13 May 2016

Another day - another round!

Well I'll be honest - this took me two days to do!!! It's going well although there's quite a bit of re-writing and drawing but that's good - keeps me busy.

I'm enjoying avoiding the variegated threads and am using the same colour on both shuttles too. 'They' say a change is as good as a rest and that's proving to be the case with the doily obsession!!!

12 May 2016

Another diversion!

Diverted again!!! This time by comments left on this blog.

I just love making the Fandango doilies and have another on the go at the moment. As I've said before - they're useful to have to work on while I'm at craft groups nattering!!!!

This time I was asked if I could do a square Fandango doily. Well I'd forgotten that I'd already done one here. Having looked at it again I realised that this isn't what the person who suggested it really wanted but I thought I could use the centre part. So, here it is - the new 'not so new' centre. The next round will NOT be like the other one so it'll all need re-writing and drawings copied and altered accordingly. 

That should keep me out of mischief for a few days!!!

10 May 2016


This may not look a lot different to yesterday's post except that I've been experimenting with stitch counts. Bain of my life is 'how many' or how few doubles do I need!!! 

Maybe it will look better in a different thread?  Ah, I know what's wrong - it's still the centre. 

Back to the shuttles - I feel another idea coming over me!!!

9 May 2016

No, no, no - this WON'T do.

Well it was meant to be a hexagon motif. I WANTED A HEXAGON. Simple you may think. Why didn't it work out? Lack of BC3 in the right frame of mind at the time and it all went wrong, wrong, wrong.

I've now recovered from that disappointment and decided to have another go. This time I thought I'd start with the outer row and make a hexagon - HOOORRRAAAAYYYYY. That worked. It's a true hexagon too. So, this is called the inside out hexagon. Well - at the moment. 

See the centre? Pretty awful so it's going to be 'back to the drawing board for a while. To make it I used a lock chain, a chain, a vsp, a chain, a vsp and another lock chain again. Totally NOT happy with that idea!!!

7 May 2016

Happy whatever to ME!!!

Now, why that subject for today's manic ramblings? Any guesses?

Well, here's the reason. Tomorrow it's the tenth anniversary of starting this blog. Do you realise that I've been rambling on about tatting (mainly!) for ten years now. That's a lot of knots to talk about. Here's the link to that first post.

I've also managed to achieve around 2,714 posts with 1,233,339 page views. Not that these figures mean anything as all I want to do is talk tatting!!!!

Tittle tattle tatting talk!!!!  Right - off to play with shuttles again!

6 May 2016

Sew time goes on

Having finished the owls I decided that I really rather enjoyed 'straining the brain' to make them and that foundation piecing needn't be QUITE as complicated as they were. So I searched the good old internet and found a lovely log cabin pattern here.

I needed something relatively easy to plod along with and really wanted to use the fabric I've got in a creative way. Do other people 'suffer' like I do with having lovely fabric/threads/beads/wool to play with but then thinking that each new project 'needs' a new purchase? 

Anyway, I resisted the urge to re-stock with more fabric (fortunately our house is small and we're limited on storage space) and started off making the first few coasters. That's what I wanted to make - coasters or mug rugs or whatever you want to call them.

After I'd done the three below I decided that 12 was a good number to make so that meant I could cut out 9 more, sew them and by then I would be bored. Well, we'll see how things work out!!!

Meantime I'm tatting away on another new motif AND a square Fandango mat. Life ain't boring!!!

4 May 2016

Here we go,

Here we go, here we go. Yes another start to another Fandango doily.

Having started this a week or so ago I've since had a worm placed in my brain by Maureen in a comment a few days ago. She has sort of suggested that it might be a good idea to make a square Fandango doily!!!! 

Thanks, Maureen. Once this one is under way I'll be exploring that idea. The reason for the proliferation of doilies is because they're useful to take with me to the craft meetings I go to. The pattern is easy to remember after the first round has been done - or, even before that.

Meantime I'm working on 'another new idea' which is coming on very well. I''ll start sharing that soon.

3 May 2016


The owls are finished. Took me a bit longer than I expected as I've had a few interruptions in life but, I must add, nice ones.

I'm not really happy with the border as it just didn't 'go right'. I followed the destructions but I did struggle with it. Still it's done and now I need to decide what to do with it - when I find it again!!!!

It has inspired me to want to do more of this type of work so I'll now start looking around for new projects but they'll have to be a bit simpler than this one!!!!

2 May 2016

Pink round 4 finished

All finished on this one now!! 

