1 December 2022

A missing earring

Entirely my own fault.  I should remember that in the winter I HAVE to wear 'stoppers' on my earwigs.  Do I remember?  Of course I do - but not until I've lost one earring!!!

I couldn't find the larger beads to make a replacement and anyway, there's always a difference when there's an 'age gap' so I made a new pair as I do like them a LOT.

30 November 2022


I don't think I ever got round to showing you the finished jumper I was knitting but here's a link to show you when it was 'almost' there.  
I've worn it a LOT since I finished it and am currently researching knitting another.  Next time I want something more challenging and interesting and also including 'short rows' as I want more 'shaping' at the top.  

I had leftovers from this jumper so have decided to knit a shawl or cowl or something with that.  As I have little experience with 'how far it'll go' this is going to be an interesting experiment.  If I'm not pleased with it I can easily undo it again and start over.  This is what it looks like at the moment!!!!

29 November 2022

A sad story with a happy ending.

I like knitting gloves as you probably know!!  Mad, crazy and any other adjectives you know may be applied to this addiction!!!  
Well a sad occurrence happened last week.  I was wearing the pair you can see below.  I knitted them back here and they became my favourite pair because they’re distinctly ‘odd’ and made from two balls of mismatched yarn.  Also they remind me of a lovely friend in Canada - Terry.  See this link and this one too.

Imagine this OG in a hurry and about to get drenched yet again.  I was dashing off to a friend’s house and realised I’d dropped one of the gloves.  When I got back later I searched for the misssing glove but couldn’t find it anywhere.  Daft as I knew I’d dropped it very close to home.

Finally I gave up and carried on with life etc.  

On Thursday when I was on my way home from somewhere else I spotted the missing glove.  It was soaked and filthy and had obviously spent the few days it was missing under a car in the pouring rain!!!

Both gloves had a good ticking off and a much needed bath!!!  Here they are - reunited!!!

28 November 2022

New gloves

To  continue my obsession with gloves I'm showing you this pair which were made out of the same ball as this pair!!!  Well there should've been a link to that last statement but I couldn't find the original pair on the blog!!!  You'll just have to take my word for it!!  

I do have a few 'takers' for my gloves and these are already promised which made tomorrow's story about another glove even more worrying as I thought I might have to keep these for myself!!!

25 November 2022

Abbi's gloves

This is a pair of gloves I made for my granddaughter.  She chose the yarn from Hobbycraft - I had a voucher from them for my birthday!!!  Again I've used my own variation of this pattern.  

I do enjoy knitting this style and am going to do another pair for Liz - when I find the yarn I've put away tidily!!!!

23 November 2022

5 more snowflakes

Five more done and dusted.  I could bore you to DEATH if I showed you ALL the snowflakes I've made this past week or two so that's why I gave you a break over the past week.

That's my excuse and I'm STICKING TO IT!!!!

22 November 2022

So pleased

When you do things for free - whatever it is - you rarely get much feedback.  So I was delighted when Kay sent in this comment and her pictures to show me.  The comments tickled me pink as, when it comes to the technique for adding the bugles, I have exactly the same ‘problem’ when I make the first snowflake of the season.  Yes, I’ll admit, I’ve found that this is the best snowflake for ‘mass production’ for giveaways.  This is what Kay said

“I must tell you that I had some issues initially with your very well-written pattern.  There are days when I simply should not attempt something new.  So after utter failure, I began again.....My SCMR was not done correctly (and I thought I had those sorted out), so I had to check the directions once again for them.  Once I did, I corrected that.  Then, you mentioned that the Bugles could be a bit fiddly. For me they were more than a bit.... HA!   So I solved that the next time I made one and numbered my little markers to try to keep them in order easier.  I must have twisted and twisted that first one to the point that it took forever to straighten it.  Nevertheless, I stuck to it.....  And, what did I do with my next one?  I only added five bugles instead of six.....so it turned into a type of star.  I really don't mind it that way, so I didn't toss it.  Thought you'd get a kick out of my "issues".  Now I'm ready to make a few for Christmas as I do like them.  Thanks once again for sharing your lovely ideas.  If only I could follow the directions as written!    Ha!”

