31 August 2011

Hidden gems - part 2

I really want to show you one of the stunning doilies that Eska has in book 2.  

Can you see how interesting this one is?  I love the way it has a more open centre which becomes denser and then opens out in the final row.   She uses this type of edge to two other doilies in this book.  Even in this design she can't resist the node stitch!!!
Even tempts me to try one!!!  A doily, I mean.  I gave up on those over fifty years ago - sooooo unnecessary in a 'house of clutter'!!!!!!!

30 August 2011

Whatever NEXT?

When I originally did the Fandango edging I never in my wildest dreams thought of it as anything more than 'just an edging'.  
Thanks to all the talented tatters in tat land this has now become a square motif (Valerie Ho) and a bookmark too (sorry, can't remember who suggested this - please own up).

NOW look what's happened to it thanks to Geraldine!!!

I am currently writing this up with the help of brain cell 3 who is struggling with how to write it the easiest way.  Not hard to tat but difficult to write in an easy way for others to follow.  

It's a stunning motif and I have completed one already.  Just making another to 'check up on myself'.  Thanks SO much, Geraldine.  

29 August 2011

Hidden gems - part 1

Some time ago I won some books on Ebay.  Do I need more tatting books?  Answer is, of course, not!!!!  This was a gamble which paid off and you can read some more about the purchase here.
Now what happened next is down to the generosity of a very dear friend in The Netherlands called Riet who kindly sent me the other two in this series which you can see below.  This is Riet's blog.

The progress of this artist's creativity is interesting.  Eska uses a lot of node stitch and combined with what look like very long picots this gives a very lacy effect.  The picture below is from book 1.  More to follow.

An addendum to this post from Bonnie who says the following:-

"Ms. Jane, I believe in your first paragraph you miss spoke.  It should be correct as follows ... Answer is, of course!!!!
The tatting pictured looks like a portion of a crown.  Happy Monday :-)  Until next time, tat on Girlfriend, tat on!"

27 August 2011

Another butterfly

Here's another of the butterflies.  
Why did I make another?  That's beyond me!!!  I think it's just cause I like making them!!  I could use the excuse that I'm checking the pattern - again.  That's sort of true.  I'd like to tell any new designers that you can never ever check a pattern enough times!!!  Even an OG like me has to check about six times before they're happy.

Ah, maybe I should just stick to simpler ideas, eh?  

26 August 2011

A shark meets a chameleon!!!

Well here he is in all his glory and now swimming about in cyberspace - Nathan's shark!!!  The link is here!

I also managed to get the chameleon up there too.  His link is here!

That's now leaving me with the dragonfly to find but goodness knows where that's hiding - somewhere on this computer!!!

25 August 2011

IF I had a brain!

Seriously - if I had a brain I'd be dangerous!!!  I know I've got three cells but that sure doesn't make a brain, does it?

I'd forgotten all about this little guy until Jane dropped me a line last week reminding me!!  Actually it was Ginny who mentioned it on her blog in the first place and Jane saw it.  Originally it was a TIAS (Tat It And See) that we ran 'live' at Palmetto Tat Days in 2009.  

I usually wait until after their CD's have finished selling before I put the patterns on my site but this time I forgot about this little chameleon!!!  I'll pop him on the pattern pages soon!!!

Actually if I get time later today I'll 'do' it then!!!  

Still outstanding is the dragonfly but I'll have to find that little stinker first!!!!

24 August 2011


Of course having made a shark for Nathan I needed to make a little something for Abbi!!!  Here's a dragonfly I did for her!  

I've got the pattern somewhere on my computer and it needs finalising and adding to my site.  Please remind me if it doesn't appear soon!!!

Originally I made this pattern as earrings in number 80 thread.  

23 August 2011

Well ........

This is the reason for the 'new' type of join which I've called the double continuous thread join and which can be found here

Months and months ago (yes, I'm a BAD grandma!) one of my grandkids asked me to make him a shark!!!  I thought and thought about this but couldn't get my teeth into it (very bad pun time) until I was sitting in Cincinnati one day and decided to do what I do best 'take a run at it' with shuttles loaded and brain cell 3 rested and ready!!!!

I'm really pleased with the teeth - aren't they fearsome?  The name of this pattern?  Nathan's Shark!!!

I hope to get this onto the pattern page over the next few days.  I'll let you know when it's ready.  

It's hard to think of 'boy' things to design and I reckon Nathan's idea could be one which will appeal to little boys.  

Further suggestions always welcome.

22 August 2011

What I really need

Is there anybody out there who would like a challenge?  I don't often cry out for a test tatter but I feel I need one for this pattern!!!

It's the re-furbished butterfly with a fancy edging that needs somebody's tender loving care!!!  It was a $&;(@! to write down!!!!  I'm not even sure what the fancy edging is called but it requires three shuttles!!!  OK, it's a pain to work but it's SO well worth the effort for the effect you get.  Anyway please drop me a line if you're not faint hearted and would like a 'go' at this.  My email address is in my profile.

