7 September 2016

Up a mountain

Yesterday we went up Stone Mountain which is near Atlanta.  It is an amazing place.  A huge lump of granite rising out of the ground rather like Ayers Rock.

Very hot up at the top but spectacular views.  It was a bit hazy but you could just see Atlanta in the distance.  We did NOT walk to the top in case you were wondering!  We took the cable car up.

Later in the day we picked up Nine from the airport and she stayed with us at Sandra's overnight too.  We went to eat at the Flying Biscuit - one of my favourite places.  The biscuits are wonderful.

Today we're picking up Karey from the airport and are off to Toccoa where Tat Days fun begins.  Wifi there is pretty flakey and I'll be kept pretty busy so you may not hear much over the next few days.


Pleased to announce that the suitcase arrived at Sandra's eight hours after it landed. 

We were beginning to wonder whether the contents were causing concern for customs but all is well!

The tatting bags, brooches and bracelets I've brought to sell at Tat Days are all fine too. I just hope I sell lots so I can afford to go home!!!!

We're off to Stone Mountain today and yesterday we went to the botanical gardens which were fanflippingtastic. Pictures below if I've inserted them properly!

6 September 2016

Arrived safely

In Atlanta. That's the good news!

Now for the not so good news. An emergency trip had to be made to Walmart (thank you, Sandra) to buy the 'bare essentials'. Why? Well my luggage including all my tatting for Tat Days decided to stay in Frankfurt! Not a happy bunny.

Hope to be reunited with it later today. Walmart and Sandra are my saviours!  Least baggage claim knew where it was and we're now tracking it online.  This is the third time my luggage has gone AWOL over the years but before it's been on the way home!

5 September 2016

Watch out

America here I come. 

Hopefully by the time you read this (if you bother!) I will be on the way. Leaving home at 'silly o'clock'.  When this post goes live I'll probably be dithering between flights in another country. Well, that's not true - it'll be more like dashing. 

I've got an hour and a half between the two flights and if it works out like last year it's a heck of a dash if I have to get to another hub. This may entail a train ride again too. That plus security!! 

I played the 'old git' card last year and the very, very kind people in the queue at security let me go ahead as they could see I would probably be slower than them and the information board was already flagging that my next flight was boarding.

Anyway - will try and blog a few times while I'm away but meanwhile enjoy the break from my ramblings.

2 September 2016

Blue bracelet

Before I start - I have number 91 in the TIAS 2016.  Here's the link to see Kathleen's rabbit!

This blog maybe quiet for a couple of weeks. Who was that who said 'hooray'? I'll try to post while I'm away but it's unlikely1!!!

Of course, once the doodads had been 'sourced' from within the confines of the tatting cupboard it was easier to make another bracelet to go with the blue earrings than to put everything away again!! Tell me - why is it always so easy to get things out of a cupboard and always SO hard to make yourself put the remains away TIDILY?

So here is the blue bracelet. It's really, really simple - the rings are 2 - 1 join to the doodad and the chains are 3 vsp 3. You join the rings with a bead and continue to the outer round which is simply a lock chain joining to the previous 'normal' chain. Oh, the lock chain is 3, lock join, 3. It's not rocket science!!!

Anyway - because I thought people may not have doodads I did another version which replaced the metal part but was designed round a bead. Here's the link.

1 September 2016

Green bracelet

Back a few years ago I went through a 'doodad' phase and every so often the urge to play with doodads returns!!! 

When I was packing to travel the other day I realised that I didn't have 'quite the right' bracelet to go with these pairs of earrings. So off I went into the tatting cupboard to find my doodads of which I seem to have many thanks to this wonderful gift, this one and this one too

Then it was time to play!!! More tomorrow, folks!!!!

31 August 2016

Pattern now available

Things take time. I'll admit that I finished this a few weeks ago but then both forgot I'd done it and also kept running out of time. 

Also my problem is that I'm a little bit loath to part with a pattern until I've got something else started!!! I've absolutely no idea why - perhaps an all consuming fear that I'll run out of ideas. I also get spaces of time when all I want to do is play with mindless stuff!! Usually once I've started on something straightforward I then get bored and my mind starts to wander and other ideas pop into visit BC3!!! I suffer for my craft, you know!!!

