30 November 2010

Comments on blogs.

All comments on my blog are read and this one from Karrieann about this post I appreciated as usual.  She said:-

"Jane.. what if you attach the butterfly at the other end.. the head end? The reason I even brought this up... it would be upside down when in place. Know what I mean? I think the butterfly is beautiful though!"

I knew that Karrieann was right and I did think the same whilst I was attaching the butterfly to the bookmark but I really, really, REALLY wanted to try out new feelers on it!!!!  First of all I'll tell you about the feelers.  

When I finished the butterfly I wanted more 'substantial' feelers which are the last things in the pattern.  So using my fine (for putting beads on picots) crochet hook I made chains with the ends instead of cutting them off straight away.  I'll definitely be using this 'trick' again in future!!!

So I decided to re-cycle the original butterfly and you can see that below with the new crocheted feelers!!!!  I managed to only 'waste' about half a yard of thread (very precious HDT) on the task too as I carefully cut and then used the chain thread for the core of the double double stitch tail instead.

Next to re-cycle the bookmark I made for meeeee!!!  This time it will lie the 'right way up' when outside the book but this one I made usinig a mock ring for the head and adding beads to feelers.  There was again some adjustment to the stitch count too.  If anybody wants more details on this then I'm happy to tell them 'how to'!!!!

I think if I ever get to put this magnetic bookmark in the Etsy shop it will have to be called the Rolls Royce version as it takes a tad longer to make and is just (IMHO) SO pretty. If you want one then do ask - I'll be only too happy to make one.

29 November 2010


I'm going to show you what I've been doing over the weekend.  

This first little pattern was designed in 1992 by Carolyn Regnier (here's her email addy) and was published in her book 'Tatted Suncatchers and Snowflakes'.  She says she still has a few copies left.  I bought the book around that time too.

This is the pattern I chose to do but (my apologies to Carolyn) I've sort of played with it a bit.  Not a lot, just a bit!!!  I used a SCMR to replace the long chain and also did a split chain at the end so that a couple of split rings would take me out of the centre and end up with a hanging thread.  BUT it's still Carolyn's and the stitch count is the same.  I've also added beads 'as you do'!

The second snowflake is a hybrid which started off from one in Patti Duff's Mini Tats (a great buy for anybody who has just started tatting).  I added a SCMR to this one too with the 'odd' vsp to stabilise it.

The reason for these?  I'm doing a small fair at an old folks home on the 7th and suddenly remembered it was Christmas soon so why not a few snowflakes!!!  Oh we also had some early snow on Friday/Saturday too - brrrrrrrr.

27 November 2010

Did you guess?

Remember me talking about this design a couple of days ago?

Well I had a few comments about this pattern and it surprised me!!!  Why?  Well it's one of my patterns!!!  

I was dreading that somebody would say that it belonged to them as I have seen similar 'out there'.  It could easily be worked covering the ring first, of course, but back when I did it I wanted/needed something fast to tat.

The original pattern (which is here) was made on a larger cabone ring but as I found out with the transparent one - it can be worked on any size.  Just work the centre until you 'fill up' the ring and then work your way out!!!!  I made loads of these back in 2004/2005 as giveaways.

26 November 2010

A present for MEEEEE

What is it?  Did it come in a packet from overseas or the UK? No, it came from somebody who's totally bonkers.  It came from ME!!  Ah, what is it you may ask?  Well, it's a magnetic bookmark. This is a new 'breed' too!!!  Happy Black Friday to Jane!!!!

Another small idea hits Tat Land.  No, it's not in my shop (although it could be if I got anybody asking for the new version!!!!) - it's in my book!!!!  No, I'm not doing a tatting pattern book it's the one I'm reading at the moment - a novel.

I thought it was time to treat myself.  I decided to 're-cycle' the test bookmark and make myself one.  What I REALLY love about these is that they never, ever fall out of the book.  Even when  you forget and chuck it across the room (not that I would EVER do that but I do have a tendency to fall asleep while reading!) this design of bookmark never falls out!!!  It's honestly the answer to all I've been wanting from a bookmark - reliability!!!!

It's the only thing in my life that stays where it's put - everything else moves around behind my back!!  Honestly.  I put things down in this house and they MOVE.  Everything does.  Before you say it - it's not my memory (that's my excuse!!) - I reckon this house is haunted by gremlins who are larking around with the aged brain!!!!  OR is it just 'me'?!?!?!?

Update on the post.  We're having a letter delivery each day (well, Wednesday and Thursday!) and mail from 2/3 weeks ago and a few days (there must be a whole lot in between missing) is now turning up.  Small packets?  Tat's another story!!!

