15 April 2009

More bookmarks

Yesterday I found time to list some of the new poke proof pouches in my Etsy shop - the shuttle and pansy fabric ones.

Well it was SO funny. I finished listing (which takes me quite a time as I'm easily distracted) and went straight downstairs to make a cup of tea. When I got back upstairs again with the tea I found one of them had already sold!!! No, I didn't drop the tea but it was a close thing!!

These bookmarks are from my sister. She made them following Jane's pattern.
I asked what threads she'd used and she said they were old fine ones which she doubled up. Aren't they just SO pretty?

14 April 2009

Finished shirt

I actually sewed on the butterflies as well as the edging. I'm SO proud of myself.

I really had to do this before I lost the butterflies in tat corner!!!

I put one butterfly on the front of the shirt and the other on the sleeve!! How does that grab you?!?!?

13 April 2009


At last I've finished. What, you may ask! I bet nobody noticed except me. I'll explain.

A few weeks ago I had major problems with accessing one of the web sites I use to keep my pages on. For some reason I couldn't 'see' the files on the site when using an ftp. Eventually I started asking them questions about the problem and was told very early on that they had been working on it. I kept on asking over the following week but until five days had passed I had no answer and no connection.
Finally Nick decided that enough was enough and that he was going to 'ditch' that isp.

I then changed all the links on all pages to reflect this. THEN it was suggested by a.n.other tatter that it would be a grand idea to have larger pictures so I got brain cell # 3 out of the trash can and dusted him off. I worked out how to do this and thus started another two weeks of slowly changing the pages. I'm SO glad they're done now.
Most have large pictures of the finished pieces on links.

I've also added another page showing how to work the 'alternative' Josephine Ring.

By the way, this is the isp I'm now using. The other one will work for a while longer but hasn't the new enlarged pictures on it.

12 April 2009

Finished another shirt

Yesterday I finished another tshirt. I think it's been pimped enough!

I'll take a photo today but meanwhile here are two butterflies which will go onto it - when I remember!!!

There's a link to the pattern if you click the word 'butterflies'!!!! Nearly forgot to mention that!!!

11 April 2009

New pouches

I finally got two more pouches finished yesterday. Where does the time go?

These are made (as you can see!) in the lighter coloured fabric.

Now all I've got to do is find the bag sealer, print some inserts, pack them up, photograph them again and then list them in Etsly. Doesn't sound a lot but I keep letting myself get distracted!!!!

Next project will be some 'ornery' bags for which I've got some bobbin type fabric and a few more ideas brewing!!!


10 April 2009

Not a lot else!!!!

Before I say anything else and in answer to people's comments of yesterday I'd like to say that I rarely pre-wash a tshirt before adding the tatting!!! Downright laziness and also the fact that I usually buy Lands End clothes when I get to the USA. I rely on their excellent quality to allow me to not pre-shrink!!! That's my excuse!!!!

Now, rarely do I post anything not craft related but this I must share!!!

Youngest daughter and family came back from a holiday in Florida to find that their new cat, who adopted them two months ago, had caused concern while they were away!! She'd put on a lot of weight. I must add here that DD and SIL live right out in the sticks and the cat wasn't claimed by anyone despite extensive enquiries.

On her first day back at work my DD rang the vet to make arrangements for the cat to be spayed.

Following morning they awoke to find this in the cat's bed!!!!

Just heard that 36 hours later another kitty was born!!!

Here's another picture

9 April 2009

Another edging

I've started another edging for another t shirt!!

Again I've used a number 80 variegated thread with a plain yellow quilting one.

This time I've just 'adapted' the daisy necklace pattern. I'm sure I've seen something similar somewhere that others have done so unless I hear otherwise this won't get 'published' as a pattern.

I have a confession to make! I'm just too lazy to go and look for patterns either in any of my books or online!!! There, that's over with - I now have a clear conscience for a while!!!

8 April 2009


This is what I'm doing at the moment.

Customizing (I love the word 'pimping' but it has other connotations which may upset some people) my t shirts!!

I'm a boring sort of person in that I like plain clothes .....

Thread I've used? Hmmm number 80 or thereabouts (one orange/yellow, and the other green/green) both variegated and both run alongside a plain orange and green machine quilting thread. I love the effects you get from these combos.

The colours change so subtly which is something I'm not - subtle!!!!

7 April 2009

Two things to talk about today!

Yesterday my copy of Martha's new teapot book arrived. I've just GOT to make the 3D set. It shouted out 'make me' in a very loud voice the minute I opened the book.

