Monday 31 March 2014

Old Coat Refurbishment

I have this old Mac.  I've been wearing it for years.  It was purple and I liked my purple mac.  But after all this time, it was all faded and looking sorry for itself.  I thought it was time to bin it and buy a new one.  Then I walked past a display of fabric dyes in a shop and saw a box of purple.  Aha!  Why don't I try to dye my lovely old coat and see if it revives it enough to keep wearing it a bit longer.

The original purple was a bit "bluer" and this one is a bit "plummer" but I was really pleased when it came out of the washing machine all richly coloured again.  I should have taken a photo before because the colour was really washed out and faded.

The sleeve edges were frayed.  So of course, I thought I would hide them with some tatted lace.  Yes, that's the size 10 purple edging I showed you two posts ago.  I thought size 10 would be more hard-wearing for the sleeves.  I still edged them with ribbon first so they wouldn't get worse and then attached the lace on top.

Sad old frayed sleeve edge

Freshly re-hemmed with ribbon

Ta-dah!  New old coat!

And a close-up of the sleeve lace

Best wishes,

Sunday 30 March 2014

Mothering Sunday

It is Mothering Sunday here in the UK.

I am so grateful for my wonderful children.

Happy Mothers Day

Best wishes,

Saturday 29 March 2014

Next Project!

Here is a glimpse of what I'm currently working on.  I don't like working with size 10 thread very much but it's what's needed for this particular project.  I modified a Starlit, cut the nose and added a hook so I could use it with the size 10 thread.  This is one rare occasion where I'm willing to forego my beloved Aeros because you do need to fill the bobbin just too often when working with thicker thread like that and I didn't want to have joins.

I always love purple and green together!

I should be able to show you the finished item very soon.

Best wishes,

Thursday 27 March 2014

Rose & Crown

* * * UPDATE * * *
I'm going with Megan's suggestion (thank you!)
and will call this motif

Rose & Crown

I originally tatted this a while ago when experimenting with interlocking rings.  There was renewed interest in the photo which was in my In Tatters album and some ladies were keen for me to write the pattern.

I decided that although they are doable with a shuttle, interlocking rings are much easier with a needle!  So this motif is for those who are happy to needle as well as shuttle tat.  Of course, for needle tatters, you can do the whole thing on a needle but I'm sooo much quicker with my shuttle that I'm happy to switch back as soon as I've completed the central rings.

Using size 20 and a suitable needle:

R11-2--2-11 (-- denotes a longer picot)
Before making the next ring, pass the tip of your needle through the ring previously made and then make the stitches.

(please note that my rings in the photos are 11-1--1-11
but 11-2--2-11 does work out better, I just forgot when I
did this sample for the photos!)

Repeat until you have four rings.  

The last ring is the trickiest.  When you have pulled the stitches off the needle, do not close the ring straight away.  Pass your needle back through the first ring from front to back.

In this next photo, my needle has gone through to the back of the
first ring, and you can also see the loop that you need to put
your needle through to close the ring.

Here's the important part:
You must put this loop to the back in between the two rings,
THEN pass the needle through the loop to close the last ring.
That way, all your rings will have the same over-under look.

This is a little bit fiddly to do and you must adjust your threads
so they fall in the right place in the centre of your interlocking rings.

Here's the last ring closed.
The thread from your needle is at the back of your work
but you will find that the thread from your ball is still poking
through the front of the last ring.

You can now cut the ball thread,
take it to the back, tie, and hide ends.

You can then attach one shuttle and ball
to the left of the three picots on your ring
and continue with the second part of the motif.
You don't need much thread on your shuttle
as the rest of the design is all made with chains.

C5-5, join to third picot
C3-3, join to first picot of next ring
Repeat all the way around, join back at the beginning.

C9+C1-1-1-1+(in same picot), C9, join between chains below
C3-1--1-3, join between chains below
Repeat all the way around.
Join back at beginning.

You're done!

You may find there is some tension when you complete the design,
I find this is mostly due to using a chain instead of a ring
at the tip of the arms.

It will also be better with the 11-2--2-11 count
which I did not use on this sample!

But just a bit of finger pressing is all that is needed
to bring it into shape.

I hope you like it!

Oh, and can anyone think of a pretty name for it?
Seems a shame to have it "nameless"…
but sadly, inspiration hasn't struck yet...

Best wishes,

Thursday 20 March 2014

More Wipping

Inspired by my Pomegranate handkerchief, I decided to tackle another WIP.  I can't even remember when I started that one… on a long trip I would think - I like to take edgings with me when I am travelling as they are easy and you don't need to carry a pattern with you.  So you can keep your hands busy without too much thinking.

So this one is my Christmas Tree edging.  I wanted to try it not as Christmas Trees to see what it would look like in other colours.  Here it is.

It is tatted in Lizbeth Azalea Med in size 40.
This colour is incredibly difficult to photograph!
It always comes over too saturated.

But it was a good match for the embroidery on the hanky.

Again, I had completed the tatting a while ago and it just needed attaching to the handkerchief.  This time I decided to do it all in one go!  So that was my project last evening.  It didn't even take that long.

