14 February 2018

I wonder?

I wonder how old this weird safety pin is and what or who would use it?

I was doing yet another tidy up of the tatting cupboard and discovered it lurking in a box. I thought you'd like to see it.

I can't even remember where it came from so no good asking me.  Over to you guys!!!

13 February 2018

While the TIAS is going on

While the TIAS is going on I'm working on several other things quietly in the background and when I've got the odd few minutes here and there. 

The diamond project continues but is now becoming a 'take out and about' with me piece. I tend to take it to the craft groups I go to as (believe it or not) I can actually remember the pattern now!!!! That's pretty good considering BC3 is getting on a bit now!!!

I have several patterns that I'm also re-visiting and updating too. I'll be letting you know about those in due course.

Meanwhile I now have 12 star shapes done although that's not quite right as I've done a few more since this photo was taken!!!

6 February 2018

Two more cabochons

Slowly working on getting the pattern sorted but every time I get near it I put out another day on the TIAS and that stops everything!!!

Not complaining - just saying!!!!

2 February 2018

Another cabochon

This time in a burgundy colour with almost white thread. I'm starting another addiction!!

I hope to work on the pattern and get it finalised over the weekend. That's if the TIAS allows me.

These actually look a lot better in real life than they do on here.  This is scanned which hasn't worked well.  I've done a few more so will take photos in future!

30 January 2018

First Cabochon finished

Well after many abortive attempts to do this I've finally got the first 'good one' finished. 

Part of the problem was doing the front as BC3 decided to go walkabout and left me in the lurch. I'm working on the pattern - text is always done as I go along. The drawings need to be finalised and then it'll be 'good to go' on the pattern site.

Top picture is the front and (obviously) the bottom is the back!!!!

The working title for the design is 'Working with Cabochons' but if anybody can think of a better title I'd be very grateful.  This design needs NO glue if worked with the correct thread - size 20.

26 January 2018

NOT to be confused!

With ice drops!!!!

With an ice drop!!!

Sue Hanson sent me some of these rectangular cabochons with the threads I bought off her back here.  

It's taken me a few weeks to get round to playing with them but I'm pleased to say work has started!!! They can't be called ice drops as they're not round so what CAN I call them when I've got a pattern to fit them?

Now this is going to take a wee while as I want to use this method of enclosing them but, of course, when I did this I was going round a round item!!!! 

I'll tell you one thing - I'll NOT be using glue at all as I don't believe in glue with tatting - well, except for stiffening sometimes.

This'll keep me quiet for a while, don't you think?!?!?

22 January 2018

Things are progressing

I meant to post this a week or more ago. This was where I was 'at' back then.

This is my 'relax' tatting when I want to just stop thinking about 'what to do next'. My last week was manic both online with the TIAS and personally in my 'private' life. All problems are now sorted and hopefully will stay that way for a while.

17 January 2018

Day 1

The link can also be found on the TIAS blog too and at the side of this blog until the game is over.

16 January 2018

A small diversion

As you know I join friends in a small town about eight miles away on a Friday to chat and swop ideas. It's called Crafternoon and is held in the local library. 

When we were sitting around last week I announced that I was going to make this little Itty Bitty Anything Bag which you can find here.

Well I wish I hadn't told them now as I got thoroughly teased. Why would I want to make it was the main question. What was I going to use it for was another. When I told them that I was making it because I liked the look of it and had no idea what it would be used for (if anything) I got myself teased and teasedeven more. What they didn't seem to 'get' was that it's not the things that I make that's important - in fact they're irrelevant. It's the actual making that's enjoyable. 

This little bag is really easy (took an afternoon only) and, of course, could easily be made larger. I also learned how to do the cord for it although I rather cheated in that I did use a knitting needle to hold the two stitches while I went back and worked the first stitch. I got up quite a speed doing it in the end.  It stands at 3½" high.  

15 January 2018


No, I've not 'quite' lost the plot as I do know it's still only Monday!! What I wanted to remind you is that on Wednesday it's the start of the Tat It And See (TIAS) for 2018.  The introduction is here.

In case you'd forgotten it's also the last one. I've been doing them now for ten years and feel it's time to stop. Of course if there was a huge take up I may be tempted to do another!!!! We'll see. 

Please, please make this a really great TIAS by sending in any comments, photos (particularly fun ones) to this email address.  They will then be added to the blog.

