30 December 2020

How many?

If anybody EVER says they're bored in front of me they get a humungous glare!!!  In all my years I've never been bored.  There's always something to keep me interested and involved whether it's crafts or people, problems to solve etc.

The only two things I'm not keen on are cooking and gardening!!!!  I could happily skip those but I do them albeit reluctantly.

Even a semi lockdown Christmas didn't mean any boredom - no family visits but no boredom either.  This is the Fandango poncho at the moment.  160 motifs!

I can't get bored with this because of the way I'm working it.  As you can see there are 8 motifs in a row so that means I 'hit the stash of threads' every row or so to work out what I'm using next.  This is part of the way I don't get bored.  

It may look as if one end is wider than the other but that's perspective causing that!!!  

24 December 2020

More planning and more progress

This is another row being planned on my 'not quite sure yet' project!!  Still think it might become a poncho.  
Would you believe that I still make mistakes from time to time and either have to unpick or sometimes even abandon the odd square.  

Also when winding the shuttles I sometimes get the threads sort of tangled. Some motifs have two HWT together and some have three.  Occasionally just one which is a relief!!!

23 December 2020

Another project finished!

After my stupid hiccough with the oven gloves and a few minutes undoing the stitching I was back 'on the case' as 'they' (whoever they are!) say.

First of all I sewed the edge of the lining along the main part and in the right place this time!!

Next I crocheted doubles through the two parts of the outer pocket and including the inner lining too.  That was a bit of a struggle at times!!

I then found that I'd got enough odds and ends of cotton yarn left to add a stabilising couple of rows of double crochet to the joining part between the two gloves!!!

I've since tested them and they work a treat.  All for the price of nothing!!!  Some of that yarn by the looks of the label must've been almost as old as me - if not older!!!!!  

21 December 2020

Where things went wrong!!!

I think BC3 decided he was on holiday far too soon and this is what he did next.  

First of all I divided the remaining pink/green into two and made a treble crochet 'filler' (don't know how to explain it any better!) to join the two pockets and I had 'just enough' to make a good space between the glove ends.  I started from each pocket and joined in the middle 'just in case' I hadn't got enough to reach and had to infill with the cream.
I sewed the two ends to the lining and started to put it all together.  

Then the penny dropped (as they say!) and I realised that I'd sewn the extra lining into the wrong place!!!  Not a huge problem and it was soon undone and put right.  I've done a second photo to show where I should've sewn the lining - follow the black arrows!!

18 December 2020

Progress on the oven gloves

Having done the 'hand pockets' I tested them out and realised that just the one thickness of double crocheted fabric wouldn't be enough to stop my poor old aged hands getting burnt.  So, next plan was another layer.  
I realised that another layer of crochet would make whole hand pockets far too stiff so resorted to knitting a layer to put inside the palm part of the pink/green pockets.  

Good idea and it worked.  (Tested it out on Sunday when I was cooking a chicken).  

16 December 2020

Odds and ends

I've always liked making 'something for nothing' which I think is inbred in all of us crafty people!!  
Going through my yarn stash a week or two back I found the odds and ends of cotton yarn (roughly double knitting size) and wondered if I could use any of it to make some oven gloves.  We have several oven gloves but both of us always go to the one set which are heat proof and ''bendy' too.  

I decided to crochet the two pockets for the hands first.  I knew I'd got plenty of this green/pink yarn.

14 December 2020

I’ve caught Covid-19

Well thankfully I’m teasing although I hope I’m not tempting fate!!!  I've not seen anybody or heard of anybody in Tat Land catching the Covid virus, thankfully. I've lost two friends and had one other catch it and survive (late 80's).  

That and the snowman from the other day made BC3 think.  
As  you know here in the  UK the first vaccine is being rolled out.  I won't get it yet as I'm a mere Spring chicken in my late 70's but hoping it won't be too long.  Nick will get it soon, I hope.  

Anyway, I thought I would award myself a badge/button to show I've had the vaccine.  We won't be given 'I've had the vaccine' stickers or any other type of acknowledgment that we've had a needle stuck in our arms so I'm going to give myself THIS!!!!

There are two versions - one suitable for an earring and the other to wear as a brooch - it’s tatted onto a button.

10 December 2020

A snowman with a difference

I have a friend who lives ‘round the corner’ and who rang me a few days ago to ask if I could make a snowman for her.  Not just an ordinary snowman, though!!  

