Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thanks and Happy New Year

 Thanks very much to the people who followed, read and commented on this blog through 2013. I appreciate your support! And wish you all a splendid year in 2014.

The 'carnation' is hyperbolic tatting. It's tatted in Milford size 40 thread, with tiny beads on the outer row. The beads look as though they're sprinkled over the flower, which just goes to show how convoluted the final row is. There's a loop at the back that the ribbon threads through.

Smooth as Satin? I don't think so.

 The satin stitch leaves in my Schwalm embroidery were really a mess. I'm redoing them. I think there is an improvement. The leaf on the left in the picture has been redone, while the one on the right is the original. But how to achieve that satin smooth look is still eluding me.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Off to School

 Not me, of course, but my grandson. A year ago I made a book bag and pencil case for my granddaughter. Now it's her brother's turn to start school, so he needs a book bag and pencil case too. I hope the fabric is  not too flamboyant for school! It should be distinctive anyway.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Outfit Complete

 I finished this shorts and shirt set for my granddaughter. Now to post it to New Zealand for her birthday, keeping fingers crossed that it will fit!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I was asked to make earrings to match this bracelet.  Adding seed beads to the chains gives them a good weight as well as sparkle. The rainbow earrings are hyperbolic tatting. There's a link to instructions for hyperbolic tatting on the sidebar. I've added beads to the outer row, but kept them as tiny as possible, otherwise they can weigh down the hyperbolic tatting and spoil the spiralling effect.

Sally's Snowflake

 Yesterday I tatted Sally Kerson's snowflake and hung it on my little tree.  I've been meaning to tat this snowflake ever since Sally posted it on the 11th December. I made a mistake, tatting the second round in the wrong direction, but I didn't realise that until I reached the end of the round, so I left it. I like the look the lock chains make. Thanks for the pattern Sally.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

 Wishing a very merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate Christmas. Peace, harmony and plenty of tatting time!

Sewing a Curved Hem

I'm sewing an outfit for my granddaughter. The shirt has a curved hem. It can be quite difficult to sew a curved hem neatly, so I thought I'd try out a tip I read recently, which is basically to make a facing for the hem. I cut a strip of fabric to match the hem and sewed it on, right sides together ( unlike the front facing, which I managed to sew on with the wrong side facing and had to redo.)
 I snipped the seam allowance before turning it in and pressing.
Then machine sewed the hem. I'd rather machine sew than hand sew because I think it's stronger, less likely to need mending or redoing, which no one wants to have to do!

The top is done, and now I'm off to make the matching shorts.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A pair

At last. Gloves, like socks and earrings, must be made in twos!

Friday, December 20, 2013


 The final two crosses for my order were tatted in DMC perle cotton no. 8. It looks the same size as the 40 thread, but it must be a bit thicker because the crosses are slightly bigger.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Still Crossing

 I thought I'd do some sewing for variation, but it didn't go well. I kept dithering. So I went back to tatting crosses. These are number 8 and 9, so I only have two more to do. I did make a mistake on the purply one. It was a while before I realised, too far along to untat. So I cut off the wrong bit and then used a tip I read about on In Tatters - rather than having 4 threads to hide at once, I wound the knot on the shuttles onto one shuttle, so it looked as though the shuttles were wound CTM. I hid the two old threads and then didn't have to hide the two new threads until I reached the knot on the shuttle. Clever!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Two More

Two more Jane's Bookmark Crosses. These are in Coats thread, size 40. I'm not sure I'll have enough threads to make each one a different colour, but I have a few more Olympus threads to use.

Monday, December 16, 2013


This is Grace Tan's 'Jane's Bookmark Cross', Grace's adaptation of my bookmark pattern. These are all tatted in Olympus thread, size 40. I have an order for 11 crosses. In theory I could tat four of them a day. In practice there are too many other things that need doing. I haven't managed more than two in a day. Still, I'm almost half way, so I am making progress.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

More Fiddling

 I like the top sample, but realised I had strayed far from the original picture. The chains are too prominent. Back to the picture and my original samples. I wanted to do a good length to get the rhythm of it, get my head around it, basically. Both of them will make good bracelets, I think. I must write down what I did so that I can do it again!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


 One thing I like about doing orders is the interplay of ideas with the person who is ordering. The colour choice and the idea of putting Mrs. Odum's daisy on a ribbon come from a young neighbour. Good thinking.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


