6 November 2009

A few more centimetres along the way

This is the 'story so far'!!

Another day, another few centimetres!!!

During the day I'm doing something I've been promising myself for ages.  I'm tidying up my computer.  The new mac, that is.

Over the years I've collected SO much on tatting that I've just flung into a folder called 'tatting stuff'.  I did start making sub folders some years ago and there are a lot of famous names who have folders on the mac!!!  Some contain test tatting I've done, some have patterns and others have pictures.  There's still a lot of stuff which needs filing though.

Also the search for a new drawing program continues.  I've got it narrowed down to a choice of one!!!  I'll fill you in on that when I've finally decided.  I've got a limited trial version at the moment and so far have found it to be as good as if not better than the one I was using on the PC!!!

5 November 2009

Another day, more progress

Before I start my daily talk to myself I must remember to tell myself (you, it, him, her, them, etc!!!!) that I listed some more bags in my Etsy shop yesterday.  Is there anybody out there who's interested?  Well, just in case, here's the link!!!!!

I have until the 4th December to get this back to Nicole so I don't feel under any stress at all.  It's going to be hard, very hard to get back to a pattern again!!!

The main problem with working  on this and which has to be 'checked' with a tape measure every half hour or so, is keeping within the .05 and 4.00 centimetre specification!!!  Having said that it does keep me out of mischief!!!

4 November 2009

Now that Halloween's over!!!

Before I bought the new mac I was working hard on a new pattern.  I haven't rushed things as I knew that all those who celebrate Halloween would maybe miss this post!!!  It's just a small motif but a little bit different, I think.  It's going to be my Christmas giveaway.

As it's quite a 'dense' piece it doesn't really need to be in a metal ring and stands up well 'as is'.  I MAY stiffen it but maybe I won't.  Dithering again, Jane!!!!

I'm still not quite finished with the destructions (whooops, mean instructions/pattern) but I'm hoping to be finished by the end of this week.  Then the only problem will be 'resolving' it all on the new 'toy'!!!!!

It will measure just 3" across when worked in a number 20 thread.  I've made quite a few of them so shortly you'll see lots of samples!!!

I've thought of giving this design a name.  Now, now, don't collapse in amazement!! I did think of calling it a poinsettia!!!  Not sure it's enough like one, though!!!

3 November 2009

Further along!!!

I'm now at 28 centimetres and Nicole needs 65.  Still enjoying the fact that I'm not writing it down as I go along like I usually do when designing.  I use a laptop for that which makes it a lot easier and more efficient to do 'on the hoof'.

Here is the latest part and the whole thing so far.  This will be the last time you'll see the piece in it's entirety as it won't fit on the scanner any longer!!!!

Did I tell you what it's going to be used for?  It's an 'insert/outsert' to go in a dress or skirt.  It will 'meander' between two pieces of fabric and over the fabric too.  Sounds quite a task to me.

2 November 2009

Fascinating stuff

This is a really seriously weird way to tat - with no pattern and no real 'direction' except a 'straightish' line!!!

I think I might have to take an evening 'off' soon as it's not as easy as it looks.  Making decisions about which way to go next and how to get there.  Sounds like my life in general and I try not to be forced to make those sorts of decisions EVER!!!

I just hope that Nicole is pleased with it.  In a strange sort of way I'm learning from doing it but I'm very, very glad I've got a few years tatting experience to use!!!  There's only been one 'tie and cut' so far as I'm trying to make it flow from one part to the other.

For those curious as to what Nicole is going to do with this - I believe she's inserting it between two seams in a garment.  I'll be able to show you the completed item when she's finished it - I hope.

1 November 2009

Something new!

As I've mentioned before (I think!) I'm currently working on a commissioned piece of work for the lass I did the black strips for. 

The task she's set me is to make a long piece of 'random' tatting.  No pattern at all.  This was rather daunting at first and I wondered if I'd be able to 'just tat'.  The specification was that it should be between 0.5 cm to 4.0 cm in width. 

Well I started off and this is what happened.  I ran it by her and she said it's exactly what she's looking for.

I'm using a number 80 thread which means it's going to take some time, I think.

31 October 2009

A little something to show you!

I'm back into tatting.  Well, that's not strictly true - I've never been away!!!

I am working on two new patterns.  One finished and one nearly done.  The first I've been 'hanging on to' until after Halloween as it's my Christmas giveaway.  More about that next week!!!

Today I'm showing you the bookmark I made over the past two evenings.  The pattern is on my site (which now has a search bar!!!).

Oh, before I go - please bear with me over the next few days as I update my web pages and the home page again.  All my links appear to have gone AWOL during the transfer from the PC to the mac!!  Still, it keeps an OG outa mischief, I guess!!!!

Special note to Georgia - don't worry only a few links MAY have to change as my main site sometimes appears  to be full!!!

29 October 2009

Nothing to tell - well, nothing to show!!

Yesterday I did very little.  I had to be out all day.  Today will be the same too.  So, no progress on the mac BUT I did start an intriguing tatting project in the evening.

This is a commissioned piece of work which I'm hoping I'll be allowed to show you.  I've done things for this lass before but thankfully this time I'll not be working in number 80 BLACK!!!  This is still a number 80 thread but a much easier colour for winter evenings.

