Saturday, June 16, 2018


I do like Carollyn's Kiss Kiss Fish! The third part of her tat-along is here. It's a good pattern for emptying shuttles, since it doesn't use a lot of thread. Though it's important to heed Carollyn's advice and leave a long enough thread for the padding. I was a bit mean the second time round, and it shows. The bottom fish is not as neat as the top one because I struggled to hold the inner threads in place. Thanks Carollyn, it's a lovely pattern.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Fishy Tale

Or tail. Very clever use of beads to create the pointy part of the fish tail. Instructions are here on Carollyn's blog, day 2 of her tat-along.  Funnily enough, I noticed a similar structure on a Japanese blog the other day, using small rings rather than beads - here.  Both give a bigger 'triangle' than just three beads or rings.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Of Skipping Ropes and Fish

I thought I'd start another curds and whey lace as a 'handbag project', but when I was looking in the book, Tatting with Visual Patterns, for the pattern, I came across Mary Konior's skipping ropes edging and decided I'd work that one instead. I scribbled a copy of the diagram so that I can take it with me instead of carrying the whole book. The pattern is worked entirely in chains, so that one shuttle full of thread should go a long way. The thread is a charity shop find, I don't know what brand it is, but the colour is mink, subtly variegated.

I also wound thread for Carollyn's fishy tat along, which is here. It's a small project, the perfect diversion from my crochet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Pecan Pie

Not far from us is a big irrigation scheme called the Vaalharts Scheme. Here's a link to a Wikipedia entry for it. They grow a lot of pecans there, most of which are exported to China. As a local, it's possible to get hold of the best quality if you know who to ask! Perfect for pecan pie.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Spot The Difference

I did try to make sure that all the balls of crochet thread I bought the other day were the same size, but an odd one sneaked through. The one on the far right is size 5, the others size 8. It's not too serious because I bought way more than I'll need for my crochet top. It's firmly spun, I think it'll tat up well, so perhaps there are apricot bookmarks in my future.

I am making progress on the top, I've got to waist level:

Friday, June 8, 2018


I decided to use the 2 mm hook, so that there isn't too big a difference between this section and the central panel. I like the more open look, though some of yesterday's commentators say they like the denser fabric. It was easier to get going this time round because I made the mistakes on the first version! One thing I like about this pattern stitch is that all the shells are worked from the same side. Crochet definitely has two different sides; working back and forth they usually alternate, but in this case the mainly chain row is worked on the 'wrong' side.

Thursday, June 7, 2018


I'm making heavy weather of this. I've done some work on the main body of my crochet top, but it feels very stiff to  me, it isn't going to drape well. I crocheted some samples using different size hooks. 3.5 mm is clearly too big:
The next sample uses a 2.5 mm hook on the bottom two rows and 2 mm on the top two rows:
Dither, dither, not sure how to choose between those two. I'm hoping that I can keep the central section I did using a 1 mm hook, and use that hook for the edging that is in the same pattern.

On Tuesday we had an 'information day', where experts gave us tips for the competition articles. The crochet fundi says an evening top should be in black or red, or perhaps grey. Hmm. Apricot not on her list!

One of the examples shown on Tuesday used an interesting asymmetrical shell pattern. I made a sample of it in the hope that I will remember it: