Wednesday, 27 January 2010


This post is in celebration of Jane's TIAS - it ended today and so many "Normans" have strutted into her in-box and more are sure to arrive in the next few days. It is the first time I've ever taken part in a TIAS and the pace was just right, thank you very much big sister.
Although I have to admit I knew what it was going to be right from the start - we don't keep tatting secrets in our family!

This is a rooster that I saw in Ireland, it was Mrs. Keneally's, she sold it the day after this photograph was taken! Now I thought that I would try and make another rooster, so I went through all of the many days instructions at once, but unfortunately because it was done at a much quicker pace and late at night, I went wrong and ended up with quite a few spare picots! So to try and cover up my mistakes I gave this rooster a little skirt and now he is an Irish one!

What are we all going to do now this TIAS is finished?
What is Jane going to do next?

Friday, 22 January 2010

Delilah the Dove

Meet Delilah, a pure white dove
who used to live with her little family in the church porch.

(I tried to tat some little doves!)

It was lovely hearing them cooing away as people entered this ancient place of worship, parts of which date back over a thousand years.

The last time the doves were in the porch Delilah sat on two eggs and eventually two little chicks were hatched. Unfortunately they both died by falling out of the nest, which was balanced on one of the porch beams. But the final blow came when the porch wood needed renewing and the banging and sawing was really too much and Delilah and her partner decided to fly away and have never returned, nearly three years ago.

Everyone misses Delilah she even regularly wrote about her life in the parish magazine.

This is Pam Palmers dove but I had a little trouble making it so it might not be exactly as per instructions!

A dove is a sign of peace throughout the world, it is often seen carrying an olive branch (not an icicle!) as in the story of Noah and his ark.

On the left hand side of the picture you can see the old wood of the porch and on the right the new wood ready to be shaped. Now the wood is oak and the pieces from the old porch were taken away and my husband made crosses and doves out of them and they were sold to raise money towards the cost of the restoration. The dove you see on the header of this blog is made from that same wood and so is the shuttle below, a very special shuttle.

These are the blanks for the shuttles that are now being made, not from oak but from sycamore, Jane and I are at the moment test tatting with them.

As for the name Delilah well there is a Delilah in the bible but the name also reminds me of the song Delilah sung by Tom Jones.

"My my my Delilah
why, why, why Delilah"

Friday, 15 January 2010


Over the next few posts I’m going to show you three different birds, all I have tatted and all have a story behind them. To start with is the Robin. We associate this little fellow with Christmas, he pops up on many of the cards we send and receive. Robins on Christmas cards are usually surrounded by snow and to make the picture complete a sprig of holly is often seen.

The pattern for this little robin was in a Ring of Tatters magazine some years ago designed by Anthea Rowley. After I made him I immediately gave him away to someone named Robin and had to borrow him in order to post this picture.
I couldn't tat him again as I only saved half the pattern! The instructions say to sew white cotton for the eye, although if I ever have the opportunity to make him again I would use a bead for the eye.

There is a legend that the robin plucked the thorns from the bloodied head of the crucified Christ and so earned his red breast. In the 19th century people in England called their postman Robin because the ‘posties' uniform was a bright red waistcoat. Early Christmas cards show Robins carrying envelopes in their beaks or knocking on doors.

This particular robin is a regular visitor to Robin’s garden.

This Christmas Card was made by someone as a thanks for a pair of tatted “toothbrush earrings” that I gave her. Somewhere in my home is the same pattern, which is supposed to make a card, but I only managed to sew about a quarter of it, after that I was bored, tatting is much more fun!

There is also an old English folk rhyme entitled "Who Killed Cock Robin" although it is believed to be talking about the legendary Robin Hood. Here is the last line of it "All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing, When they heard the bell toll for poor Cock Robin." Ah!!!!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The Big Freeze!

We are still in the grip of freezing weather, which means that many events have been cancelled and schools have been closed.

This icicle I designed some years ago (the dove is carrying it on my blog header). Since I have now discovered how to cover rings, it would perhaps look better if I covered the ring it is attached to.