28 October 2009

Sometimes you win and sometimes you loose!!

Nope, not talking about giveaways but life in general!!!

Yesterday morning I decided to upload my web page from the mac.  Not easy as first I had to set up an ftp link which meant pulling out all my resources in the way of brain cells.  Then, when I'd finally downloaded the software, set it up (amidst much cussing!!) I sent the page up.  The home page is the only one now which is in html so I thought this would be a huge step forward to do this.  Oh, BOY, was I wrong!!!!

Just before leaving the house to go shopping I realised that the poooey thing had lost all the links.  Now for those who have never built a web page  - this  is a major disaster.  I fiddled and fathomed between shopping and fixing another friend's computer (did another one the day before!) then I finally realised I could re-load the original from the PC so that's fixed that for now.  BUT this leaves me with the problem of 'how to' save my original file as an htm file on the mac without losing all the wretched links.  Can anybody in tat land explain to a mathered old git how to do this?  I've got Neo Office which will let me save as html and from what I've read that should be fine but I think it's more to do with the transferring of files from PC to mac.  If I've got to do all the links again it will take up precious tatting time!!!  IF I understood what I was doing in the first place it would help, of course!!!

On t'other hand late last night I found out how to put a search box on the home page.  Now everybody should be able to go searching  on my site without running around like a headless chicken.  Least I hope!!  Thanks to somebody pointing out that Georgia had a box like this I decided to find out for myself how and where to get one from!!!  So the day wasn't really lost!!

27 October 2009

Progress is being made!

All files have now been transferred to the new mac (via a magic cable and with the help of number 4) so all I've got to do is learn how to use it!!!  Which reminds me - where DOES Apple hide the hash key on the keyboard?!?!?

I've found how to scan things, save etc and the printer, graphics pad etc all worked almost straight away (with a few driver updates).  Next I need to find time.

Busy week ahead with people to help out on their PC's.  Still it'll keep an old git out of mischief!!!

I am still tatting and may have something new to show next week - once halloween's out of the way!!

24 October 2009

Yet MORE oh dears!!!!

After reading Gina's post on the tatting goddess blog (Thursday's post) I thought about the plethora of utter nonsense I talk but then decided that as I'm only talking to myself then that's OK!!!!  Now Gina talks sense and her blog is well worth reading.  So, I must ask why are YOU reading this instead of hers?  OR, are you reading both and making comparisons?!?!?!

Anyway, I'm afraid that I might not be blogging much for the next week or so as I've had a baby. Yup, a new baby - at the ripe old age of 66. 

Imeant to have this baby two/three years ago but I chickened out and put back the birth.  It arrived yesterday.  Straightforward birth - ordered online 24 hours earlier, sight unseen but from a good genetic background.  Trouble is that because of the new baby I have to do a lot of work. I have to learn new stuff but so far there have been very few teething problems - mainly due to the (very green with jealousy) male partner who already has experience of this 'breed'. Oh - a new brain cell has been brought into play - temporarily - brain cell number 4!!!!  Bet he won't stick around for long, though!!!

So?  Are you wondering if I really have lost the plot? Probably.  I'll explain.  It's simple, really.  I've bought myself an Apple Imac. The PC was rapidly losing the plot and I was losing my temper with it!!!!  Vista (and/or) the computer wouldn't find any hardware I plugged into it and messed me around BIG TIME on several things.

So far I've managed to transfer quite a few files and stuff but now have to find a new drawing programme.  I've got most things 'sort' of sorted but it's on with the game and thus there won't be much going on with showing much tatting.

Having said that I will be tatting in the evenings but may not be able to put a web page together until I've worked out 'how to' do (a) pdf's and (b) html pages without sharepoint designer.  So, any advice would be very welcome on appropriate software - preferably free!!!  I can probably 'do' the pdf's already - just haven't got 'roundtuit'!!!!

So, tat's all from me today.  Please don't leave planet Jane - I'm just temporarily 'out of sync'!!!

23 October 2009

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!!!

What happened to my resolve to change my ways?

I seem to have got myself into the same old state as usual.

I was determined that I would work on just one project at a time.  So once back from our trip I decided that the most important thing to do was to decide on my Christmas giveaway design.  Not easy because it has to be something that isn't 3D and which is not too time consuming to make.  So, brain cell # 3 was commisioned to start on this task.

Well, half way through I remembered the earrings.

A few days later I decided to start on another pattern I'd been meaning to do for two years.

Then, on top of this I realised that a design I'd been working on before the trip really needed to be 'progressed'.

YIKES - what's wrong with me??  Are the men in white coats about to visit - again?

22 October 2009

Over the Top

No, I'm not referring to anything in particular and not even about my own behaviour which has been criticised for being 'over the top' in the past!!!!

I'm referring to a join.  You see when I did this pattern a few months ago I referred to an 'over the top join' (OTTJ).  Now I knew what I was talking about but I'm not sure that anybody else did!!!  It's the sort of join that 'old timers' like wot I am would 'fudge'.  So, I thought I'd better write it down. 

Before I show you I must also admit that a few 'gurus' in tat land that I've run it past haven't really understood what I'm 'getting at'!!! This is the reason that I've been lollygagging (wonderful American expression) about putting it out on my site.  

