21 September 2018

Bauble bells again

Now I have three bauble bells and they're all on chains but they look kind of 'naked'. I'm pondering on my next part of this project.

Now what I like about making baubles this way (straight onto a split ring finding) is that you don't have any ends at the start to hide. No knot if you use the CTM method either. Makes life a lot neater.

These now have their clangers but are awaiting 'inspiration'. I'll keep you posted while I work away on the pattern and hiding those ends!!!

20 September 2018

Back to baubles

Well I never did tell you how I did this so I decided to make another pair of the earwigs to get the pattern sorted. 

The pattern won't make any sense unless you've already got your head round bauble making. The thing that I'm MOST pleased about is the way I've managed to made this with 8 ribs plus the shuttle and chain thread but finish it off with only 3 ends to hide!!! BC3 had one of his most devious moments doing this. I'm in the process of writing it down.

Now having made this first bell using Lizbeth metallic I realised that it's too big for an earring - even for me!!!! So, the aged brain has decided it's going to have some companions and be turned into some type of Christmas decoration!!!!

In these pictures I haven't yet added the clangers so you'll have to wait for those!!!

19 September 2018


It's arrived.

The August Snowflake is here.

I'm continuing to experiment with joining some together and will update on progress right here!!!!

18 September 2018

One down and one to go!!!

Well, almost!!! 

I finished this late last night so haven't sewn up the ends OR tried it on for size so may well have to add a few more rows which means, of course, undoing what I've done back to the toe decreasing!!! That's never a problem in my mind. Undoing things means to me - going back and improving!!! 

I think the psychology of this type of yarn suits me and saves me from the SSS as I'm dying to see whether my careful measuring out of the yarn before starting really works!!! I'll show you as soon as I've got something to show!!!

Excuse the wonky photo but I was being really lazy and just grabbed a piece of cloth to put on the table!!  I really 'do' wonky very well in all aspects of my life!

17 September 2018

August Snowflake

A little more progress has been made on the pattern for the August snowflake and I hope to get it up onto my site later this week. It takes so long as there are so many things to be checked before I get it 'up there'!!!

Over the past year or two I've ditched the free software available to use on a Mac to make documents and have changed over entirely to the software that comes with the machine - Pages. I'll admit that I've tried it several times over the years and have never been happy with it - until now. It's unbelievably simple to use and I love the way I can move my drawings around without having to set everything in 'tables'. Of course this new (to me) software has taken time to learn!!!

Anyway, here are three of the August snowflake motifs now put together. I suddenly decided to reverse the colours on the top one to see what it would look like. It will form the centre of the mat/doily, I think!!!

14 September 2018

Done and put in the wardrobe!

Well that didn't take long. Mainly because I didn't have to fiddle around playing 'hunt the right buttons' or 'hunt the press studs' or even 'hunt the right thread'!!!

Not sure if it was obvious in the picture the other day but I'd also ironed on the stiffening for the cuffs and the front band. 

Preparation seems to be the right way to go - just a pity I don't do it every time. Now that the local fabric shop is shutting down (there were two but one's gone already and the second will go in a few weeks) I think I'll have to be sure that when I travel to buy fabric I need to also remember to buy the odds and ends to complete the project. 

All in all I'm really chuffed with my two new tops.  Now for the cooler weather to wear them!!

13 September 2018

Sock it to me!

Yes, it's that time of year again. Time to buy slippers (my last ones saw three years of service) and time to knit socks.

Story about slippers. The slippers I've had for three years finally fell apart at the seams. They were from M&S (Marks and Spencer) so I went and bought another pair exactly the same. That pair lasted a whole week before falling apart so they went back!!! 

The picture is of more wool that I bought in Canada and the first sock 'on the needles').   Terry kindly split the ball for me so that it was half and half. She showed me that I needed to start in exactly the same place on the second sock to the first sock so that was my first task - to work out both starting places. It's the same brand of wool as these blue socks.  

Again I'm knitting in the continental manner which I'm getting quite fast at.  I've taught myself via YouTube (love that place) and find it so much quicker as it's more like crochet.

I'm just hoping I don't catch a dose of SSS and that I do manage to complete both socks. SSS? Second sock syndrome. I read that this is a disease that sock knitters can catch. Must check with my GP to see if I can get an inoculation to prevent it!!!

12 September 2018

A beaded fish

Now I've been nattering with my lovely friend in Canada and she's been on a mission to find information on one of my patterns. 

This is one of the missing patterns that I found eventually lurking in the depths of my computer. Like the Ipsy Dipsy one it was 'lost on the computer' for, I think, roughly eight or ten years. 