30 August 2016

Another and another!

This time I have another octopus (no worrying about the plural today!!!) and a seahorse. 

Ms Anonymous sent these in.  I've been asked not to say who as she's planning a surprise!!!  

The seahorse pattern is here if you should want it. Looking at it - it's a pattern that needs a re-write by the look of it. That's something which is now on my 'to do' list. 

On that list is the Christmas snowflake (which is started) and the next TIAS which isn't started!!!!

29 August 2016

Two whatever you want to call them!

The subject was going to be 'Two Octopuses' but then I thought perhaps it should be 'Two Octopi' so off I went in search of what Mr Google said. I came back even more confused as you can see from this link!!

Anyway, these guys came from Tine who made them from the pattern you can find here.

Looking at the date on this pattern it makes me realise how time flies.

26 August 2016

Butterflies again

Another butterfly doily finished - my excuse is that I wanted to check the stitch count again but in all honesty - I just enjoyed making it.

This one is made with a size 40 thread. 

I'm afraid blog posts maybe a bit scarce and spasmodic for a while. I really need to focus on making the trip over the pond or I'll end up in America with no clothes!!! 

All tatting supplies (for my lessons) plus the tatting bags, brooches and a few bracelets that are going in the vending room are in the suitcase, but I can't seem to get motivated to sort out clothes.

24 August 2016

Fandango square again

Finally got this Fandango Doily finished and it will be going with me to America. In fact it's already sitting in my suitcase with Georgia's name on it as it's going into the auction.  Actually I know a secret - a BIG secret about the auction but I'M NOT GOING TO TELL.  It's something that's being auctioned but I'M NOT GOING TO TELL.  Did you hear that?  I'm not going to tell so it's no use you asking!!!!!  

This doily is done in a size 40 thread and actually looks a lot better in 'real life' than it does here. That's not unusual, though, is it?

I think I've now got all the tatting stuff packed - I leave in about ten days time but next week is going to be MANIC for me as I deal with some ongoing personal 'stuff'. Nothing serious, I assure you, but stuff that can only be dealt with by me with some quite odd decisions to be made. Considering that I'm a real ditherer this will be hard to accomplish!!!  I can dither for England, I'll have you know!!!

23 August 2016

Something I've been thinking about.

Back when I started tatting in 1956 the only patterns I could get hold of were the old Coats (well, of course, they were new then!) and Penelope leaflets. 

The patterns in there were what I assumed tatting was all about and they kept me quiet for many years. Occasionally I would do a large project and the amount of thread needed was always stated as 'one ball' or 'two balls' of thread.

Sixty years on and people now want the exact amount of thread needed given in the pattern. This is soooooo annoying to me as it does take considerable effort (poor old BC3) to work out how much is needed and then to remember that people's tensions may vary and they may need more or less.   Even more frustrating as thread now costs much the same as it did 'back then' but was to me very expensive when I had to save up pocket money for it.

I struggle to add this to my patterns as I honestly don't see the point of this unless there is only a small amount of thread left on a shuttle or ball. 

I find, personally, that I get more leftovers that are too small to use by using stated amounts and would far rather not have the hassle of feeling I need to give quantities on a pattern. Having said that - I will do my best to continue to provide this - unless it's a doily!!!!

This is, I suppose a contradictory post but that's how discussions between myself (the semi rational part) and BC3 go!!!!  Happy Tuesday, folks!!!!

22 August 2016

Fandango butterfly doily sorted!!!

Well I think it's sorted!!! I like the finishing round which is simple but holds the whole thing together.

Now I really, really 'need' to get the pattern done and uploaded. That, as you know, takes a lot of doing - not that it's hard - it's just fiddly remembering to put in all the links and to put the images in the right place!!!! 

Instead of talking about it - perhaps I ought to just 'do' it!!!

19 August 2016

Another bauble!!

This time (and with the same thread) I've added beads to the ribs. In this case there are only six ribs and I've finished it off with beads too. 

This is a slower process - adding beads to the ribs but I do like it. Maybe I'll try a bell with ribs on the beads (I mean, beads on the ribs) next time. 

18 August 2016

Now for a bauble!

