Monday, April 30, 2012

More scraps

I had a little bit of rainbow wool left over from Ans's hat - which Ans loves, incidentally, sorry Jane. Just enough for a pair of socks for Isabel, my granddaughter. This is my version of a Drops Design pattern I found on Ravelry. They're 'airline socks' without a heel or a directional toe. I gather the spiral structure is supposed to help keep them on neatly. I haven't made this kind of sock before, so Isabel can test-wear them for me. I quite like making sock heels, but then the foot length must be exactly right, so this type of sock might be better when making socks for someone far away.

Now I'm going back to  my edging. I must put in the hours to get it done.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Using the Scraps

I've been feeling a bit guilty that there were still some semi-balls of yarn left in the bag my neighbour gave me to knit for her for market. So yesterday I went back to them and knitted a stripey hat. I had to double the thin yarns, which I did by winding them on my ball winder so that I could take a thread from the middle and from the outside at once. The pattern comes originally from the Ashford Book of Spinning, though I just did it from memory. I'm really done now! I'm going to see my neighbour this afternoon, so will give her all the bedsocks and hats I've knitted.

Friday, April 27, 2012

That Sinking Feeling

I can spin and knit, sew and tat. I even gave long-and-short embroidery a good stab. But give me glue and paint and I am immediately less competent than most 3-year-olds. Yesterday I went to a Women's Institute meeting, where one of the members demonstrated how to make 'zonkis' - wonderful animals and people made from styrofoam balls, pipecleaners, feathers etc. Very clever and cute. But don't ask me to make one! This, in case you're wondering, is supposed to be a sunflower. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Edging resumed

Thanks to Sharon, of Tatting blog who answered my SOS, I can resume tatting my Fandango Edging without worrying that I'm going to run out of thread. I haven't reached the second corner, so there's a way to go yet.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

From Roving to Rainbow

On Friday, a lady called Ans, who keeps sheep 50km from here, gave me a black plastic bag of wool to spin. I assumed that it was a smelly old fleece, but when I opened the bag I discovered that the wool has been commercially cleaned and carded. Wonderful! I can get on with spinning and leave out the more tedious business of cleaning and hand carding.  While she was here, Ans persuaded me to go to a Women's Institute meeting on Thursday. I decided I wanted to make something for Ans with her wool before that. On Monday I spun and plyed a bobbin full on my Ashford Traveller spinningwheel. Yesterday I washed the two skeins and then rainbow-dyed them in the microwave oven. Luckily it was a sunny day, so they dried quickly and I could knit the Wavy Gravy Hat by Elizabeth McNamee. I hope Ans will like it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Socks and Wristlets

This is the last of the knitting for market. They took much longer to knit than the bedsocks, but I think they're rather more elegant! The pattern is Blackrose by Suzi Anvin.  I found it on Ravelry.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Adding a bugle bead to a picot

I was asked how I add a bugle bead to a picot, so I thought I'd show it here. I'm sure I learnt the technique from Jane Eborall.

First of all you need a picot slightly longer than the bugle bead. Thread a beading needle, which is a long, thin needle. Put the needle and thread through the bead, through the picot and then back through the bead, like this:

Push the bead down onto the picot.

So it looks like this:

Then you can use the space at the top to join:


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pattern for Flower Dangle and Earrings

Pattern for Flower Dangle and Earrings

Copyright Jane McLellan 2012

Materials used
Size 10 thread in green; beads approx 3mm in size, approx 80 in  flower colour and  9 green for leaf; clasp; 1 shuttle; needle or hook for threading beads.

Wind ¾ m green thread onto shuttle and then without cutting thread,  make a ring 1 ds, long picot. I used a shirt label 45mm wide as a picot guage. Thread approx 8 beads onto the picot, leaving a small  space at the top for joining.
Join the picot to the ring, forming the first petal. Repeat 4 times. Close ring.
Reverse work and using the ball thread, make a chain of 3 Victorian sets 4-4 ie make the first half of a double stitch 4 times, then the second half 4 times for 1 set.
Attach a clasp, using the ball thread.
Do three more sets, then a long picot as before, adding green beads and joining to form a leaf.
Do four more sets.
Reverse work. Use the shuttle thread to make another flower as before.
Cut thread, tie and hide the ends in the ring.

