31 October 2013

Gecko number two!

Another gecko!!!  They're breeding like crazy over here in my part of Tat Land!!!  Isn't it strange how sometimes the silliest things can take over your life?  

I blame Tatskool for this little rampage.   After meeting her and her husband a few weeks ago I remembered that he is a gecko expert.  I named this pattern for Tatskool as I've a feeling she asked if I could do one for her and her husband many moons ago!  

I found time yesterday to update the page here so you now have a plethora of diagrams!!!  The trick, when drawing diagrams is, to draw the whole thing out first.  Sometimes I use layers and 'trace' over the original.  

Next step is to copy and paste and repeat that as many times as needed.  Each picture is then chopped up to make the diagrams needed!!!  Great satisfaction in chopping - now where's my ex husband's head?!?!?!

This little guy is made using Lizbeth Butterfly Breeze number 127.  I'm experimenting at the moment with another piece of scanning software after doing the Mavericks update on the computer.  The reason is for that is that the Epson drivers aren't yet available for the new update so I'm finding another way to scan.

30 October 2013

Gecko improvements!

Now this is the reason for doing the new easy block tatting page.  I decided it was about time I re-visited this little gecko guy and try and improve the pattern.  I'll try and get it finished and on the pattern page as soon as possible - just need to check links and get it 'up there'.  

It was while working this first little guy that I decided to fiddle with the joins in the block tatting so here he is - gecko number 1 and he is made using Rainbow Taffy number 153 with beads in the centres of the body SR's.  

This is one of my favourite threads and I'm going to play with others so sit back and expect a glut of geckos!!!

29 October 2013

Last 4 of the season!

I'm going to list the last four Tatting Tidy pots today here in my Etsy shop.  These are the last of this season and I'll see how they go before I make anymore!!  The sewing machine has been put away for the winter so it'll only be 'emergency' stuff made over the next few months!!!

I'll still be making the Wrap It, Flip It, and Mark It bookmarks as I still think they're a stonking GREAT idea.  In fact Nick's still using his and mine's been in constant use since BC3 invented them.

For those who haven't seen them before.  The tape wraps round the back of the book and the marker is 'flipped' in so it marks your place.  The beauty of these bookmarks is that they can't get lost and it's also very difficult to lose your place as the motif stays in place.  

I like (personally) the snowflake types myself but I can do smaller critters if asked.  Always very difficult to 'guess' at what people might like!!

28 October 2013

'New' (?) Technique

Well, not sure if it's new but it's an answer to a problem that's annoyed me for ages.  
I'm currently testing and improving an old pattern of mine which has a lot of block tatting in it.  I'm bone, bone idle and hated the way block tatting used to be done 'in days gone by' by switching shuttles and turning the work round.  That's why the new way appealed to me greatly and it's the way I always use now.

BUT I didn't like the regular lock join on the return chain as it always seemed ugly to me.  So, fiddling around the other evening I found a better way to do it.

The ordinary lock join works fine on the 'odd numbered' rows but NOT on the even ones.  So off went BC3 with me tagging along behind to see if a better way could be found.  It worked - BC3 found the answer!!!  This new idea is SOOOOO easy and doesn't interrupt the flow of work at all.

I decided after a few false starts that the best thing to do was just start again from scratch with a whole new set of drawings and text too instead of trying to update the block tatting page.  So here's the link to the easy block tatting page with the new join.  I've no idea if this is going to be useful or not or if anybody's worked this out before but that's of no concern to me.  

All I know is that it kept me out of trouble for several hours and that's the best medicine that Nick could ask for - a quiet OG!!!

26 October 2013

Boxes, little boxes!

Now these little boxes are as rare as hen's teeth to find - well, for me!!!  They're OK just as they are but of course I can never, ever leave things alone and always 'see' tatting involved!!!!  They're sturdy little things so worth some effort to 'tat them up'!!!!!

Here are two I had two years ago and what I finally did with them.

More on what happens to these over the next week or so!!!!

25 October 2013

Sadness is ........

The cardboard middle of a ball of thread!!!  Specially when it's one of your favourites - RIP dear Lizbeth Rainbow Taffy.  

Good job I've got another one, isn't it?  As the song goes 'Always look on the bright side of life'!!!!

24 October 2013

Another celtic snowflake

Here's another of the Celtic type of snowflakes I've made for presents - just like the one I did yesterday.

Threads used are Lizbeth 664 (Ocean Teal) and 125 (Sea Scape).

You can see again the difference between the ball and the actual tatted piece.  The best place to judge what a thread will look like is by the little butterfly that Barb puts next to the colour on the Handy Hands site OR look in her gallery here.

Having done these two flakes I'm now in the mood to open each of my new Lizbeth balls to try them out!!  I need a pattern, though and I think I know which one I'm going to use!!!  It'll serve as a dual purpose - I need to check out the instructions and maybe even do new drawings as this may have been designed before I took the big step from Microsoft to Apple.

Oh, how I mathered over that step for years but I'm SOOOOO glad I did it.  OK, it cost a lot to make the move but by now I'd have had to replace a PC as I do rather 'over use' them.

