19 June 2012

Roundabout motif part 3

So, after I'd killed the last trial it was a case of starting again in the middle!!!  After another evening or two I came up with this.

Next problem was 'what do I call it' so I asked Sally who suggested it looked like a roundabout - the sort you see in Children's playgrounds.  So it's got a name now!!!!  Quite nice when you've got a name, isn't it?  Now to tackle the drawings and getting the text and drawings put together.

After that a space of a few days to allow myself to forget how I did it and then I'll try the pattern again - to see if it makes sense to me!!!!  

18 June 2012

Final bags

OK, here they all are in all their glory.  I actually made six of them.  I kept thinking of reasons for making more every time I started sewing!!!  Fronts on the top photo, backs on the next and then the fronts of each bag.  

Note - one of the bags has no tatting on - that's for Sally so she can add her own.  I'm going to give one of the bags to the Palmetto tatters for them to do 'what they like' with to raise money for 'whatever they like'!!!!  They usually put any extra money towards their scholarship fund so that would be good.

The other four?  I have plans for those!!!!  Not telling what at the moment but you can bet they'll not go in my Etsy shop as I'm sure they'd never sell.  I'd have to ask waaaaay too much for each one to pay for the time involved - least I think I would.

Actually I've no idea what they'd be worth.  Any suggestions?  OR put this another way - what would YOU pay for one?  They're fully lined and washable.  I have a 'tamer' version of a scrap bag that I've been using for about three years now.  In fact, it's this one and it's been through the washing machine a few times too.  I use it most days!!!

16 June 2012

New design part 2

Now this is what happened the next evening - I made another using decent thread which usually means I'm happy with how the design is going - nearly 'there' would be the term I'd use.

Hang on, you may well ask, (or again you may not ask and may not want to know!) where's the bead?  

I attacked it with the scissors - I DIDN'T like the way it was going and it's now got a naked middle.  Back to the 'drawing board' again.

Mentioning drawing - I never draw up potential designs until they're done as they're usually nowhere near right if I do.  I might do a quick sketch on Eazydraw if it's an animal that I'm  going to work on but that's only to get the general outline.  I NEVER do it for a motif.  Perhaps I should!!!  There again - why change the habits of a lifetime, eh?

15 June 2012

Bags - again

First today I'm going to show you the scrap bags with all the pieces pinned on.  At this stage I'm ready to throw in the towel as it never looks very good.  Changes of mind happen every five minutes too!!!

After ironing, though, the piece takes on a new 'life' and look so much better.  The next part of the process is to stitch down all the edges.  That's another two hours or so per bag!!!

The following pictures are (first at the top) - just been ironed.  All the fabric is now reasonably firmly held in place.  The Second pictures shows the front when it's been stitched down.  Finally the third picture is the back of the stitched bag.

You can see now that I'm working on several bags at once.  Well, women CAN multi task, can't they?  Even this OG manages it once in a while!!!!

14 June 2012

Starting a new design

Sally, my sister, bought a lot of shell beads a few weeks ago (see this post) and that reminded me once more about this necklace which I bought recently.

So, off I went to try something out.  The top picture was my third attempt (plain green) and it's looking - well, scruffy I think!!!  I always use threads I don't like when designing.  Well, threads that I've gone off for now so that I don't waste good and pretty ones.

Next evening I had another go at it and that's the one below.  What a MESS!!!!

More on this disaster another day!!!

13 June 2012

Beaded purse.

Before I start - Joanie has pointed out that I didn't tell you where to get the new book from.  The one I boasted about on Monday by Kelly Dunn.  Here's her email address for you to contact her.  Sorry, Kelly.

Now I'm not sure why I made this.  Honestly - that's the truth.  It's this pattern but made a little larger.

The one thing that I did try this time is to work the flap in one 'hit' too.  Ah, that's probably why I started doing the whole thing!!!  I like a small challenge!!!

I did this by using a 'whole' split chain (by that I mean just leaving a bare thread space before the last ring and then working split chain knots backwards over the bare thread) and then a split ring to travel from each row to the next on the flap.  I really love tatting just for the sake of it rather than writing things down as I go!!!!

I may make a handle for it one day - or there again, I may not!!!! 

Not sure if you can see but I've lined it with a purple lining as there's a purple tinge to the big bead - it's a carnival bead.

I suppose you could keep a couple of shuttles in it as it's about that size.

