Monday 28 November 2016

Christmas Pudding....

.... earrings!  My daughter and I had fun making these yesterday.

And I finished two more hats.

Can't stop long,
so much more I want to make.

I bet you are all really busy too now that December is just a couple of days away!

Best wishes,

Wednesday 23 November 2016

A Bit of Fun

Someone in our family really loves dachshunds!  So when I saw this pattern for a mug cozy, I just had to make it for him as a little Christmas present.

I didn't have the right cup to put him on
but he should look something like that as a mug cozy:

I'm pleased with him
A satisfying and quick crochet project.

Now I'm onto another knitted hat (the fourth one so far).  

Best wishes,

Friday 18 November 2016

Finished the Re-Knit

I'm so pleased I finally finished re-knitting this cardigan\jacket.  The fit is now soooo much better!  I thought I was mad to knit a whole garment in K1P1 (so slow!) in the first place... but to do it twice!! It's considerably smaller this time, with a more fitted, darted, bodice and knitting it with smaller sized needles also gives the jacket more body.  Once again I lined the button bands with ribbon (nice velvet one this time) and it was worth the extra time to do that.  For a close-fitting knit, this gives a nicer finish with no gaping or pulling at the buttonholes.

It probably doesn't look like much in the photos, but it does look nice on.  Again, my favourite part of this pattern is...

the back:

I also managed to finish the second hat (in robin colours) and found a robin pin to go with it.

I'm now getting busy with more things I want to knit, crochet, sew, tat for Christmas gifts.  I need to get my skates on.  How about you, how are your projects coming along?

Best wishes,

Friday 11 November 2016

11 November...

... is the day for remembering.  

It's also the day I wear one of my favourite tatted thing:  this poppy, designed by Jennifer Williams.

I made it a two years ago and it's a pleasure to retrieve it from my drawer of tatted bits, steam it back into shape and pin it to my coat.

I finished the hat for my son and have just bought wool to make a second one for my other son (he asked for "robin colours").  I'm thinking I might even make a couple more for Christmas gifts for other family members.  

Best wishes,

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Étoile du Nord

This is the design that came to me last week.  Funny how things happen in twos sometimes...  Last year was the same as I made Bentley just after finishing Snowdrop.

It seems I faffed for ages with Crystal Star but this one popped into my head and the idea translated into the actual tatted star quite well.  Well, it's not exactly as my initial sketch but it fell into place as I started tatting it.

I was still thinking of crystals and beads and how to incorporate them into designs.  Something a bit different if possible.  Instead of just in the centre, I thought I'd have them going up the arms of the star this time.  I made the first one with crystals and then I thought I'd try with pearls (as in the mocha sample).  I rather like the look with pearls for a change.

The white sample was the first one and I was still playing with stitch count and picots so it's less uniform than the mocha one.

I liked Polaris as a name (a suggestion from a few blogposts ago) but I did a quick search and found that my friend Robin has used that name for one of her designs so I think I'm going to go with "Étoile du Nord" if there are no objections to that name.

Best wishes,

Sunday 6 November 2016


I've been extremely grateful for your messages.  

I don't have the next bit of tatting ready to show you yet and anyway, this weekend I thought I'd concentrate on knitting.

One item is this cardigan/jacket which I made last year.

It turned out to be too big in the end and I took the drastic decision to re-knit the whole thing.  Not only re-knit it but also convert it from the traditional "from the bottom-up in separate pieces" way it was designed to a top-down all in one construction.  I'm making it in a smaller size but I also went down a needle size for a more structured fabric so I've been doing a lot of maths!  I've even made it more fitted with darts on the front.  It's been a really interesting exercise.  So far so good.  I've now done the whole body and am half way down the first sleeve.  Just one more sleeve and the collar to do.  I'm not showing it to you now because it doesn't look so good with the wool all wiggly-waggly from having been unravelled.  It'll look much better once it's finished and I can wash it and the wool will relax back into shape.

Apart from that, I'm making my son a hat.  In a wool I'd not tried before:  Debbie Bliss Rialto DK.  Beautiful stuff.  So smooth and a joy to knit with.

Best wishes,

Friday 4 November 2016

On Pattern Designing and Stealing

This is not the next blogpost I would have wanted to write.

Some of you will have followed the evolution of my Crystal Star design.  I spent several weeks on it and first showed it on my blog on 24 September.  Right at the end when the pattern was written up and ready to go, someone told me my pattern looked like one they had made 20 years ago.

First of all, I have to say that when I first had the idea for this star, I did look at several internet pages of tatted stars before carrying on, and in my search had not seen anything that looked like it.

My pattern came straight, and solely, out of my own head.

I had a look when she pointed me to it and I agreed that we had come to a very similar shape by coincidence.  This design is a fairly straightforward one with just rings and chains (no fancy techniques, not even reversed chains or anything like that) so it's not that incredible that we created something similar independently.  However, I genuinely still felt that they had different features and were individual enough that there was space for both patterns to exist.  For my part, I felt that the crystal centre was the main, special feature of my design.  I have not seen it done this way and thought I'd come up with something original and innovative.

I have now been accused of having stolen the design and of selling a pattern that is available for free elsewhere.  Strong accusations.  My design was not a "take" on hers, my design came from doodling on a piece of paper, from ideas in my head, and thinking of a simple frame for the crystal star centre I was planning.   I agree the two designs have many similarities but they also have several differences which I thought made them individual (please bear in mind that what I was shown was the original, cabone-ring version of her star, not the one that can be seen now on her blog).

I do not need to steal anyone's patterns, I have plenty of ideas of my own.  I was all excited last night because I'd come up with a new design and was eager to share it with you.  That was going to be my next blogpost.  But this has rather curbed my enthusiasm.


I started writing this two days ago but hadn't posted it because I didn't want to cause any more aggravation.  It's just not my kind of thing.  I try my best to be polite and respectful with everyone.  I removed the pattern for sale straight away, hoping we could resolve this amicably but this morning I see that the person has now re-tatted her star with my crystal centre (I was trying to avoid links and names but I will here:  link).  And she is saying she will make a technique page for her new design with the crystal centre.  Well, I'm speechless.

I never set out to upset anyone, I was just trying to mind my own business and make lovely lace.

It's enough to discourage anyone from having a go at designing.

Best wishes,