17 August 2012

The horrors of writing patterns down.

I'm not sure if I'm the only person who spends so much time on the writing and illustrating of a pattern but if others do too then I'm normal.  If they don't then - well please send for the 'men in white coats' as I'm obviously NOT normal.  Then again you all know that already so what AM I blathering on about?

So having tested the second bracelet pattern I went off to do the drawings and put the page back together again.  

Horrors of horrors when I read the instructions for the first bracelet whilst doing this I was convinced they were wrong.  Back to making the first version again with a fresh brain cell and a tad more concentration.  

16 August 2012

Another bracelet

So I showed you the bracelet I was working on here but what I didn't mention was that there are actually two versions of this on my site - both on the same page.  I thought I'd better check version two while I was still in the right frame of mind and that's what I've done here.  

Well I thought it was all going very well until I'd finished this one and started putting the drawings back into the page.

DUH, was that join up, down or in between!!!  I've now got to check the first version once again.  I'll not be beaten by a few yards of thread and a few hours of work so it's 'back to the drawing board' again!!!

IF I win the lottery (fat chance of that as I never buy a ticket) then I'm going to invest in an extra brain cell.  What do you think?

14 August 2012

SSSR LCh bracelet

Going back to the lanyard and the bracelet I thought I'd make another type of bracelet but with a more 'flowery' look to it.  

If you look closely at this one you'll see that there's an extra chain going round the SSSR's too. I do like to see what brain cell 3 can come up with!!!  He needs a bit of stimulation from time to time just to keep him awake in the evening!!!

13 August 2012

Thank you

I'd like to say a big thank you for all who helped with suggestions on my 'avoiding the folded join' join page.  If you can follow that!!!  Particular thanks go to Suzanne who spent ages on the task.

It was reassuring to find that I wasn't the only one who just 'didn't get' the idea of folding the one bit over to make the join and also it was great that it might help one or two people to be able to tackle the 'problem' from a different perspective too.

As a result of the wonderful input (Saturday blog posts are normally very quiet when it comes to comments) I was kept busy all day nattering to friends all round the world - great excuse for another 'H' word free day!!!

This morning I have added the page to the 'tips and techniques' page and a direct link is here if you want to see what I've now done.  Of course I'm always willing and able to discuss this further and make other improvements/adjustments to the file!!!!  I'm a slave to tatting!!!

11 August 2012

A conundrum

Many many times during my life in Tat land I have tried to get my head round the 'folded join'.  This is the join used by so many when the final ring is joined to the first ring - see picture below.  This is a much needed technique when the chains are facing towards the centre of the motif.

Now i have a confession.  I've never understood this folded join and have never found the 'need' for it either.  I suppose I've never 'needed' it because the way I do it instinctively means I don't get a twisted picot anyway!!  This is the reason so many people want to learn the join - to avoid the twisted picot!!

Well I've been trying to put a page together to show how I avoid the 'painful experience' of the folded join.  Here it is.  This page is NOT on my site properly yet as I'm still working on it.  I'm appealing for help here and suggestions.

I THINK this only applies to the 'up' join but I'm not sure.  I've never used down joins very much except on rare occasions to avoid 'blips' of colour.  PLEEEEEESE, pretty please take time to look at this and tell me what isn't clear and what can be improved.  My email address is in my profile.

10 August 2012


As some of you will know - I'm never completely satisfied with what I've done and I'm always checking and re-checking my work.  

Over the years my notation has changed a bit and also the drawings.  Well the diagrams had to change when I converted from PC's to Apple.  Anyway, I digress.  I decided the other day that it was about time I re-visited this pattern again

When I first did this pattern (which turned into two versions) I used 4 primary plain colours.  This time I've used all Lizbeth threads - two variegated and two plain.  Believe me - this bracelet (needs finishing with clasps) really ZINGS.

9 August 2012

New shuttles

Look what arrived the day before yesterday - a complete set of the new Aerlit shuttles as a 'thank you' from Barb of Handy Hands for testing the black ones she sent me some time ago.  I've used the blacks (which weren't the 'final' ones) constantly since they arrived (the hooks weren't finished off) and found them really good.  Thank you Barb - it's a pleasure to help you at any time.  Such a generous lass is Barb.

