13 May 2017

Whatever next?

What am I going to do with these? 

Three sizes and I've got a few of each. I've had them for years and years and they've been sitting in my cupboard staring at me from time to time. 

They've emerged from their space but I've tied them together to stop the little stinkers from escaping!!!!   They did their best to get away from me and I'm still searching under the furniture for at least one that I've still not found.  I wonder if it's with the missing crochet hook?

Watch this space to see if anything happens to them!!!!

12 May 2017

A story of a t-shirt!

I bought a t-shirt!!! 

Some people buy dresses but I'm not a dress sort of person!!! I prefer casual or even below casual!!!! 

I bought a couple of t-shirts recently in a cheap shop in town. I like them lots but they're very plain - just like me. Plain Jane!!!! 

So, what does a tatter do with a plain piece of clothing? Well, of course, they yank out some shuttles and attack it with thread. 

I've done a simple split ring braid which I've sewn slightly inwards of the edge. As the t-shirt was cheap I didn't want to spend too much time adding to it as it may well go skanky after a few washes. Mean is what I am!!!  

The true colour is shown in the third picture.  Well, roughly!

10 May 2017

More snowflakes

Just keeping busy, really!!! Well, least it means I'm not getting into any sort of trouble or mischief I suppose!!!

9 May 2017

Round 12 of Renulek's doily.

I finished this round at the weekend but have just found time to blog it!!

I did change the round slightly as when I looked at Renulek's picture I noticed that the three rings joining into the one picot were overlapping in places. Being as that would bother me I thought I'd try another way of tatting that part.

I do feel guilty about changing patterns as I really appreciate the time that it takes to do a design and I don't want ANYBODY to think I'm criticising the pattern as I'm certainly not doing that - it's fine as it is. I'm basically just being 'me' - a fussy old git!!!!

I made notes for myself in case I want to do this doily again. My remembering is very broke lately!!!

8 May 2017


Nah, not my birthday or anything in particular. 

Well, I suppose it is a 'particular' in a way as a birth was made on this date in 2006. Sheeesh, that's eleven years ago!!! 

It's the day this blog was 'born'. Here's my first post and I'm still asking the same question although I THINK I've now got the answer!!!

It simply keeps me motivated!! Tat's all, really!

Sometimes I wonder how many read the blog but then I realise that it's probably a way of dealing with sleep problems as it probably sends my readers to sleep.  Reading it would certainly put me to sleep!!!!  

Now each post ought to have a picture so here's one to brighten the the anniversary day!!!

6 May 2017

Round 11 Renulek

Round 11 done and I THINK I've caught up!!!  Well I have, nearly as I've started on round 12 too.

I was a late starter which isn't surprising as I've only got three brain cells (BC1, BC2 and, of course, BC3). This round I decided needed to be a bit 'pinkish'!!!! 

I'm really struggling now with the colours to use. I'd like to finish with a strong blue colour on the last round. Least that's what I'm thinking now but we'll have to see what happens when I get into the wonderful box of very fine threads. It's such fun blending your own colours and I love the subtle changes I get too.

5 May 2017

Joining down picots

Well I did get the page done in the end. Where does time go? 

A page on how to join the down picot.

4 May 2017

More about the Clover shuttles

A few days ago I had Tatlyn's blog post appear on my blog roll and started to read what she had to say here. 

After a while I thought I was reading my own blog post back here!!!! I carried on reading when I realised that I'd found a soulmate over the Clover shuttles!!! 

As you know I did add more to my original post a few days later and that can be found here. Well I'm going to add more today as time and using these shuttles has caused BC3 to find more things out about them! 

It occurred to me when I was working with sewing threads (HWT) a few days ago that I wasn't having any problems with the threads occasionally 'catching' on 'nubs' of plastic as I normally do with the Aero/Aerlit shuttles. These 'nubs' are often found on the bobbins. Looking again at the bobbins - the Clover ones are more substantial in feel and very smooth - just like the shuttle itself.