Here is Jon's "Magic Moment Snowflake" very appropriate for the weather outside! It's a lovely pattern, thank you Jon for your generosity in sharing it. Here is the link

I have only seen this pattern tatted with variegated thread, instead I have used two plain colours.

Here is a picture taken from space a few days ago of the "big freeze"

And here is a picture of the church I conducted a service in this morning.
The village where it is situated is called Chilworth - and it was very chilly!

And so because of the "big freeze" my husband has been unable to make any more shuttles, although I'm going to have to show you some pictures of them soon! They do have a very catchy name and I'm busy getting the package inserts done for them.

Sorry just a little bit longer to wait!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

O Star of Wonder

Today is the feast of Epiphany when we remember the wise men or magi who guided by a star were led to the infant Jesus and presented him with gifts.

I was in a supermarket just after Christmas and was led to buy these stars, they were left in a box on the shelf abandoned, unloved and reduced for a quick sale, so thinking that perhaps they could be embellished with a piece of tatting, I purchased them, and now extremely pleased I did. I used the middle piece of a pattern designed by Jane (only I can't find it on her pattern page!). The only difference is that I added beads. It is a pattern that I have fond memories of as it is mainly self closing mock rings, 6 of them and a few split rings, ten years ago I “cut my teeth” on learning how to make SCMRs with this pattern.

The gifts these travellers from the East gave were.


(this is one of the gold stars which were also included in the box)

Frankincense and Myrrh
I was given the Frankincense and Myrrh recently from someone who had been to Dubai.

Today also marks the end of Christmas in our homes, all the decorations come down, otherwise there will be bad luck! In church however our nativity scenes usually remain until Candlemas.

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.
(the chorus from the carol We Three Kings)

The one thing that the visit of the Magi reminds me of is a very amusing sketch by the late Joyce Grenfell entitled Nursery School - The Nativity Play

Soon I will blog the gold stars with their tatting on - just looking for some suitable colours.

Hope you are all joining in with the TIAS linked to Jane's Blog, its only the second day so you can catch up if you haven't started yet.

Saturday, 2 January 2010


A church service that is popular in Britain during December and January is the Christingle Service. This special service has been adopted by the Children’s Society, a charity that helps vulnerable children. It is a way of fundraising and bringing families and communities together. Christingle services have been held up and down the country in churches and schools for over 40 yrs and even when the children (who are usually the ones this service is aimed for) have grown up their parents still come back, year after year, to soak in the atmosphere of a Christingle service.

Here is a Christingle I tatted last week
During the service a christingle is given to every child who attends (and very often adults) and in return they give a donation towards the work of the Children’s Society. At some point the lights are switched off and we sing a carol by candlelight. We also have buckets of water ready, just in case!

I took this photograph myself when the lights went out and this is actually my hand!

A christingle is made of an orange, a candle, a ribbon, sweets and dried fruit on cocktail sticks. Each part of a christingle stands for something:

· Orange – the world
· Candle – Jesus the light of the world
· Red ribbon – the blood of Jesus · Cocktail sticks holding fruit and sweets – the seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter) and all the good things in our world

Here are the Christingles on the altar ready to be given out
(okay yes some were doing a nose dive!)

Every year I purchase the items that go in to making a Christingles, which means buying about 150 oranges, hundreds of cocktail sticks, not to mention the sweets and dried fruit. Thankfully the red ribbon is provided by the charity and we order the candles in bulk. Making them takes quite a few hours and just before Christmas this can become an added chore especially when there are so many other preparations for the festive season.

This year it was my turn to give the talk at the services we hold on Christmas Eve at one of the churches (we have two sittings because so many people attend!). To illustrate the meaning of the Christingle I made a giant orange out of cardboard, some giant sticks with some birthday wrapping paper printed with sweets around the ends. Then I had an adult hold a lighted candle with children holding the orange, the sticks and other children came up and held red tinsel around them, so making a human Christingle!If you want to learn about the history of the Christingle which dates from the 18th century then here is the link

I am going to see Jane tomorrow, and she and I have been testing the shuttles that my husband has been making - so watch this space!