It's a fish. Well I thought I'd better tell you what I think it is in case it's not a very good likeness!!! Here's a link to the pattern which is now on my site and hopefully won't get lost again!!!

IF I had a brain I'd be dangerous!!!

11 September 2018

Ready, steady, GO

This was the 'state of play' at the end of the week before last.

All cut out and awaiting time (and inclination) to sew!!!

This is the other piece of fabric that I got last time we were in Birmingham. Can't wait to get started but need that space of time to get into it. Don't I look well organised? I've got everything out and ready to go. Not my normal method of working I promise you!!!

10 September 2018

Still working on this

Now before I get this pattern onto the web site I thought I'd test out a theory!!! Well, not really a theory - just an idea of BC3's!!! 

I was wondering what the August Snowflake would look like when several were joined together. Well, here's the answer - so far. I decided to go with the same colours as I'm enjoying the look of them but am also wondering whether I can do anything else!! I'll have to have another think about this. I don't want to fill the negative spaces as I really want to see how they look after several have been joined together - although I suppose I could always go back and fill them later! We'll see.

7 September 2018

A hedgehog story

Now in our town there are two youngsters who decided a few years ago to try and help hedgehogs.

The hedgehog species is declining in numbers due to modern life and they need a little help. These young teenagers have been taking them in, making sure they are fit and then releasing them back to the wild. Hedgehogs are not pets - they're wild creatures.

Last week they brought three of the recovered hogs to Lifeways which is just down our road. Here's a link to tell you what Lifeways is. Behind the house is a HUGE garden and this is where the hogs were released. The manager at Lifeways is an avid supporter of conservation issues and welcomed the three hogs. One neighbour built homes for them (should they decide to stay) and they were let loose.

This, of course, made me want to make the manager a tatted Houtz hog so that's what I did. Then another neighbour deserved one so again - that's what I did!!! I forgot to take pictures before those two left me!!! Then another friend feeds hedgehogs at her house in a nearby town so I've made her one as well but this time I remembered to take a few photos!!! First the tatted one and then the 'real deal'!!!

6 September 2018

Look what I found

My friend from 'down the road' and I went on a trip to Birmingham two weeks ago.

Another friend had told me about another fabric shop which I'd not heard of before so that was where we went to first.   Barry's Fabrics.   Almost as soon as I walked in I spotted 'just the right' fabric for a winter top.

I didn't take any pictures of it before I pinned the pattern on or while I was working on it either.  Not sure why but I think it was because I just wanted to get on with it!!  So, here's the finished top.

I must say it's a lovely warm 100% cotton and I'm hoping that we may go back in a few weeks although I did buy another piece of fabric to make another top. Here's the first one done!!

5 September 2018

Where does it go?

I'm asking about time, actually.  I need more than 24 hours in a day to get everything done. 

This is the snowflake pattern that I was asking for names for. I've decided to call it the August Snowflake. A great suggestion from one of the commenters.

I've started making it again while I'm still trying to get the pattern fit to fly onto the web site. This time I've chosen very 'not Jane' colours but I really, really love how they look together.

This one is in a size 40 thread. The lavender colour is a Lizbeth one and the yellow is an ancient Coats thread. I do love size 40!!!

4 September 2018

I promised!!!

I promised I'd tell you when it was available and now I'm going to do just that!!

Yes, Martha's new button book is available now. Here's the link to her blog with all the information. My copy is already on the way and if it comes in time before this goes 'live' then I'll show you more pictures of what's in it.

If you've missed previous posts on my test tatting of some of the designs then just search for 'Martha' on this blog.  I'm sure you'll find lots of inspiration.

3 September 2018

More packing!

This is the way I decided to package the snowflakes that I've made for the library sale. 

I used this pattern to make them and the Lizbeth gold metallic to make them with.

I'm hoping as this sale will make people think of Christmas and that they'll buy them. Who knows!

31 August 2018

The diamond project continues

And continues and continues!!! 

The end is nigh!!! No, not the end of the world but the end of the project.  I think!

I've done all the green diamonds so it's time to do an edging. I've got one and a bit sides done on this edging but I now think it'll need another row to make it a 'proper' edge.  You can see that I've left a triangular 'gap' where the two flowers meet on the outside.  I could've dived in and out of that triangular part but I thought I'd keep it to reflect the 'bare' diamonds in the rest of the project.  

I think a side takes me an evening but I'll let you know if I remember.

Posts maybe a little haphazard for a week or so as I've other 'stuff' to sort out but we'll see!!!!

