20 November 2017

Things will be slow

I'm afraid things may slow down for a few days on the blog.  
I'm hoping not but I am struggling with the TIAS (Tat It And See) 2018 .  In fact I think this will be the last TIAS.  

18 November 2017

Just remembered!

I have got something to show you!!!

When I was in Canada I bought some sock wool because I love knitting socks. Well, that's usually the reason a person (and an old git) buys sock wool!!!

I made a pair with the brown speckled yarn and I've shown you those - I think!!!

This time I've started with the blue yarn I bought. What do you think of it so far? Dare you to say 'rubbish'!!!!

17 November 2017


A few weeks ago Sue Hanson wrote and said she'd got some threads that she was no longer using - would I like to buy some from her. She'd seen my posts about hand wound threads (HWT).

Well my cupboard is full but I could hardly say 'no' to the offer. We agreed a price - well, actually, I said I'd have threads up to the value of a given price. So, I assumed Sue would send me three or four spools (which she'd already shown me via a couple of photos). I certainly did NOT expect the amount she sent. What a generous lass.

Interestingly I'm going to have to rename Royal Fail after this experience. Sue mailed the box to me at 5pm in London and it arrived with me the following morning at 11 (ish). I think I've got to rename it Royal NOT Fail!!!!

15 November 2017

Two more bugle snowflakes

Back to the bugle snowflakes yet again. Not that I've really stopped making them. I think I've now got enough for Christmas giveaways but I can't stop making them. Specially with the HWT (hand wound threads). 

The top purple one is made with the two variegated threads and a plain one. You can see them just below the snowflake. The variegated ones were from Ginny and the plain one from Cincinnati!!!!

The pink one is made from the threads below that snowflake. I haven't a clue where the variegated came from but the plain was another Cincinnati one!!!!

13 November 2017

Look what I found!!

I was rummaging around my tatting stuff the other day and found these two little Rachel doilies. I don't think I've shown them to you before and I probably made them just before or after I went to Canada. I say that because of where I found them.

11 November 2017

Remaining Pop A Bobbins

The remaining Pop A Bobbin shuttles that I have right beside me in their travelling box (they travel in style from Southampton to Stratford!) will go into my Etsy shop later today. 

If any sell (via the blog) then they'll be mailed tomorrow (Sunday). Yes, the Post Office does open in town on a Sunday. One of the joys of living in a touristy town, I think.  Any selling from Etsy will go on Monday.

The remaining shuttles are.

1 EBONY £22.50 
1 CHERRY £18.00 
3 APPLE £18.00 

10 November 2017

Notes on HWT and reminiscing

I love this one. I MAY have to keep it. I did find that it worked out slightly smaller than the others but I knew it would. Sadly the picture doesn't do it justice as it's truly BRIGHT!!!!

One of the 'knacks' of doing HWT is feeling the thread between the fingers. After 60 years of tatting my digits sort of have a 'sixth sense' on the thickness of a size 20 thread!!!! One could say I must've been 'born to tat'!!!! 

Joking apart - there is a feel to threads so when doing HWT it's a good idea to get used to that feel. I thought this one would work out smaller as when I put two strands of the variegated and one of the plain together they didn't 'quite' feel right. BUT as they're both slippery polyesters I wasn't about to add another strand to the equation!!!!! The variegated is thinner than the others you've seen.

Just one note on this - the plain orange is neon and 'right in your face'. This was a legacy that Gina Brummet's daughter gave to the Palmetto tatters.  I was at the guild meeting a week after Tat Days few years ago when a bag of Gina's threads were offered around. It tickled me to choose the neons that were in there as I just KNEW that Gina would know exactly who would choose them and would smile.

9 November 2017

Two more variagated

Now these are true hybrid HWT snowflakes!!! 

The top one uses some thread (the plain green one in the middle) that I bought in Cincinnati years ago. It's a machine quilting thread. The other two came from Ginny.

The bottom snowflake is made from thread that I've had for sometime. I used two strands of the variegated and one of the plain (another from Cincinnati).

You know what? This is the cheapest way of making anything tatted as the spools last forever and ever!!!! I'm cheap as chips - that's English chips and not American/Canadian chips!!!!

8 November 2017

Coming shortly - Pop A Bobbin Shuttles

Sally managed to find the key to lock 'im in the garage in there for a week or two. Don't worry - he was fed and watered in the meantime.

I've got the following shuttles to go live towards the end of the week in my Etsy shop.  I've added a picture of my favourite one - the spalted beech.  The graining on these is truly magnificent and each one is different.

I am prepared to sell any of these privately if you want to do things that way!!!    I can only do this via Paypal and will give you a total (including postage) so you can send the money.  