I'm a 'bobbin with a hook' kind of girl and the most 'off putting' thing about the  post Clover was not having a hook but I've quickly adjusted to that and find joining with the lovely fine pick just as easy although trying to join to very small picots still needs a fine 0.4mm crochet hook!

Just read a comment from Kathy on my blog post of the other day and I love her idea of 'rolling' the shuttle to wind or re-wind the bobbin.  Here's her comment
"I never remove the bobbin from the shuttle! I merely tie a slipknot around the bobbin (I use the shuttle itself to do this), and wind the thread onto the bobbin by rolling the bobbin (still inside the shuttle) on a soft but not smooth surface, like the opposite side of a mouse pad (which gives it traction). I also retract my thread when tatting by also rolling the bobbin on the mouse pad. It means that I have to have the mouse pad close by when tatting. At home I always have my tatting box on my lap, and the pad is on top of the box, giving the pad a hard surface to sit on. Rolling the bobbin has helped me prevent carpal tunnel!"

3 May 2017

Naming and shaming

When is a core thread NOT a core thread and what is one anyway?

This is a question that I keep asking myself. There's an easy answer when making a chain as the core thread is simply easy to see!!!
I've always wondered what the answer is when it comes to a ring, though. Or a split ring for that matter. What SHOULD we call that core thread which really is also the 'working' thread too? 

This only came to light when I started on another technique page following on from yesterday's which will be about joining drop picots. In the end I resorted to a slightly long winded way of describing it which I will get finished and on my site tomorrow or the next day - with a bit of luck and the wind blowing in the right direction!!!!

2 May 2017

The down picot

The down (and out?) picot is such a useful thing. I've used various ways of doing this picot over the years and find it especially useful for animals - mainly for placing their eyes.

Many moons ago I used to use a PC but gave up and moved over to a Mac some 8 - 10 years ago. Whilst on a PC I used a software package for drawing which I got on with reasonably well but it wasn't going to be compatible with a Mac as for some reason the company didn't do a version for IOS. So, that meant a whole new learning curve. Not only on how to use an iMac but also on how to use the drawing package I eventually bought. I downloaded several pieces of software which allowed me to use them on trial for a while. I finally decided on EazyDraw and have had NO regrets on either changes. Now, why am I telling you this? Simply because a few of my pages still have the drawings on that I did in the PC package and I'm slowly replacing them with ones done with EazyDraw. 

Last week sometime I was talking to a tatting friend about the down picot so went to look at my page and realised it needed updating. So, here it is.

1 May 2017

This was fast!

Compared to the last round this one was like an express train!!!!

I forgot to mention before that the two (or, rather, four) colours I used on the last round were a green variegated and a plain green (for the rings) and a deep purple and black for the chains. It gave such a strong look that this time I thought I'd better break things up with something a bit 'milder'!!!

No idea what I'm going to use for the next round (11) but I'm sure it will also be a quick round to work up. Keep watching this space!!!

29 April 2017

Finished and on my site

Well I finally got it done - the new snowflake pattern. 

You would've laughed at my first attempt to get it online and working. I somehow got the wrong links on the 'click here' words!!! Gave me a shock when I clicked on the words and it took me to a totally different place!!! Anyway I quickly got it sorted and finalised. 

Now the reason it's called 'Sally's Bugle Snowflake' is because my little sister (I have to put little as she insists I'm eons older than her) loves bugle beads. I've never been particularly fond of them but after doing this design I must say I'm rather hooked!!! 

Anyway, I sent Sally a copy of the pattern and she had a bit of a hard time with the technique at first. That's partly the reason I changed the technique page although I don't think you'll need to refer to it as I'm pretty sure everything's covered in the pattern. Remember - this is a new technique so probably not available on youtube yet!!!

So, here it is. I think this is my 'bestest ever' design and I'm still making the snowflakes weeks after I started on it.