Anyway, I'd really appreciate it if you would take  the time to look at this and see if you can fathom what I'm rambling on about!!!  It has a limited 'raison d'etre' but it's still useful - well, I think so!!!!

21 October 2009

Live (and 'dead') TIAS fun

Well for those of you who weren't at the Palmetto tat days I'm going to mention the live TIAS.

This was new territory for both myself and the Palmetto 'gals'.  We went to places 'no man has gone before' with this.  It took lots of discussions on the 'how do we organise this' lines and eventually we came up with the idea of putting part 1 in the student's folders and getting them to sign a declaration in blood (well, actually a red pen!!) that they wouldn't show or discuss their progress with others!!!  IF they did (and nobody was actually caught!) then they had to forfeit all their tatting stuff before leaving the site!!!!

Thanks must go to Joanie and the team for not only nudging my aged brain to make decisions but also for the fantastic way the whole daft idea worked.

Now, for those who weren't there.  Don't fret.  You can still do the TIAS in the privacy of your own home and in your own time.  How?  Well the pattern is on the Palmetto CD.  Donna has put it on the CD in 'parts' just as it was given out 'live'.  What better way to tackle a TIAS than in your own time, eh?

Also on the CD are all the other patterns which the teachers taught.  Here's where you can see them.  Don't just drooooool, take a few dollars out of your piggy bank and order  a CD!!!!  You'll never regret it, promise.

20 October 2009

Earrings # 2

Another pair of the earwigs.  I'm so pleased with the colours of these.

Very 'me' being bright and cheerful.  I wore them yesterday to cheer up a dull Monday morning.

Why is it that although I retired some years ago that Monday always has a dreary feel to it?

Thank goodness it's Tuesday and we're already heading towards the weekend.

Silly woman - why does the weekend make any difference?  We do nothing at all like most of the rest of the week.

Stop rambling, Jane.  Get on with life!!!

18 October 2009

More about the Elgiva Nicholls book.

Isdihara put a comment on yesterday's post about wanting more information about the contents of the Elgiva book.  Sorry, folks, I just assumed that everybody knew about my hero's work!!!! 

The book I'm selling on ebay is not really a 'pattern book' as we know them today - BUT she does explain in detail how she makes the elements of the flowers, leaves etc.  A fantastic resource for designers.  The thistle instructions are particularly intriguing.  So I guess these are patterns but just not written the way we would today!!  The book is a wonderful source of inspiration and one which I'm forever taking out to look at for ideas.

Elgiva was a forerunner of our 'modern' HDT ideas as much as her research and innovative ideas.  She told me that she dyed her own threads when I met her in 1976 - aren't they pretty?  I saw the one on the left in 'real time'.  She gives instructions on how she dyed her threads at the end of the book.  Also tips on assembling and mounting work.

Please ask for further information if you need it.  Below are just two of the pictures from the book.  There are two further colour plates and several black and white.  

17 October 2009

Listing on Ebay

Well today I'm listing a surplus book on ebay.

Why am I telling you?  It's because it's a tatting book.  It's a rare ish one of Elgiva Nicholls.

I have my own copy which I bought off Elgiva in 1976 when I was lucky enough to meet her at the Lambeth Town and Country Fair in London.  She was showing work from this book too.

My copy (which she signed for me) cost me a whole round pound which was quite a lot of money for me in those days as my kids were young and we were not well off.

The book I'm selling is another one that I bought quite recently.  Goodness knows why I bought it - I got carried away at an auction.  Typical me!!!

The book itself is in an excellent condition although the cover has come off - the  front and back are still attached to each other!!!

If it sells then all monies will go towards more thread and beads!!!!!  Well, what else would I do with it?????  Buy food???  No, thread and beads are more important!!!!!

16 October 2009

Old earrings!

Now way back in 2006 I was preparing to teach at the Palmetto tatting days held in 2007.  Yes it really does take me ages to get things done - partly because I tend to veer off and do other things along the way!!!

Well that was the year of the Flower Garden theme.  It was when I did the wheelbarrow, watering can and the red eyed tree frog.  Anyway at one point I made a pair of earrings and gave the pattern to go on their CD.  This is the picture of a pair I made a few days ago using that pattern.

It really is a simple one.  Rings only and not even a chain in sight!!!!  I'd forgotten all about it until I saw Joanie wearing a pair she'd made while I was staying with her, so I decided to 're-visit' the pattern again and put it here on my web page

Anybody who's awake will notice that this is on the new site but all links go back to the original - except for the images.

15 October 2009

A blue ribbon

Well I got a blue ribbon - by proxy!!!!!!!!

Not really but I am sort of slightly involved!!  I got a message from Pam Esbjerg who, by the way, was my teacher's assistant at tat days.  She entered the Lacewing Shuttlebug she'd made in the State Fair.  Here's what she said-

"Good News – I am so excited.  Your bug from Tat Days that I tatted won a blue ribbon in the SC State Fair – am sending a picture, although he looks much better after Bonnie blocked him and fixed his antennae – I left them long and she put a knot in the end and made them shorter.  When I get him back, I will send you a better picture.  I love the design – Thanks so much!!!"

