30 April 2019

Starting all over again

Well it had to happen!! Juliana version 1 is over and done with and sitting sadly by my side as I re-did rounds 1 to 3. I’m a lot happier now. This is my last comment on version 1 - not that I’d really decided to ditch it then!!!  Have you noticed that I ditched the colour too?  I’m using a slightly different blue now as I thought it might bring me ‘luck’!!!!!  Well, not really!!!

I did the centre (round 1) exactly as before so that was fast and easy. 

On round 2 I eliminated a ring at each end to avoid the horrid overlapping that happened both for me and in the original picture which I could just see when it was enlarged.

Round 3 - all I did there was anchor the clovers to each other with my favourite technique - very small picots. Now I’m happy to carry on to round 4. I’ll keep you posted!!!

29 April 2019

For a complete change

Today I’m going to invite you into the private side of my life. As you’ve probably realised I do have another side to my life in which I take part in other things and leave my shuttles at home - sometimes!

At the weekend the town celebrated Shakespeare’s Birthday. Celebrations have happened annually for centuries and it’s an occasion when the town becomes very alive.

This year the Town Trust along with Escape Arts organised a first ever scarecrow competition. I go to several craft groups during the week and one of them is for our two streets which are sort of ‘isolated’ by the traffic system but are a quiet haven a five minute walk from the town centre, theatres etc (and the bard’s birthplace). We’re called Neighbours and Needles and our self imposed ‘remit’ is to drink coffee/tea, and knit sew etc. BUT we try to take on projects which involve us all and benefit other groups/charities round the town. If somebody ‘needs/wants’ something made and we get to hear about it we’ll do it.  We also try to raise money for good causes like the local hospices.

So we decided to join the scarecrow competition. 

The weather was NOT kind to us because of the very strong wind on Saturday but it didn’t rain so that was a good thing. The photos below show our scarecrows made from 2 compost bins and 2 pedal bins. AND guess what - we WON. SOOOOOO exciting.  

We even persuaded two police people to pose with our 3 witches from Macbeth AND Mr Shakespeare who happened to be one of the judges!!!!  Apparently they were very impressed by our attention to detail - especially on the 'ingredients' in the cauldron!!!

26 April 2019

Just for a change

Just sidetracking a little with the sewing!!!

Some years ago I used to make ‘poke proof’ pouches for shuttles with hooks or picks. These proved very popular when I sold them in Etsy but then I ran out of my secret material that I used inside the linings to make them truly ‘poke proof’. There’s nothing worse than your shuttles either escaping from your table or (when put in an ordinary bag) having the hooks/picks poke through and into something else.

There’s a laugh here too. I managed to get some similar material for the insides of pouches the other day from a shop that’s closing down and decided to start making a few more. 

Now I needed two shuttles as ‘models’ for the proposed prototype pouch so found an Aero and another. When I’d finished the project I wanted to take a photo (see below) but had ‘lost’ one of the shuttles. I went to find another shuttle to use with the remaining one and put them both in the pouch. I discovered the ‘lost’ shuttle inside the pouch (where that prankster BC3 must’ve hidden it) and suddenly realised (light bulb moment) that the missing shuttle was already there!!!

After the photo the pouch went through a two hour wash in the washing machine to make sure that the new material was suitable and would stand up to rigorous washing. Success!!!

25 April 2019

Juliana round 3

No, this won’t do. It’s a disaster.

Just as I thought - those rings at each end of round 2 are a problem. In fact round 3 made them even worse. Back to the drawing board and a small modification of the pattern!!  I've done it as the designer suggested but even hers tended to overlap slightly.  I think that with a little thought I can ditch two of those rings at the end of round 2.  

See the ‘sort of’ clovers on the outside of this round? I’m not happy with those either. They flop around as they’re not attached to each other. Time for BC3 to fix that problem too.  My favourite designing technique is going to come out to play here - I don't call myself (secretly) the 'Queen of the vsp's' for nothing!!!

Question is - do I cut this back to start round 2 again do I start from scratch? Answers to this question would be interesting!!! 

What would YOU do?

24 April 2019

Juliana round 2

Here’s round two of Juliana.  I’m wondering if anybody ‘out there’ and who is from The Netherlands can help me track down the designer of this pattern/book as I would like to know if the pattern still has a copyright owner.  I’m particularly concerned that if I don’t do my best to find the ‘owner’ then I’ll not be able to publish the pattern for others to use.  It would be such a shame to lose this forever.  I guess I could publish it with the acknowledgement that it isn’t my pattern but who knows.  

Round two had me a bit puzzled for a while but BC3 persisted and eventually got it sorted!!! Can you see that the chains at the ends are pointing inwards and the others point outwards? You can only see that on the picture - no mention in the pattern itself.  Thank goodness for scanners and being able to enlarge pictures - I’d never have spotted it otherwise.

