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!!!!

5 June 2017

Christmas is coming

And the goos is getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man's hat!!!!

How very stupid to be talking about the 'festive season' when we're not even halfway to the next one. 

I've decided that this year I may actually put these covered beads up as decorations. I never ever get round to putting tatting up anywhere at Christmas. I think we're just two grumpy old gits who can never really be bothered!!! However when I've done all 8 of them they may make a nice decoration. Well, that's the plan at the moment!!!

Here is another one - green thread with green and gold beads.

3 June 2017

I've got a BIG, BIG


Shall I tell you or shall I keep you in suspense? 

AWWWWW, well I'll tell you as long as you DO NOT tell anybody else.  Remember this is a secret.

The Dora Young re-print is at the printer's RIGHT NOW.  I'll give you further information on how you can get it when I hear back from Heidi.  

1 June 2017

Now in green!!!

I used same thread as yesterday (mainly because I was too lazy to go and get anything else) but this time I found some green beads.

I forgot to tell you that I had to slightly adjust my stitch count using this thread but it wasn't a problem as it was only on the last row.

I am writing the pattern down as I go but I've got visitors at the moment so tatting has almost stopped!!!!

30 May 2017

Another but different

There's just one thread that I really, really love that isn't cotton based. That's the Altin Basak gold (silver and bronze too) metallic. I THINK it's called Nakis Simi but I've long since lost the label!!! I can just tell you that it was stonking good value for money as I've had it for years and years and used it a great deal. It comes in a small cone.

Anyway, that was my next 'target' for the very large beads and you can see it below. Do I love sparkle? YES I DO!!!

Also shown is one of the beads I'm using too.

29 May 2017

Double trouble?

This time I've doubled up on the dingly dangly bits and added beads to the chains on two consecutive rows. 

I'm not sure if anybody would want the pattern/patterns for this but I will put it together eventually unless I go off on another idea which often happens!!! 

Although it's really really simple with just a few split rings (Diane!!!) it is a bit fiddly for the last few rings and chains as you have to work with the bead inside the tatting. Well worth it, I think.

27 May 2017

Eureka or not

Not sure if this is what I'm going to finally settle on!

This was VERY hard to photograph as it sparkles SO much. On the long beaded picots there are some red sparkly bicone beads which are the 'jam' in a sandwich of size 11 sparkly red beads. 

I have an idea for another one so hold tight and be prepared for more!! Don't worry - you won't get bored as I've only got 7 of the big beads and am trying to resist the temptation of starting on the rings. Ideas are buzzing and BC3 is nagging!!!

26 May 2017

Another new start

Remember these beads I've been working with? Well there are three sizes and as we all know - size is critical. Well, almost as tatting does have a bit of 'give' to it.

A neighbour and I went on a 'jolly' to Birmingham a few weeks ago and I mentioned I'd be looking out for more beads in the same sizes. Nothing, zilch, nowt in the market or anywhere else. 

Then Sue happened to be in a nearby town a week or so later and found a necklace with beads and rings which she bought for me from a charity shop. 

The beads turned out to be quite a lot bigger than the ones I'd been playing with so it's back to the 'drawing board' - as 'they' say!!!

Here's a 'pattern' for the beads. I know, it's not very glamorous as it's a test to see if my guess work design fits or not! I'd say it was a good, snug fit! Now to write it down properly and use some 'decent' thread to see what comes of it. I'm thinking Christmas decorations but BC3 may have other ideas!

25 May 2017

Found and in need

Found and in need of a new and good home!!!!

As you've probably gathered I've not had a lot of time for tatting or showing you 'stuff' but while doing what I've been doing in the background (MASSIVE clean and tidy) I found this Bocote Pop A Bobbin Shuttle lurking on my worktop by the computer. 

This sad and lonely (and only child) is for sale for $33.69 or £20.00 plus postage. The postage overseas will be roughly £3.15 depending on where in the world the buyer is.

Please email me if you want to give this little guy a good home.  All he needs to keep him happy is lots of thread and (occasionally) a few beads!!!

23 May 2017

Now for a better picture!

Not only that but another finished project. This is the t-shirt that I threatened with a tatted edging. It's amazing how different a cheap t-shirt can look with a very simple tatted edging. 

At least this picture does the colour of the garment justice!!!  I know somebody called Diane who will like the colour!!!

22 May 2017

Another necklace finished.

I'm really liking playing with the beads so decided to make another necklace which I'll probably never wear. 

Like the last one I've smothered it with Scotchgard but unlike the last one I've added tiny gold beads to the joining picots. 

19 May 2017

Not a lot going on

The rest of my life is gradually impinging on my life in Tat Land so I've not got a lot to show and may have little over the next two weeks either.

I have been doing a trim for another new t-shirt and you can see in this picture the rather crumpled item! At the moment I am pinning it on and it needs to be sewn. This is a really bad picture as it was getting dark when I took it. The shirt is actually a very pretty blue. Perhaps I'll get a better photo when it's finished. 

I intend to do the same trimming for the sleeves too.

17 May 2017

Another task finished

I managed to put the beads together yesterday and this is the resulting necklace. I'm pleased with it although it took some re-working to get the chain parts the right lengths to suit my scraggy turkey neck.

I quite enjoy working with two pairs of pliers and a split ring opening tool thingie. 

When it was all done I gave it a good 'dose' of fabric protector spray stuff. I think mine is Scotchgard and I've had it for many, many years. This gives any jewellery protection from your body oils - well, that's what I tell myself!!!!

Unfortunately the pattern won't be available for a while as I've been given more beads by a neighbour.  These are a lot bigger than the three sizes I've used on this project so I'm going to have to do a bigger pattern for them.  I doubt they will be suitable to wear as jewellery but I really, really think they're going to become fantastic Christmas decorations.  

16 May 2017

Thank you

A VERY BIG thank you to Renulek for her 2017 doily. I've really enjoyed the adventure and have (even after all these years) found I have learned something through making it!!!

The way Renulek presents her doilies is very different to the way I do. That's NOT a bad thing as I'm sure my way of 'doing things' isn't perfect by any means. It's just a different way. I've really enjoyed this as it does leave the tatter to work things out for themselves which has really perked up BC3. I just hope that Renulek does another next year as I reckon I'll take part.

Also a big thanks must go out to Jill who sent me a multitude of fine threads which caused me to start the doily to experiment with them and Sally who said 'why don't you do HWT'?  My doily measures 18½" from point to opposite point.  It may be good to compare with other doilies shuttle tatted in size 20 thread.

The final row was made with the rings being two shades of blue and the chains with blue and black threads.  It sort of 'contains' the whole thing, I think.

I am NOT a doily person and have none out around the house. In fact they usually go into one of the tatting boxes and get forgotten about!!! Sadly that's what will happen to this one as it's always the making that fascinates me - not the finished item!!!

15 May 2017

Tatted beads

I don't quite know what happened a few days ago but I clicked on a link which took me here

Having found the big beads the other day I decided that this was going to be my next crochet project but with the beads that I blogged the other day in the middle and probably a lot smaller. Only trouble was I was thinking in a 'lazy' mode and decided that it was too much trouble to go and find a crochet hook for a size 20 thread which I'd got lurking in a container nearby.

Having gone through all this thought about the crochet balls I then decided 'why not tat them'? Where to find a pattern was the next problem as I'd got 3 sizes of beads to cover. No idea so I sent an email to BC3 who was 'up for the challenge'!!!

Not happy with the blue one but the variegated rainbow one worked well.  Off to sort out the stitch count (or whatever) for the other sizes.

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Happy Beaks

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