When I saw this bracelet in the jewellery supplement to the South African magazine I buy every month, I thought it would be fun to tat a version. On the first attempt, I tatted the grey rings and chains and then interwove  black mock rings and chains. It's messy and doesn't work. Second time around, I kept the grey ring open before tatting the black ring, but tied myself up in knots and tangles. Third time, I tatted and closed a grey ring and then tatted a black Self Closing Mock Ring and threaded that through the grey ring before closing, then tatted a grey chain and another grey ring. I think it could work.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Another Top

 When I find a pattern that I like, I tend to use it again and again. I've made this top in several solid colours, but decided I needed one in a print to go with plain skirts. I'm not sure what animal this print is intended to represent - a gennet?  While I was sewing it, I thought that what would really go well with it would be a black pencil skirt. I dug out a piece of black fabric that was lurking in my stash and made one.

Monday, December 9, 2013


  The pattern for these sweet stars comes from Frivole. I like the way that using a SCMR for the thrown off ring makes the star pointy. I like that it's a shuttle-and-ball pattern. I like that it's a quick tat so that I can make several in an afternoon. I like that it can be used to empty spools of thread that have not much left on them. Thanks Frivole!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Button Doodles

 When I was looking for buttons with four holes, I came across these cross shaped buttons. I can't really imagine sewing them onto clothes, but I thought they might be fun for combining with tatting. I didn't use any patterns for these doodles, but Jane Eborall's techniques page was useful for long beaded picots, adding beads to the top of a button etc.

Friday, December 6, 2013

One Done

 Phew, a lot of hours go into tatting a glove, even a fingerless one. I just hope this is not too small for the order or I will be tatting mignonette stitch for a great many more hours.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Starry Button

 I knew I wanted to make just one starry button and not a whole bracelet, so when my oddly shaped button didn't work, I could change the pattern instead of changing the button. I joined three rings to each hole instead of two, which worked fine. The pattern is Jane Eborall's.

Christmas Tree on button

 I thought it was about time I had a go at combining tatting and buttons. I actually struggled to find buttons with four holes in them. The manager of one shop told me she hates sewing 4-holers onto clothes, so she doesn't order them! After all that effort, I realised that the Christmas tree  doesn't require a four hole button anyway, though one can be used. The  pattern is, of course, Jane Eborall's and can be found here. The weight of the button helps the tree hang straight, but the pattern does have a version without a button. I made a wrong join which I only noticed when I was some way along and decided to ignore. I love the asymmetrical clovers, very clever.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


I'm working on a pair of fingerless gloves for an order. So many people mention weddings when they see the white ones that I think it's a good idea to do them in another colour. Perhaps I'll do the next pair in purple!


I bought this fabric on impulse in August. It's taken me a while to decide what to make with it. Eventually I decided on a blouse and short skirt so that I can mix and match. The blouse is a Butterick pattern. The skirt is a 'cut according to your cloth' A-line, knee length.

Monday, December 2, 2013

You Never Can Tell

 As the song says, 'It goes to show, you never can tell'. There was such enthusiasm over my coathangers on Wednesday that I thought they were bound to sell at the Christmas market on Saturday. Not so; I didn't sell a single one! I did, on the other hand, sell all the Christmas baubles. Overall I was happy with the day, I sold enough to make it worth doing and had several conversations about tatting. This is not a very good photo, I forgot to take one until the day was almost over. It does show that it was a very small fair. The hall normally holds cattle auctions, there was a ring behind me where the animals stand as the auctioneer does his thing. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Tammy on In Tatters pointed out that there was a mistake in the first row of the bauble pattern, a couple of missing -2s. I've corrected the pattern, thanks Tammy. If anyone has already downloaded it, the first part of the first  row should read
 1st round: R 2-2-2-2 Cl, RW;* Ch 2-2, R 2+(previous R)2-2-2, Cl,RW 

Friday, November 29, 2013

PDF Version

I've made the Easy Christmas Bauble pattern into a PDF document. Here's a link or there's one on the side bar. I'm hoping to sell a few baubles today at a Christmas market.

