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!!!

2 October 2019

Another t-shirt!!

This is the logo on this year's Palmetto t-shirt which I was given as a teacher (or that's what I'm supposed to be). 

Now when you wear a t-shirt you can't actually see the logo as you're standing behind it!!  Isn’t that an intelligent comment, eh?

I didn't notice, until somebody pointed it out to me, that the logo had my name on it!!! Those gals are so silly in the nicest possible way, of course. 

I showed the T-shirt to Nick and asked him to spot something 'odd' about it but he couldn't see my name either. Then I looked at the logo on the Palmetto web site but it was too small to see - well with my aged eyes!!!

What a hoot.

1 October 2019

Two llamas!!!

Just going to show you the llama I taught at Tat Days! The top one (which is my sample) is done in size 20 thread.

BUT the small one below which Tim gave me is made in impossible thread!!! I bet it's at least a size 100 or less. What a difference in sizes!!! Tim, you make my eyes boggle.

30 September 2019

Another gift!!!

Now who would be seen DEAD in this t-shirt? Answer? ME.

I blame myself entirely for bringing this on. I have been heard on several occasions to call people a 'daft moo'!!! Well Leigh took revenge and sent this t-shirt via Anitra to me at Tat Days. Of course I HAD to try it on and show it off!!!

I really love this shirt and will be wearing it on many occasions - particularly to Zumba sessions just to prove I'm slightly and a tad bonkers!!! 

Anybody out there jealous?  Thank you, Leigh.

27 September 2019

What a HOOT

I have the most amazing friends in Tat Land and one of them (Lorena) gave me this little dish. Again I can't imagine how anybody could design this let alone print it out in a 3D printer. 

This is going to sit by my chair as it will 'contain' my odds and ends like scissors, small crochet hooks, coilless safety pins etc. 

I must admit this tickles me to bits that so much time and effort was put into a gift. The little tag (which could also be a shuttle too) will go onto my key ring - just in case I need to give proof of identity at any time!!!  Thank YOU, Lorena.

26 September 2019

What fun

One evening at Palmetto (or it could’ve been another time of the day) there was a class which I was able to take on decorating a shuttle. I've never been particularly interested in decorating shuttles but wandered into the room.  I'm so glad I did.

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge put forward by Tonya and Phyllis and came out wondering if this idea of decorating shuttles could be my next career move. Must ask BC3 before I make a decision!!!

Anyway, while I ponder that question, I'll show you what I achieved in my taster session of decorating shuttles. I'm actually pleased with this!

25 September 2019

Thread talk

I went to Tat Days with a shopping list!!! It wasn't a very big one as I already have a good stash of threads but I was running out of some colours and then got 'tempted' into some of the new Lizbeth plain colour ways!  I think I came home with three balls only but I'm not telling anybody and I hope you won’t either!

These two spools must be my all time favourites which Jenni gave me. The threads are by AlenAleaDesign whoes site you can find here. Can't wait to try them out but will take my time finding the right design to make it up with.

Thanks, Jenni.  They're amazing.

24 September 2019

I bought shuttles!!

Well what are Tat Days for except buying goodies?!

Do I need anymore shuttles? No. Did I want any more shuttles? No. I have two favourites and plenty of those too. Number one of those are my good old Aero England shuttles. Number two are the Clover bobbin shuttles and that's 'it' really. 

BUT I saw and tried the new Dreamlit shuttle (thank you, Handy Hands and Barb Foster for getting these made) while I was at Tat Days and was (thankfully) sorely tempted and gave into temptation too!!! 


Easy to wind, easy to put together and take apart (they're magnetic) and they seem to hold a lot more thread too. Fine in my hands etc, etc. I'm hooked!

Yes, they have a hook too!!

23 September 2019

Home again.

Sadly back home after another amazing trip to Palmetto Tat Days. The friends I have over in America are truly amazing and look after the old git so, so well. It's hard to leave but I'm hoping to be back sometime. 

This week (and probably a bit more) I'll be talking about the things I brought home with me - that's beside some great memories too.

First of all let's talk shuttles. 

Today it's the contrast between a wooden one and a 3D printed one. I still can't get the ancient head around 3D printing and would love to see it done sometime. 

Here are the two I was given side by side.

9 September 2019

Post Tat Days blues

Well here I am. Monday morning and it’s all over.

How is it that Palmetto Tat Days just gets better every time I get there? I didn’t take many pictures as I was too busy either teaching or just soaking up the atmosphere. 

I’m not going to start name dropping on all the wonderful people I met as that’ll only make you jealous! But I will show you a few personal highlights which amused and amazed me.

Today I’ll show you something that really made me think I’d gone totally bonkers. I walked into the show and tell room and saw what I thought was MY tattysaurus. 

It won the top prize which it thoroughly deserved if only for perseverance in making it! I’m so sorry I can’t remember the name of the winner but I’m hoping she see’s this and leaves a comment.  I’ll add her name when I find out!

Thank you Melissa Mead for the comment letting me know you’re the brave lass who made the Tattysaurus.  

4 September 2019

The outbound flight

I actually composed this post just after passing over Lands End in Cornwall on Monday afternoon.  I wrote it in ‘notes’ on my iPad and have just remembered it!  BC3 is still suffering from jet lag. 

I’d just had a glass (in a plastic ‘glass’) of wine and was beyond tired having left home at ‘silly o’clock’ many many hours ago and facing another nine hours in the tin can (aeroplane) before arriving in Atlanta to see Sandra’s wonderful smile.

I wanted to tell you about my layover in Paris. When I travel I’m very content to be on my own and not communicate with people. Well except for the odd giggle or comment. I sat at my departure gate with my Dora Young ‘out and about’ doily. 

I hadn’t been there long when a lady came up to me (she lives in Atlanta) and knew exactly what I was doing. Her parents still live in India and she thought that tatting wasn’t done there. I soon put her right! 

I didn’t get her name but she asked for mine and I showed her my web site. I think she said she could tat so I hope she gets in touch. She was beautiful in looks with a personality to match and a joy to talk to. 

Pictures below from my flight from Birmingham to Paris.

2 September 2019

By the time you read this

I’ll be on the way to America, I hope. 

I’m writing this post on Sunday afternoon having got the house ready to leave as much as I possibly can!! I’ve mown the grass, done the hoovering and the responsibility of other things has been almost handed over.  

I’ve checked in online, got my boarding passes digitally and also printed (that’s me - belt and braces) and my passport/e-tickets are ready in the carryon bag.  That lovely bag cost me £3.00 around twelve years ago (at a guess!) from Poundstretcher and I find it the best thing to take as it sits under the seat in front of me so I can get things out (or put them back) as and when needed.  Saves struggling to lift things into the overhead lockers.

The suitcase and carryon are packed (see below) and I’m raring to go. Palmetto HERE I COME.

30 August 2019

A few more

What is sleep? I’m beginning to wonder after the last few days of making the shuttle button earrings!!!

This may be my last post for a while as I’m leaving on Monday for ‘pastures new’. Well, not new as I’ve been lucky enough to be able to be selected for Palmetto Tat Days a few times in the past.  I’ll probably schedule a post for Monday but I’ll have to see what I’ve got in drafts.  

I just LOVE going to any Tat Days although it’s a lot of preparation which goes on for months and months starting with the design work and finishing with the inevitable last minute panics!!!! 

I always feel so ‘at home’ at Tat Days and get to spend quality time with some very, very dear friends too. They know who they are as they transport me, feed me and put up with me and my quirks.  This also applies to my trips to the Fringe Element (in Canada) too. 

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!!!

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Happy Beaks

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