Friday, August 31, 2012

Earring Experiments

My daughter sent me these pretty shell discs. I thought I'd use some of them to make her a pair of earrings. She's not a fan of very big, dangley earrings, so I was aiming for something small and dainty. My first attempt is on the left. It's a bit too simple and is badly executed - the end I tatted over is poking out and I can't get rid of it without cutting the ring. The second one might work. The ring around the disc is actually a chain, with beads on the shuttle thread and the ball thread.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

From Paper to Fabric

I've translated my graph paper pattern, using embroidery thread on even weave fabric. And then added two tatted micro dragons, designed by Anne Bruvold. Why dragons? Because, I'm told, this is the year of the dragon. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Working out the pattern

I'm working on a cross stitch name for my newest grandchild, little sister to Isabel. I've written out the letters on graph paper. Each word will be centred on the material, the spaces between will be smaller - this is just to guide me. One tricky thing is to get the spaces between the letters to look correct. The space between the Ns in Annika looks too big, though it is actually smaller than the space between A and N. I have made myself a note to reduce it further.

Barefoot Sandals

Thanks to Wanda for reminding me that I wanted to try out making barefoot sandals. These are for my daughter. The big beaded daisy is from Jon, the small daisy and butterfly from Ladytat's daisy-butterfly-bookmark. I had to experiment with fastening. I ended up putting velcro under the daisy pin and on the end of the strap, which works fine. I might need some of these for me!

Monday, August 27, 2012

For Isabel

I finished knitting the purple top for Isabel yesterday, with inches of yarn to spare - talk about cutting your coat according to your cloth! Of course a girl needs some bling to go with such an outfit, so I have tatted a bracelet to match. It has shirring elastic strung at the back so that Isabel can just slip it onto her wrist.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Second Boot Sock

A boot sock for my son-in-law has been lurking for weeks, waiting for a mate. At last I have started on it. It's a toe-up pattern, pretty straight forward, once you get on with it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Get the Specs

After I'd posted about Isabel's purple top yesterday, I decided I had better check with her mum whether I had the dimensions right. I did  not. The width was a bit snug and the length was hopelessly short. Okay. I took the needle out and pulled the thread until the back had almost all disappeared. I left the border and then started the pattern again using a bigger needle, 5mm instead of 4mm. Of course it would've been a lot more sensible to check those measurements before I started!


Jack had a dentist appointment yesterday, which for me meant a chance to visit my favourite yarn shop. Purple is my granddaughter Isabel's favourite colour and this cotton is about as purple as you can get. I'm winging the top, so I hope I'm getting the size right. The stitch pattern is from the Wavy Gravy Hat by Elizabeth McNamee, though I think it's  a pretty classic feather-and-fan pattern.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Joining split rings

The intention was to have two rows of split rings joined to each other. In the tatting on the left, I joined the second row to the first just joining to the picots of the first row. As you can see, the row of split rings is badly distorted. I had to start again and join 'properly', using the core thread of the second half of the split ring. Now the two rows of split rings sit properly. I'm sure Jane Eborall explains this better than I do. On her Tips and Techniques page I can see a diagram of how to do the join, but can't find the instructions. I'm sure it's there somewhere.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Beaded Microdragon

I love Anne Bruvold's  microdragon, Ringtrim, I've tatted it many times. This time I decided to add beads.That's because I wanted to try out Jess's technique  for adding beads to Single Shuttle Split Rings. It works fine. Those are the beads between the split rings of the tail. The other beads are added to long picots, as per Jane Eborall's instructions. The beads turn him into a very sparkly dragon.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

South African Socks

Jess from Tat-ilicious asked me to make socks for her fiance in the colours of the South African flag. Here they are, temporarily displayed on my husband's rather lumpy feet. How did I do the toes? I did the top part first, working back and forth in rows, using three little balls of yarn. Then I did the underside, knitting the last stitch in each row together with a loop from the upper side. Fiddly, but effective.

On another subject, twice this morning I have tried to comment on other blogs and had my verification that I'm not a robot rejected! Perhaps I'm a robot. I may go back to Jon's blog, but am not going to go back to Tatting Fool's. Luckily both were very short comments.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Matching Bobbins

I wanted to spin just a bit of wool to finish the flag sock. I didn't want to end up with more on one bobbin than the other before I plyed them together. It's difficult to eyeball, especially when dealing with such small amounts. What I did was to break off two equal lengths from the wool roving, one for each bobbin.

