10 December 2011

Something to do with pink!

While I've been working on the TIAS during the day I've been very pleased to have something relatively straightforward to play with in the evening.  

Again this is a modification of my Snowflake 2004 but this time I've worked it with two threads.  Plain and variegated.  Now for this to work you need to know how to do a split chain and a SSSR (hiding one thread in the first half).  There are two SSSR's and one split chain so it's not that bad.  Good practice too!!!

Can you see - I'm still playing with the new thread?

9 December 2011

Day 3 from Anastasija

Today I'm going to show you the explanation that Anastasija sent me.  Well you should've seen it yesterday but I forgot to schedule it as I was in a hurry to get out of the house!!!  

Can you see the progression?  Very interesting.

The thread she has used here looks very slippery to me and would be a challenge on it's own.  I'm hoping to try this myself this evening.

7 December 2011

Day 2 from Anastasija

Now the next subject we talked about (which I find VERY interesting) is the SSSR (single shuttle split ring).  Now when Anastasija sent me this conundrum I was deeply involved in the TIAS and I'm afraid I didn't look at it closely for a day or so.  When I did I just couldn't 'see' it.  Here's how she explained it.

"During designing I come to a question how to tat with one shuttle following the shape of SCMR? And tried to make half moon SSSR. I perform the 1st half of this ring as usual, then rotate already made knots upside down towards myself - so now they are looking down, and the other half perform also as usual. When tighting the half moon the knots have a tendency to make a ring, but they should be formed with fingers to the needed shape. Of course it's not ideal half moon, but you can see what was made. I have previousely noticed that if I tighten SSSR too hard, It's halves become unequal, so in half moon I did not make less knots in innere half. Only in the last one I made 1 knot less - and it looks like semicircle =)))
It is microfibra thread. I should try also with cotton."

It wasn't her explanation that was a problem - I think it was me just being plain thick!!!  Anyway, Anastasija then uploaded a youtube video which made it very, very clear.  Here's the link.

Please listen to her daughter talking in the background - I couldn't resist turning up the volume to hear her.  Here is a photo she sent me but there will be another tomorrow explaining it all.

6 December 2011

Let me introduce

Anastasija who lives in Russia.  

I had an email from Anastasija a week or more ago and she said (blush, blush) that she uses my tips and techniques section on the pattern pages a lot.  She wanted to ask permission to use them to teach other people in her town of St Petersburg.  Naturally I was very, very happy to say yes.  

Anastasija's English is excellent and she's a very pretty lady with a dear, dear little girl so talking to her is a lot of fun.  I am so impressed with how much she's learnt in the two and a half years she's been tatting.

This is what she's found out about pearl tatting in her own words:-

"2 days ago I looked through "Tips and techniques" on your site, noticed "Pearl tatting-the easy way" and thought, what it will look like if we make only half stitch with each shuttle? I also remember that something like this was in macrame technique, and found it in the book published in1986 (see photo1, the right side), it is called there "the double loop". I tatted a sample, it turned out to be more narrow in thickness than pearl tatting. I wanted immediately to design a pattern with this I do not know how to call it. It is very convenient to tat it holding shuttles like in pearl tatting. I hold the part that is already made firmely with thumb and 2nd finger, ball thread (in my pattern it is shuttle thread) is stretched, 3rd, 4th and 5th fingers stand together and do not move at all. Half stitches are performed round the stretched part of thread between 2nd and 3rd fingers. Sorry that thread is of the same colour - photo 2, 3 and 4.
So it is 3-shuttle edging, 2 shuttles are with white thread. 

Below is picture she sent.  More from Anastasija tomorrow.

5 December 2011

A busy weekend

My posts may dry up slightly for a while as I'm behind my self induced schedule for the TIAS (Tat It And See).  I'm also trying to keep up with bookmarks as they're slowly selling from both Etsy and Folksy.  In fact I've added two more here in Folksy over the weekend.

Oh, I have a very exciting introduction to make over the next few days.  A new delightful young lady and a technique of hers.  All will be revealed!

3 December 2011


Yesterday was birds - today it's bells!!!

I decided yesterday that I couldn't avoid Christmas any longer and had to get on with sorting it!!  So the grandkids presents got wrapped, cards and letters done and that meant I HAD to finish off the bells to put in the letters!!!  They just needed hangers but I needed to kick myself into doing them!  Now they're done, done, done.  Before I started 'hangering' them I tossed them on the scanner.  I did arrange them so that they were all facing the right way up, though.

Must say that I love this picture of them all - well those that managed to get onto the scanner!!!  I'm sure there are a few more somewhere in the muddle I call home!!