Just noticed one little tree
is folded down on the left-hand side.
It's not missing!

And guess what?… I have yet more WIPs!  Maybe this can be my "spring resolution":  completing WIPs.  But can I keep it up?...

Best wishes,

Wednesday 19 March 2014


No, not whipping!  But WIPping… as in completing WIPs (works-in-progress).  And I have more than one of those!  Here is a border I started aaaaages ago.  It has, in fact, sat completed for a considerable amount of time on my worktable.  I just needed to attach it to the hanky.  I did a little bit here and there but never settled to tackle the whole task in one go.  Still, I got to the end eventually… this morning!

The thread is a size 60 HDT by Jess of Tat-ilicious on Etsy.  It is called "Chilled Mess".  I struggled to find a matching handkerchief for the thread and finally decided to improvise a bit.  I had this one with a blue flower which could possibly work so I added some embroidered colours on the edge to pick up the colours of the HDT and bring the design together a bit more.

The edging pattern is "Pomegranate" by Ann Orr which I slightly modified and for which I designed a corner.  I just looked back and I'm embarrassed to say that I started this edging more than a year ago and the tatting was completed last February!  So there you go:  it took me about a year to attach it to a hanky.  Does that make you feel better about your own incomplete projects?  (Assuming you have any of course!).

Here's one last photo (from the original post about this edging)
that better shows the tatting, and the corner.

Best wishes,

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Round Seven!

Finished round 7 whilst waiting for my daughter to return from a school trip.  Isn't tatting just great for that?  Doesn't take much space so you can always carry some with you and fill any time that would be otherwise wasted!

Round 1 :  English Rose Dk
Round 2:  Harvest Orange Med
Round 3:  Violet/Pink Med
Round 4:  Magenta Dk
Round 5:  Coral Orange Med
Round 6:  Gold
Round 7:  Grape Med

It's very hard to get all those rings and chains to look perfectly even but I think it will look better once I add round 8.

Sorry to all the people who suggested greens and blues for round 7 (was very tempted by a nice lime green!) but I decided to keep with this warm colour scheme.

Onto round 8 then!

Best wishes,

Monday 17 March 2014

St Patrick's

For those who celebrate this day, my best wishes!

And an excuse to tat a clover (pattern available free on my patterns page).  I made the quickest version.  Tatted in Lizbeth Herbal Garden.  Been a bit of a busy day!

Best wishes,

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Onwards and… Outwards!

Here is the doily (design by Renulek) after 6 rounds.

Latest round is Lizbeth Gold.

Having difficulty figuring out which colour to use next!

Best wishes,

Sunday 9 March 2014

Perfetti Elegant

Do you remember those lovely snowflakes by Robin Perfetti I made recently?  Well, she's done it again!  This time it's a beautiful square motif (and everyone knows I love squares!) which instantly appealed to me the moment I saw it.

It is called Woodland Medallion.

Elegant, that's what I think.

Robin works with an app on her iPad to design shapes which she then translates into tatting patterns.  Clever isn't it?  And she obviously has an eye for lovely shapes!

The motif is tatted in size 20 thread and uses a 14x16 finding in the sample on her pattern but as you can see this square finding works great too.

Best wishes,

Saturday 8 March 2014

Not Being Idle!

Phew, I can't believe nearly a week has gone by since my last post!  I haven't made loads of progress on the doily but ended up doing more wrist warmers for friends and also got my knitting out!  Spring is in the air and I don't really knit in warm weather so I thought I should try to move on a bit with this cardigan I've had on the needles for some time already (and which some of you have seen before I'm sure!).

I started joining other ladies at the local wool shop on a Saturday and it's really nice to have a knit and a natter with like-minded people who enjoy talking about wool, and crochet, and colours, and other crafty endeavours.

As always, I have too many projects on the go and my previous Fair Isle cardigan was also a while in the making but that's ok.  I get there eventually!

Flora Jacket designed by Alice Starmore

This looks kinda red and green from
a distance, doesn't it?

But what I love about Fair Isle is
the amazing mix of colours
which you can see better in the photo below.

There's purple and teal and orange
and green and cerise and different mixes
of sandy and pebbly colours.

 This was the pattern and colours on my previous Fair Isle.
(just in case some of you wondered…)

Hope everyone's having a nice weekend.

Best wishes,

Sunday 2 March 2014

Doily Progress

I've completed the 5th round.  Those double rings don't always want to lie nicely next to each other.  Lots of small rings on the next one… on the next two rounds in fact.  I better get moving!

Round 1 :  English Rose Dk
Round 2:  Harvest Orange Med
Round 3:  Violet/Pink Med
Round 4:  Magenta Dk
Round 5:  Coral Orange Med

I had started the 6th round but didn't like the colour.  I'm madly trying to have a different colour for each round but they need to, hopefully!, still go together!  Don't know yet how many rounds I'll have to keep this up for.

My wrist warmers proved popular with a couple of my friends.  I adjusted the pattern to make smaller scallops which I think are more lacy and pretty.The red pair (which is not finished and not quite as red IRL) will be for me.  I am enjoying wearing them.

Best wishes,