Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Today in the Christian church is the feast of St. Michael and all Angels. Michael the Archangel, Captain of the Host of Heaven who fought against Satan and his evil angels and cast them out of Paradise.

Not sure which particular angel this one is though! It certainly has remained in my heaven, so it must be a good angel! According to Mark Myers (AKA Tatman) it is called Patty's Angel, from his book Tatted Gathering of Angels, but sorry Mark it had a bit of a "make over" whilst in paradise, I added a few beads and omitted the heart in the centre.

A photograph of some Michaelmas daisies, I went for a walk yesterday and photographed these, they were in someone’s front garden.Though not really a daisy at all, but an aster (and named after the ancient Greek word for star: ‘astron’), a late-bloomer that flowers in September and early October and called Michaelmas daisies because they are at their prime at Michaelmas Day.

The one Michaelmas custom that survives to this day is that you should not eat blackberries after the 29th of September. There is a very good reason for this custom, namely that by this time of year blackberries are tasteless and watery. Although according to an old legend, it is because Satan, when banished from Heaven fell into a blackberry bush and cursed the brambles as he fell into them. It is also said that at this point the devil spat on the blackberries and they became poisonous so they are not to be picked or eaten after this date.

These particular blackberries were photographed by a church, and as you can see there are some yet to ripen. But of course its too late to pick them now!

In medieval times the four quarter days were important holy days, namely: Christmas (25th Dec), Lady Day (25th March), Midsummer Day (24th July) and Michaelmas they were also the basis for financial calculations, and loosely coincide with the summer and winter solstices, and the spring and autumnal equinox.
It is very autumnal here in England and the trees are starting to look particularly beautiful especially where I live on the edge of the New Forest. I am half way through tatting a leaf and hope to get it finished soon, but don't hold your breath!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Fly Away Give Away

This photograph was taken whilst visiting family this weekend. The hot air balloon has just taken off and I managed to get a reflection of it in the water. So I thought you might like to see it. So that's my "fly away" part of the post.

Since becoming a member of “tatting blog land” I have been so impressed by all the lovely work that you clever people have been doing, there is so much talent out there and it is good to share, especially the patterns. That’s where I fall short, because I find it such an effort writing the instructions down for an item that I have created. I tend to memorise what I’m doing at the time, thinking that it will stay in my head, then all too soon I quickly move onto another project and of course forget what I have been doing. I suppose that is being lazy, but it’s often the case that I just don’t have the time to do it properly so I end up not doing it at all!

The other thing that has been so amazing is “blog giveaways” – now the rules for these can often confuse me! But generally all you have to do is comment on the blog, and the sheer generosity of the blogger is enough to make you want to say something. It is lovely to see the delighted recipients of the splendid giveaways write about their lucky wins. Also I’m pleased it keeps our postal systems going especially as we are using our computers such a great deal these days. I have given serious thought to what I could give away via the blog, but there is nothing that I posses that someone could possibly want! Unless you count the odd sermon!!! – No probably not.

So in the meantime to abide with the rules for “Aileen’s Wicked Tats” I will publicise her Give Away which is a bit of a mystery! A Hallowversary Mystery Giveaway

And of course I could not end this blog without mentioning Sherry’s Give Away Lady Shuttlemaker only it’s her parrot Mojo I want to win! Perhaps he can fly over here to the UK!
Anyway good luck everyone, and thanks to all the generous bloggers who give so much away in time and talent.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

I Can Sing a Rainbow!

The only science lesson I can remember at school was when we were shown a prism and a white light was shone through it and suddenly there was a myriad of amazing colours, otherwise known as a rainbow. A rainbow is caused by sunshine (white light) shining on water droplets that are in the air just after a summer shower and some rainbows are amazing. It is often said that there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow!

The necklace was made from the cotton that I won on e.bay, well actually I was the only person that wanted it, no competition! It is hung over a very old reject piece of Waterford Glass which was found buried in undergrowth.

The cotton that I made the necklace with was listed as rainbow cotton, although it does not truly have all the colours of the rainbow in it. Neither for that matter does the song ...........I can sing a rainbow, intended to teach children the colours of the rainbow.