Below are a few reminders of TIAS's from previous years. Just to tempt you to this years!!!!   

Of course this year's will be very different and not the least like the ones below.  I think will appeal to most people. I'm not telling you anymore than that as I don't want to spoil the surprise!!! Links to each day will be sent out in blog posts both here and on the TIAS blog which is here. You can find them on the lefthand side of the pages. Translations have been done into Dutch by Riet and French by Julie. I can't thank them both enough - particularly for Riet's very sharp brain which picked up several hiccups this year.

12 January 2018

The leftovers!!!

After knitting the one dishcloth there was enough yarn leftover to make another but I decided to do a crochet one this time. 

Not very happy with this (again it's scruffy as it was 'stolen' off me straightaway).  

It's a bit in the wonky 'zone'. Still it does it's job and the head chef is happy with it. I think I'll stick to tatting or crochet for now!!!

10 January 2018

Something a little different!!!

Another bit of side tracking!!! 

When I was in Canada I spotted some dishcloth yarn in one of the stores and decided that one of the balls had to come home with me. I've been wanting to knit or crochet a dishcloth for ages so it seemed like a good idea at the time.

This one is made by starting from a corner. I've been watching a lady at our Tuesday craft group knitting squares for blankets using this method and thought it was drop dead clever so to make a dishcloth was a good way to find out how she did it!!!  I found the pattern here.

It's already looking a bit grubby in this picture as Nick very quickly commandeered it for the kitchen. He does the cooking as he says he doesn't want to be poisoned!!!! He forgets I brought up two kids and they survived my culinary skills!!!

9 January 2018

Further progress

Eight stars done now and I can't get the whole piece onto the scanner so you'll just have to imagine it until I get my act together and take a photo of it. 

I'm actually on the next 'level' or round if you can imagine it. The green one seems to have become the centre motif!!!  I'm still enjoying the sheer relaxation of doing something that requires little input from BC3!!! 

I'm going to have to put this aside for a while as Sally has been nagging me (nicely I might add) about re-writing this little pattern as she says she can't understand it. I completely understand as I know I struggled to try and make it make sense in the first place (and obviously failed)!!!!  As you know I do tend to re-visit my older patterns to see if I can do anything to make them easier to understand.

8 January 2018

Happy wotsit

As usual NYE was spent at home with an early bedtime.  Unfortunately NOT a good idea this year as our neighbour had a party and we live in a terraced house.  I'll leave you to guess how I felt the following day!!

Tatting was done as usual and plans for the Tat It And See continue. All I have to do now is finish uploading the files and checking the links. 

The TIAS blog is back in the land of the living and can be found here.  Links to all TIAS parts will be found at the side of this blog and the TIAS one as they are released.

If you haven't already found it - here's the link for the English version of the introduction and here is the one for the French version.  

Starting day is Wednesday 17th January so I hope to meet a few of you then.

5 January 2018

Seven stars - AGAIN!!

At last I'm finally happy with the yellow star. I took a third thread out and just used two sewing threads this time and it's much, much better. 

Sorry about the wonky picture but it's only 'just' fitting on the scanner!!!

Meantime preparations for the TIAS continue and I'm having great fun helping another tatter convert a pattern. I really like doing things like this. 

The lass is using one of my patterns and changing it to make it an absolute gem. I'm doing the drawings for her which are proving challenging and interesting too. I'm always learning from these experiences too.

3 January 2018

An important update to the blog

I've been talking to Leigh and had forgotten that she has the MOST USEFUL web site on the internet. Least that's what BC3 and me think. I've added the link to the side of the page (top left) and hope you'll take time to go have a look.

It's called Something Under the Bed. Please DON'T click on the link unless you've got a cup of tea or coffee and some chocolate ready first as you'll spend hours there drooling and appreciating all the work Leigh has done for us all.

Here's a screen shot to tempt you over to look under the bed. Thank you, Leigh. It's a wonderful resource and one which I've visited many times in the past.

2 January 2018


This is a job I do regularly (updating patterns on my web site) and Stephanie reminded me of a pattern that desperately needed 'sorting out'. 

It's a lovely (even if I say it myself) little basket that I did many, many years ago. In fact I made over 80 of them at the time as they were given away at my youngest daughter's wedding. They were filled with almonds as favours for the guests. 

