Sunday, 18 October 2020

And the Winners Are...


Number 3 is Marilyn, Number 12 is God's Kid, and number 22 is Pop Lenuta Maria.  Marilyn and Pop Lenuta Maria, can you please contact me with your details so I can send you the pattern!  God's Kid, I have yours already so I'll send the pattern along.

Thank you so much everyone for all your lovely comments and I hope the winners enjoy tatting the pattern.  It's a bit of a challenge with the many techniques used in this design but I hope you'll be happy with the snowflake.

If anyone else would like to make Aeris, I will shortly be listing it in my Etsy shop.  I thank you all for your support, interest in my designs and kind contribution on my blog. I really appreciate it!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Aeris Variation

Whilst looking at my new pattern and the snowflake photo, I decided that maybe the "arms" needed to be a  bit fuller with extra picots to look more like the real snowflake.  So I made a new version without the JKs but with more picots instead.  And this is what it looks like:

And here's the photo of the real snowflake again, for comparison:

And then I decided to pin all the picots before pressing to make it look
more pointy and sharp, more like a real snowflake
and this is what it looks like:

... but I think I prefer the softer shape of the first (unpinned picots)

So there you have it:  Aeris and its variation.  I will put both in the pattern and people can choose which one to tat!

As I've done in the past, I'll have a draw for free patterns (three chances to win!) so please leave a comment if you'd like to be entered.  I'll hold the draw on Sunday (18 October).

Best wishes,

P.S.  Thank you very much for your comments, I always love receiving them but I won't answer in this blogpost to make it easier to count them for the draw!

Monday, 12 October 2020

Snowflake 2020

It's already October... the weather is turning colder and it's making me think of one of my favourite things ever:  snowflakes!  For a few years now, I have created new designs inspired by Wilson Bentley's photographs of real snowflakes (after being gifted his book by a tatting friend) and I have done so again this year.

Below is the photograph that inspired this design.

Of course it's not exactly the same but I hope you can see some similarities.  Real snowflakes have straight lignes and sharp angles which are difficult to reproduce with tatting... but I enjoy a challenge!  In this case I used lock chains for straight lines as well as my 1SSCMR technique for sharp points.

Below are some of the several samples which I discarded
though there are features in each that appeal to me
and which I may use in future designs.

And the name?

I decided to call it 

Pattern coming up very soon!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Handkerchief Edging

I finally finished the green one-shuttle edging I had started a good while ago.  You can find the pattern under the pattern tab above.  I took the opportunity to make a video showing how I sew the edging onto the hanky (a question I had received a few times on my YouTube channel).  

Shade of green keeps changing depending on light and setting...
(the first photo is probably the most accurate)

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

More Baskets

Following on from the previous post, I realised I'd not shown other baskets I made earlier in the summer.  First of all one of my daughters and her boyfriend had collected dogwood some months ago which they dried completely before soaking it in a river for several days before it was ready to weave.  It was a first experience of weaving baskets for all of us and we were all pleased to end up with functional baskets.  The dogwood was not the easiest and bendiest to work with.

Here are a few progress photos...

After completing this first basket, I was keen to make another but we had no more wood.  That's when I discovered you could make baskets with rolled up newspaper!  What a discovery.  I've already made three of those and here is the second one I made.  I tried painting the others but was not happy with the result and in the end, my favourite was this one, left showing the newspaper.  I varnished it and have been using it to do my shopping.  It's surprisingly sturdy to say it's only made of newspaper!

I like baskets a lot... I like using them and I like making them!  

Have any of you had a go at basket weaving?

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Holiday Pursuits

We were lucky to be able to get away for a holiday in spite of the current circumstances.  There are some majestic pine trees around where we are so I was inspired to use the needles for basket making.  I had done a similar type of basket with dried grass a few summers ago (Grass Baskets) but it was my first time trying with pine needles.

Starting to curve up the sides...

Wondering whether to stop here or not...

Making a basket  with pine needles is quite slow work.  You have to constantly feed new needles into your gauge and the stitch I am using requires several steps per stitch so it's growing slowly.  But I do like the look of the stitch very much.  I might try a different one for a final border but I'm still undecided.

Also, after my initial trials with dogwood and newspaper rolls for making baskets (I've just realised I've not shown these on here - I'll have to make another post), I finally took the plunge and purchased some willow.  So I gave that a try too.

It's not that easy to keep a really consistent and even shape as you go up the sides with weaving.  I'm a beginner and have lots to learn!  Still, I managed to produce some functional baskets.

Base of basket before adding the uppers.

I can't believe it's September already.  I hope you were able to enjoy a nice summer wherever you are.  The weather is set to be beautiful again this week so I'll soak up as many rays as we come to the end of our holiday.

Best wishes to you all,


Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Lost Earring

This is one of my daughter's favourite pair of earrings.  I had made them for her in "Leaf Green" a few years ago but she lost one.  Unfortunately, I'm out of Leaf Green at the moment so I re-made her a new pair in "Fern Green Med" (Lizbeth).

I really like this pattern.  The layered construction gives body to the earrings and they keep their shape nicely.  I sometimes add a large pearl in the centre but this is how my daughter had her original pair so I remade the same.

Do you have a favourite earring design that you keep coming back to?  I'd love to hear what it is!

