21 December 2022

Beaver doodle

Well here he is in all his - well, I could say 'glory' but not sure that's the right phrase!!!  

It's amazing what you can get done when housework is calling.  My eyes are trained to not to even see dust let alone deal with it!!!

20 December 2022

Two tiny penguins

Now you’ll have seen my origina penguin on my website and he’s been there for a few years alongside a beaver.  Last year I was playing with another wee penguin and hadn’t got him ready for the website.

Over the weekend I sorted the penguins out and they now both live here.

I’ll get the little beaver done today and he should be finished by tomorrow - fingers crossed!!!  

19 December 2022

A Christmas card

A week or so ago I’d settled down for the afternoon and was getting on well with my knitting when my two friends from ‘round the corner’ texted to say meet up in M&S for a natter. 

Well who could resist. 

On the way home afterwards they took me into their house and gave me the THIS card. The back story is that I’d taken care of their laptops while they were away. Both computers were very old and they decided that it was now an end of life time for them. So they got out their hammers and started to trash them. 

What fun. 

As they were bashing them the keys started popping off so they put them to good use. 

I’m tickled pink by the card. It won’t get thrown out after Christmas.

16 December 2022

The second bookmark

This is for the other little girl I mentioned yesterday.  

I have suddenly realised that my stash of bookmarks is sadly depleted.  I try to keep around half a dozen as little 'just because' gifts or even emergency birthday ones!!!  I think I'll be making more but need another pattern as two the same is quite enough for BC3.  He does like a little variety in his life!!!

15 December 2022

Just a bookmark

Nothing whatever to do with Christmas or anything like that.  

I've got two little girls (10 and 7) living opposite me.  They are truly delightful little ones and I love when I get to do crafts with them and their their grandma too.   

Well they've discovered that they've both got dyslexia and struggle with reading and writing so just for a bit of fun I thought I'd make them a bookmark each.  To see that silly face poking out of the top of a book might just make them smile and encourage them to read,  Fingers crossed.

14 December 2022

From Julie

I had this lovely message last week from Julie.  Cheered me up no end while the snow was - well, snowing.

"Love your patterns. I made the small bugle bead snowflakes for the single mom's at my church for Christmas this year. I  showed them to my lace guild and they want me to show them how to make them. They are new to tatting having learned earlier this year. Can I have your permission to share your pattern with them?"
These are her flakes.  Aren't they lovely?

13 December 2022

Marie’s pendant

I haven't looked at this pattern for YEARS.  In fact I'd completely forgotten about it until Marie asked for permission to use it for a newsletter (or was it a class) ages ago.  

I have the original one which I still wear from time to time but, as I said, I'd long filed it in BC3's vaults!!!!  Now I've seen Marie's I may well make another one - or two even.  It's stunning in white and I feel I could hang that as a dangle in my living room window too.

This is what Marie-Claude said.

"Dear Jane,

Here is your pendant that I made. I had the idea to do it all in white - I don't know why, haha...

I think that the members of our association will appreciate it. I like it a lot and I will wear it with great pleasure!!

Thank you again for your creation and authorization and see you soon for the next TIAS maybe.


12 December 2022

Finally - FREE snowflake earrings

It's only taken a year to get these down on paper - well, cyberpaper.   If it hadn't have been for Sue you wouldn't have them now!!
Why?  Well she publicly and carefully 'nagged' me on Facebook.   To get my own back I asked her to look at the pattern and she managed to do sterling work on it.  
I think she probably regrets it now although she has got herself a pair of snazzy purple earrings out of it!!  Thanks to her eagle eye and well thought out suggestions as a test tatter the pattern is now ready to 'rock and roll'.  

Although the pattern looks complicated it is only 4 rings - with lots and lots of beads!!!  Each earring has some added to picots, some on the core thread and others lurking at the back of the hand before starting the ring!!!!  Read carefully and enjoy.

It's very difficult to get good pictures of things that sparkle.  Bit like that when I have my photo taken - I sparkle too much!!!  That's a JOKE!!!

8 December 2022

Shawl finished

Remember this?  Well I carried on until my circular needles were almost full and I was BORED with it.
What happened next?  Well I’d got a fair amount of yarn left so I cast off using a crochet hook.  I’m sure this method must have a name but I call it a lazy way that I often use.  

Having cast off I then had a nice edge that I could crochet into and that’s what I did!!  I did a row of double crochet (that’s the English double crochet!) and then a few rows of ‘spaced out’ trebles to give a lighter look.  The final few rows were trebles into each space and tops of the previous trebles and then finally another row of double crochet.  I also went round the inner side with dc too.  The photo shows the finished shawl and the second one shows the remaining yarn - although the colours don’t look quite right on that photo.

I wore the jumper on Saturday with the shawl over it as it was very cold.  My daughter thought it was part of the jumper!  I pronounce it a success!

7 December 2022

Date of TIAS

Well it’s almost time to play the Tat It And See again.  

I’ve got a new pattern which I’m going to start on Wednesday January 11th.  

This will be (probably) the 14th year although I did miss two years when I thought the game wasn’t such a good idea.  Lockdown made me think again so I resurrected it in 2021.  I remember the first one was a hippopotamus which can be found here.

So just to whet your appetites here are a few of the past TIAS results.  Remember - when you play this game you do NOT know what it’s going to be at the end of the game and guesses are what makes it such fun for all of us.

6 December 2022

A ‘just because’ gift

When I was at the Friday knitting group over a week ago I was wearing my snowflake earrings.  Julie (one of the ‘ladies who knit’) commented on them and said she liked them.  So, last Friday she got a pair of her own!!!  

I now have enough pairs of snowflake earrings and the pattern is being put together so I should get it on my pattern site by the end of the week.

5 December 2022

Monday moan

Today’s moan is a bit complicated and offers the reader a look into the psychology of my BC3 (my brain has only three cells - called brain cells (one, two) three.

I was looking around my main computer the other day and came across quite a few patterns that have not been finished but left abandoned.  I got to asking myself why and this is what I reckon.  

The thing about doing what I do for free is that I’ve very little idea of who my ‘audience’ is and whether anything I do is ever used.  If I were selling patterns I would have a good idea of what people like as I’d have money coming in and a record of what the people like/want.  

I’d also have feedback if the pattern didn’t work or turn out as expected and comments on places like Etsy when people were happy.  Now I do get comments on the blog which I’m always grateful for but blogs seem to be not as popular as Facebook nowadays.  I don’t really ‘do’ Facebook and don’t understand why it’s used as everything gets ‘lost in perpetuity’ shortly after a post is made.  I like blogs as I can search for things I’ve done in the past easily.  I love reading blogs too and have lately seen a slow return to blogging.  

I also got to thinking that people might assume that if they pay for a pattern it’s bound to be much better than one that’s given away for free.

All comments welcome and I’ll leave you with a picture from one of my walks.

2 December 2022

Next I made a green pair!!!

As I already have a red pair and a replacement white pair I thought it was time to make a green pair too!!!
As I had the white thread out and the gold beads it only took a minute or two to find the green beads and here they are.  

As I already have umpteen Christmas tree earrings I didn't think I really 'needed' anymore.  After all I already have these two guys as well.  

I see I'd sort of promised to write and draw the pattern for these but since that was last year and nobody's asked for the pattern I'm just going to keep quiet!!!!

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!!!

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Happy Beaks

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