22 March 2008

Patchwork - 1

After well over twenty years of not doing any patchwork I found that the skill is still there!! The fat quarters that SueH sent me are absolutely ideal. Those and an 'out of date' Woolworths catalogue make ideal companions. I've no idea where this is leading - I've just started and am going to use my usual methods of 'hit and miss'.

21 March 2008

Diane's TIAS and further ramblings!

Well I've finished the TIAS along with lots of othern people too!!! I enjoyed doing this a lot.
Now I have an announcement to make. I have decided to give up tatting for a while.
I collected lots of books while I was working so that I'd have 'something to do' when I retired. Books on all sorts of crafts and now that I've been 'retired' for quite a few years I'm going to start looking at them and doing something else for a change. Not sure quite what just yet but a return to hand sewn patchwork is probably the first stop.

SueH sent me some lovely 'fat quarters' a few weeks ago and my fingers have been itching since to do some sewing since they arrived. Problem is that the templates that I really want to use have 'gone missing'. Either that or I've been robbed again!!
Since starting this post yesterday I found a new packet of unopened templates that I bought when a local shop was closing down about thirty to forty years ago. There is a diamond, a square and a triangle in the packet so that's what I'm going to use. The hexagon template (which is missing) is probably too small for me until my new specs are ready. It's only 3/4" in diameter.

I know what I'm like - as soon as I get started on this new project I'll think of some tatting that 'needs doing'!!! I'll post as I go along on this so the blog won't be quiet!! I wonder whether this will come under the 'nothing much else' remit as in the title of the blog???!!!!

19 March 2008

Not a TIAS but a 'Share a Tat'

Nowadays it's becoming more and more difficult to come up with original ideas and sometimes it's nice just to do something simple.
So the sequins I've been re-visiting after several years are really simple. I think this may be a good time to introduce a 'Share a Tat' game!!!!
What I intend to do is to post the way I've found of enclosing the sequin and perhaps one or two of the patterns I've done - just to give some idea of stitch count etc.
I'm NOT going to add any copyright notice to these as I don't feel that they're 'important' enough and it will allow everybody to play the game.
I will then invite all and sundry (especially new tatters) to join me to discover as many ways as possible of making this into a motif, mobile, etc. Note, I haven't added any beads or used techniques other than rings, chains and split rings so there's room for plenty more ideas!!
I am more than happy to 'host' any patterns derived from this on a new 'guest' section of my pattern pages, or add links to other pages on other sites. I would only ask that if you write your patterns a different way to the way I do that you alter the original accordingly and add any new abbreviations. This will make it clearer for those wanting to tat them. My way of writing patterns is not necessarily everybody's 'cup of tea'!! I will not be adding any copyright notice to my patterns but you are welcome to add it to yours.
It would be very interesting to see how many different ideas can stem from one sequin. Not as many as there were hippos!!!!
I hope to get the pattern up on my site tomorrow and will let everybody know when it's there. You will need sequins measuring 7/8" in diameter.
Here is another idea but no pattern to go with it!!!

18 March 2008

Back to the sequins

I need to work one or two more of these before I start on another crazy idea!!! Yes, it will involve all who want to 'have a go'!!! No, it's not a TIAS as it will be 'sequin related'!!! For those who may want to take part or those who want to have a go at the ones I've already done then you'll need sequins, thread, beads etc. The sequins should be 7/8" in diameter.
All will be revealed once I've sorted the only two brain cells out which I've got left!!!

