18 October 2019


I bought some yarn while I was in America as I wanted to practice continental knitting which I'd learned from Youtube.

Last winter I sat and made myself learn this 'new to me' way of working with knitting needles and must say that I enjoyed it as it's more like crochet. 

My Aunty Nelly was disgusted that her sister (my grandmother) had encouraged me to tat at the age of 13 but that she couldn't get me interested in crochet!!! She was a great needlewoman just like my gran too. 

It wasn't until she'd died many years before that, at the age of 32, I was so disgusted with myself that I sat down with books and taught myself to crochet!!! For some reason it now doesn't do my right hand a lot of good as I have a small problem with it. Knitting is fine, though. 

I wanted something simple (as in stocking stitch) so I could get practice and thus speed with my new way of knitting so I started a waistcoat (or, as they say in America, a vest). The pattern said to start on one of the fronts but I wanted to get the back done first so that I'd know if I'd got enough yarn. Here's the back and the good news is that I will have enough!!! 

Joanie gave me a whole set of bamboo knitting needles which are really comfortable to use too so that inspired me to keep going too!!!  Don't we all like new 'toys'?

17 October 2019

They're BACK

Or at least they will be!!

Martha and a few others asked me lately whether I'd be making any Roly Poly Tat Bags again. I must've made around 200 or more a few years ago and then got fed up with making them - as you do!!! Lorena gave me some pretty fabric when I was at Tat Days to make her a bag (or two) and the rest is for me to make what I like with. I also bought some more fabric whilst I was 'over there' staying with Sandra so I have the materials (well, not the zips yet) and am off to a start. 

Luckily I'd written down on the computer the sizes and amounts of 'bits' I need to make the bags BUT hadn't put down the order I constructed them in!!! I've had to work that out for myself again!!! I'm hoping to make a few before it gets too cold to work in the conservatory so am showing you the fabric I'm currently offering although I do have more!!! First of all the bag for Lorena and that's followed by pictures of some of the other fabric I’ve got too!!!  

I will be selling from the blog but have to work out the postage on the bags although I'm sure it won't be a lot and I know from past experience that I can send probably two or three for the same price.  The bags will be £14.00 each this time.  

16 October 2019

New starting hiding ends trick - Tim Kaylor

When I was over in America I was invited to teach at the Palmetto Tatters guild meeting which was held the week after Tat Days in Lexington Museum. I’m always wary of going to museums in case they think I’m a fossil and need to be exhibited.

Tim (who sadly couldn’t ‘quite’ make it to Tat Days) was there so I plonked myself down next to him (poor man) as he’d been test tatting Juliana for me and I really wanted to say a proper thank you to him. 

He showed me a ‘new to me’ trick which I haven’t seen before and which I said I’d draw up and put on my web site. I’ve been using it ever since.

What I particularly like about this trick is that it puts the second shuttle (or ball thread) into the right place for a following split ring which has always been a problem to me in the past. The only thing I’d suggest if you decide to use it is that you cover the shuttle one end with doubles for the majority of that first ring. Reason? Well Tim says that if you sew in your ending ends that first little end COULD pull out. That's not happened to me yet!

15 October 2019

New earrings

Just some eye candy today!! I spotted these amazing beads in a store in America. I think it was Michaels but not sure!! I simply couldn’t resist buying a couple of strands of them.

There really isn’t a pattern for this as it’s simply self closing mock rings with the bead added to the loop before joining back to the core thread. All you have to do is work as many doubles as you need to go round one side of the bead, join then repeat. I put a ring at the top to join to the metal split ring (which then goes onto the ear finding) and then work back down the other side with simple chains. Again the number of doubles will be the same as the number on the SCMR’s.

I could’ve added more small seed beads to this but it was so sparkly just as it is that I didn’t want to dazzle myself!!!

14 October 2019

Midi flake number two

Going back to this post with one of the snowflakes I'm working on I couldn't find anything like it at all - before I put out the post. Stephanie then got in touch and she couldn't either but it prompted me to take another look myself. I keep quite a few things on the icloud and was looking for something else when I came across Betsy's snowflake which is a LOT like mine. Or should I say - mine is a lot like hers!!!

She used regular chains and put clovers at the top of the outer round. Nonetheless mine's almost like hers. Now I KNOW she couldn't have copied mine as the copyright on hers is 2004 and she probably didn't know about lock chains back then either. 

So, off I went on a quest to contact Betsy. First of all I tried her email address but that bounced. Then I was forced to go to my nemesis - Pinterest where I found this link to the site where it was hosted. That didn't work either. The snowflake, I found out, was in a book by Betsy called 'Let it Snow' but I can't find that either.  It seems to have disappeared into thin air - or melted like snowflakes do!  Both Sue and Georgia got in touch to say that Betsy had sadly died so that’s the end of the search.

Now I have several choices - either to abandon the whole idea or do something like I did with Juliana. I could attribute the design to Betsy (I would put in links if I had them to her book and the actual snowflake online) or decide that mine's sufficiently different to leave well alone. I want to be fair so any advice would be good. 

Meantime - here's the second snowflake in this series. This one has seven split rings (sorry, Diane) and a half double double stitch to make the chains stay straighter and the rings sit up properly on the outside. Again it's similar to others 'out there' and again I don't want to step on anybody's toes.

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Happy Beaks

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