1 EBONY (without hook) £22.50 
1 EBONY £22.50 
2 CHERRY £18.00 
3 APPLE £18.00 
1 ROSEWOOD £18.00 

7 November 2017

More small bugle snowflakes

Now I said on Saturday that I was bored with white but still have a few more snowflakes that I want to make as giveaways. So I headed for the sewing weight threads!!!

As you know by now - I LOVE HWT. I love the subtle unexpected changes which give a pattern a bit of a 'lift' without destroying the design by constant rapid colour changes. 

I pulled this reel out of the drawer - just read and white. With the one snowflake I added red beads and I think you can see/guess what colour I used for the other one!!!! This is one of the threads that Ginny kindly sent to me while I was in Canada. I used 3 strands wound together which made it a size 20 thread.

6 November 2017

Finished socks

I finished the socks!! 

That photo looks very odd with the left one looking as if it's about to take up ballet lessons!!! I was trying to squidge them into an uncluttered area of the conservatory floor so I could take a picture!!! I assure you - I'm not about to take up ballet unless they offer them for geriatric elephants!!!!!

4 November 2017

Bored with white!!!

I've made more of the snowflakes for the Christmas 'party' in December  - the  day when we have a 'bit of a do' after our normal Tuesday crafting session.

That's all I've really got to say today!!! There you are - no problems reading my ramblings today but wait til Monday as you never know what will happen in BC3's brain!!!!

3 November 2017

Jane's baubles

This is a set of baubles I made for Spinning Jane who comes to Crafternoon. 

She arrived one day with a handful (or two) of big beads and asked if I could make her some decorations for her mini tree. 

Jane is a very generous lady with her homegrown fruit and veg so it was a great pleasure to say 'yes' to her request. The top picture is the baubles just finished and the bottom is when I'd added 'tops and bottoms' to them!!! She was very pleased with them when I handed them over last Friday.

2 November 2017

Butterfly for Fringe

Finally I've got round to getting the butterfly I did for the Fringe weekend up on my site. I do mess around and put it off as it takes a lot of time to get a page ready to publish!!! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!!!

I did this on a pin for a change but the butterfly could be used as a brooch or sewn to a garment. As buttons are washable anyway there'd be no problem to adding it to a t-shirt or something!!! Trying to think of other ways of using it!!! 

I used an idea or a 'technique' that I found in Dora Young's book to make the lovely edges to the wings and to deliberately give the 'blips' of colour to them too. Anyway, perhaps you'd like a link to the pattern?

31 October 2017

Bugle Snowflakes!

Not sure why I like doing these so much but I think it's the technique I use in the centre which fascinates me most. That and the fact that I can make two in an evening!!  I now know the pattern off by heart which I should do as it's one from BC3!!! 

I was intrigued, when reading another blog a week or so ago (can't remember which one, though), to find someone explaining how to add beads to get the same effect as in the bugle snowflake pattern (beads facing the centre of the ring).  I'm pretty sure the blogger was measuring picots and working out how big a picot needs to be to take so many beads etc, etc.  Seemed a bit odd when my technique does away with all that angst and gives a reliable neat finish too without the variances that happen when using picot gauges!!!!  Maybe I misread it!

These (each one is different) are going to be sold (hopefully) at a little Christmas 'do' we're going to throw after our regular Tuesday craft morning one week in December. We're hoping to raise a bit of money towards another summer party 'bash' which was hugely successful in July.

30 October 2017

The answer!

This post was scheduled to go out on Saturday but it obviously didn't!!!  I've had trouble with Blogger over the weekend and even in my drafts it appears to have 'gone out' on Saturday.  Goodness knows what they're up to at the moment!!!!

To those who hadn't guessed - here's the answer to Friday's quiz.  Well, sort of!

They're Randy's shoes. Well I thought they were but Jane says (in a comment on yesterday's post) that they're Cliff's (her husband's) shoes and this all took place in her house!!!  There again Terry says they're Randy's and she was there too!!!!  Well I'm still going to pretend to myself that the title of the picture should be 'in the master's shoes' but if they're not Randy's then I'm still going to pretend that they are!!!!!  One has to amuse oneself when one's an old git!

Here are two more sensible pictures to show you. The first is at the Fringe when we're obviously into a deep discussion and the second is at Jane's house where again Bev has caught us talking earnestly. Strange really as neither of us 'do' earnest but when it comes to threads and shuttle tatting it's all we talk about when we get together!!!!! 

Randy was showing me some techniques from the book "Tatting GR-8 Alternate Threads" (which I've already got).  I can thoroughly recommend it to give you inspiration for the new ideas the brothers have come up with.