12 June 2012

The day job!!!

Now this is what I've been doing during the days for the last few weeks.  No, don't be silly - not housework.  Well, that's not strictly true as I spend a lot of energy avoiding doing it so sometimes it's easier just to 'hit the designer dust' where it hurts most.

No, what I've been doing is using up the scraps left over from making roly poly bags etc.  I have a 'thing' about throwing stuff away that may be useful so I decided to use the scraps to make what I call 'scrap bags'.

This is the start of one.  I am using that sticky back vilene or whatever it's called in your neck of the woods.  I lay the vilene down (sticky side up, of course!) and pin each piece of fabric on.  This takes roughly two hours per bag as I keep changing my mind as I go.  Plus, of course, the tatting takes an evening or slightly more too.  This one will be the size of a shopping tote - when it's finished.

BUT there's no point in getting out all the fabric and only make ONE so you might as well make a few.  Know what I mean?  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!!!!

11 June 2012

I'm a WICKED woman

I mean that.  I tease people unmercifully and sometimes they retaliate.  Read on!

On Saturday the postman came and as I rarely get any post I wasn't interested until Nick said that there was something odd about the post that had arrived for ME.  The sender was from Canada but there was an English stamp on it!!!  VERY strange.  

The package was from Kelly Dunn who I admit I tease about her being a needle tatter.  I've been desperately trying to convert her to a shuttle for years!!!  I wondered whether I should call the police or national security before opening - after all there might have been a letter bomb inside.

Well with great trepidation (I really mean excitement) I opened the package.  Took seconds as I was dying to see what was inside.  Do you want a peek?  First of all there's a pattern book.  I see that Kelly has been busy during her enforced time without work.  Well done - some lovely hearts in there.  Do hope you get a job soon, though.

Next there was some lovely tatting which is down below.  Also some 'toys' for the OG to play with too.  Thank you, Kelly.

The mystery of the English stamp was explained in a note - her family are over here in the wet, windy and cold UK at the moment so they mailed it for her.  There I was thinking there was an assassination plot ongoing!!!!

9 June 2012

FORCED into tidying up!

It's been raining for days and days and weeks over here and I'm going rusty.  I've run out of excuses now so decided I'd really have to tidy up the computer or the house.  I read Diane's post here the other day and thought about my tat corner and decided it really wasn't that bad!  Well it's worse than Diane's but not bad!!!!

Late yesterday morning I went to add another blog to my list that I follow on Blogger and was told by the 'powers that be' that I couldn't follow more than 300 blogs.  

WHAT? I don't follow that many, do I?  Well I must do.  So off I went to 'sort it out' and tidy up my list.  It took an hour and a half to go through them all on the dashboard and through reader but I've taken off 67 blogs.  

The criteria I used was to eliminate any blog that hadn't been updated for over a year and also blogs that had drifted away from tatting.  I'm always keeping a beady eye open for new tatting blogs so any suggestions for me to add to my following list would be VERY welcome as I now have room and I don't want to get bored!!!  If you think I took you off by mistake or start up your blog again then please let me know.  The 'following' list isn't the same as the blog roll which you see on the right side of the blog.  Those I try to keep to a few of the most active tatting 'bloggers'.

Interestingly I noticed while I was doing this that I now have 392 followers.  Not that I believe that as I expect a lot of people have drifted off and forgotten about removing ME from THEIR following list!!!  Actually I guess that it should be 391 as Gina (tattinggoddess) was a follower too and she's no longer sadly able to see my ramblings.  Now that I've mentioned it I expect that number to drop like a stone as people realise that they're bored with reading my ramblings!!!!  Ain't life fun - and WET!!!!

If you value this Old Git then please, please, PLEASE send some sun my way.

7 June 2012


Once a parrot, then a cockatoo and now a pair of budgerigars!!!!!  These have long since left home and gone to live with somebody who really loves budgies and who I knew would give them a good home.  They're both worked in a number 80 (or thereabouts) thread.

Who's a pretty boy, then?  I must make another for myself sometime!!!

So, I suppose there may be one or two people in Tat Land who would like the pattern?  Maybe or maybe not.  Anyway, you're gonna get the choice of whether you do or don't take it!!!!  Here's the link!!

6 June 2012


Back to normal and following on from the parrot I wondered if it could be turned into a cockatoo.  Well, I think it can. It needed a little bit of adapting from the original parrot but not much.  Here's a picture.

