29 August 2019


I’m a very, very happy old git. This earwig (aka earring) is now sorted.

The only problem I have now is that they sparkle too much to be successfully photographed. That’s my excuse as it could be down to the photographer!!!

I’m going to bring as many as I can make to sell at Palmetto Tat Days next weekend. So here’s today’s offerings.  Hope I remember to pack my clothes before I leave on Monday!!!

28 August 2019

Nearly ‘there’

Well this is the ‘nearly there’ version of the shuttle button earring.

Yes, that’s what it’s going to be - an earring. All I need to do now is tweak the stitch count slightly (it’s always hard to do ‘slightly’) and it’ll be ‘done’.

The button is just an inch long but I doubt that anybody will be able to find more of them for sale. I throw out a challenge to you all to find a button like this.  It measures 1” in length.  

Anyway when I get back from America in late September I’ll try and make a tatted middle for this design so that anybody can make it. Meanwhile I’m going to make as many as I can to sell at Palmetto Tat Days - coming up shortly!

27 August 2019

It’s going to be a wotsit!

Progress (or lack of!) continues with the shuttle button - see my first/second attempts here

Why do I always over complicate things when I’m designing?

Can you see that I’ve tried to link the beads at the side to those at the bottom? I think (or should that now be thought) that the tatting ought to be anchored at the bottom of the button as well as the side. Well I’ve changed my mind!! They say a lady is entitled to change her mind and as I’m a female OG (old git).  I sometimes count myself as a ‘lady’ too!!!

So that idea has been firmly scrapped but I’ve now got a better one which I’ll show you tomorrow - IF you behave yourselves!!!

26 August 2019


This is how far I’ve got (see below) after the start I made a few days ago and now I’m stopping for a while so I’ve got plenty to get on with while I’m waiting around at the airports. 

You may wonder what the piece of yellow/green thread is doing on the one motif - but again you may just have thought it was a mistake!!! 

It’s there because that motif is a different colour to the other two. YES IT IS!! It may not look like it but it really is. I’m doing this in a size 40 and have two different shades of white/cream so I needed to mark the central one for when I’m working on it in a gloomy place.

23 August 2019

Shuttle button - first and second attempts

I know only one way to design. It's called 'hit and miss'. 

I take two shuttles and a vague idea and run with it. I also write everything down as I go - on my tablet or whatever is available. NEVER on paper as I used to lose those notes time after time or (if found) couldn’t remember what I meant!  

When I've done the first attempt I then copy the notes (having named them 'version 1’) and paste above them calling that version 2. This means that if I don't like version 2 I can go back and look again at version 1 or see which stitch counts work and which don't.

Well that makes sense to me!!!!

So today you can see that after the first attempt it was cut off in it's prime!!!! 

Second attempt did go a bit further but I'm not happy with that!! By the time you read this blog post many more attempts will have been made and hopefully something good will come out of it in the end!!!  More next week!

I o

22 August 2019

My new carry about

I never know what to call this sort of tatting!!!

Mindless? Carry around? Any suggestions out there?

I need something when I'm with my craft groups that needs little or no concentration but I do need to make a few at home before I take it along so I'm on the right track!!

This will also be my 'go to' (there's another name for it) piece while I'm travelling or sitting around talking in America.  Mind our talk is mainly about tatting!!

Gosh, I'm SOOOO excited about my trip that I can hardly keep still.

21 August 2019

A new tatting shuttle

I bet you've all seen Handy Hands have brought out a new shuttle. It's called the Dreamlit and you can find it here.

Well I suddenly remembered (after studying the Dreamlit shuttle) that I had my VERY OWN supply of shuttles so could probably go into competition with Barbara.

Well I fished my supply of shuttles out of the tatting cupboard and set off on my new venture!!! 

That was all a joke, folks!!! I couldn't market my shuttles as they're only 1" in length and are (probably!) the only ones in the whole wide world!!! I'll show you one just to wet your appetites!!

I'm going to make earrings out of them but this will take time as the tatting I want to do MUST fully show the shuttle button in the middle. BC3 is off on another adventure!!!

20 August 2019

A VERY long braid

This time I decided that if I was going to do another braid then it had to be LOOOOOONG.

I started off with around 4 yards of wool on each point of the compass. Obviously this was going to bring up issues with the tangling of thread behind the 'wheel' so BC3 had to give it a little thought.

First idea was to use these. I happened to have an unopened packet which had 8 in so that was ideal. OR so I thought!!! 

I happily set off but found out all too soon that they kept unwinding themselves. Darn nuisance. 

So, back to the tatting cupboard and I found some floss winders like these.

My four yards of yarn worked out to a braid of 2 ½ yards in length. I've now got three braids of various lengths and NOT A CLUE what to do with them!!!! Think this will be the end of my braiding session as I've had another GOOD TATTY IDEA!!!