28 April 2017

Somebody asked a question

About the new Clover shuttles. I lost the plot on yesterday and, in fact, had a hard time even knowing where I was and what I was meant to be doing!!!

It was 'one of those' days and I didn't even get to picking up a shuttle at all!! BUT I did manage to order two more from Tatting and Design here in the UK. They are roughly the same price as from Japan but cheaper on the postage. BUT, having said that, they may take longer to get here - not because of who I've bought from but because of my 'dear' friend - Royal Fail!!! We'll see!!

Now back to the title of this post. Somebody somewhere in the morass which was called 'yesterday' asked if the containers held the Aero/Aerlit shuttles. So, I took the picture below to show you. The red arrow points to the Aerlit shuttle and you can see that it 'slightly' overlaps the slot. The yellow arrow points to it's bobbin.   As there is plenty of 'space' when the lid is closed it does work well for those shuttles too.  Actually what I'd call a 'win, win' situation.

Tomorrow I hope to have the new pattern available.  Keep your fingers crossed that today won't be another of 'those days'!!!!!

27 April 2017

New shuttles

It's years since I've been tempted to buy new work horses!!! OK, I do buy shuttles for my collection from time to time but I'm not an avid collector. I just dabble at it. Good job too as IF I'd started collecting when I started tatting there'd be no room in the house for ME!!! 

So, when I saw these new bobbin shuttles on somebody's blog I decided I definitely needed them. I bought them from Japan but that was probably faster than buying them from 'just down the road'. They arrived well within a week which is amazing. I think they're available in America but no signs of them yet in the UK.

Now for how I feel about them just over a week later. Well they're yummy. I love the fine pick which I'm still getting used to (being a hook type of gal) but even more I love that I actually only need two shuttles like this as you can take the bobbins out and put them in the little holder thingy and the thread doesn't come undone. Brilliant mind thought of that. What's SO clever is that this holder can be held and the bobbin can be put on the little 'nub' on the side to wind it.

The shuttles feel really good too and, looking at the centres, they're made quite a bit differently to the Aero/Aerlit. It'll be interesting to see if they hold up to the use they'll get from me before they start to become loose!!! There's one little thing I don't understand and that's the little clear washers that came with the 'kit'. I think it's for winding the bobbins on a sewing machine. I'd never do that as winding by hand is faster than getting the aged body out of the chair to set up the machine!!!!

26 April 2017

Round nine completed.

On this round I decided to use two colours to give it more interest. Well, interest for me anyway as it looked like a looooong round.

I apologise to Renulek as I did change the making of the round slightly. Instead of the large picots in the centre of the daisies I changed it and used vsp's. So, instead of 8 - 8 I cheated and did 6 vsp 2 vsp 6. In following rings you then work 6, join to previous vsp, 2, vsp 6.  This is because I'm a dozy old moo and can NEVER get those central picots 'quite right'. I've used this 'cheat' on lots of patterns in the past but thought that some of you may like to know about it too!!! Can you see on the top picture how even those centres look now? 

I also abandoned the onion ring again and did a chain with a ring on the top instead. A discussion with one of my blog readers (yes, good to know there are one or two out there!) over whether you could do a ring on an onion ring and I'm sure you can - if you use the loop tatted ring method. Keep meaning to try it but I get distracted so easily!!!!

25 April 2017

Re-vamped technique page

Now you've had a preview of the new pattern I've been working on (see yesterday's post) I thought it would be a good idea to update the technique page. 

This technique is one I came up with last year and is brand new. I've not seen it anywhere else and I'd be delighted to think that people will find a use for it. Here's the link to the updated page.

22 April 2017


I forgot to show this round of Renulek's doily although I finished it days ago. 

In this round (round 8) I've used a couple of pale green HWT threads and I think they look fine. I've already started and am well into round 9. Again I've avoided the issue (well, my issue) of the onion rings and have used a chain round instead. More of that in a few days!!!

I seem to have been going through a 'dry' patch of blogging but a lot of that is because I've been working on something new. A few close friends have seen it and I'm almost ready to share pictures although the pattern may take a while for me to finish!!! 

