Sunday 30 October 2011


My favourite thing about Halloween is...    the pumpkins!
Here's ours on our doorstep tonight.

How Do You Photograph Sparkly Beads??

Every time I try to get a good photo a sparkly beads, it seems impossible!  The snowflakes look lovely in real life and sparkle beautifully as the light hits the beads but it never seems to show in my photos.  Any photographers out there who can offer advice?

I've tried all sorts of different lighting, with flash, without flash, natural daylight (sunshine can be hard to come by at this time of year and there wasn't any today), sideways lighting.... to no avail!  Those beads must be shy, they just don't want to shine for the camera!

I'm on the great snowflake search at the moment.  I'm looking for the 2011 snowflake that will go in my Christmas cards.  The dark purple one in the third and fourth photos, called Kira's star,  is the one I used last year.  There is a beaded and unbeaded version.

So here's another.
Quite a simple one this time.

From the small book "Tatting Patterns" by Workbasket

I find the "empty" spaces a bit too big on this one.
Maybe re-do it with the points a bit smaller?

Pretty sparkly silvery beads but you can barely see them on the photos, can you?

And what do I do with all of these?

This is just a selection of some of the motifs I've tatted.
They just end up at the bottom of a box somewhere and it seems a shame
not to have a better use for them.

I'll occasionally stick one on a card, or attach a small motif to a gift...
There was a thread started at In Tatters about what people did with their tatting.
I should go and read it again!

How about you?
I bet you also have lots of tatted pieces floating about...

Best wishes,

Thursday 27 October 2011

Michelle's Handkerchief - Done At Last!

The lost-and-found hanky finally got its border finished.  I had asked people's opinion on which colour to go for... and though the yellow had many supporters, it was the variegated green that won.  Before the votes were in, I had actually started off on the yellow and probably done a whole side before I changed my mind.  It seemed to me the yellow was competing too much with the pink flowers instead of completing them.

So for the ones who voted green, here it is!

Those sharp inward curves were a bit troublesome...
I had to to use some single-shuttle split rings to make a sharp turn.

The advantage of a one shuttle pattern, I realised, is that you never have
to rewind your shuttle - and rewinding the shuttle when making chains,
is the one thing that slows tatting down the most for me.  
So although this is a fine thread (size 80),
I could make progress quite quickly.

The border pattern is from the Tatter's Treasure Chest.

Best wishes,

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Candlelight Snowflake

I think this is a very interesting snowflake.  I like the original use of the bugle bead.  This snowflake by Sabina Carden-Madden uses a technique she calls "loop-tatted ring" where you pull your thread through the bugle bead (or other beads if you wished) and then make all the stitches on that ring with a looped thread by finger-tatting.

I searched on Youtube but there appears to be no videos on this particular technique so if anyone's interested, perhaps I could make one.  Though there are picture explanations here on Tatting Fool's blog, if you fancy having a go at making it.

I made this for the first time last year and when I came upon it last night, I feared I wouldn't remember how to do it so I just had to make it again to be sure I remembered this unusual technique!

I think I may have to re-do it again in different colours now.  Maybe in golds and reds to look even more like candle flames?

Best wishes,

Monday 17 October 2011

Self-Closing Mock Ring

Just added a new video on the SCMR.
Hope it's helpful to anyone who has previously thought 
the self-closing mock ring a bit daunting.

It's not, really!

I think maybe I need a new camera... It's quite hard to get a crisp close-up when in filming mode...  I'm still learning and trying to figure out how to make the best videos I can and I do wish they could be a bit clearer.  It think I'll get my daughter's camera a try next time, I'm sure it's better than mine!

My maple leaf has a SCMR in the centre


One of my favourite bookmark ever 
(by Jane Eborall)
also uses SCMRs.

Best wishes,

Sunday 16 October 2011

I found it! I found it!

I knew it would resurface eventually.  As some of you said, I needed to stop looking for it and it would show up.

Handkerchief gifted by Michelle
So delighted to have found it.  This is now my next project (well.... one of my next projects... :-).  The colours are so gorgeous on it, I really like this handkerchief.  Not really a "tatting" post but I was so pleased, I had to share.

Best wishes,

Friday 14 October 2011

Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside (sing as per the well known song!)

Whilst searching for something else, I came upon this lovely little seahorse...  He had been forgotten between the pages of one of my folders (where I keep my patterns) and I thought he deserved an outing.  I made him for my daughter but she never did anything with him in the end.  So he felt sad and abandoned....

He was tatted in size 80 threads.

The pattern is by Debbie Arnold
and you can find it here.

Best wishes,

Thursday 13 October 2011

Mmmm... Grape Snowflake??

Through Jane Eborall's blog, I found out about Natalie's threads:  her shop is called the Yarn Yard on Etsy.  She is based in the UK, so I had to give her threads a try.  She really has some gorgeous colour schemes.  This is "Grape" and I'm afraid the photo doesn't do it justice, it's really beautiful IRL.  Well, it's evening and as is too often the case, I am too impatient to wait until tomorrow to get a better photo in daylight!

As for what I've tatted with it, I do like the shape of this motif very much.  It was a pattern I had printed off the internet ages ago and had never tried yet.  I found it on Sharon's Tatted Lace Blog.  I was after a reasonably simple design to show off the beauty of the colours in this thread.  But I already have another plan in mind for Grape so hope to be able to show you something else made with it in the near future (I don't make any promises though!  As you know I often get side-tracked).

Update:  Here's a new photo taken in sunlight today.

Yes, the colours are definitely better on this one.

Best wishes,

Saturday 8 October 2011

Inspired by Carolivy

Over at In Tatters, Carolivy posted about the decorated baubles she recently made.  I really loved the green one which is decorated with a Susanne Schwenke star.  As you know, I've been making many motifs from her books recently so I went to look for that particular one.  It's lovely.  And inspired by Carolivy's, I too added beads at the end of the points.  I don't have a bauble to put it on at the moment (couldn't bear to go search for them in the loft) but will take another photo at a later stage.

I really like this star, though it didn't strike me in
the book until I saw what Carolivy had made with it.

I think I will try it in a smaller thread next time.
Need to get more Lizbeth 40!

Update:  Carolivy has now made a blog post about her baubles and you can see it here.

Best wishes,

Friday 7 October 2011

More Susanne Schwenke

This is from the second book by Susanne Schwenke which I received recently.  It's called "Spitzen-Ideen".  I tatted it in one of my favourite Lizbeth colours:  Purple Dark.  It's a gorgeous, deep, saturated purple... which is hard to photograph!  It's probably even a bit darker than that in real life but I wanted the stitches to show so I lightened the photo a bit.

This motif was simpler to tat than the previous ones I've made from this designer.  Tatted in one pass.

Mmmm, just examining this photo, it's not my best tatting, there are some gaps in the trefoils!  Aargh!

Best wishes,