Pam also won a blue for a necklace she designed and made. Here it is.  Boy is this a stunning design.

14 October 2009

Advertising on my blog

One thing I think I'm allowed to do is advertise on my blog.  Not that I want to or feel the need do it much!!!  I only support things I believe in and this is one of those things.  This is my own Jane Eborall advert so 'sit tight' and enjoy the ride!!!

As we all know - needle tatting is SUPPOSED to be easier to learn than the traditional shuttle.  This was probably true in the 'dark ages' but not now.  I'll explain the thoughts of brain cell # 3.

Do you remember the 'dark ages'?  Those were the days when all us OG's like me sat in our homes and shuttle tatted (because the needle hadn't been invented) on our own and in total isolation?  My own 'dark ages' started in 1956.  Just had a had a thought.  We weren't OG's in those days - just training to be.  Sorry, I digress as usual!!!

We were able to buy the odd and rare magazine with patterns in but not a lot else.  No coloured threads, no contact with others (well, I did have my gran but she was a learner too) and never a bead entered the equation.

Then along came the Ring of Tatters (here in the UK) and twice a year a Newsletter popped through the door - with patterns and gossip.  This was started some years ago now - nearly 30, I think.

Then roughly fifteen to seventeen years ago the light was switched on!!!  Finally the internet arrived.  Now ANYBODY can easily learn to shuttle tat.  It's not rocket science but it IS easier when you can actually SEE it being done slowly and carefully.  So the Ring of Tatters took the opportunity recently to make their own DVD which anybody with a computer (and I know that you, dear reader, has one or you wouldn't be reading this ramble!) can now learn to SHUTTLE tat the traditional way.

There, that wasn't such a bad advert, was it?  Least there was no irritating music!!!!  

I also have a link on my home page to this page too.  You won't escape!!!!

13 October 2009

I've spent my birthday money!

Now what did I spend my birthday money on?  Oooooh, well, there's a story.

Anybody who knows me will realise that I'm not very good at spending money.  I'll only buy something 'when I need it'.  I see things and think - oooooh, I'd like that.  Then brain cell # 3 clicks in and says - "but do you NEED it"?  99 times out of 100 the answer is "not really" and I don't buy it - oh, unless it's threads, beads or something tatting related, of course and then I might!!!

So, when I tried to upload a pattern (still not quite ready for you guys!!!) onto my web site a few days ago and it wouldn't 'go' I realised that the time had come to 'bite the bullet' and buy myself some more web space!!!!  That's what I spent my birthday money on.

I've had the tattysaurus up on a free web place since his 'birth' but he's always had those infuriating banners above his noble head.  So I 'bought into' freeservers.com.  Instead of getting the tattysaurus when you put in this url you now get my front index page.  The links will take you back to the original site but it may mean that more people get to see the patterns - if they want to!!!

Oh, Georgia, don't panic.  I'll not be changing anything on the original site - promise!!!!  I've now uploaded all my site onto the freeservers server - just in case!!!

12 October 2009

From a fairy to a snowman in one easy step!!!

On Saturday I had the following email from Geraldine:-

"What wonderful animals the palmetto tatters come up with. Glad you enjoyed yourself and told us all about it.
This little chap I came up with by using your 3D flower fairy pattern. It was for Charnwood tatters open day back in September.
A hanging Christmas tree decoration was the competition. Yes I WON with him. Hope you like him."
Now this is what I think should be happening in tat land.   Geraldine took my pattern (courtesy of brain cell # 3 - may he live forever) and used parts of that pattern to come up with something really novel.  What is so pleasing is that not only did she acknowledge her source but she also shared it with all of us.  
I don't think I ought to say this but I think he's going to melt soon!!!!

10 October 2009

My own Precious butterfly

Having found the piece of hairpin lace I thought it would be a grand idea to use it before I put it away safely again!!!  Oh, how I HATE being tidy - it's so hard to find things that you've put away tidily!!!

Here's my butterfly.  Very easy pattern to follow - thanks Hope.

9 October 2009

Precious - or a butterfly by Hope

This gorgeous butterfly (below, on the right) is Hope Green's design which she presented at tat days (Palmetto).  Isn't it just SO pretty? 

It was given to us on a fabulous paper flower but sadly I couldn't take the flower with me.  I left it for Joanie to enjoy.

Also in our gift bags was the hair pin lace 'middle' for us to make our own Precious.  What a splendid idea. 

8 October 2009

Third pair!!!

This is the third and final pair of the order I had.

This pattern (I've just discovered!) is only available on the Palmetto CD of 2007!!  Why?  Because this daft OG has forgotten to put it on her web site!!  How's that for being dumb?

They are really, really simple and only use rings.  

You could 'improve' them to make them 'tattable' in one but I don't think they're worth the effort of sorting out which beads go where before starting.  One day I may do that but don't hold your breath.  

Actually, that's bad for your health (holding your breath) and can lead to an early demise!!! 

I delivered all three pairs yesterday and she was very pleased with them.  

Now, what shall I do next?  Ah, I know!!  No, not telling - not yet, anyway.

7 October 2009

Second pair!!!

