20 April 2021

A story behind each critter

There's usually a reason for me designing a new animal.  Sometimes I've been asked or somebody's suggested it or sometimes it's because I've been talking to somebody in the country where the animal lives.  Sometimes it's just because I want to do that particular creature.
So when it comes to stocking the shop I've started giving the animals names - when I can think of one!!!

The penguins became 'perky penguins' because that's just because they looked like that!!!  Nelly became Nelly just because she's an elephant!!!  

The two today have reasons for their names.  Barney because Barney sort of goes with Barn owl but Hootie has a very personal reason for being called that.  He's an adaptation of one of my older patterns but with bigger wings.  

He has that name because of Bob and Gloria with whom I've stayed a few times when in South Carolina.  They live in the most glorious spot on the banks of Lake Murray and Bob feeds an owl each evening.  We had the luck to see his 'Hootie' one evening on my last stay with them.  

19 April 2021

Still stocking the shop!!!

At the moment I'm still stocking the shop - or rather, trying to!!!  I get a few listed and then they get sold so back to the shuttles I go.
I'm trying out new 'lines' all  the time but this is just a hobby and I'm not 'in it' to make a fortune.  Well, a little bit to cover the costs of using Etsy helps!!  

The main problem for me is keeping track of earnings and 'outside' costs as I have to declare this to the government.  Numbers (unless double stitches) are an anathema to me.  My BC3 just doesn't want to play numbers!!!  Never has done and never will.

When it comes to restocking I'm adding back things that appear to be selling like the dolphin (I just LOVE making him) and the octopus.  I try to vary the threads I use each time too - mainly because I forget which ones I used before!!!!

15 April 2021

A change is as good as a rest

Well that’s what ‘they’ say!!!  
I decided a few days ago that I’d make some earrings for the shop.  Now, I’m VERY fussy about earrings. Mine have to be bright and cheerful but also be able to be worn indefinitely without them losing their shape.  

If an earring is large and without many beads then it will tend to bend.  HA, HA.  Like that - I’m a poet (tend to bend)!!!  So my remit for myself is to have lots of beads to stop the jewellery bending.

These are my favourite earrings.  I’ve got them in all sorts of colours and some I’ve made bigger by making the chains longer.  The whole piece is made on a button which you can barely see as I add beads on top of it.  The pattern is on my freeservers site and can be found here.    It’s fiddly but so worth it.  Well here is the first pair in my Etsy shop.  

I’m working another pair (or two) in black with gold beads next.

13 April 2021

Another elephant!

OK you must think I've gone hephalump (elephant) crazy by now.  Well I promise you I haven't!!!  
Do you remember this elephant that I made for my friend down the road?  Here it is.

Well I'm a bit fussy about things when I make them and I was NOT happy with the poor elephant.  The yarn was thick and hard and to make it made my arm ache.  The kit came with a size 6 crochet hook which was like wielding a hockey stick!!!  So when I was back 'in the zone' for elephant making I got out a size 3.5 hook and some yarn that I had in my stash.  This one looks 100% better, I think.  When I stuffed it you couldn't see the stuffing through the stitches and I was altogether a lot happier with it.

I didn't tell Sue I was making it so it was a surprise when I gave it to her.  I must say I enjoy amigurumi crochet.  

12 April 2021

Magnificent Monday!!!!

There - that foxed you!!!  Bet you thought it was going to be another moaning Monday post!!!  
I'll be honest - it's not any different to any other Monday really.   My Etsy shop seems to be booming at the moment and I'm spending a lot of time re-stocking it as items sell.  I've got one more idea to make and then I may start on another 'line' of items to list.

Here are the new arrivals over the weekend.  Two seahorses and a dolphin!!!

9 April 2021


I called her Nelly because I couldn’t think of a better name for an elephant!!!  

I hope she behaves herself while she stays with me!!!

6 April 2021

Look what flew in yesterday!