These will be travelling with me to Tat Days and I'm hoping to get some of them wound with my lesson threads today.  I also plan on doing my visa online today too as that's becoming a 'nighttime worry'.  Why?  Goodness knows - it's not hard and doesn't take long but the silliest things seem to bother brain cell 3 in the middle of the night!!!!!

Oh, Barb did add that the shuttles would be shipping mid to late October so for all you Aero addicts 'out there' keep an eye on the Handy Hands site.

8 August 2012

The end of the tease!

Ta, de, da.  It's a Mug Mat.  A Jane Eborall style mug mat!

Miranda and God's Kid got it right yesterday but my sister was WAY off the mark!!!  

I started making these for us but then Nick found some more coasters in a drawer so we don't need them.  

They have a heatproof lining and are washable which makes them really useful.  I've got about ten made so I'll be taking them to Tat Days and putting them in the vending room.  If they don't sell there they'll make their way into the Etsy shop.  I must close the shop down over the next few days as the rest of the bags are going on the trip too - plus the bookmarks which have already left the shop.  

7 August 2012

Another teaser

OK, now I've finished the project.  BUT what is it?  Any further guesses?

This one looks a bit 'scruffy' in the picture but I assure you it's fine in 'real life'.  Notice - this is another colour combination again!!!

6 August 2012

Send for the paramedics!

After the car crash here I managed to send in the paramedics.  This is what they did.

So, what's going to happen next and why the very carefully pressed in creases?  More to follow in due course - OR when I remember!!

OK, you can see that this time I'm showing a different variegated thread.  Why?  Well because that just happened to be what was near me when I decided to scan another stage.  

When I was teaching 'smallies' I used to tell them a story (or, part of one) and always left it on a 'cliffhanger'.  This reminds me of one of those.  'What will happen next' times.  

I guess nowadays you'd say 'follow me on Facebook' to see the next instalment.  Which reminds me - I am starting to use that place more often as they haven't changed things for a while and confused me.  I'm sure that's what happens - the whole world is conspiring to confuse me.  Little does it realise how little it takes to do that!!!  I do have a page called 'Jane's Tatting Adventures' and I'm starting to put the odd thing on there.  Also I use facebook to catalogue my daily walks.  Why?  Purely to keep the OG interested!!!!  I'll never give up on my blog, though.  It's my very special own space!!

4 August 2012

Is this a car crash?

This really does look like a car crash to me - pretty colours but a car crash!  Actually, no - it's a shuttle crash.

Now I'm going to ask you a question.  What am I doing here?  Doesn't it look a mess?  Well actually I'm hoping it does turn out to be better than it looks in the end.  If not then I'll have wasted a lot of time!!
Answers on a postage stamp please - sent to the OG.

3 August 2012

Ros's bracelet

My friend Ros and I 'do' the charity shops on a Monday.  Not every Monday but most of them!!!
I was showing her the new bracelet last Monday and she liked it a lot.  So I got her to choose the colours she wanted so I could make her one.  Here it is.  I was being a bit sneaky as I really wanted to make another as I do enjoy the process of making the SSSR's!!

The pattern is now ready and can be found here. Believe me there were so many combinations that can be made with this idea that it was a hard time trying to keep brain cell 3 to one 'theme'.  

If you like this idea then please go and re-visit this page as the lanyard is done in much the same way.  It's just really a matter of getting the hang of the technique and then just 'doing your own thing'.

1 August 2012

I love khaki

Yes, I know I'm using precious thread here but I do love this khaki as I've mentioned before!!!  This is the same bracelet (still checking the pattern!) but worked with black this time.

I intend to 'hide' the remains of the ball from myself for a while until I need a treat again!!

31 July 2012

Posh once more!

Well I've finally got a pair of earrings to wear with my posh outfit - here!  Took me a while to decide what to do (or not do) and I finally came up with the ones you can see below.

Now these are basically this pattern.  I did add another motif to hang below because - well, because it seemed like a good idea!!!  Plenty of Singaporian sparkly beads were used and this pair are really blingy.