This is the second pair of earrings that I made and I'm pleased to report I can follow the pattern!!!!

The final pair will be different but I'm not sure where the pattern is - watch this space!!!

6 October 2009


This is the first of a 'series' of earrings that I'm making for a friend.

They are based on the 3D snowflake that I made years ago and I've used the top motif (first part of that snowflake) many times when I've made earrings for myself.

The only problem I've always had when wanting to make 'another pair' is that I have never written it down properly. 

This time I have - AND I've done the lower motif to work directly on from the upper.  In fact the whole thing is done in one 'hit'!!!  I

did have to use one split chain and two SR's to do it, though.  Well worth the effort in the end!!!

5 October 2009

Back in the old routine!!!

The glue's out again!!!  These are a few of the bookmarks I've just finished and sent out to the Ring of Tatters.

The Ring gives away bookmarks at shows to promote our obsession with tatting.

They also sell a kit for wannabe tatters to buy and recently they've added a 'tatalong' DVD to their repertoire of aids for new tatters. 

Here's a link which tells you how to buy the DVD and here's a link to the Ring's website.

3 October 2009

Fishes galore!!!

This is a picture of a 'boy' chain that Jane made.

Isn't it lovely?  She went off to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe last Tuesday and took gifts for the children of the friends she's staying with.  Lucky kids.

While she was there she met up with Judith and they had a mini 'tat day'.  Here's a bit out of her message:-

'Judith showed me how to tat using more economical hand movements, which I've been trying earnestly to use since I got back home! I showed Judith how to tat over the ends at the beginning of her work, which should save her a lot of sewing in ends. I left some doilies with her, which she's going to show to her tatting group and put on the Bulawayo show next year. Oh, and Judith gave me a clover shuttle and I gave her some thread I'd dyed. Judith gave me copies of patterns for edgings, which she has 'translated' from old patterns into more modern style.'

2 October 2009

How to load a shuttle!!!!

As most of you know I'm a shuttle only tatter!!  Born and bred to it.  I did once try the needles but as they're not traditional and didn't give me a good result they were soon abandoned.

What always surprises me about shuttle tatters is the various ways they start to load their shuttles.  I've seen so many struggle with tying to the hole in the bobbin or the hole in the centre of the post shuttles that it amazes me that they ever get started!! 

Life can be so much simpler if you use a slip knot.  Let me tell and show you.

First make the slip knot.  Easy peasy.  Start like this leaving about a one and a half inch end.

Pull a loop through the loop and then wrap this round the shuttle.  Either the bobbin type or the post type (with the post type you obviously have to go through both ends).

Tighten around the shuttle and wind away from the knot so that it tightens.  The small tail will help you to get the end bit off the shuttle when you've finished.

Hope this helps.  I always wind back my thread onto the ball I've been using.  Mainly because so many shades are so close to each other and once or twice in my tatting 'career' I've had a nasty shock when I've thought I'd got the right shade and it's been 'wrong'!!! 

1 October 2009

More Palmetto pictures

Now I get teased unmercifully by the Palmetto girls.  It was a few years ago that I discovered where they 'hid' the ice cream at the last venue that they used.  I didn't find it until the last evening meal and then every time I went to get some I was called away!!!  Frustrated?  You betcha!!!

So then Tat Days was moved to White Oak where - HORROR of HORRORS there is NO ICE CREAM!!!!

This year dear Bonnie Gieger was determined not to let me go a whole weekend without ice cream.  Joanie picked me up (along with Hope Green) from Columbia airport and off we went to Bonnie's for lunch.  YUMMY - this wasn't just ordinary ice cream - it was home made ice cream and chocolate too WITH chocolate chips in.

Thank you Bonnie.

Must tell you about the evening after tat days when Hope, Joanie and I 'invited ourselves' back to Bonnie's to eat again.  WHAT a nerve the three of us had, eh? 

We did take the makings of a meal (Joe and Bonnie cooked the salmon which was delicious) and - guess what?  Bonnie made MORE ice cream and this time it was coffee.  Want to see?  Here's a photo.

Now you didn't really think you were going to get any, did you?

30 September 2009

Palmetto pictures

I'm not going to show you many 'normal' pictures of tat days - mainly because I didn't take many 'normal' ones!!

Each time I'm lucky enough to go I make a pact with myself to take pictures of my students.  Trouble is I get so involved with the teaching that I forget!!  Always want to put too much into a short time.

Anyway, I digress as usual.

The first picture I want to show you is of my winnings after the corn hole game!!!  This is the link to that post.

Pam and Jerry Freck kindly presented me with the popcorn (DIY variety) and the lovely scarf.  I can't wait to get back over to play again.

Thanks must go to Joanie Culverhouse who actually put up with me at her house.  I'm not much of a guest as I'm so distracted by the hummingbirds and the other birds that she feeds.  Joanie - you're a star.

29 September 2009

One of my favourite tatting tools.

A few years ago I discovered this type of safety pin - a coilless (or, coil less!!) one.  It's about 2 1/4" long and doesn't have that 'bit at the end' where you always get the threads either caught or on the 'wrong side'!!!

I now cannot tat without them!!!  I'll show you  why and what I use them for.

