Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Short Spring

This is the first 10 rounds of Renulek's wiosna 2018, Spring doily or Spring napkin. Renulek gives the stitch count for a round every week on her blog, or you can buy the whole pattern in her Etsy shop. Mine is tatted in Coats thread size 40.

When I was working on round 10, I realised that I had made a mistake in round 4, and as a result was one repeat short. The number of repeats doubles in round 11, which would compound the problem. Rather than correct the mistake or carry on regardless, I decided to invent a finishing round and leave it at that. It measures 37 cm across, not a bad size for a doily.

If anyone notices the mistake without being told, I'd say they haven't enough to do!

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Decision

Thanks very much to everyone who responded to yesterday's post. Turns out there are quite a few possible ways forward! After some contemplation, I finished tatting round 10. I don't like it as an outer row, I think the outward facing rings make it look incomplete. I had a look at the photo of the finished doily on Renulek's blog  and took a design element from round 12 or so to create an outer row. I've only just begun and it's possible it'll need a bit of tweaking, but I think it will work.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

That Sinking Feeling

23 repeats? There shouldn't be 23 repeats. Yup, definitely 23 repeats. Now to find the mistake. Counting, counting, counting. And here it is, a ring missed on the fourth round:

What to do? Jack reckons I should carry on regardless, but looking at Renata's picture of the whole doily I don't think that will be possible, because the number of repeats keeps increasing as the doily gets bigger. I really don't feel like redoing all that. One possibility would be to leave the butterfly round as the outer round. Even with 23 butterflies instead of 24 I think it would look alright. Any other ideas welcome!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Holiday Snaps

We're back from our holiday. I have a lot of catching up on cleaning and tatting the Spring doily to do, so here are a few holiday snaps to look at until I get my act together!

We traveled 4000 kms on our journey. To make sense of our route, have a look at this map. We spent the first night in Gaborone in Botswana, then went to Bulawayo and Harare. We then drove back to Bulawayo and up to Victoria Falls. We had planned a round trip, travelling by ferry along Lake Kariba, but the ferry didn't sail, so we had to go by road. The Victoria Falls were really spectacular. I've seen them before, but not with so much water going over them. There were huge amounts of spray, drenching the onlookers:

One evening we took a boat ride on the Zambezi River above the Falls:
We also went for a game drive through the national park near the Falls; here are a couple of the animals we saw:

Back to the map: we went into Namibia and along the Caprivi Strip (above Chobe NP on the map) and then into Botswana and southwards along the edge of the Okavango Delta:
We bypassed Maun and took the southern route back, through the Kalahari. We spent a night at a place called Kalahari Rest and then left very early to get back to South Africa:

Sunday, April 1, 2018


Some Afrikaans words are way more expressive than an English equivalent. Vatlap (fut-lup) translates as 'gripping cloth', which I think works better than hot pad or pot holder. Whatever you call them, I crocheted these over the weekend to give as a gift. I think I might make more while we are on holiday. We are leaving later today to spend two weeks in Zimbabwe. I won't be blogging until we get back. I'll have some catching up on blog reading to do then too.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Twin Hats

As with the blankets I made for the twins, which you can see in this post, I made their hats 'the same but different'. They can choose to wear matching blue hats, or turn them the other way and have hats with different patterns. Options are always good, I reckon.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Round 10 Begun

I've made a start on Round 10  of the Spring doily. After some careful measuring, I've increased the chains on either side of the single ring to 8 ds instead of 6 ds. I think that will ensure the round lies flat, without affecting subsequent rounds too much. All the other elements follow Renulek's pattern.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Second Top Is Done

I took a selfie in the mirror, since I'm on my own right now. I think I"ve made the neck a bit wide, but otherwise I'm happy with my second top. I used this chart for the lacy stitch pattern, but otherwise didn't use a pattern.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Round 9 Is Done

I've finished Round 9 of the Spring doily. Rounds are getting longer, of course, but still capable of being completed before the next round comes out, provided life doesn't interfere with tatting time too much.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Working on Round 9

Round 9 is almost a mirror-image of round 8, but the elements are not joined together, so it's not going to cup. They look a bit floppity now, but they'll be held in place by the next row.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Front of Top Two

I wonder why I bought pink cotton yarn when I already have a pink knitted top. What was I thinking? Anyway, I'm making this up as I go along. The lacy stitch forms a pleasing scallop on every fourth row, so I turned the 'skirt' upside down to add the bodice. I plan to work the sleeves downwards so that they'll finish with the scallop edge. The double crochet (single crochet in American terms) might be a bit solid, but I like the texture and the contrast with the lacy stitch.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


I had hoped that increasing the picot size after part of the way round, as I explained here, would result in the whole round lying flat. Mmm, no, the first part still stood up, in a most unsatisfactory way:
I didn't want to redo the whole round, of course, so I cut out the section that wasn't lying flat:
I had to hide ends on both sides of the cut, and create two artificial picots, one on the previous round, where I had climbed out of the round, and one on the ring that became the first ring - it had been joined to a ring that was snipped, and I needed a picot to make the final join to. That was simple enough. Once that was done, I could work a replacement section, and, phew, the whole round now lies flat. Just in time for round 9, which Renata has now published.