Once this is tested I'll put it back on the web site.  I've also split the two versions so that you only need to print off the one you want - IF you want it!!!!  Here's the finished flutterby!!!

20 August 2011

At the same time!!!

At the same time as working on the new project I've been working on the ancient butterfly on my site.  Being a woman I can multi task!!  Well, in theory!!  

I decided a few weeks ago that this pattern HAD TO GO!!!!  Why?  Well simple, really.  I think it needs sorting!!!  I really like this pattern and it was specially designed to go onto oval metal inserts.  I can no longer get these but even before that I'd made a tatted centre 'just in case'!!!!  

The butterflies are really pretty but I've never seen anybody else work them so there's obviously something wrong with the pattern.  I have set out to put this right!!!!

Here's the plain version done in one of the lovely Lizbeth variegated threads that Sue Anna kindly gave me.  It's currently being tried out by my little sister!!!!!  In fact I've decided to divide the pattern into the two versions so that eventually they'll appear on two different pages - to save on printing costs for anybody who wants to 'give them a go'.

19 August 2011

What I've been doing!

Well I started a new idea when I was in Cincinnati but you know what I'm like over staying with one thing and seeing it through!!!  I 'duck and dive' from one thing to another all the time!!!!

One thing I try constantly to avoid in my daft ideas is the dreaded cutting and tying.  I HATE it!!!

Most of my time I spend trying to avoid these situation in a design and this is what I've had to do recently.

The pattern is almost ready to go but before I do that I want you to see what I came up with!!!  It's not rocket science but it does help this new pattern to 'flow' without any sewing except at the end!!

Do you remember the CTJ (continuous thread join) that I've used in several patterns?  Here's a link to the technique and here's the pattern it was 'created' for.

Now I'm presenting the DOUBLE continuous thread join!!!!  Here's a description and some pictures.  I'll get this page up on my site soon (and the pattern)!!!

  This part of the pattern will originally have been made with picots on the row before.  (Note, this could be on rings, split rings or chains).

  In figure 1 you see the work progressing from left to right (A – B).

The aim of the DCTJ is to take you back to the beginning of the chain as illustrated in figure 2. Make a lock join into the first picot made using BOTH threads locked through the picot.
 Then you make a double stitch and lock join into the next picot.  This is then followed by another double stitch, lock join etc.   
 Continue in this way until you get back to where the pattern indicates.
Job done!!!!

18 August 2011

Arrived safely!!!!

I can report the safe arrival of the new batch of shuttles from my 'skinny blister' (rhyming slang for sister!!).
I will be listing these in the Etsy shop on Sunday 21st at 2pm - that's British Summer Time.

The prices are now currently up to date and can be seen on the Pop A Bobbin Shuttle page for which there is a tab at the top of this page.

I have 14 to list which all have the new hooks and they are as follows:-
2 apple, 2 walnut, 2 cherry, 2 cocobolo rosewood, 2 purple heart, 2 mahonia and 2 ebony.

All have been tested by the quality control engineer - Sally!!!
Here's a 'teaser' for you - one of the new Mahonia wood ones!

17 August 2011

Please look at this.  This is a wee duffle bag that Gina gave me when we had that lovely day together in Cincinnati.  Isn't it CUTE?

BUT look what was inside!!!

Two packets of beads and such yummy colours too.

Thanks again, Gina.  This is the front.

 This is the back - see the wee straps?
Now feast your eyes on the beads.  Are you jealous?

16 August 2011

New idea from Geraldine

This is a message I received from Geraldine while I was away.  I'm sure you'll love to hear what she said and see what she's done!!!

"While on holiday at Minehead the last two weeks I took your Fandango pattern to tat. Well as you know I like to play with patterns and I came up with these two book marks.(hope you don't mind). I used Lizbeth for the variegated and Altin Basak for the black and green. I did a SLT as you have done to get the black running up the middle and used your trick round the edge to stop the blips. On the green one i inverted the pattern and reduced the count from 4-4 to 2-2. I love them both. I'm now going to have a go at the pendant as i'm sure my sister will like it."

15 August 2011


OK, more about the second kidnap!!!!  

Remember Sue Anna had already sent me a box full of goodies for when I arrived in Cincinnati.  She also gave me another skein of HDT and also one for Sally (which I handed to her when I got back home).  BUT this lady is SO generous that she gave me a snake.  No, not a real live one but one she'd made herself in bobbin lace.  Here it is.  Isn't he gorgeous?  He's perfect too.  I risked life and limb to get him out of his bookmark sleeve to get a good scan of him and then struggled to persuade him back in later!!!

As I didn't know I was going to meet these intrepid travellers (Sue Anna drove six and a half HOURS each way) I didn't have anything to give them.  

BUT Diane gave me one of her new Dorset bags with a MATCHING blinged shuttle.  Also in the bag were two balls of Lizbeth - a gorgeous pink and another in brown.  I'll be telling you more about this colour combination later in the year but I'm keeping it a secret at the moment!!!  You'll have to wait!!!!

