Friday, June 28, 2013

Flower Power

 I'm working on another towel, not a hooded one, just appliqued, like the fish one.  I've made up the edging, using Martha Ess's  folded ring technique. I'm using size 10 thread because I want the edging to be bold against the towel. I must go and get on with it.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Owl Tow'l

I've been invited to a baby shower at the weekend, so I made this owl towel for the new baby. The pattern is by Amber of Crazy Little Projects blog. I did make one change. My daughter suggested I put the hood in the middle of the long side of the towel rather than at one end of the towel, so that's what I've done.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


 I've finished knitting a pair of socks for myself. They're a copy of a pair I made about 10 years ago from an Interweave Knits pattern. It was difficult to get the light right to show the pattern off, while the socks were on my own feet!

For the record, it's much easier to teach basic Tunisian crochet than tatting. But I did meet a lady very keen to learn to tat, so that's good. Linda said that as a child she used to watch a neighbour tat and has wanted to learn ever since. We've arranged that I will show her the ropes after next month's craft group meeting.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Teaching Tunisian

 I'm off now to teach a group of ladies how to do Tunisian crochet. I  made this cell phone pouch as an easy project for beginners to do. I'm not sure if there will be time for everyone to finish a pouch this morning, but they should be able to make a good start.


When I saw this 'Kissing minnows' pattern on the Two Shuttles blog, I put it straight onto my to-do list. I followed Alma's link to Ninetta's Flickr page and saved the pattern, which is in the form of a diagram. Efficient, right? Right, except that when I went to my saved version yesterday I discovered that it is so small I can't read it! Luckily I remembered where I'd seen it first and followed the links again. This time I just scribbled the diagram on a piece of paper, with figures big enough to read. The eye gave me a bit of trouble, until I remembered how to do a 'down picot'. Do 2 first half stitches before the josephine knot and 2 second half stitches after it and the eye will be in the right place. I've made enough kissing minnows to go along the bottom of a towel for a little boy. I'm still busy sewing them on.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Flower Bracelet

One of the ladies in the craft group I belong to asked me to use a bookmark pattern to make her a bracelet. I hope this is what Lettie was imagining. I would've finished it earlier if I hadn't made mistakes. Opening rings and untatting is time consuming!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ravelry to the Rescue

I've been meaning for a while to make another pair of my favourite socks. I made this pair in handspun cotton using a pattern in Interweave Knits magazine. I don't have the magazine here, but they'll be easy to copy. Won't they? I vaguely remember how I made them.
My first attempt was a skew whiff disaster! So I logged into Ravelry and typed 'lace edging' into the pattern search box. It came up with 209 pages of thumbnail sketches of patterns! Luckily I found the answer on the first page, Lace Edged Fern Scarf by Judy Lamb. I ignored the fern part of the pattern and just copied down the lace edging. With 8 rows, it's perfect for my socks.
The pink thread is a provisional cast on. When I've knitted enough for the leg of the sock, I'll take out the pink thread and graft the last row to the first to make a tube. Then pick up stitches at the bottom to knit the foot part of the sock. I hope that will all be straight forward, but if not I'll find a pattern on Ravelry. It's a wonderful resource for knitters and crocheters.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Practice Piece

 I've been practising the outline stitches for Schwalm embroidery. The teacher said to just get on and do the stitches on the real piece, and undo if it didn't look right, but I want to gain some confidence before I start work on very expensive linen. To begin with, coral stitch is not very easy to undo. Like tatting, it has to be undone knot by knot. The linen is white, which gets dirty easily, so I'd rather work on it as little as possible. I traced elements of the pattern onto a scrap of cotton. I'm accumulating questions for next time I see the teacher. Eventually I will have to take a deep breath and begin work on the linen, but I'm sure I can procrastinate a bit longer.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ready to go

I made a little muslin bag for each necklace and earring set yesterday, so now it's all ready to be posted.

Earrings for Diana

 These are the earrings to go with yesterday's Diana necklace. I managed to get the colour changes to match fairly well, on  my second attempt. It's always a bit of a  dilemma when using variegated thread for earrings. Should the colour changes be the same on both earrings??

Monday, June 17, 2013


I've finished the Diana necklace. The pattern is by Gunhild Fette, you can find it on her blog here. Guni's blog is in German and in English, and the pattern has an English version. The pattern gives clear instructions for adding beads to a Single shuttle split ring. Since I've never done that before, this is number 17 for my 25 motif challenge. (My self-imposed challenge is to learn 25 new techniques).

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Preparing for Diana

 Yesterday I dyed some thread in preparation for tatting Gunhild's pattern Diana. I'm going to use the multicoloured thread, I just dyed the dark one to use up the left over dye. When it was dry, I rolled it onto a cardboard core.
I did some practising of the techniques in the pattern (a good pattern, with clear explanations). One thing I had to remember was to make sure the shuttle and shuttle thread were out of the way before I closed the Single shuttle split ring.
I slid beads onto the thread and wound it onto a Starlit shuttle. I simplified things for myself slightly by using seed beads of only one colour. I reckon that with a variegated thread, using different colour beads would be overkill. I tried to space the beads along the thread in small batches, but when I started tatting I found I had it wrong and had to keep unwinding and rewinding the shuttle too much. So last night I unwound it all and put the beads closer to the work in bigger groups. I'll see how that goes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bib Necklace

The flower is Jon's Daisy Pin. I had been prepared to have to redo parts of the necklace to get it right, but it came together just as I visualised, so that was good.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I've finished the choker and made a pair of twirly earrings to go with it.