Firstly I use them to hold bits and pieces!!!  These are the small centres of motifs, tiny butterflies and anything which might otherwise get lost down the side of the chair.

Secondly I use them to make a very small picot space.  It's not really a gauge but it's sometimes useful just to 'mark the place' of a vsp  (very small picot) which might otherwise lose itself!!  Sometimes they do that if you put a vsp at the base of a chain or even sometimes when working block tatting.

Thirdly I use it to 'hold' beads on a very long picot.  It leaves enough of a space at the end to enable a join (later) which is very useful.  In the 'To Bee or Not to Bee' pattern which I taught at Palmetto it not only held the beads at the end of the first very long picot in the tail - it also held all the others too.  This meant that I only needed one 'holder' for the entire tail - fewer safety pins/paperclips to get muddled up!!!

Finally I use it for this trick.  It's a neater way of making the first split ring after a ring (when CTM can't be ued) - OR of adding in a 3rd shuttle  like when making Millie and Carrrter which were two patterns I taught at Palmetto tat days!!

You add the second thread whilst working the first ring.  Just put the safety pin on the end of shuttle 2, hold both shuttles together and work a few doubles to cover both the ends.  (See below).  Now, of course, you can do this without the safety pin but I used to pull that short end out time after time by mistake.

When you're ready to start the second side of the following SR you can pull the shuttle up so that the safety pin lies next to the ring.  Don't take it off until you've worked the SR and then tug it before cutting and the end will hide itself in the ring. 

PS you can buy these in the USA - here's a link.  http://tinyurl.com/y8vpsy2 
I ordered mine online in the UK.

28 September 2009


Before I start my morning's ramble I must tell anybody who drops in that I've started listing the bags (and some tatting) in Etsy again.  

Just realised after my post yesterday that I'd actually not put that edging on my web page!!!  Thanks to Maureen too for checking!!!

Then I also remembered that a heart I did for a few special people hadn't been 'made public' either!!!  So, please take a look.  You may not be really interested but as I'd got nothing much else to say today then I'm sorry - tat's the end of tat!!!

Oh, here's a picture of the heart - good practice for the 'other' way of closing a SCMR!!!

27 September 2009

Handkerchief edging - finished AND sewn on!!

'They' say that miracles never happen.  Well, here in my small corner of tat land they sometimes do!!!

I not only finished the handkerchief edging but I also sewed it onto the cotton.  Actually I hand sewed the hanky itself a few months ago.  These 'blanks' were a batch I bought probably twenty years ago and they were machine sewn and not straight.  Well, not to my eye!!!

I cut off the excess round the woven section where the weft and warp were slightly whiter and hemmed them up along the outer 'line' of white.  I used white sewing thread for this. 

However to add the edging I used invisible thread - known by me as 'nightmare' thread!!!!!  Still, keeps an OG out of mischief!!!

I'll check later to see if the pattern is already on my pattern pages.  Not sure as it's been a long time since I last 'inspected' that area of my life!!

26 September 2009

All's well that ends!!!!

Finally finished sorting out the cupboard. Here are some pictures!!

First of all the top shelf.  Not a lot of interest here!!

Next shelf down.  This is the thread shelf and there are more behind the ones you can see.  I've stored them according to colour and mostly they're size 20.

Down one more.  Here are the number 80 threads and a lot of other odds and ends.

Now down one more to the bead section.  This is a close up of the back of the shelf so that you can see my neat labeling!!!

This is a view of the whole shelf with a container (that big one on the left) full of bangles and 'stuff').   Below that picture is a picture of the other beads returned in front of the labeled ones.  I know what's in these - a mixture of 11's in most colours.


Finally at the bottom you can see the sewing section.  

25 September 2009

About to find freedom!!!

Just another hour or so and the task of tidying up will be complete - today!!!  I'll be so glad to get it all done - I'm NOT tidy by nature - I'll take photos when it's all done.

Yesterday I spent part of the time unpacking the cupboard again.  Yup, that's right - unpacking!!!!  I took everything out again and labeled each container.  This meant several trips upstairs to the 'office' where the computer and printer is - to type and print labels for each box.  I put one label on the top and one on the side.

I also managed half an hour or so out in the sun cutting up two beaded belts.  Least I guess that's what they were in the first place.  My lovely neighbour gave them to me a few months ago and I've only just got round to 'sorting' them.  One was lilac and the other was brown.  Love re-cycling beads!!! 

I've also finished off (needs sewing on) a handkerchief edging which I 'sort of' worked on while we were away.  I need to have something to do but which doesn't involve beads when young kids are around.  The hanky was my 'task' this time.   Not sure if this one's on my web site or not - must check!!!!  It's another 'one pass' type of edging.

All my lessons are now 'un-done' and packed away - apart from one piece which I will finish.  I'll explain.

When I plan lessons I try to get the techniques and difficult parts over in the first half hour or so.  I work up the pieces to several different stages so that I'm prepared if a student gets 'stuck' anywhere.  This involves several shuttles and beads at 'odd' stages.  I rarely ever finish them off when I get home!!  I unwind (or use up) the odd amounts on shuttles and re-stash the beads.  Apart from one which I hope to finish off tonight!!!  I'll show you!!!