21 November 2022

Monday moan - sort of!!!!

Last week I saw a video online from one of the designers who sells on Etsy.  I was a little concerned to see that the technique used had been misnamed.  
This happens quite a lot and it's always easier to shrug the aged shoulders and walk (or hobble) away and 'let sleeping dogs lie'.  I thought a lot about this situation and realised I'd been in a similar predicament before.  Do you leave it alone and let others believe and start to use the misnamed technique as the new name or do you point out the situation to the person concerned?  

I've had a really unpleasant experience when offering my help in the past so 'once bitten, twice shy'.  In that case it was test tatting and we live in a completely different time zones.  When I'm asked, or offer  to help someone I'm always keen to 'get the job done' so time zones do mean waiting around for comments back.  

In the end the person I was trying to help gave me the 'sack' and has banned me from seeing anything she does on any platform.  Not that that's a problem as there are always ways round that - IF I could be bothered.  Anyway in that past situation I could've just put what I felt the problem was out in the public domain but I don't like Facebook so veer away from it.  

The recent problem I saw in a video last week did worry me too so in the end I decided to send a private message.  With great trepidation.  

I can honestly say I had a lovely, lovely chat with this lady and in the end she realised that the name she'd made up was, in fact, a well known technique that had been around for many many years.  Thank you to the person concerned for listening to me and being such a lovely person.  I may offer to help others again in the future thanks to this pleasant experience. 

11 November 2022

New FREE pattern - a change of snowflake!!!

After that initial 'foray' into extending it I came up with slightly longer 'arms' to the pointy parts.

Now this (obviously!) meant a bit of a re-write of the pattern and that's what's kept me out of mischief (almost!!) for a week or more.  

9 November 2022

Yet more snowflakes

Are  you getting bored with seeing these?  Well I am!!!  Also getting a bit bored with making them but I still haven't made a big dent in the rice beads yet!!!

8 November 2022

Two more Scintillating Snowflakes

Well I really ought to get a life but I really enjoy making these little snowflakes as giveaways.  Also I've got a LOT of bugle beads and these rice beads which have been staring at me whenever I take a dive into my tatting cupboard!!!!  

They're really quick to make and I can (if I don't get sidetracked) make two in an evening.  The pot of Christmas giveaways is filling up!!!

7 November 2022

Monday Moan

Now today's moan is about a statement I’ve seen many, many times over the past years and only since the 1970’s when needle tatting arrived in the public domain.    

Here’s the statement - ‘the knot doesn't mind how it’s made’.

Now WHAT A RIDICULOUS comment.  How on earth can a person say that?  I mean who has spoken to the knots and got a reply from these inanimate objects?  I’d like to hear from somebody who can talk to a knot and get a reply.

Also, when you think about it, there isn’t a knot in needle tatting unless you do one each time you’ve made a ‘ring’.  The difference between shuttle and needle is that the thread is wrapped round a needle and when it’s slid off it looks like a knot unlike when a shuttle is used where a knot is actually made directly onto another thread.

Now I’m not willing to get into an argument about this as there’s simply no point.  Needle tatters are proud of their work and quite rightly so but they’re not making a knot - just a 'look alike'!!!  

So my plea to all and sundry is please don’t say ‘the knot doesn't mind how it’s made’ unless you can prove to me that the knot has actually spoken aloud.

Here's the definition that's the clearest about 'what a knot is' and it doesn't mention anything about it talking either!!!

2 November 2022

A bookmark

I went to a party last Saturday and it was a fantastic evening.  The host and ‘birthday boy’ was celebrating his 80th birthday and he did it in the way he wanted which made it an extremely good evening for everybody.  His family rallied round and did all the catering and friends helped by putting on a great show.