Thank you, Martha, for the dedication in the front of the book. I must tell you guys that Martha has dedicated the book to me. She's a naughty lass as she knows darn well that we have both learnt a terrific lot of things off each other.

I noticed yesterday that I've got a new follower on this blog.
What is MOST amusing is that Ginny has used the crab that I designed as her image/photo/icon or whatever blogger calls it. I did have a giggle. Thanks for cheering me up, Ginny!

6 April 2009

I've started!

I've actually got started on the poke proof pouches!!!

2 down and ??? to go.

I think I've got enough fabric for 16 which is great.

Guess what? I'd forgotten how I'd made them. I have to do them in a certain 'order' or there would be stitching showing on the outside and that wouldn't be very good. Here are the first two. The next two will be made in the lighter fabric.

4 April 2009

Confession time!!

Just before Christmas I spent a whole load of money on something which I never got the benefit from. I mean several thousands of pounds!!

A couple of weeks ago we finally decided to make the trip over the pond. By this time I realised that I couldn't face carrying all my heavy electronic 'stuff' as carry on luguage so have 'invested' (no, treated!) myself to a new camera and Itouch. How's that? Confession made.

So, I needed a case for the Itouch (already have a decent camera case which will double up as an everything case when we're out and about) so this is what I made for my new 'toy'. I made another for Nick with a belt loop on the back but I prefer just a hook.

Wonder whether I should make any for the Etsy shop? I've used the same lining inside as the poke proof pouches so that the whole toy is well protected.

3 April 2009

What about?!?!?

What about poke proof pouches in this shuttle/pansy fabric?

I'm going to make some out of these two samples!!! This will be a 'limited edition'.


Well, simply because that's all the fabric I have!!! I may have enough for 12 at the moment and won't be getting/buying anymore (IF I can find anymore) unless those 12 sell. Not only a 'credit crunch' but a 'fabric crunch'!!!

2 April 2009

All is revealed

The name of the lady I showed two days ago is Jennifer Williams. Now to tell you a bit about her.

She lives in Wales.
Her main 'claim to fame' nowadays is that she's the Chairman of the Ring of Tatters.

Now to get personal. Jennifer is a slim lady with a surfeit of energy. Spend a short while in her company and you'll find out!!! She has a bubbly personality and she laughs a lot.

What you may not know about Jennifer is that she's a stonking good designer but she's one who tends to hide her light under a bushel. BUT I think we'll be seeing more of her patterns soon both in the Ring's Newsletter and other places too.

Jennifer trained as a teacher and nowadays does lots of workshops around the UK.

She has recently taught a weekend residential
course on tatting here. Hopefully this will lead to more at this venue and others. Although her main love is tatting this lass also does many, many other crafts too.

31 March 2009

Just playing!!!

Guesses are still coming in about who the lady is on yesterday's post so I'm going to keep that a secret until tomorrow!!!!

This is what I've been doing (on and off) for the past few days. It's NOT a necklace before anybody asks!!!! There's still more to do but time will tell if it gets finished!!!

This is one of my patterns but one which I've altered slightly.

The reason for the change is I wanted a more 'substantial' edge to it and also, because I've been working in two threads run parallel together on the shuttle, I found it hard to do the CTJ joins. Those vsp's just got too fiddly when 2 threads are involved!! Instead of this I put a chain in to carry me back to the side I needed to be on!!!

IF it's worth writing the alterations up then I'll do it sometime!!!!!

30 March 2009

Another 'guess who'

OK, I'm really, really going to make you work today. I'm just not going to tell who this is. Well, not for a day or so until everybody who wants to has had a chance to guess!!!

It's somebody I think you will have heard of.

Please don't add your guess to the comments but send directly to me at lovetotat @ gmail.com - just so I can find out who gets it right and so that nobody else can cheat!!!

Wonder who'll be first???!!! Once the cat's out of the bag I'll add more about this lady below the picture or on another post.
Meanwhile ............................

28 March 2009

Still thinking bags

Thanks for your comment, Maureen. I've been thinking about making 'ordinary' drawstring bags too. In fact somewhere I've got a couple of 'trials' I made towards the end of last summer. Must dig them out and have another look at them.

I'm going to make some poke proof pouches - 'stand alone' with no matching roly poly bags. The reason? I've got some fabric with a shuttle print on!!! What could be better, eh?

Meantime I am still tatting and crocheting but I'm not working on anything new at the moment. Just enjoying tatting for the sake of tatting!! I think I'm burnt out after working on Palmetto Tat Days submissions!!!

27 March 2009

Still talking bags!

This is a pretty bag.

