or two (of yours) and tuck a few tatted ornaments in Christmas packages as gifts. Some of my friends/ relatives LOVE those more than anything else. This year I really wanted to try your little Christmas candle, but didn't have enough of the little rings in the proper size.....so my "pack rat" tendencies came in handy. I've been saving the plastic pop off tops from 1/2 gallon size milk containers, hoping I'd find a use for them at some point. Guess what? When I cut the ring off, it's just the perfect size for your little candle ornament. I'm delighted. :-) Thought you might get a kick out of this."

21 October 2017

Two more!

Here are two more of my Rachel mats. I've given a lot away but they still seem to be accumulating!!! 

Fortunately I may be able to have a table at a craft fair next October but that's a long way away and meantime I need to 'get rid of' some more of them. Any suggestions?!?!?

I've had one idea but have got stuck.  I've seen people selling on Facebook and would like to set up a sales section there.  I've tried and tried but seem to be getting nowhere.  I've found a 'how to' but am now stuck with adding Paypal and shipping costs to the shop.  Any suggestions very welcome as I'd like to sell the Pop A Bobbin Shuttles there too.

20 October 2017

Just a few more random pictures

Tomorrow will be 'back to normal' in my little blog. Meanwhile just a few random pictures I had to share.

First off - the Marilyn's. This is a link to explain. They really are stunning.

Next the CN tower.  SO impressive.  The sky really WAS that blue.  It was very hot for all of the two weeks.  Lucky me!

The view from Donna's window.  Donna kindly hosted Ruth, Terry and I for lunch one day and I was honoured to see her impressive collection of lace goodies.  
The view across the lake from the end of Ruth's road. You can see the tower.

Finally some of Ruth's regular visitors popping in for a drink and a bath!!!

19 October 2017

Thank you

This is just a quick post to say thank you to all the people 'out there' who regularly click on the adverts I run on my blog. 

I have to pay for my space on freeservers.com - no, it's definitely NOT free!!!! Every two years I pay for it and this time round the price has gone up a LOT!! It's going to cost me $142.80 (£107.75) for this coming two years. 

The payments I get from Adsense help pay for it so every click helps. I'm not allowed to click on the adverts myself which is fair comment.

Thank you again. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow!!

18 October 2017

On my travels

Whilst I was 'out and about' I had to have something to pick up when I had some spare time. 

I never tat on the plane as I'm always afraid of dropping something and then not being able to find it again on the floor. Plane seats seem to get narrower and narrower and more and more squashed in so tatting is, for me, a no, no. BUT there are always the departure lounges where the light is pretty good and there is always plenty of time to sit and tie knots!!!

I pre-wound Ez-bobs with either size 40 thread or HWT. I put the chain thread on first and loaded the beads onto that. That was followed by the shuttle thread. I found I could get two 'projects' onto one Ez-bob. Here are two that I made on the trip (or just before!).

17 October 2017


Now this isn't the best skull ever designed but it was done in a bit of a hurry!!! Why? Well, a good friend of mine called Georgia Seitz who wrote to me a few weeks before Palmetto to ask for three designs. A skull, a tankard of beer and a Japanese lady!!! 

Well that was quite a task as BC3 was buried in other 'stuff' at the time so Georgia's wishes had to wait a week or so. This is the skull she decided to use. It's not that brilliant BUT it does 'use and abuse' the technique of adding a bead to the SCMR which pleased my tiny brain!!!!

I may go back and play with this again sometime to put in a better mouth but there again - I may not!!!

16 October 2017

Another heart by Kaye

This heart really doesn't do well as a photo and I would hate to flatten it under the scanner. 

I had a problem starting this off but Kaye's pattern was NOT to blame!!! As Ruth said - read the pattern carefully!!! Once BC3 had logged into that and 'got' the hang of the picots the rest was (as they say) - history!!!

This is such a pretty technique which I'd never come across before so it kept me on my toes (or rather my big fat butt) for a while.

Kaye has several books here which may contain these two heart patterns but I'm not sure.  You can see better photos on the Fringe Element site which is here.

14 October 2017

A day at Jane's house

A lovely lass called Jane, who belongs to the Fringe group, kindly set up an 'open house' for all the organisers of the event on the Monday after Tat Days. She'd been hosting Randy and Wendy and invited the rest of us to spend time with them. WHAT a privilege. 

Although I've met Randy several times before we've never had time to really sit and play tatting together. This we were able to do. I took some pictures of his work at Tat Days but he doesn't want them put online and so I'm not going to. It was work he'd done on the book called Tatting Alternate Threads.  I've already got that book.  Thoroughly recommend it too.

Well what he showed me was mind blowing. 

Something I can show you - Randy tatting.

13 October 2017

Down the pub!