This is the newest inhabitant to arrive in my shop.  This little design is a new one and one of those frustrating ones too.  
As you probably realise designing anything new is not easy and to make something small and of a size to suit card makers and quilters is even harder.

I had what I thought was a reasonably good stork and then showed it to several friends who said that the neck was too thin and the legs a bit fat!!!!  They were right.  Just when I thought the whole thing was finished it was a case of going back to basics!!  

I really value the input from people when I run things by them.  Without those sort of comments I’d be lost.  Thanks, folks.  

One stork is carrying a boy and the other a girl.  Can you guess which one is which?!?!!?

5 April 2021

Moaning Monday

Value for money.

We all like value for our money as it’s not easily earned.  So this is my ‘take’ on how to get value for your money.

Firstly I’d like to say how I price the items I have for sale in my Etsy shop.  Basically I charge according to the time it takes for me to make the item and NOT for the design itself.  I must admit I’m not out to make a living wage!!!  Nowadays, and with the items I have in the shop, I’m sticking to the things I have already on my pattern page and anything new is not going to be added to the pattern pages for some time - if ever!!!  That seems fair to me.  My BC3 so my ‘baby’!!!  I aim to ‘earn’ about £2.00 an hour - well below the living wage but it’s my hobby. I still have to pay tax on my earnings too but I’m doing it as a hobby and not to make a living.

I’ve researched Etsy sellers until I’ve nearly lost what little remains of my sanity and come to a few conclusions.  This is with regards to tatting - obviously!!!!

Items made and sold as physical items.  Now these can be designed by the seller or made from somebody else’s design.  There’s a vast difference.  If an item is made from a pattern that’s already been published then that item ought to be sold at just the time it takes to make with accreditation to the designer.  

If, however, the person selling the physical item has spent many hours designing it in the first place then it’s another area.  Perhaps that person should ask for a little more for their time and trouble.  

IF a person designs and then produces a PATTERN for sale that involves a LOT of work then that should attract a fair price.  There again there needs to be value in that pattern. By ‘value’ I mean it should be truly original, well presented and easy to follow. Many designers are now producing patterns that are many, many pages long and one I looked at recently was like that and was one which I could’ve published myself in two pages.  

A few years ago I was asked to test tat a pattern that was well over thirty pages long.  I’d be interested to hear how many people would be prepared to download and PRINT a pattern in colour that took so much ink and paper.  Please comment if you would.  I feel that we have a duty to save our planet by NOT encouraging waste of resources.

2 April 2021

A bit of a change of direction

From time to time over the past week I've been making an elephant.  
My friend along the road had a kit given to her for Christmas and she doesn't crochet.  Shame really but that's life!!  So, she asked me if I'd make it up for her.  Now I do like a kit!!!  

Well I could only do it for a short time at a stretch as the yarn was like rope and the hook was a size 6.  I like tiny, I DO tiny so going to that size was NOT EASY.  

After an hour or so I had to stop as it was making my right arm ache.  I had to scan the instructions as the font was very small but I like working from digital patterns anyway.  Also the instructions left one needing a bit of guesswork too!!!

Anyway here it is in all it's glory.  I don't want to see another kit for a while although I may make him in a smaller size yarn or even thread!!!  

1 April 2021

So DO pigs REALLY fly?

Well that is the question!!!  

This little chap (at the top) flew into my shop a few days ago and the following day he was joined by his pal!!! 

Now I've heard heated discussions between these two as they lie in my Etsy box waiting to fly onto their next home.  

Pig number one has white cotton thread wings and pig number two has silver glittery ones.  They're arguing about which wing is ergonomically better for speed of flight!!!!  I sometimes wonder what I let myself into when I'm tatting!!!!  

The pattern for the pig can be found on my pattern site.  There are two versions - one made with the onion ring technique and one using chains instead.  These are, however, new wings which I've given them.  

31 March 2021

I call them perky!!!

Yes, that's right!!  
Perky Penguins.  I've got three together as a sale item because they're a social animal!!!  They're so tiny too - a mere ¾".  Nearly drove myself bonkers designing them too!!!  