19 August 2019

As far as I'm going!

Now that I've decided to pull the plug on this I've changed my mind!!! I DO like it now as it does what I wanted - shows the swirls from one shade to another! 

But I will still not be keeping it as I've started another in white. Well it's white and a sort of 'off' white if you know what I mean. I'll talk about that another day!!

So, whoever 'gets to me' first at Palmetto (and wants it, of course) will be given this. My box of tatting bits sighed a big sigh of relief when I told it!! 

Well, to be honest, there are two or three boxes of 'stuff' around the house. One day I'll show you a picture of them!!!

16 August 2019

Another few days on

First of all - the missing items from two days ago are found!!  I’d already looked in my suitcase but hadn’t looked in my carryon bag!!  That’s where they were lurking!!

Also today - another braid!!!

Slightly different colours this time - and a bit longer too!!!

Longer means more things to get used to - mainly trying not to get the ends in a tangle under the loom thingy!!!

15 August 2019

Carry along tatting

Further progress has been made with my carry along tatting - BUT.

There's a BIG BUT with this now. It's working out really well and I loved the idea of the mix of greens when I started but now I've fallen out with it totally!!!  There's nothing wrong with my choice of colours but I've definitely fallen out with them.

Not sure why except that's just ME!!!

So, what I'm going to do is finish off this round, stick it under the iron and pack it in my suitcase. If anybody wants it at Palmetto they're more than welcome to it. No charge as it will save something from going 'in the box'!!! 

The first person to ask for it will get it and if nobody wants it then I'll ............ Well, suggestions always welcome.

Now my problem is - what shall I take as my travel tatting. Maybe the same pattern (thank you, Dora Young) but in another colour!!!

14 August 2019

Two more greenish ones!!!

There you go!! I guessed there maybe two more lurking under the pile of 'stuff' on my tatting tables!!! 

I sort of thought there were more waiting for additional metal split rings to adorn them!!!  I was right.  Why do things deliberately go and hide themselves?

Something sort of vital to my trip has gone and lost itself too.  I may need to hire some bloodhounds to find it.  

13 August 2019

Another craft

Now this is a new one to me. I was shown how to do this ages and ages ago and then promptly forgot how!!!

It's kumihimo braiding. 

I've had a go at using a lucet in the past and enjoyed that so decided to give this kumihimo braiding a 'go'. 

Now as I'd forgotten the 'how to' the obvious thing to do was ask Mr Google for help!!! This first link (for teaching children) was just right for me to get started! 

The hint at the bottom of this next link was probably THE most useful once I'd got started!

So, this is my first attempt although I did use four colours - well, I'm awkward like that!!

12 August 2019

Two more pendants

I think these are the last of this 'pendant making session' but there may still be one left lurking on my table next to the tatting chair!!!  

Well, it's just a chair really but happens to be comfy and between two side tables which I plonk things on.  This morning's task is to tidy the TWO tables up!!!

Now what am I going to do with these? Sell them? 
Keep them? 
Give them away? 
I'll be taking them to Palmetto with me so I can give them to unsuspecting people. 

Oh, there are plenty of other 'things' that I've got to get rid of too!!! Not telling, though. It's a secret but those who remember the flea infestation will have a clue!!!

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.  

2 July 2019

A very helpful conversation

Just lately I've been chatting with Judith Connors. I met her a few years ago when I went to the Fringe Element Tat Days in Canada. Yes, I know Judith is from Australia but I was lucky enough to spend a few days with her and our hostess with then mostest (Terry). What did we have in common? I'll leave you to work that one out!!!

A few days ago we started to discuss the leaves that I've been making and she pointed out that the word 'tischband' is German for 'table ribbon' which, obviously, refers to a whole load of leaves (and other things) put together. Now that this has been pointed out to me I'm going to call them 'Ruth Scharf leaves' in future!!! Thanks, Judith, for pointing that out to me.

Now I wore this pair of earrings on Friday (and Saturday AND Sunday) and people thought they were beads because they sparkled so much. That’s, of course, down to the very sparkly thread I used. Pity that sparkle is so hard to photograph.  

1 July 2019


Before the leaves took over I was certainly in bell 'mode'!!! Here are two pairs of earrings that I made. I don't want them as I've got enough earrings so will put them in Palmetto's silent auction - IF I can find them again!!!

They're somewhere in the house but the problem is - where?  I'm at that stage when my personal life is very, very busy and I'm trying to pack my stuff (handmade things) ready for the trip across the pond.  Once I've got my department number (technical stuff!) for the vending room then that can go into the suitcase and I'll be able to see if there's any room for clothes!

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Happy Beaks

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