Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best Wishes for the New Year

Thanks very much to everyone who has read my blog, made comments, given me so much encouragement through the year!

Life has thrown me a couple of curved balls recently. I don't want to disappear altogether but my blogging and reading of blogs may be a bit erratic while I try to field them.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ninetta's Angel

This is Ninetta's angel, she shared the pattern here. I made a felt bead for the head in place of Ninetta's wooden bead.

 Happy Christmas to all those who celebrate Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Miss Molly

I've finished the Miss Molly poncho for my granddaughter.  I'll give it to her when Winter approaches. Too hot now in the Southern Hemisphere!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Progress on Miss Molly

This is the point at which I think I'm nearly finished. Not so, but far otherwise, as Kipling would say. I still have to sew ends in, crochet the neck edging and an edging around the whole poncho. I'm debating which colour to use for the edging. Dark pink is at the front of the pack at the moment. I have plenty of wool left because my 60% principle was, of course, rubbish. If you reduce the dimensions by 60 %, the area is much less than 60% of the original, so yarn needed much less than 60%. What would my maths teacher say?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Making a Start

Phew, it was hot yesterday. Good for drying skeins after dyeing, not so good for an afternoon trip to town. I didn't get much done on my poncho, but I made a start in the evening. I crocheted a swatch, then scribbled some calculations to convert Stacey Lozano's pattern from adult size to child size. Perhaps I could call this Miss Molly. Stacey's pattern, which I found on Ravelry, is called Molly after Molly Weasley in Harry Potter.


I just love turning a pile of neutral/natural wool skeins into an array of pretty colours.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Beaded Tinies

I took some  time off spinning to tat some more of Frivole's tiny snowflakes, with beads added. I was inspired by her example, but my beads are much more substantial and added in a different way. I've used beads instead of her elongated picot.

One thing I did learn - don't use cream thread for snowflakes, even if you're emptying a spool. It looks as though the snowflakes are dirty!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

60% Principle

In spite of our very hot weather, I'm spinning wool to make a poncho for Isabel. I'm going to use the same Molly pattern that I've used before.  There's a fair bit of leeway in the sizing of a poncho, but an adult size poncho will be too big for little Isabel  So, I'm working on a 60% principle.
My skeins are normally 50 rounds of the niddy noddy. For this project I'm winding 30 times round. That way, I will need the same number of colours as before, 10, two skeins of each colour, So far I've spun 6 skeins, so I have a way to go before I start dyeing.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Beaded Cotter Pins

I added beads to the chain part of Yarnplayer's Cotterpins pattern. On one link I added the beads from the core or shuttle thread and on the next from the chain thread. I like the effect of having three colours and two bead forms, so that there are 6 variations.

Cotter Pin Links

I've heard of cotter pins but can't say I'm familiar with them. Still, I wanted to try Yarnplayer's technique which she kindly gave as a tutorial here.  It's effective and straight forward enough, though, like all new techniques, it will need some practice to get looking really good.

The colours in the photo are not right at all . My computer is not recognising my camera again, so I used my phone to take the photo. What looks like purple is really brown. Puzzling!

I've also been doing some spinning. For socks. My cousin says she will test knit a sock pattern for me, so I'm excited about that.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tatting To Order

I had an order for 6 crosses, Grace Tan's pattern Jane's Bookmark Cross. There's a link to the pattern on the right side bar. The thread is Anchor Freccia 3 ply. Only two of them are needed before Christmas, but once I started I decided to just get on with it. Interesting effect when I tat a pattern over and over - first cautiously checking on the pattern; then confidently tatting without looking at the pattern; and then so blase that I start making mistakes!

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Whole Flock

I've finished the guineafowl socks. It's 37 degrees Celsius here, much too hot to try on socks in handspun wool!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

One Sock

Right. That's one sock done. Now to start the other and avoid SSS - second sock syndrome.

Guineafowls Revisited

After a bit of a tatting detour, I've gone back to work on the guineafowl socks. The sock has gone from UFO to WIP!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pattern for Dewdrop Earrings

Here's a short version:
Wind 2 shuttles CTM with three beads on shuttle 1.
SR1: Put a bead on the back of the hand before beginning. Work 6 ds with shuttle one. Turn the ring ready for the second half of the split ring, move the bead to the start of the second half of the split ring, work 6 ds, close split ring.

Work SR 2 and 3 the same way. Work a ring at the top, hiding the thread from shuttle 2 inside the first half of the ring and adding a hook.

There's a longer PDF version with pictures, you can find a link on the right hand side bar.

 This is a versatile pattern, you can vary the size of the thread, the size of the beads, the stitch count. For these I've used size 10 thread and a 6/6 count, but for others I've used size 20 thread and an 8/8 count.

Here's another version:
The bead arrangement boggled my mind a little. On shuttle 1 it should be 5 small beads, large bead, then one small bead. Shuttle 2 has 2 small beads. One small bead and the large bead on the back of the hand for SR1. The big bead at the start of the second half as before, the small one left to be caught in place when the ring is closed. A bead from each shuttle between split rings. 2 small beads on the back of the hand for SR2, and one bead for SR3.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Tinies

This is Frivole's tiny snowflake pattern, from this blogpost.  It's really tiny and very sweet. I used the SCMR version because it means you don't need much thread on the shuttle and don't need to change hand position between elements - it's essentially a continuous chain.
Jane Eborall's tiny snowflake is a little bit bigger but still a quick tat and a great way to use small lengths of thread.
I have now emptied two E-Z bobs of Jess's tat-ilicious hand dyed thread.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Palest Pink