I've added the crest as I tat the rest and there are no ends to work in using my method!!!  However they could always be added through vsp's afterwards, I guess.  I just think the way I've done it makes for a neater result!!

5 June 2012

Jubilee pictures

Here's how we do it in my 'neck of the woods'.  This was yesterday when the sun decided to shine on us all for some of the time - thankfully!!!

Back to parroty things tomorrow but I thought I'd just break my 'rule' about this blog for once.  It's normally and usually just tatting related but as this was such an occasion I thought you'd like to see a small part of my 'other' life.

4 June 2012

To wit to woo

Oooooops, sorry, I mean 'Pieces of Eight!!!  

What do you think of this chap?  Would he make a good pattern or not?  I've been wanting to make a parrot for years and years but never could get Mary Parrot's parrot out of my head.  Her's is a stonking great parrot and I know mine would never be as 'parroty' as hers.  Here's a link to her pattern.

I made hers years and years ago but must've given it away as I can't find it.  Here's my poor relation.  Pattern to follow - after a bit more teasing and eye candy!!!!!  

Well, you know me - I like to make you wait a few days!!!!!!

Tell you one extra thing - yesterday's pageant on the Thames was fantastic.  Watched it on the telly all afternoon.  Today's our street party so not a lot will be done today!!!!

2 June 2012

Necklace located and finished!

Found and finished but then I thought 'will I EVER wear it?'  I decided that I'd probably give it away in the end as I don't think it's bright enough for me!!!

Well yesterday I put it on and wore it.  I was gobsmacked when two people commented on how lovely it was when all I'd done was just popped into town and back!!!

Maybe, just maybe I do like it now!!!  It really does shine when the sun's out.

The pattern?  Well it's just the Winsome Drop earring one really with a very long beaded picot taken round the coloured beads. The centre part is purely Winsome Drop!!!!!

1 June 2012

Necklace finished!

I fiddled and fiddled with this necklace and finally found something that I think will work.  Here's another 'layer' for it.

All I've got to do now is put the two parts together - that's if I can find them both at the same time, of course!!!

I have this terrible habit of putting things down in the strangest places and then, of course, not being able to find them again!!!!

31 May 2012

The snake!!

It wasn't until Joanie asked me where I'd started the snake (head or tail end) that I remembered that I'd written the pattern down!!!

Over the years I've learned to write EVERYTHING down that I do.  Well, I don't quite write everything down but almost.

So, here's the snake!!!  I've added him to the doodles page.  Did I hear somebody say "oh, no, not ANOTHER doodle"?  Sorry, but yes!!!

This pattern really is only 'guidance' on how to do a snake - not 'set in stone' so please feel free to play with it.

30 May 2012

Pearl tatted basket

Like I said yesterday - I have a pattern to share with you from Val.  This is MY rendition (the picture below - to prove I've tried it) but I've put hers (which is tons better) on her page.

Val's used this method (I've called it 'easy' but it could equally be called 'lazy'!) of doing pearl tatting.

You can find her page here which I've added to the 'Guest Designers' section.

29 May 2012

Pearl tatted snake

Now a few weeks ago I had a message from Val Aldridge who pointed out the possibilities of using a pearl tatted chain and making it 'wiggle'.  I guess if you were an intelligent person (like Val is) you'd call it a shaped pearl tatted chain.  The concept is simple (least it is when somebody like Val has pointed your aged nose to it).  An extra ds on one side will start the curve.  Anyway, let's put this in her own words as the email message came to me:-

"Materials: Core thread, I used size 10. For the shuttles I used size 20 thread
Tie all three threads together.
I used my green shuttle  with green thread as shuttle 1
I used my pink shuttle  with pink thread as shuttle 2 
All stitches are unflipped
*Start with SH1 over the back of the hand. 
Make 1ds unflipped with SH1 and return SH1 to back of hand (so that the head of the knot is at the top of the core thread)
SH2, make 2nd half of ds, unflipped, then 1st half of ds still unflipped ( this helps to ensure the head of  this stitch points down)
Repeating from * produces a standard pearl chain  with no curve.
To introduce an arch shaped curve,  **start with SH1 over the back of the hand, make  2ds and return SH1 to back of hand. 
SH2, make 2nd half of ds, , then 1st half of ds.
Repeat from ** as many times as you wish.
For a more gentle curve, alternate 1ds with SH1, next time  2ds with SH1 and repeat in sequence 
As my tension tends to be fairly tight, I try to loosen the tension a little for SH1 and/or tighten the tension for SH2 when working the curve. 
One can obviously make a U-shaped the curve by always doing 1 ds with SH1 followed by 2 with SH2 
I started doing this when I was sampling the neck part of Pam Palmer's beautiful peacock just to encourage the curve and make blocking easier. I quite liked the effect of two colours as well, but obviously the thickness and colours of the thread can be varied.
When I have time (when oh when) I might see if this could be useful for making interlaced knots.
Riet's  method makes life so much easier, and I can't think that no-one else has done this."

