17 November 2016

New technique page

Well I've finally remembered to get this one onto my pattern pages. How long does it take? How long is a piece of string?!?!?!

Now this technique could be used to add beads to the centres of motifs like this one, this one or this one (which I've already done in a previous post). 

So, do you want the link to the 'how to' page? Well, here it is!!!!

Here's a 'taster' for you too!!

16 November 2016

While Rome burns!

We've been fiddling!!! 

The source of that phrase (fiddling while Rome burns) is the story that Nero played the fiddle (violin) while Rome burned, during the great fire in AD 64. Bit bizarre really as there was no such thing as a fiddle back then!!  No proof that this happened but we'e definitely been fiddling on Tuesday mornings!!!

Anyway, I digress. If you take a look at the picture below you'll see seven fiddle muffs that the Tuesday morning group have made over the past month or two. 

This is the group that got together last year to make bunting for the street party that we had in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday.  We enjoyed it so much we've continued to meet!!!

If you want to know what fiddle muffs are then I suppose I'd better explain! Patients with dementia/Alzheimer's often get fidgety and like to touch things and play with them. The muffs are made (knitted or crocheted) and then objects attached so they've got something to play with - both on the outside and the inside. They can be anything from cotton reels, pieces of ribbon, velcro, curtain hooks or any item which has texture. Yesterday Sue and I took these seven muffs to a local home for patients with dementia. We had a very warm welcome from the staff which was lovely. Next project? Knitting and crocheting squares for blankets. 

15 November 2016

Page 15 done and dusted

FINISHED. Isn't this lovely? 

This was a pleasure to tat and easy to follow but (like my last Dora Young) I had to keep counting and checking on stitch counts!!!! I really, really love following patterns and will be tackling more from this special book. Watch this space!!!

14 November 2016

Charity shop find

Two weeks ago I was in Alcester as I was going to Crafternoon. My trips to Alcester are a delight after a busy week. I always go early so that I have time to mooch around the town. This town is like Stratford used to be some forty years ago - full of small family businesses selling the sorts of things that the people want/need.  No big multiples - well, only Waitrose which is a small supermarket.

There's a greengrocers, a 'fifty pence' shop (that's what my parents used to call it), a chemists, a few estate agents, a bridal shop, coffee/tea shops, a 'vintage' shop and a few charity shops. It's mainly the charity shops that I visit.

I found this necklace in one of the charity shops. I see lots of necklaces with rings in them but most of them have 'gaps' in the rings and are rather 'bendy'. This one hasn't got any gaps and isn't bendy in any way. So, what will I do with it? You'll have to wait and see, won't you?

12 November 2016

One more

Thinking of Diane here as this one is in blue. Well, two blues, actually!!!  Now why did I write that last sentence?  It's obvious that there are two blues!!!  Old age and senility rearing it's ugly head again!

If I remember rightly this was two polyester threads.  I'm not sure I like this one as there seems to be a lack of definition in the threads.  They appear to be 'fuzzy' to me but perhaps that's cause I've got a fuzzy head!!!!  Back to the shuttles, Jane and forget this one.  

Having got my new gloves finished the weather has decided to go warmer!! Perhaps I should crochet gloves all year round to keep the weather mild!!!

11 November 2016

Gloves finished

It's gone really cold here so I got out my scarf and gloves to wear this week. Then I remembered that I hadn't shown you the latest gloves that I made. I showed them to you when I'd started one a few weeks ago but then forgot to update you.

These are crocheted and I've deliberately not finished off the ends of the fingers as I like to use them to get money out of my purse or use my phone. Yes, I'm still playing Pokemon  Go (level 16) when I remember!!! 

Last winter I wore a knitted pair that I'd made where the fingers were knitted upwards for just a few rows. I loved them but the fingers still got cold on very cold days. This new idea may prove better but only time will tell. Anyway, saves taking them off (and losing them) when you need to get money out of your purse. 

This is a free pattern I found on the internet but, obviously, I had to translate it from American to English crochet terms.