25 November 2010

Bored with the Flurry pattern!!

I knew it would happen - I got bored with the Flurry pattern!!!  

So with shuttles still 'sporting' a few yards of the metallic I found a clear cabone ring and made this!!!!  Have you seen it before?  If so then please let me know!

Update on our local postal problems.  After no post for two days we got two deliveries of letters today.  These are at least two weeks overdue.  Later some neighbours got some of the small packets which are still 'stuck in the system' and the postie said that things were probably slightly worse up at the local sorting office!!!  

24 November 2010

Are you getting bored?

Two more of the flurries in the drop dead gorgeous thread.  I think I'm getting bored now but I still have a few more to do to have enough to give to folks!!!

Postal update.  We have had NO mail since Sunday!!!  I rang and filed an official complaint in the end.  Not at the local office but 'elsewhere'.  The lady said that this area was no longer 'flagged' for problems.  She's SO WRONG.  No idea what we can do now.  Mail is outstanding for nearly three weeks now.  Things we know have been sent or despatched via small packets still haven't arrived.  Including a cheque which I want/need!!!!  This is the result of 'rationalisation and progress'!!!!  What a JOKE!!!!

23 November 2010

I did it!!!!

I resisted the very, very real urge to recycle the Victorian purse  (cut it and chuck it) and finished all the tatting on it!!!

I was extra careful when tatting the second side and made sure that all the beads were lying beautifully before and after closing the ring.  That didn't work either!!!  

So I 'bit the bullet' and finished off the outer round which I used to join the two sides up.  The outcome?  It is IMHO just as bad as ever and is now probably doomed to stay like this for eternity!!!!  

I may line the purse but I don't think I'll put it in a clasp at the top as that would hide the beads.  Unless I line it with fabric and then add a clasp to that!!!  One day, maybe but meanwhile the whole thing has been 'laid to rest'!!!

22 November 2010

Just to make life more interesting!!!

First of all - we had MAIL.  Yesterday (yes, Sunday) our small packets (well, some of them!) arrived so the one I really needed can now be dealt with today.

This is the Flurry Snowflake done in my very, very favourite metallic thread which can be bought from Tatting and Design.  I've never got on very well with Lyn's cotton Turkish threads but this one is to DIE for.  It's so sparkly and tats up a dream.  This is where to find it.  

I'm going to make two more with this thread and then I want to try something else!!!!  I'm getting bored with this pattern now but know I'll go back to it again sometime!!!  That's what I do!!!!

20 November 2010

Back to 'Flurrying'

Well the good news first of all is that LAST WEEK'S post finally arrived yesterday - a very important letter posted first class (which in theory should arrive the following day) was 9 days late!!!  A few other letters arrived but still no sign of the missing cheque or six missing small packets - two of which are mine and badly needed.  I do know that mail is going out fine, though, and one or two buyers of shuttles last week have already got theirs.

Have you ever met an angry Jane?  A rare and interesting breed!!  A really frustrated and angry old git called Jane?  Well a certain 'manager' of the local sorting office did yesterday and I managed to have an audience too! who were backing me up!!!  He assures me/them that we will get our mail tomorrow or Sunday but they're now 65,000 pieces of mail behind! (up from 40,000 which was the figure given in the local paper in the morning)!!  Did you see the flying pigs too?  Last seen heading towards the hills!!!!!!

Well back to the serious stuff.  I got sidetracked yesterday evening (great 'talking' to you on Chatzy, Georgia) so only got one Flurry Snowflake done.  Below are the ones I did on Wednesday evening.  I need to do approximately another six but in Christmas colours as they'll be for the grandkids and family.  The reason for all the 'non Christmas' colours is that a lot of my friends never put them away and keep them 'hanging around' all year!!!

19 November 2010

A trilogy and a change of mind!!!!

I was feeling really lazy the other evening and hadn't got any beads sorted to make more Flurry Snowflakes so just grabbed the ones I'd got sitting next to me!!!

I like making the butterfly bookmarks but this time decided to use the double double stitch (thank you Rhoda Auld - 1976) for the tail. It gives a much, much better result, I think.  Must go and change the pattern on the web page sometime.

Another day gone and STILL no post so no more magnetic bookworm bookmarks can be made!!  We had two letters on Wednesday - one of which was my new bank pin number - megga big phewwwww!!!!  The very important letter posted first class is now over a week late and a big cheque for money owed to me has still not arrived.  I rarely get angry but I am at the moment.