Earrings can be made in exactly the same way, using size 40 thread, tiny beads and a hook in place of a clasp. And of course you have to make two!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Working on a pattern

I'm working on a pattern for the dangles. My first attempt has an awful lot of white space in it. If someone wanted to print the pattern out, they'd waste a lot of paper! I think I might have to do a rethink on the format. Hopefully I'll have something up tomorrow. I had a busy morning, teaching a couple of neighbours how to make breadrolls, so I haven't spent as much time as I'd hoped on the pattern. Tomorrow....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flower Earrings

Following a suggestion made by Martha Ess I turned the flower dangle into flower earrings by using size 40 thread and tiny beads. Hmmm, I think I'll have to make a pair of these for  myself.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Heart Dangle

This is Li'l Heart by Birgit Phelps, with beads added. It doesn't work as well as the flowers, as a dangle.  I'm afraid it won't hold its shape and took too long to tat. I tried to design a heart, but it didn't hold its shape at all. Back to the drawing board! Or back to the flower version.

Flower Dangles

Now to do some tatting for the market stall. I think it's a good idea to have some things that are quick to make and can be sold inexpensively. These dangles are my invention, using Jane Eborall's instructions  for adding beads to a long picot. The idea is to clip them onto a pencilcase, handbag, whatever.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

For Market

As usual, evening knitting turned into day-and-evening knitting. I wanted to break the back of the job so that I can tat without worrying about the knitting I have to do. The fingerless gloves were designed by Lisa Shroyer, the hat by Elizabeth McNamee. The bedsock pattern is scribbled on a piece of paper and  has become divorced from its creator.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My favourite patterns

I have to say that when I look now on Jane Eborall's pattern page I can't find the pattern for her very small butterfly. I'm sure it's Jane's pattern! I make it now from memory. It's my all-time-favourite pattern.

The patterns for the doilies come from my previous incarnation as a tatter, but I still love them. I think they have wonderful negative spaces. They were in the May 1984 issue of the Anna Burda magazine. I borrowed the magazine and copied the diagrams out. I still use those scribbles.

Friday, April 13, 2012

How I learnt to tat

I'm often asked about how I learnt to tat. My mum had a metal Boye shuttle and a teach-yourself-tatting pamphlet  in her workbasket.  In my last year at school I spent a lot of time fiddling with the shuttle and trying to follow the pamphlet. I couldn't make any headway. So my aunt took me  to tea with a friend of hers who knew how to tat. Mrs. Shirley showed me the flip and then I was away. I used the pamphlet to learn joins and all the rest of it.

My tatting was a bit loose and floppity and didn't look  quite like the pictures in the pattern books, but I carried on regardless, making doilies and edgings and what not. Then I met another tatter, Yvonne, who lent me a pattern book. In the front of the book was a note that said NB, the term picot refers only to the loop of thread and not to the stitch that holds it. Aha, one of those lightbulb moments! For every picot in a pattern, I was doing an extra stitch. In the picture above, the pattern for the chain at the bottom says 10 p separated by 1ds. Mine are separated by 2 ds. No wonder my tatting looked floppity!

I didn't tat for many years, when I was running a spinning and knitting business. When I came back to tatting,   I discovered the world of tatting on the internet. Thanks to kind people who share instructions and  patterns and tutorials, I've learnt a lot of new techniques since then - split rings and split chains, SSSR, SCMR and many more. Not to mention incorporating beads. I'm glad that tatting is vibrant and developing, and not at all a 'dying art'!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Evening Knitting

On Tuesday evening a neighbour said that  her daughter had given her a  bag of assorted  balls of yarn and asked her to make bedsocks etc for a market stall. She said that she didn't have the time or the inclination to do the job right now. So I, rather rashly, said that I was looking for a new evening knitting project and I'd do it. Dee came round yesterday for tea and date loaf,  bringing the bag of yarn and a pattern for bedsocks. I showed her the Bib necklace and the pink one and she suggested I put some tatting on the market stall too. Now there's an idea. We could have a win-win situation, as the politicians say.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bib Necklace

The bead shop in town is closing down. That's a shame, but it's also an excuse to go and buy some interesting beads, like the ones I used here. I experimented with working the dangles downwards and finishing with a loop-tatted-ring as explained by Tatting Fool, but they didn't hang well. It's really essential to take both threads through the big bead. So I started each dangle at the bottom with a beaded ring, took the threads through the big bead and then made split rings, before finishing with a ring with a picot so that I could join the dangles onto the split-ring-braid.