10 November 2016

Making up my mind

Now that's an impossible thing to do as I'm a real ditherer. I need nagging/prompting to make decisions but once I make them I act!! I really couldn't decide which colours to make the next snowflakes out of - thus the dithering.

Today I've got two more of the Snowflower pattern to show you. The green is a variegated cotton thread but the red is polyester.

You may ask 'why' or 'does it work' - mixing the two types? 

Well the answer to the first question (why) is because I'd got the green cotton thread out to work with and forgot a contrast. Rather than get up and potter back into the other room I grabbed what was sitting on the table next to me and that happened to be the polyester thread which came from Edda. 

I've not tried 'burning' the ends as recommended but automatically sewed in the final ends.  Not a problem at all!!!

Something else I did yesterday is to stop all notifications from the tatting Facebook groups. I was finding it was generating too many emails which distracted me from other things. I only really 'pop' into Facebook in the morning or when the rare email tickles my interest!!! I'd rather tat instead!!!

9 November 2016

Another project finished

Do you remember these flowers that I made sometime ago? I asked if anybody knew what or why I'd made them? Well here's the answer!!

First picture is the back of the brooch. You'll see that I've made a circle of tatting (chains only round one tiny ring). I did two of these rounds joining the second one to the first but before I finished I inserted two plastic circles to keep the shape rigid. It's amazing what you can do with plastic milk containers!!! 

Forgot to say - I sewed a clasp to the back of one of the tatted circles before joining the second one to it. 

When everything was done I sprayed with Scotch Guard to keep the whole thing clean. Why? Well it's going to be worn on my winter coat!!!  

In fact (as of yesterday) it's now on the coat and I'm now having to wear it as it's gone very cold.

8 November 2016

Dora's progress

More progress on the Dora Young doily on page 15.  My original post is here.

Actually this isn't hard to tat but it's hard trying to keep track of where you are!!!  I'd appreciate somebody inventing satnav for tatting but meanwhile I'll stick to my coilless safety pin and 'good old' BC3!

As I said - it's easy but it's wise to keep counting the number of picots you've got and now the number of chains too. As you can tell by progress - I'm REALLY enjoying this experience and can't wait to try another pattern from the book.  Meanwhile I've GOT to finish this one and won't allow myself to start anything else before it's done!  Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

7 November 2016

An apology

I apologise to all who were upset by my blog post the other day.. I thought someone had done a similar design after they had seen mine, but I was mistaken. They had 'got there' by their own means.

I would like to point out that I was in no way accusing anybody of copyright theft, please take time to re-read my original post. 

I guess I was excited to see a pattern I recognised. The whole situation got very personal and out of hand which has been immensely hurtful to all parties and this is not good for the tatting community.

Over the weekend I seriously considered taking down my site as it would appear that the only valuable designs are those that are paid for and that free ones are under valued. I decided not to as it’s something that I enjoy doing.

I will not be publishing another design based on my original but will (in time) add a technique page showing how I added the beads to the centre of the one I did.

4 November 2016

Finished and two patterns available.

Well in the end dear Nick solved the problems I was having with Pages and EazyDraw.  Not sure what he did but he 'bullied' Libre Office into working!!!  Every time I exported as jpg's from EazyDraw and inserted them into Pages they came out really blurred.  Horrid wasn't the right word for them.  I spent hours agonising over settings etc and in the end gave up.  Quietly, and while I was out, Nick sorted the problem.  No idea how but he did.  Same drawings but no blurring with Libre Office!!!  Go figure as my American friends would say!!!

Now the top snowflake today (the Snowflower) is done with a cotton HDT thread but the outside plain pink is polyester!

The bottom one is made with Eda's metallic thread - two colours, naturally.

So, does anybody want the pattern?  Well here's the link to it.  I've updated the main snowflakes, motifs and doily page too.  WHEN I found that my original had got itself stored on the cloud and not on my computer.  I must've had a ditzy day yesterday!!!!

3 November 2016

NEW Star and more snowflake talk

Yesterday I finished another star (below at the top) which now has beads in the centre too.    Here's the link to the new one.  I'll be updating the main motif page when I get the Snowflower Snowflake done.

