30 October 2019

More progress

I'm afraid that not much tatting is getting done at the moment. I'm 'hooked' on knitting since I got home from America.

As you can see I'm now on my second front so just hope it fits in the end.

I LOVE the bamboo knitting needles Joanie gave me. They're really easy on the hands. You can see the pocket that I'm making on this. It's gone a bit 'curly' at the top so I will probably put a few rows of ribbing on it when I've finished. It doesn't say to on the pattern and, in fact, doesn't give any instructions for finishing the pockets. 

What I love about this old fashioned pattern is that it gives you the stitch count at each stage which a lot of patterns I've worked in the past don't.

29 October 2019

Whoops a daisy!!!

Last week a new store opened about a mile away from me - just 'out of town' but within an easy walking distance.

Why am I mentioning this? Well because it's a miracle. 

Prior to this our only two fabric/yarn stores had closed down in town and it was hard (almost impossible) to buy even a sewing needle although we do have an EXCELLENT curtain/yarn supplier just on the outskirts of the town. 

Of course I had to go and check out the new Hobbycraft last Thursday. It's wonderful (apart from no tatting supplies) to have such a resource so close to home. I wandered around and found some boxes which I thought might be 'just right' for my sewing stuff. Mine is around forty years old and a bit small for what I try to put in it. So I found what looked fine to me and took one out of it's polythene sleeve, opened it and decided that perhaps I didn't really 'need' a new one and this was a bit 'flimsy' too. I carefully put it back in the sleeve and popped it on the display. Just as I was turning round to leave the whole display fell down!!!

Now it made quite the clattering noise!! What you might call an embarrassingly  LOUD clattering noise which went on forever. Finally I found I couldn't move as the boxes were literally all around me. Two assistants came and sorted it out (they decided to take them all out of the sleeves) while I discretely took a photo. Hope I'm not barred in future from Hobbycraft.

28 October 2019

Just a reminder

As it's 'that' time of the year when some people celebrate (if that's the right word!) Halloween I thought I might put a reminder that I do have a couple of 'suitable' patterns lurking around.

The witch is an old one and she can be found here.

There's a skull here which is a quick tat.

I have two spiders as well. First this one and then there's my favourite which I really love wearing and they're here.

25 October 2019

More fabric for Roly Poly Tat Bags!

Although I’ve got even more fabric than this - these are some that I find are really appealing for the bags.

Another one made too - cherry ripe would be a good name for this one!!! It's ready to send to Sue (Pigmini).  This one has a white lining (which is what I usually use) so that a tatter (or whoever!) can find things inside it easily.

I was hoping to make myself a new one next and I think it'll have to be the crazy cat fabric I showed back here but fortunately I have other orders that have appeared so my 'spare' time is going to be busy again.  That's good as idle hands (like mine) get up to mischief!

23 October 2019

Coriolis finished

Now for something new!!!

This is the Coriolis that you've seen a few times before. I submitted it for a class at Palmetto this year but it wasn't taken up. No problem as they did accept the other patterns and I went and had a FANTASTIC time too.

The following weekend the group had their regular guild meeting and asked if I had anything I could teach - if I wanted to!! I'm always willing to share and fortunately had left a copy of the Coriolis on my iCloud account so could send it to them for printing. Apparently there are usually around four people who turn up for the meeting so it was incredible that around fourteen actually arrived! It was a very relaxed afternoon although I was running around like a headless chicken most of the time!!! 

Anyway, here's the link to the pattern for you to try.

As it's worked all in one without any ends (except the last one, of course) and also if done using the lazy way of block tatting there's no need to even take the threads off the hand except for split rings or the ring on the chains on the outside!!!

I've also added the edging instructions too.

22 October 2019

One more made and more fabric

I’m just going to put a selection of the fabrics I’ve got which maybe of interest if anybody wants to order a Roly Poly Tat Bag. I'm taking orders so please contact me if you want anything in particular.

I was searching for a link to show you some of the bags I'd made in the past and was gobsmacked to realise that it was six or more years ago when I was in the height of production!!! Here's a link for you to see. There are also two 'poke proof' pouches on this page too!!

Here's one I made yesterday (well, finished off as I was waiting for my zip order to arrive).  Can  you see the contrast fabric I used for the lining?  Love this little bag.  

21 October 2019

Sincere aplogies

To Dora Young, her grandson (who graciously gave permission for the reprint), Heidi Nakayama (who spent years getting it together) and Patti Duff (for gifting me a rare copy of the original book) for something I regret doing.

