9 August 2019


Finally I’ve had a space of time to make a llama. I’m teaching this pattern at Palmetto and had lost the last one I made!! It’ll turn up again one day but meantime I needed a sample to show the class what we’re aiming to make!!! 

If the picture looks a bit odd it’s because the thread is a variegated Lizbeth one and is just right for making animals as they do vary in their colouring. 

One thing I like about this design is that there are NO ENDS to sew in at the end. Beginning ones are tatted over and the ends are - well, just left and frayed.  

Bit like my nerves sometimes when faced with a classroom of tatters!!!

8 August 2019

Black and cream pendant

Here’s another of the pendants - this time in black and cream with some gold beads. 

Somebody wrote and asked where I’d got the pattern from and I realised that I hadn’t put the link to the pattern on some of the posts. So, here just in case, is the link.

6 August 2019


I bet you’re absolutely FED UP with hearing about this darn bookmark/bracelet design. 

Well, to be honest, SO AM I!!!! I don’t usually take this long to get a design finished and onto my web site but the last few months have thrown so many problems my way that I almost came undone at the seams!!! 

The beauty of being an inveterate and longstanding tatter is that it’s difficult to unknot me!!!! Hope you follow my reasoning!!

Anyway the part of my life that caused the first lot of hassle is now resolved (my bank balance isn’t happy, though) and the other part which started to give me grief last week will probably be ongoing for quite a while!!! No matter - I’ll do what I’ve always done. What’s that? Deal with the situations as and when they rear their ugly heads. 

Now you’ve got to the bottom of my ramblings I bet you’re wondering where the link is to the pattern!! Well, here it is!!


5 August 2019

Blue pendant

Still in doodad ‘mode’ as I think these are such a useful little present to give to people. I’m putting them onto metal split rings so that they can either be hung as ‘just a dangle’ or added to a chain as a pendant.

I’ve made them on and off for years and have colours to ‘go with’ most of my outfits. 

Now when I say ‘outfits’ I really should be up front and honest. I don’t ‘do’ outfits!!! I wear T-shirt’s or tops which aren’t really outfits so coordinate my dangles with those!!!

2 August 2019

Three shuttles? No probs!!

The main problem with this design is that I've not had time to get the pattern sorted and finished yet. I've had a REALLY busy time over the past two months but that is slowly slowing down but just in time for me to get serious about my trip to America and Palmetto Tat Days. 

I promise it will get done and hopefully soon. I enjoyed doing this pattern but really ought to get back to animals after my trip. In fact I'm almost wondering if I may even think of a TIAS. I'll decide in October!!!

1 August 2019

Pink pendant

I love this little pendant pattern and have made several. No, that's wrong - I've made LOTS!!!

I wear them a lot too. This pink one is to go with a new top I bought for my travels to America - just hope I remember to pack it and take it with me.  I couldn't decide which worked best - plain background or blue so you've got both!!!

31 July 2019

What I need

Is a new project for taking 'out and about' with me. 

I'm not sure if this is going to be 'it' but I'm going to start another Dora Young motif and see how I get on with talking (too much) and tatting!!! 

This is the motif on page 19 of her book and is really easy to do once you've 'trained your brain'. It's just the joining of the motifs that I have to 'look up' again and get into my poor old head!!!

It’s the first Dora pattern I ever tried and it’s the one that caused my love affair (which continues) with Dora’s work.

30 July 2019

The 'whatever it is'

Now this is the third version of the bracelet cum bookmark which has a NAME!!

I actually named this from almost the start as I thought the SCMR 'might' (with a bit of imagination) be a cockle shell. So this is called Mary Mary!!! Remember the nursery rhyme - Mary Mary quite contrary?  

The pretty flowers are 'all in a row' with the (remember - use the imagination) cockle shells between them!!! See - I CAN name things sometimes!!!

This third version has the DPR's opposite each other and the same with the SCMR's. Just HAD to try this out. This is also done with three shuttles too!!!

This time I'm going to make it into a bracelet!!  Well if I get roundtoit of course!!!

29 July 2019

A bit of a grumble

I got myself into a long 'discussion' on Facebook last week.

I'm not sure why I bothered as the lady concerned still seems to think she's right in what she did. I'm afraid I disagreed strongly.

The issue I got my old knickers in a twist about is copy tatting. This is where people see a high definition picture of a piece of tatting and sit down and copy it by following the stitch counts etc. I can see that this could be considered 'clever' and probably helps that person to understand the construction of a piece BUT I feel it's so, so wrong as they are denying the designer his/her intellectual property/copyright rights.  What's even worse is posting it on the internet and encouraging others to do the same.