29 August 2018

Thank you brooch

Having struggled with (and finally done) the purple earrings and whilst I had the thread and beads out I thought I'd go in search of a two hole, one inch button.

I used to have lots of this size but they've mostly been used for similar brooches so I was VERY surprised to find I had just a few left AND a purple one too!!! Out it came and I used this pattern (with the new joining technique) to make the brooch below.

That new joining method may take a little more thought but it really does settle the join onto the edge of the buttons.  

28 August 2018

Another mermaid!

Well, well, well. Whoever would have thought that another mermaid would arrive in late August.

For any new readers I must explain that this was a game I made up each year for everybody to play. The final one was last year (tenth year, I think). It was called the Tat It And See (TIAS) and a small portion of a new pattern was released every few days for free and for fun for anybody to take part in. 

I felt it had run it's time but that's not to say it won't happen again sometime in the future although I've got no plans for this next January. 

I digress - as usual, I hear you say! 

The point of this post is that I've had a new mermaid arrive from Axa. Here's the link to the TIAS blog and also to her post too.

27 August 2018

Isn't packing boring?

I wish it was the normal packing that I do at this time of the year when I'm heading out of the country to America or Canada to visit Palmetto Tat Days or the Fringe Tat Days. That packing isn't boring at all.  

I'm really, really regretting taking this year off from doing a trip. Part of my 'reasoning' was that it would give me longer to prepare some interesting new patterns for next year but guess what? It hasn't started yet!!!!

The packing I'm talking about is for the sale in the library in October. I'm gradually labelling everything, pricing it and putting it in my suitcase to wheel down the road. I just hope I don't have a suitcase full to bring back home with me!!!

24 August 2018

A sad sight!

This is the saddest thing you can imagine. The end of a ball of thread. Not just any ball of thread but one of my favourites. 

It was the variegated green that I used on these Christmas tree earrings

It's sad but also a sort of happy time too. It means I've now got a good excuse to buy another ball of thread. Now do I need anymore thread? Of course not.

But temptation is always there, isn't it? Fortunately there's a very similar colour combination in the Lizbeth range. It's number 138 - Leafy Green. I wonder if I've got any in my stash? Must check it out!!!

23 August 2018

A 'not so new' new pattern

Well here it is!!! It is new to you but old to me!!! 

Remember I told you on Monday that I'd found two patterns on my computer? Here's one of them. The one with the ridiculous name!!! Ipsy Dipsy. 

I'm not sure why this hasn't seen daylight until now. I certainly haven't 'sold my soul' and the pattern which would then mean I lose my copyright. I just can't think why I didn't post this on the website before.

I'm easily led astray by another idea long before the previous one has been properly dealt with. I wonder if that's what happened - although I did have a few family issues to deal with around that time. 

Well, doesn't matter now as the pattern is done, dusted and flying round in cyberspace - whatever that is!!!  Here's the link to the pattern - before I inevitably wander off again and forget!

22 August 2018

Thank you earrings

Remember all the findings and 'things' I was given? Here they are.  Well the person who handed them to me told me that the lady who'd donated them loved purple. 

Amongst the earring bits and bobs were purple shepherd's crook findings so they had to be pulled out to make the following.

Of course that took hours and hours as it's not easy to do such fiddly designs when you've nothing to start from. Not sure I'll do another pair just yet but if I do I've written down the pattern!!! I doubt anybody else would be foolish enough to want to do a pair like this!!

21 August 2018

Thinking caps on, please

The working name for this snowflake is 'Snowflake 2018'. How VERY boring is that?

I'm wondering if anybody can come up with a better idea as I always struggle with naming things. Even BC3 is hopeless too so it's no good asking him!

I'm now looking at this and wondering if I could join the outer rings to make an ongoing mat? I really, really REALLY ought to finish the diamond project first but ...............

Names for this snowflake would be very welcome - the sillier the better as those names seem to stick with my brain!!! 

Which reminds me - I found a couple of interesting patterns in my computer the other day and one has the silliest name ever. I'm sure I must've thought it up as it's beyond stupid. More about that as I slowly get it (and the other rogue) 'fit to fly' on the internet.

20 August 2018

Meet somebody new!

Two of the ladies were knitting hedgehogs at the Tuesday morning group a week ago and it was so, so tempting.

I asked for the pattern and they shared it with me but I've no idea of the source as it was handwritten. It's a pretty simple one so I'm pretty sure it would be easy to find somewhere on the internet but I though I'd just go with what I was given. 

The finished hedgehogs will go to a couple of teenagers who are doing a lot of very good work round Stratford with saving hedgehogs and they want knitted ones to give away. 