2 December 2011


Before I start - just a reminder that the book and leaflets here on Ebay are finishing tomorrow and that the WFM bookmarks are here!!!  I guess I should've mentioned that the Norma Benporath book is probably a 'collector's item'.  Still, that's what comes of having the brain of a nincompoop!!!  Sorry about the 'plug' on the bookmarks but I am SO excited about them!!!!!

Today I just HAD to show you these little birds that Sarah made from the robin pattern.  I couldn't resist them.  The top three pictures are how they came to me but I wanted to see what they'd look like all sitting in a line!!!
They remind me of birds sitting on the telephone lines here in the UK although we don't have many so beautifully coloured as these.  The red one even has a tuft on his head and looks just like a red cardinal.  I've always wanted to design one of those and now it looks as if I might've already done so!!!  Thanks, Sarah.

It always fascinates me when I go to the USA to see all the power lines overhead.  I always think that must be dangerous in high winds and/or freezing conditions.  Gives me the heeby jeebies just thinking about it.

30 November 2011

Sorry but more of the same!!!

Two reasons contributed to the first one on this post being made - first I'd forgotten to put the Pink Cocoa away (liar, liar, pants on fire).  Secondly I thought Ros might like one in the colourway that I suggested to Handy Hands.    But knowing me there may be more for me to decide to give to her as time goes on!!!  Ros is an avid reader so maybe I ought to give her two - now, where did I put those shuttles?

Over the past few days I've been VERY busy making more bookmarks which I've now added to the Etsy shop - no more in Folksy at the moment until I'm sure that people are visiting it.  Once I get bitten by an idea I can't easily let it go.  What does that say about me, eh?

I've added one or two of the new motifs below this one.  Mind, on second thoughts I've already listed Ros's cocoa so (what an excuse) I'll have to make another!!!

29 November 2011

The new bookmarks

Just a quickie today to let you know I've re-listed a tatting book and two leaflets on Ebay.  This is the link.  Also the answer to yesterday's puzzle was Snowflake 2 (used to be on a ring).

I'm obsessed with making these Wrap It, Flip It and Mark It bookmarks although they're proving to be sloooow taking off in both the Etsy shop and the new Folksy one.  Can't think why but ANY suggestions would be welcome!!!!

Here are some more motifs waiting to be finished - actually the colours are a lot better than the scanner is showing as I've a feeling that it's not feeling very well.  Once these are made up I'll take decent photos of them.  I'm not sure which one of these will be put in the shops but one will become my friend Ros's birthday present which is the week after Christmas.  She's SUCH a good friend she deserves a really pretty one.  Trouble is the more I make the more I think the latest one is the prettiest so none of these might be hers in the end!!

I love this new (ish) snowflake which is a variation of this one.  I didn't use a SCMR (and added a few vsp's too) as for this purpose it would've 'stuck out' too far and would've caught on the pages of the book - maybe, perhaps or possibly!  If you want the 'amended' text do shout.  I've not got any drawings with it - yet!!!!

28 November 2011

A bit of a puzzle for you!!

OK, now having opened the box and drooling over the contents I really, really had to try the Pink Cocoa, didn't I?

This is what I made from it.  Now the question is - who's design is this?  Do you recognise it?  I have changed it slightly.  I do like this little design but am curious to know if anybody knows where it's come from!!!

26 November 2011

Opening the box!!!!

OK, now the world will know what I chose (Sally's are in the photo too).  Isn't that THE most wonderful site you've ever seen?  Lizbeth has a strange effect on me.

Normally when I buy something new (clothes, shoes or whatever) I keep them 'for best'.  I often wear (say, a coat) for ages without taking the shop label off - just in case.  I can keep things for months waiting for it to be 'for best' time and then eventually the penny drops and I remember that we two OG's don't 'do' best ever!!!  We lead a very quiet life and don't go anywhere that requires 'best'.

The point of this is that in the past I used to get a thread and do the same.  Not with Lizbeth, though.  I love the fact that each ball is wrapped in it's own wee bag.  BUT I can never wait to rip it's 'clothes' off!!!  Is there something kinky about me in my declining years?!?!?

Next job?  Another tidying of the tatting cupboard so I can get them all in!!!!

Now which one will I use first - and what for?  The answer, my friends is blowing in the wind!!!!!

25 November 2011

They've arrived!

