30 June 2017

Back to experimenting

So, this is where I've not got to with the motif I abandoned to go off on another Dora adventure.

This is where I'd got to. The top picture below is (probably) the front and the bottom one is - well, you can guess!!!

Actually it doesn't look too bad in the pictures but I'm not happy with it in 'real life'. 

I've now decided what I'm making - it's a sun catcher 'thingie'. Least that's sort of progress!!! 

I liked the idea before I added it to the ring but it's that last round of chains joining to the metal ring that really doesn't please me. Back to BC3, I guess!!!

29 June 2017

Another sewing project

On a Tuesday morning we have a craft group in our road - well, not in the middle of the road but in a large house which is run by a charity and in which we rent a room for two hours. The group consists mainly of people who live in our road and the next one.

We got together last year to make bunting for the street party to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday and we all enjoyed getting together to make things that we've continued. Recently we had another party (midsummer was the excuse this time!!!) and we made a patchwork quilt which was raffled. The money we raised was donated to the new local hospital. We've made fiddle muffs for the dementia units in and around the town and blankets too. 

Our next project is going to be more bunting for another hospital towards their new midwife run baby unit. Work started on that this Tuesday. We're also making pillowcase dresses to send to Africa via another charity and this is what's been absorbing me in the afternoons. It's an interesting project as they are very simple to make but once you start on them you (well, I do) start to think of what the little girl who gets the dress might like on it. I've done one with flowers, one with hearts and another with balloons. It's great fun to do but I'd love to see the kiddie's faces when they get a little dress made from a pillowcase.

28 June 2017

A little progress

This is probably the most complicated part of this pattern but once you've done it once it's really quite straightforward. I puzzled and puzzled over this for ages as it's incredibly clever. 

I'm also working on that new design I showed you but this Dora pattern keeps tempting me away from it!!! I MUST have a word with myself and get back on track with it!!!!

26 June 2017

That word 'digital'

Why is it that word always pulls me in? If it's 'digital' then it must be interesting!!!

I saw a 'digital' row counter advertised on one of my regular emails from 'The Wool Warehouse' so decided to investigate! 

I'm always getting in a muddle over counting rows particularly when crocheting but also with some tatting patterns. So for just a VERY small amount I bought this one to try it out. I LOVE it. That's not just because it's bright pink!!! It fits comfortably on a finger with an adjustable strap so (in theory!) I won't be able to lose it!!!

24 June 2017

Mrs Beeton's Book of Needlework

Mrs Beeton as you've probably never seen her before!!!

This is the original Mrs Beeton Book of Needlework that I inherited from my gran many, many years ago. I treasure it immensely. 

First of all the cover which is still amazingly in good condition. To the side of it is a view of the gold edged pages. Gorgeous.

I must admit I rarely get the book out as it's in a bit of a fragile condition.  About thirty years ago a friend who was a book binder at a local university offered to mend a couple of pages which were damaged.  There is one loose page now which I really would love repairs but I've lost touch with him.  If I had to rescue anything in a fire this is the one book I'd take along with my signed Elgiva Nichols book.

The start of the tatting section.

Coloured plates.

A certificate which helps date the book and is a treasure in itself.  

The final two pictures are of pages which unfold from the book.

23 June 2017

Have you guessed?

Have you guessed which Dora pattern this is?  Perhaps not if you haven't got the book!!!

I think it's the prettiest and, in my opinion, the hardest pattern in the publication. The first time I did it I was severely challenged but I'm very glad I made notes on the laptop as I went along!!! You can't beat a few notes!!!!

Even on my third attempt I still have to count, count and re-count!!!!

22 June 2017

A letter to Dora

Dear Dora 

I received the reprint of your book (thank you, Heidi) yesterday in the post. How DID I miss it the first time round? Ah, probably because in those days I had difficulty finding tatting sources in America (I'm still here in the UK)!!!

When you were avidly tatting in the 1970's I'd also been tatting for many years too. If ONLY the internet had been around then we'd have probably been Facebook friends (or something) and enjoyed each other's tatting company via cyberspace. 

I can't thank you enough for 'birthing' the split chain and split ring which gave me such freedom for my own design work.

Since stumbling across your book via a friend in South Carolina last September I've been totally addicted to your patterns. 

Your friend in tatting and in awe of your talents


To my other tatting friends - I want to say what an interesting addition of Dora's background Heidi has added to the reprint.  I LOVE finding out about this iconic tatter.

I have notes I've made which I have added to this blog (see the pages at the top) or which you can email me for which may help with some of the patterns. 

Also orders are now being taken from Heidi NakayamaTatting CornerHandy Hands in America and anybody in the UK who wants to avoid postage costs from the States can email me and I will bring you back a copy from Canada later this year and mail it at UK rates when I return.

21 June 2017

Does anybody?

Does anybody recognise this pattern yet? 

I did say who's it was in my last post about it but I bet you've forgotten!!! 

I hear people agonising about their 'blips' of colour when doing lock joins but don't you see how they can enhance a design? Mostly I don't care about them but in this case I embrace them.

20 June 2017

Thank you Andrea

This is a thank you message to Andrea who left a comment on yesterday's post which included this link to a slide show.  This is what she said in her comment.

"I found it to be a very inspiring display of both traditional and contemporary approaches to tatting. I really learned a lot from seeing the work of so many stars of the tatting world, whose work I had only ever seen in books or on the Internet."

I loved watching the slideshow and I'm also intrigued to read what was said on other people's bio's too. Particularly the spelling in some cases!!

Just to pretty up today's post here are pictures of a few of those pieces which travelled to America and back.