I do love it and because I love it so much - with my heart - I decided to 'pimp my bag'!!!!

I used this pattern and here are the results!! First of all the two hearts I made. Finally the results of marrying the bag and the tatting.

To those who asked whether there were compartments in this bag the answer is no!! It's only a small bag and I felt that putting in divisions would limit what I wanted to pop in there! Of course the answer is to make a smaller bag or two to put in the bag!!!!

Time will tell whether this actually 'happens' or not!!

The 'white thing' at the bottom is a toggle thingy which lets you alter the length of the strap. Sometimes I carry a bag just on my shoulder, other times over my head too. I even carry them as a 'hand bag' on occasions. This toggle gives me the opportunity to change the length!! Clever, eh?

26 March 2009

The sewing machine is out!

Another Spring and out come the daffodils, tulips, flowers galore AND my sewing machine!!

I'm still thinking about bags!! I still have some roly poly tat bags in my Etsy store but want a new 'line'. This is one I'm thinking about. I've made this as a small bag to carry with me when I go on my afternoon walk around the river and back up through the town. Sometimes I need to pop into shops and get 'stuff' so need to have either a bit of cash or my credit card holder with me.

This is what I made this bag for but now I see many possibilities. Particularly for carrying tatting things.

IF anybody reading this post thinks it might be a useful addition to a craft worker's 'bag collection' I'd appreciate their comments. If not this could be the one and only one ever made!!!

25 March 2009

Well, well, well

Now I know what grabs Nick's attention!!! Not a lot does phase him but yesterday (thanks to Wally) he 'sat up and took interest' when he picked up the post from behind the front door!!!

Why was he suddenly so interested? Well it's not every day of the week that a package arrives from Egypt!!! That really, really foxed him!!!

What had Wally sent? Well here are just a few of the wonderful butterflies she sent for the Ring of Tatters bookmarks. Aren't they just sweet? I've seen them on her blog but they're even better in real life.

Wally also sent me some sequins to play with too. THANKS, Wally.

This got me thinking (brain cell # 3 returned for a short visit). I wonder where the bookmarks finally finish up? Most likely in households in the UK - but I wonder. Wouldn't it be interesting to know where the furthest one has finally go to?

Totally off topic here but I had to laugh when I saw this clip from YouTube. I sent the link to my Welsh friend! I guess there are people all over Wales laughing at this now!!!

24 March 2009

Another 'Guess Who'

I doubt anybody reading this blog will know who this is!! She's one of the Ring of Tatter's best kept secrets.

She and her hubby (Adrian) are the force behind the Ring's website which is here. Not often seen in public but I do have permission to blog her!!!!

Her name? Sally Magill.

This was one of the photos I took at the exhibition but I didn't post earlier until Sally had seen the photo. I think this sums her up really well. She's always smiling.

23 March 2009


Finally I've finished this handkerchief edging! Started about two years ago and intended as a project whilst on our last visit to America!!! There now, doesn't time fly!!!

We're now planning our next visit having given last year a 'miss'!!!
Now before y'all get too critical. I haven't folded this hanky properly yet but just flung it on the platen 'as is'.

Please note - I NEVER use a picot gauge. OK, who said 'it shows'!!!! Do I care? Nah, life's too short to measure every darn picot. I love to live dangerously anyway!!!

This is one of my own patterns and I must admit I quite like it! This is unusual for me as once I've finished a pattern I am so fed up with it I toss it aside. Well, onto the web page!!

My next project as I'm not in designing 'mode' at the moment is another edging but this time for a tshirt. I'm going to use this one but with alterations to it to give a more substantial 'base' line for sewing on. I MIGHT use it instead for a hanky edging. Not sure just yet.

Before all this starts up in earnest, though, I'll warn you - I'm sewing again. I hope to have at least one wee thing to show you tomorrow!!!

21 March 2009

New question

What is this?

OK, who shouted out - A MESS?

I'll answer the question straight away.
It's my Ring of Tatters 'sticking kit'!!!

The box at the back with the green handle is holding the motifs.

To the right (and slightly forwards of that) is the nearly depleted bottle of PVA glue. There's a roll of sellotape just in front of the green handled box for holding the day's supply together when I've got enough. We 'allow' 30 bookmarks per day and exhibitions are from 3 to 4 days.

To the left of the sellotape is a green bookmark awaiting it's motif. Below the sellotape is a strip of re-cycled paper to band the 30 together.

Now to the scissors. They are used for cutting off tails of thread - a job I simply HATE as my fingers are usually sticky when this happens. Takes more time to cut tails than to stick!!!