Anyway, when I had the invitation it said ‘no presents’ and I found that very hard to comply with so I made him a ‘man’s’ type of bookmark, put it in with a card and told him that categorically that it wasn’t a present but that it was a bookmark.  

The pattern I used was this one but without the picots on the chains - to make it more ‘manly’!!!!

31 October 2022

Here we go again!

I’ve decided that one of my favourite little Christmas giveaway designs could do with a slight re-vamp so I’ve started playing with it again.  It’s this one.

I just LOVE making this design although getting the large beads in the centre can be challenging - particularly when your doorbell rings and you have to get out of the chair and answer the door!!!  

You can use either the rice beads as below, bugle beads or sometimes just any old tiny beads (several at a time) to make them.  BUT I wondered what the design would look like with the centre one of the three rings converted into a self closing mock ring.  So I’ve now found out!!!  Here’s the first test one.  I need to play with the stitch count a bit but am pleased with how it looks so far.

28 October 2022

26 October 2022

A new knitting project!

Well I finished the top which became a sweater and so I needed a new knitting project.  
For my birthday a couple of weeks ago Hobbycraft sent me a £5 voucher and Costa a free cake!!!  My daughter and family (¾ of them!) came over so we went to the nearby shopping centre which is a short walk away.  Abbi chose some yarn from Hobbycraft (and something else) for me to knit her some gloves (£5 voucher used) and she ate the cake for me in Costa!!!!  I think something went wrong there!!!!  

Anyway, the gloves have been started.  All digits knitted and now it’s a matter of putting them together, knitting the palm and finally the rib.  This is the pattern I used and have adapted.  I don’t ‘do’ icord fingers, though!!!  I’ve now refined this pattern so it works for me and I love it.  I obviously can’t ‘share’ my alterations as it’s not my copyright but I’m very pleased with the results - which I’ll show in due course!!!!

Top picture is the thumb and the fingers for the next glove!!!

25 October 2022

More snowflakes!

I ‘think’ I’m getting there with this design.
If you remember from this post I was concerned that the darn thing wasn’t lying exactly as I wanted it to so I’ve spent more time playing with stitch count.  In  the end it also ‘needed’ another bead added in so that each ‘arm’ kept it’s distance and behaved itself!!!

Can you spot the added bead?  I’m working on getting the finished pattern up on my pattern pages here by the end of the week.

24 October 2022

More about the Topsy project!

Well here's another snowflake following on from this one!!!
Again I'm getting the twist in the arms but I think the next version will 'cure' that as BC3 'has an idea'!!!!  I'll be back!!!!

21 October 2022

Final round of my Marmelo doily

Well here it is - round 7.  To say I’ve enjoyed it is an understatement.  If anybody knows Erika Tsshiro would you tell her that it’s an amazing pattern and that I’ve enjoyed it, please?  

I’m also happy with the colours I’ve used too.  I did wonder and took ages to decide on the final round but once I’d done several repeats it seemed I was on the right track.

I’m going to finish the snowflake next so I can share it next week.

19 October 2022

Just like Topsy

Now do you remember this little snowflake thing that I designed many years ago?  Well it grew shortly after into it's 'big brother' which you can find here.
Weeeellll, it's going through another growth spurt but that's proving an interesting experience!!!

Here are two versions that I'm working on but  I'm having some problems.

As you know from experience (if you've ever ventured into my pattern site) I like my designs to lie flat when they're finished without the messing about with this 'new fangled' blocking which is talked about so much.  I rarely, rarely block anything and think it's a pain in the proverbial!!!  Anyway, I digress.  Here are the two recent versions (which will be fine once stiffened) which will go into my Christmas giveaway 'pot'.  Meanwhile I'll be working on another two or three to fathom out how to stop the twist I get in the spikes.  Keep your eyes on this space.  NOT the space between my two ears - that's full of knotted thread!!!!

17 October 2022

Done, dusted and already worn

I’ve finally finished my top.  This is the pattern I used.

Now those with good eyesight will notice that there’s a big difference between the original and mine!!