It was a pleasure this morning not to have an inbox full of spam comments from Anonymous.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Zig Zag

 I have to keep my wits about me as I tat the final split ring row of this choker. I added the bugle beads to the long picots of the top row before I started, holding them in place with a thread. I have to join two beaded picots to each split ring of this row, and remember to weave the red foundation row through the ring before closing it. I do get into a rhythm after a while, which helps.

The pattern link is on the right of the page, Choker pattern. I think the pattern could be improved, perhaps some photos of work in progress added. I must finish working on five necklaces for an order (this is number 3) and then I'll have a go at that.

I'm going to have to change my comment settings so that Anonymous can't comment. I'm reluctant to do that because I do get genuine comments under 'Anonymous', but I'm being swamped by spam. I had hoped that limiting the comments while I was on holiday might discourage the spammers, but it's getting worse and worse. I had better act! Apologies to those who will no longer be able to make genuine comments.

Tunisian Flower

 I've been experimenting with Tunisian crochet in the evenings. There's a Tunisian crochet section for the craft competition of the Women's organisation I belong to. The brief is to make a shopping bag, with crocheted-in flowers ie you can't crochet a flower separately and add it to the shopping bag, it has to be integral to the pattern. I had a look on Ravelry and downloaded a couple of patterns. But when I looked more closely at them, it turned out that you crocheted a square and then added the flower in cross stitch. That won't do. But I used Sandi Marshall's chart for a daisy flower and worked out how to do the flower in Tunisian crochet. You use the different colours on the pick up row, but not on the return row. But you have to strand the second colour at the back so that it finishes up in the right place for the next row. This sample is far from perfect, but the principle works, so I'm happy about that. Do you want to see the back?

Rather messy, I haven't threaded the ends in, since this is a pretty inept sample, but you can see the stranding.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Another Necklace

This is the same pattern as the previous one (link on the right side of the page) but because I used only one colour, the noughts and crosses effect is missing. I did want a 'solid' row to contrast with a more open row. I'll make earrings to go with it. I experimented yesterday, but wasn't happy with the results, so will have to go back to the drawing board.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Necklace and Earrings

 The internet was off all morning, but now that it is back on, I can show you the completed necklace. I made some twirly earrings using the same thread (Jess's Little boy blue) and little turquoise beads. I made the earrings with only three rows instead of four. They're still as twirly as ever and I think having fewer beads will   help them keep their shape. The technique for the earrings is Patty Dowden's hyperbolic tatting but here's what I did:

Thread a handful of seed beads onto the ball thread and, say, 2 metres thread on the shuttle, CTM.

1st Row: Make a chain vsp 2, vsp 2 until there are 16 very small picots. Make 2 second half stitches unflipped and then turn the work.

2nd Row: On this row, make a vsp after every 2 ds, and join after every 3ds. So it will go 2 vsp 1 +, * 1 vsp 2 +, vsp 2 vsp 1+ , repeat from * to the end of the row. Make 2 second half stitches unflipped, turn.

3rd Row: Work the third row the same as the previous one, but put a bead in place of each picot.

Finishing: At the end of the row, make a ring with the shuttle thread, hiding the chain thread inside and adding an earring hook to the top of the ring.

NB When working hyperbolic tatting,  keep the tension tight and the picots as small as possible.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Lesson One

Yesterday I went for a lesson to learn about Schwalm embroidery. Here's a link to Mary Corbet's description of Schwalm embroidery. The teacher had assembled 'kits' for us with the right sort of material, pattern and threads. I chose a beginner pattern, which I was glad about when it came time to trace it onto the fabric. You can't really see the tracing in the photo above - I kept the lines as faint as possible to be sure that the embroidery will cover them! The material has to be an evenweave, with definite threads, as later we will have to pull some of the threads out. Yesterday we learnt to do coral stitch and chain stitch for outlining the main elements of the pattern. Here's a close up:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Necklace Progress

 I'm making progress on the necklace. The pattern is  my own, there are two links to 'Necklace Pattern' on the right of this page. I won't get much done today because I am going to town for a lesson in how to do Schwalm embroidery.

And Moving Swiftly On...

 I'm not giving up on Martha Ess's Two Hearts as One, but I'm going to have to come back to it later. I messed up the last ring on the first round, in spite of doing it perfectly last time! I don't know if I can undo it or will have to start again, but either way is going to take time. It's too late  now to use it for the gift I originally intended it for and  I need to get on with an order for five necklaces.

I've made a start on the first necklace, using Jess's Little Boy Blue thread and Cebelia I dyed myself. I have everything gathered together - thread, beads, picot gauge, clasps, shuttles - and must get on with it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

One Heart

This is one element of Martha Ess's Two Hearts as One, which I struggled with.  I'm hoping that by familiarising myself with one of the hearts, it will make it easier for  me when I make another attempt at the celtic version.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

No Time to Tat

 I've been busy preparing for visitors, cleaning and baking and carrying on. My bread dough is rising, which gives me 15 minutes to go on line. Have a good weekend everyone.