In my enthusiasm for Dora’s work I've posted the things I've made on this blog many times, as readers will know. I now regret having done that as thieves are about.

On Saturday I had a notification about a new post on Just-Tatting (a Facebook group that I belong to). This one made me curious as the lady had posted a poor rendition of a Dora Young pattern. I normally keep quiet as I like to read people's reactions to things on Facebook before I say anything - this time I didn't wait long. By the way, she's got 53 'likes' for this which proves to me that people DO NOT read the whole story. Why would you 'like' something that very quickly was brought to the group's notice, by the lady concerned, that the pattern was stolen?

This lady had STOLEN the pattern off the internet and, I later realised, that another of Dora's patterns that she was asking for help with had been STOLEN off my blog (I asked her to remove it and she appears to have done that) but am now worried that the other one she stole and copied also came from my blog too.

So in future I will NOT be posting large pictures of other people's patterns. More work for me but that's my problem. 

I'm sure copy tatting goes on a lot and sharing of patterns (secretly) too but it will come to a stage when designers will stop making books and patterns for us to use as they won't be able to make any money from doing that due to copying. 

I took the decision in the beginning not to charge for my work in order to try and keep the craft alive but running the web site does cost me money (now around £60.00 a year) which I try to recuperate from running the ads on this blog. 

Anyway, to cheer up the page I'm showing you another midi snowflake using Sue's HDT with gold beads.  Hope to have this pattern up and running next week!!

18 October 2019


I bought some yarn while I was in America as I wanted to practice continental knitting which I'd learned from Youtube.

Last winter I sat and made myself learn this 'new to me' way of working with knitting needles and must say that I enjoyed it as it's more like crochet. 

My Aunty Nelly was disgusted that her sister (my grandmother) had encouraged me to tat at the age of 13 but that she couldn't get me interested in crochet!!! She was a great needlewoman just like my gran too. 

It wasn't until she'd died many years before that, at the age of 32, I was so disgusted with myself that I sat down with books and taught myself to crochet!!! For some reason it now doesn't do my right hand a lot of good as I have a small problem with it. Knitting is fine, though. 

I wanted something simple (as in stocking stitch) so I could get practice and thus speed with my new way of knitting so I started a waistcoat (or, as they say in America, a vest). The pattern said to start on one of the fronts but I wanted to get the back done first so that I'd know if I'd got enough yarn. Here's the back and the good news is that I will have enough!!! 

Joanie gave me a whole set of bamboo knitting needles which are really comfortable to use too so that inspired me to keep going too!!!  Don't we all like new 'toys'?

17 October 2019

They're BACK

Or at least they will be!!

Martha and a few others asked me lately whether I'd be making any Roly Poly Tat Bags again. I must've made around 200 or more a few years ago and then got fed up with making them - as you do!!! Lorena gave me some pretty fabric when I was at Tat Days to make her a bag (or two) and the rest is for me to make what I like with. I also bought some more fabric whilst I was 'over there' staying with Sandra so I have the materials (well, not the zips yet) and am off to a start. 

Luckily I'd written down on the computer the sizes and amounts of 'bits' I need to make the bags BUT hadn't put down the order I constructed them in!!! I've had to work that out for myself again!!! I'm hoping to make a few before it gets too cold to work in the conservatory so am showing you the fabric I'm currently offering although I do have more!!! First of all the bag for Lorena and that's followed by pictures of some of the other fabric I’ve got too!!!  

I will be selling from the blog but have to work out the postage on the bags although I'm sure it won't be a lot and I know from past experience that I can send probably two or three for the same price.  The bags will be £14.00 each this time.  

16 October 2019

New starting hiding ends trick - Tim Kaylor

When I was over in America I was invited to teach at the Palmetto Tatters guild meeting which was held the week after Tat Days in Lexington Museum. I’m always wary of going to museums in case they think I’m a fossil and need to be exhibited.

Tim (who sadly couldn’t ‘quite’ make it to Tat Days) was there so I plonked myself down next to him (poor man) as he’d been test tatting Juliana for me and I really wanted to say a proper thank you to him. 

He showed me a ‘new to me’ trick which I haven’t seen before and which I said I’d draw up and put on my web site. I’ve been using it ever since.

