Sunday 31 August 2014


Yes, sometimes I feel like a butterfly:  flitting from one pretty thing to the next!  I have a fair amount of projects to complete yet I still get distracted by other lovely tatty things along the way.  When I saw Robin Perfetti's new snowflake design, I just had to make it straight away.  I have really enjoyed Robin's previous designs and this one is just as pretty and satisfying.

I also found her tutorial on how she designs using her iPad and a Kaleidoscope program really interesting and a great read (also to be found on her blog).  She uses the snowflake above to illustrate the different steps she goes through from the iPad drawing to the finished tatted motif.  I tried the app (fun to make random images) but found it quite challenging to get enough control for specific tatting-looking images so I am amazed by all the lovely designs she comes up with using this method.  Mine is all pencil & paper and a lot of trying and cutting!

The centre part is tatted with DMC Cordonnet Spécial in size 20 in écru and the second round is tatted in Lizbeth.  I found my tatting to be smoother and more evenly worked using Lizbeth.  I thought I would like DMC just as much but in the end my preference is for Lizbeth.

Now I must really try to get some of my WIPs finished!  A couple of doilies (maybe three even!), the earrings from previous post, the mystery flower project…

Oh, and I nearly forgot to say:  I'm back home!  We had an absolutely wonderful time with friends and family and did lots of exciting outdoor activities.  It was a "special" long holiday this year for me and two of my children and we really made the most of it.

But brrrrr!  It already feels like autumn here in the UK!

Best wishes,

Friday 22 August 2014

Pearls & Beads

I found a bead shop, was very restrained and only bought two tubes of beads and one string of pearls to play with.  I've always liked pearls and when I was making jewellery, incorporated them in most of my designs.  Now I like them a lot with tatting too.

I'm playing with some earring ideas.  I like the light Mocha thread with pearls and beads or I may try some cream which I also have.  Unfortunately the small ivory Delica beads which I thought would look nice with the pearls are a little lost with the mocha thread as the colour is very similar.  I might also try my red thread with cream or grey beads.

I quite like the design on the left but I want to find ways of adding pearls to it for a little extra weight.  Tatted earrings are so light when it's just thread!  I quite like the design in the centre (with the circle of pearls)… but nothing's finished yet.  They're all just little sample bits.

We're doing lots of outdoor activities with the children, walking, cycling, climbing mountains, jumping into rivers, etc.  But whenever there is a little free time, out come the shuttles!  Makes for a nicely balanced holiday.

Best wishes,

Monday 18 August 2014

Earrings - Still Red & Black!

This is Elizabeth Zipay's "Tigereye Earrings" pattern.  I needed a new pair of red earrings (I'm in a red mood lately) so I tatted this little pattern up.  I like the shade of red (again that's all I have with me) but I'm not so pleased with the black beads in this case.  I'd like something a bit more summery.  I may have to go in search of a bead shop.  That's why I only made one for now.

Best wishes,

Friday 15 August 2014


I tatted it again - Orsi's Snowflake.  This time using smaller beads around the centre which is a loop-tatted ring.  I like this version better.

Not "snowflaky" colours at all of course but again, it's due to the limited supplies I have with me at the moment.  I really like the shape of this snowflake and it makes a lovely quick-to-tat gift.  This one is already hanging on my brother's wall with the other snowflakes I've sent him in Christmas cards over the last few years (can hardly bear to say that "C" word in August!!!).  He keeps them hanging there all year round which I thought was rather nice.

The loop-tatted ring is another great technique to have in your "tatting arsenal".  I don't use it very often but on special occasions, it can be the perfect technique to achieve a specific look you're after.  It may seem a bit daunting to execute at first, but as with all new techniques, just a little practice and you'll soon get the hang of it.  I slip the loop over an empty bobbin and slip that into a shuttle to work the loop-tatted ring instead of finger-tatting.  It's much quicker that way and you get better tension on the double-core thread.

Best wishes,

Thursday 14 August 2014

Orsi's Snowflake - Revisit

There has been talk about Orsi's snowflake at In Tatters and the version I had made with beads (see here).  I "cheated" in that first one, wanting to make it in one pass, using a split ring to come out of the centre round.  The problem was with the beads I chose to use all around the centre ring… to climb out, you will see that one bead has only one thread inside it (that's the cheating part) because I had to put the bead on one shuttle before starting whereas the other beads are added on the picot as I made the join.

The other solution was to use a loop-tatted ring for the centre and this is what I tried in this version:

My centre beads are too big (but I'm away on holiday with very limited supplies!) and they pull on the centre ring because my picots were also too short to accommodate the beads.  BUT, the loop-tatted ring for the centre works very well and enables both threads to be in the bead so that the beads and joins on the centre ring look all the same and it is still tatted in one pass.

Might have one more go at this…

Best wishes,

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Easier to Guess Now?

Some of you had it already.  I actually have four of the red pieces made now.  I also forgot to bring black thread (or rather I didn't read the pattern properly before I left and hadn't realised I needed black thread) with which the piece with beads should have been made so I've had to improvise.

We are busy with many activities so there is not a lot of time to tat - and this is a pattern of many parts! - but I'm hoping to be able to complete this soon.

Hope everyone is enjoying summer and holidays.

Best wishes,