Thursday, 31 December 2015

Last blog post of 2015

Blogger, as you all probably know, counts the blog posts we make.  If they didn't well I certainly wouldn't know how many I do each month, let alone a year.   I am very consistent and make five blog posts each month, which means that as this is the end of the month and the year,  I need one more, which is this one.  I could not bear it if the sequence was broken!

I have opened a few of my new threads and having fun with all the colours.  These two bracelets were made with Cranberry bush and one of Lizbeth's new colours Kelly Green. I rushed outside to take this photograph between rain storms, so they were not placed perfectly on the cloth!

A New Year Blessing for Tatters

May you always have
A shuttle to tat with
A pattern to follow
Patience and time to create wonderful tatting
Encouragement and delight from those around you
And may your threads never grow less


Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Pink earrings and wooden men

Just before Christmas I conducted a funeral service and gave away a piece of my tatting to the girl at the funeral director, who was working with me on that day.  She commented that the piece, which was a heart on a button, would make a lovely earring.   It was rather large so I said I would give her a smaller pair of tatted earrings.  

She requested pink and of course there are so many shades of pink and since all my new threads arrived I have even more to choose from.  

The production of wooden shuttles has come to a halt whilst these lego men have been made. The top one is double the size of the one underneath.

I was sad to see them leave the house, one went to Singapore and the other to London, but I have been promised an even larger one which will stay in the house.

Monday, 28 December 2015


This is the time of the year when we could possibly have snow in England, but the weather has been unseasonable warm and there is no sign of such a happening.   The warmth has meant that in some areas the Spring bulbs are beginning to flower, at least two months before their time.   Although the ground is extremely wet as we have had a lot of rain and in the north of England there has been terrible floods with people's Christmases being ruined.

In preparation for the festive season I made these snowmen taken from Wanda Salaman's pattern which you can find here.   Just love tatting with buttons.

The one on the left has bright green buttons but somehow the scanner has washed them away!  I did use smaller buttons than the ones recommended in Wanda's pattern and reduced the stitch count.  Also added a tatted hat and scarf, but it is a really clever idea Wanda, thank you very much for sharing.  

I also made these snowmen earrings, in fact 10 pairs!  I am hoping to find some customers for them next Christmas as no one was interested in them a few weeks ago, perhaps they knew there would be no snow!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Trees

The month of December has flown by, particularly the last week.  I had high hopes of making lots of tatted giveaways to friends, but failed.   Although I did find some past creations especially for those who now expect something in tatting each year and what is more something different!

These are some lovely button Christmas trees, one of Jane's patterns and they really hold their shape.

Our new addition to Christmas this year is a wooden tree which 'im in the garage made.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

A Tip and A Win

I have made three of these necklaces over the past year and like to wear them, however as soon as I move they tend to roll over, therefore not lying flat around my neck, which spoils their appearance.   My tip is to thread some very thin ribbon through the tatting on the top, actually I think it enhances the look of the necklaces and certainly makes them firmer.

Unfortunately I can't find thread for the maroon coloured necklace that I made but hopefully I will soon.

My luck is definitely in as I won some thread from Handy Hands and it arrived this week. Love seeing the colours in the boxes and I just do not know which one to start using first -  in thread heaven!

Feeling so very happy -  it is as if Christmas has come early.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

For Sale

The shuttles that I mentioned in my last blog post are now on sale in Jane's Etsy shop.       I think she must be eager to get them posted before the Christmas rush, so please help her!

I have also been making her 'Teeny Tiny snowflake' which you will find here .  The ones you see below I have tatted using two threads together, one plain and one glitter, although the sparkle does not always show up that well.  Also some of them are coming out not so 'tiny' as the original.

A lovely pattern and I can see many more appearing from my shuttles in the next week or so.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Fruit Woods

When I saw the latest shuttles from 'Im in the garage' they reminded me of bright Summer days and eating juicy and delicious fresh fruit.   As you can see from the photograph there are some apple, pear and cherry wood shuttles in the next batch.  Also not shown a few post shuttles in violet rosewood and one in snakewood. 

This shuttle is slightly larger as it has a plastic machine bobbin but it is not for sale,  well not yet!

All except the shuttle above will be making their way to Jane's home in the next few days.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015


Sadly I only sold one pair of earrings on Saturday at the Christmas Fayre and that was a Christmas wreath pair.  Such a shame as I spent days before the event frantically making square shaped earrings which are now put away in a box, unless I can find people who would like them.  The main problem was that there was poor attendance at the Fayre and those that came were not really interested in purchasing tatted items.