Still using up the odds and ends and now playing with one of my favourite techniques. The lovely bauble which was originally 'invented' by the late Bobbie Demmer and taken to new heights by the Houtz brothers as most of you will all know. Am I teaching you to suck eggs like you do to grandmother?!?!?

This is a ten rib bauble and at the moment I'm undecided over how to finish it off. I'm 'thinking' beads on the ribs which is, I must admit my favourite way to finish these off!!!

17 August 2016

A heart and a motif

More using up of the threads on the EZ-Bobs and I just LOVE the top one although I've no idea who's HDT it is!!!! It's a lovely colour way to work with too.

The bottom one is back to the last of the snowflake HDT from Yarnplayer. 

The patterns are the recently updated hearts (3 of them) which can be found here and this little motif which is here.

16 August 2016

Back to the Fandango butterfly

I wanted to see the Fandango butterfly as a mini doily so I started back on the 'butterfly adventure'!!!

First of all the design needed a flower for the butterflies to sit on. So, here is the mini doily - so far!!!!  

Naturally, and being me,I'm not happy with it one bit. OK, the stitch count works but it looks sort of 'bare' round the outside. I've got an idea for that 'on the shuttles' at the moment. Just hope it works out!

15 August 2016

Updated hearts pattern

While I've been playing with 'odds and ends' of threads I also thought it maybe a good opportunity to check another of my 'old' patterns out. 

This is the one I've now sorted into my more 'modern' method of annotation. I've now added the instructions for those who like front side tatting too and actually changed everything except the stitch count which would've been dangerous as the design worked well as it was.

13 August 2016

A bauble

As I mentioned yesterday I found another EZ-Bob with Yarnplayer's HDT on so that had to be used!!!! I decided that if I used a plain thread for the ribs then I'd probably have enough for a bauble. 

When I got halfway through this one I decided to make rings using the chain thread.  The rings give the design a sort of 'skirt'.  It's very hard to take photos of these baubles so I apologise for the pictures. 

Anyway, the adventure didn't stop there as I ran out of thread on the chain shuttle but still had plenty left on the shuttle shuttle (core thread). I wound some off that and onto the chain shuttle and, using a knotless join, continued on my merry way. I'm really pleased with this little guy and it would've made a lovely earring - IF I'd written down the stitch counts!!!!

Oh, I still had enough left to make another SCMR butterfly.

12 August 2016


Actually there are three butterflies (one escaped the scanner) but then I discovered another EZ-Bob with some more Snowflake HDT on it!!! So, I have another project underway which I will show you soon.

These little butterflies (along with any others that may happen) will go to a very worthy cause. What's that? I hear you ask. 

Well I know that the Palmetto Tatters take a pitch at the South Carolina State Fair in October. They collect butterflies and other small tatted items to share with the thousands of fair goers. There can never be enough to give away so these will help out a bit. If you've got any little tatty bits then they'd be glad to have them. Contact details can be found here.

11 August 2016

More 'bits and pieces'.

Well after just three of the Fandango hearts I got bored so started in on the Tiny Star pattern.

As you can see below - that top one is the original but I got fed up with that and decided to play with stitch counts. The next one down just didn't work - too cramped so that little star is going nowhere except the bin!!!

The other two are much better and the last one is, I think, the best of all. Now I've got just over a yard of thread on each shuttle so you'll have to see what I make with that tomorrow - I do NOT waste thread!!!!

Oh I do know what this thread is called too - it's 'Snowflake' from Yarnplayer.  Least that's what it says on the EZ-Bob it's come off so I hope it's right!!!

10 August 2016

Bad news

After the tatting doldrums (which are slowly lifting) I have some bad news. 

I'm not sure how to tell you this but I don't think BC3 will be quite as good in the future due to his loss. Sad, but true.

Now I expect you're wondering what's happened.  Well, due to me traveling over the pond shortly and also having found I'd got a loose tooth I took myself off to the 'tooth fairy' yesterday.  Some people call them dentists but I call mine a tooth fairy.  I'm afraid she's partial to collecting MY teeth. 

Anyway between us we decided that this loose wisdom tooth had to go into her collection.  I'd benefited from this particular tooth for many, many years (the old body is now 72¾) so parting with it was such 'sweet sorrow'.  This will mean that BC3 will be losing a bit of his power due to another piece of wisdom being stolen off him.  Good news is that I still have two wisdom teeth left so he'll have to rely on them for moral support!