I found it really difficult to get a good picture of these as they sparkle so much and (you can see in the bottom picture) the sun was out.  We're not used to that object in the sky so it threw me a bit!!

30 July 2012

Another bracelet

Remember this bracelet?  Well it still exists but it will get an attack of the scissors - when I find it again!  I know I'm hopeless so there's no reason to agree with me!!!
This is what I made instead!  I did it the same way (almost) but I think it looks a lot better.

Must tell you about the colours.  The pink is - well, just bright pink (a Flora, I think) but the other colour, which I can only describe as khaki, is wonderful.  One of my all time favourites.

I've got very little of it left now as I've always had a 'thing' about this thread.  It's a Manuela thread which has now so sadly gone out of production.  It works really well with a bright colour.  What do you think - does it 'do it for you'?

28 July 2012


Must say I've no interest in them whatsoever and now the opening ceremony is over the telly will only be showing films or be turned off for the next few weeks.  When does it finish?

The opening ceremony - well, we decided to watch the first hour or so but found ourselves sitting there right until the end.  Fanflippingtastic.

BUT the news is out now in Tatland so I will share.  My oldest daughter carried the torch last Wednesday and here's a link for you to see.

I was dead lucky in that I got to see it live on the internet quite by accident as I wasn't given a time for it.  

26 July 2012

And finally!!

Here are the earrings to complete the 'ensemble' but they're definitely going 'under the scissors'.  I DO NOT like them and they will NOT survive.  If you could see how many things I cut and chuck while designing you'd be horrified.  Lately my tiny granddaughter goes home with some of them but she's now getting more perceptive and asks for 'proper' tatting.  She's heading towards 5 in November and has just found out that the school uniform does not have any pink or purple in it - I fear rebellion!!!!

The fantastic beads (which came from Val in Singapore) will be recovered and be re-used but I actually almost hate these earrings.

Having made one it beggars belief that I went ahead and made another!!!  I'll find a small tray and cut them over the top so that I don't lose any of the beads and then wait for brain cell 3 to pay a visit!  He's currently working on it while I type and I've a feeling that the 'new' version will be 3D ones.  Time will tell!!!  I'll be back to show you what happens once it has!!!

25 July 2012


So what I decided next was that the outfit needed some more 'bling'!!! 

This is a pendant I made to go with it.  Same purple thread and the same gold too.  I used the Fandango motif for this but put a long beaded picot at the bottom with another beaded picot in the middle.  It's one of my favourite 'tricks' is using beads this way.  You can't do it unless you bead the picot as you make it. 

24 July 2012

I need lessons!!!

Seriously -  I need lessons on how to be posh.  I bought a new top from Debenhams the other day - specially for the Tat Days banquet.  I do like to dress up a bit for the occasion.
It was a very plain purple cotton top which (when I got it home) I thought needed 'poshing up' a bit.  So I did - I think!!!

So, now I need lessons on 'being posh'.  Please can anybody help?

23 July 2012

Now for a bracelet

So, after playing with the lanyard I got to wondering about other ways I could use that basic idea and this is what I came up with for a bracelet.  

I'm actually pleased with the quality of this/these techniques used this way as it's made a very 'firm' piece.  It's not 'floppy' and sits well just as it is.  Pretty even without any beads.  

I've scanned a closer image so you can see what I've done.  Not sure it's a 'pattern' as such but I am writing it down and also working on some drawings.  There might be another 'incarnation' of this and I want to try that first as I think the new idea will be a real improvement.  Do I see a pair of scissors heading for this bracelet?  Yes, I think I do!!!!

I always write text down as I go as I've got the brain of a gnat.

21 July 2012


When I first started this blog back in 2006 I only did it to keep myself amused and so that I had 'something to do'!!!!!
Looking back it's proved a real treasure as it's kept me organised and inspired.  Organised because it makes me finish off things I start!!!  Inspired - that's happening through comments and followers.

I've never worked out how people stumble over my blog posts or how they then access them.  Maybe they 'follow' me or just bookmark the url and go from there.  There may be other ways too.