The lovely thread on the snowflake at the bottom is one given to me by Phyllis Schmidt and is called 'Daybreak'.  This was another gift from Tat Days. I was SOOOO spoilt this year. 

I've outlined it with a plain colour on the second round - with the inevitable beads too!!! Thank you, Phyllis.

I'm working HARD on finishing the pattern but I've had a glitch or two.  

I've been working with Libre Office (free software) for years and just lately it's refused to work on the iMac (works just fine on the laptop!) so I've started using Pages.  I'm not a happy bunny but I will work through this somehow!!!!

2 November 2016

Sparkly star

When I saw this post the other day I thought it looked rather familiar!!!! So, off I went on a voyage of discovery.

This design must be at least twenty years old now and is now on it's third re-generation.  The first generation of this was done on a fancy metal finding and was submitted to a magazine along with three others.  The findings were quickly unobtainable so after a few years I decided to put them onto cabone rings (second generation!) which are easily obtainable and thus the pattern on my site was 'born again'!!! 

Now having seen Frivole's 'take' on the same one I thought I'd re-re-revisit it once more (third generation).  SO, in a couple of days time I'll get the pattern up on the web site - for free, of course!!!  Meanwhile I may tweak the centre but I quite like the shapes I've got here.  Maybe I'll make those chains a bit longer/shorter?  Who knows.  

The thread is some I had from Eda and it's lovely to work with.  The beads are so, so glittery too.  Sadly the scans don't give the true sparkle.

1 November 2016

Two people to blame for this

As you know I was so, so kindly given a copy of Dora Young's book a couple of weeks ago by Patti Duff and I cannot leave it alone!!!! I am forcing myself to do snowflakes in between but I simply HAD to start another doily - this time it's the one on page 15. So, I name Patti as the first person to be blamed!!!

The second is Bestitched who dragged me away from my promise NOT to buy anymore threads at Tat Days. 

I was doing pretty well on Friday and Saturday and only bought 3 balls of 'essential' colours that I was short of. Then on Saturday evening/Sunday morning they announced a price reduction and 'sadly' this packet of pastels 'fell' into my bag!!!! 

Those who were around at the time were astonished that I chose these plain pastel colours and at the time I had no idea what I was going to do with them either. BUT the blue was the first choice for the page 15 doily.  Oh, these are size 40 which is my new favourite size!!!

31 October 2016

Snowflakes are falling off my shuttles

Well here's another one!!! I think they're improving.

The thread is from Sue Hanson who gave it to me at Tat Days. Isn't it pretty? I did the centre with Sue's thread and then outlined it with a plain orange on the outside round. 

The motif is made with three shuttles. Well, you can get away with two, really.

28 October 2016

Now with beads

I thought it would look better with beads but in this case a bad choice of colour as they don't show up very well!!! Still an interesting try. 

Better luck next time, old git!!!!

27 October 2016

Copyright theft again

Very apt after yesterday, I feel!!  Yes this pattern is copyright theft and/or plagiarism but I'm claiming as my own.

Why? Well cause I've stolen it off my own site. Well, sort of.  I was sitting trying to think up something truly wonderful for a giveaway for this year's Christmas and was totally in the doldrums over it.  Nothing particularly inspiring came to mind so I decided to use something I'd done before and play with it. 

Actually at this stage (and this is only an early one so far) it isn't a lot like the original pattern (just been back to check). Obviously it needs beads and obviously I need to draw it and write it down AND it needs better thread colours but I don't think it's too bad for a first attempt (well, apart from the other trials that went in the bin!).

26 October 2016

Copyright notice

Found this on Facebook the other day. I can't remember who posted it or which tatting group it was on but I think it's GREAT.

I might add (very selfishly) that I'd hope it applies to those who give work away too.

25 October 2016

Crochet gloves - the start

I have a 'thing' about gloves and socks. I love knitting them. I never wear the socks I've knitted so I've banned myself from knitting them. I also struggle with knitting gloves too as I use four needles and suffer with that gap you get at the base of the fingers. In tatting we call that gapsosis and I feel that's a good name for my knitting problem too.