The iMac?  Well it's working as well as the day I bought it and I LOVE it.  No, I've NOT been offered a job in an Apple store (don't you just LOVE the atmosphere in those stores - both here in England and in the U.S.A.) but am just a happy old git!!

23 October 2013

Sort of Celtic snowflake

This is the first of a couple I'm making for presents.  Also this post follows on from yesterday as I'm using Lizbeth Rainbow Splash (number 184) for the main colour.  It still doesn't look as good on my photo as it does in 'real life'.  It does really zingadingding.  I've also used Mocha Brown Light (number 690) with 'random' beads!!!

Don't the two parts of this pattern look funny on their own?  Put them together and look what happens down on the third picture.  No sewing, no hassle!!!!   Oh, the pattern is here if you want it.  Rings, chains and a few SR's plus beads thrown in.

It's also easy to extend the 'arms' of the snowflake by an extra ring and chain at each point.  Must try that again some day!!!
Part 1
Part 2
Both together!

22 October 2013

NEVER judge a book by it's cover!!!

Now when my wonderful box of threads arrived from Handy Hands recently I must admit that I was a tad disappointed when I opened it and saw the Rainbow Splash that I'd suggested.  It didn't look half as pretty on the ball.  More to come on Rainbow Splash in a day or two.

I then took myself in hand and reminded my other half (BC3) of something that happened a few months ago.  An online friend who was then running an online craft store here in the UK emailed me to say that she was selling the business and did I want any Lizbeth threads at a reduced price.  Well I had a look and bought £20.00 worth (to get free postage) and was pleased when they arrived - having chosen carefully, of course.

Life moved on for another month or so and she wrote again to tell me that she'd just got a few left and that they were even more reduced.  I looked and thought for a while about the colours left.  None really appealed to me.  Anyway, I thought 'what the heck' and ordered the rest of her stock.  I realised that they'd come in useful for trying out new ideas anyway.  Well, when they arrived they weren't as bad as I thought they'd be - in fact they were delicious.  So I'm now firmly convinced that you can't judge a ball by it's looks!!!

This is Rainbow Splash on the ball.  Wait til you see it made up.  Your eyes will pop!

21 October 2013

Done and dusted.

I just HAD to try the Fandango Coaster again to see what would happen with the centre when four motifs all the same colours were joined together!!!  Now I know.  A pretty flower emerges.  Oh, I love surprises like this.  Now who thought I'd designed this with that in mind?  Wish I was as clever as that but now I can 'see' what's happened it's given me other ideas!!!!

So, finally I took BC3 in hand yesterday and told him this pattern just HAD to be finished and put on the internet.  We both spotted a couple of missing abbreviations and (if you've been following) you'll know how many times I've worked this pattern and I STILL had something not quite right.  These are the times you saw it being worked but believe me - there are at least four trials that went in the bin before that!!

Whooops, before I forget and wander off to start another Monday - here's the link.

19 October 2013

Winding shuttles

It never fails to mildly amuse me when I occasionally watch Youtube tatting videos and I see people poking the end of their thread through the hole in the centre of a post shuttle or a hole in a bobbin to wind them.  This is also suggested in many written instructions too.  

Mind, worst is when the learner is told to to wind the shuttle, cut the thread away from the ball and then TIE the two ends together!!!! Yes, cut and then tie the ends together!!!!!  Anyway, as usual I digress yet again.

Why does it amuse me poking ends through holes?  Well, being a lazy OG I worked out years ago that there's a much easier way!!!  I just do a slip knot and stick that round the  whole shuttle (or bobbin).  Then I wind away from the knot to tighten it and that's how I wind ALL shuttles.  

Well I'd better show you what I'm talking about so here are some pictures.

First the slip knot.
 Then put round the shuttle (post or bobbin).
 Tightened up.
 Wind against the knot.  This way is also easy to take off when you've finished too as you pull the short end and it should open up the slip knot!!

18 October 2013

Four Fandango coasters

Here we are - now I've got four joined together.  I'm still calling this the Fandango Coaster as one is just right for that purpose.  Four together is just me playing really!!!!

What's interesting is the pattern formed in the middle of the four.  This would show up even more if I'd not changed the colours on the different motifs.  Maybe I'll start another set of four!!!

I will definitely get this pattern up over the weekend so you should get notice of it early next week.  I've just got to sort out a few last hiccups!!!!  

17 October 2013

A new elephant

I'm so pleased to announce the arrival of a new elephant on my web site.  I fell totally and utterly in love with this guy when I first saw him a few years ago in a tatting newsletter.

It's owner and breeder is Geraldine who I met in town a few weeks ago.  Poor woman had hardly time to start nattering when I asked her if I could host this critter of hers.  Isn't he great?  I've put him in the guest designer's section but here's the direct link.

What I'm really looking forward to is seeing what she comes up with next.  If you want to contact her then her email address is at the bottom of the pattern.

16 October 2013

Another Fandango and Facebook problems!!!!