27 October 2017

A quiz for you

No, I'm not going to tell you but I want you to guess. 

Here's a picture of me wearing some shoes which don't belong to me!!!!

Who's shoes are they?

The person who they belong to doesn't know about this, by the way, and it's only thanks to Bev from 'down under' that  you have a picture to take the guess!!!  That in itself should give you a clue!!!!

Answer will be tomorrow!!!

26 October 2017

Sock it to me!!!

Now when I was staying with Terry in Canada I got severely and sorely tempted to knit some socks. I've always had a fascination for knitting socks and it's been a few years since I did a pair. 

I've always thought it was a lot of time to spend on making something that may wear out after a few 'outings'. Anyway, Terry assured me that if I got the right yarn it would be fine and promptly gave me some - so generous and thanks, Terry. 

So, Ruth, Terry and I went out one day for high tea (mega, mega yummy it was too) and just before that we visited a yarn shop they knew about. Well, yarn AND fabric - heaven without tatting threads!!!!

I decided to buy two more balls of yarn AND some new double pointed needles. Why? Well I figured that mine at home were older than me (probably) and I would spend hours trying to match sizes up. I was recommended to buy some carbon needles and that's the most sensible thing I've done in ages. They're fantastic. They don't slip out of the stitches but again, don't catch or 'stick', if you know what I mean.  Thoroughly recommend them.

A week or so ago I decided to start my first sock with Terry's yarn first. I found a pattern and then decided that I needed to learn to knit a new way (to me) - the continental way. MAN, was THAT a steep learning curve (thank you, Youtube) and it slowed an otherwise slow knitter down to slow, dead slow and 'nearly' stop. But a week later I'm now flying and the sock is progressing wonderfully. Here's a picture taken a few days ago. MUCH progress has been made since but you'll have to wait!!!

25 October 2017

New hobby?

Well I doubt it'll take off completely for me but I must say this is more challenging than it looked when I first saw it!!!

It's needle felting.  No, NOT needle tatting before you misread this and think I've lost the plot!!!

I'd already started thinking about needle felting some time ago and my friend Louise and I wandered into a shop in Alcester a couple of months ago and were browsing the craft section. I saw some needles for this craft so bought the equipment. Cheap as chips (as 'they' say).

A few weeks later Lou and I went to a wonderful open afternoon that the local Dyers, Spinners and Weavers (link to their blog) were putting on at a local venue so we wandered down there. Really only to support our friend from Crafternoon called 'Spinning Jane'. That nickname has been adopted to differentiate her from 'Tatting Jane'!!!!  I've found this link to the blog where you can see Lou and I learning needle felting.  Lou's got her back to the camera, unfortunately.  In fact further down on the page you can see 'Spinning Jane' teaching spinning with a drop spindle too.  It was a truly splendid afternoon in good company and with lots of interesting things going on.

During the afternoon Lou and I took two workshops one of which was for making Dorset buttons and the other was needle felting. The top is what I achieved 'on the day' and the bottom heart is my second attempt at home. I'll be interested to know where this is taking me - I know that BC3 already has ideas!!!!

24 October 2017

Back to boring!!!

First of all thanks to SueH who I'm going to promote to being my internet secretary!!!!  She tells me that the candles were put up in 2003 which is quite a long time ago!!!  It's a good job that she's there to keep an eye on me!!

Well here you are - back to boring. Two more Rachel doilies done while away from home. 

The first one is done in size 40 thread and the brown one in HWT. I do LOVE my HWT!!!!

23 October 2017


The other day I had a lovely message from Kay who had found my little candle pattern on my site. Oh, before I forget - here's the link. Oh, here's another link for you too - for the larger candle!!! 

Now these must have been some of my first patterns onto the internet (I think the owl family was the first) as the candles don't have a date on them. It must've been in the 'early' days of this wonderful invention called the WWW when dates just didn't matter and I was a lot younger and more innocent!!!

Anyway, I digress. I am showing you her candle today as I'm most impressed at her creativity in finding a solution to not having the right sized ring available. I used brass curtain rings when I was doing them but Kay didn't have enough of the right size of .......... Let her tell you!!! This is part of her message to me. 

"Each year for Christmas, I try a pattern or two (of yours) and tuck a few tatted ornaments in Christmas packages as gifts. Some of my friends/ relatives LOVE those more than anything else. This year I really wanted to try your little Christmas candle, but didn't have enough of the little rings in the proper size.....so my "pack rat" tendencies came in handy. I've been saving the plastic pop off tops from 1/2 gallon size milk containers, hoping I'd find a use for them at some point. Guess what? When I cut the ring off, it's just the perfect size for your little candle ornament. I'm delighted. :-) Thought you might get a kick out of this."