Well, that's not strictly true. I just like teasing you all!!! It's going to be a .......... Nope, not going to tell you - you'll have to wait!!!

21 April 2017

Talking block tatting

A few days ago I had a very interesting conversation with another tatter over block tatting. 

She'd found my tips and techniques page here and also this video by Gina Butler.

Now this lady quite rightly pointed out that I did the join in the second row differently to the video and that my page needed changing. I looked at both the video and my page and saw exactly what she meant. Well then WHY had I got it wrong? Before I started to change my page which would involve drawings too, I decided to try both methods out and compare them.

I realised why I'd put that join on the second row and which says to use the furthest thread from the picot. NOT what I'd normally recommend BUT there was a reason and a good one too according to BC3. If you try it yourself WITH TWO different colours you'll find that by doing that the second row colour goes 'right to the end'. Look carefully at Gina's sample at the end of the video and you'll see what I mean - hers doesn't 'quite' go to the end.

I do love it when people get in touch and make me wake up to visit my weird brain again further 'down the line'!  My page will stay 'as is' for now but I do appreciate that this was pointed out to me.

19 April 2017

2 orphans

I have two little orphans who got left behind after Sally stayed with me a few weeks ago. They're called Tulipwood and Cherry. They are available to the first one or two people who comment on this post (and who say they can give them a good home!).  By all means comment but the first two who offer to adopt them can have them!!! 

The cherry is £18.00 and the Tulipwood is £20.00.  On top of that there is the cost of postage which will be £3.15 postage to anywhere outside of the UK (a lot less if within the UK - £1.15).  If the same person wants the two of them then the postage remains the same.  

I will send you a Paypal invoice to your Paypal email address when we've 'made contact'!!!!

18 April 2017

Round 7

I thought another change of colour was now due!!! Something a bit 'stronger' and brighter. 

I'm also working on another design which I think is going to be my 'best ever'. I always think that at this stage but it's never happened yet that I've done my 'best ever'. Once one is done I can always think of improvements and even other ideas!!!

14 April 2017

Another round done!

After a 'mixed' yellow round I decided to go for 'pure' yellow for this one. I think this will give me the 'break' I need to change colours completely for the next row.

People talk about the 'colour wheel' but I've looked at it and just found it too confusing for a 'bear of little brain' like wot I am! Instead I rely on 'good old instinct' or 'trial and error'!!! 

Those two attributes get me through life on a day to day basis too!!!!

12 April 2017

Punch nanny on the nose

That's a strange thing to tell a child to do - but it's worked!!!!  I told Abbi to do just that and it WORKED.

I've had two grandchildren staying with me for the past few days and Abbi (aged 9) asked if I'd teach her to tat. Every grandmother's dream, eh?  Something I'd secretly been hoping for for years -  BUT I have never ever asked anybody if they'd like to learn to tat.  I wait for them to ask me to show them how.  So, sixty years after I started this craft my granddaughter wanted to give it a go.

The first attempt Abbi found very frustrating.  I'd forgotten how hard it is to train fingers (and associated brain) to work together in a specific way.   After the first attempt on Monday ended 'not very well' I was very surprised when Abbi wanted another go on Tuesday.  I'm absolutely gobsmacked that a child so young got the hang of the 'dreaded flip' so quickly and realised as well that it had to flip to let the ring close!  To help her on her journey into Tat Land I found that the 'right tight, left loose' to get the flip to work was fine but when I said 'punch nanny on the nose' (with her right hand) it worked even better!!!

We started with a chain first just so she could 'see' that the core thread has to go through the stitches but then she wanted to make a ring for her finger so that's what I showed her next. 

Mission accomplished (below).  

I managed to take a video too and the link is here.

11 April 2017

My diversion

This is what I got 'diverted' by!!! 

I signed up for the 'Love Crochet' site and every so often they send some links to free patterns. That's where I got this Amigurumi doll from!!! 