On the Saturday evening I was led astray. Honestly, I was bound and gagged and kidnapped and taken to the pub!!!! Yes it was almost a 'real' English pub and probably more authentic than English pubs are nowadays!!!! 

When we got there (Kelly, Vicky and I) we bumped into the South Carolina contingent along with my other dear friends Riet and Martha. What a lovely time we had before heading back to the hotel to play tatting again.

12 October 2017

In the goodie bag

Nick said yesterday that it looked as if my tatting cupboard had been sick!!! Why? Well, I'd put my gifts and purchases from the trip on the floor outside the cupboard with the door open. He was right - it did look as if the cupboard had been sick. So I decided that I ought to do something about it. 

In the goodie bag we were given at the Fringe tat days there were some of these mesh tubes (see below - top picture). Lots of other things too, I might add!!!  I was given some last time I was 'over there' and they proved to be most useful. Kelly also gave me a 'few' more. As part of the tidying up campaign I decided to sort them out. 

The first thing I did was sew up one end. This was very simple to do on the sewing machine. Next was the task of allocating them to their new job. 

My thread drawers are always getting in a muddle and these little mesh 'bags' are really good at keeping it tidy. I put a ball into the new 'bag' and tuck the ends up into the centre of the ball. Works a treat. Below are the before and after pictures of the drawer. You can still see the colour of the thread through the mesh which is really good. 

Now to tackle the rest of the cupboard. 

11 October 2017

Some random photos

First of all we managed to persuade Martha to put on her drop dead GORGEOUS collar that she's been blogging about for a few months. It's truly exquisite. What a lovely smile too.

Under that is a picture of a vegetable display in the store where Kelly works. I couldn't get over the different varieties of veggies that are available in the Canadian stores. Lucky people.

At the bottom is a waffle I made!!!! Yes, I do love to make my own waffles!!! They have the 'technology' to make them in the Best Western Hotels both in Canada and America so that's always my first 'stop' at breakfast if I'm ever staying in one!!! I'm a pathetic (and quite rotund) old git now!!!!

10 October 2017

Two hearts

Two hearts but the same pattern.  Both were made in Canada!!  The first one is made with HWT which dear Ginny sent to me (picture at the bottom). 

This is a lesson that Kaye Judt taught at the Fringe Element. Everybody who goes to this event gets a folder with all the patterns in. That's a real bonus as nobody can get to every class!!!! Specially when you're teaching. 

I love, love this little pattern even though I 'lost the plot' in the second one (white) that I made I still managed to tat myself out of the mess I'd got myself into!!! I can definitely recommend this pattern although I've no idea whether Kaye will publish it or has published it already.

9 October 2017

Now, where was I?

Ah, at Tat Days in Cambridge.

It was a busy but very satisfying two days. I'm going to put some pictures up so you can all see the fun we were having. There was very little time to take photos, though.

The first is a general view of one of the classrooms.

Second is a few of the raffle prizes which were amazing.

Third is the youngest tatter there although she doesn't know that's what she's going to be when she grows up!!!

Next is what I considered to be the star item in the auction which was conducted (in the final picture) by Vicky and Randy. The tree was spectacular and has gone to a very good home, I believe.

7 October 2017

Then on to

The serious side of the trip!!! Well, with tatters around things can never be 'that' serious!! 

First of all I was taken to Len's Mill which was really close to the hotel where the Fringe was taking place. It was like walking into an Alladin's cave! Quite literally when you went down the stairs!  Here we found the fabric you can see below. Of course I had to buy some!!! We also met other tatters who were on their way to the hotel too - a happy, happy meet up before the event. 

I also found some Miyuki beads which were a very good price.

So after that bit of excitement we (that's Kelly, Vicky and I) headed towards the venue - the Best Western where Tat Days moved into 'setting up' mode. The organisers just swing into the place and it all goes like a smoothly working machine. I'm always amazed at how these things 'just happen' although I do know that there's about 12 months planning that's gone on before.

My first class was the heart which you can see here. I'll upload the pattern within the next week or so. That took care of the afternoon!!! Onto the evening next time I blog!!!

6 October 2017

Did you miss me?

Well I've been on my travels again. This year the group to suffer were the Fringe Element in Canada. Well, they did ask me to come back and they should've known better!!!!!

The first few days I stayed with dear Kelly and ACTUALLY got her to try using a shuttle. I'm not going to say this too loud in case she hears me but I must say that I'm sure she'd make an excellent shuttle tatter.  The first photo shows her making out that I'm bullying her but it was her idea to have a go!!!

The second picture is a truly great hanging that she made.  The photo doesn't do it justice.

The last picture is the fire that her hubby (Dennis) set up in the yard one evening.  Very relaxing sitting round a fire pit in the warm (or that should be - hot) weather we had for the whole two weeks I was over in Canada.  In fact we saw rain for a very short time one morning and the temperatures were - well, HOT!

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Happy Beaks

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