So, I decided this year that I'd have a go at doing some crochet gloves. Thereby started a long adventure on the internet looking for crocheted gloves. Yes, there are patterns aplenty but not many that are offered in 4 ply (sock wool to you Americans!). Most crocheted gloves seem to be in thicker wool. In the end I found this pattern which is WONDERFUL. Just what I wanted (not sure of the flappy bits on the finger and thumb) and the instructions look clear.

Oh, did I say they looked clear? Well, yes they are BUT they're written in 'American'. As you know that means different terminology to the English patterns. So, it's time to learn a few new skills and new terms too. That should keep me quiet in between frustrations of doing the TIAS!!!! 

Here's the start on glove number one. The bottom picture is the true colour of the wool - the sun came out before I took the top photo!!!

24 October 2016

Talks and tatting

On Friday evening I gave a talk on 'The Life and Adventures of the Anguis Fragili" to the local group of Spinners and Weavers

No, I'm teasing - it was on tatting, of course.  It seemed to go well in that I didn't have to poke anybody in the audience to keep them awake and a lot of them were smiling too. 

The consequences of the talk made for an extremely untidy lot of tatting. I must admit that when I've finished a piece of tatting I fling it in a box which lives in the cupboard. Consequently when it came to preparing for the talk I had to take EVERYTHING out of the boxes to decide what to take. Then when I got home I decided I really HAD to take myself in hand and put everything away in a tidy manner. That took ALL of Saturday and Sunday mornings. Must say I do feel better for having done it. I now need to make sure that when I've completed a piece in future I make myself put it away properly. This tidying up has only been waiting for half a century (or more) to be done!!!

Before I left for my American adventure I started another Fandango square. 

By the time I got back (or was it shortly after?!?) it was in this 'state'. I'm hoping to carry on with it but have lately got diverted by something else!!!

21 October 2016

Dora Young finished

Here is the Dora Young doily - finished!!! Meant to show you this the other day but, of course, I went and forgot!!!!  I actually finished it a week or more ago but guilt hit in and I realised that I'd have to get BC3 onto the TIAS or I'd be in trouble with people in January!!!

I even added the outside optional row to the doily to give it a sleeker edge. I'm SO pleased with it as I feel it really does 'finish it off'.  I've not been this excited about a tatting book for years as you've probably gathered.

Having said that - I do LOVE my Houtz brothers books (particularly the bauble one) and Martha Ess's books too (Critters and Toys are my favourites).  I've also got the latest Houtz triangle book to play with and Martha's toy book but I really, really need to keep focussed on the TIAS!!! 

Thinking about the baubles book it's time I made another mouse or two as some lovely beads that Jane K gave me in Canada last year are waiting and BEGGING to be used for mouse eyes.

Do you think I'm rambling today?  I think I am so please forgive me and blame it on old age!!!  I'm now 73 - had a birthday earlier in the month.  That means I've been tatting for 60 years.  

This evening I'm giving a talk to a local spinners and weavers group.  I'm DREADING it as I tend to ramble!!!  Do you think they'll put it down to old age too?  I do hope so.  I'll tell you about the talk and whether I survive (and the group too) on Monday.  Meanwhile it's back to the TIAS!!!!

20 October 2016


Shopping with Joanie is fun, fun, fun. She knows all the best places and when she doesn't she finds them so easily. Her hubby is a great shuttle shopper too!!! 

Below are the shuttles we found on our travels from SC down to Fl via St Simon's Island near Brunswick.

The wonderful Aero (in the packet) was given to me at Tat Days - would that kind person please stand up and wave, please? 

The wooden one was a gift too - from Nina. I'm dying to use that one as soon as I need to use lots of beads.

19 October 2016

THE book

You are NEVER going to believe this. It was an ordinary day at Chez Eborall when the postman came and delivered THIS. That turned it into an EXTRAORDINARY day.  Nick wondered what on earth was happening when he heard me squealing with delight.