Must show you the beer tankard as well!!!  That pattern is here on my pattern site.

30 March 2021

Still having fun!!!

I'm thoroughly enjoying stocking up my Etsy shop again but I'm afraid (and I apologise in advance) that I'm going to bore you with more about it this week.  I've sold some items already which has really cheered me up and the money I've gained by doing that will help me add more stock too.  
Don't worry - I'll soon get bored with the whole project and will be off doing something else!!  Meantime here's a new hummingbird that I did.  

Rather like the dragonfly (another colourway below) the wing is made using the same 'trick'!!!  I'm selling two of these hummingbirds together as I didn't want them to get lonely!!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

29 March 2021


I had my second Covid jab.  Nick had his on Saturday and now we both feel a lot safer.  Well I do as I'm the one who goes 'out and about'!!

I took a supply of 'dangles' to give out and now they've all gone.  I didn't think about how the staff would react but it was a real pleasure to see them get a very small reward for all the hard work they were doing.  They were delighted to get my Covid infection!!!!

My appointment was at 08:40 and that was (in real terms) 07:40 as the clocks had changed during the night to daylight saving!!!  I was really, really tired by bedtime!!!

Oh, the pattern for this little dangle is here.  I make the button version as I find that much easier.  

26 March 2021

A new dragonfly

Also in my shop is a new design of a dragonfly.  

The body is worked in a size 20 cotton thread and the wings in some of my favourite silver metallic.  

All worked in one 'hit' with no ends to sew in.  Question is - how did I do that?!?!?!?

The pattern may become available at some point but I do have to spend some time explaining how I did it!!!!  Firstly to myself!!!!  

25 March 2021

A few more bits and bobs!!!

Don't get bored, please!!!  I'm very much into stocking up the shop but I do want to share some of the things with you.  
Here are some more of the tinies that I've listed.  

24 March 2021

Poncho reveal!!!

Now I did a sneak preview on my other Facebook page two days ago but it takes time for the old brain to get round to blogging it!!!  

I was asked a few questions about this long term Covid lockdown project so here are the facts!!!

This started off as a 'I want to make something but I'm not sure what' project.  I tend to work like that!!!  If I set a goal of a coaster, then expand that to a placemat and then onwards to a small cloth then it doesn't feel like a huge deal and that's what I've found works for me over the years.  Last September saw the start of this (whatever it was going to be) and the first post is here.

By the end of November I was thinking about it becoming a poncho but obviously still dithering if you look at this post!!!

By February it looked almost finished BUT then came another 'problem'!!!  The neckline!!!  It didn't fit and slipped off the shoulders.  I sort of knew that would happen so it was back to the 'drawing board' again and the bottom edging and several rows of neck edging!!!  

So finally after tatting 352 squares which each took an hour and a half (not including choosing threads and combinations and the row that I had to cut out - 8 squares!) and several weeks of edgings it's finally done.  

I used sewing weight threads throughout.  Usually two wound together onto a shuttle but sometimes three if they were very fine threads.  Have I run out of sewing threads?  No!!!  I've still a healthy supply but they're mainly the colours that I didn't particularly like.  Will I do another?  Hmmmmm, I'll take a rain check on that!!!!  

22 March 2021

Well I did it!!!!

Yesterday I launched my Etsy shop again!!  It's been dormant for a few years mainly because Sally took over the selling of the shuttles.  I left it open (the shop, that is) because it did generate a few sales for her.  
After the poncho life got a little boring so I had to find something to do!!!  

As I know I'll be having to pay for the pattern pages site later this year I thought I'd try and earn some pocket money towards that.  I also needed a project to do while we're still in lockdown!!!   

This time I decided to make things for the card makers, quilters and dolls house people so that's what I'm working on.  

Here are two more of the items which are now in the shop which you can find here.

I'll be adding more items including (I hope) a new hummingbird!!!  Well I say that but the idea is still firmly ensconced in BC3's house!!!!