Not sure how many people reading this blog know that Handy Hands run a sort of competition and Barb offers 25 balls of free thread for a new colour idea.  Now I submitted the colourway idea I've always dreamed of having and happily won twenty five balls of thread.  Not only is it amazing to see what you've always wanted to own made up in the new Lizbeth threads but then to get to own a ball of it and 25 more of any colourway you want is a once in a lifetime thrill.  Like winning the lottery, I suppose.  No, better, actually as lottery is only money.
So, this is the thread idea I submitted (Pink Cocoa) and here's a picture of the parcel.  I had to pay the wretched customs on it as Sally ordered some thread too.  Darn the customs people - they know how to spoil an old git's fun!!!

Anyway I knew it was coming on Tuesday so was watching out for the Parcelforce van.  The driver's never been greeted with the front door wide open and a smile as big as mine before.  Thank you, Handy Hands - you've made an old git very, very happy.

Oh, do you want to see inside the box?  Well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow or whenever I get round to it!!!!!

23 November 2011

Another eureka moment!!

Yes, I announce the return of brain cell #3 in a truly creative mood!!!
I've just added six of these to my Etsy shop.  This is the 'Wrap It, Flip It, Mark It bookmark!!!

You're dying to know how it works, aren't you?  Well perhaps I ought to patent it or copyright it or some such thing but that sounds like a lot of effort for something that surely somebody has done before!!!

To use this you first need a book!!!  There's a sign of intelligence from me!!!

The way it works is this, you WRAP the tape round the back cover of the book and fasten near the spine with the velcro (keeping the fastening inside the cover).  I've made this adjustable to fit most paperback books and hardback ones too.  Then when you've got to the place where you've finished reading you FLIP the critter (or whatever) into the book to MARK the place.  So, you Wrap it, Flip it and Mark the place!! Cool, eh?  Now for some pictures before I go and launch them here in my Etsy shop!!!

22 November 2011

Catherine Wheel join

Another missing technique that I've sadly neglected for my 'tips and techniques' page is the Catherine Wheel Join.  To me it's always looked complicated.

Then while I was playing with the TIAS a week or two ago I thought I might need to use this join.  Since then plans have changed and it won't be needed!!!!  Life just gets simpler sometimes.
Well whilst I was fiddling around on the computer t'other day I decided that after all it might, just might be useful to be able to do.  Off went brain cell 3 to play.  First I had to learn how to do it myself.  YIKES.  Then I suddenly realised that although it's a slightly more fiddly join it is rather smart!!!

The main problem I've had with trying to do it before was that the explanations I'd found on the internet were a bit longer than my concentration span.  That lasts all of ten seconds, I might add.  So I decided to see if I could pare things down.  This is the result - with pictures, of course!!!  I must thank Georgia, Joelle, Adrian, Martha, Riet, Sally and Miranda for their input - all comments helped make this page.  I hope I haven't forgotten anybody but if I have please let brain cell 3 know and he'll pass the message on!!!!

21 November 2011

Another necklace!

The last one!!  Well until I get further supplies from the charity shops or elsewhere!!!  I do a troll through the shops in town at least once a week - just in case.  I rarely find anything, though!!!  Still, keeps me amused for an hour or so!!!

I've actually found some findings on Ebay which might 'do' to make more necklaces like this - so for the terrific price of £2.50 (free shipping) I've ordered those.  They're coming from China so will take a few weeks.  I've had some real bargains from the Chinese companies on Ebay in the past so am looking forward to seeing these when they arrive.  If they work out OK then I'll put the pattern together along with details on where to buy the 'bits'.

I might even wear this one.  I do love the purply one but I no longer own that!!!  It's gone, long gone!!

19 November 2011

Jane's Butterfly

Before I start - don't forget that my Ebay tatting book listings finish later today.  My user name is janeeborall.

Do you remember when Terry Nimmer came up with his idea of floating chains?

Well, Jane McLelland has been playing with the idea too.  

Here is the link for the pattern for the butterfly which is in my Guest Designer section on my pattern page.  I'm hoping she'll show us the pattern for the flower (right side, top picture) too in time.  Clever lass is that one.

18 November 2011

More fiddling with the web site.

Another session on the web pages!!!
This time a good sorting out of the links page which has now moved over to another server!!  Why?  Well cause I find it easier to use than the other one!!!  

So a lot of links have been removed because they were either redundant or just 'not there anymore'.  This means that I now have room for more.  If you have a blog or web site that you want added then do please shout!!!  Tell me the name you want it listed under (which might not be your 'real' name) and the url.  I guess I could go through my blog roll and do it but I'm easily confused and I might add people who don't want to be there.