19 June 2017


About two years ago several UK tatters were asked to submit some of their work for an exhibition in the USA.  I was very flattered to be asked.  I duly sent my work off and had an acknowledgement when it arrived.  Although I asked several times for pictures of the exhibition I never saw any which was a great disappointment.  

I was lucky enough to get my work back safely a month or so ago but one  poor lady didn't because hers was seized by customs and they wanted around £70 import duty. This was MOST upsetting and it really made her life miserable for weeks until she finally paid the money and got her work back.  The good news is that she did get reimbursed eventually by the customs and excise people.

Now I'm showing you this label (below) because I don't think it's an appropriate thing to put on an exhibition piece. I know and admit I have a bit of a wacky sense of humour but this has quite upset me.  The pictures below the label are of the piece it's referring to.  

First of all I don't 'typically use one shuttle' (quite the opposite, in fact).  I've never done a one shuttle design either.  This doesn't make sense as in the same sentence it also mentions split rings which we ALL know needs two shuttles!!!  

I know I don't like needle tatting and am not backward in coming forwards with saying so but to use this as a description of ME on a piece of exhibition work is rather odd. Also there's no mention of my pattern site either and the blog url is wrong!

All comments (whether you agree or not) are welcome as usual.  Normal service  will be resumed tomorrow.

17 June 2017

Another development

Now you can see here what I did with that weird squiggly wiggly thing from yesterday. I wove it in between the petals of the inner flower bringing it up to join it to the picots on the chains of the last round. 

I used a lock chain to do this with.

Am I happy with it now? Well, the answer is a big, big NO.  Back to BC3 for further instructions.  I'll keep you posted.

Top picture is the 'front' and the bottom one - well, I'll leave you to guess!!!  NO, not the side view!!

16 June 2017

Now what?

After the excitement of yesterday and my announcement that Heidi now has the book (Dora Young's "All New Knotless Tatting") in her hands I am now 'back to boring' you with my regular posts.  

Yes, I'm still working on the ring 'thing'.  I've had an idea but not sure if it'll work.  This is actually part of it.  

I think it looks like a doomed idea but you never know.  

I'm continuing with the Dora motif I showed you yesterday, too.  I have to have two projects 'on the go' at the same time!!!

15 June 2017


Just heard a few minutes ago (when I woke up!) that the Dora Young reprint is now available. 

Heidi sent me this link so you can buy directly from her but she's also sent copies to Handy Hands too although they won't be there for another week or two - depending on the USA mail, I suppose!!!

Funnily I'd just started a new adventure with one of the patterns yesterday as I've been dying to see how it would look in two colours. I may have to start again, though, as I think I've made the picots a bit too big on this.

The reason I started was because I heard a week ago that the book was at the printers and that Heidi would be sending me a copy.  I'll tell you ALL about it when it arrives.  The excitement is intense in my corner of Tat Land and I'll be keeping a close eye open for the postman!!!

14 June 2017

Another idea - sort of!

This time I added beads to the chains.  This is an OK sort of idea but it isn't really original at all.  

I'm not happy as I want something more from BC3. Not sure how to progress this but I'm sure it won't stay like this!!!

It's years since I last played with covering cabone rings with tatting and I've done other projects since but I don't think this is end of this year's playtime, I promise!!  

There's something addictive to covering rings with tatting and I find it mesmerising.  I'm easily pleased!!!!

13 June 2017

Next part of my story about a ring!

Can you see what I've done with the ¾" ring? 

First I made a motif which fits snugly into the middle of the ring. I added beads to the bottoms of each ring by having them on the thread round the back of my hand when I started each petal. Also, with the canny use of vsp's, I managed to make those darn rings sit sweetly where they should. 

I sometimes think that the folks in Tat Land should christen me the 'Queen of the VSP's' as I use them such a lot!!!!  Mind, they'd have to crown me with a vsc (very small crown)!!!  There again - perhaps nobody's noticed!!!! They are an important design stability element for me. Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it so don't you all throw rotten eggs at me!

The next thing I did was to cover the ring at the same time as adding the flower to the tatting.  

More to come!!!

12 June 2017

Pattern now ready

I thought you might like to see all the beaded baubles together in one place. Well if you didn't want to see them you're going to anyway cause they're here!!! I believe in making my blog readers suffer!

Oh, the pattern - nearly forgot. It's here. 

10 June 2017

Rings and things

Here is a ring.

That's all I'm saying - it's a ring!!! 

A metal one from the necklace with the oversized beads (now my new Christmas decorations).

I think this is going to be my next  project!!  This size of ring (¾" internal diameter) seems to be pretty standard as I've 'acquired' lots over the years.  

All I've got to do now is pull out BC3 and get him working again.  Just when he thought he was going to have a rest!!!

9 June 2017


The very, very last one!!!

This time I've used white again but this time with green beads. 

Now to find something new to do. Not sure what I'm going to tackle next but I do know it'll be fun!!!!

7 June 2017

The penultimate bead dangle

Now a change of colour again. This is number 7 of the 8 beads that I have of this size. 

White is just lovely and I've chosen gold beads and clear Swarovski crystals for this one. 

I've not had time to do anymore to the pattern for a few days but am hoping to get it done soon. It will include patterns to fit four sizes of beads. Originally I hadn't intended to publish the details as I thought it wouldn't be of any interest. BUT I've had a few comments where people have asked for details so it will get done!!!

6 June 2017

Sticking with the green!!

I've also managed to start putting the pattern together so it could well be available for all the different sizes of beads after next weekend. Well if that's if I'm not distracted by other things which are beginning to tempt BC3!!!

Today it's still the green thread but with red beads!!!!

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Happy Beaks

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