I use the google reader to look at the posts that I follow when I'm on the iPad but when on the main computer I go through the dashboard.  Sometimes I pick up new people to follow through google search.  Anyway, what I really want to say is 'hi' to my 400 followers and thank you for being there and keeping me on track.  

I know it says 401 but I know that one of them is dear Gina who is no longer able to read my ramblings.  Gosh, I SOOO miss her and hardly a day goes by without I don't think of her.  In fact yesterday I went to look round her blog once more - just because I thankfully still can.

20 July 2012


It's always fun at Tat Days seeing people's lanyards.  Martha's were totally amazing last time I was there.  Take a look at these and this.  So I decided I'd have a go at a new lanyard for this year.  This is what I've come up with.  

It's surprisingly sturdy too.  Any guesses how I did it?  It's really simple - I promise.  What I like is that it's 'pretty' but doesn't have any beads - which is somewhat unusual for me!!!  I tend to think that something is prettier with beads than without.

Don't worry, though - the lack of beads in yesterday's butterfly and today's lanyard doesn't mean that I'm running out of beads or trying to conserve what I've got - far from it!!!!  This is just the way brain cell 3 is running at the moment - I'm sure he'll be ready to go back to beads soon!!!

19 July 2012


So what came out of the butterfly?  Well another 'DUH, why didn't I think of that before' moment.  Before I forget - the pattern is here.

Feelers - no, not men with wandering hands but the things you see on critter's heads.  That's what came about.  I know they're properly called antennae but that wouldn't make a joke, would it?

I suddenly thought of a better way to do that butterfly's antennae.  It's SOOOO simple I'm wondering where brain cell 3 has been hiding all these fifty and more years of tatting!!!  Here's what I did.  This (you brainy people 'out there' will realise) is a simple crochet chain!!!

The last SR on the butterfly finishes with a vsp and a double stitch on each side.  So, working with each shuttle separately - this is what you do.
Pull a loop up through the vsp closest to the thread.
Take another loop up through the new loop and pull the first tight. Make ten of these crochet chains and on the final loop take the shuttle right through to stop it coming undone again. Tie and cut. So ridiculously simple and it gives a stonking great feeler.

18 July 2012

Plans change - as usual!!!

Well that design I showed  you yesterday was fine for my project - more on that soon.  

I then decided that although it worked well for me there that as a 'stand alone' it needed more work so I then did the one below.

Of course every change of mind leads to the text and drawings needing a re-vamp but something really useful did come out of this (a sort of technique) - more tomorrow.

Don't you just LOVE this HDT?  Wish I could remember which very, very kind soul sent it to me. They really cheer an OG up on a cold winter's evening.  Oooops, sorry, somebody told me it was summer here.

One funny remark I heard today about the weather.  Apparently the 'soda stream' (should've been jet stream) is now moving north so we should get better weather next week.  Love that - the 'soda stream'.  Made me chuckle.

17 July 2012

Sort of newish butterfly

You'll recognise this butterfly - well, sort of.  The original is here.

I wanted something very pretty and this exact size for a new project BUT I didn't want to use beads for reasons which will eventually become obvious.

I'll show you what I'm doing soon but I want to get this amendment done first. I think it needs to be on a new page too.

Ah, I may well change it slightly for the final 'new' pattern as I want to make the top wings bigger.  So, hang in there, people - I'll get it done by the end of the week.

16 July 2012

Second bangle

I hope you remember this bangle!!!  Well I finally got a second one done!!!  Having done that too I now realise that they're just 'not meeee'.  What on EARTH am I going to do with them?

If anybody wants them they're very welcome to them at just the cost of the original bangle and the postage.  I could bring them to Palmetto if anybody wants to save the postage.

There's a third 'frame' too which I'm willing to part with 'naked'.  I love, love the idea of them but know and will admit that I'll never go to the sort of places where I'd ever wear them.  

14 July 2012


Just a reminder that there will be a dozen shuttles in my Etsy shop later today.  I'll let them 'go live' at 8pm BST.  Happy hunting!!!

Remember these earrings (below) that Valerie sent me?  Well she tells me that they're from  Lijiang, Yunnan in China. They are the traditional embroidery of the Lisu tribe. 