You're not going to believe this but I've started another one. I need something to do when I go to my craft gatherings (twice a week now) and something that doesn't need a lot of concentration as we talk more than we craft!!!! It's great, though, as we share ideas and expertise especially the knitters and crocheters.

29 April 2016

This is a 'how not to' post

Definitely a post about how not to design!!!! 

As you know I rarely start off with anything drawn or totally 'thought out'.  I 'tat from the heart'. Well, not really as my heart doesn't have fingers!!!! I tat from experience and ideas of what may work and with the benefit of my three remaining brain cells - also known as BC3.  I do study images of a critter if that's what I'm trying to do - particularly cartoon drawings as cartoonists have a way of making images that remove the detail and take your attention to the true basics of an item.

This is how I started off with the peacock.  Well below are some of the pieces  I produced while trying to get what I wanted - others got assigned to the bin.

Now for the 'good news'. I've just got to finish off the pattern page and get it up on my site and you should be able to have it tomorrow. Hopefully you'll see that it's a lot better than the 'trials and tribulations' shown below!!!

28 April 2016

Another round.

This is the third round which is simply a repeat of the first one!!! Not sure why I like this pattern so much but I THINK it's cause it's interesting but easy!!! It's what I 'do' when I can't think of anything new to play with!!!

Actually I do have another new pattern to put on may site and which has been ready for a month or maybe two!!! I'll try and check it out today to see if it's in a fit state to be put on there!!!

27 April 2016

I've got a secret!

Did you know that I've got a secret? My little sister is having a giveaway. Did you know? 

Do you want the link to her blog? Well I expect I'd better share it or you'll all be shouting at me all day!! Here it is.

I'm not going to tell you what it is as you'll have to go there to take part but I'll give you a little, little, teeny tiny clue. Here it is.

26 April 2016

Not quite normal service!

On Mondays and Wednesdays I teach in the local library - Silver Surfers. When we finished at three o'clock yesterday afternoon we got outside and there was a group of Chinese performing in the street outside. Well it was mesmerising. I stayed for around three quarters of an hour just watching. Here is a link to the videos I took.

While I was standing there one of the Chinese assistants gave me a programme and this very pretty little dangle.   There was another leaflet which I wish I'd taken which was about the reason the opera are touring the country.  The Chinese are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the death of Tang Xianzu about whom you can find out more here.

Tomorrow I WILL get back to eating again!!

25 April 2016

Normal service!

Normal tatting will be resumed tomorrow but I simply HAVE to tell you/show you what I've been doing this past weekend. As you all know it's been the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death so the town has been busy and it's been a load of fun.

Here are a few pictures (below) and a link to the videos I took on Youtube.

Shakespeare live was filmed and shown on the television during the evening.  Proud to be a true Stratfordian?  You BET I AM.  Born and bred here and generations before me.  Can't beat it!!!

23 April 2016

No post today!!

Sorry but no post today - the town's going to be BUZZING and I want to be part of the buzz. 

We're celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death (he was born on the same day too) so there will be all sorts of things going on all day. 

Having lived in the town most of my 72½ years I'm determined to enjoy every moment.  Wish me fun!!!!!

22 April 2016

Owl progress!!

Upwards and into the tree - all three owls are now safely roosting where they should be.

I'm now dreading the next part - hate finishing off things!!! The borders have to be put on but they also include part of the picture which 'overlaps' into it. 

Can you see my best friend sitting there on the table? A LARGE cup of tea!!!! An OG cannot work without a regular supply of tea!!!

21 April 2016

Silver baubles

Another bauble has been made!!! 

This is another one made with the Altin Basak thread which is called Nakis Simi.  This is one of my favourite metallic threads. Also it's very, very cheap to buy in that one spool goes a long, long, LONG way. 

In this bauble I've managed to enclose the rib ends in the final round - thus eliminating the need to sew them in. All I needed to do was sew in the shuttle, chain threads. Win, win situation!!!

20 April 2016

Pink Fandango Doily - more progress.

Back to the pink Fandango doily and another round added. I'm afraid I can see this addiction lasting a long time although BC3 is thinking of another idea. Something I've been wanting to do for ages. Wonder if it'll work?!?!

19 April 2016

Tatting at Churchdown

I think it was last week I mentioned that I was going to put on my big girls pants and drive out of my comfort zone which is roughly ten miles from home!!! There's a big line around the town ten miles out which is where I normally start to panic and worry. Well Saturday I broke the barrier and escaped my trap!!! 

