Friday, January 31, 2014


I used a 4-ply cotton knitting yarn to try out the 'dangle' technique I've just learnt. I like the idea of using different thicknesses of thread to tat with - tatting needn't necessarily be dainty.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


There was a thread on In Tatters that showed 'strings' of beads dangling from rings or split rings. I think it might have stemmed from a picture of Elizabeth's work, but I may be wrong on that. Certainly it was PattyD who explained how to do it. It's not as difficult as it looks. The dangles are put onto the thread beforehand, by taking the thread through the beads and then back through all of them except the bottom one. The dangles can then be moved along the thread by pulling the loop at the bottom, to move them into place, or to move them out of the way. The dangles can be put onto the shuttle thread, as I did in the bottom example, but I thought they'd be easier to work with on the chain thread. Now to put the technique to use.

Day 9

 Hmmm, I'm no clearer on what we're tatting in Jane Eborall's tat it and see.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Gusset

 I had an idea I could attach the gusset of my bag in Tunisian crochet as I created it. Hmmm. No. I don't like the zig zag effect. So I decided to crochet the gusset separately and then sew it to the sides of the bag.

The first edge was fine.
But the bottom edge was ugly. I undid it and then resewed it in back stitch, using black yarn instead of turquoise. Better.
That's one side attached, now I need to sew on the other side. It should be quicker, now that I know what stitches to use where.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 8 and Commenting

Day 8 of Jane Eborall's tat it and see. No, I have no idea what it is!

Is anyone else having problems commenting on blogs? Some of them are fine, but on some blogs I can't scroll down to the bottom of the comments, so can't add a comment.


 This is the back of my Tunisian crochet. On the first 'fair isle' panel, I carried the blue thread back across the work so that it was in place for the second multicoloured row. But then it occurred to me that it might be quicker, easier and neater to cut the blue thread and join it in again at the beginning of the next multicoloured row:
There are more ends to sew in of course, but I do think it's an improvement. On the central flower it still makes sense to carry the colours back to where they will be needed next:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Revised Edition

This is one side of the shopping bag I'm making in Tunisian crochet. I've used the same flower that I experimented with here, but otherwise it's an altogether new design. So far, so good. I do think it's more coherent than the patchwork one. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 7

I'd be tempted to think we were tatting something from the garden, except that Jane Eborall's tat it and see hippo had flowers in the middle of her body. So I make no predictions!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Changing Direction

 As you can read here, I was never really happy with my patchwork shopping bag in Tunisian crochet. I procrastinated, for months. Just before Christmas, I decided I would buy some more cotton yarn to use as a main colour and try to make something more unified. My timing was bad because the only shop in town that stocks cotton yarn was closed for the holidays. Eventually it reopened. There wasn't a lot of cotton in stock (because knitting is out of season, I was told) but I bought black and turquoise and off I went. It wasn't until I got home that I realised the yarn is double knitting thickness, whereas the rest of my yarn is 4-ply. I experimented and decided I could use the thicker yarn for the background and 4-ply for the flowers. But... my crochet hook was too small for the double knit yarn. Tunisian crochet is very dense anyway, so using a small needle made the fabric much too stiff. I had to wait for another trip to town before I could look for a bigger needle. This week I found one. At last I can get going in the new direction. Time is running short - my shopping bag must be complete by the 14th February. I had better go and get on with it.


I've been to a craft group meeting this morning. We had fun making pin cushions out of felt. Mine is the pink one on the right. I just need to put some stones in the bottom to weight it down so that it stands properly, and then find some pins to put in it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 6

I don't know why this stage boggled my mind! Mine didn't look like the diagram. I had to puzzle for a while and then do some blocking to make it look like the diagram. Even now I'm not sure it does, but it does look like Rolien's on the tat it and see blog. So I'm hoping for the best.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Catching Up

This is Day 4 and Day 5 of Jane Eborall's  Tat it and see, done in one session. I'm up to date now, so I can wait with bated breath for the next instalment!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Lady and Day 3

I've finished the food cover in time to take it on a trip I'm going on. I'll be away for a week or so, so I'll likely miss the next stage of the tat it and see. I've finished Day 3 though, and I'll catch up when I get back.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Using the Tatting Tin

I'm working on a food cover. I don't have much time, so I'm trying to use tatting from my tin. I made the crinoline lady in October, you can read about it here She was too big for what I was working on at the time, but she'll work fine in the centre of a food cover.  The bookmark roses I'm going to cut out to put in the corners of the food cover. Then I'll just have to tat leaves and butterflies to go with them. I had better go and get on with it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day 2

Day two of Jane Eborall's tat it and see. I tend to think of split rings as having the same number of stitches on each side. Jane reminds me periodically that that aint necessarily so! Split rings can be tatted asymmetrically to change the direction of the tatting in marvellous ways.


I've made more fabric flowers, learning as I go. For one thing, small  pieces of fabric curl much more readily than larger pieces. I'm relieved about that, really - it implies that the blouses I made with those fabrics won't instantly disintegrate when I approach a fire!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Right Amount of Frazzle

I've been racking my brains to think of a gift I could make for a young friend. She does beadwork herself, so I don't want to give her earrings or a bracelet. Light bulb moment - how about a flower like the one I made myself in November? First I checked that silk does shrivel in a candle flame. It does, so I could use the scraps of turquoise silk I have in my stash. I cut graduated circles from silk and organza, singed the edges of each piece in a candle flame and then put them together.
It didn't look right at all. I had another look at my red flower and realised that these pieces were too flat. Back to the candle flame. The trick is to get each piece to shrink and curl without destroying it entirely! Takes some practice. Finally I was happy enough with the curl to add beads to the centre to hold all the layers together and give a focal point. I think I may need to make a few more flowers to really get the hang of it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Fun Has Begun

 This is day 1 of Jane Eborall's tat it and see. Such fun to look at the TIAS blog to see all the versions that come in. There's a link to the blog on the left of this page - Tatting Patterns with the added fun factor.
 I'm still working on the drawn thread parts of my Schwalm embroidery. You can see that the circle in the middle is incomplete. The 'leaves' on the sides are worked in two different stitches. I don't know what they're called. I'm glad the teacher wrote the instructions down, because I don't know what to look for on the internet.

Monday, January 6, 2014


 I'm giving satin stitch a rest for a bit while I work on the drawn thread areas of my Schwalm embroidery. This reinforcing stitch boggles the mind a little as it is worked diagonally, but it's easier to sew than satin stitch. In the middle of the night I thought, 'What am I doing, putting pictures of such amateurish attempts on the internet for all to see?' The answer is that this is a record of what I'm doing, not a prescription for anyone else!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Practise, Practise

 Practice makes perfect, they say. I'm not really aiming for perfection, I just want to  improve my satin stitch. Going to need some more work before I can say it's acceptable.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Story Continues

 When I posted a picture of my 11 crosses on In Tatters, Judy said she wished she could ask me to do the 15 that her sister-in-law wants. Batty Tatter suggested Judy 'put the word out' and see if 15 people would tat one and post it to her. Good idea. Here's my contribution, ready to be sent off today. It will be interesting to see the final gathering. This is Jane's Bookmark Cross by Grace Tan, there's a link on the right hand sidebar.