I'd never thought of the possibilities of this before Val pointed me to it but what a stonking great idea.

Naturally I had to try this out and came up with this simple little snake.  BUT I do have a pattern from Val to share with you - in due course (which actually means 'tomorrow')!!!!

28 May 2012

Necklace again!

Further progress has been made on the new necklace.  I need to ponder this further as it's not quite what I want.  

There again - I don't know what I DO want so thereby hangs a problem!!!

Time to think and ask brain cell # 3 what he thinks.  I do hope I don't lose it while this thinking process is ongoing!!

26 May 2012


Why oh why can't I stick to one thing and get that finished?  I've got the necklace ongoing, a new critter nearly completed, a new motif almost 'there' and a load of sewing almost finished too.  So, what do I do?

Summer has arrived here (well for a few days - fingers crossed) and I spotted a tshirt that I bought in America last July and which needs 'tarting up' a bit!!!  No time to do an edging for now but there is time to make a new pendant!!!  I also wanted to play with the idea of throwing a looped ring off a chain with a finding in.  That's my excuse and I'M STICKING TO IT!!!!

Back to the other stuff tomorrow, I promise!!

25 May 2012

New necklace progress

When Sally was up in my neck of the woods a few weeks ago we went on a tour of the local charity shops.  I bought the necklace below because I really liked the beads.  Well what you can see is sort of half the necklace as I 'got at it' with a pair of scissors!!!  As you do, don't you?  As there are very few beads locally I tend to use the charity shops as my main suppliers for larger beads that are different.

This is what is happening to it!!!

The 'pattern' I'm using is a bit like the Winsome Drop earrings - but with attitude!!  You can see that I'm taking a long beaded picot around the bead as I go.  I quite like this - so far!!!

24 May 2012

Last doodle

Well here are the last two - or should that be one?  

It's an elephant but in two sizes.  Here's the link.  

Now if you want the flamingo, ostrich, lion, peacock, gecko, hummingbird or octopus (the rest of my zoo) then you'd better either get yourselves down to Palmetto Tat Days here or buy their CD shortly after that!!!!  OR you can wait until around next February/March when they'll arrive on my web site - IF I remember!!!

I tatted one of each to mount on fabric a few weeks ago and today I decided I'd sew them on.  Guess what?  The little stinkers have disappeared.  Totally and utterly disappeared.  If anybody sees them please would you send them back to me?  Thanks.

Not sure why I did a blue elephant - must've been one of 'those days'!!!

23 May 2012

Penguin and Beaver

Nearly finished with the doodles now.  Here is my favourite today - the penguin. Don't know why but I really love this little guy.

The beaver is as a result of constant nagging from my sister!!  She's involved heavily with the Beaver group down her neck of the woods.  Here's a link to information about them.  So this is a tiny beaver and one day I hope to make a bigger one.  We'll see!!!

One last 'lot' tomorrow and then I'll show you some of the other things I've been working on recently!!

22 May 2012


Just one today - what a waste of paper and time!!!

Still tomorrow (which will be the penultimate doodle page) will be my favourites of all.  REALLY looking forward to sharing it.  Shall I give you a clue?  No, sorry, I can't think of one!!!!

I'm about to embark on another sewing stint but not roly poly bags or accessories - they are just sitting in the shop so there's no need for more and I'll have to buy in zips, labels etc if I do ever do more.  This time it's something else that's brewing in my head!!!

21 May 2012

Swan and Turtle

Good Monday morning and another dreary, cold day here in my neck of the woods!!!

Today's offering is a swan and a turtle.  Not sure if swans and turtles really go together but it's a case of whatever fits on a page!!!  My excuse is that they both live in/on/near water.  Will that do as an excuse?

Here they are in all their 'glory'!!!

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Happy Beaks

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