Red and yellow and Pink and Green
Purple and orange and blue
I can sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow

Sing a rainbow too
Listen with your eyes
Listen with your ears
And sing everything you see

I can sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow
Sing along with me

The way some of us have learnt the colours of the rainbow is by these letters ROYGBIV
Which turns into this little phrase "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain"

I really am sure that I didn't need the five balls of rainbow cotton which I won on e.bay!
Whilst in the attic this week I found the tatted doily, no idea when I made it, or where the pattern comes from, but it was tatted in DMC 80 so it must have been a labour of love!

Since blogging I have been really impressed at the hand dyed threads I have seen. Whilst visiting Tatskool she showed me the very long and complicated process of dying cotton and I had no idea that there was so much work involved. Naively I thought you just dipped the thread in some Dylon and hey presto! But I was so wrong.

On Saturday I purchased this bar of hand made soap
and it is smells of Passion Fruit/Guava.
But look what is trapped inside it?!

I think it belongs to Tatskool's husband!
But did they have to break this poor Gecko's foot?!

Find the colours of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

My rainbow was shaded brown and white and this is what it said about me "You are a contemplative person. You appreciate the roughness of nature. People depend on you to make them feel secure. You feel closer to people when you understand their imperfections."

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Please stop me bidding!

I have become a little hooked on e.bay over the last week which has resulted in, so far, three purchases, two of which are shown here. I was the only one to place a bid for this vintage box of Coats cottons below. Accordingly to the seller it was just taking up room in her house, so now its in a new home and being used.

The bookmark is the first thing I made with the vintage cotton. The pattern has been in my file for ages (vintage in itself!) and I've never bothered with it before, but then I thought this will be quick and easy to make, and thankfully it was! It is a design by Ruth Baker and can be adapted to take narrower ribbon.

I was not the only bidder on the set below, but I was really interested in the tatting shuttles. The top one is plastic (Susan Bates) the middle one metal and the last one is an aero shuttle which are my working shuttles. The piece of tatting is not mine it came with the shuttles!

The DMC pamphlet is mainly edgings and small motifs, my eye however, latched on to the section entitled "Church Lace" when it said "Tatting can be used, in many cases, to create beautiful designs for church lace". Sadly though I've found that churches are going for a more modern look and don't want fancy detail on vestments and altar linen these days.

I'm now waiting for the postman to deliver some "retro cottons", well thats what they were listed as being, Coats cottons but in an orange/red colour. If I would stop looking at e.bay I would get more tatting done!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Chunkie Tatting

I find that the ideal size thread for tatting with is 20 although I have worked with all sorts of different thread sizes and even, on occasions, put a couple together to give a different effect. I was given a few balls of Coats white size 10 a few years ago and used it for this particular necklace, it seemed so thick compared with 80 and it felt like working with rope when I first started! I was inspired to make the necklace after seeing Jane's blog. I like the variety of colour and the way the wooden beads add character the necklace. The cotton was given to me by the daughter of someone who had died, her mother had done some crochet work for the church and there were a few balls needing a good home. I did not have the heart to say that I would probably never use them and that they should go to someone else, although I do believe that using thicker cotton is ideal when teaching someone to learn to tat. I am of course so pleased that I did decide to keep the thread, especially after making this necklace. The other thing you may notice is that there is no clasp, this is because it fits around my neck without one and looks neater especially if it should turn whilst wearing it, although so far because of the heaviness of the necklace it has not moved an inch!
I now plan to make more necklaces, well you see I was going to give this one away but I’m so fond of it that I have already worn it! I have also raided my stash of jewellery and even taken one necklace to pieces for the beads, so there is nothing safe at the moment.

After having a little look at the tatting blogs on Sunday evening I thought, for a change I would look on e.bay and in particular search through the crochet/tatting threads. I discovered a box of Coats black size 20 and just had to have it. I love working with black and only have a very small amount of it which I use sparingly. This is the first time I’ve seriously bothered with e.bay and got quite excited. I also wondered about the history of these threads, was the seller the original owner or did they find the cotton lost and lonely and unwanted somewhere else? Or may be they came from a now deceased relations home? Anyway sadly today I lost the bid at the last second but hope that the thread has gone to a loving home.