Yes, mine has long sleeves.  Why?  Well it’s getting cold now over here and I had plenty of yarn so I decided to continue the sleeves.  Obviously I had to work out how to decrease the stitches on the sleeves and make a note of what I did on the first sleeve so that the second matched.  Not a problem as I work with my iPad on my lap when I’m designing tatting stuff!!

14 October 2022

Sunshine for a friend

I have a friend who’s going through a bit of a bad patch.  It’s always difficult to know what to give somebody to cheer them up so this is something I thought might ‘do the trick’.  

Sunshine always cheers people up and it always reminds me of Morecambe and Wise.  They were two English comedians who were brillliantly funny and they used ‘Bring me Sunshine’ as their signature tune.  Christmas wasn’t Christmas without the Morecambe and Wise show.  

12 October 2022

For my tooth fairy

I had bad news last week as my lovely dentist (Sally) told me she was leaving to go to another job.  I'm really sad about this as not only is she a good dentist but she's also got a great sense of humour which is VERY important to me.  

I decided to make her this bookmark which is an amalgamation of this one and this one with another type of 'tail' bit in between.  In fact I used roll or spiral tatting which I'm quite comfortable with now I've learned a much better way of doing it from a very old source which you can find here.  

10 October 2022

Row 6 Marmelo

Another round of Erika Tashiro’s lovely Tatted Garland.  BUT I need to tell you that this is definitely round 6.  Last time I told you a lie as that wasn’t round six but it was round 5.  I didn’t lie deliberately I promise.  Here’s the link to my previous post in which I messed up.

Now you’ve GOT to realise that us old gits (like wot I am) can get confused and especially when they’re going through a bad patch in their lives.  

The past couple of weeks have been a tad stressful but I’m hoping they’ll improve soon.  Well, that’s all you can do is hope!!!  

7 October 2022

A second square

Now this time I decided to use the same idea as on this cushion.
It’s a crazy quilt idea that I picked up from YouTube - here’s the link.  This time I used REALLY tiny five sided shapes to start off with and did three separate ‘starts’.  I put those together and then fiddled around and added other patches to fill up the gaps.  Not easy but I think it looks crazy enough to submit!!

5 October 2022

A square

Having said two days ago that I didn’t have a lot to show you I’ve remembered that I haven’t blogged this project!!!  Where DID I leave BC3?  
The group I go to on a Tuesday morning are doing another project to raffle at next year’s summer garden party.  We’ve each taken one (or two!) squares of fabric and we’re each doing random ‘things’ on them to form a crazy quilt.  When I say ‘crazy’ I really do mean ‘crazy’ as we can each do what we like!!!  Here’s my first square.

What I did here was to cut strips of fabric and then turned under a small hem and machined it down.  I then wove them and stitched round the edges attaching them to the base square we’d been given.

It was quite challenging to keep the strips in place at first but the more I wove the easier it got!!!  Here’s the finished square.  As you can see I added another challenge by NOT going from side to side (or top to bottom) and not even truly diagonally.  Sometimes I think I’m really STOOOOOOPID!!!

3 October 2022

Marmello round 6

Back again on the Marmello doily and another two rounds added.  

I’ve not got a lot to show you this coming week as I’ve been working on two new designs.  One will become the January TIAS.  

I am wondering now if people scan or take photos of their TIAS as this may well prove interesting if I ever do a 3D one.  Would be pleased to know what people do.

30 September 2022

Knitting progress

This is how far I’ve got with my short sleeved top which you can find here.

Now those who are awake while reading this will notice that the sleeves are rather long for a short sleeved top!!!!  Do you want to know why?  Well I bought the recommended number of balls of yarn but have realised that I’m going to finish up with leftovers!!!!  Leftovers are fine if you can eat them but I don’t fancy eating yarn!!!  So I’ve decided to make the top into a sweater!!!  

I’m not sure if I’ve got enough length on the body so have left that ball attached to it so I can go back and add more if I want to. 