Today's the day when they'll get their first outing and tomorrow will be their second.  Can't WAIT.

13 July 2012

The other Fandango Boomark!

Now here's the other bookmark as mentioned in this post here

Again this was worked in a size 70 or 80 variegated tatting thread and with the same sewing thread as before too.  But, can you see the difference in size between the yellow and the red?  I can't think why this has happened except that one must've been a 70 and the other an 80.  The tension is exactly the same.  Isn't that strange that they should be so different?  I honestly didn't think that there would be much between a 70 and an 80 - well you live and learn!!

I quite like the little star shape at the end of the tail too.  All I did was use the centre of this motif and changed it very, very slightly.

12 July 2012

A story!

This is a story of a wonderful gift.  This came from Val in Singapore.  We've been online buddies for a time now and Sally met up with Val when she was over in Singapore in June.  They went shopping.  When I say shopping I mean SHOPPING!!!!  

Val sent home (via Sally) a wonderful box of goodies for me to play with.  Can you see the contents in the top photo?  There are big beads, small beads, wooden ones and crystal ones.  Bright and beautiful.  Then there are two reels of Sulky thread and a thingamajig to make whatsits which I've got to work out how to use!!!  There are findings and charms and many many other things - BUT just LOOK at the picture beneath.  Those earrings are just plain stunning.  The colours zingadingding.  I'm going to wear them at the weekend as I'm going to two small gatherings.  They may even frighten the rain away with their brightness - well I can but hope!!!  

11 July 2012

Pop a Bobbin News

I will be listing the following in the Etsy shop here on Saturday at 8pm (BST).  

I think 'im in the garage has been having fun this time!!!  There's one of each of the following in different woods!!  He usually makes two or three of each wood but this time I think he's been playing!!!  

For those of you going to Palmetto Tat Days in September I'm pleased to say that you'll be able to see, touch and BUY the shuttles there.  Sally and I are taking a good supply of them with us.

Pop a bobbins all with hooks.
Zebrano 1
Yew 1
Olivewood 1
Pear 1
Cherry 1
Apple 1
Oregon Myrtle 1
Cocobolo Rosewood 1
Oak 1
Ebony 1
Maple 1
American Black Walnut 1
Purple Heart 1

Hooks with Hats (0.4mm)
Teak 2
Zebrano 1

10 July 2012

Fandango Bookmark

Now next weekend I'm off to a housewarming party round the corner.  This time I can't really give them a bottle of wine as the people who's party it is gave ME a bottle a couple of weeks ago!!!  SO kind of them as I'd done very little to help them in my opinion.  

Anyway, I thought about things and decided that probably they'd each like a bookmark.  Here's the first one.

This is done with two strands of HWT.  One is a sewing thread (plain) which I bought on a trip to America some years ago.  The other is a variegated (old) number 70 (or thereabouts) thread.  There's something satisfying with HWT as it gives a totally different look to 'ordinary' variegated threads.

Oh, the pattern is here.  It's the Fandango bookmark.

9 July 2012

I can't resist earrings!

I know some of  you are going to groan when you see another pair (nearly finished) like these but there are two reasons for making another reddish pair.  Well, that's my excuse!!!

Reason number one is that I wanted to have an 'all red' pair.

Reason number two is because I wanted to try adding more beads over the button.  In the last pair there were 'two beads per picot over button' but in this pair I've added four to each one coming up through the button hole.  This makes this pair really shiny.  

Now ALL I've got to do is add the shepherd's crook findings and I'll be the smartest gal in town!!!!

Sorry, amend the last sentence as I'm well past my 'sell by' date and should've put old git instead of gal!

7 July 2012

And it rained AGAIN

As you've probably heard - we've had the wettest June in the U.K since records began in 1910 and it looks as if July's going to be the same too with a whole month's worth of rain in one day - yesterday!!!

So, because of that I was mainly 'trapped' in the house which is the worst thing that could happen to me.  In the end I settled to 'play' on the computer.  I decided to change the favicon on my sites.  

