Saturday, 24 July 2021

Back to the Collar

I'm still spinning but I finally decided to go back to the nearly finished collar.  I'm on the last round!  It shouldn't take too long to complete - come one me, get it done!

Isn't it strange how sometimes we can get most of a project completed and then somehow lose steam when there's not that much left to do.  Does it happen to you?

 Best wishes,

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Knitting My Own Wool!

I started knitting my wool!  It's exciting!  This lovely wool was on a sheep a few weeks ago and now it is becoming a sweater.  I'm knitting it for my son - who had his first experience of shearing and sheared his first two sheep - and he wanted a really plain sweater with no fancy stitches, to show off the wool he said.  I think for a first time working with my own home-spun wool, it was a good idea.

Here's some wool in the basket ready to be spun and the rustic Lazy Kate (wonder what's the origin of that name) that my son made for me for plying my singles.  It's a bit rough but it works a treat!

Several skeins of wool
waiting to be knitted...
(as I'm writing this I'm now down to the last one of that batch)

I decided to make a top-down raglan sweater which makes it easy to check for fit as you go along and am now past the armholes and making my way down the body.  It's great to just make more wool as you need it.  So I keep washing, drying, spinning, plying, winding, knitting... and... repeat!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Learning a New Skill

Tatting has taken a bit of a backseat lately.  That's because about three weeks ago, I was given two fleeces by a local farmer friend.  I'd always wanted to try to make my own wool and there was my chance!

We went to watch him shear his sheep and then I walked away with two giant bags of raw wool.

This is the raw fleece above and below is what it looks like after washing.
It's surprising how much whiter it is after one wash.

Next I needed to learn carding so I purchased myself two carders and started to learn how to make rolags.

And then on to spinning!  Sadly I do not own a spinning wheel (a dream for one day) so I started with a homemade drop spindle.  I won't show you version one which didn't work very well but version two, made with two CDs , a cork, a homemade hook and a stick works a treat!  It spins really well and I even got the hang of the "thigh roll" which makes continuous spinning easier.

I then spun two plies together to make my very first quantity of 2 ply knitting wool!
Here it is photographed on top of the raw fleece
so you can see the difference in colour.

And finally,
I knitted a tiny bag with my first small ball of wool.

From sheep to knitting.
I really enjoyed the whole process.

I've got loads to learn still but I now plan on spinning as much of the fleece as I can (some bits are not as good as others which is something I need to learn how to identify) with the goal of making a whole jumper with wool I've spun myself.  I have now purchased a very tiny electric spinning wheel to speed up the process - although I do enjoy the experience of spinning with a drop spindle.  It was the cheapest wheel I could find and also the smallest but it works very well although it does mean the bobbins are not huge so I can only make about 25-30 grams of 2 ply at a time.

I'm making progress!

My fourth skein is currently drying.  Now I need to figure out what size my wool is but I'm guessing something in between a DK and an Aran size.  There is also the difficulty of trying to be consistent when spinning so your wool is all approximately the same size... not easy!

So that's what's kept me busy lately.

Best wishes,

Friday, 14 May 2021

More on Collar

 I'm now working on the penultimate round!  But here is the 7th round completed.

Now that I've completed rounds 6 & 7,
I can see that I would need to adjust where I start them
to have a better line on the edge:

It would be very difficult to have a straight edge all the way down due to the shape of the elements but I think I would consider not making the very first large ring of the 6th round.  So instead of starting with a large ring on that round, I would start with the small ring that is attached to the previous round.

I decided to practice my Inkscape skills and made two images to illustrate what I'm saying above.  First of all you could just remove the large ring, the chains above and below it and the chain to the right of the small flower and it would look like the image below (I've only amended the left side of the collar and left the other for better comparison).  In this case, I think I'd then find a way of attaching the small flower to the chain next to it somehow otherwise, it would move about too much.

Or you could also remove the small flower and chain just below it and replace it with a new chain that would join the ring of round 6 to the starting point of round 7 as in the image below.

Yes, I think the second would be my preferred solution.
What do you think?

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Beaded Earrings

These were gifts for one of my daughter's birthday.  She likes and wears many of my tatted earring designs but this time I made her some beaded earrings for a change.

The first pair was this one:

I really like the shape of these Arabella earrings

I chose colours quite similar to the first version she shows on her blog.

And as I was on a beading kick,
I decided to make her a second pair:

They are also by Linda Genaw and are called 

I really like how the colours turned out on these.
I think I'll have to make myself a pair!

Oh, and I also did make the bee from the previous post into another pair of earrings but I forgot to take a photo of them!

Best wishes,

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Bzzz Bzzz!

I recently made a shuttle with bees on it.  The person who purchased it said they were going to tat some bees with it!  What a nice idea.  So I asked about the pattern and this is the one:  it's simply called "Tatted Bee" and is by Nancy Tracy of the Be-stitched website.

It's rather cute!

One of my daughters promptly said she wanted a pair of earrings with these on.  So I shall be making a second one.  I couldn't find my black thread so this is Lizbeth 606 (Charcoal) with Lizbeth 611 (Gold).

And below is the shuttle with bees.

I'm very fond of bees.  They are busy in our garden at the moment, enjoying the spring blossoms. They are so vital for pollination and I definitely want to add more "bee-friendly" plants to my garden.

Has anyone tatted it before?  Does anyone know of other tatted bee patterns?

Best wishes,


Friday, 16 April 2021

Collar, Just Three More Rounds

It took me a while to complete this last round!  Here it is, not pressed or blocked so looking a bit messy at this stage.  It will all look nice again after the next round which stabilises the large rings from this round.

And I definitely think joining to two picots together of the round above
(where the small rings of this round join to the previous round)
is much better than joining between scallops of round above
as I had done in the previous version.

However, you could probably remove two of the picots of the small ring
(the ones just before and just after the join)
as those get lost among the picots of the scallops from the previous round.

On another note, I have been advised that the "FollowbyEmailwidget" will no longer work after July.  I'm not completely sure how that will affect the lovely followers of my blog but perhaps you will no longer get notices of new posts?

Best wishes,