I set off in snow showers and arrived (one wrong turning only) in plenty of time and sunshine!! It was a really great day - Linda (who I met up with in Canada at the Fringe Element tat days) had organised a great day with some lovely, lovely people. Plenty of cake, tea and coffee too. 

She'd asked me to teach techniques - starting with the split ring, self closing mock ring and pearl tatting. I'd prepared lots of shuttles with size 10 thread and the students I had were really fast learners. Also at the event was Joelle (aka La Cossette on Etsy) who brought some of her amazing work. It was good to meet up with her and all the others too.  Now I'm wondering if I'll be able to go to other places over my ten mile boundary now.  You can't beat a satnav for helping an OG to break her nemesis!!!!

18 April 2016

I'm getting overrun with mice!!!!

I'm pleased to say, I might add. 

Today I'm going to introduce you to Jennine's mouse first. Now this is one very strange mouse with his very 'different' eyes. I'm not going to tell you what Jennine says - you'll have to check this link to find out or go to the Exclusive Tatting Club page and scroll down. I'll share ONE of her pictures, though!!!

Not long after Jennine's mouse had settled into the Exclusive Club Kathie's mouse arrived. Again I'm not going to tell you what she said but I now realise that Lodi must've been overrun with mice too!!! Here's her picture.

16 April 2016


Although I know I've added the pattern to the web site I forgot to show you the final (well for me) round of the green (ish) Fandango doily. When I say 'final for me' I mean at the moment I think that's as far as I'm going to go!!! I'm really chuffed with this pattern as it's a 'go further or not' one - just a shame I haven't bothered to block it yet!!!! 

Whilst writing this post it also reminded me that I'd not yet uploaded the link from the Motifs and Snowflakes page either.  I've now done that.  

15 April 2016

Another bauble bell

I'm definitely going great guns on bell production. I've even found a really easy way to hide the ribs in the final row AND add beads to them too. BUT I've got another idea for adding more beads to that final row too.

Hope to be back shortly with the next addition.

By the way - the top is a very small metal split ring which I've covered with tatting before adding the ribs and then continuing the bell. Small ideas make for a fun piece to make.  I do have an idea to make more and more of these in this wonderful metallic thread but we'll see.  

13 April 2016

A new mouse.

If you've got time I suggest you pop over to the Exclusive Club to see the latest mouse from Ginny. Like Ginny I had a hard time figuring out how to do these baubles the first time and find I have to return to them every so often just to refresh my memory. 

Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!!! I actually really, really love making them!!!

Here's Ginny's picture but you'll have to go to the club to see what she says. 

12 April 2016

It's ready

Finally got my act together and the Fandango Rectangular Doily is now available.

Where? Why here, of course!!!! Below is the first round of the pinkish one and I'm still working on the last (?) round of the green one. It's good to have choices, isn't it?

11 April 2016

Off on my travels

Well, not that far but in my little brain it's a LONG WAY. 

Silly as it may sound - I can get on planes and go wherever I like but getting in a car and driving to places is something I just don't do. I have a fear of getting lost which is ridiculous when nowadays we have satnav etc. I also in the past used to worry about breaking down but that isn't really relevant now as we've got a car with all four wheels (sorry, five) and an engine that appears to work.

Anyway, I met a tatter in Canada called Linda and she's from Gloucester.  We've been emailing and phoning since then. She arranges the Gloucester Tatting Day which is next Saturday and kindly asked me if I'd go along to teach. Well this was a few weeks ago and I said 'yes'. This will be my first foray to a tatting group in England for around twenty years. I don't hear about them anymore since I don't belong to any group or have any means of finding out. Being a grumpy OG that's probably a good thing!

So next Saturday morning I'll be off. Now, I do hope it doesn't turn out like my dream last night. In that I arrived safely but was still wearing my bedroom slippers I was SO embarrassed. I then went to the loo and afterwards, because the event was held in a HUGE school, I couldn't find my way back to the classes. I missed EVERYTHING.  What a silly dream.  

9 April 2016

Up, up and away!!!

This is just so exciting and absorbing. I'm really enjoying the whole experience. The dark blue background is fabric that I've had for years and which was always being kept for 'something special' cause I liked it so much!!! 

The other brighter colours are from my stash too. In fact, so far, I've not had to go and buy anything for the owls. That's got to be good as it means I'm running down my stash of fabric.

Now, don't get worried - tatting is still ongoing and I'm now nearly finished on the final round of the green doily and have done a little more to the pink. I'm hoping to get the pattern finished off and on the web site over the weekend. Least that's the plan unless the owls tempt me away!!!!

8 April 2016

New hobby!