This came from my dear friend Patti Duff.  Poor Patti has been nagged by me for years and years about re-printing her Mini Tats book - it's a wonder she's still speaking to me.  If you're reading this, Patti please consider that another 'nag' about Mini Tats!!!!  Thank you, so much  for the book and for the lovely, lovely letter too. It made me cry. 

I'm sorry, Heidi but I don't 'need' the re-printed version (due next year, folks) but I WILL still have a copy as I have nagged you so much. 

Now I'm in a total quandary. As you know I usually run a Tat It And See in January but this year poor old BC3 has been struggling to think up an idea. At the weekend I noticed that a French tatting group on Facebook were talking about the TIAS and when it was due to 'happen' again. 

YIKES - that gave BC3 a touch of the heeeebeejeebies. Two days later and several ideas had finally arrived but which one and how do I start. This is always the hardest part - the idea and how to start. I've so far done four starts and a fifth is going to happen soon. BUT this new book is SUCH a temptation. Please, please keep me on track with the TIAS.

18 October 2016


Now what's this going to be and why am I making lots of flowers? 

Does anybody have any idea?

17 October 2016


Got the better of me!!!! 

Of course I just couldn't resist making it!!! It's done in Aran wool - two thicknesses too. Hard on the aged hands but well worth it. I had to translate it from American into English but I enjoyed making it. What am I going to use it for? Goodness knows!!! Maybe it may just get left lying around the house as usual until somebody remarks on it and I give it to them. I just have this unbinding 'need' to make!!! Make anything out of anything and when I run out of ideas? I make mischief!!!!

14 October 2016

A new member of the club

This dear little mouse arrived yesterday from Bernice. 

Here's the link to her blog post and her mouse is now living in the Exclusive Tatting Club (link to the page at the top).

I always smile when I see the name of Bernice's blog - Knot Vortex!!!! I wish I'd though of that name for mine as it seems to reflect my life in Tat Land!!!  A definite whirlwind of threads and knots!!!

13 October 2016

I'm a member of

The Tollway Tatters.

Bet you didn't know that. This is their uniform t-shirt which means I'm a member now. Two great friends of mine (Diane and Sue Anna) are members too. I think they actually started the group.  I do know that Sue Anna does the dying on the shirts and that she sent one to Sally too.  So that makes us the only two  English members of the Tollway Tatters.  How about that for being special?

I do have a major problem over being a member of the group. Nobody's offered to pay my travel costs to get to meetings - yet!!! Well it would be a taxi, a plane, another plane, a ??? from wherever the second plane lands to the place they meet and I think that would be a bit too expensive.  An old git can only dream, can't she?

12 October 2016

Forgotten and found!!!

Good title for an old git!!!  After a hectic few weeks I'm beginning to find myself after having forgotten me with all the stuff going on here at home!!!  

First of all thanks to Joanie for asking me where this pattern is on my web site!!! Well, it wasn't!!! This is a pattern I taught at Palmetto in 2012 and which I seem to have forgotten to put on the pattern pages!! 

It's a close relation to this one. I made this alternative design as I realised that doodads would be hard to find for anybody wanting to do the class. I remember full well the agonising that went into this design and the qualities of thread which I used in the process!!!! 

Well, here it is now and I hope those who do it have fun in the process and please think of poor BC3 who nearly melted while 'getting there'!!!

11 October 2016

More pretties

Here are two more dear little gifts that I came back with after Tat Days. Such wonderful tatting. 

I've no idea who made the turquoise piece but that's some really neat work. 

Thank you, Kathy. I'm sure I didn't get the chance to say it to your face but I really love this little bookmark. I don't want to take it out of it's packet as it's such a little treasure.

10 October 2016

Stephanie doily

There's one lady I must mention who goes to Tat Days each year and who always gives amazing little gifts. These are always tatted in size 80 thread and are really, really delightful. 