16 March 2008


Well I didn't pick up a shuttle at all on Saturday. Too much going on here. BUT yesterday was quite the opposite. I was chosen to be one of the demonstrators for the Ring of Tatters at the NEC. For those who don't know - this is the National Exhibition Centre here in the UK. It's a huge site with about eight very large halls where exhibitions are held.
From Thursday to Sunday of last week the
Sewing for Pleasure and Hobbycraft exhibitions were held in adjacent halls. The site is about 25 miles from where I live. The Ring of Tatters are given a stand at this exhibition purely to demonstrate and teach people who want to learn or who want to know more about our addiction! This is always a very busy and happy day - meeting up with friends on the stand and often friends passing by. We take some of our tatting with us to decorate the stand and then assist as and when needed.
This year
Rosemarie Peel was there and I asked her how her new book was coming along! Life seems to be delaying the much awaited next book from Rosemarie.
Michelle Roebuck - the editor of the Ring's 'new look' newsletter was there too. We had a good natter about Diane's TIAS and both of us admitted we were flumoxed about what it was going to be!!!
I was very good and didn't come home with any beads OR threads. I'd told myself that I didn't need any more threads or beads and for once I actually listened and took note!! BUT I did come home with a new gismo for loading beads onto threads. It's a bit like this but the one I bought is is a small plastic one. What I did buy to go with it is a 'bent' long (very long) needle to go with it. I'll show you when I get a chance to take a photo of it.
I got home at just gone six o'clock. Totally tired, with a sore throat (too much talking!) and a thirst which needed quenching with a large glass of red wine!!!

14 March 2008

Playing with sequins!

A few days ago I posted some pictures of sequins that I'd played with some years ago. I showed the backs too where I'd tried another way for 'one sided' viewing. The originals that I made had two separate rows of split rings (one at the front and the other at the back) which were then joined with the outer row. This obviously took a bit of time to do as there were two 'cuts and ties' etc.
Yesterday I finally sat down to write this pattern. I may have it somewhere on my main computer but by the time I settled into 'tat corner' in my comfy chair I was on my laptop.
Then a thought occurred to me. I wonder if both 'sides' of the enclosing rows could be worked in one 'hit'. Surely it could.
Well, ta de dah. Here's the second attempt which will form the basis for the next round or rounds.
I'm not sure quite how the rest will work out but the 'creative juices' are not as dozy as they were!!!
Below I have shown the original with the back which makes the use of the sequin 'decoration' one sided. Next is the one side of the new version and finally the other side of the new version. Originally (and I can't find any samples) both sides looked like the new version but were made separately.
I now intend to play with this as I can feel a wealth of ideas creeping up on me!!!

12 March 2008

A new thread

On Monday a small unexpected package arrived for me. I LOVE surprises and what was even better it was a ball of thread. Jenny Griffin sent it as a 'thank you' for doing the TIAS.
I'd never seen or heard of this thread - it's brand new from Coats in Germany. It's called Anchor Artiste and this particular ball is a number 20 and holds 20 grammes.
The colour is a very yummy variagated lilac. I worked up a bookmark using it alongside a Manuela thread. I would say that it is exactly the same as Flora and not as 'harsh' as Floretta. The only snag I can find is the price which I found it listed on one site.
I'm not giving the link to that site as I'm hoping that others will sell it a bit cheaper. Hint, hint to any thread suppliers that are reading this!!!
Here is the bookmark I made!!!

11 March 2008


I love bracelets. I don't often wear them in the winter but in the summer I love bracelets (oh, never forget the earrings!!!). I looked again at the bracelet I made the other day and thought that I'd make one more to get this 'phase' out of my system. I used black, white and cream with a very pretty and shiny black button in the centre. I do hope I can now kick this one out of the window for a while and start on something new. Maybe think about another TIAS. So enjoying doing Diane's, though.

10 March 2008


This is just a small chick in a basket I did yesterday. I remembered to write it down (well, roughly!) as I went along!!! Perhaps, if I did it again, I'd put the eye in on a drop picot but as I did it last thing in the evening it was whatever came into the tired old brain at the time!!

9 March 2008

I've not been robbed!

I found the catches. Finally after yet another search they were exactly where I'd put them!! I just didn't think I'd have put them with the magnetic beads!!! I can't think why I didn't remember but as I have a poor memory (and always have had!) I'll put it down to that!!!
This is what I made once they'd been found!!! I used the pattern for the letter beads and added 'ordinary' beads instead!!! The worst part of working this pattern for me is doing the maths on it!! I've never been comfortable with numbers!!! Also it would help if I could read a pattern. My own, believe it or not!!! I just tend to assume I know what I'm doing and forget to stop and read the instructions!!! I'm going to do another today - just to be sure that I know what I'm doing!!!!