I’m not happy with those four end rings - they seem a little crowded and on the original image in the book they also seem to overlap quite a bit too. I’ve a feeling they’re going to be a problem but they MAY sort themselves out when the next round is worked. I’m not very optimistic about that, though.

I completed this round a few days ago so will hope to get the next round finished for tomorrow. That’s if I don’t get sidetracked!!!!

23 April 2019

A new craft bag

Now this is a new craft tote bag I’ve been making. I’ve got enough fabric for several and will be taking them to Palmetto to try and sell.

Why ‘craft tote bags’? Well they’re different from shopping totes as they are padded and therefore stand up on their own. I use mine a lot for carrying round my tatting projects (or other crafts too) and also use a handbag hanger so the bag can hang under the table I’m sitting at. Here are some hangers like mine.

The bottom of the bag is reinforced with heavy duty stiffener too so the bag keeps it’s shape.  It’s taken me a while to make this one so I’m hoping the others maybe a little faster.  The black trim was a small bit of inspiration to make the bag look a bit ‘posher’!!!!

What do you think?

18 April 2019

Second Sequin done

I've found time to do the second (and my favourite) version of he sequin motif. 

Such a long time ago since the original was added to my web site - eleven years!!! Where does the time go?

Anyway it's now sorted and the new updated version is here.

17 April 2019

Coriolis finished

It's done. I'm really pleased with this but it doesn't show up so well in a photograph unfortunately. 

I'll take it with me to Palmetto Tat Days just so it gets an outing before it gets put in the box in a cupboard!!!!

It's the Coriolis motif which really needs to go on my web site soon - with a border.

16 April 2019

Introducing Juliana

I've an admission to make!! I made a start on this pattern in yesterday's book a few years ago. It's called Juliana and it's supposed to measure 32 x 48 centimetres when worked in a size 60 thread. Now I'm going to work in a size 20 as I can see that when doing stuff like this!!!

I started it (as I said - I do have a dreadful habit of repeating myself) a few years ago and the second picture is where I got to before abandoning it for some unknown reason which only BC3 knows the answer to!!! It takes AGES to work out exactly what the designer means as she's put very little input into the whole pattern. I'll show you a snippet of what I'm working from another day.

So over the weekend I decided to make another start. This time instead of doing a very long picot on the first ring (to join the others to) I did my usual 'trick' and made vsp's instead on each ring. That made me happier. 

If anybody knows who the owner of this copyright is would they PLEASE contact me as I'd love to get permission to put this on my site - eventually.

15 April 2019

A Dutch book

Post edited as suggested by Anke’s comment.  Thank you, Anke.

Many years ago my dear friend Riet sent me two little books. They're in Dutch so are a bit hard to read! This is the front cover and inside the first page - or frontispiece. 

It's hard to type out the Dutch version without the darn 'autocorrect' changing everything but I did it!!!! Here's what it says - I hope!!!

"In this detailed section of our frivolite manual, we have tried to give only very beautiful patterns that will satisfy more experienced workers.

Although the motifs seem more complicated than those of the previous particles, they can all be carried out in a very simple way, namely with a shuttle and ball.

The frivolite technique is, in our opinion, ideally suited to a bridal toilet. That's why we have a tasteful, simple wedding bag design. This can of course also be designed as an evening bag.

Although not for daily use, the tea cozy will probably fall very much in the smack.

Furthermore, white has incorporated different motifs, which come in all kinds of combinations - you can combine them to your own taste! - practice all garnish with contemporary fashion fits perfectly.

By the way, this time you look for new designs for collars and dresses.

We hope that this new series will find just as much welcome as the two preceding sections. These are in our. Board and Wire series available.

A small number of changes were made to this second edition, thereby improving annoying typographical errors or uncertainties.

Summer 1952 De Uitgevers"

More over the next few days, weeks, months or whatever!!!

12 April 2019

First sequin Another re-visit project

Years and years ago when the dinosaurs roamed the earth BC3 was playing with sequins as well as cabone rings!!! Well it was actually only 11 years ago - I exaggerated - just a little bit!!! 

The pattern is here but I'm now working on upgrading it so please wait until I've finished as it should be much easier to work.

The sequins I’ve used below are holographic ones which makes them VERY difficult to photograph or scan!!!  They’re gorgeous, though!!!

11 April 2019

Tissue holders

Right!!! Here's another little project I've started. It's a 'quickie' one which I needed after the pouches.

These are covers for the little packets of tissues that you throw into your handbag or whatever. They're invaluable for mopping up noses, spills etc but the plastic around them, I find, gets a bit yucky after a while.

These little tissue holders certainly stop that happening, I've found.

I made over a dozen of them for the craft sale which we had in the library last October and found that I came home with just one left and was asked by people for more. So, I know they're a good idea!!! 