The pattern does require a few 'starts and stops' but nowadays split rings and split chains could be used to avoid some of those 'situations'!!!

The link is here - the same place as before!!!

1 January 2018

The 'joys' of thread!!!

Now today I'm showing you seven of the stars made from the diamond pattern which can be found here. 

OK, I'm showing the yellow one twice to prove that I cut out the yellow star in the top picture!!! It worked out just a teeny tiny bit bigger than the others. So, it's back to the yellow thread but this time with two wound together and not three. 

I really really thought it was going to be fine. All looked well until the whole star was completed. I still thought about it for another day or so before 'scissors over mind' took over!!! I hope to be able to show you the replacement yellow soon.

29 December 2017

The answer

To whether it's going to be a long thin mat or something else!!! You can now see it's taken on the decision to be 'not a long thin' thing but something a bit wider!!!!

Of course this won't necessarily mean that it'll become a round mat as I could make it into a long fat one! Who knows - I don't. Not yet.  Still enjoying the process of making it, though.  Now to decide what the next colour will be!!!!

27 December 2017

The joys of a big project

Here you are - 5 diamond stars now done.

I do really enjoy large projects like this one - particularly as there's no plan of what it's going to 'be' or when it's going to be finished. 

From this point it could be a long narrow mat for, say, a radiator shelf or it could become a rounder mat as I could add two more to it keeping the green one as a central motif. Who knows but decisions will have to be made soon!!!

23 December 2017

Four stars completed

Another done plus another started. This has taken me two days to get this far. Mainly cause I've been doing other things in between. I reckon to get around four diamonds a day and a whole star in a day and a half. 

Upwards and onwards!!!

21 December 2017

3 little stars in a row

Well I did it. I flipping DID IT. I remembered to join the green to the pink!!! 

I'm so chuffed with this I'm going to add more to the 'whatever it is' while I'm rocking and rolling!!! 

When I had the threads off Sue Hanson she'd wound some HWT onto small embroidery floss thingies but most of them seem to have three or four strands  (4 actually don't work out to the size that I need and sometimes 3 don't either!!!). All this is trial and error.  Sometimes 1 of the strands is thicker than the others.  To even things up I've sometimes had to add a thicker thread to get the right size.  My aged fingers are getting quite good at feeling the right size!!!

I've split her wound threads up again and added others (sometimes thinner) too. It's amazing how adept an old git can get at doing this without wasting a scrap of thread!!!! There's been some cussing though as occasionally I've nearly got a true tangle but the air still isn't blue in this corner of Tat Land!!!

I test each new HWT out with a few rings and chains of the pattern to make sure they'll work with each sizing before I start another star.  

20 December 2017

The scarf is finished

I really enjoyed doing this chevron pattern and hope to use the idea again sometime in the future.  I think it would be really good for making blankets using up scraps of yarn.  Still, that's for the future - if ever!!!
I love the way the two yarns of quite different colours worked so well.  Interesting as one had browns in and the other mainly blues.  Just shows you (or, rather, I) can never be sure how things will turn out!!!

18 December 2017

I have a plan.

It's 'plan B' and it's going to work out just fine. 

Least that's what BC3 keeps telling me!!! I've started a green diamond star and just hope that we both remember to join it to the pink when the time comes!!!

16 December 2017


Well I finished the pink diamond star but I went and forgot to join the two points to the purple 'star' so I'll have to look for another plan. Plan B, I guess.

I was afraid this would happen. Simply because I was stressed and not concentrating on what I was doing. Ah well, I think I know how to solve this problem without undoing anything. Hope to show you sometime next week. 

I think next week I maybe a bit quieter as somebody told me it was the Silly Season coming. I think it's commonly known as Christmas!!!!  Just another day on the calendar!!!!  

15 December 2017

Guess what?

This is going to be!! It's the crochet I promised to show you. 

No prizes for the right answer as it's pretty obviously going to be a scarf! I'm using up wool that I had leftover from a cardigan and another ball of the same brand that I won in a raffle. 

I love this chevron pattern although it took me time to get my head round how to do it. It's so darn simple really that I just couldn't 'see' it at first.  I found the destructions on the internet and watched a video too.  I think I'm about halfway now and once it's finished I may put a border round it to tidy up the edge where I've run the threads up the side.