Of course carrying on to make the sleeves longer means working out when and where to decrease towards the cuffs.  When I’m designing tatting I always write down the pattern on my iPad as I go so this is what I’ve done with this project.  

28 September 2022

Marmelo - halfway through daisy row

I have made further progress with the Marmelo doily  in the evenings when I’m not working on the TIAS I need to be doing something so this (and another project) are my ‘go to’ ways of keeping myself awake and not falling asleep in front of the telly!!!.

26 September 2022

Did you enjoy the break?

I simply didn’t have time to blog last week - everything seemed to decide to happen last week and the week before.  
BUT I did have time to get a good way into a TIAS for next January.  Autumn is heading our way so there’ll be less to do to the garden - although I don’t do a lot anyway!  I enjoy mowing the grass but do little else apart from pulling weeds.  I mow a neighbour’s grass for them too and get some really odd looks when taking my mower along the road to their house.  One person I met walking the mower stopped and made a funny comment so I pointed out that other people walk their dogs so why shouldn’t I take a mower out for a walk. 

Obviously I’ve not a lot to share due to the TIAS but I do have a few things this week.  


19 September 2022

Memories on the day of the Queen’s funeral

The Queen and her staff were amazing.  When my oldest daughter was six (she’s a bit older now) I landed up (as a supply teacher) taking on her class for a week or two.  My youngest would’ve been four and not yet in school, I couldn’t drive, there was a cold spell and life was pretty tough as in those days my ex and I were pretty hard up.  

This is what Lucy wrote on her Facebook page a few days ago.

1974. I was six years old when I drew a really crap Christmas card on a shitty bit of scrap paper in class. It was an orange and red scribble - very festive (not). My mum was supply teaching (the first and only time she taught me) and for some reason, I thrust my crap card into her hands on a whim and said ‘Send this to the Queen!’. My mum indulged me, or rather she told me yesterday: ‘Woe betide anyone who said no to you, even at 6’. Never in our dreams did we think we’d get a thank you. Well, thank you dear Queen, for making a 6-year old’s Christmas. And apologies for the crap card.”

Following up on this I found this about the Lady-in-Waiting (Susan Hussey) and am even more impressed.

Lucy is now a well known international journalist.

16 September 2022

Straining the brain!!!!

This is the first part (and part of the second part) of the doily called ‘Tatted Garland’ from Erika’s book ‘Tatting Lace, Marmelo’.

I’m so glad I’ve got a few years experience with front/back side tatting as I feel this really needs to be made that way.  I’m not a ‘fan’ particularly of this way of tatting but it does make a big difference.  To do this round you really have to be ‘on your toes’!!!

Thoroughly enjoyable, though.

15 September 2022

Bracelet talk

It always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when people actually understand and work my designs.  Never fails.  Here are a couple more of these bracelets that Kay Lynn has made.  This is what she said when she sent in the first photo.

“Just a quick note with a photo of a bracelet I just finished (using your pattern).  Fun to make so I want to make a couple more (as gifts) with different colors.  Thanks for sharing your designs.”

I then asked Kay Lynn if I could turn her message into a blog post and she thankfully said ‘yes’.  So here’s her second message and another bracelet!!!

“Of course you may make this into a blog post.  I'm glad you like the colours!  Here's a slightly different version that I made for myself (and I'm wearing it on the back side since I like that just as well as the front side).”

14 September 2022

The last of the flowers

These tiny ones don’t have another colour in them but that’s what the pattern says!!! 

There’s something so relaxing about following a pattern.  No real ‘thinking’ needed - just sit and do as you’re told.  Wish that applied to the rest of life although that might be boring!!!

12 September 2022

Monday’s ‘not a moan’!!!

That caught you out!!!  No, not a moan but something very interesting - well, to me!!!  
My BC3 started wondering when I saw Gail Weaver’s interpretation of a Piecework pattern which you can find here.

I was intrigued with it because to me it ‘grated’ on my poor brain cells.  I contacted Gail and she gave me the piecework link that she’d worked from and it was the same.  