21 October 2017

Two more!

Here are two more of my Rachel mats. I've given a lot away but they still seem to be accumulating!!! 

Fortunately I may be able to have a table at a craft fair next October but that's a long way away and meantime I need to 'get rid of' some more of them. Any suggestions?!?!?

I've had one idea but have got stuck.  I've seen people selling on Facebook and would like to set up a sales section there.  I've tried and tried but seem to be getting nowhere.  I've found a 'how to' but am now stuck with adding Paypal and shipping costs to the shop.  Any suggestions very welcome as I'd like to sell the Pop A Bobbin Shuttles there too.

20 October 2017

Just a few more random pictures

Tomorrow will be 'back to normal' in my little blog. Meanwhile just a few random pictures I had to share.

First off - the Marilyn's. This is a link to explain. They really are stunning.

Next the CN tower.  SO impressive.  The sky really WAS that blue.  It was very hot for all of the two weeks.  Lucky me!

The view from Donna's window.  Donna kindly hosted Ruth, Terry and I for lunch one day and I was honoured to see her impressive collection of lace goodies.  
The view across the lake from the end of Ruth's road. You can see the tower.

Finally some of Ruth's regular visitors popping in for a drink and a bath!!!

19 October 2017

Thank you

This is just a quick post to say thank you to all the people 'out there' who regularly click on the adverts I run on my blog. 

I have to pay for my space on freeservers.com - no, it's definitely NOT free!!!! Every two years I pay for it and this time round the price has gone up a LOT!! It's going to cost me $142.80 (£107.75) for this coming two years. 

The payments I get from Adsense help pay for it so every click helps. I'm not allowed to click on the adverts myself which is fair comment.

Thank you again. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow!!

18 October 2017

On my travels

Whilst I was 'out and about' I had to have something to pick up when I had some spare time. 

I never tat on the plane as I'm always afraid of dropping something and then not being able to find it again on the floor. Plane seats seem to get narrower and narrower and more and more squashed in so tatting is, for me, a no, no. BUT there are always the departure lounges where the light is pretty good and there is always plenty of time to sit and tie knots!!!

I pre-wound Ez-bobs with either size 40 thread or HWT. I put the chain thread on first and loaded the beads onto that. That was followed by the shuttle thread. I found I could get two 'projects' onto one Ez-bob. Here are two that I made on the trip (or just before!).

17 October 2017


Now this isn't the best skull ever designed but it was done in a bit of a hurry!!! Why? Well, a good friend of mine called Georgia Seitz who wrote to me a few weeks before Palmetto to ask for three designs. A skull, a tankard of beer and a Japanese lady!!! 

Well that was quite a task as BC3 was buried in other 'stuff' at the time so Georgia's wishes had to wait a week or so. This is the skull she decided to use. It's not that brilliant BUT it does 'use and abuse' the technique of adding a bead to the SCMR which pleased my tiny brain!!!!

I may go back and play with this again sometime to put in a better mouth but there again - I may not!!!

16 October 2017

Another heart by Kaye

This heart really doesn't do well as a photo and I would hate to flatten it under the scanner. 

I had a problem starting this off but Kaye's pattern was NOT to blame!!! As Ruth said - read the pattern carefully!!! Once BC3 had logged into that and 'got' the hang of the picots the rest was (as they say) - history!!!

This is such a pretty technique which I'd never come across before so it kept me on my toes (or rather my big fat butt) for a while.

Kaye has several books here which may contain these two heart patterns but I'm not sure.  You can see better photos on the Fringe Element site which is here.

14 October 2017

A day at Jane's house

A lovely lass called Jane, who belongs to the Fringe group, kindly set up an 'open house' for all the organisers of the event on the Monday after Tat Days. She'd been hosting Randy and Wendy and invited the rest of us to spend time with them. WHAT a privilege. 

Although I've met Randy several times before we've never had time to really sit and play tatting together. This we were able to do. I took some pictures of his work at Tat Days but he doesn't want them put online and so I'm not going to. It was work he'd done on the book called Tatting Alternate Threads.  I've already got that book.  Thoroughly recommend it too.

Well what he showed me was mind blowing. 

Something I can show you - Randy tatting.

13 October 2017

Down the pub!

On the Saturday evening I was led astray. Honestly, I was bound and gagged and kidnapped and taken to the pub!!!! Yes it was almost a 'real' English pub and probably more authentic than English pubs are nowadays!!!! 

When we got there (Kelly, Vicky and I) we bumped into the South Carolina contingent along with my other dear friends Riet and Martha. What a lovely time we had before heading back to the hotel to play tatting again.

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Happy Beaks

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