Tiny Bows

 I found a tutorial showing how to make a very small bow using a fork. When I was a child, I read about making pom poms using a fork, but there was no internet then and I couldn't quite figure it out. Actually, I think it must use the same principle as these bows. Small bows can be fiddly to make neatly, so I'm happy to find a solution when I want to decorate coat hangers or whatever.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quick quick

The coat hangers had a good reception yesterday at my craft group meeting. I sold the plastic ones, so I need to make some more for Saturday's Christmas market. There's not much time, so I'm using Milford Satin 2-ply thread and a very simple edging, with some beads on the ball thread for bling. I'm not sure how many I'll manage, but I'd like to have at least a few to show off.

A Flower

 I went to a craft group meeting this morning. We made these organza flowers, which was fun. The edge of each layer is seared with a candle flame, which makes it crinkle. Makes me think that I shouldn't stand too near a fire when wearing the flower as a brooch, or it might completely disappear!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Pattern

I've written this pattern down so that next Christmas I will still know what to do.

Easy Christmas Bauble
Bauble with an ‘equator’ of approx 18 cm, size 20 thread, 2 shuttles
CTM continuous thread method; R ring; SR split ring; Ch chain; - picot; cl close RW reverse work; + join; BTS bare thread space
First half
Wind 2 shuttles CTM
1st round: R 2-2-2-2 Cl, RW;* Ch 2-2, R 2+(previous R)2-2-2, Cl,RW;  repeat from * until there are 19 rings and 19 chains, SR 2+(previous ring)2/2+(1st ring)2
2nd round: SR 4/4; using shuttle 1,* BTS of 10 mm (tip: use a folded piece of paper to measure the BTS), R 4+(R on previous row)4, Cl, repeat from * until round is complete, + to SR
3rd round: SR 4/4; using shuttle 2, *BTS of 15 mm, R 4+(BTS of previous row)4, Cl, repeat from * until round is complete, + to SR.
Cut threads and hide ends.
Second half
Make exactly the same as first half.
Completing the bauble

Place the two halves over the bauble and use a piece of thread on a needle to lace the two halves together, imitating the look of the BTSpaces. Tie the 2 ends together in a secure knot. 


 I like the beaded bauble, but it took a long time to make. I'm running out of time to make things for a Christmas market, so I wanted something that would be a bit quicker to make. I must have had beginner's luck with the beaded one, which fitted the ball first time. This pattern needed some cutting and trying different things to get right. But I think I have it now.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Look Ma.....

 Not 'Look Ma, no hands', but 'Look Ma, no beads on the shuttle'. These baubles were temptingly close to the till when I went to The Plastic Shop to buy coat hangers, so I bought a box of 12. Coincidentally, pluto1415 on In Tatters showed baubles covered using a pattern by Nancy Tracy.  They're absolutely beautiful, but because it's a shuttle-only pattern, it involves having hundreds of beads on the shuttle. Pluto1415 was looking for tips for working with so many beads on a shuttle. I couldn't help. I thought I'd try to make my own version that had the same swag effect, but no beads on the shuttle. There are beads on the chain thread and beads added to picots.

Another Idea

 This idea came about by accident. I made a mistake on the edging I was tatting for a coat hanger, so I turned it into a motif. Then I thought, wait a minute, I could hang a motif in the centre of the hanger as a different way of decorating it. I think it has a lot of possibilities. This motif is a doodle using floating chains. Here's a close up:
I managed to find plastic coat hangers in town yesterday in The Plastic Shop, naturally. Unfortunately they're rather complicated things, which doesn't make covering them with ribbon easy. I had visualised a plastic version of the wire ones, a simple triangle, but I'll work with what I have.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Good and Bad

 The good thing was that we had a much needed shower of rain on Tuesday night. The bad thing was that lightning struck a transformer and we had no electricity for 24 hours. The good thing is that tatting doesn't require electricity. The bad thing, rather oddly, is that without television to distract part of my brain I make mistakes and have a lot of un-tatting to do! These are Grace Tan's 'Jane's Bookmark Cross', there's a link to the pattern on the sidebar.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


 A friend showed me a picture in the latest Ideas magazine of a coathanger with a crocheted edging and suggested I make a tatted version. In the original version,  the whole hanger was covered with thread, but I decided to use ribbon instead. I intended to buy plastic hangers in town, but they are the sort of thing that seem ubiquitous until you actually want to buy them. I'm sure they must be available somewhere, but I didn't find any. I used wire hangers that I had at home. I'm pleased with how they turned out. Sewing the tatting to the hanger was a bit fiddly, but otherwise the project was pretty straight forward. They could be a good candidate for the Christmas market.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