What I particularly like about this trick is that it puts the second shuttle (or ball thread) into the right place for a following split ring which has always been a problem to me in the past. The only thing I’d suggest if you decide to use it is that you cover the shuttle one end with doubles for the majority of that first ring. Reason? Well Tim says that if you sew in your ending ends that first little end COULD pull out. That's not happened to me yet!

15 October 2019

New earrings

Just some eye candy today!! I spotted these amazing beads in a store in America. I think it was Michaels but not sure!! I simply couldn’t resist buying a couple of strands of them.

There really isn’t a pattern for this as it’s simply self closing mock rings with the bead added to the loop before joining back to the core thread. All you have to do is work as many doubles as you need to go round one side of the bead, join then repeat. I put a ring at the top to join to the metal split ring (which then goes onto the ear finding) and then work back down the other side with simple chains. Again the number of doubles will be the same as the number on the SCMR’s.

I could’ve added more small seed beads to this but it was so sparkly just as it is that I didn’t want to dazzle myself!!!

14 October 2019

Midi flake number two

Going back to this post with one of the snowflakes I'm working on I couldn't find anything like it at all - before I put out the post. Stephanie then got in touch and she couldn't either but it prompted me to take another look myself. I keep quite a few things on the icloud and was looking for something else when I came across Betsy's snowflake which is a LOT like mine. Or should I say - mine is a lot like hers!!!

She used regular chains and put clovers at the top of the outer round. Nonetheless mine's almost like hers. Now I KNOW she couldn't have copied mine as the copyright on hers is 2004 and she probably didn't know about lock chains back then either. 

So, off I went on a quest to contact Betsy. First of all I tried her email address but that bounced. Then I was forced to go to my nemesis - Pinterest where I found this link to the site where it was hosted. That didn't work either. The snowflake, I found out, was in a book by Betsy called 'Let it Snow' but I can't find that either.  It seems to have disappeared into thin air - or melted like snowflakes do!  Both Sue and Georgia got in touch to say that Betsy had sadly died so that’s the end of the search.

Now I have several choices - either to abandon the whole idea or do something like I did with Juliana. I could attribute the design to Betsy (I would put in links if I had them to her book and the actual snowflake online) or decide that mine's sufficiently different to leave well alone. I want to be fair so any advice would be good. 

Meantime - here's the second snowflake in this series. This one has seven split rings (sorry, Diane) and a half double double stitch to make the chains stay straighter and the rings sit up properly on the outside. Again it's similar to others 'out there' and again I don't want to step on anybody's toes.

11 October 2019

Brrrrrm, brrrrrm, it's a car!!!!

I had a birthday last Saturday - now I'm 76!! 

For my birthday this year I decided I definitely needed a new car. Yes, that's right.

To me a car is a car is a car and when mine's due for service the dealership rings me up to remind me and asks me all sorts of STUPID questions like 'how many miles have you done', 'have you got the wheel 'something or others' and other assorted questions.  

All I can tell them is that it's a sort of dark grey and is parked 'somewhere in the road'.  I always tell them it's got a wheel at each corner and something called an engine somewhere in the middle. Oh, I can also tell them I put petrol in it from time to time too!! What silly questions they ask. I mean, what else does a body need to know about their car!!!

This car has been lurking on the computer for a year or more. It was requested by a lady who wanted a definite make of car but she had to send me pictures so I'd know what I was 'aiming for'!!!!

Anyway, this is more the sort of car I like - a tatted one which can be found here!!!

10 October 2019

This year's new season of snowflakes!

This is a little snowflake I've been working on since about August!!! Yes, I know, I do take a long time but mainly because I get easily distracted!!! 

I'm not sure if I'll be publishing this as it's a pretty simple design and I think it may have been done before. I'd appreciate any help to prove (or disprove) whether it's already been done. I've checked my own site - just in case I'd 'been there before' and it's not there!!! 

I've got two more in this 'series' and I've named them 'Midi Snowflakes' (for now) as they work out to just about 2¼" in diameter. They're a fast tat and will fit easily onto a card if that's what's wanted. Mine will be for giveaways - although Abbi's already run off with three!!!!

9 October 2019

Another mouse!

While I was in America I met a new member of the Exclusive Tatting Club!!! Here it is - it's another mouse!!! 

Rekha pointed him out to me in the display where he was climbing up the wall. Thanks, Rekha - your mouse is now in the exclusive club and can be found in the page at the top of this post!

8 October 2019

Juliana - FINISHED

A HUGE thanks to Tim for checking up my Juliana translation and finding a few errors in it. 