24 September 2009


Foolishly and rashly I promised myself a big tidy up of my tatting cupboard when I got back from the trip.  BOY, that was a foolish thing to do!!!  I've been trapped for two days!!!

I started two days ago.  I delved into the 'middle' room where the cupboard is and started.  I'd got lots and lots of tins and containers with beads and bits and 'stuff' in.  All these came out for 'sorting'.  It's a long way down to the floor and a long way up again when you need a cup of tea or a pee.

I think I've got it done now - nearly.  Next will be the drawer in tat corner and labels on each container!!!!  Hmm, it'll be another day or two until I escape!!

It's been several years since this sort of massive tidy up was last done.  So pleased with myself.  I'll take pictures when it's finished. 

23 September 2009

Something wonderful happened when I got to Tat Days.

You can imagine the preparation it takes to pack to leave home for six weeks.  Not only to spend time at the original destination but also to take 'side trips' to two others too!!!

Thus I arrived in the USA having left the most important thing behind.  No, not Nick, the passports or the presents but - brain cell number 3.

How on earth I did that beggars belief but I did!!!  I managed for the first few weeks but as Tat Days approached I began to get REALLY nervous and worried.  My life was passing by around me - rather like when you're drowning!!!

However, all was put right when Martha approached me on the Thursday evening with - yes, you've guessed - a brain cell.  Not ANY old brain cell but the MISSING one.   Thanks, Martha.  I'd never have got through tat days without him.

22 September 2009

Next out of the case!!!

Now you all know that I'm not exactly slim or young or small.  That's why you'll be surprised to see these wee socks.

These are shuttle holders knitted by Gail Owens - not for me to wear!!!!  She was the other kidnapper (along with Gina)!!!  There's no way I'm going to use these for my shuttles.   They're way too pretty to hide away.  I'm going to add them to my table lamp where all my treasures are hanging.

Next there are two scissor protectors.   These two came from Tat days and I've a sneaky feeling that they were made by Gina Butler!!!! I'm guessing at this as in my package from Bobbie Demmer there was a scissor holder. 

I'm a bit of a Sherlock Holmes and have put two and two together and made - twenty six!!  I can't add up either!!!

21 September 2009

First things out of the suitcase!!!!

These are the first things out of my suitcase!!!

The reason?  Well they were with my earrings that I wear regularly so were a priority to unpack!!!

Remember when I was kidnapped by Gina and Gail?  We not only swopped ideas and gossip we also exchanged gifts. 

This is a pair of earwigs that Gina gave me.  I'll get to the rest over the next few days, I hope!!!

20 September 2009

Back in the UK!!!

Just to let y'all know that I'm home and cheerfully settled in my weee corner of tat land!!! 

How could anybody escape to another country and leave tat corner so untidy?  Takes an expert like me to do that!!!

So, as from tomorrow it's back to consistent blogging.  Hope to get to unpack tomorrow so I can show you my goodies!!!

16 September 2009

The joys of travelling!

I'll post all about Tat Days when I get home to the UK - probably starting on Sunday or Monday.  Meanwhile I need to tell you about the Atlanta hub and my 'fun' yesterday!!!
Last time I flew from Cincinnati to Columbia I was able to get direct flights.  This time I got one direct and one with a change - in Atlanta. 
Anybody who knows me knows that I'm not a confident driver but as I leave all that to the pilot when flying I'm not too nervous about this form of travel.  
So, yesterday all was going well.  Joanie took Hope and I to the terminal in Columbia - this hub is more like a village bus stop than an airport.  Small friendly and we were in plenty of time.  Thanks Joanie.  My flight was on time too for take off.  We were pushed back and taxied out to the runway.  OK, this is when it got complicated!!!  The pilot announced that he was turning down the engines as there was a storm at Atlanta and we were going to be delayed by half an hour!  
We got to Atlanta (terminal C) with five minutes to spare for my turnaround.  IF we'd been on time I'd have had 50 minutes.  So I dashed (aka wobbled) my way via the train to A32 which was the furthest gate in A - to find the flight had gone!!!  Found a Delta desk and re-booked for another flight and was told to go to C something (another trip on the train).  Tried to phone Cincinatti and my mobile wouldn't connect!!!  When I got to the gate I found that they'd re-directed me back to Columbia and then onwards to Cincinnati!!!  I found a help desk where I could phone a Delta rep who put me on a flight late in the evening and also on standby for an earlier one - after I'd said no way was I going back to Columbia!!!!  Back to terminal A (train again!!) to await standby.
Best part was that I got a seat on the earlier flight.  There were at least 10 of us on standby and when I spoke to another 'standbyer' I found that the flight had been overbooked by 23!!!!
Finally got home to Cincinnati about 4 hours later than expected.  
One last remark about the experience.  Delta staff were incredibly helpful and Atlanta is drop dead easy to find your way around.  Has it put me off flying?  NO WAY!!!!  A cool adventure and great confidence builder for an OG like me!!!

14 September 2009


Just dropping in to say that there's more of the TIAS on the Palmetto site here!!! 
If you buy the CD from the 'gals' at Palmetto you'll be able to work the TIAS in parts as if you were really there.  Mind, it doesn't come with chocolate, laughter and all the vending items (how did the Lacemaker from Ohio get it all there?) that we had - but it would be great fun to work. 
I'm still in SC and having such a great time winding down from Tat Days.