Well I showed her this one and she said that was fine BUT would I be able to replace the walking stick with a Covid virus!!!!  Apparently it’s a family ‘thing’ where she sends a snowman each year and she likes it to have something to do with the year so what could be more ‘right’ for this year than a snowman carrying a Covid virus!!!

So, here it is!!!

8 December 2020

About halfway to halfway???

I decided after a few rows of the second ‘start’ that it wasn’t a particularly good idea so joined those rows to the original.  Made for an interesting row to work which was a ‘good thing’ as it made it moderately more challenging!!!  One HAS to keep BC3 on his toes, you know.  

This is progress a few days ago.  It now measures 32” in length and there are 118 squares!!!

Meanwhile I’ve been sidetracked yet again onto another project which I’ll show you in a couple of days.  

4 December 2020

Choosing colours

Do you remember the knitted blankets that I did?  If not then here's a reminder!!!

That's the same idea I'm using for the 'supposed to be' poncho.

I lay the piece on the floor and then choose the colours for the next row.  This seems to work really well so that's going to be my plan from now on.  Eight squares in a row is enough  to deal with at a time and I can 'just about' do a row every two days.  Each square takes me an hour and a half and if I get two done in the afternoon (doesn't always happen!) and two in the evening then I can make steady progress.  

2 December 2020

TIAS coming sooooooon

Well it had to happen.  Lockdown finally got BC3 to agree to a return of the Tat It And See which first appeared back in approximately 2008 with the hippo which can be found here.
For those who don't know what it is then please take a visit to this link and this link too.  

ANY questions, suggestions or complaints then please email me directly on my email address (at the top of this blog).  Or leave a comment below.

I try to keep the TIAS (as those who've done it before know) as simple as possible for those taking part.  The only real 'work' is at my end when I receive comments and pictures of your progress (or lack of!!) to put on the TIAS blog.

For the 'rules' of the game or to find further information please read this file.  The starting date is at the bottom.

My email address is in my profile on the left side of

This is what the last TIAS turned out to be!!

30 November 2020

Breaking the monotony

Well that's a silly title for this post as I'm not finding it monotonous at all!!!!  
But I decided that if this was going to fail as a poncho then it might be a good idea to turn it into two cloths or something.  So I've started another of the 'whatever it is'!!!

Eventually I can join the two lengths and make them into the poncho.  Knowing me it'll probably get finished but at the moment I'm hedging my bets!!!  

Please don't miss Wednesday's blog post - something I really need to tell you about.  It's pretty important in Tat Land.

27 November 2020

This makes me happy

Two empty spools that used to have thread on! 
Why would that make me happy?  Simple answer - it gives me a good excuse to buy more or makes two less things my poor kids will have to dispose of when I die!!!!

The plastic one on the right held the Nakis Simi that I’ve recently managed to ‘replace’ thanks to this site I found in Estonia.  At least two of the readers of this blog have ordered from the same people.  

The other was an old Coats thread which I also had for many years.  Happy days.

25 November 2020

Last time there were 56 motifs

This time there are 64 and I'm still plodding on!!!!

I finally got out my small balls of 60, 70 and 80 threads the other day and have discovered that I can easily use those so the 'running out of thread' problem just WON'T happen which I'm pleased about.

Still not committed to the poncho idea but I'm going to employ another 'tactic' to keep it still interesting.  More next time!!!!

23 November 2020

Onion rings

No, not the sort I prefer (the ones you eat) but the ones you can make with tatting.  
NOT my favourite thing to do but since I've been in deep discussion with Judith Connors she's shown me a really neat way to get the bottom of the onion ring to sit so, so neatly.  In fact my onion rings will now have a neater bottom than ever before!!  I'm so, so grateful for Judith bringing this to my attention and then helping me get the drawings right.  Not easy when you're at opposite ends of the planet!!!

Meantime I must tell you about my woes with the pattern site.  I upgraded the IOS on my computer and then found that the SeaMonkey app (which I've used for many, many years) wouldn't work. Oh, such deep sorrow.  

I asked Sue Duckles if her hubby could help me and he very kindly did his best but the BC3 is allergic to learning html or anything new for that matter.  I did manage to insert some text and a link using a tutorial online but it really 'strained my brain'.  

When I'd almost given up hope but the following day I opened SeaMonkey to find they'd done an update.  Downloaded and installed it and it WORKS again.