Best wishes,

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Vintage Tatting

I was recently contacted by a young woman who had inherited a vintage piece of tatting made by her great-great-grandmother (isn't that exciting?).  She was after some advice on how to reproduce it.  It was a pleasure to be able to help her out.

This is one of the images she sent me.  

Luckily it is not a very complex design so it was definitely achievable to make this again.  They are one shuttle medallions with bare threads joined together.

These were my first samples.
I could see the number of stitches for the rings
but it was getting the right length for the picots and bare threads which was a little trickier
so that the medallions lay flat nicely.

If you were wanting to tat these medallions, they start with a centre ring of 12 stitches separated by a picot (or rather 11 picots and the last one is a mock picot to climb to the second round without cutting and tying) and the second round is small rings of 3+3, bare thread approx ¼in long and a larger ring of 5-5-5-5.

I was keen to find a way to tat the whole thing without cutting and tying and hiding threads ends along the way too!  I was excited to find a new way to hide one end in the second half of the small ring... but then realised I needed that bit of thread to join back to the last large ring at the end.  So for now, it's still best to hide both ends in the last ring.

Here are four of them joined together.
On the original sample, more decorative picots are added to
the medallions that have free edges (the ones that are not joined on all sides).

Apparently the original piece dates back to the 1800s!
I think that's pretty neat.

I hope the person can now enjoy making a new piece to match her great-great-grandmother's.

Best wishes,

Monday, 29 June 2020

Carnations & Wild Cherries

Hello everyone!  Two months have already passed since my last post... where does the time go?  I hope you are all keeping well.

I'm still working on the edging from the previous post but yesterday I saw Marilee's new carnation pattern so I decided to give it a try.  This was good exercise as I must admit I'd not made folded rings before or used a third shuttle to make petals as in this pattern (great idea!).  Thanks Marilee for a lovely pattern!

I made some mistakes in the first one (top left) so I made it a second time in different colours.  A very pretty flower that's quick to make to decorate a card for example.  You could also hang them from ear wires for a nice pair of earrings.

This weekend I also discovered something I didn't know:  wild cherries are edible!  Seems silly but although I've walked passed wild cherry trees on my walks in the local fields for many years, I always assumed (I don't know why?!) that they were inedible.  Armed with that new knowledge, I hurried over to the fields to collect some - I love gifts of nature like that.

It didn't take me long to fill my container.

What took much longer though... was stoning them!
The cherries are small so it's a bit of a fiddly job,
and there were so many!!

But it was well worth it
as I now have several pots of wild cherry jam.

Best wishes,

Monday, 27 April 2020

A Bit of Tatting

While sorting some things out, I found this edging I'd started a while ago.  It's the one shuttle edging which I've used once before for a hanky I gave away as a gift.  I now have another (similar) hanky and thought I'd try to tat a bit more of it.  The last time was a more bluey-green and this time is a more zingy green!

I'll try to be reasonable and only do a little bit at a time... to try not to irritate my silly elbow again!!  I do like a one-shuttle edging, very relaxing to work.  And I designed a corner for this one too so if you want a simple edging for a project, maybe you'll fancy trying it.  I even have a video on YouTube that demonstrates how to make it.

This nice green reminds me of all the fresh shoots and new leaves growing all around at the moment. It's a lovely time of year, nature-wise.

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Sewing & Spool Pin Doilies

Hello everyone!  I hope you are all keeping well in these difficult times  As I still have problems with my elbow, preventing me from tatting for any length of time.. I thought I'd get my sewing machine out for a change.  I have a modern machine but particularly love my 1913 treadle Singer.  What a joy it is to use!

My friend Megan had recently showed my her new spool pin doily she'd made which was sewn like a mini patchwork (a Dresden Spool Pin Doily).  It's really pretty and I thought I'd make myself one...  then while searching for the pattern, I found Diane's spool pin doily pattern!  What a surprise find.  Thank you Diane!

Yes, crocheting one would be so quick.  I set to work straight away.  Diane's is the one top right... and then I played around and made two more, slightly smaller.  As well as the treadle, I have a hand-crank machine too so I put a little doily on each.

I had not sewn for ages and really enjoyed making myself a new summer dress as well as making two pouches/bags using scraps of fabric and with Caroline's patterns from the blog "SewCanShe".  She has many free patterns for bags and totes.

What projects are keeping you busy at the moment?

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Fleurette - Tatting Day!

I made a new video yesterday:  it shows how to make this vintage edging which I like a lot and have made several times.  This pattern can be found in lots of old publications; I have just re-written it (with my slightly amended stitch count) to make it more easily accessible to tatters.  I also designed a corner for it and gave it a name because in most books it didn't have one or else it just had a number or something.  Fleurette, meaning "little flower" seemed like a good name!

Anyway, tatting some samples for my video reminded me how much I like this simple edging which looks so pretty with a variegated thread for the flowers.

My elbow is still causing me problems so I cannot do a lot of tatting but I do enjoy the little bits wherever I can!

From left to right, the Lizbeth colours for the edged place mat are Spring Green & Tropical Punch; then it's Green Orchid Med with Easter Eggs and lastly Leaf Green Med with Juicy Watermelon.

I hope the little flowers cheer you up like they did me.  Oh, I'd not realised today was International Tatting Day!  It's an even better occasion to share this vintage pattern again then.  Happy tatting!

Best wishes,