18 November 2010

Beaded neck purse

I think I forgot to let you all know that the beaded purse is now finished and back up on this url.

There are a few alterations to the original pattern but not too many!!!  It's an easy pattern needing only rings, chains and split rings - with a few beads here and there!!!  Ask Sally - she'll give you the honest true 'low down' on this!!!

This pattern is as old as Methuselah so was well overdue for a re-vamp!!!
This is the front.
Now the back!!
Finally the cord.
As an addendum - we had two letters come through the post yesterday but many more are still 'missing'.  I went to the sorting office in the end and the guy said that our mail was 'out for delivery'.  Hmmm, put out a search party for our postie - no sign of him down our road!!!

17 November 2010

Flurry size 10

This is the Flurry Heartache worked in a Cebelia size 10 and Jane's lovely HDT.

My size 10 matches Jane's HDT in size which is such good luck for me as I only have about three balls of plain ten.  I love this thread and will just HAVE to make more.

For people who bought pop-a-bobbin shuttles from my Etsy store - I have a message.  The Royal Mail hasn't delivered us any post now for nearly a week.  Apparently there's trouble at the local sorting office.  Now, whether this affects outgoing mail or just incoming hasn't yet been established.  I will let you know WHEN and IF I find out.

I'm desperately waiting for more magnets - a flowery bookmark sold within four hours of being listed on Monday so there's a new one there now - further bookmarks will have to wait until the postie wakes up!  I'm waiting for my new bank pin number (guess who got herself locked out of her bank account last week) and other very important stuff.  It's SO frustrating.

16 November 2010

Today I'm going to show you a result of my initial search for magnets!!!  

The bookworms needed magnets and to find the 'right sort' took a few pounds (sterling) and a lot of research.  My first purchase turned out to be waaay too thick for a book - 3mm thick in fact.  These were put to one side until I found the right ones and thus the bookworm was born!!!

So, what to do with the others?  The guy I bought them off on ebay said I could return them and have a refund but they were cheap (unlike the bookworm ones!) so I didn't bother!!

Back in the summer I had a stall at the Medieval Fayre in town and I sold a lot of odds and ends but the mini button flowers just didn't sell.  People looked at them and didn't buy.  Finally, once brain cell 3 had woken up, we both realised it was because they didn't know what to do with them!!!!!  So with 'unused magnets', a bright and sparky brain cell 3 and a bit of time they were 'turned into' fridge magnets!!!!  Here they are on the fridge in all their glory and using the unloved magnets which are ideal for this purpose!!!

I bet you thought that's a good idea.  Did you?  Well it is but unlike most regularly normal folks I couldn't just 'stick' them on with glue - I had to go the whole way and make a covering for the magnet which I then stitch them to!!!!!  I can't sell things which may fall apart so this is my way of making sure!!!!!  You can see the posterior of one of them below this picture.

15 November 2010

Ooooooh, another breed of worm!!!!

At the bottom of our garden (hidden behind a huge and vicious pampas grass) we have lurking and hiding a compost bin!!!!  Now why am I telling you that? Is it because I've done a tatted compost bin?  No, not even I can be inspired to do that!!!!  The reason for telling you this is because I took a trip down there over the weekend to visit my worms who live in there and do SUCH a great job of creating my compost!!!!!

While there and talking to my worms I was thinking how very 'plain' they are.  They are plain on the top of the bookworm bookmarks too.  So then I thought 'why not something a bit prettier'!!!!  So here's a bookworm bookmark with a butterfly on the top!!!!

Now, tell me honestly, should this be named a bookbutterfly bookmark, a bookwormbutterfly bookmark, a bookbutterflyworm bookmark or simply a magnetic bookmark?  

As the critter isn't in the book itself I've added beads!!!  Whoooppppeeeee, an excuse to get out the beads again!!  I've also listed this one in my shop - just in case somebody wants to give it a new home!!!

13 November 2010

Oh, dear, what a waste!

I consider the Victorian purse experiment a waste of time, effort, thread and beads!!!  OR is it?  Here is the first stage which I showed you a week or two ago.

Well the beads aren't a waste cause those can be re-used!!!  

Looking at the picture of this in the original book (published 1870) it's obvious that all the illustrations were either drawings or etchings.  So this means that the end result which looks lovely and flat is really down to 'artistic licence'!!!  