20 November 2020

Rock and Roll

No, no, NO!!!  I mean Slope and Roll.  Sheesh - send for BC3 FAST!!!
Seriously now.  Today I'm putting a new page on my pattern pages to show the slope and roll join.

This join was originally shown by Deb Arnold but I can't find a link to her very clear diagram and page about it.   In fact I can't even find her shop anymore which is a shame.  The link from a google search took me to a blank page.

This join is particularly useful if you want/need the core shuttle thread to keep 'on the move' in the join and can replace the lock join to also give a smoother looking join.  

It's a great technique for an onion ring too.  Which reminds me on to tell you that over the weekend I'll be working on getting the onion ring page up on the web site too.  Yes, I've covered this before but that was before I got into a great discussion about onion rings with Judith Connors.  More next week.

18 November 2020

56 motifs done!

Now this measures 10½” x 11½” and I'm trying to decide what to do with it still.

I've had this totally RIDICULOUS idea of making it into a poncho.  How STOOOOOOOOOOOOPID is that?  

I worked it out yesterday and this part is almost ¼ of the way to being a poncho but my new problem will soon be - how much thread will it now need?  I'm rapidly getting down my stock of odds and ends. 

I'm going to do another row and then take a careful stock check of what I've got.  If I'm not careful I'll be finding I've got none of some colours left!!!

16 November 2020

The psychology of tatting

Well, maybe!!!
I was pondering about the whole psychology of this lace or any other craft, come to that.  

I read a lot of blogs and Facebook posts and sadly the main ‘aim’ it seems to me is quick gratification. By that, I mean, people mainly want something small and fast to make.  

This intrigues me as I’ve never felt that way about anything in life.  I’m happy to wait for gratification in all aspects of my life.  I’ll wait for anything.  If I order something online, or in a queue in a shop, waiting for a bus, etc, I don’t mind how long it takes - the anticipation is what makes my adrenaline flow.  I feel almost deflated when the item arrives or I get to the front of the queue.

I occasionally like to make something that only takes an evening but then I’m left with that feeling of ‘what’s next’?  So, to cope with my weird way of dealing with tatting projects is to have two projects (sometimes three) ‘on the go’.  One a short term one and the other a longer one - although I never commit totally to how long that long term one may be as at my age (77) you never know how long ‘long’ will take and if you’ll be around to finish.

So, I would say to the younger generation - make a commitment.  Both to what you’re making now and your life in general.  

Does that make sense and would you like a picture to liven this post up?

13 November 2020

More bells

I’ve been busy doing a few more bells as well as the Fandango ‘whatever it is’ but I’ve hit the skids on what I was planning.
Somewhere I’ve got a dangle with bells and leaves but I’m darned if I can find them.  I’ve hunted high and low for the little box with them in but they’ve hidden themselves really well.  My heart really isn’t in making anymore until I find the missing ones.  This is what I’m looking for.

This is what I’ve got so far - sorry, not a good picture.

Oh, just looked at the date - it’s Friday 13th so maybe I’ll buck the trend and be lucky enough to find the missing bells.  Keep your fingers crossed, please.

11 November 2020

Still plodding on

I've not a lot to show you again this week but hope to be back in full production 'mode' shortly!!!!  
This is the progress I've made on the Fandango project.  

It doesn't look a lot but I really must decide soon what it's going to be!!!  

9 November 2020

Well, well, well!!!!

As you ALL know - America is a BIG place.  I've been so lucky to visit many times over the years and have seen a few parts of the country but it amazes me that suddenly I find that Palmetto Tatters (the main reason for my visits) have moved their venue.  

After Tat Days in 2014 I was 'kidnapped' and taken to the mountains at Lake Junaluska for a few gloriously lazy tatting days.  Wonderful memories of very dear friends.  
Palmetto have had to move from Toccoa in Georgia (because the Baptist Centre there is being sold) and are now going to Lake Junaluska which is near Waynesville in North Carolina.

I've decided not to apply to teach next year as I'm still very wary of the Covid virus but I WILL be trying for a place in 2022!!!  Already got two patterns lined up!!

Well done my lovely Palmetto friends.  Here are a few photos I took when I was there in 2014.  

5 November 2020

30 Fandango’s

.Chilling out with the shuttles and time to add a few more Fandango squares to the ‘whatever it is’.  

I really ought to make up my mind about what I’m making here.  The idea of a sleeveless top appeals to me.  Something like a jacket?  I’m not sure.  All I do know is that it’s making a very small dent in the very fine sewing threads that Sue gave me ages ago!!!!  