It worked like a charm,

Thursday, August 16, 2012


In spite of my efforts to make sure I had the right amount of each colour wool for both flag socks, I've run out of white on the second sock. It's not a major problem - I'll just spin some more. I may be short of yellow too. That's because I had a brainwave after I'd done the dyeing and worked out how I could make the yellow part of the 'triangle' of the toes, instead of just doing a yellow stripe.
These are 'afterthought heel' socks. The orange stitches in the top picture are temporary. I'll remove them to knit the heel, when I've finished the rest of the sock.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Starflower Earrings

The second flag sock is well underway, but I made a detour to make some earrings to wear with my  new pink top. The pink seed beads are rather uneven and I was fed up with beads that wouldn't go over the needle, so I decided to use bugle beads, with one seed bead between them. I like the way they turned out. This is my flower dangle pattern, there's a link on the side bar.

Pushing Past Pink

 Or Finished the Fuschia. With a nod to Fox of course. I have been working on this, even though it wasn't really priority. Now I must overcome Second Sock Syndrome (another nod to Fox). I have two single socks waiting for mates.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Jane's Conundrum

 Jane Eborall has been working on instructions for joining outward facing rings. I confess I was distracted over the weekend and didn't give her the help she asked for, but luckily plenty of other people did answer her call! It is something I've struggled with, ending up rather often with twisted picots. Judith Smith, who teaches tatting in Bulawayo, showed me how to fold the work to get the join correct, but it boggles my mind a bit. So Jane's instructions are welcome. On my first attempt, on the left, I ended up with a rather messy join, I suppose I wasn't paying enough attention. Attempt 3 on the right looks better. Thanks Jane.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Trying out a pattern

These are the two sides of  Reversible Scarf by Rachel G from G's Crafts n' Things. To begin with I was a bit baffled that my knitting looked completely different to the picture on the blog. Then I realised that was because the picture showed the sample sideways! I have to say that my knitting still looks rather different. I think that's because I used smaller needles than Rachel did. It's an interesting pattern. The dropped stitch is a bit disconcerting, but effective. This is two repeats of a 24 row chart.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

First Flag Sock

It's a public holiday in South Africa today, a good time to finish the first flag sock. My colour estimations were not absolutely correct, I had to make an adjustment here and there, but it's pretty well what I imagined. The sock is not easy to photograph. When I have two I'll find someone with bigger feet than mine to put them on. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The back is done

I haven't cast off the stitches at the top, because I'm planning to graft the sleeve/shoulder seams.That should be neat and unobtrusive. The top I'm copying had a garter stitch edging at the bottom, but I like the scallop effect the pattern makes, so I left the edging off. I'm planning to change the neckline too. The original is too wide. You can see it here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Set to Knit

I've wound the wool to make socks in the colours of the South African flag, the wool I dyed yesterday. I thought perhaps I should show a picture of the flag, though I won't be copying it exactly.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dyeing solids for socks

The brief? To make a pair of socks in the colours of the South African flag for Livi's dad. Various ways of interpreting the brief whizzed round my head. I could do a multicolour yarn with those colours, but I think that would just be a muddle.  I considered literally copying the flag, but rejected that. I did come up with a plan, so this morning I divided the yarn into (I hope) the correct proportions and got my dye pot out. Dye pot as in coffee tin. These are very small skeins, so they only need a very small pot. The skeins have been rinsed and hung on the line to dry.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

In the Pink

My neighbour managed to get me the two balls of pink cotton I need to finish my top. So That's Alright, Best Beloved, as Rudyard Kipling would say.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Livilicious Socks

These socks are for Livi. As you can see below, they're a three-quarters replica of the socks I made for her mum, Jess from Tat-ilicious

An Unknown Quantity

I bought this splendid fuschia cotton last week while Jack was at the dentist. When we got home,  I knitted a couple of samples. The lower one is knitted using 4mm needles. I was aiming for 'frothy' but it looked more 'scruffy'. So I knitted another sample using 2mm needles. It looks much crisper. I'll use those needles.

I want to knit a summer top for myself, but how many balls of cotton will I need? I'm copying a top I have, without a printed pattern, so the only way to find out was to knit a whole ball.

Turns out I will need  6 balls to make my top. Hmmm. I bought 5. The wool shop is in a little town we seldom go to.  I'm  hoping my neighbour will be able to get 2 balls for me tomorrow, otherwise I'll have to undo this and make a completely new plan.

The stitch pattern I'm using can be found here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tatilicious Socks

The heading may seem a little puzzling, seeing as there's no tatting on these socks, but it refers to the fact that these socks are for Jess from Tat-ilicious. This is my favourite lace stitch for socks. It's basically a K2, P2 rib, so it's elastic and fits well, but it's a bit more interesting than a plain rib.  Here's how it goes:
Round 1: P2, K2 to end
Round 2: P2, yarn over, K2 together to end
Round 3: P2, K2 to end
Round 4: P2, K2 together, yarn around needle to end