Can you also see next to the shuttle a small dangle thingy?  Well that's now dangling from the scissors she also gave me.  Interestingly Diane said that the reason for those are so that if you drop your scissors then the dangle hits the floor before the points of the scissors which could break.  What a cool idea.
In this next picture are the scissors (now in use and replacing my usual nail clippers!) and more 'toys'.  Can't wait to play with the daisy idea and the retractable leash is going to be SO useful too.  Many, many thanks, Diane.

13 August 2011

After the holiday in the holiday!

Well, back in Cincinnati and life got back to normal duties helping out with the little kids that Karen 'minds' during the day (oh, the joys of an iPad with Angry Birds on!) and lifeguard duties when required.
I'm now going to tell you about a second kidnap attempt!!!  This was with Sue Anna.  YES, woweeee, I finally got to meet her and MORE.  

Remember that Gina travelled a vast distance (well, by UK standards) to meet?  Well if Sue Anna had travelled the distance that she did in the UK she'd have fallen off the edge and drowned in the sea!!!!  

Not only did she drive a humungous way but she also picked up Diane (Lace-lovin' Librarian) on the way!!!!  WHAT a treat for me - two wonderful people in one 'hit'.

Now one of the things I find so different in America is the fact that here we were - 3 tatters with no place to go to natter.  Remember that part of the USA was suffering a major heatwave and we would've melted outside.  So we went to Panera Bread which is a food outlet chain which spreads all over America (I think!!!).  There we commandeered a corner for the entire afternoon.  Here's a picture of the three of us!!!
Now, if you ever get the chance to meet these two lasses - be warned.  Be VERY warned about them.  They laugh loads and talk lots (well, I guess I do too!!!!).  Both are beyond generous which I'll show you on Monday.

We were in our wee corner of the restaurant for about six hours just talking and tatting.  WHAT a joy.

12 August 2011

So, it's finished!

Well, here it is finished.  Did you think it was finished two days ago?  Sorry, forgot to mention that I wasn't happy with it like it was.
Well, it's not really totally finished as it still has to be mounted on fabric.  I will add a doweling rod to the top so that I can hang it up on a wall somewhere in the house.  Of course, this depends if it ever DOES get 'mounted' as it will probably (knowing me!!!) just get 'filed' in a drawer somewhere.

Statistics on this are.

Each diamond took roughly 3/4 hour to make.  

There are 354 diamonds (222 form the actual stars of which there are 37)

There are 18 triangles in the final round.

Then, of course there's the border and all in all the whole thing measures from side to side 27" and just over 31" from point to point!!!!

Quite a lot of work but something I would tackle again - or even more!!!!!

Oh, in case you didn't know - the patterns are here and here!!!

11 August 2011


There was one big disappointment during the trip and that was not being able to meet up with my hostess with the mostess from South Carolina.  

DJ (short for Dear Joanie) emailed me JUST before we were due to go on the 'holiday in the holiday' to say they were a 'few miles away' and could we meet up.  Unfortunately due to lifeguard duties in the yard, me not picking up the message in time and the family taking a united decision to leave for the ocean a day early this turned out to be impossible to achieve.  I was very sad about this as Joanie is such a dear friend who has given me a bed to sleep in and sustained me throughout two Palmetto Tat Days.  Which reminds me - don't forget that Tat Days registration is now open here.  Well worth a visit for fun, tatting, great company etc.

I mentioned that Joanie said they were 'not far away' and I still can't get over the size of America or the fact that people drive such HUGE distances to visit each other.

When Gina came to see me she drove nearly 180 miles and this makes me feel quite strange.  I'm going to tell you about another meeting in a few days - one which was just as extraordinary.

Oh, this picture is for Gina!!!!  Why?  Well, Buster is one of the family dogs and he totally and utterly fell in love with Gina.

10 August 2011

Found it!!

I knew I'd taken a photo about the diamond mat in progress and how much thread I took with me - just took a while to locate it on the camera's memory cards!!!   Oh, and in my memory cards too!!!

I took four ezybobs full of thread - 2 with the lighter green and 2 with the darker one.  Here's a picture of what I had left!!!  You'll see how and why I was getting worried in the last few days of tatting the final round!!!!  There was enough light green left for perhaps another 3 diamonds!!!
So, this is the 'mat' once I'd finished that round.

9 August 2011

Back to other things

I keep remembering bits and pieces but not in any particular order so please, please bear with me - signs of a disorganised brain.  Good news is that the jet lag has gone at last (I hope) - caught it really badly this time.  Must be a virus!!!

When I arrived in Cincinnati there was a package waiting for me from Sue Anna.  Well you know full well how that lass spoils me rotten and this was no exception at all.  

Look at what was in there this time - MORE Lizbeth, MORE Yarnplayer's HDT and also my favourite ezybobs to put the HDT onto too.  

As I was well prepared for this trip I'd taken what I needed for the border of the diamond mat.  BUT as soon as I saw this choice of threads that idea went right out of the window - along with the bath water but not the baby!!!!

Why not the baby?  Didn't have one with me at the time!!!

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Happy Beaks

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