Interesting experience over the past two days.  I've been bumped off a Facebook tatting group because I remarked on two patterns published there which are still under copyright.  Nobody has told me that I've been bumped and I've applied to join again.  I'm stubborn!!!!

The group blatantly has this at the top of the page:-
"In this group you can publish any tatting pattern, for sharing with other Fairies".

One of the 'offending images' was a pattern from a Mark Myers book.  If anybody else is in the group please will you back me up on what's going on there?  I've no time for people who publish other people's patterns which are still being sold in books and are under copyright.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

This time with the Fandango large square I've gone back to plain colours as I now want to see whether two or more can be joined and what that then needs in the way of tweaking the pattern again!!

We'll see how far this plan progresses!!!!

15 October 2013

Sunlit shuttles

When Barb sent me the threads I won in her contest she also included some of the new Sunlit shuttles for me to see and try.  Now I started life in Tat Land with Milward shuttles as they were the only type readily available back when the dinosaurs roamed the land.  Later I changed over to the Aero bobbin shuttles and really never looked at any others until the new Aerlit which I now use along with Aero.
So, when I was asked about the Sunlit shuttles on a comment last week I thought I'd better test them.  My first fear with post shuttles is winding them!!!  I needn't have worried though as Barb has made sure there's an angled end which makes the thread so easy to wind (see pictures below).   Because of this I happily wound the shuttle taking only slightly longer than a bobbin one.

It's a very comfortable shuttle to hold and I put a lot of that down to the raised logo and writing on each side which stops them from slipping in the hand. It measures 2 1/2 inches from end to end of tip which also makes it a comfortable shuttle to hold.  I was impressed with the amount of thread it holds too.  Here are some close up pictures for you.

14 October 2013

2000 post today

Well who would guess that I've had so much to say about making knots in thread over the years?!?!?  I started this blog in May 2006 and am still rabbiting on with BC3 beside me.
Today is my 2,000 post and I'm so grateful to those who follow and comment and thus keep me going!!!!  It's having the blog which keeps me focussed.  I'm very bad at actually getting patterns onto the web site.  I love the creation and putting them together but after that I forget I've done them and sometimes they stay on the computer for months until something or somebody reminds me they're 'there'.  I don't want fame or fortune through this daft hobby - just another idea in my head will do!!!

Looking back at that first post - I had two comments one of which was from our dear friend Gina.  It must've been Gina that persuaded me to start blogging as she'd been blogging for three years at that time.  In fact it must've been around that time that I first met her at Palmetto Tat Days.  Lovely memories but so sad she's not here to talk to anymore.

This is a pair of earrings she gave me at our last meeting in Cincinnati.

12 October 2013

Inside the boxes

I will announce on Facebook when I've listed the Pop A Bobbin shuttles later today.  Hope that helps.

So, first I'll show you the balls of thread that I won from Handy Hands.  Here are just a few of the colours but all these are 'new to me'.  I asked for a lot of repeats as I get through so many.

Now for shuttles.  Can you see the new Aerlit ones with the 'hint of a tint' coloured bobbins?  They're SOOOO classy.
The colourful small ones are Barb's new Sunlit shuttles which (for me) would be wonderful teaching shuttles.  Only problem with that idea is that I doubt I'll EVER be able to part with them cause they're just SOOOO pretty.  Playing with them I couldn't resist doing an H H for Handy Hands!!!!!  I'm a big kid at heart!!

11 October 2013

Guess what's in here?

No prizes as this is just an ENORMOUS tease and I'm sure you'll all be able to guess anyway!!!!  

This box arrived yesterday and when I opened it I found the boxes in the box. 

No, you'll have to 'tune in' tomorrow to see what's inside the boxes in the box although you can guess what it is from the writing on them and the two balls on top!!!  There was more than just those boxes but again you'll have to wait!!!

10 October 2013

Change of plan for shuttles

I'm going to have to change the plan on the shuttles for Saturday.  I suddenly remembered that my family are coming over so I might not remember to set them going at 8 in the evening!!!! 

So, I think I'm going to just take pot luck and list them when I remember at some point in the early afternoon before everything gets out of hand.  This only means that I'll not be around to pick up on any problems - not that there are ever any. 

As nobody (including me!) will know what time to look in the Etsy shop it might be fairer too.  Comments welcome.

New in oiled shuttles are the Sycamore below.

9 October 2013

Shuttles and purple!!

Mainly today's post is to let you all know that there will be more shuttles in the Etsy shop on Saturday.  Eight o'clock in the evening (20.00 hours) and that's BST (British Summer Time).  This time I've got

AFRIMOSA       $28.00 each
EUCALYPTUS    $28.00 each
SYCAMORE      $28.00 each
IROKO            $28.00 each
YEW               $28.00 each
OAK               $28.00 each

Here's another of the Fandango squares which would make lovely coasters.  I'm still tweaking although you won't probably be able to 'spot the difference'!!!!  Not sure what I think about the variegated on this sample.  I'm in two minds about this.  One mind says yes and t'other says no!!!  Neither mind is related to BC3 - just in case you wondered!!!

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Happy Beaks

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