These guys just made me want to make them. I think they took about two hours each. 

When my kids were young my ex and I didn't buy them Easter eggs - they had books instead. They had chocolate from their grandparents and in those days I'd rather them have something that didn't rot their teeth!!! 

It's slightly different nowadays with grandkids! I usually get them a bit of 'tooth rot' and a book or treat but I couldn't resist making these guys for the two I see regularly!!!!

10 April 2017

Round 5 finished

A lot of people suggested yellow but this isn't 'pure' yellow as I felt it needed 'tying in' to previous rows so used a plain and a variegated with some lilac. 

I really, really thought this was the end of my adventure with the doily as this row appeared to need more doubles in those chains. I kept checking I'd got the stitch count right as it was a quick row and I felt I might be missing something!!!  BUT my instincts were wrong yet again!!! I threatened it with the iron and it's now behaving very well!!!! 

Well, wouldn't you if you had an iron held over you by an OG in her pyjamas who really, really wanted to just get into bed?

Now, what next I ask myself. I don't think it'll be this doily for a day or two as another temptation has put itself in my way!!!

8 April 2017

Round 4 of Renulek's doily

Thanks for all the suggestions on which colours next. 

This is what I decided on in the end!!! It maybe a mistake or it maybe the right thing to do but who knows?!?!?

6 April 2017

Next round completed

Round 3 of Renulek's doily is now finished. 

Why is it even harder to decide what colours to use when you have so many? I would've thought it would be easier with a big choice but it isn't for me!!!! 

One thing I've also found I like about the HWT is the 'double thread' picots.  I thought they'd annoy me but I actually think they're rather splendid.  You'll have to click on the pictures to see them 'big time' but it's worth it.  I'm not a picot lover but am sticking to the pattern that is 'out there'.

Off to find the next colour - wonder what it will be?

4 April 2017

Outwards and onwards!!

I really, really LOVE these HWT colours using the fine threads. 

Who's that shouting 'what does HWT stand for'? Well it's what the OG with BC3 call Hand Wound Threads. Two or more threads wound onto the shuttle (or used from two balls) at the same time.

This is round 2 of Renulek's 2017 doily. I MAY get to liking doilies one day!!!

3 April 2017

Couldn't resist

Trying out the new threads!!! I've been tempted to start a doily although they're not 'my thing' but I do like the look of Renulek's 2017 one

It'll never get used but it'll be lovely to make and something to do in those 'odd moments'.

Now the threads that Jill kindly gave me are a mixture of 60, 70 and 80. I'm just going to grab two colours and just 'go' with them. I'm going to ignore the sizes as experience tells me that there's so little between them that things should work out just fine. If it doesn't then I'll eat my shuttle!!! I don't wear hats (as in 'eat my hat) unless it's darn cold!!!! My head is too small to wear hats and they just blow away!!  That's the truth, by the way.  I have a pin head!!

So, here's round 1 of the doily with two unknown threads wound CTM on both shuttles. Oh, I'm not a lover of onion rings so I avoided those!!!!

1 April 2017


When a tatting lass asks another tatting lass if she'd like some threads then what does said second lass say? Well if the 'second lass' is an OG with a BC3 and an addiction to tatting she says 'yes please'!!! 

Below is what arrived on Thursday. 
To say I was stunned when I saw the size of the box (I'd been told it was size 80 thread too) is an understatement. BUT when I opened it look what I found.
This was the top layer and I thought the 'only' layer!!
The thread was beautifully packed in tissue paper so I lifted the above out of the box and LOOK what I found.
A bit later on I was looking at the box and thinking that it looked a lot deeper and there was another lot of tissue which probably needed looking under. So I did and this is what I found next!!!
Thank YOU Jill. I'll certainly be putting this to good use although I think my little sister may have to help me too!!!  I have other friends here in the UK who may offer to help me out but I know that I can use a lot of this thread.

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Happy Beaks

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