Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Winner

Frivole's Astrila snowflake pattern is certainly a winner. My tatting of it, not so much. This is my third attempt. I was half way round the first time when I realised that I'd missed the join at the base of a chain on each repeat.  I carried on working in the same way. The result is fine, but not quite the same as the original snowflake Frivole was aiming for:
So I thought I'd tat another one, correctly. I was just about finished number two when I realised I'd missed out a ring early on. That was a fatal flaw, no way of sorting it out, I won't show you the result. Here are numbers one and three side by side:
I used size 20 thread and they measure 9 cm across.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

More Thread Testing

I saw this crochet thread in a local craft shop last week, so I bought a ball each of black and white to try out for beaded crochet. It's not cotton - it's acrylic with a thread of lurex. It's more loosely spun than the thread I tried out before and works well for a 6 around bracelet, giving the bracelet a good structure.

I don't think it'll be a good thread for tatting, which is a shame because the lurex thread would give a good sparkle to Frivole's Astrila snowflake. (I won the pattern yesterday, how lucky am I?) I might try it, but I think closing rings will make the thread go fuzzy. 

Monday, October 28, 2019


Jack's roses have been magnificent, but they're beginning to fade now. Luckily muskaan's hidden rose won't fade at all! Here's a link to the pattern.  I used size 40 thread and it measures 6.5 cm across. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Flowers On A Stem

That's what Google translate tells me this pattern is called. It looks better in person than it does in the picture, with the stem winding between the flowers. The red beads are very light, which means the bracelet doesn't have a good heft, but they're also very even, which gives a good appearance.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Visitor

It's a good thing I'm not afraid of spiders because there's a large one resting his legs in my mixing bowl. Lucky for him, I won't kill him, I'll just throw him outside. I do suck up the ones that make messy cobwebs with my vacuum cleaner, otherwise my house would soon look like Miss Haversham's, but these flat ones don't spin webs.

On a more conventional note, I've finished the beaded crochet necklace:

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Longer and Longer

I've been working on my tatted lace on trips to town. Last week, I opened my tatting bag and realised I'd left my hook at home. Oops. That's why I prefer to use shuttles with hooks attached. I had a pin, so I used that to hook the thread through for joining, possible but not ideal. I got on better today except that the car was rather hot for tatting, as I sat outside a shop, waiting for Jack. A reminder that the pattern is here. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Simpler is Better

I tried out a beaded crochet pattern that looked good on paper, but was too complicated, so the piece I worked looked muddled. I didn't think it was worth working more than a couple of repeats as a sample. As Mary Corbet says in this post, trying something out and finding it doesn't work is by no means a waste of time. I did write myself a note on the pattern, because if I tried it out again, that would indeed be a waste of time!

I'm working on a simpler pattern, which, to me, works much better:

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Cupcakes Revisited

When I was shopping yesterday, I found some paper cases for cupcakes in the supermarket. Aha, I can have another go at the Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes that I baked last month and do it properly this time. Muskaan tells me that there are a lot of differences between cupcakes and muffins, so just leaving the paper case off did not turn my cupcakes into muffins! Still, I think they look better encased.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Blanket and Beads

The term 'blanket' might be a bit misleading for the lovey elephant I showed on yesterday's post, though that's what the pattern says.  I hope that showing it here with my hand in the picture will give a better idea of its size. It's just a little thing for a baby to cuddle.

I gathered my wits, as well as some beads, and had a go at muskaan's version of a tatted rope with beads. Scroll down a bit on this post for the method. It's very clever, and not too difficult to grasp. Obviously it would take some work to get good at the method, but this is a first attempt.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Lovey Blanket

I came across 'lovey blankets' on Pinterest. It's a variation of amigarumi, an animal head with a small blanket attached, meant for a baby to cuddle. I've seen rabbits and sheep and various other animals, but since I live in Africa, I've chosen an elephant as more iconic! The pattern is here. I gave him a hat rather than a flower because he's to go to a little boy. The yarn is  cotton, easily washable. It's a fun make. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Ninetta's Stacked Rings

With shuttles and beads handy after yesterday's pearl tatting experiments, it was a good time to try out Ninetta's stacked rings with beads. It would take a bit of practice to get it looking good, but I think I have it. Watching Ninettta's video definitely helped.

  God's Kid Sue suggested using the technique to make something similar to the crochet beaded ropes I've been making. It might be possible to do it using a technique with chains perhaps, but I think having that many beads on a shuttle would be impractical. Or am I just being feeble?

Thursday, October 10, 2019


Some time ago, I pinned this page  from Georgia Seitz with a beaded chain in pearl tatting. Ever since then I've been receiving notifications that other people have also pinned it. I get way more such notifications for this pin that any other in my collection. Though I have to say I haven't seen anyone use it. I've been meaning for some time to try it out.

First I had to remind myself how to do pearl tatting, I had a look at Jane Eborall's page . Oh yes, I remember now. I just used thread left on shuttles and beads that were handy:

The middle one uses the stitch count in the pattern. The one on the left has fewer stitches. I quite liked the look of that, so I worked it again with smaller beads. It's simple enough and there are a lot of possibilities for changing the stitch count, number and size of beads, and so on. It could be a lanyard or even a bracelet. The reverse of the third one looks quite interesting too:

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Rastafarian Colours

I used the colours that were in the pattern. I must say that most of the patterns I've found online are accurate. But I always do a small sample to begin with, to make sure. In this case it was just as well because the threading scheme bore no relation to the graph! I wrote myself a note, so that I don't have to go through the whole process again:
I decided I would rewrite the threading scheme.
I managed to get the join pretty well invisible this time, hooray. It helps that it's a clear pattern and a dark thread.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Thread Experiment

Crochet beaded bracelets with a bead circumference of 6 beads are quite floppy. I'm not sure if that's a problem, but I thought I'd try working one with a thicker thread. I used a crochet cotton that I bought by mistake, it says size 5.
It is stiffer, but the thread shows through significantly. It alters the proportions between the thread and beads - it's thread with beads rather than beads held together with thread! Of course it would help if the thread matched the beads, but even so, I feel the obvious thread is not as attractive. I don't know if I can show how the bracelet made with size 20 thread is floppy, but I'll try:

Friday, October 4, 2019


I wanted to crochet a necklace in a completely different style from the last few I've made. I thought this flowery pattern fit the bill. It has a circumference of 10 beads, a size I need to practice. It's going along slowly, but I think it works.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Different Colours

I used the same pattern for this necklace as the previous one, but using a different colourway. Here they are together:

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


We had a few very hot days and then Summer retreated again. I thought I had better finish my stole while the weather was suitable for knitting. The pattern, Persian Tiles, from Ravelry, is by Rebekah Yeager. There are versions for a dishcloth and placemat, but by using wool and mohair in place of cotton, and extending the length ( considerably!) I have turned the placemat into a stole. This slip stitch technique (mosaic knitting, though Rebekah doesn't use the term) is one of those marvelous techniques that looks much more complicated than it is. Only one colour is used at a time, with stitches slipped to create the pattern. I hid the ends carefully on the wrong side to maintain the pattern. Although the pattern on the back is more subtle than the front, it is there.