8 March 2008

I've been robbed!

I know some of you will sympathise and some of you will giggle but I'm sure I've had burglars in the house. Either that or this house just deliberately hides things!!! I've spent two hours in my stash cupboard looking for some magnetic catches which I KNOW I've got in there somewhere. I'm beginning to think that there's been somebody in the house (probably during the night) who has stolen them. Nick wouldn't dare and Tilly the cat wouldn't be interested but ...... I can't find them. Anyway, I did unearth some sequins!!! I am hoping to get back to playing with sequins again. I spotted my tatted bag during my search too and also remembered the sequin mobile and tatted box that I did in the past too. So, after making another bracelet this evening (as if I NEED more bracelets!!) I shall go back to playing with sequins!!! The first picture shows the 'right side' in this experiment and the second shows how I covered the sequins when the back wasn't going to show (as on the bag). With the tatting bag I think I used a different outer round.
I do wish I'd written it all down!!!

6 March 2008

Happy Beaks!

OK, hold on to your hats - here is the biggie that's kept me quiet for so long.

I have been asked on numerous occasions by many people (including him wot must be obeyed) if I could do a penguin. You'll see why I've taken such a long time over this. 8 different penguins!! The collective nouns for penguins are so many (parcel, rookery, creche, huddle or colony) that I couldn't decide what to call this 'lot'. In the end I decided to call them 'Happy Beaks'. Well we've all heard of feet being happy, haven't we?

I started on the front facing penguin (large) and then decided I needed a small one. Trouble was that they needed to be able to 'look' at each other. I did these and then it was a natural progression to 'need' to do the large and small ones facing the other way! Duh, what a hassle!!!

During my searches of google images I found the sideways facing penguins were interesting but also complicated. The white and black fascinated me as it would be a challenge to use them in the 'right' amount and places with as few starts and stops as possible (well, you know how I hate finishing off ends!). Again, having done the large ones the challenge to do the small ones continued. I will admit that the final penguin (the small one facing sideways and to the left) proved to be the hardest. I think that's because I was really fed up with them all by then.

Finally mounting them all. Another story.

In our smallish town there is still a store which sells fabric. A family run concern which caters for the 'up market' people in the area. I have very little luck there when it comes to haberdashery or fabric. Still, on Tuesday morning I wandered in there on the 'off chance' that I just might find the right coloured fabric for the penguins. Imagine my surprise when on the top of the remnant bin I found the two colours and weights of fabric I needed. YIPEEEEE.

The patterns for all these penguins can be found from my home page.

First of all here they all are out and about in the snow with the stars twinkling.

Here are the two adult penguins who's bodies are facing forwards but with faces looking to the left or right.

Next are their two babies (I think they belong to those adults - but maybe I'm wrong!).

Next are the sideways facing ones. These are the adults.

Finally there are two small penguins which also face sideways!

Many thanks to Sharren Morgan for test tatting the first 'batch' - she happened to mention she liked penguins and asked if I'd thought of doing one while we were 'chatting' one day!!! As I was in the doldrums of designing this pattern she got 'chosen' to help!!!

5 March 2008


I've finished it!! Every part and there are 8 parts!! I'm mounting it at the moment. Yes, me, mounting something. If I hadn't then all the pieces would get lost. I've made it into a picture and hope to put it on the blog either later today or tomorrow.
I'm really, really pleased with the result. I asked Dom the artist who lives next door to help me arrange the bits and he just moved them slightly from where I'd put them to form a grand design. I do hope that it will be liked as it's taken such a big part of my tat life!!!
Right, off to finish it and throw an iron over it!!!!

3 March 2008

Further progress

I still have two more parts to resolve of the 'biggie'. It's driving me round the bend now!! It may be ready by the middle of the week and when it is I'll hopefully be able to post pictures here and add it to the pattern site. I've been very 'good' this time and kept up the drawings along with the text. If only I hadn't changed my mind about half of it then ........
The saying goes 'a lady is entitled to change her mind'. Trouble is - I'm no lady. Just a Jane!!!!