Finally the two most important items in the 'kit'. An old CD and a double pointed fine knitting needle. Now, why would I want those? Simple. I put a blob of glue on the CD and use one end of the needle to load glue on and transfer to the motif. The other end (clean, hopefully) is used sometimes to 'nudge' the motif into place!! There you are - job done. Oh, except for a few hours of time!!!

19 March 2009

One of the exhibits!

Thanks to those who commented on yesterday's post - you were right, Maureen it is Rosemarie Peel!! I agree, Riet and I will let her know you want a copy of the book. I asked and she told me a bit about what is going into itbtoo - but that's a secret!!!

This is my last post about the exhibition.

There was time to take a look around a bit further on Sunday and I saw these entries (the link takes you to the Ring of Tatter's site - please scroll down) for the Poetry in Stitches Competion
(2008) and they were fabulous. I couldn't have chosen between these three as a favourite and there were lots and lots of other 'non tatted' entries too. The judges must've had their heads in knots over these.

The thing that tickled me most is that I'm sure, nearly sure that I spotted Sid the Scintillating Slug in the Isca tatters entry. I've put an arrow pointing to where I think I spotted him. Any of the Isca tatters care to put my mind at rest?!?!?

The others on the stand wondered why I came back from looking at the exhibits with a great big grin on my face!!! I LOVE to see something I've designed made by other people!!

18 March 2009

Guess who?

Now I wonder if you can guess who this is?

OK, I'll give you a clue or 3.

She's recently published a new tatting book.
2. She's got several books which are all winners.
3. She's a 'local lass' living in the middle of the UK.

Now, I'm going to let you into a secret. She told me that she's 'on a roll' and that we can expect another new book out this year!!!!!


17 March 2009

More about the exhibition!

OK, a bit more about the exhibition.

Here are two of the 'Sunday' gals!!! Barbara and Sarah are in the photo on the left and on the right. The central one shows them again with some of the public who visited.

It was Barbara's 'maiden voyage' as a demonstrator and she took to it like the proverbial duck to water. We were pretty busy at times. The garden picture is Sarah's. It's so pretty that I had to pop it on the blog.

We did have two others on the stand but I'm keeping quiet about one's identity. I'll show you tomorrow - hopefully!!!

16 March 2009

Like the horse's tail!

I'm all behind!! Just like the horse's tail!

Today I'm going to show you the bookmark that I finished at the show on Thursday. Thank you, Jane and Burda!!! I've done two more since then - when I find them again!!

I was there again all day yesterday and have lots to show you. BUT you're going to have to wait until I've got the photos off my camera!!!

I added a ring or two at the top of the bookmark to give it a different look but that's all. The reason I'm using this variegated thread is simply because I DON'T LIKE IT!!!

I thought it would be lovely as it's pink but I think the problem is that it's variegated - and not in a nice way!!! I can tolerate variegated IF it's used with a plain thread and if the design 'fits' it but not on it's own.

There will be more pictures tomorrow and a 'teaser' or two. Things could get interesting round here!!!

14 March 2009

A day at the NEC

In my last post I mentioned that that I spent Thursday at the National Exhibition Centre with the Ring of Tatters. Here are some pictures for you to see.

13 March 2009

Talking old and time again!!!

Well to all those who wrote in about my ramblings yesterday - thanks!!!

I did actually get the better of time yesterday!! Why? Well I was lucky enough to be chosen to help out at the NEC (for all you foreigners - that stands for the National Exhibition Centre) by the Ring of Tatters. Each year there is an exhibition called the Sewing for Pleasure held there in one of the enormous halls. For any Americans reading my ramblings - we can do 'BIG' in the UK at times!!

The Ring is given a stand there to show the public how to tat if they are interested. We always get a lot of attention and this year we were visited by a lot of youngsters (ie younger than ME!!).

Time flew by (yet again) but this time I think I was on the same wave length as time!!! Boy, did I feel old by the end of the day, though. Another great buzz to this day at the NEC is meeting fellow tatters in the Ring. We talked for England and tatted for the universe when there were quiet moments.

Hopefully I'll show some photos tomorrow. I took a few! I did have a few problems when it came to packing up. The tattysaurus decided to stay - he loves the attention!!! He (and my other mobiles) are staying until Sunday when I spend another day there.

Big surprise when I got back was the award that Sherry left for me. Blog Queen? So pleased to see the letter 'l' in that word!!! Now, when do the golden carriage, silver slippers, ruby ring, footmen, private aeroplane etc arrive, I ask myself? I'm waiting, Sherry!!

12 March 2009

As you get old

As you get old.