Instead of doing interwoven split ring braids for the necklace, you can do a 'simple' split ring braid, with picots long enough to hold the beads you want to use.

 Or you can do 2 rows of rings and chains instead of one.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Necklace Pattern

 Necklace – Jane McLellan © 2010
R ring SR split ring - picot + join B bead
+B, join with bead added CTM continuous thread method
Cl Close ring RW Reverse work
Foundation row, in white: Note, add hook and eye to first and last rings. Do 50 split rings,
Row 2, in black cotton. Note, this method of interlocking rings was developed by Wally Sosa
SR1: 4-4/7 Before closing the ring, put first ring from foundation row through the ring, facing
upwards, making sure that the 8ds is on the same side as the 8ds of row 2.
SR2: 4-4/7 Before closing the ring, put foundation row downwards through the ring.
Continue in this way, weaving the foundation row up and down through each ring before closing.
Row 3, in black cotton, wound CTM, with 49 beads on the ball thread and 2 on the shuttle
R1: put 1 bead on back of hand, 4ds, B, 4ds +B ( 1st picot on row 2), 4-4 Cl RW.
Chain, 4, B, 4
R2: 4+B( picot on R1)4+B( 2nd picot on row 2), 4-4 RW
Continue in this way until last ring, put B on back of hand, 4+B,(previous r), 4+B(row 2)4B4
Cut and tie.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Choker Pattern

 Jane's Interlocking Ring Choker
Copyright © 2011 Jane McLellan

chokers 005.JPG
Click on picture
Black and Brights Choker
2 size 20 threads, one rainbow bright and the other black
2 shuttles
2 clasps
282 bright seed beads.
CTM = continuous thread method lp = long picot
ds = double stitch SR, split ring
p = picot +B, add 3 beads to long picot before joining
Foundation Row:
Wind 2 shuttles CTM, need both shuttles to be almost full.
SR1, using shuttle 1: 8/lp(or attach jump ring for fastening)8
SR2, using shuttle 2: 8/8
Begin the split rings with alternate shuttles in order to keep the colours same on each split
ring. Do 46 split rings in this way.
Attach a clasp on the 47th ring, or tat a single shuttle split ring, hiding the thread from shuttle 2
in the first half of the ring, which saves having to thread in the ends.
Top Black Row
Wind 2 shuttles CTM with black thread.
SR1: 1ds, lp(long enough to hold 3 beads) 4ds, lp, 3ds/7ds. Before closing the split ring, put the
foundation row upwards through the ring. Close.
SR2: 4ds, 2 lp, 3ds/7 Before closing ring, put the foundation row downwards through the ring.
Note: the second half of the SR should have one less ds than the first half, the first half should
have 2 long picots in the centre of the 8ds.
Continue in this way, weaving the foundation row up and down before closing each SR to the last
SR 47: 4ds, lp, 3ds, lp 1ds/7ds
Close the final SR. Tie and cut and hide the ends.
Foundation Row
Make another foundation row, the same as before.
Bottom Black Row
Wind 2 shuttles CTM.
SR1: 1ds, +B, 4ds, +B, 3ds/9 Before closing the split ring, put the foundation row upwards
through the ring. Close.
I 1
SR2: 4ds, +B, +B, 3ds/9 Before closing the split ring, put the foundation row downwards
through the ring. Close.
Note, there is one more ds on second half of the split ring. Continue in this way, weaving the
foundation row up and down before closing each split ring. Tie and cut and hide ends.
I used the same method for all the necklaces, only using different beads and colours.
N.B. This method of interlocking rings was developed by Wally Sosa.
Interlocking Ring Choker 2

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pattern I used in the blanket

I promised night I would give the pattern I used in the blanket, which I copied from an Anna Burda pattern. So here it is.

First of all, your number of stitches needs to be a multiple of 12 plus 7 eg 31 or 43 or 163.