Not only does she do that she's also an amazing test tatter too. To be a test tatter isn't easy. First you have to be able to tell the truth about what you're testing. Not easy as some of us designers can be real prima donna's when it comes to criticism. I'm lucky - I've got a thick skin and can take and APPRECIATE all faults when pointed out to me. In fact if I ever asked somebody to test tat for me and they found nothing wrong I'd give up completely.  I'm good at boo boos in my work as you probably all know!

Now you're wondering who this is, I bet. Well it's Stephanie. I'm sure she's got motorised hands with the amount of tatting she produces. Yes, that's the answer. Wonder if they work off AA batteries or AAA. Maybe even lithium!!!

THANK YOU, Stephanie for all you do for me (along with Joanie who is my other favourite test tatter) for this lovely little mat.

8 October 2016

5 motifs and going well!!!

I've now got five of the motifs done on the Dora Young pattern. Still dying to get my mucky mitts on the re-published book due out next year. As I was only interested in helping Bonnie with hers I didn't really look at the other patterns - something I now regret but will put right when I get my copy. No pressure there, Heidi!!!!

I'm not sure what gets into BC3 at times like this. For so many years I wasn't interested in the old 'stuff' but as time goes on I find it fascinating to try and work out how people like Dora managed to develop our craft when there was so little communication between tatters due to the lack of the internet!!! UNLESS they'd already invented an 'intertat' which worked between tatters only. Interesting thought!!!!

7 October 2016


I managed to sell most of my button brooches while I was at Tat Days so when Joanie and I went round the craft shops I looked for (and found!) more replacement buttons. They're 1" buttons which aren't easy to find. 

Thank you, Michaels and Walmart for having them!!! 

I love making these brooches as they look so wonderful using HDT and I've got quite a few skeins of that ready to play with. Also I managed to 'find' some more beads as I've mentioned before. Not that I 'need' more beads but they will all get used if I live to be 150!!!

6 October 2016

Cluny loom

What I really want to show you today is a cluny loom that Tim Kaylor gave me at Tat Days. It was made on a 3D printer. 

I was lucky enough to be able to spend time with Tim while he showed me how to use it. I'm dying to get back to this technique soon. I did take a video of Tim threading up the loom and I tried it too. What a splendid idea. All I now need is time to play with it!!! I really ought to be thinking about next year's TIAS. Well, thinking and designing too!!!  It can wait!!!

Even MORE news about Tim - he's started a blog.  Here's the address (don't you LOVE the name - Tim tats too?).  Please pop in and give him some encouragement.  

Even even even MORE news - Tim made the shuttle I showed you yesterday - that and around 499 others that he gave away.

5 October 2016

A new little shuttle

This is a sweet little shuttle. A new technique of making shuttles.

I found this in my teacher's bag (or it could've been my registration bag) at Palmetto tat days. I believe it was made using a 3D printer. Not sure who made it but it MAY have been Tim.  

This is new technology which fascinates me although I know I'd never have the patience to even think of trying to use one of those printers. 

You can see how tiny it is as I'm holding it in my aged fingers.

4 October 2016

Tatting with ribbon

Now who would've thought it. Tatting with ribbon? Well Pam Freck thought of it and does tat with ribbon.  Here's a picture of her book and one of the patterns in it. 

She kindly gave me a copy of her little book while I was 'over the pond'.

I think my favourite is the spider.  If you want a copy of this dear little book then perhaps you could email me and I'll put you in touch with Pam?  

There are tips on tatting with ribbon too.

3 October 2016

Talking about ducks!

Since I got back life has been somewhat manic. Personal 'stuff' that has had to be dealt with both while I was over the pond and even more so, since I got back. 

I just LOVE the expression 'getting your ducks in a row'. Mine are all now lining up with just one minor duckling that needs booting into place!!!

There was a group of people at Tat Days (think it was the Highland Rim Tatters) who kept giving me ducks!!! They certainly didn't know what I was dealing with at home so it was a very, very happy and amusing collection I came home with. 

Please would the designer stand up and make a comment about them? I love this little pattern as each duck has it's own expression. It maybe Denise's but anyway I REALLY love it.

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Happy Beaks

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