Monday, September 30, 2019


I wasn't sure about this one, but it grew on me. It has a circumference of 8 beads.
It feels like a kind of magic that this jumble of beads turns into a pattern. But then a lot of craft is magic, isn't it? The correct hand movements turn thread into tatted lace; a knitter can use two sticks to transform wool into a cardigan. Perhaps we need to contemplate the magic now and then.

Thursday, September 26, 2019


My cooking's not keeping up with the onions in Jack's garden. It looked as though they were going to go to waste until I had the idea of drying them. The weather is perfect for it at the moment - dry, cool and windy. Jack cut some onions up and spread them out on a net on top of a wire mesh table:
He folded the net over them and weighted it down, to protect the onions from dust and dirt:
After a couple of days, they were ready for storage. I put them into a box that tea came in (labelled of course) as I don't think plastic would be a good idea.

 Since it seems to have worked fine, Jack is going to dry some more. Then I just have to remember to use them!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


This pattern is called Harlequin, here's a link to it.  I'm happy with how it turned out. It has a circumference of 7 beads and is easy enough to work.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


I have my competition entries back,, with the judges comments. Some of the comments are fair enough - I agree that the armholes of the gilet are too big. The comments on the crochet top are harsh, I have to say - the tension is too loose, the front should have a mirror image, the finishing off is too tight, it's not well blocked... Makes me wonder how it got that far in the competition! Anyway, one  can't enter a competition without being willing to take criticism, so there we go. I'm glad to have my things back. I  plan to use the beaded bag myself.  The comments on it were mostly positive, the only criticism that it lacks a fastener.

Friday, September 20, 2019


I've been working on the hearts and flowers braid (my name, find the pattern here ). I keep waiting for the tatting to become automatic, but with its twists and turns, it requires a certain amount of attention. There has been un-tatting!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

My Own Pattern!

I've made a bracelet before using different sizes of beads, but in a very simple spiral pattern. It looked like this:
What would happen, I wondered, if I did a zigzag pattern instead of a spiral? After working the 10 around necklace, I thought I knew how a zigzag works. I grabbed some scrap paper and drew out what I thought was required. I had to tweak it slightly after my first attempt - my zag was  longer than my zig - but it basically worked as I visualised. Here's the pattern, with A to D for four different sizes of beads:
It is very textured. Here's another angle to try to show that:

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


After working my way through the 10-around necklace, I thought I'd crochet something quick and easy. The threading pattern is on Ms Crochet's blog. Lily used beads of the same size, but the pattern works well with beads of different sizes.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hearts And Flowers

I was thinking of starting another curds and whey to carry about as 'handbag tatting'. But when I saw this edging yesterday on The Knotting Nurse's blog, I thought I'd do that instead. Sharon has given the pattern in needle tatting terms, which is not a problem of course, I just have to ignore instructions like 'turn and tie off'! I took on board Sharon's tip that a lock join is not the best join to use. Instead, I swap shuttles before making the join, which amounts to the same thing as Sharon did. I use a safety pin to create a space to join the next ring to:
I'm using a size 40 thread, Coats, in a variegated yellow. I think the variations in the thread are subtle enough for the two shuttle method to work.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Necklace, 10 Around

Phew, this one tested my beading abilities. But that's what learning is about, right? At one stage I got a bit casual and stopped referring to the printed pattern, just watching the bead patterns emerge. That was fine until there was a mistake. Then I couldn't find my place on the pattern and couldn't work out what mistake I'd made in the threading! I had to unravel to a 'known point'. After that I was more careful, keeping track of where I was on the pattern and checking the beading regularly. The pattern came from L Beads, here's a link. I think it was worth the effort I had to put in!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Trying This Again

After realising that  too tight a tension distorts a beaded pattern (see yesterday's post) I thought I'd have another go at this pattern. I tried it in June and it was a horrible mess that I had to unravel. It looks much better this time around! Interestingly, at one point I lost my place in the pattern and became a little stressed - straight away my tension increased. I'm sure that with some practice, keeping the tension correct will become automatic and I won't have to pay so much attention to it. To help make sure I was keeping the tube the right size, I put a pencil into the tube after every row:
Luckily, the pencil is just the right size for a 10 bead rope!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Necklace, 9 Around

The pattern is from Christa Kohlbauer. Because it has a 9 bead circumference, I could use a press stud to close it, to make a short necklace:
I learnt a lot about tension while I was working this. My phone rang, and as I talked to a friend, I looked at the rope, and realised that some of it was distorted. I unraveled it and worked it again, being careful not to pull the work too tight. With a rope bigger than 6 beads, there's a space in the middle of the rope, so it's easy to pull it too tight and make it collapse inwards. A light touch is needed!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Butterfly and Flower

Of course it's not necessary to have a butterfly on either end of a bookmark. I tatted a spiral chain to join the poinsettia  I tatted in June, using muskaan's pattern, to a butterfly. I tried Stephanie's tip of passing the shuttle in the same direction as the stitches every few half stitches, but I found it better to briefly roll the chain between my thumb and forefinger when I let the shuttle dangle. I think different things work for different people, it's certainly worth trying out different techniques.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


I've been working on beaded crochet again. I really like how this one turned out. Here's a link to the pattern.  Good when the designer puts their signature on the pattern. I'd have liked to make a necklace, but this is only 6 beads in circumference and I don't have a suitable fastener for that size. I'll put it on my 'in the future' list.

Monday, September 9, 2019


I've been working on Rebekah Yeager's Persian Tiles pattern in the evenings and it certainly is growing. The yarn is going much further than I expected, so I will have a respectable stole by the time I'm finished. At the moment it measures 150 cam, 60 inches, and there is still half a ball of brown yarn.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Cup Cakes

I was scrolling through Pinterest when I saw a recipe for Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes. Mmm, that sounds good. I followed the links back to the bakerbynature website and the recipe.  There were no outlandish ingredients, but I was missing a couple of things. I bought cream cheese on Wednesday, but alas I couldn't find paper cups. I went ahead and baked them anyway, but mine are more muffins than cup cakes:
Scrumptious with tea or coffee anyway!

Thursday, September 5, 2019


The colours are closer in real life than they appear on my computer screen. The butterfly is Mary's Butterfly. I have seen it on Mary's blog,, but used the link from Marja's blogpost  to find the pattern here. I didn't download the pattern properly, because I didn't want to sign up for yet another app or program, Scribd, but I could follow the pattern anyway.

I made a spiral chain this time instead of Victorian sets. I should've reread my own post about Sherry Pence's tips for tatting spiral chains, but no, I didn't, so I did flip the stitches. Oddly, I found that it wasn't the working shuttle I had to let drop to rewind, it was the one forming the stitches. Perhaps that's why direct stitches work better.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


My cousin gave me these butterflies.  They do make one think of tatting, don't they? I considered tatting around them, but the outside margin is quite wide, I don't think it'll look good. Instead I thought of tatting a butterfly and then joining it to the plastic butterfly with a chain of Victorian sets.  Here's the first one:
I'm pleased with how it turned out, I think it'll work as a bookmark. The butterfly was designed by Grace Tan. The pattern is here. I saw it yesterday on Marja's blog, here. I like Marja's two-colour version, but I worked in one colour so that I could change the way the chains were facing by swapping shuttles, though Grace uses a different method. I used CWJ, as per version 2, but a split ring head, as per version 1.

Monday, September 2, 2019

A Snippet of Lace

I've finished the ball of Olympus thread, so this is just a snippet of curds and whey lace. I'll put it in my tatting tin until I find the right place to use it.