Now, I'm not the only one getting old - I have it on good authority that it happens to everybody.
BUT as I get old life tends to get 'silly'.

Where does that commodity 'time' go to? I wake up in the morning and the pot is full of time.

I have things to do, time to do them in and life looks good. I get to lunchtime and I realise that things are 'slipping'.

By the evening that commodity has long gone and I'm looking back over the day and wondering where it all went.

Ah, I know, I've been robbed!!! Robbed of MY time.
What can I do about it?

PLEASE, if anybody's got the answer do let me know.

11 March 2009

Bookmarks from Jane in South Africa

A few days ago I had the following sent to me from Jane. Remember Jane from a few days ago?

She said

The original pattern is from Anna Burda magazine, May 1984, page L14.
I 'converted' another braid on the Anna page, but this one was very easy, as you can see. Also much easier and neater using split rings. I used size 10 thread and turned it into bookmarks by adding a tassel.

The pattern for the bookmarks looks like this:
SR 1: 6/6
R each side: 4-2-2-4
SR 4: 6/6
R each side: 5+5-2-2-5-5

Repeat, with the next small ring each side joining to the large ring, 4+2-2-4.
I ended with a split ring after two small rings, and attached a tassel to the bottom, and used size 10 thread.

10 March 2009

Christmas baubles

My sister was in town last weekend and we went out for the afternoon on Saturday.

She showed me her Christmas baubles which I managed to sneak a photo of!!! Aren't they gorgeous? They look even better in real life.

Now, before you ask, she hasn't written the pattern down!! I've given her a ticking off about that and am hoping that with a bit of 'nagging' from me she'll eventually write down the pattern!!!

9 March 2009

Still playing with buttons!!

Although I've officially 'finished' with buttons somebody suggested purple and red!!! So, here we go - purple and red!!! I've also added the t-shirt which I've sewn them onto. I didn't put them 'in a line' or 'round the neck' as I wanted something different. When I get the time (and inclination!) I'll take a picture of 'the old git' wearinig it!!!

I managed to upload the pattern page yesterday although I spent nearly two hours trying to get the link working back to the home page. I was almost ready to throw the computer through the window and it still doesn't work!!

I couldn't spend any longer struggling with it as I had arranged to go and try to help a lady who lives round the corner from me. We first met at Silver Surfers and she popped into the library last week to ask if I could help set up her computer on broadband. I did warn her that I'd never done that before but heroically set off to try. Before I got to her house I'd got soaked and hurt by a terrific hail storm.

I am over the moon. I managed with no bother at all to set up the broadband connection, do all the necessary downloads (virus signatures, windows updates, java, Firefox, etc). Does a new career await me?!?!?!

8 March 2009

Back to normal!

Yesterday evening I got 'back to normal' on the tatting. I needed to sort out tat corner and see what needed finishing off!!!

I'd been asked to test tat a small teapot for Martha during the past week and (I'll admit it!) happily abandoned the black tatting for an hour or so to do that. Problem was I 'lost the plot' on Martha's pattern. I can tell you that it was nothing at all to do with the pattern - it was entirely MY fault. I left the teapot 'as was' with the mistake but read through the rest of the pattern to check it for her. I wasn't too far from the end.

So a priority was to retro tat and finish off the teapot yesterday evening. I was then tempted to finish off my TIAS but the purple buttons called louder. I'd got a shuttle with enough thread on to make up one. Well, I thought I had but ran out just as I got to the last ring!!! That rarely happens but will get resolved today!!!

See the teapot below. Well you didn't think I was going to give the game away, did you?!?!? I can't wait to see this book finished - it'll be another gem from Martha.

6 March 2009

I've finished!

Finally, and after about a month, I've finished the black motifs.

Now I do occasionally enjoy this type of mindless tatting. I've enjoyed doing these but found that I got obsessed by them. I couldn't stop until I'd used all the thread that Nicole sent!! Here you can see 'almost' 12 strips of 10 per strip. Each square took around 40 minutes to make.

Today I will post them to Nicole.

Next? Well the purple buttons are calling for pure relaxation. After that? Who knows? Not me!!!!

5 March 2009

Look what I found when I went to the shop by the tip!!!!

Aren't they just gorgeous?

Remember the mother of pearl buttons I've been working on? I'm going to have to see if one of the patterns 'fits' this size!!!

The one at the very top which is paler than the rest is one I tested for 'washability'. Well, I cheated. I poured boiling water onto it and the surface sort of started minutely to peal off. I scraped it all off with my fingernail and the result is probably even more pleasing than the originals!!!!

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Happy Beaks

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