Monday, September 15, 2014

Report Back

Our trip to Upington and Kuruman went well. There are a few more people in South Africa who know how to make a double stitch, or a dubbelknoop. In Upington a group of 15 met in a well stocked habedashery shop, as you can see from the photos. One lady decided half way that tatting is not for her and left. I was quite surprised because she was doing well, but hey, no one is obliged to tat! Everyone else learnt how to flip and made good progress. It was quite a big group, so just as well Linda was with me to help. In a big group, some learn quicker than others, which has the  advantage that learners help each other.
The Kuruman group was smaller, only 6, which meant it was easier to help individually.
We enjoyed the trip. I don't know whether all the  participants will carry on with tatting, but some certainly will.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Another Group

This week I will be teaching two groups of would-be tatters. Tomorrow I'll drive 500 kms westwards with Linda, my tatting pupil, to Upington, a town on the Orange River. On Wednesday we'll show a group of 14 or 15 how to tat. On Friday we'll drive back, stopping at a town called Kuruman on the way, to teach a group of five or six. I've tatted this bookmark, which comes from Burda magazine, for each participant, starting with 15, which I showed here, and then another six.  I'm going to be pretty busy for the rest of the week and won't be blogging until I get back.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


I have knitted some of the Spring colours wool. For the fingerless gloves I used a pattern called 'Leaves', designed by Valentina Georgieva. It's a nice, easy pattern that I've used before. The idea for the headbands came from a young neighbour, who is moving to a very cold part of the country and has been making headbands to keep her ears warm.  Yesterday I made two little headbands for another neighbour's daughters. They have a new baby sister, for whom I made a kimono shirt, using a pattern from The Purl Bee . The flower is Martha Ess's pattern, using folded rings. It neatly hides the velcro closure.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Getting Even

When I dyed wool before spinning the other day, it was very uneven. So this time I wet the wool thoroughly before dyeing and used a much bigger container. I dyed blue first and wow, the result was not bad.
Then I dyed brown, but it was much more uneven.
I think the blue dye is just absorbed more slowly. I spun the blue as it was, but put the brown through my drum carder.
This resulted in big fluffy batts to spin.
I spun a bobbin full of blue and a bobbin full of brown:
Then I spun a bobbin full of natural and plyed the three together. I forgot to take a photo before I washed the final yarn, but here it is hanging on the line outside to dry:
I've only spun half the wool I need to make a sleeveless pullover. I think I'll run the other batch of blue through the drum carder too. It doesn't take long and then spinning is easier than when I try to spin a bit of this shade and a bit of that so that I don't end up with too long a stretch that's light or dark. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thumbs Down!

 Yesterday I got back my entries for the national competition. No hardware this time. There were nice comments about the Tunisian crochet bag, but the strap isn't stiff enough. Right. The judges didn't like my tatting. The pink bookmark is too long, they don't like the backing fabric, my tension is average and the yellow centres detract from the design..... Right. I saw pictures of the winning entries and the question of whether I should enter a traditional doily next year or a progressive one is answered. I may still enter Under an African Sky, but I won't expect a favourable response.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Art Noveau Dragonfly

I had another go at Carollyn's Art Noveau dragonfly. You can find her pattern here. Not perfect, but an improvement on yesterday's one. The yellow thread is Milford 20, the green is Cebelia 20 that I dyed myself. I wanted the two colours to be different but not too different.

Carollyn's Dragonfly - First Draft

I'm very rusty on tatting clunies or tallies, but I really like Carollyn's Art Noveau dragonfly, so I'm happy to revisit the technique. First I visited Jennifer Williams's Cariad  website to remind myself of the process. I did a bit of practising, but not really enough before I tackled the pattern. I decided to continue so that I could see how it went. I've left off a ring, blah, blah, but I'm happy with it as a first attempt. Thanks Carollyn. I hope to do it more justice next time round.