On the final round here it states that the rings are started at the outside and a new one worked leaving a 'short distance' of thread in between.  Well I took a look at that, tried it and then decided to start by joining to the very small picot on the previous round and having the rings face 'outwards'.  This shouldn't have made any difference in the results except that a small length of thread between each ring is now hidden in between the rings rather than on the outside.  But I don't like it!!!  Some of the beads still have a tendency to turn inwards!!!  This has been 'wetted' thoroughly, poked and prodded and pressed.

Now, what do I do?  Do I continue and do the other side or do I call this a 'lesson learnt' and re-cycle it!!!!  

There is another option, of course and that is to 'make it work' by re-designing the whole thing!!!!  Answers on a postage stamp, please, addressed to the 'Old Git, UK'!!!  Please use a postage stamp as then you won't be able to write rude things on it!!!!

I really, really want to be making bookworm bookmarks which are in my Etsy store and not playing with this purse!!! 

12 November 2010

Another shuttle

Now this shuttle is another very, very special one for two excellent reasons.

First it's a birthday present from Ridgewoman and secondly it's a 'winder shuttle' made by Chris Hinton.

It's a truly amazing piece of craftsmanship and I keep picking it up to admire how intricate the working parts are.

If you want to know more about them you'll have to join the forum here - tattingforums.com this is the only site that the Hintons are running right now.  Erin says that hopefully someday soon there will be an actual shuttle page there for ordering.  

I really, really love this little darling - the way it works is so, so clever.

11 November 2010

New shuttles for MEEEEEE.

I mentioned ages ago that the Fringe Element Tatters were using one of my patterns as a logo on their shuttle this year.

Well guess what?  I have my VERY OWN Fringe Element shuttle.  Here it is.  It's a joy to hold and fondle.  No, I'm not going 'kinky' on you.  Just I can't think of a better description!!!

10 November 2010

Today's the day!!!

Just a reminder that later today (well, OUR day) I will be launching the Pop a Bobbin shuttles here in my Etsy store.  10pm GMT.  There are places like this where you can check what time that is in your neck of the woods.

Meanwhile I did put two of the new magnetic bookmarks in the shop too.  Oh, perhaps you haven't seen them yet!!!!

The top one is worm number one sitting on top of a book - obviously a tatting book.

The second one is worm number two splayed out to show him in 'all his glory'.

The magnets are a beast to work with when you're tatting as they keep wanting to 'get together'.  The bookmarks will stay in place very, very firmly with at least 20 pages between them.  I've been wanting a bookmark for YEARS that doesn't keep falling out of the darn book!!!!  Now I've got one (or will have when I've made myself one!) and even better - it's tatted!!!

These are one of my better efforts, I think.  I'm now considering butterflies on the tops and any amount of other 'critters'!!!!  Oh, please, please send me more than 24 hours in a day!!!!!  

Here's a PS from Jane to yesterday's post:-

9 November 2010

More from t'other Jane

Before I show you Jane's work from last week I want to just let you know that the beaded neck purse that I took down from my pattern pages is now back up and re-worked!!  Not too many differences but more a matter of checking it out and making one or two 'improvements'!!!!  This is the link.

Jane's been in touch again despite poor internet connections.  Here is the mini button flower made into a bookmark and this is what she says:-

"I thought you might like to see  how I turned your mini button flower into a bookmark. The leafy braid is, like that other bookmark you made famous (!), my adaption of an Anna pattern, from May 1984. I thought the colours in the mini flower looked rather autumnal, so I made another one and added a leaf at the bottom. I did look for that leaf that you did with beaded veins, but I don't think it's on your pattern pages? This one I copied from Singtatter's blog. I'm thinking of doing it again with a few beads added."

8 November 2010

Pondering on which way is 'best'!

Before I start - did you notice MY HDT on yesterday's post?  Only Lily and Ridgewoman commented on it!!!  It made me giggle as it was done at the very last minute before posting.  Little things please little minds!!!

First of all - news for those who are interested in the Pop a Bobbin shuttles.  There will be more in my Etsy store on Wednesday.  10 pm GMT.

Here's a list of shuttles which will be available.  Elm – 3, Oak – 1, Cocobolo Rosewood – 2, Iroko – 3, Purple Heart – 2 and Cedar – 4.  All have hooks BUT I met up with 'im in the garage at the weekend to fell some apple branches and I've asked him to make a few without hooks for the next 'batch' AND two more of the very large post shuttles with hooks.  

I'm also hoping to have something really novel to put in the store soon too.  I'm not telling what it is but I've not seen anything like it tatted before!!!!!

A few days ago I needed something relaxing to be doing in the evening so thought I'd make two flurries using the contrast colours in the opposite way!!!!  

Can you see what I've done?  Here they are!!!

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