If this becomes an 'accepted' trend in Tat Land then it's going to discourage designers from doing what they do best - sit for hours and hours, days, weeks and sometimes even longer designing, testing and perfecting their work. 

While I see it's probably 'helpful' and is (to a small degree) clever I think it's appalling that the people who do it then post it on social media (or elsewhere) showing how 'clever' they are and then not accepting that it's morally WRONG. 

Please - I ask for very little but I'd beg you to actively join me in discouraging this new trend of copy tatting, whether the original designer is named or not. I can see it leading to the demise of new patterns eventually.

No pictures today - there's nothing that fits with this as I don't copy tat.

26 July 2019

Is it or isn't it?

A bookmark or bracelet?!?!? 

Actually it will be whatever you want it to be!!!

Here's the second version and the top one here was tatted by Carol. The one underneath was done by 'yours truly' - moi!!!!

Now in THIS version you can see I've got three colours which means THREE shuttles, obviously!!! You may well think HEEEELLLLPPPP when I say this but I found this version to be easier to do than the previous one!!! 

I'll give you a clue!!! The DPR and SCMR are worked exactly the same as before - no problem there. The chain is then 'brought into action' between each of those elements and 'wraps' round the other two threads just like you do in the second half of a split ring. When the chain is done you just drop the shuttle into your lap and do the next element. Easy peasy or WHAT? All will be explained on the pattern - WHEN it's done!!!!

24 July 2019

The new bookmark

Now I started this idea waaaaay back in (probably) May at least. I had the urge to play with daisy picots and actually managed to re-vamp this page before my life went CRAZY!!!

Actually it could also be a bracelet instead of a bookmark!

Craziness continues for another two weeks so please excuse my lack of blog posts for a while although I think I've got enough to cover this week. I digress, sorry.

When I put that blog post up a friend offered to test tat it for me. THANK YOU, Carol. At the time I was hoping to get it up on my site within a week but, as you know, life decided that just wasn't going to happen!!!

I've used SCMR's and DPR's in this version which is the first one in the pattern. 

There is another version which Carol tested for me and (I apologise) a third which still needs drawings done for it. Once they're done it can all go on my site!!!

23 July 2019

First attempt to re-furbish

What, you may ask!!! There again you may not and probably won't be the least interested anyway!!!  I refuse to throw things into landfill or recycling until I simply HAVE to so this has become a new challenge.

The top picture shows one of my two 'travel' mugs. I've had this guy for some years now and use it a LOT. I 'charge' it with coffee and creamer and take it (or it's distant cousin) with me to the library twice a week as they provide hot water and I can then have a cup of coffee when we're teaching. 

This poor soul is looking a bit jaded now and you can see that the slide on/off heat resistant part is beginning to crack up. So I wondered if I could make a new one to slide on and off when I wash the mug. 

This is a first attempt with fabric that was at the top of the pile and NOT a good match or anything!!! The 'pattern' for it was made up as I went along (there is a shape to the mug!) - as you do!!! Between the inside and outside fabric there is some wadding stuff that quilters use. It works but I'm not that happy with it and am wondering if it's cause the fabric 'doesn't go' with the mug or what. I've got another idea that's lodged in with BC3 so will play with that too!!!

More sometime in the future!!!

22 July 2019

To summarise!

The final row is finished of the Fandango mat. It now measures 16" by 13" and consists of 30 squares (6 x 5).

Now for the facts! I have 22 yards left of the ball which was enough for another one and a bit motifs as each one required thirteen and a half yards. 

There were 414 yards (approximately) on the full ball of Cebelia and each motif required 8½ yards on shuttle 1 and 5 on shuttle 2.  That means 13½ yards for each motif.

Phewwwww.  The photo doesn't do it justice really as it looks as if it's on a slope.  I think that's because I had to stand over it to take it!!  In 'real life' it looks pretty cool so that's fine.  Now it'll go in the box for my kids to probably consign to the bin when I'm out of the way!!!

I now have to find another 'take with me' project to do.  That's going to be a strain on the brain!!!

19 July 2019

A whole tea cozy

The second half didn't take nearly as long to knit as the first!!! I'd 'got into' the tension issues by then.

I took this to my voluntary job (Silver Surfers) last week and gave it to Pete as he was wanting a tea cozy. He was tickled pink by it. 