If anybody has any suggestions for the project I’d be very grateful.  At the moment it measures 9” by 7”.

2 November 2020

One done and one to do

I’m afraid this blog maybe quiet for a week or two while BC3 adjusts his brain cells!!!
The first secret project is done and due to be handed over later today.  You’ve seen bits of it (the crochet posts) and I’m afraid that’s all I’m allowed to show.  

It was an interesting experience as I had to design a crochet piece to fit onto a template and then that was sewn onto another piece of crochet and another fabric.  

I wrote down the pattern as I went along which was another steep learning curve too.  All I want/need to do now is get back into doing something which doesn’t ‘strain the brain’.  

Bear with me while I adjust, please as I know you’re going to like what I’m working on next!!!

Oh, a picture of another part of the crochet project to cheer up this dull post!!!

30 October 2020

I had to smile!!!

I scanned this part of the secret project before I realised what I was seeing!!!

Can you see an arm with a hand holding a gun?!?!?  Now is that a clue? 

28 October 2020

Snowflower snowflake

I needed to test the pattern out for this snowflake from a few years ago so that meant a happy evening doing something I didn't have to think toooooo hard about!!!! 

26 October 2020

A little bit about

One of my secret projects.  I can't tell you what it's for but I can show you some bits and pieces from this long project.  So far I think I've devoted three full weeks to it but I can now see a little light at the end of the tunnel!!!!

I do have an example to work from but it's testing my poor old BC3 - and my poor old hands too!!!!

23 October 2020

It just HAD to happen!!!

Having received the favourite gold metallic thread from Estonia last week I felt a massive sense of relief and set off to make some bauble bells.
Here's the link to my post about the metallic thread but what I didn't tell you is how tough it is!!!  

When I make the bauble bells (pattern here - which is really only guidance as you can make them bigger) I really tug and tug on the ribs and on the core chain thread too and this never EVER breaks this metallic thread.  

I made a set which you can see here and they were sold magnificently in the silent auction last year at Palmetto Tat Days.  I'm thinking this time I might cover some large beads using this pattern instead of leaves in between!!  

21 October 2020

Snowflake Butterfly

Sorry but this took a day longer than I thought.  Guess what happened?

Anyway, here's the link now and I hope one or two of you may make it and show it to me over the next few years!!!  

That's unless, of course, you get sidetracked too!!!!

19 October 2020

Sally's version

Way back in January before the world went into chaos I designed a little butterfly which I showed you here.  This is a blog post that I had ready back then but it's been sitting in drafts ever since!!!
"I asked Sally if she had time to test this Butterfly Snowflake and she did but typical of sisters - she had ‘another good idea’ and I think it’s a stonking GREAT idea.

Can you see what she’s done? She’s added two further rings to the tip of the snowflake arms. I LOVE it and will add it to the pattern - when I get back to it.

Yes, you’ve guessed - I’ve been sidetracked yet again!!!"

Sidetracked is right.  Here I am now in October and I suddenly noticed that the above comment and Sally's snowflake were sitting here on my blog!!!  

Fortunately I've only got a bit of tidying up to do so should have this pattern ready for you tomorrow.  Of course, that depends on if I get sidetracked once again!!!

16 October 2020

25 and counting

Well, hopefully I've counted properly this time!!  Only one person picked up on my inability to count!!!
My last post here was not 13 plus or minus anything!!!  I think it's time I went back to school!!!

This time I think I've used all my fingers and toes to count but had to add one hand again!!!  I know this is 25!!

An update on my two secret projects.  One is almost ready for the 'real deal'.  The thing I've been asked to do is a wavy shaped piece of crochet to fit a very specific shape/place.  Fortunately I've had a practice item to work with but even that has not been easy.  The lady made me a template as this is all 3D too and that has helped loads.  Shortly the 'real deals' will arrive and hopefully I'll be able to settle down to those.  

Once I've got them done then it'll be back to the other secret project!!!!

14 October 2020

My FAVOURITE metallic thread

Un flipping believable.

For two years now I've been waiting for a supplier of thread here in the UK to get a certain metallic thread back in her shop.  I'm afraid I have nagged a bit too and I apologise for that!!!
It’s the only metallic thread I’ve ever really rated on all scores - Nakis Simi.  I simply LOVE it.  I bought some off her a year or more ago but it was purple and I really wanted gold as I have very little left.  I like the Lizbeth range of metallics but found it works up a little too 'fat' for me.  I guess that maybe it's because I'm getting a little too 'fat' myself!!!

