Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Forced Break!

I'm so annoyed!  I kept hoping it would go away... but no.  I definitely have a problem.  It's been going on for nearly three months now and is getting worse.  I have tendonitis in my left elbow.  And I've sadly had to come to the conclusion that I really need to rest that arm and stop tatting and knitting for a little while in the hope that it will cure itself.  I can't tell you how frustrated I am!  And I've no doubt made it worse by waiting rather than acting sooner.

I'm now grateful that earlier in the year,  I made loads of sample of my last two snowflake designs while I was testing the patterns so that I have enough to put in my Christmas cards for friends and family without having to tat anymore.

I can't tell you how difficult I find it to sit in the evening and not pick up my shuttles or needles!


In the meantime I am carrying on with my university projects involving really large lace.  I've been using 3mm and 4mm rope to make motifs and last week I made a mould of one of the motifs.  

 I put a penny on the lace to show scale
(tatted with 3mm nylon rope)

I made a clay "box" and pressed the large lace into it.
Then poured silicone in the box to make the mould.

You can see the lace still embedded in the silicone below.  I have not removed it yet as I am wondering about making a two-part mould.  To do this I would make another clay box around the silicone, and then pour more silicone on top to make the second part of the mould.  But the complexity of the lace might make it too difficult to pour any material into the mould in a way that would fill all the little spaces.

I liked the imprint left in the clay...
and decided to make a plaster moulding of it:

The detail of the imprint is amazing.
You can see all the texture of the rope.

I'm really enjoying all this experimentation and looking for new ways to use tatted lace in my design ideas.

Best wishes,

Friday, 8 November 2019

An Oldie...

... but goodie?  I wrote this pattern for "Le Flocon Frivole" back in 2011 (my how time flies!) and I had not tatted it for quite some time so I decided to make it.  Looking at photos, I debated whether I liked the empty centre... and made a version with added rings to fill the space:

Below is the original with the empty centre:

What do you think?  Which one do you prefer?

Maybe it's the original for me after all?

I'm also not convinced about the two small rings between the long arms and might play with it a bit more eventually. 

Best wishes,

Monday, 4 November 2019

Giant Shuttle

... and I mean GIANT!  I want to work with rope to make large-scale tatting so I 3D-printed a huge tatting shuttle.  It does "work" but I must admit it's not easy to wield.  The shuttle is a bit slippery and so wide that it's difficult to hang onto!  Also when working at that scale, you can't make the stitches around your hand as in normal tatting.  So I have to wrap the loop around the back of a chair, or even around my knee or my foot while I make the stitches.  When making chains, I also trap the rope under my foot for tension.

You can see it next to a regular shuttle
for comparison purposes:

I have ideas for this giant tatting but many problems to resolve before I can bring them to fruition!

Best wishes,

Monday, 28 October 2019

Pattern Winners

Thank you to all of those who took part!  The Random Number Generator said:  13, 9, and 14.

So the winners are Victats, Jane, and Diane.  I'll be sending you the pattern today.  I hope you enjoy making Astrila!

And by the way, I want to thank Holly for her name suggestion for this pattern.  Sometimes I know straight away what I want to call a new pattern... but other times it's difficult!  So I was grateful for the suggestion and liked it.  Like Qanik, it's another word for snow in one of the Inuit languages (from what I was able to gather on internet) and it means "snow sparkling in starlight" - isn't that pretty?

Best wishes,

Friday, 25 October 2019


This one was a long time coming!  It was the original idea for my 2019 design but somehow I just couldn't get it quite right.  In the end, I finished Calixa first but now Astrila is finally ready (after so many tatted samples, it was a bit mad!).  Sometimes I wonder if some patterns just don't want to get written.

I really wanted it to look as much as possible like the Wilson Bentley photo I had chosen.

And here is the real snowflake photo:

I feel now that managing to publish two new snowflake patterns this year makes up a little for missing out one year and not publishing one for 2018 (though I'm still a bit sad about it).

If you'd like a to win a copy of the pattern, please leave a comment - I'll draw three names on Sunday!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

"Organic Earrings"

... that's how my daughter described them!  I learned how to make these earrings from a lady at the last Tatting Day I attended.  They are very simple to make with just one shuttle.  The lady also showed me a different way of adding a bead to the centre of a ring.  I plan to make a new video showing this very soon.

There's not really a pattern for these, it's just a series of rings with a bit of bare thread in between.  I like the more "organic" look so nothing calculated and the rings fall this way and that.

I tried different threads and beads.  One daughter got one pair and the other ended up leaving with three!  The pair above is made with Lizbeth metallic thread.

Then I tried an ecru cotton.  I put rings with beads on one strand and just little flowers on the other.

Then added another two strands to each earring
so they have four dangling strands.

Then my daughter spotted a pair I had not finished and she said she like it with just one strand but a longer one.  So I made one more pair in Lizbeth size 20 (Charcoal colour way) and pale green Swarovskis.  She decided those were her favourites... but she liked all versions!

They move nicely when worn and have a lovely sparkle when using Swarovski bicones (or multi-faceted beads).  Of course they're also incredibly lightweight and comfortable to wear.  I'm off to make myself a pair! 

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Two More Pairs

I couldn't leave them alone, I had to make more after the first pair.  So one more for me in my favourite turquoise, and a pair for my daughter in forest green (her own colour suggestion).

I had to adjust the colour of the photo a little bit as the green (Lizbeth Evergreen) was so dark as to look not very green at all!

I used real freshwater pearls for the turquoise pair and black pearl glass beads for the green ones.

Yes, a lovely pattern.

Best wishes,