14 December 2017

Three more diamonds done

Again using HWT I've managed to get another three diamonds done. I will be joining this 'star' to the purple one when I do the next diamond. Least, that's the plan. Just hope I don't forget!!!

I'm also slogging away at some crochet which I keep forgetting to take a picture of. I'll do that right now and show you tomorrow. 

Actually 'slogging' is the wrong word as I'm thoroughly enjoying doing it. 

12 December 2017

Mice in Singapore

There's been a small infestation of mice in Singapore!!!! Val has now joined the Exclusive Tatting Club!!!! 

Like me she struggled to get the bauble 'going the right way' but she's now cracked it. Aren't they cute? I'm dying to get back to baubles but I've got other things 'on the go' at the moment.  This is what Val said.

"I quite like how they turned out, although I think my tension has lots of room for improvement. Now that I’ve got the hang of doing them up, I might just be tatting more of them! Some pictures below for you to see my ‘babies’. 
Oh yes, they couldn’t wait to scuttle across the room!"

You can see Val's mice on the Exclusive Tatting Club page which is here.

11 December 2017

Pretty, pretty, pretty.

There's been the first ever Victorian Christmas Market in town over the weekend. It was pretty darn good but even better was the chance to meet up with Ruth Mary. That's her in the first picture. Poor lass (and her husband) looked frozen. It was a VERY cold two days for them standing out on the street and unfortunately the third day (yesterday) had to be cancelled because of snow. In fact they had probably the nicest spot in town - about 100 yards from the Bard's Birthplace and almost directly outside the library. 

Now Ruth Mary's work is well worth seeing. She's selling tatted jewellery but with a huge difference. Hers is in silver and gold.  To call it exquisite is really an understatement.  Here's a link to her web site where you can find out more but please be careful - you don't want to drool all over your keyboard, do you?

What was interesting is that she didn’t know who I was (lucky woman!) so obviously doesn't spend a lot of time in Tat Land.  She also referred to her work as 'lace' and didn't mention tatting.  In a way I can understand that as I feel that the word 'tatting' doesn't do our type of knotted lace justice.  I forgot to ask her if she did any other types of lace.  Ah well there’ll probably be another time when I see her again!

9 December 2017

Facebook - what I'm going to do next!

Having thought long and hard (yes, it HURT) I've decided to unfriend a lot of the friends I've got on Facebook. 

Now this isn't because I'm an unfriendly sort of person but simply it's to make my life easier!!! I didn't understand the difference between 'friends' and 'following' on Facebook so I looked it up and it seems that anybody can 'follow' anybody but that means they don't show up on their timeline. If you're 'friends' with people then they show up when they post!!! Now this has meant I've lots and lots of 'stuff' going on on my timeline which I'm simply not interested in. People's private lives just don't interest me like I'm sure mine doesn't interest many others.  This unfriending will take me a while and I'll probably have accidents and delete people I don't mean to delete so please bear with me.

So, if you don't see me on your timeline in the future it's because I've 'unfriended' you but I do hope that IF you're interested enough you'll 'follow' me instead. Particularly the Jane Shuttle Tats Lots page.  I hope this isn't going to upset people but I do need to protect my sanity and it's going to mean that I may use Facebook a bit more if I'm not overwhelmed.  

Well, that's the plan but who knows how long it will take!  

8 December 2017

One done but ...........

A few days further on and the first diamond flower is finished!!! I must admit I'm enjoying continuing my 'not designing' phase but will also admit to fiddling around with something which is now beginning to annoy me. 

Well the 'something' isn't the problem - it's my BC3 that just can't get my head round what I'm trying to do with my hands.

You see I don't appear to design like most people. They have a drawing and notes to start with but I have - well, simply, shuttles and thread!!!! I tend to just fiddle until something works. If I'm doing an animal or something that has a definite 'look' to it then I do study images - and lots of them too. 

Meanwhile I'm going to start another diamond flower but will have to raid my stash and decide which colours I will use next!!!!

7 December 2017

A Christmas present

Now this is for a little girl I know who is 'into' unicorns!!! Anything (particularly cuddly toys) with a horn is what she loves at the moment!!! Ten years old and easy to please.

I just LOVE Martha Ess's designs. They are just SO easy to follow and work out exactly right too. You can find her books for sale in many places and I've given you a link to her blog. If you've never bought one of her books before then you don't know what you're missing.