Oh, here's the new url but it can be reached from my front page (near the bottom)

16 November 2011

Lock join

Again during all the 'refurbishment' of the web site I realised that several things were 'missing' and should be either replaced or sorted out first.
One of the things I suddenly realised 'wasn't there' is a technique page for the lock join.  Actually I was working on another join before I realised that the dear old lock join wasn't there!!!

I then thought about 'categorizing' all the tips and techniques on that page too so have tried to put all the joining ones together.  I may have to sub divide this page too!!!  Where does it all end, eh?

15 November 2011


Whilst doing the reorganisation of the web site I realised I need to re-visit a few of the patterns.  As you know this is an ongoing job because when I started in on this publishing my daft ideas - things were very different.  There was no real 'standard' of annotation so it was all a bit 'airy fairy'.  

Since being chosen to teach at Palmetto Tat Days I have been basing most of my annotation on their guidelines in the hope that this would become the 'standard'.  So from time to time I'm going back and doing the older patterns (well, my favourites, at least!) in a more understandable way. 

Here's the snowman in all his glory and re-done.

14 November 2011

Listed on Ebay

I have three tatting books listed on Ebay this week - in case you haven't found them!!!  My ebay ID is simple - just janeeborall!!!  Just go to the 'buy' section and 'advanced' and put in seller ID and you should find them.

I never believe in hiding behind another name - those who are chasing me would always find me cause I can't keep my mouth shut!!!!

Is there anybody 'out there' who's got ten minutes to spare to try something out for me?  Won't take long but I'd appreciate a few minutes.  It's an advanced technique which I'm trying to do for the web site but in simplifying it I may have made it more complicated!!!  That would be typical of me!!!

12 November 2011

More fun with the 'bits' of metal

Well here's what I did with more of those metal 'bits'.  I wish I could find another necklace or source for this type of finding cause I've really enjoyed making this.  Challenging and a few 'changes of mind' in the progression of it.  Actually since scanning this I've cut out the middle one on one side and re-made it!!! I suddenly realised that one side was two very, very tiny links in the chain longer than the other - I couldn't leave it like that!

I think I've JUST got enough 'bits' to make another - all of this for just 99 pence and a small amount of thread and a few beads.  Oh, and a bit of patience and time and a decent pair of scissors!!

Tat's tatupcycling for you!!!

10 November 2011

More motifs

Here are four more that I did last week.  There are four at the moment but I'm not sure they'll stay as they are!!!  I'm thinking of taking the scissors to one or two of them to re-do.  My favourite is the one at the bottom!!!

I really don't know what I'm going to do with all the things I make - it's beginning to bug me!!!  I've nobody to give them to and they don't sell and I'm also not very good at selling anyway!

Wait til you see the next one!!!  There's a teaser for you!

9 November 2011

Square centres

What is the name of this game?  Using old things and re-modelling them.  Is it re-modelling, re-cycling, up-cycling or what?

As I can't decide I'm going to call it re-up-tatting. 

The centre of this motif is part of this necklace (I think there were 16 of these in the whole thing) which I found in a charity shop in Cheltenham.  With the aid of a pair of pliers and some time I took it apart as I thought I'd be able to make something out of them.  Well, here it is - the first trial.  I'm not totally happy with this yet but I'm sure somebody will like them one day!!  Either that or they'll get cut up again and re-up-tatted!!!!

I couldn't decide which way round it should go!!!

8 November 2011

3D Snowflake

Now I made this snowflake some years ago and the earliest I can find it on the internet (via the wayback machine) is 2002 which is nearly ten years ago.

I was looking for a decent picture to put on the 'celebration' link on my pattern pages and couldn't find one anywhere.  Then I also realised that I've got this on the Jewellery page as I did make it into an earring too.  This led me to make it again (see below) and I then realised why there isn't a decent picture!!!  It's almost impossible to take a photo as it's tiny and 3D!!!

So, while I was working on it I did the 'usual' and re-vamped the page too.  I also doubled up on the stitch count to see if that would work too and - eureka - it did!!!  This makes it a bit larger and ideal for a Christmas tree ornament.  I've now got a link to it from the celebration pattern page too and it can be found here.  Oh, the larger one worked in a 20 thread works out to about 1 1/2".  

7 November 2011

Don't look if you're squeamish

I'm issuing a warning for those of you who may be squeamish!!!!  I'm going to show you something dead - VERY dead.

This once was a necklace.  Yup, believe it or not it was.  Sadly it ended up in a charity shop in Cheltenham and looked SO sad and neglected that I bought it and brought it home.  Now maybe YOU think there's a happy ending.  Well, no, not yet.