But for a change some of my tatted brooches sold. However, none of the necklaces that I have just made went including this one.  Mind you it looks more like a bridal set than just for every day wear!

Will show you some of the other necklaces soon that I have made using the beads that came from Singapore.  Apart from this one I will probably wear the others myself.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Square beads

I seem to have rather a lot of square beads and had just begun to regret ever buying them, when I came up with the idea of using them for earrings.  Well I actually regret buying an awful lot of what I have got as time goes by.  Like I would suspect all of us, we get an idea into our head run with it and for awhile it is great and then the novelty wears off and we are left with the remnants of that certain craze, be it thread, beads, material, wool whatever.  

I am constantly surprised when seeing the different sizes of earrings that are tatted, some are ginormous and I honestly can't see many people wanting to wear them.   The ones I have made vary in size but I hope will be suitable for most people to wear. 

Over the years I have given away or even sold earrings and my stash is quite low at the moment, there is a Christmas Fayre on Saturday at which I hope to sell some, not many but hopefully enough to warrant making more!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

A bit of Sparkle

I am in a jewellery making mood.  This set I made following Jane's Ring of Roses bracelet pattern, using some vintage glass beads for the centres. They really sparkle, but it is difficult to capture on a photograph.

Over the last few years I have found charity shops selling broken necklaces quite cheaply considering that the beads are made of glass 

Some beads are too large and heavy to use for tatting, so one day I may string them up and make a necklace for myself. 

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Halloween Necklace

I really did not make this necklace for Halloween, it just happens to match the season of the year.  Using the beads that my son sent from Singapore it has turned out rather well.

So now of course I am on my next one which will be slightly  different. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Rope making machine

This is really one for the children - a machine that twists wool, the end result can be used for necklaces or friendship bracelets.   'Im in the Garage made the gadget and it is guaranteed to entertain the young and the young at heart at fayres or other events where the public are.   

Three strands of wool are put on the loops at the back and the handle is turned at the front so twisting them, whilst they are tied together and stretched out. Then gradually the tension is released the the three strands automatically join together.   The children love turning the handle and marvel at the end result, which you can see on top.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Pearl beads

I have just started to open the pearl beads sent to me from Singapore. Although at the moment a little overwhelmed with them and really need to think  of some new ideas for jewellery.   But here is a simple pair of earrings to start with.  They are resting on top of a pumpkin.

And the wonderful selection of beads  - there are times when you are just spoilt for choice!

Now it is a case of matching them up with the thread that I have -  and to keep tatting!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Lego Sewing Machine

My son in Singapore loves playing, or should I say creating things in lego.  We took him to Lego Land in Denmark when he was young and still have his childhood lego some where in the house.    

I asked him if he could make me a sewing machine and today this cute little lego piece arrived.

I am absolutely thrilled with it.  Also in the parcel were many packets of pearl beads, just what I wanted, so I must go and play with them.

Check out some more lego creations on   

There are more pop-a-bobbin shuttles and post shuttles being made by 'Im in the garage' and some are even ready for testing so must do that in the next day or so ready for them to travel to Jane's at the weekend.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Naked Picots!

In some ways I follow my sister when it comes to preference with regard to tatting designs, it is not very often you will see 'naked picots' when Jane has completed a pattern, mostly she will put beads on them, join them or use them to emphasis ears, toes etc.  However, occasionally I do like to see tatting with 'bare picots' because it can show up the laciness of the work and enhance the appearance.   So I began to make some earrings with 'naked picots'.  These are the first of many that I hope to make.

For some reason which I cannot fathom out why,  I have gone mad on pearl beads.  I found a packet of tiny white ones outside a junk shop in a basket, whilst in London recently and used them for these earrings.  I bought some 4 mm strings of coloured pearl beads in Singapore but I am finding it impossible to buy 2 mm from a supplier in the UK, especially coloured ones, so this pearl craze could end very soon!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Comparing Shuttles

Things have moved on since I showed you this post  where a plastic machine bobbin is ready to be used for a pop-a-bobbin shuttle.  Somewhere in the garage this is being made and although it does take slightly more thread than a Aero bobbin it probably is not enough for some of you who want more!

Diane kindly sent these bobbins to me and here is the link where she compares two bobbin shuttles she has, although I hasten to add not using these particular bobbins.

I have done my own comparison with two pop-a-bobbin shuttles, however I really can't find the motivation or time to find out how much extra thread the larger one can hold,  but enough to make a difference especially if you are on a large tatting project.