I like to make them with bright colours - just so I can see them in my handbag!!! There are two Japanese prints in this lot and a rose one too plus the lovely blue/green one at the top righthand side of the picture and some match the pouches!!!! It'll be the 'luck of the drawer' whether people will want or be able to buy a matching pair but these should fit in the suitcase without too much trouble. I'll probably put a packet of tissues in them if it looks like I'm going to have room!!!

I 'lost' one to my daughter who snaffled it when she saw them!!!

10 April 2019

Two more hearts

While I was making the hearts for Fleur and Grace I also updated the pattern too.

It certainly needed more drawings and a little more thought on the text. 

The new and MUCH easier to follow (I hope) is now on the pattern site. Here's the link. 

Then I got to liking the pattern again and so here are two more hearts!!!

9 April 2019

Finished hearts for Fleur and Grace

Well here they are. The finished hearts for Fleur (should I call her 'my Fleur'?) and Grace. I thought a small heart and a butterfly would finish the picture off.

I actually went over to see their 'Glammy' (grandma) for a cup of tea last week and took the pictures with me. 

There's nothing quite as calming and wonderful as having a small child snuggled up to you on a sofa. My grandkids are too big now, sadly.

8 April 2019

Slowly, slowly!!!

Where does the time go? I know I lead a busy life but I still don't know where time escapes to!!! 

This past week I've been making more accordion pouches and hope to be able to put them all together in one blog post in case anybody wants to reserve or buy one. 

I've also got two other sewing projects on the move too but you'll have to wait to see what they are for a while. Sometimes my blog has queues of stuff ready to show you and then I'll go through a 'bare' patch. At the moment it's like Spring - it's blossoming!!!!

5 April 2019

To edge or not to edge

That is the question!!!! Got to get my bit of Shakespeare in from time to time!!!

This is the Coriolis mat which I showed you last week. 

Putting an edge on anything isn't as easy as you'd think. You can see in the top picture that I've tried several different ideas and I had already decided that I'd need to 'dip' into the spaces between motifs. On the top picture you'll see that I've done really simple SCMR's to get the depth to try and keep the edge straight.

In the second picture (and using the same stitch counts for the rings and chains) you can see that I've done a very different SCMR. In fact I've replaced two with just one SCMR and made it slightly more 'fancy'!!!! Keeping all fingers crossed that it works out. Now I've got to snip off both edgings and start again as I don't like the colours I've used. The top picture's colours weren't a serious contender!!!! I did think the orange may work but I've changed my mind!!!!

4 April 2019

Egg on toast anybody?

No? How about an egg for Easter!  Sadly not a chocolate one!!

I managed to finish it and get it up on the website.

3 April 2019

Grace’s heart

Well you can't give a child something without giving it's sibling a present too.

This is the heart I've made for Grace (Fleur's big sister) and here's the link to Fleur's heart.

As you can see I've made this one slightly different using purple beads because Grace told me she liked purple when we were discussing colours we liked.

I've now got to find frames and add something to the hearts to make it a 'proper' picture. I'll be back to bore you with this project sometime soon!!!!

Meanwhile whilst I’ve got this pattern on my BC3 I will update it with added diagrams.  Watch this space!!!!

2 April 2019

All about eggs!

Now I'm in a ‘consortium’ which rescued 8 chickens from appalling conditions and have given them a new life at a local community area. We (the chickeneers) take it in turns to look after them which can be a pain in the cold, wet and windy conditions of winter.  Currently the two OG’s who live in this house are overrun with real eggs as the ‘gals’ are laying very very well.

Anyway, I really need to talk about tatted eggs rather than drowning in the real ones.

This is a new egg idea I'm working on and as Easter is coming up, I believe, I need to get a move on with it. Hope to have it uploaded by the end of the week - will keep you posted!!!

The top one isn't really 'eggy shaped' according to my favourite critics so the second one is what I'm working on at the moment.  

1 April 2019

Gloucester Tatting Day

On Saturday I went to the tatting day that Linda organises in Gloucester. Splendid group of ladies and this time in a new venue which proved to be more like meeting in somebody's room at home. It had a lovely atmosphere and it was easier to move around and talk to people. 

Barbara from Tatting and Design was there and we were able to pre-order anything we wanted from her which was a great idea. The room wasn't large enough for her to bring all her stock but I think that pre-ordering worked well and I got myself a new ball of black thread - in case another animal idea occurs to BC3!

Kate brought along about 12 or more shuttles that somebody had given her. She had no idea what they were. I took photos of two of them and it's the first time I've handled a Mauchlin shuttle which was a treat in itself. When I told her a rough value of the shuttles she was gobsmacked. A good start to a shuttle collection and the (probably ivory) cream one is also to die for.

There was one other that I wish I'd taken a photo of too which is a black (probably ebony) with flowers. Here's a link to one of two that I have.

I wish I'd told her they were worth nothing and that I'd buy them off her for a pound!!!!! Good job I'm an honest soul!!!

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Happy Beaks

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