Thinking about it, I suspect that my joining picots in earlier rounds were too long and that's why the picots in this round have had to be very long. I hope the next round won't require adjustments!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


I think I had 'beginner's luck' with my first crochet top - I saw a picture I liked, found the stitch, did some calculations and off I went. The second one is proving more difficult. I have tried out and unraveled a great many crochet stitches. These three are 'possible'. I decided on the bottom right one and worked a few rows in full,  but it really pulls in and makes the bottom edge look horrible. Mmm, no. I'm going to try the bottom left one in full size this evening. Here's a link to the stitch chart, it's the bottom one. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Maids In A Row

I put Round 8 of the Spring doily on hold for a bit because I needed to finish the handkerchief and post it off. Here it is, hot off the press. The edging is Maids of Honour from Mary Konior's book Tatting with Visual Patterns, tatted in size 70 thread.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Working on Round 8

I've made a start on Round 8 of Renulek's Spring doily. It has a tendency to flip up, so I'm going to make my picots a bit longer. I don't want to get all the way round and find it doesn't lie flat.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cotton Top

I'm not a fan of having my photo taken, but just for Diane, here I am, wearing the crochet cotton top.
I decided on a shell stitch for the edgings and  made the seams flat by working whip stitch from the outside. The shoulder seams were easier than the side seams, but as long as the needle goes through each crochet stitch consistently, it looks neat, I think:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ready to Assemble

Well, the front took me longer to complete than the back, but it's now done. I'm happy with the neckline and my decision to 'straighten out' the top edges:
Now I must work out the best way to join the two pieces and what edging to use around the bottom, sleeve edges and neck.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


I'm working on Round 7 of the Spring Doily, which is a series of little butterflies. I'm stabilising the butterflies using very small picots between the rings. I started by putting the vsp after one double stitch, but decided that putting it after 2 ds works better. I've a way to go, so I had better get on with it! 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Second Place

Well, my crocheted beret and scarf came second in the competition. I had had no great hopes for my entry, so I'm happy with that. The first placed one is much more colourful than mine. There were a lot more entries for the beginner crochet section, perhaps because the article was more fun - a hat for a small girl. The judge felt that some of the hat makers were not really beginners!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Milly Bag

I altered a dress yesterday, took the bodice off to make a skirt, and the colour made me think of Milly. I used some of the bodice material to make a little bag for Isabel's necklace and bracelet set. Milly will guard the treasure.

A Few More Repeats

I've made some progress on the Mary Konior Maids of Honour edging and the front of the crochet top. The light in the evenings is really not good enough to tat size 70 thread, so it's good to have the more robust crochet project to work on too.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Daisy, daisy

My granddaughter has been borrowing her mum's beaded rope necklace, which may be a sign she needs her own. She has a birthday coming up, so I've made her a necklace and matching bracelet. I found the pattern on Pinterest, here. Unfortunately, I can't see the name of the designer.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Round 6

The end of the week, time for another round of the Spring doily. This is round 6. So far, so good!

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Back

I've finished the back of my crochet top. The neckline of the front is going to take some thought, I'll figure it out when I get there. Links to the stitch used are on my previous post.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Working It Out

I bought two lots of cotton yarn to make myself tops, so I've been looking on Pinterest for inspiration. I really like this top, but it couldn't track it back to a pattern. I did find instructions for the stitch on MyPicot crochet site, here. I experimented crocheting the stitch with three different size hooks.  I think the biggest one, 6 mm, is too loose and floppity. The smallest one, 4 mm, is not bad, but a bit stiff.  The goldilocks one is 4.5 mm, in the middle of my sample.

So I have the stitch, but not a pattern. I'm using my favourite knitted top as a template:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

More Maids

I'm making progress on the Maids of Honour edging, though there's been a lot more un-tatting than I usually do. The pattern requires some concentration. I have a nasty habit of forgetting to tat the small ring. Make the next chain and then find there's nothing to join it to! The size 70 knots have to be loosened with a pin, but I am impressed that the Coats thread is not damaged by un-tatting.

Monday, February 26, 2018


I've finished my doormat in double filet crochet. I like it. Looks a bit 1960s psychedelic. It measures 45 cm by 60 cm. It didn't take as much cotton yarn as I thought it would, so I have some left over for other experiments.

Friday, February 23, 2018


Some of the cotton yarn I bought on Tuesday was for practising double filet crochet. The tutorial for this pattern is here. It's going along well, in spite of the fact that it turns out the orange yarn is double knitting and the black 4-ply. I need to pay more attention when shopping! What am I making? A mat to go outside my front door. It might just startle the owl who sits sometimes above the door, but there you go.