Actually I think my lovely dentist (Sally - NOT my sister!) must love my teeth as she's got a fair few of them now and I have a 'nearly naked' part of my mouth. 

9 August 2016

Playing hearts

Did you miss me yesterday? I missed me!!! I'll tell you what the problem is - confession time!!!

I'm in the doldrums. I've got another Fandango square started but that's strictly for traveling with. I tat in the airports - not on the plane - so I'm not 'allowing' myself to do anymore of that. I have the latest one to finish but that will be shown soon.

Over the weekend I decided that I know BC3 pretty well now and his propensity of ignoring my statement that I don't need more threads!!!! I'm sure there will be thread at Tat Days so I thought that IF I was tempted I'd better have a look at my stock to see what I need or don't need. 

I then realised that I couldn't buy anymore thread as I don't have ANY spare EZ Bobs to wind HDT onto. So I reckon the answer is to empty some of those JUST IN CASE I was 'forced' to buy more HDT. That's what I'm doing at the moment.

As I've quite a few EZ Bobs with just a few yards on them I decided I'd empty them and make little things to give away as gifts or to give to people who make cards. Here are just three small Fandango hearts.

6 August 2016

Onwards and onwards.

Looking a bit as if it's drunk at the moment but this is round 3 of the Fandango doily that I'm working on. 

This is in between working more on the butterfly idea but I'm not telling what I'm 'up to' at the moment!!!! That's partly because I'm not really sure myself.

5 August 2016

The reason for the butterflies

Well here you are - the reason for the two butterflies I showed you yesterday. I bought this top from a big chain of shops that are closing down and I love it. Of course with anything new I usually add a bit of tatting to it somewhere!!!! Very pleased with the result.

Now for the pattern. Here's the link to the Fandango Butterfly - hope somebody somewhere will enjoy it.

4 August 2016

Another Fandango butterfly

More butterflies but for a reason. Once I've got them added to the 'reason' I'll show you!!!

I read somewhere the other day that somebody had used this Lizbeth thread with some trepidation. It's not one of my favourite colour ways but I must admit that when worked up it looks a lot better. I was a bit disappointed in these two butterflies UNTIL I put them to their designated use. Hopefully I'll get that finished today and then the pattern should be done too. 

Monday had me chasing my tail trying to organise lots of stuff which has to be done soon. In the MIDDLE of this something urgent cropped up that also had to be dealt with immediately. Now 'they' say women can multi task and I think we'll all agree about that (even men). But there are some days when even that is stretched to it's breaking point!!!

So glad there won't be another Monday until next week!!!

2 August 2016

Colour crisis!!!

Still messing with the Fandango butterfly and am almost ready to put the pattern on the site. Hopefully it'll be ready by the end of the week.

I don't like these colours - must've been a 'bad Jane day' when I chose them.  I've normally got quite a good 'eye' for colour combinations but this time I failed dismally.  

1 August 2016

Got there in the end!!!

I finally finished Mimi's square and this time it actually turned out square which is great progress!!!  Perhaps BC3 is back on form again and is now reading patterns properly!!

I'm still not happy with clunies but am now ready for Mimi's improvement class at Tat Days - that is, if I haven't forgotten how to make them again by then!!!!  Must thank Bernice properly (without teasing) for inspiring me to make this journey.  If she hadn't blogged about the clunies here a week or so ago I would STILL be 'thinking' about doing some before I meet Mimi.  I didn't want to be in the situation of having to do mind boggling things like this mid Atlantic in a panic!

Mine aren't very good even though I did them (as I thought) very, very carefully but at least they're done. Not being a 'fan' of picots I took them out of the outer chains. Didn't want to detract from the sheer simplicity of the pattern. 

30 July 2016

The birth of an idea.

Well, not quite the birth as there were a few labour pains getting this far!!! 

This is the Fandango butterfly. Will it ever end - this obsession with a 'bit of a pattern' that I designed a few years ago? 

I'm hoping to get a few more done to test the stitch count before I put it on my site. So far, so good but there's always room for improvement!!

28 July 2016

Grumbling along

Well the reason for my minor grumble is somebody I'm about to 'name and shame' for getting me involved in the clunies. Not just Mimi (see yesterday's post) but also Bernice from Knotvortex. 