Here's an article that I found from the local newspaper.  They can happily have my little chap tomorrow via my knitting friends.

17 August 2018

A bit of bling a ding ding

Just because. 

Honestly - that's all. Just because I spotted some ring 'things' in my cupboard the other day I decided I had to have a new finger ring! I don't wear an engagement or wedding ring but do have another two rings on my right hand so thought that a ring on my left hand might be fun. 

I used the Lizbeth gold metallic thread which I think worked out a bit bigger than I really wanted but it is very much a 'statement' ring. It says 'this woman's bonkers'.

Oh, this is the pattern I used. I think I'm going to make another with (probably) a finer thread - perhaps a size 40?

16 August 2018

Refurbished seahorse

Hopefully I've had time and/or have remembered. OR both and the refurbished seahorse pattern is now on my site - here!!!.  I'm recovering from a grandkid invasion but I've put it in my calendar to upload this morning.  I hope to be out of bed and have it done before the blog post goes out but who knows if that will actually happen!!  If not I'll get it done as soon as I surface from my slumbers.

You can see below that I've had to make more of these little critters.  My excuse was that I was testing the pattern - again and again.  BUT who needs excuses really!

One could say that BC3's going through a 'seahorse phase'!

15 August 2018

Never say never!

I bet you all thought I'd given up on my diamond project? Well I never give up (well, very rarely) and thought I'd bring you an update on progress.  This is where I was back in May.

As you can probably guess - I'm beginning to feel that this project is now big enough. So on this final set of diamonds I'm trying to start an edging. 

I will eventually do an edging (probably two or three rows in depth) round the whole caboodle. But I felt that it wouldn't really work unless I'd levelled things off a bit first.

So, when the last few diamonds have been done I'll fathom a way of making an edging which will go 'all round' but leaving the triangular 'hole' as a sort of 'match' to the diamond 'holes'. If you understand.

I take this project with me when I'm 'out and about' at crafty meetings as I can make progress without too many boo boo's. I do make mistakes (I blame it on the talking around me) but that's tatting for you!!!

14 August 2018

Still busy

I'm still busy trying to get things ready for the October fair in the library.

I've made a dozen bookmarks using several different patterns but won't be making anymore as I'm not sure many people still read paper books. 

Personally I only read digital nowadays. A lot of the reason is because I can adjust the font size and also it's easier to carry around a phone/tablet/ereader than a paper book.

Shame really as I love making bookmarks and there are so many out there to choose from too.

13 August 2018

More gifts!

Well, well, well. I was given further gifts by Ali who said that they'd come from the same source. 

They came from the same lady who sent these.

I'm going to share these out eventually but all my findings need sorting so once the grandkids have gone I'll settle down to that job.

Interestingly I looked at the bag of gold rings (under and on the right of the blue bag) and initially thought they were jump rings. I never ever use those as things jump off! I always use the split rings that look like the ordinary key rings. 

I got one or two out of the bag and they didn't appear to have a space where the two 'ends' of the metal meet. I've brought them home (will return them if it doesn't work) to test them with thread. If the thread doesn't wriggle it's way between the join then it'll be a 'win, win' situation. If they don't work I'll pass them onto somebody who can make use of them.

10 August 2018

A gift

Now I belong to several drop in craft groups where everybody exchanges ideas and help with all sorts of projects. I go to one of the groups on a Thursday afternoon and last week I went after a two week absence.

Ali, the person who's 'in charge' asked me if I used earring findings. Well of course I do as I always go out with a pair of earrings on. I'd feel naked without!! I never wear makeup (or muckup as I like to think of it) but always wear things hanging from my ears!!! 

She'd been given these and asked me if I could use them. What a lovely question to ask and of course they came home with me!!!

I feel another earring session (perhaps some more seahorses - see yesterday's post) coming on but I will HAVE to make myself throw away some of the older ones!

9 August 2018

Seahorse earrings

I had an accident last Sunday evening. A BIG accident too. I knocked over the stand that my earrings hang on. There's a picture below of the rescued and restored stand.

The result of this was that they all fell behind and below a VERY large heavy oak table. I scrambled around underneath and behind and rescued them all except one of a pair which was my very favourite design.  So on Monday morning  and armed with a torch I managed to find and restore the favourite earring. 

Whilst doing that I decided to 'get rid of' my unfavourite ones so the yellow/orange seahorses below HAD to go. I just didn't like their colour or much about them, really. 