The unicorn I've done is from the book Flights of Fantasy.

The picture below hasn't really worked out that well under the scanner as the pink background is VERY bright. I'll hopefully remember to take a photo once the picture is put together. Keep your fingers crossed that I do remember!!!

6 December 2017

Another project started AND finished

I just LOVE this pair of gloves that I made last year. They are SO useful when out shopping.

A couple of weeks ago I came across the yarn I'd used for them and wondered if there was enough to crochet another pair. I weighed the original gloves and then the 'leftover' yarn. Result - PLENTY. So, out came the crochet hook and off I went on another journey.

Now what I love about crochet gloves is that I don't get those wretched holes at the bottom of the fingers that you get when you knit gloves. Well, probably nobody else gets holes but I do!!!! However careful I am I have 'air conditioning' in my gloves. 

This pair have full fingers/thumbs so are now designated 'out for a walk' gloves!!!! 

I managed to make these (I find crochet a lot faster) while I was fiddling with the TIAS during the day. Crochet in the evening was a lovely change.

5 December 2017

Facebook mumblings

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Actually it verges more on hate than love!

I like that I can meet people there and that there are lots of tatting groups which I belong to too. I have turned off most notifications that used to come into my mail inbox each time somebody from each group posted something.  I found that it was all impinging on valuable time especially if I wandered off to follow them!!!  I do keep about two or three groups 'actively' sending me notifications and if somebody mentions my name then that seems to trigger an email too.  

When I do get a notification with a question in it and when I think I can answer it then I normally click on the email link, go to the page and then turn on 'notifications' for that thread. Sometimes I actually go and offer help or advice immediately but not very often.  I like to see what others have to say first.  Once I see that somebody has answered the question I take off the notification.

What really, really annoys me about Facebook is that people don't read what others have put and so there's lots and lots of repetition. I've thought long and hard about closing my Facebook account but I'm a nosy old person and once every so often something that interests me does come up!! 

So, if anybody wants me on Facebook then they've just got to mention my name on there - think it's called tagging? I will then bumble along and see what I can do to help. Getting 30+ emails from Facebook in my inbox each morning meant that I tended to be later and later getting on with the day. Sometimes I think I had more time when I was working!!!!

Below is a TIAS teaser!!!  Well, actually, it's just a picture of a shuttle and we'll be using shuttles in the TIAS so it's no help at all to you!!!!!

4 December 2017

Still not sure!

I'm still not sure what I want to do or how I want to do it but I THINK I need a big ongoing project that I can pick up and put down when I want to. 

I sort of know that I want to play with HWT (Hand Wound Threads) as they give SUCH a lacy look. This is going to be one of those decisions which I may well regret (starting out on a big project) although I've done massive ones before. This is sort of what I think I may replicate BUT with a different layout and with negative spaces. The one I did before back in 2011 (remember sitting in the yard in Blue Ash, Cincinnati childminding and making this) was done in a size 20 thread and is ENORMOUS.

This is going to be known as the 'diamond project'!!!!  Yes, it's one of my patterns which is somewhere on my free pattern site!!!!

2 December 2017

Playing with ideas

I've started playing with ideas for a project. This is the Fandango coaster which you can find here.

I've used my current favourite thread - HWT (Hand Wound Thread) and I decided to use it with two different combinations. As you can see - it didn't really work and by the time I'd finished the motif I'd gone off the idea anyway. Can you tell - I'm just not motivated to settle to anything!!!

Having said that I have a glimmering of hope with some cabochons that Sue kindly sent me. Not sure yet what'll happen there but I can assure you that BC3 will have to get his act together to help me.

1 December 2017

Bookmark Ring of Roses

I'm in a state of dithering at the moment. I can't decide what I want to do. I think (just think!) I want to do a big project but no idea what and don't really want to be tied to a big project either!!! That doesn't make sense, I know!!!

This is normal for me - I go through phases of not knowing what I want to do so I expect I'll think of something in the end.

Meanwhile the HWT was and is tempting me so I got some out and made this bookmark. Just a simple one that can be put in a book. No tail as they tend to catch on things and then pull out - thus losing the place!!! I used one of my own designs as I was too lazy to go looking elsewhere!!! It's the Ring of Roses bookmark - just in case you wanted to know!!!

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Happy Beaks

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