When I got home I got out my pliers and KILLED it properly DEAD!!!!  These are the mortal remains!  

The little brassy square 'bits' are really pretty with a sparkly stone (no, I assure you, it's not a diamond!) in the middle.  

Wait til you see what happened next!!!!

5 November 2011

They're ready, willing and able!

I'm talking about the new batch of Pop a Bobbin shuttles which are all waiting in the Etsy shop here.  They're willing to be bought and they'll be able to go on their voyage on Monday morning!!

All I've got to do is remember that at 6 o'clock GMT (18.00 hrs) today to set them free!!!  Etsy now lets you keep stuff as drafts whereas before this facility was added you had to list the item, then go and inactivate them straight away!!!  Nearly drove me bonkers!!!

Actually listing on a Saturday and at this time will mean that I'll have all Sunday to make sure they're packed and ready to go.  

If you happen to have overpaid on postage I always refund the excess back into the Paypal account used.  Forgot to mention that!!!

3 November 2011

Bright and cheerful pendant!

I'm still slowly working on my web pages.  They're doing OK but still need more work on the font sizes, I think.  The pictures are slowly being added and I've done the tips and techniques, animal, celebration and odds and ends pages too.  Takes ages to do but keeps me out of mischief!!!

I'd still got some thread on the shuttles when I'd finished the earrings so decided to make a pendant to match.
Normally I never leave thread on shuttles as I prefer to wind it back onto the balls - easy when using a bobbin shuttle and keeps the 'right colour' with the 'right ball'!!!  This time, though, as I'd got three strands on the bobbins I wasn't prepared to go to the trouble of winding back each strand separately.  Can you imagine trying to do that with a slightly 'lively' polyester thread?  So another plot had to be thought out.  I decided to make a pendant to match the earrings.

I'd still got some left after that so the little four double edging got made too.  No idea what I'm going to do with it but cannot bear to waste thread!!!

2 November 2011

MORE new earrings and shuttle news!!

OK, still playing with this bright thread I bought in the USA.  Here's what I made with them.  This is still double 'strength'!  Yet more new earrings.  I think I really ought to look into growing myself some more ears to dangle them from!!!

After a few comments about shuttles I've now decided that I'll list them at 6pm GMT on SATURDAY.

I also took time to re-stock my Etsy shop yesterday.  I've reduced the prices on almost everything.  

I'm still 'messing' with my web pages too and if you look at the Celebration page you'll see what I'm doing.  Takes time, though and I'll be working on the other links for the next few days so don't hold your breath!!!!  It's not good for your health to hold your breath - it can be fatal, you know!!!

1 November 2011

Shuttle talk

I have another batch of shuttles ready to list in my Etsy store.
I'm not sure when to put them in there, though.  I've tried different times on different days but still have no real idea on what suits people best!!!  I think the weekends - but would appreciate some suggestions.

If you visit Sally's blog you'll see that last Sunday the clocks changed back to GMT for us.  Don't forget - you'll need any suggestions to be made in GMT as I'll not be able to work out how to change yours to mine!!!  Brain cell 3 'doesn't do' time zones - poor old thing!!!!!

I have the following to sell and the prices are on the Pop a Bobbin shuttle page on the tab at the top of this blog.

Purple Heart 3 with hooks, 1 without
Ebony 1 with hooks
Mahonia 1 with hooks
Yew 2 with hooks
Apple 2 with hooks
Maple 2 with hooks
Afrimosa 2 with hooks
Walnut 1 with hooks
Oak 2 with hooks, 1 without
Cocobolo Rosewood 1 with hooks
Cherry 1 with hooks
Olivewood 2 with hooks
Holly 3 with hooks
American Tulipwood 2 with hooks

31 October 2011

Prettying things up!

Well I thought my home page was boring!!!  I decided that weeks ago but didn't have the time to get to sorting it.

Last weekend I did have time and sat down to add some images to 'cheer it up'.  DUH, I'd forgotten how to do it!!!  I used to use an html editor on the PC to make web pages but a few years ago changed to doing the files in pdf AND changed to a mac.  BUT my home page is or has to be in html and I'd forgotten 'how to' add images!!

So this weekend I made time to have another go.  I sat down with a blank mind and started.  Well, you'd never guess what happened.  Brain cell 3 turned up straight away and I realised how stupidly thick I'd been and  how easy it was!!!  Time consuming, yes.  Easy, yes!!!  I now present you with my 'new looking' home page.  Ta, daaaaa!!!!

I'm slowly going to 'decorate' the other link pages too.  That's (of course) if I haven't forgotten 'how to' again!!!

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Happy Beaks

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