I actually had time the other day to ask Mr Google about it and he found me some in Estonia.  

Now that’s a long way to go to find thread but needs must.  I ordered two spools.

It cost me £10.50 which was mainly for postage.  Each spool costs under a pound so it was a lot for postage. BUT considering it arrived in ten days and that if I’d ordered within the UK it may have cost me two pounds or more in postage alone then it’s amazing value.  

AND I know I love it and each spool will last forever - there's soooo much on each one (100 metres).  I ordered two spools.  This is the link to the shop if you want to browse and this is the link to my all time favourite metallic thread

I use it a lot for making bells using the bauble method and do have a pattern for that on my web site here.  The pictures show bells I made with the Nakis Simi too.

Amazing company and I'm now thinking I really, really need some more silver!!!

12 October 2020

Monday Moan - just a simple question

When somebody accuses you of an action, in public, that you know nothing about and had no part in then why can't they say 'sorry' when they know they're wrong?

To cheer you up - a photo from one of my recent walks.

9 October 2020

13 minus one plus one!!!

Why the title to this post?  Well, read on!!!

I bet you can't spot why I cut one of the squares out?  I didn't 'see' the problem until I'd scanned the top picture and then it was glaringly obvious!!!!  Well, to me.  I could've probably 'got away with it' by carrying on but that's just NOT my way of working!!!  

So, look at the top right of the top picture and can you see the problem?  That motif is 'bulging' outwards.  So I cut it out and pared down the thread thickness and did the replacement.

This is the joy and frustration of HWT.  The joy is in the variety of colours you can mix yourself but you have to have a good BC3 to keep it under control.  My BC3 obviously took the day off when I started that square.  

The thing about HWT and using sewing weight thread is that the exact match of thickness isn't really too critical but if you're not careful you can choose one thread that is slightly too much thicker than you need.  I can't understand why I carried on with that square as it was obvious before I'd got halfway that it wasn't going to work!!!  I guess I was feeling lazy and didn't want to put things right at the time!!!

7 October 2020

A quiet time ahead

Well quiet for the blog although a little tatting will be shown and not 'just' Fandango squares!!
The reason is because I've got two secret projects on the go at the moment.  The one you will eventually get to hear about but the other - probably not.

I will tell you a little bit about the 'probably not' one, though.  It involves crochet with a size 1mm hook and size 20 thread and is waaaaay out there as being totally original.  It's for a lady who makes really cool 'stuff' and wants somebody to replicate something already made for her in the past.  It's all custom made to each purchaser's requirements too.  

This is going to keep me busy for a month or so but as it's going to be hard on my hands I'm going to be taking regular breaks with the shuttles.

5 October 2020

A new mouse!

Another mouse has entered the Exclusive Tatting Club.
This one is from Mary Anne in Ohio who had it in the Spokane Interstate Fair.  She got a blue ribbon too.  Here's the link to it in the club. 

2 October 2020

Time passes

Another few are added!!!

The Fandango is growing.  The top  picture of six measures 3" by 4½" which makes each one around 1½" square - just in case anybody wants to know!!!

This is such a nice thing to work as I can easily get a square (and a fair bit more) done in an evening - unlike gloves!!!  

I do have a new project in mind so the blog posts may get fewer and fewer for a while!!  It's a pattern which I found on my computer and which was finished in 2004 but has never made it onto my web site.  I've no idea why either.  BUT I think I can now improve on it so you'll have to bear with me (or be thankful that I've gone quiet).  Plenty around me would relish me being quiet!!!

30 September 2020

The daytime job!!!

Well I HAD to make one (or maybe two)!!!!  

I realised that if you're going to make a folding up bag to go in your pocket (or, in my case, my dedicated Covid bag) then it's got to be made of thin strong fabric.  I've used a thin cotton for this one but feel I should've used something like shower curtain fabric.  Due to the darn virus going shopping in Birmingham for the right fabric is currently impossible.  Also I'd have to look for small prints of plain on something this size.  

Still it was fun to make and simple too once BC3 got it into his brain!!!!  Off to make another now as I've got a plan for it!!!

If you want to see how simple it is do visit the link above and watch how easy it is to fold back up.

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Happy Beaks

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