19 March 2021


Here are a couple more additions that I’ve made for the Etsy shop which I’ll reactivate sometime at the weekend.  It’s actually nice to have another project on the go and one that I’ve got lots of choice on what I make next!!!

Yvonne also sent in two more foxes which you can find here.

18 March 2021

Life after the poncho

I am lost.  I realise that I can't cope without a long term project so I've set off on another self imposed challenge!!!  
This time I've decided to re-start my Etsy shop again.

I’m not earning enough from the advertisements on this blog to cover the cost of the pattern site and it’s a self imposed challenge to cover that by earning from my craft.  I don’t ‘need’ to but it sort of makes sense to my weird BC3!!!  

This time I’m doing tiddly little things aiming at card makers, scrapbookers, quilters etc.  Here’s a start!!!

16 March 2021


I’m now happy with the poncho.  BUT, Houston, I have a problem!!!
I think you may want to see the whole thing in all it’s ‘glory’ but that’s where my problem lies.  I would happily model it but I need a photographer.  As we’re still in lockdown and my able assistant commonly known as ‘im indoors (not to be confused with ‘im in the garage who belongs to Sally) can’t take a photo due to health problems then I’m stuck until I can find a neighbour who’s willing on a sunny but not windy day when we can do it outside.  

So, when all the stars are aligned I’ll ask somebody to help but meanwhile here’s the final neck row.  

11 March 2021

The outer edge - row 2

This is the second and last round for the outer edge.  

Having done the first row I thought it may be enough but then felt it needed a second one to bring it all together.  Here it is.  Finished it a few days ago.  Many hours spent again on this poncho!!!

9 March 2021

The outer edge - row 1

Now I started this a week or more ago. Maybe even two weeks ago. 

This is the outer edge of the poncho and it’s a LOOOOOONG way round!!!! 

I suppose I should measure it.  Right - here’s the answer.  It’s 77” all the way round.  How many hanky edgings is that?  Not sure but it’s a few, I guess!!!!

8 March 2021

Onwards with the poncho!

I should've warned you that this was going to get boring!!!  This is the third row of the neck which is now looking (and feeling) so much better when I try it on.  

5 March 2021

Another row started!

Before I start I want to update you on the TIAS progress.  We’ve now got 102 bookmarks finished and on the blog here.

Yes this row is much faster (although it's not 'that' fast) than doing more Fandango squares!!!  
I'm now nearing the end of the second row of the neckline and it's looking good.  I'm pretty sure it'll need a third row and maybe even a fourth but I'll just carry on as I am at the moment.  

Here's row two almost completed.  

4 March 2021

Well, how do you like it?

Wonder if any of you have noticed the new header on my blog? 

I got bored with the old one and decided - out with the old and in with the new!!! 

It's really not that hard to do but just takes time - two hours yesterday morning. With the 'new look' pattern pages and the 'new look' blog' I'm beginning to feel like it must be a new year too. 

Oh, just noticed that it's not - it's March already!!!  Doesn't time fly in lockdown?

3 March 2021

The poncho - again

Quick edit to let you know I'm 100 today!!!  Here's the link.

I have a bit of a problem with the poncho as I found out when I got to this stage and which I showed you last week. 

The problem is that I could've probably done with another row of 28 motifs in the neck to bring it up further onto the shoulders. I honestly felt that I couldn't face another session of probably a week or more on just doing the same old, same old. Also I felt the neckline (and the bottom too) need 'finishing off'.

Obviously (like the whole project) there isn't a pattern for this. Edgings don't come with a built in 'shaping' of a neckline!!! Pity really. So I'm having to 'wing it' as the saying goes. Courage in both hands (and shuttles) and trust in years of experience and a reasonably well behaved BC3!!!!

Here's the first neck row which I did over the weekend. More to come later - I hope!!!

As those beady eyed tatters will see if you look closely - I've taken the photo showing the back of the piece.  The whole thing is tatted front side/back side and this time I messed up with the photo.  Send me to the naughty step!!!

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Happy Beaks

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