When I finally get home to the UK I will be broke (please drop in and say thanks for all I've done to support the American economy!), tired but very happy.  I'm looking forward to getting back into my little corner of tat land only because brain cell number three (remind me to tell you about Martha Ess!!) is dying to get back to work.  I'm not - but he is!!!!

12 September 2009

A quick report from Palmetto Tat Days

I know this blog is all about tatting but on this rare occassion I'm going to break that rule and mention something that isn't tatting related!! Well, not really.

Here in South Carolina at Palmetto Tat Days (and after a busy day yesterday) I was wandering to bed and noticed a game going on in a corridor. I wanted to watch but soon got 'pulled into' the game. The game is called Corn Hole.
OK, this is a game where you stand and throw a wee bag of corn into a hole. We used to have similar bags for kids to play with called 'bean bags' in the UK.
Now this is not easy (throwing a bag from a distance into a hole which I'm convinced keeps moving) but it looked like fun!!! Karey Solomon was 'having a go' so I thought why not this OG!!!
Guess what? I won. I was dropped dead chuffed and afterwards went tottering off to bed.
Imagine my amazement the next morning when I was told that Jerry Freck (who was also playing) was a total and utter expert at this game. I've been tatting on cloud nine all day in the happy knowledge that I 'beat' Jerry Freck.
This afternoon we held three more 're-plays' and I can assure you he is drop dead good at this game and that it was pure winner's luck last night!!!!!

11 September 2009

TIAS live and LOVING IT!

Well, here in South Carolina we're tatting the live TIAS!!!
To follow progress - follow this link!!!
Must tell you - I've been given a new brain cell number 3 by Martha Ess.  Can't wait to take it on a test drive!!!

9 September 2009

Flying today

I'm flying down to Columbia today. To those accustomed to travel this might seem nothing - but to me it's quite an adventure!!!

I started getting my 'stuff' together about five days ago. I have a fear of driving outside my known area at home but I'm sorta OK with flying as the driver (aka pilot) surely knows where he or she is going.

My problem is airports. Busy places and very confusing. On our trip to the States this time we had the usual 'hassles' at our regular changeover stop. I will not 'name and shame' the hub!!!

Our hassles that time started with our baggage being delayed in coming onto the conveyor collection and we then had to check them in again after customs and security. Then we were asked if we wanted to be 'bumped' onto the next flight as we'd only got 15 minutes to get to another terminal. We said we'd run.

What funnier than two OG's 'running' (that should read wobbling) to the next terminal via a train which took us part the way. When we got there - more checks. We arrived at the gate just as the plane should've taken off. Ah, no, 'we've changed the gate, go over there'. Why, oh why do they insist on changing 'gates' all the time?

Another dash to find that the flight had actually been delayed by 15 minutes for 'maintenance'. Great sighs of relief. Finally 45 minutes later we took off. That should've been the end of it but no, we were then stacked for a further 20 minutes while a storm cleared over our destination. 15 hours later we were here.

Just hope today doesn't provide any further challenges although the return journey has been changed with a 35 minute stopover in Atlanta.

When I get back here again (next Tuesday) I have two days to unpack and re-pack and then we fly back home. Hopefully that trip will be uneventful although I HATE going home!!!

8 September 2009

What a pain in the proverbial!

That'll teach me to try to be organised!!!
On Sunday we went on a trip where I knew (been before) that I'd be in that wonderful situation where I would be able to 'people watch'!!!  What better when following this other hobby of mine than to take some 'autopilot' tatting with me!!!  Great idea. 
So, there I was at camp sitting on the deck doing just that - watching the world go by and tatting.  As I said in my previous post I'd started packing bags and tatting stuff ready for Palmetto and only had with me my roly poly bag with the 'essential' on the go tatting in it.  BUT what I'd left behind were the balls of thread!!  So when I ran out on one shuttle I had to stop!!!  Actually it wasn't too bad as the carnival started shortly after so we wandered over to take part and watch that!!!

6 September 2009

Bags and bags and bags!

The old bag lady (tat's me!  Also known as OG - old git) is packing for her trip to Palmetto!!
I've brought all my bags from the UK and hope to sell a few in the vending room.  They're all packed, priced and labeled.  There are roly poly ones, poke proof pouches and the latest small pocketed traveling bag. 
The latter has been well tested by the OG on her trip around the USA (well, we did spend time on the Canadian border!!!) and has the OG's full stamp of approval!!! 
The roly poly and poke proof have been well trialed in the past having spent most of their lives in my handbag when back home and only emerging in doctor/hospital waiting rooms!!!

4 September 2009

Matching bracelet

Just a quick post today to show you the bracelet I made to match the girl necklace!!!  
I'm very tempted to make myself one but then I looked in the mirror and decided that the face staring back with a bemused look on it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too old and wrinkled!!!

2 September 2009

A new tatting blog

May I introduce you to a new blog?

Sandra is so funny (do read her profile first) and we could all do with a giggle!!! She's a tatter too so that's why I'm interested in following her blog.

Here's the addy.

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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