It was this blog post a few days ago (by Bernice) that caught my attention. I thought - well, if Bernice can do it then surely I can too!!!!! 

Well, how wrong, wrong, wrong can you be!!!! It all started off well - but finished quite badly!! I only realised things were going haywire when I noticed I wasn't heading back towards the first cluny!!! That's why mine has turned out to be an inferior rectangular shape instead of a square!!!  Ah well, there was only one thing to do - finish it and mark it down as a 'lesson learnt'. What lesson was that? I can't read patterns.  So, the only thing to do now is kick BC3 up the backside, tell him off and start again!!!!

Least I got lots of practice with the wretched clunies!!!

While I was slogging my way (badly) through this piece I was thinking of all the tatters I see on Facebook who are always asking for quick, simple patterns.  Loads of people only do small things which take an hour or three.  Why do I INSIST on tackling huge projects which sometimes take days, weeks or even months?  Well I think I like the challenge and the pride in something that takes a lot of time (and patience).  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!!!

27 July 2016

About Clunies or whatever they're called.

Personally I've never been attracted to tatting with clunies or tallies. 

Many years ago when I was out and about with Rosemarie Peel we talked about this tatting technique and I remember what she said. She said (and it's stuck in my mind ever since) that clunies belong to bobbin lace. I tend to agree with her and have never been that bothered about trying them.

That is until a magical time in South Carolina about ten or more years ago when I was at a Palmetto Tat Days. I managed to sneak into a lesson by Mimi Dillman on clunies. I was so impressed with the way she taught the lesson so gently and clearly that I 'got' the cluny down. Well, as I said, that was around ten years ago and my last foray into them. 

A few days ago was the day to try them once more. Not a pretty sight, eh?

26 July 2016

Bracelet - purple

Now for a purple one!!! I like this one a LOT. The variegated thread is a Yarnplayer one - probably called pansies and the outer chain thread is a Lizbeth. The beads? Well just suffice to say they're size 11 seed beads and are gorgeous.

I've started on another Fandango based pattern - one which I sort of started before Joanie kindly sent me off on the heart ideas. Not sure if you'll like this next one but I hope to show you some samples in a few days.

25 July 2016

Black and gold bracelet

I couldn't find a way of doing this justice either with the camera or the scanner. 

The problem is that the beads are just SO shiny. 

This is one of two black and gold Starry Button Bracelets I've made to take to Tat Days. They're another addiction as I do love making them.

I also love wearing them too as they keep their shape forever.  That's down to having the buttons as the 'base' and the beads too.  I see so many very pretty bracelets and earrings online and they look gorgeous but I worry that after only a few times of being worn they'll bend and become 'floppy'.

23 July 2016

Back to the Fandango hearts again

My good, good friend Joanie came up with another idea. Remember it was Joanie who'd 'spotted' the heart in the Fandango design. 

I'd sort of thought of doing a bracelet or bookmark but couldn't see the way round adding findings to the dip at the top of the heart. You can see from this remark that BC3 isn't very bright at times!!! 

Well, Joanie rode in on her white horse with a diagram she'd done showing me how it could be done. Why not put two hearts 'head to head' and work from that!!! That lass is a star. 

This is what happened (picture below) and here's the link to the pattern. Yes, it's already finished because BC3 is hot foot away on another idea involving the Fandango!!!

22 July 2016

This is what it's all about

There are very few things in life which really, really annoy me. One of them is blatant theft of copyright which fortunately doesn't affect me very often and the other is Pinterest!!!! There seem to be people who delight in finding ideas there and copying them. Clever of them, I'll admit and necessary if there is no direct link to where to find the pattern but still it's a type of theft.

Hang on - maybe I should use Pinterest to put all my pictures of work done there WITH THE LINKS. Good idea, Jane. BUT life's too short when you're an old git.

Now, what I LOVE about the tatting community is the occasions when somebody finds something of mine that they like and then expands on it. Like Martha has with the Fandango heart. I love that buzz of working with somebody to achieve something that came from BC3. I've updated the original pattern now to add this new idea.