He sent me this picture of his finished doily and I LOVE it. Thanks a MILLION, Tim.

I just needed a few more quiet days to get the pattern finished and up on the site and luckily I managed that at the weekend. 

Here's a link to the pattern and here's a link to the history that I've found out and some of the text I had to work from!

7 October 2019

Copyright issues

Last week I got involved in a discussion in a Facebook group about copyright/intellectual property.  It was an interesting thread but due to the format of Facebook (things move on so fast) I thought I’d make a blog post about the issue and an incident in my own life.

This is based on one of my own experiences about this problem and the following is what happened to me and my own personal feelings.  

A few years ago I was asked by a tatter if she could teach one of my patterns in a class. I pointed out that it wasn’t suitable as it would take far too long for the time allocated.

Six months later part of this 'too large' pattern, with the same stitch count (but the notation slightly changed), was offered as a lesson by this tatter as a new pattern/idea to a group who run regular Tat Days.  

The people concerned spotted that the ‘new’ pattern was part of one of mine and asked the tatter to put on 'her' pattern the origin of the 'new' design.  I provided evidence that permission was sought to teach the original whole pattern but not for part of it to be taken, repurposed and used in the other tatter's name.  This part of the whole design, I may add, was a new idea in Tat Land when I first designed it - 3D.  

The group insisted that attribution was given on the pattern so my name (and source) was added for those taking part in the class. Obviously the attribution could be removed for future use by the teacher concerned. 

Around six months ago this part of my original pattern appeared in a magazine in another country as somebody else’s pattern. Life gets more interesting. 

Even MORE interesting is that I recently overheard a conversation whereby the person who originally stole that part of my pattern was complaining about the following person stealing ’her’ copyright/intellectual property. 

Hang on, I nearly said, you stole from me so why are you complaining about somebody stealing from YOU. I probably should’ve said something but that's not my 'way'. 

So, what I’m saying here is that copyright theft HURTS. The amount of hours that went into that innovative part of that pattern was enormous and I doubt anybody reading this blog post would even realise that it was innovative back in those days (2003/4).

I’ve seen further instances within the past month in new books coming out where theft of copyright/intellectual property is definitely a concern. If you suspect theft then please don’t buy the books or online patterns and please tell the owner of the copyright/intellectual property.

I'm gradually pulling out of designing as I'm terrified of stepping on somebody else's toes but I always check as far as I can before I publish.  Another reason to pull out is because I don't appreciate my own hard work being abused either.

I do have three midi snowflakes I'm currently working on and which I'll show you soon but they won't get onto the web site until I'm positive that they are original or (if not) that I can attribute the source of my inspiration even though they came out of my own BC3.  I see nothing wrong with using another's work as a 'starting point' but that should be noted on a pattern and due recognition given.  

I'm not just 'saying' that's what should be done as I do stick by my own rules even if something I've used as a starting point turns out very differently I'll still attribute the original inspiration.  See this link as just one example.

I also believe in cooperation and work happily with others to change things or add things to my own work.  See this link too.  

There's no  point in becoming a 'famous designer' (something I still aspire to) if you can't play fair as at some point you will be caught out and your good reputation will be gone.

4 October 2019

Dora Young's doily progress

This is where I was 'at' when I got home from my travels. 

I'm now wondering if I'll continue with this project when I've completed this  current round - I'm enjoying it a lot.

The beauty of this is that it's so easy when you get into the swing of it. I also need to finish off a snowflake that's been lurking on my computer since August (along with a few other 'possibles') which need to be sorted.

I've also got a lovely little car that needs to be finished and uploaded too plus the Coriolis and the butterflies I taught at Tat Days.

Whoever invented 24 hours in a day should be held responsible for that silly decision and the other which makes our bodies need sleep so we can't continue doing things we want to do.

3 October 2019

Beaded button flower


This is the beaded button flower that I taught at Palmetto a few weeks ago. 

Not a difficult pattern if you eliminate the beads on top of the button but challenging enough to make sure you don't fall asleep!!!

The aims in this lesson were to teach how to add those beads to the top of the button and also join with my new join which can be found here. This join makes a better 'lock' to the side of the button but please don't ask me why!!

Interestingly I found the lesson started with showing a few of my victims (sorry, I mean students) how to do a weaver's knot and hide ends in the first few stitches.

When I design for a lesson I try to get the most difficult part into the beginning of the lesson so that it can be learned before time runs out.  Actually the hardest part of this is in the first ring!!!

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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