Note, it is essential to begin each pattern row with purl 2 together, and to finish the row with Yarn over, knit to the end.
K, knit; P purl; YO, yarn over; tog, together; sl, slip; psso, pass the slip stitch over; st, stitch
Purl all wrong side rows.
Row 1:  P2 tog, P4, *YO, K1, YO, P4, sl1, P2tog, psso, P4, repeat from * until there is 1 st left, YO, K1.
Row3: P2 tog, P3, YO, * K3, YO, P3, sl 1, P2 tog, psso, P3, YO, repeat from * until there are 2 st left, K2.
Row 5: P2 tog, P2, YO, *K5, YO, P2, sl 1, P2 tog, psso, P2, YO, repeat from * until there are 3 st left, K3.
Row 7: P2 tog, P1, YO, *K7, YO, P1, sl 1, P2 tog, psso, P1, YO, repeat from * until there are 4 st left, K4.
Row 9: P2 tog, YO,* K9, YO, sl1, P2 tog, psso, YO, repeat from * until there are 5 st left, K5.
Row 10: Purl.

I hope this makes sense night, what do you think? Of course the second YO in a row will actually be a Yarn around needle, but I'm trying to keep this simple.

Pattern Links

OK, I confess, yesterday I closed the computer in a huff, even after Jane Eborall's, kind attempts to help me, and went to clean windows. It seems that the links to my patterns on the side bar no longer function. You'd think that an 'upgrade' would make things easier, but  no, something that was clear and simple no longer works. Notice that I can still go to Layout and create links, they just don't work!

If you go to Jane Eborall's pattern page and click on Guest Designers, you will find three pattern under my name, Jane McLellan. There's the chokers that are at the top of my blog, another split ring necklace and a floating chains butterfly. The split ring bracelet can be found here. Well, I hope it can, anyway.

This post will gradually disappear into the archives, so I need to work on something else so that links to the patterns will always be clear on the blog.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Here's the beaded Ripple Necklace finished, thanks Yarnplayer for the pattern. It is made in HDT that I dyed myself, a multicoloured thread, set in the oven, and a plain dark brown thread boiled in a coffee tin on the stove.

Yesterday when I went to update my blog there was a notice that said I wouldn't be able to unless I downloaded Chrome. It wasn't put as bluntly as that of course, it was phrased as though I had a choice. But the fact was, I couldn't update the blog. So I downloaded Chrome. Now I must learn to do things differently, click on the left instead of the right when I want to close one page and not all of them, just for instance. Sigh....

Beaded Ripple

This the Ripple Necklace by Yarnplayer, with beads added. I experimented with different ways of adding beads to the pattern, as you can see from the mucky bits at the top of the picture, but in the end stuck to Marilee's pattern, just adding beads to the centre of the rings. How did I add the beads? I made an downward facing picot at the top of each ring, by tatting the first half of the ds twice, space and then second half twice, adding the bead to the picot and joining to the ring just before closing. I think I'm going to do split ring braids instead of Marilee's chains.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

HDT for Sharon

These are threads I've dyed that I will post off to Sharon today, autumn at the top and spring at the bottom. I hope she'll like them. We live 50km from the nearest town and go in once a week. Today is the day, so the timing is good.

Many Thanks!!

Thanks very much to everyone who responded to my plight - not having enough thread to complete my edging. Thanks to those who checked their stash, saw they didn't have what I needed and decided not to comment, and to all those who did comment. Amazingly, Sharon D in Iowa has a ball from the same dye lot and is willing to send it to me. Thanks Sharon.

 I've finished the blanket. I always promise myself I will only knit at night and I always finish up knitting in the day too! Now I will need to find another project for evenings. I washed the blanket and put it flat to dry to show the lace pattern up properly. I have straightened the bottom edge since I took this picture, after Jack pointed out that it wasn't absolutely straight!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sally's idea

Sally Kerson of Tat's Heaven suggested I ask whether anyone else has a ball of the thread that I've run out of. I've already had offers from Karen in OR and Jessica of Snapdragon Lace, though they don't have the exact colour. The colour is ecru, or beige. I'd have to have something fairly similar, even though I could overdye the finished edging, as Jessica suggests. I'd be happy to swap it for some hand dyed thread or whatever!