2 March 2008

Still here

I'm still here and still tatting. I'm 'just' over half way through my big project. All was going well until I decided to make a small amendment to parts of it yesterday. Oh, wrong, wrong, wrong!! OK, it'll look better in the end but the hassle of altering everything does make me wonder sometimes - especially as those I'd shown the first tryouts to said that it looked fine as it was!
I was 'interrupted' last night by having to go and babysit. Must admit that this is no chore and that the boys love me looking after them. Couldn't be because I let them stay up and read lots of stories to them, could it?

29 February 2008

Sharren's Angel

I've tested Sharren's angel and it's a darling to do. You need to know the split chain and the SCMR. The split SCMR is drop dead easy too. Here's my test tat.

28 February 2008

100 today!!!

100 done and tat's the end of tat for a while!!! This is what I've been tatting.
Now I can go and play with my other big project after I've done one more test tat for somebody else!!

26 February 2008

Thoughts about time and tatting

The hardest 'job' I had with time was adjusting to being retired. For all my working life my main ambition was to retire. I worked full time as a teacher (mainly the five year olds) at the same time raising two kids with an ex who was more often than not away on business or with his stupid hobby. After the teaching I then did temp office work. I rushed from place to place (mainly on my bike) sometimes working three jobs in a day.
Thus retirement was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
BUT when I got there it took me several years of self training to manage the time I supposedly had. I couldn't get it through my thick skull that I could read that extra chapter or three in bed in the morning and that I didn't have to rush around anymore. I'm there now and the only rushing I ever try to do is to appointments.
What I suppose I'm trying to tell you is that I love having too many tatting projects 'on the go'. I'm in my element at the moment although my own projects are having to wait a week or two.
Yesterday evening (no tatting in the afternoon as I was helping a couple of friends out with computers) I did another 20 of the small snowflakes - tat's now 72 completed.
Towards the end of the evening I had an email from Iris. She's asked me to test tat a pattern for her. Now, who could resist that? Well I had to at that time of the evening as I think I need a well rested brain to do it!!! Also I will have to get into my tat cupboard to find beads etc!!!

So the list is sort of not getting any longer but also not getting a lot shorter either!!!!
Isn't life good? I've never been bored in my life and as long as I can manage a shuttle I'm sure I never will be!!!!

25 February 2008


I couldn't resist making the kit that Lyn from Tatting and Design sent any longer. It's been sitting on my tat table looking at me and tempting me since it arrived so yesterday afternoon I tatted these two dear little motifs up. I'm not sure if she sells these little kits but if she does then I'd recommend them to anybody and everybody. I do so love the thread and the beads.
The list is dwindling now. 52 snowflakes done and I feel that today should break the back of them. Hope to reach 70 by the end of the day!! Phewwww.

24 February 2008

The list!

Well I forgot to add one more thing to the list yesterday - a couple of pendants.
When I was at the Lace Fair last November I met up with Lyn Morton. I couldn't take my eyes off a pendant she was wearing. I asked her what thread she had used and she told me it was some of her
Oren Bayan metallic thread. Of course that made a dent in the purse!!! Anyway the other day I realised I was running out of the colours I need for my large WIP so ordered some more from her at Tatting and Design. What did the dear lady do? Not only sent my threads very quickly but also gifted me a kit with the pattern, thread and beads for the little pendant. Now I HAVE to make those sooooooon. In fact, I might take 'time out' from my list this afternoon to make them!!! Well, you have to, don't you? I'll show them tomorrow if I get them done.
Back to the list. In spite of a relatively busy day yesterday I managed to get the bracelet done (see below). I also posted the 25 garlands which I'd completed as my friend wanted those urgently. I also got another 15 of the snowflakes done too and also 'timed' them - ten minutes each (with no interruptions). I can relax on those when I've got past the 60 mark!!!

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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