As promised I'm going to tell you about my new excursion into foundation piecing. Now I've only ever done hand sewn patchwork and hadn't a clue what piecing was all about.  This is another of the useful links I found.

On a wonderful excursion into the wilds of Canada (somewhere near Toronto) I was taken to a quilt shop. I don't think I've ever seen so many fabrics and such inspiring work as I did that day. Well, Ruth (one of my hostesses) bought an owl kit (top picture below) and I looked and looked at it and thought and thought about it before thinking 'why not'? So, I bought one too.

Since last October I've read and read the destructions (yes I meant to put that word!) and it got more and more confusing in my brain. There's a practice piece and along with a couple of Youtube videos and knowing that Ruth would be five hours behind me in Canada on the other end of an email I started on the practice.

My first attempt was dire. Yes, dire. Really hadn't got the hang of it at all. So, what did I do? Well, made another template from the master and had another go. 

Well, I did email Ruth AND watched videos again before starting the second one.  That's underneath the kit picture.  First there's the right side and then the wrong - you can see I've taken the paper out.  Great tip from Ruth was to set the stitch length to 1.5 on the machine to make it easier to get the papers out.  More soon on my progress.

7 April 2016


Even though I haven't finished the doily I'm working on in greens I've started another one - in pinks and browns!!! Again I'm using size 40 thread.  Just love to sit and make things without writing it down and agonising over stitch counts and 'possibilities' as I go along!!!  

I will get round to putting the pattern up on my site soon but I've been sidetracked once more by a new hobby. I'm hoping to show you - starting tomorrow. 

This is something that is taking me waaaay out of my comfort zone but thanks to my dear Canadian friend - I am now getting 'sorted' and am getting to that stage when you say to yourself 'why have I never tried this before'?

More tomorrow.

6 April 2016

You never know

No, you never know what's 'round the corner'. I know I'm 'round the bend' and I accept that but I'm glad I don't know what's round the corner or it may make life a bit boring.

Yesterday was a morning of sewing with friends at Lifeways down the road (see picture below with our patchwork whatever) followed by my latest project (more to be revealed soon - IF you're all good!!! 

I finished another session on the project in the afternoon and then came in from the conservatory to check my emails. I found one from my daughter with a link. I was somewhat 'gobsmacked' when I read the link.  Lucy hasn't been with The Pool for long (bragging time - she's deputy editor) but she's obviously told them about me!!! Poor souls. I was so overcome when I read it. Thanks, Lucy. Does this make me a cult leader, though? I hope not!!!!  Too much responsibility for an old git like me.

5 April 2016

Another few days and another

Another round of the green doily in size 40.  Not a lot else for me to say, really!!!!

4 April 2016

Branching out with baubles

Are you getting bored with baubles? Sorry if you are but I'm still addicted to them so you're just going to have to 'suffer'!!! 

I decided that it was about time I started on a 'good idea' that's been lurking with BC3 for some time!!! This 'good idea' needs the bauble bells to be made in silver and gold thread. I'd never got on too well with metallic threads until I bought some Altin Basak - Nakis Simi many years ago from Tatting and Design. They still have that thread and the link above takes you to the page. All you have to do is go to the bottom to find it. 

I've used it oodles of times and still have oodles left on the cones I bought. I think this is the best value I've ever had for thread. It tats up like a dream and is as tough as you could ever wish.

The thread is used in the bells at the bottom.  

2 April 2016

Fandango doily round 1 size 40

Here's the first round of this new doily. I'm loving these colours so much more than the last doily. I'm EVEN following the pattern closely too - checking up carefully on BC3 as we all know what he's like for making mistakes!!! 

One day I'll write the perfect pattern but I'm not telling anybody when that will happen as I've doubts it ever will!!!

Saturday today and the weather is getting a bit warmer. Soon be time to get the sewing machine out but meantime experiments with baubles are continuing - more on that over the next few weeks.

1 April 2016

What a hoot!!!!

Another small diversion (an Amigurumi owl!!) which I no longer own!!! Both this one and the previous monkey returned home with two delightful grandchildren yesterday.   Here's the pattern I used.

This should be the last of the Amigurumi until next winter as it's now getting a little warmer here in my neck of the woods and I'm just dying to get to the sewing machine and sit in the conservatory to play there!!!

This isn't perfect but I must say I enjoyed the new challenge. Interestingly I didn't learn to crochet until I was around 32. Nearly twenty years after I learned to tat!!! Shame and a good book made me give it a whirl!!!  So glad I did.

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Happy Beaks

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