I've done this before with Pamela Myers over the Flamingo and the Meerkat when she's made suggestions and I've said 'you do it' and then I've added her part to the original pattern. It makes for a better product and saves ME from working the original again which, by then, I'm thoroughly bored with!!!!!

21 July 2016

This is what happened next!!!

This is the new bracelet I've made for myself. Least that was the plan!!! I love making this pattern as I just know that it will keep it's shape whatever happens to it. That's including taking a trip or two through the washing machine. No, don't ask how they get there but let me just say - I oughtn't to put them in pockets!!!

Having mislaid my blue starry button bracelet (I'm sure it's somewhere in the house or garden) I decided it was just faster to replace it with another. So on Monday evening I started a new one. 

On Tuesday morning I took it to the craft group where I sold the other two bracelets and another lady asked me what I was doing. I showed her the part made bracelet and she said she liked it a lot. So, this one isn't mine anymore - it's 'spoken for' and will be hers next Tuesday. It's lovely to make to sell particularly when asked for something. 

What am I going to do next? Why - make myself another one just like this!!!

20 July 2016

No apologies!

I refuse to apologise. You can say what you like but I REFUSE!!! 

I need time off from designing new sillies so that I can play and my favourite 'play' pattern at the moment is the Fandango square. 

I started this one a few weeks ago before the hearts were born but forgot to scan the centre and round one. This is where I was a few days ago. 

BUT I have also been playing with another heart idea too and that's getting towards completion as well. Busy, busy, busy old tatter - that's what I am!!!

19 July 2016

That was close!!!

Well I managed it. Just about. I finished the second bracelet and will be taking it with me this morning. Lovely to have something to make that won't just go in the box in the cupboard!!!

Now I'm thinking of making some of my favourite bracelets (the starry button ones) to take to Palmetto. I'm taking the last of my little square tatting bags and some lovely brooches but really fancy making bracelets now. 

I looked up the exchange rate yesterday and nearly fell through the floor (that would've made a nasty mess in the downstairs room) when I realised how few dollars I'd get at the current rate. That's 'inspired' (or frightened) me into getting stuff together to sell in vending.  What do people 'out there' think of the idea or is it just plain silly to try and sell tatting to tatters?

18 July 2016

An order!

This rarely happens to me. I have an order for two Ring of Roses bracelets. This is the first one done and I'll be taking it to the lady tomorrow morning along with the other one - IF it's finished in time!!

I go to a craft group in town on a Tuesday and I was wearing my bracelet last week. Two ladies spotted it and wanted one each. I love it when people want my work - not because I want to be paid for it but because it feels good to know that others like wearing tatting. 

When I got home after last Tuesday's meeting I dived into the tatting cupboard and got the threads and beads out ready for the evening. So relaxing allowing myself to 'just tat'!!!!

16 July 2016

Finally got it sorted

Well it's been a strange week here with many emotions kicking around in BC3's head. There's a lot of space in that head, you know, so plenty of room for things to rattle around.

Anyway, between this, that and t'other I managed to get the Fandango hearts put together into a small coaster sized thingy. This time in better colours. I also managed to get the pattern up on the pattern site too so here's the link.

12 July 2016

An experiment!

Now I really liked those little Fandango hearts. So much so I decided to stay and play a bit more!! 

I wondered what would happen if I tried to put them together. I took six of the ones I'd been making to test out the pattern and carefully tied them together with bits of thread. Then I got another colour and wiggled and waggled a flower for the centre. Once I'd finished wiggling and waggling I made another flower and started on the hearts joining according to what I'd learned from the wiggle waggle game!!! 

I'm pleased enough with the 'fit' but not so happy with the colours I used although the hearts themselves are fine - I just chose the wrong colour for the flower!!!! That means you'll have to wait for the pattern until I've done another little mat!!!!! Sorry but I can't put this one on the pattern page!!!

11 July 2016

Last round of the latest Fandango doily!

That was a good idea to use the oranges on the last round so I thought I'd try another similar combination. This is the result.

I'm stopping here as I want to start another square doily. I know - I'm stark staring BONKERS but what do you expect of an old git like me?

My blog posts are getting a bit monotonous lately but I promise you I do have some better ones coming up in due course. Part of the problem is the season of the year. Although it's not been 'good weather' it still generates a lot of distractions which take me away from crafty/tatting things.

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Happy Beaks

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