I decided a re-think needed to happen. First of all I wasn't happy with the tail. The whole seahorse didn't really 'dangle' well so a bit more weight needed to be added to the tail. More beads, I thought!  Then there were a few more 'tweaks' required too.  Finally I came up with the ones you see at the bottom of this post.  I now have to re-draw, and play with the layout before replacing the link on the pattern site.  I'll be back when I've done that and after I've made another pair or two or three or four etc!!

8 August 2018

Playing around

Before I start the daily (well five days a week) ramblings of an OG (old git - me) I must say a HUGE thank you to those who commented either on my blog post t'other day or on Facebook.  You've restored my faith in blogging as I was sort of beginning to flag.  

Little did I know when I scheduled the post that the same day I'd be offered a flight in a microlight which is why I was a bit late responding to comments and didn't get to say this on yesterday's post!!!  I'm not sure my feet are on the ground, yet!!!  

Well hopefully down to earth and down to 'business'!!!

I've been playing around!!! 

I made a bookmark using this bookmark (or bracelet!) pattern a week or two ago and after I'd done it I had a 'what's if' moment!!!

'What if' I did just six SCMR's and could I turn it into a snowflake? Well it took a bit of working out as the stitch count had to be 'jiggled' to make it lie well but this is the prototype. All done in one round too so no ends to hide until you get to the end. 

I must admit that's always an aim in my designs - to make something that avoids sewing in ends. Trouble is it does sometimes restrict the way BC3 works but he usually gets round the problem!!!!

I need to make at least one more 'decent' one to check everything over and then I'll draw it up and eventually (well, you know me!) I'll get it onto my pattern site!!!

7 August 2018

Coasters or small doilies?

I'm not quite sure what to call these!!! I know I've made lots of them and have now packaged them ready for the October craft fair that I'm taking part in.

The pattern is in Rosemarie Peel's book and I've shown these many times before!!! Here's a link to more information on where to find the pattern.

I met the other 'crafters' on Sunday as we had a planning meeting.  They're all really lovely people so I'm sure we'll all have fun even if we don't sell a lot of things!

6 August 2018

The third top and some questions

Interesting thoughts have occurred to me. Yes, BC3 and I do think from time to time!!!

On Friday I spoke about the Christmas tree earrings that I finally decided to put on my pattern site. Now I don't want or desire fame or glory as you know but it did make me wonder how many people read my blog posts nowadays as there were very few (4 only) comments on that post. So I decided to look back through the past weeks and I think the comments are falling off. 

Now I'll be honest as that doesn't particularly bother me because the reason for the blog is about me keeping track of me and what I'm doing.  I'm wondering if blogs are dying a death or if people just aren't interested in mine? OR could it be to do with the settings I've got on the comments section? OR to do with Facebook taking over?  I'd love to know.  Comments welcome and particularly if you're finding me boring.  I'd understand and then be able to do something about it whatever the cause is - I hope.

Below is the final top I've made. If you look closely you'll see that the print is scissors!!! I also used another neckline on this one as well. Just right for the hot weather we've been having.

3 August 2018

Christmas tree pattern

Not new by any means BUT a new way of working it.  This method means no ends until you get to the end - if you see what I mean.  

In the original it meant ends to sew in on every row but you know I'm lazy and  I worked out a way of doing this little earring with only the ends at the end to sew in.

I've agonised over this pattern for ages wondering if I should or shouldn't share it but in the end I've decided to go ahead and hope it doesn't cause any worries  or upsets to anybody.

This was done in 1993 in it's original form and then I found at least one other person had come up with the same idea. Anyway I've gone ahead and rewritten and redrawn the pattern and you can find it here.

2 August 2018

An anniversary card

A lovely couple who live almost opposite us celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last Friday. 

The people in this road are amazing as if anybody is in trouble we all pitch in to help. I was one of a team who was privileged to being allowed to help them over the past year or so while they both recovered from operations. 

I was invited to help them celebrate their anniversary so set out to find a suitable card. A diamond wedding card was what I was looking for. There were a few in town but they were far too 'soppy' for me so I was stuck.  I'm hopeless at making cards and have no imagination for them.  

Then I spotted this card which I thought was cute - specially as the manufacturer had left a space at the bottom for a '60' and a diamond!!!!

1 August 2018

Simply a cute hedgehog

Teresa has sent in this bauble hedgehog. He's now living in the Exclusive Club which you can find here.

I'm wondering if anybody doesn't know where to find the patterns for these wonderful critters? If you don't know then here's the link to the book by the fabulous Houtz brothers. You can also order from your favourite tatting supply sellers. 

I'm going to tease you now by not telling you what Teresa said. You'll have to go to the Exclusive page to find out!!! I'm a rotten person, I know. You can tell me how horrid I am in the comments.

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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