Now why did it make my BC3 get agitated?  Simply because I’ve never seen chains which don’t all face the outside of the finished piece.  Gail did a SPLENDID job of drawing this pattern up but it doesn’t show that the chains vary in the directions the heads of the stitches face.  Her worked up piece follows the original precisely and I know that if I ever worked this pattern I’d ‘need’ to have all the chains facing the same way with the odd SS thrown in where needed.

It’s very difficult to explain with the attached pictures but I’ve tried to put red arrows to show you the chains which annoy my BC3.  Both pieces show that the chains are trying to turn on themselves too.  Now I wonder if the original designer just didn’t know how to get all the chains facing outwards or whether it was deliberate.  I also wonder if it was simply that designer or a ‘fashion’ of the time - or probably he/she just didn’t know about switching shuttles.  I’ve never seen this before but would love to know if anybody else has.  

It’s astonishing what my stupid little brain comes up with from time to time!!!  I hope this will generate a discussion and would like to thank Gail for tolerating my messages and letting me bring this to your attention.  

7 September 2022

More little flowers

Another set of flowers from the Tatting Lace, Marmelo book.  I managed to get these done and am now working on another set.  More to come soon!!!

6 September 2022

The knitted top

I have made some progress on the knitted top.  Last 'report' was here.
I've only been picking it up when I go to the knitting group on a Friday or when I'm at my 'crafty' group on a Tuesday.  Progress, because of that, is slow!!!  I'm really enjoying it and I think that shortly I'll be having a 'blitz' on it just to 'get it done'.  I know how my BC3 works!!!!

I needed something to stop the stitches falling off my needles and was looking to order something to use but couldn’t find anything really that appealed.  

In the end I was sorting through my sewing ‘stuff’ (the ‘recycling’ part of odds and ends) and came across one of those thingumygigs that you use on clothing to adjust the cords.  They’re ‘called cord string cord lock toggles’.  Took me ages to find out that bit of information!! Here’s what I mean.  

As you can see in the second picture - I found one (actually, two) in my recycling sewing box of bits.  This works a treat!!!

5 September 2022

Monday moan - to do or not to do

That is the question.

Well I thought I was a tough old cookie - particularly having got through all life's trauma's, plus a few more, in the space of five years.  That was about thirty years ago.  But the stuff I have put up with from two tatters over the past few months has really knocked the BC3 out of me.
I'm beginning to bounce back slightly but I have stuff i really need to get on with but no energy to do.

First thing I need to do is decide whether to apply for a teaching position at Palmetto Tat Days next year.  The indecision is mainly about the probability of Covid rearing it's ugly head again.  Also finding the energy to organise myself.

Next problem is to do or not to do a TIAS in 2023.  I've got a possibility on the shuttles but have fallen out with it again.  To proceed or not to proceed - that is the  next question.   I have four 'incarnations' of it sitting glaring at me as I sit in Tat Corner and I've no desire to pick them up at the moment and work out whether to carry on or not.  

Finally - does anybody read blogs nowadays?  Should I give up blogging?  I think most people have emigrated to Facebook but I'm not comfortable there so rarely visit it for a 'look around'.  I pop in, put links to the blog or post walk pictures and then get out PDQ.  I apologise to those who expect me to see what they're doing but really I'm not a Facebook person.  I have enough of a problem keeping my own life on the level and certainly don't want to share the finer details of what it's like with 'all and sundry'.  

26 August 2022

Sets of little flowers

This part of the Tatted Garland is going to take some time!!!  That should keep me busy!

These little flowers look straightforward but they aren’t!!  I doubt if you can see but the stitch count varies in some places and some rings have vsp’s (very small picots) and some don’t!!!  

This is the first of three ‘sets’ of flowers so I’ll be keeping each set together with a safety pin AND labelling them as I go.  If I don’t then I’ll get into a dreadful muddle!!!!

25 August 2022

Fandango on Jayne’s table

Here’s the table the mat was made for on Jayne’s table.  It looks pretty good to me - the table, I mean!!!

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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