I found some pink crystals lurking in my tatting bag. So I dyed some pale pink thread and made a couple of pairs of earrings. I plan to let a friend of mine choose which pair she'd like, and I'll keep the other pair. Marinda will be wearing a pale pink suit next weekend as 'mother-of-the-bride'. (I think it must be 'wedding season' in this part of the world, there seem to be a lot of weddings at the moment.)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Set

It was unlikely I'd find place mats with sunflowers on them in town. I didn't. But I did find these mats in the right colours to go with the sunflower food cover, and red serviettes. The serviettes are probably superfluous, but hey, they match and I thought the new bride might want to impress her mother-in-law. The food cover took me much longer to make than I bargained for, but I'm happy with it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Corner

The earrings caused a bit of a diversion, but I have also been working on the food cover. The edging took some time to sew on with beads added. It is a bit of a palaver, but the beads add a good weight to the edge.

 Now I'm working at sewing on the motifs. One corner done.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tiny Earrings

When Tersia said she wanted tiny earrings, I thought the small earrings I showed here would do the trick. Mmm, no. But Tersia saw a single ring doodle in my earring box and suggested I turn it into earrings. Aha. It works. That's what I like about collaborating with customers - other people come up with ideas I hadn't thought of. Here are a couple more pairs:
I also made three pairs of Dewdrop earrings:
I hope Tersia will like them. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Adjusted Cascade

Now to tat the thread I custom dyed yesterday. Mother-of-the-groom gave me small, sparkly beads to use. They're a rather odd shape, like two seed beads fused together. I started off with my usual stitch count, but I didn't like how it looked:
I reduced the size of the rings from 8-8 to 6-6 and did an extra row of rings (well, two extra rows, strictly speaking). I think that works a lot better for the small beads.

Friday, November 20, 2015

As Close As I'll Get

I made a rather rash promise yesterday. No problem, I said, I'll just dye thread to match your mother-of-the-groom dress. Right. Eight dyelots later I think I have it.
I enjoyed the process and I'm happy to have an array of interesting thread colours added to my stash. It was tricky to get the colour right working with such tiny amounts of thread and dye powders. Two grains too much yellow and you get brown, two grains too much blue and you're into green. I worked out eventually that it was better to dilute the colours separately and then mix them rather than mixing tiny quantities of powder.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Earrings Galore

I was wearing my red Cascade earrings on Tuesday. A visitor to our craft group asked me if I'd make her some, and some smaller earrings for her daughter. Yes, sure. I've made a few versions so she can choose.


I spent much of yesterday as part of a cushion-making team. The group I belong to will be holding a conference in March next year. The venue is an old church. The pews are rather hard so we're going to give each delegate a cushion they can sit on and then take home. Corlie managed to get curtaining samples that worked well to give an array of cushions. We made 27 yesterday. The photo below shows the machinists, but there were others ironing, cutting, sweeping up the scraps....

It was fun working in a group instead of on my own as I usually do.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Yes, two threads of metallic thread work well for the wings of Martha Ess's bee. The one on the far left uses three threads, the others two. I have a swarm!

A Bee

I remembered seeing a bee in block tatting. Could I find it again? I could, thanks to Google and to Georgia Seitz who kindly groups links to patterns on a theme. This is Martha Ess's bee that I found here.  I used three strands of DMC metallic embroidery floss for the wings.  I tried one strand, which didn't work, but I think I'll try two and see how that looks.

I've tatted four of Jane Eborall's sunflowers. I love that pattern!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sunflower and Update

This is Amanda's Sunflower, the pattern  from Jane Eborall that I found yesterday. I'm really pleased with how it has turned out. I did make a false start. On my first attempt, my picots were much too long. I soon realised that the petals were not going to reach around to make a circle:
Now I know.

While I was tatting one of the Maltese sunflowers yesterday, I took some photos of the process. I've added them to the pattern. Is this helpful, or is it just a nuisance for those who want to print the pattern? The pattern is now two pages instead of one. There's a link to the updated pattern on the sidebar.

Friday, November 13, 2015


The leaf braid I showed in the previous post is to be the edging for a food cover. I am making progress on it, in spite of mistakes.  The food cover is to be a wedding present. Really I should've thought the whole thing out before I began, but I didn't. This morning I perused Jane Eborall's pattern pages for inspiration. I must say, I do like the 'new look' index with pictures of each pattern, so that it's not necessary to open each pattern to see the finished product. I decided on Amanda's Sunflower. Now, Amanda's Sunflower has some orange in it. I had no orange thread size 20 on hand. But I do have a lot of neutral colour thread that I bought with the idea of dyeing. So out came the dyepot:
While the thread was drying, I tatted some sunflowers using my own pattern, Sunflower in Maltese Tatting. There's a link on the sidebar. I always have to do a quick revision of Martha Ess's instructions on Maltese tatting before I begin!

Now the thread is dry and I'm almost set for Amanda. I just have to wind the thread onto a core.  (I wonder who Amanda is?)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This Way and.....

I thought I'd tat a quick leaf braid (SR1: 2-6/4, SR2: 4/2-6). Right. I can't tell you how many times I've gone 'this way and this' instead of 'this way and that'. I read somewhere that the first rule of quick tatting is to avoid mistakes. I endorse that. The time spent opening the split ring and each wrong double stitch would be much better spent tatting the next split ring. I guess I had better pay more attention to my task.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Variation Three

I made another  work shirt for my husband Jack, still following the principle of varying the pockets and collars, as I explained here. I came very close to running out of thread:
This is all that was left on the spool when the job was done. I made it. Phew.