10 September 2011


This is my 'Travelling Wilbury' project!!!  I started it waaaay back and it's been in my handbag ever since.  I actually worked on it quite a lot when we were on our trip to the USA and back.  I also did some while on lifeguard duty too.  AFTER the diamond project, I might add.

On the way to bed last night I threw it under the iron but it really does need pressing properly.  Maybe I'll get it done later today!!!

It's only taken a week to get it sewn on as I did that in the odd moments during the afternoons.  Evenings are 'Strictly Come Tatting' times!!

9 September 2011


Will somebody please send me a new brain cell?  I need one with more memory.  Pity you can't buy it and slot it in like you can on a computer!!!  What am I on about?  Well, this and these!!!

I decided that these were going to be 'best sellers' in my Etsy shop last winter but they weren't!!!! Not sure why as they are so pretty but they are a bit fiddly to make!!!  

Anyway I did write and draw the pattern out for my own benefit and then sort of forgot it!!!!  Here's a couple of pictures of the dragonfly and meantime I'll get the rest of the pattern sorted as when I looked at it again the other day I couldn't understand it myself!!!!  

Just to get you thinking and maybe drooling?

8 September 2011

Guessing game

OK, get out your brain cells - here's a question for you!!!  What am I working on now?

This is the only clue you're gonna get - a picture of work in progress!!!!  

Just a helpful hint - remember I have a perverted mind and this could turn into anything.  I'll tell you the answer in due course!!!!

7 September 2011

Fandango cross

Finally the Fandango cross is finished!!!  

Here are two of them which I made to double check (2, double - get it?) the pattern.  I hope I've written it in a way that is easily understood.  Geraldine did it perfectly and the only 'real' addition is the ring on chains which form the centre.  She'd got the stitch count right on that too.  The biggest 'hassle' was writing the 'ins' and 'outs' corners but I think it's OK now.

These two are worked in a number 40 thread and measure from top to bottom roughly 7" which makes them (in my opinion!) too large for bookmarks but just right for framing and displaying - if that's what you like to do!!!!  Well, here they are!

6 September 2011

Copyright and Butterflies - again!!!

This post was originally going to be the boring part about the butterfly below but I have been following this blog by Heather lately.  If you haven't noticed it then do add it to your list.  Why?  Because it's well written and interesting.  Wish the internet had been around when I learnt all those years ago when I was a wee lass.

The part that I particularly want to point out is today's post which has three patterns on there.  Simple ones that have been buzzing around books, the internet and people's brains (with small, very small variations on stitch count and number of picots) for many, many years.  Note that Heather DOES NOT claim these as her own OR put a copyright notice on them like so many others have done in the past.  She's a sound lass.  I wonder where she's going to take us next?

Now for the original butterfly post.  I just wanted to tell you that one of them actually got sewn onto a tshirt!!!  That's pretty amazing for me as they rarely get put in the intended place!!!

See the ancient neck there?  That's mine - not a tortoise!!!

I was using the mirror on the landing to take the picture.  Not sure blogger allows horror pictures on people's blogs so I cut out the face!!!  Well some of it is behind the camera as you can see!!!!

5 September 2011


Further progress has been made on the diamond mat!!  

Choosing a background fabric to mount it on was a problem.  I thought brown would be the right colour as it looked pretty good on our brown carpet.  Nick took one look and said 'no way' - it needs white.

I clambered upstairs to my fabric stash and found a lovely white piece of fabric which positively killed the whole thing dead!!!  

Next decision was to go to our local shop which sells fabric.  Great idea even if they don't have much in there and it is rather expensive!!!  BUT before I left I had a small brainwave.  Well, not me, really.  Brain cell 3 popped in for a few minutes!!!

Back upstairs again and I found a sheet which may have come from dad's or anywhere.  It was a newish one and when I brought it down, laid it on the floor and threw the diamond mat on top of it  we both said it was just right.  So, that's what I did - used that!!!  

The whole thing is done but it still needs hooks in the walls to hang it from.  That could take time knowing us two!!!!

3 September 2011

Mumbling about copyright!

I saw an interesting blog post the other day about this over here.

There have been many, many interesting discussions and arguments on this subject over the years and I always read them all with interest and sometimes a certain amount of 'grumpiness'!!!!  

If you've the time (or inclination!) then read on but if you haven't then don't bother - this is only my opinion!!!  

Over the years I've been doing this craft things have changed dramatically but I think the most dramatic change has come about with the internet.  This has given us access to many, many more patterns, techniques and friendships than anything else.  New tatters come along in droves (thank goodness) to try their hand at our craft.  After a few patterns have been made up they can then see 'improvements' and other ideas stemming from these.  Great - BUT.  Hang on, shouldn't we not only encourage this but also add a word of caution here?  

I read many, many blogs each day and get very bored with the same old, same old claims by people who have 'designed a new pattern' for us.  Great - if it is new.  But what if it isn't and mostly they aren't!!!!  They are what I call 'generic'.  A lot of the current - 'this is MY new pattern' claims are just these.  They ARE new to that person but NOT new to tat land.  I feel we should encourage these 'wannabe' designers to check, check, check to see that their 'designs' haven't been done before!!!  This is now SO easy through blogs, forums and groups and by just asking around!!  Also internet searches are a lot easier too.

I feel that through these simplistic generic 'new patterns' we are actually 'cheapening' our craft.  I think we need to stimulate new tatters by offering more interesting ideas.  Not those beyond their capabilities (I am so often guilty of that!) but by putting more thought into what we do.  Let's not criticise those who 'steal' these simple generic designs but rather point out that they must have been done before because they are so 'simple'.  Let's encourage more checking out of our work before publishing it as 'ours'.

Many years ago I came up with the medium seahorse which was commissioned by and published in a weekly magazine in the UK.  Imagine my HORROR when the Ring of Tatters published it a few years later in their Newsletter, very badly notated and altered and with somebody else's name on it as the designer and owner of the copyright.  Imagine PICOTS all over it and you get the idea.  To say I was unhappy is to put it mildly.  This was actually a case where the new publishers were MORE to blame than the person who had 'stolen' my copyrighted work simply because they HADN'T CHECKED.  The old lady who'd 'stolen' my work thought that as she'd paid a few pence for the magazine that the pattern was hers to do what she liked with.  Simple (to her!) alterations to something which took so many hours of my time.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings - I'm off to have a shower and my breakfast!!!!!

2 September 2011

Hidden gems - part 3

Oh, heck!!!  Yesterday I forgot to release this post (two small grandkids and lots of excitement for the last few days) and then today I nearly forgot too and am somewhat later than normal.  I always use the 'scheduled' button on blogger but for some reason it just won't work at the moment so I have to rely on my hit and miss memory.  Lately more miss than hit!!!!  Here we go finally!!!

In Eska's final book I see a small resemblance to some of Mary Konior's work in this design.

In this book there's a date of 1952 so she would have been ahead of Mary!!!!  I wonder if Mary ever saw Eska's work?  Even though I've been collecting books since around 1956 I've never seen this Dutch lady's work until recently.  I feel an urge to get to grips with translating some of these for myself and making one or two pieces.  Certainly all three books are little gems and my many, many thanks go to Riet for sending me the final two in the series.

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!

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Happy Beaks

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