For Princess Penelope

 My grandddaughter tells me that she likes princesses. A princess needs a tiara, right? I made this up as I went along. The central flower derives of course from Jon's daisy pin, though I had to adapt it because the 'ruby' was bigger than the beads Jon used. The photo makes it look as though the tatting goes all the way round, but I confess that although that was my initial plan, it was going to take far too long, so the back of the tiara is plain material. It is fastened with velcro, which should make it easy to put on and enable it to be converted into a hair band.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


 I've been trying out new (to me) earring patterns. The purple ones are tulips by LaCy Life. Here's a link to the pattern. In looking for the link, I see that there are beads dangling from the bottom of the tulip, though they're not shown in the diagram. I think it looks a bit like a fuschia, but that may just be because I'm more familiar with fuschias than tulips. The green ones are Petal Dancer by Rachael Mohler. The pattern can be found on the Online Tatting Class, here. I had to learn to do a ring on a ring for that pattern. I watched Rachael's video and aha, I've learnt something new! I used size 40 thread to start with, but I didn't like the look of the earring, so I started again with size 20 thread. I did use size 40 thread for the cross earrings, which are by Tatting Box on Facebook. I added a bead to the bottom ring of the multicolour pair.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spiral Bracelet

 I turned the spiral bookmark pattern into a bracelet, with beads on the chains. Here's a link to the pattern for the bookmark. I'm using black and white again because I have an order for two bracelets in black and white and I thought it would be good to give Nettie some choice. The ones Nettie doesn't want will go on the Christmas market. In any case, black and white are quite striking.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In Black and White

 This is Jane Eborall's daisy bracelet. Easier the second time round, once I'd assembled the right size beads!

Size Does Matter

 Jane Eborall's patterns clearly state the size of the beads needed. Unfortunately, the beads in my stash are not necessarily as clear about their size! Sometimes it comes down to trial and error. In the blue daisy, the bead I used for the centre was much too small.  The daisy is squashed and not round - it just won't do. The small white beads I used in the other bracelet are too big, so the petals don't sit correctly. I was a bit worried that the middle bead would be too big, but actually it works. Some experimenting on the blue one means I know exactly how big the bead for the in-between rings should be.  Now I can revisit my bead box and choose the right beads for a black-and-white version of Jane's Daisy bracelet.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Daisy Bracelet

This is Jane Eborall's daisy bracelet pattern. My version is not perfect - after numerous false starts I was prepared to let a few mistakes go! At first I felt a bit overwhelmed by the paraphernalia involved - three sizes of bead, safety pins, picot gauge, beading needle, two shuttles, bracelet clasps.... - but it became easier once I grasped the pattern properly. It's never going to be an easy or quick tat, but it does become easier with practice. And of course it  helps that Jane's patterns are always so clearly presented.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bracelet for Me

This is the third bracelet I've made using Paula Gero's pattern 'Roses and Vine Bookmark', which I found on In Tatters. This one is for me. The flowers are tatted in Tat-ilicious keylime raspberry parfait, the vine in Cebelia which I dyed myself. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Flowers and Vine Bracelet

I was tatting along merrily with Tat-ilicious Little Boy Blue thread when I realised that it really isn't a rose colour. So I've renamed this one, flowers and vine bracelet. This one is for the Christmas market, but I think the next one will be for me.

Roses and Vine Bracelet

I've turned Paula Gero's Roses and Vine bookmark into a bracelet by doing just three repeats and adding fasteners. I added beads to the centres of the flowers too. The bracelet is for an order. The brief was  a wide bracelet in black and white that would fit me. I think it works, I hope Nettie will be happy with it. I might do another in other colours for the Christmas market.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Towels for Two

I made these hooded towels yesterday for my cousin's twin grandchildren. The frog one was designed by Amber of Crazy Little Projects blog, the flower and leaf design is my own. The twins are tiny, they weighed 1.5 kg each when they were born and now weigh 1.9 kgs, so I thought half size towels would be more appropriate than full size ones. The hood goes across one corner of the towel, which makes it easy to wrap the towel around baby.