The 'top knot' is simply around fifteen chains long (crocheted, of course) and a double crochet running back along the strip. It needed the top knot to hide the finishing off at the top. 

17 July 2019

A darling little hummingbird

My dear friend Joanie once lived in South Carolina and I stayed with her there on several occasions before she re-located. She had hummingbird feeders in her garden and I was totally mesmerised by the little birds as you can tell by the video I took.

So when I got my regular newsletter from Barnyarns I was intrigued to find a hummingbird needle threader. Well it was cheap to buy so I ordered one just to see if it was any good. It arrived last Saturday and it's incredible for the price and size. Just to digress slightly - I love those newsletters as there's always a silly joke at the end!! I know - little things please little minds!!!

When I'm sewing I like a very fine needle which, as we all know, is very hard to thread and gets harder as you get older!!! I use self threaders like this (available here in the UK too) for tatting thread but have struggled with sewing thread and fine needles. This little beauty works a TREAT. I may order another as I just know I'll 'lose' this if it stays in our house for more than a few days!!!

15 July 2019

Fandango coaster

Onwards and onwards I go. This is my 'take with me to chat' piece at the moment.

If you remember I had a whole ball of size 20 Cebelia and I'm trying to use it all up!!! Now I've got a 'bit' left so this next row will be the final row - IF I've worked it out right. If not then this will be the final and I'll have to iron it and then put it in the tatting box - where all my 'stuff' goes!!!

I started this back in January as you can see here. I now want it finished so will work on it the next few days to get it out of the way. I then need to find a new 'travelling' project so that will need some thinking about. I'm tempted to go back to an old favourite Dora Young pattern. We'll see, though!!!

Meantime I really need to think about my trip to Palmetto Tat Days. Registration will soon be finished and I should know then how many I've got in each class. I also need to put together a 'white elephant' to join in that game. Packing of tatting to show and tell and then finally clothes - IF there's room!!!!

8 July 2019

Half a tea cozy!

Well half is better than none, I suppose!!! 

Pete’s cozy is making progress in between not a lot else that I’ve got to blog about at the moment!! I’m not being idle - just not got a lot to show you. 

My personal life is rather busy and will continue that way for a few weeks at least. 

5 July 2019

Something I'd never heard of

Again whilst talking to Judith about the Ruth Scharf leaves she pointed out to me that Elaine had come up with a reverse join.

Now I'd just started adding beads to the leaves when I heard about this join.  When I want to change directions I usually do a SLT and RW at the same time.  I find it's quite a balletic move as it flows from my hands.  No need to let go of the chain thread so so much faster.  But once I tried the reverse join there's no going back to my old ways!!!

Below is Judith's explanation of the reverse join but I will get round to drawing it up and making a technique page - one day!!!!

1. Using ball and shuttle threads

2. Start a lock join with the shuttle thread as usual by lifting a loop of the shuttle thread through the picot.

3. Lay the ball thread across between the loop and the thread from the shuttle. (Encapsulate it.)

4. Then pass the shuttle through the loop and tighten normally.

5. Instead of being above the join at the start, the ball thread will now be below the join (reversed position), hence ‘reverse join’.

4 July 2019

Knitting a tea cozy

We had a very quiet day at Silver Surfers two weeks ago so the volunteers had time for a chat with each other!!! Usually we get a few people wanting help but not this particular Wednesday.

While we were talking Pete mentioned he'd like a tea cozy for his teapot. Joan and I discussed it and I've taken the task on!!!! 

I'd knitted a tea cozy like this one years ago and still have it somewhere. I wanted to knit this pattern so duly armed myself with yarn, needles and pattern and off I set. Whoops, not as easy as I thought to get the tension behind the 'pleats' on this pattern.  Took me three attempts to get started!!!  Still I'm off and doing OK with it now. Going to be interesting when it comes to decreasing, though!!!

First picture is the front and the other is the back. Fingers crossed it’ll finish up OK.

3 July 2019

Gold leaf earrings

Well yes I got a bit carried away!!!! I'm just loving these leaves.

I’m rapidly running out of sparkly thread so when I get to Palmetto Tat Days I’m going to HAVE to stock up again.  Not that I really need an excuse, of course!!!

Most of the sparkly threads are from the Turkish range which Tatting and Design stock and import here in the UK.  I'm hoping to find similar at Tat Days but if not I'll be getting in touch with Barbara to ask her to bring some to Gloucester Tat Days at the end of September.  

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Happy Beaks

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