Favicon?  Did I hear somebody ask what that was?  Well it's the tiny, tiny picture that sits at the top of your page above the browser bar.  You can see what I'm talking about in the picture at the bottom - you can see my blog site and web site with the favicons next to the title.  Here's the favicon as it was generated - isn't it SMALL?
They're really easy to make - just google 'favicon generator' and follow the instructions.  Great fun and a better way to pass a miserable day than doing the dreaded H word!!!

Oh, by the way, it's going to rain again today!!!

5 July 2012

Look what I found

I've absolutely no idea where I got this from but it certainly wasn't from France!!!!  

I've scanned this to show you because of the back of the card mainly.  Can you see that there's a picture of how to put the bobbin on the end to wind the thread?  Interesting.  

One packet I bought (in English), a thousand years ago was almost the same.  That one (long destroyed in the joy of a new shuttle to use) had the same picture BUT with another showing how to load the bobbin back into the shuttle.  That was my eureka moment and converted me to bobbin shuttles way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Two other interesting points on this packet which may point towards it's age is the bar code (see this link and this one too) and the post code (another link).  Bar codes were introduced into regular use in the UK in roughly the mid to late seventies and around the time post codes were forced upon the populace (that's what it felt like at the time) too.  Translation here for Americans - post code = zip code.  If you put the post code at the bottom of this packet into google maps you'll see that there is a modern building there nowadays.

Do you think we ought to designate it as a shrine for all tatters and go and worship there?!?!?  Just another of the daft ideas from yours truly!!!

4 July 2012

First bangle done and dusted.

This is the first one finished.  Well it was finished a couple of weeks ago.

OK, I'll admit to it being a little fiddly but not as bad as I thought it would be.  I worked the outer parts attaching to the rims first and then the split rings last joining to both the sides as I went along - they were a bit fiddly.  

I deliberately kept it simple (rings, chains and split rings) as I felt it didn't need really fancy stuff particularly with the joining being a bit 'problematic'!!

I'm SOOO pleased with it I'm going to make another but with more 'bling'.  Oh, these are both Lizbeth colours but I'm not sure which.  As usual I'm hopeless at remembering which I've used.  My mid year new year's resolution will be to note down what I've used!!!!

3 July 2012

Talking bangles!!!

Have you ever seen these before?  I spotted them on Roseground Supplies page a few weeks ago.  Of course I HAD to have one - or two - or three!!! They offer a pattern to buy to go with the bangles but me being an independent old git didn't want the pattern!!!  I looked at what they were offering and realised that the pieces were sewn on after they were made.  That's NOT my way of working.

I have a 'THING' about adding 'stuff' to tatting after it's finished (or, come to that, adding tatting to things!) whether it be beads, sequins or accessories.  I never, ever think that's a safe thing to do.  Glue gives up 'gluing' in the end and thread comes undone if things are sewn on. 

In the bottom picture you can see my initial experiments.  The rest you'll have to wait for!!!

2 July 2012

What a PAIR!!!

As usual I've got something to say before I start talking about my main 'theme' - here it is coming to you loud and clear.  Palmetto Tat Days registration is open here and Sally and I have registered.  I looked to see again this morning and see that 34 people had already signed up.  That's FAST, I think.

Now when I say 'what a pair' I'm talking about myself and t'other Jane who is here!!!  

Yesterday I had an email from another friend who was looking for Jane's bookmark and couldn't find it.  Not a problem thought I and off I went to send her the link.  DUH and DOH I couldn't find it anywhere.  Not even the original pattern in a doc format.  I sort of thought it was on the blog originally and nowadays blogger makes it really easy to search using the box at the top, left of the page - but no sign of Jane's bookmark.  I then decided that in my enthusiasm I must've lost it when moving the web site.  Having decided that, I wrote to Jane asking her if she knew where it was and all she could remember was that it was on my blog somewhere!!! 

She looked for a copy on her computer but this is a new computer and the little stinker couldn't be found there either.  So she kindly wrote it down again.  I've now made sure it won't be lost again and have put a copy of it here and a link on the 'guest designer's' page so we'll ALL be able to find it in future!!!!  Here's a picture to remind you which one it is.

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Happy Beaks

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