The larger shuttle as you see is using the large black bobbin it is by no means finished yet, but looking good so far.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Autumn Equinox

Today marks the Autumn equinox which happens when the equator passes the centre of the sun. This is when the north and south poles of the Earth are not tilted towards or away from the sun, as at other times, but are aligned so as to give, theoretically, the same amount of daylight in both of the Earth's hemispheres.

Is it Autumn or Fall?   Many would say that 'Fall' is an American word used to describe this time of the year whereas in England we say Autumn.  But the word 'fall' apparently was used in England during the 16th century or even earlier.  It was originally short for fall of the year or fall of the leaf but it commonly took the one-word form by the 17th century, long before the development of American English.  So while the term is now widely used in the USA, it is not exclusively American or American in origin.  What is more an old English word feallan means “to fall or to die.” Over time, the phrase was shortened to fall. “Fall of the leaf” 

This necklace is a Ring of Roses bracelet gone wrong as I decided not to read the pattern, which was stupid as of course it went wrong! Although pleased that all the time and effort was not wasted, I gave this particular necklace away, really must make one for myself! 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Ring of Roses Bracelet

Yes this is the same title as Jane's blog post for today as I have also tatted her wonderful bracelet pattern. I really do recommend that you do too.   

The top one was the first one I made for Summer and the one below it is more for Autumn wear.    This is when it is really such an advantage having plenty of beads to choose from!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Lemon Oil

'Im in the garage decided that he wanted to try some different oil to finish the shuttles off with.  I have managed to wean him off using varnish as the natural finish of the wood is far more pleasing to the eye than a shiny one, well that's my opinion.  

The aroma of this oil is really lovely but I fear that by the time these little shuttles make their way to new homes it might have worn off a little.  However the oil does give a lovely matt and natural finish, previously he used Danish Oil on the shuttles.

I made this canopy bookmark by Martha Ess, just love this pattern especially when you work two different coloured threads and thicknesses together.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Work in Progress

There has been talk of a need for larger bobbin shuttles which will hold more thread.  So I found some sewing machine bobbins which we bought originally to put in the shuttles 'im in the garage made'.  However, in the early stages of making them we discovered that these bobbins made the shuttles rather large. 

As an experiment they are going to be used in some pop-a-bobbin shuttles.  So far there is very little difference in size between them and the shuttles that use the Aero bobbins, mainly because the shaping of the shuttles has been finely tuned after years of practise. The ones you see in the picture are far from completed and we are not sure if they are going to work at this stage.

Also lined up in the garage are some standard pop-a-bobbin shuttles in the process of being made, together with some post shuttles.  As you will see there are some interesting woods on the far right including violet rosewood and snake wood. 

These will not be in Jane's Etsy shop until next month, as they have a fair way to go before being finished, but thought I would give you a quick peep in the garage!

Monday, 31 August 2015

Clip-on Earrings

Okay so I never got my ears pierced but have still managed to wear fashionable earrings and most people don't know that I am wearing clip-ons. I am also able to adapt most earrings so that they can be worn.  Jane gave me some clip-on  findings recently and I was eager to use them especially the flat ones which require a bit of glueing and not hanging something from them.  

The middle of the earrings I bought in Singapore and just tatted around them then got the glue gun out and fixed them to the findings. 

I don't  want to frighten you with another photograph of me but they really look great on and I will definitely be wearing them.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Three Rachels

After having such a disastrous run of tatting mistakes and disappointments 'big sister' advised me to try Rosemarie Peel's Rachel.  So I did, not only once.................

but twice

and finally to get my confidence back, a third time...............

I think I am now on the road to healing!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

A hat for Winter

At the moment every time I pick up shuttles to do some tatting, I just fail to achieve anything. Whatever I try to make ends up being thrown away, so much time is wasted not to mention thread.  So I decided to crochet a hat, now I have had a pattern for such a hat which must be 40 years old and I never seemed to manage to actually sit down and make it.  So on Friday I did, went out and bought some wool and came home and crocheted the hat. Although it does not look like the one shown with the instructions, only because I made some adaptations. 

And now a selfie!  The colour of the hat looks a bit different as the photograph was taken in the evening with artificial light.

Here is what the hat is supposed to look like but I wanted it taller so it came down a little more over my ears, to keep them warm!  I also embellished the hat with crochet flowers and of course added buttons to the middle of them.

Also the model wearing the hat is a lot younger and more glamorous and she obviously did not take the photograph herself, there were no 'selfies' in those days.  I bet she didn't crochet the hat either!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Car Story

I was given some interesting material earlier in the year and when I made this bag I just thought no one would want to buy it, but they did!  Perhaps the person who now owns it likes vintage cars, I did not ask at the time.  I got rather attached to the bag, especially after embellishing it with buttons.  Fortunately I do have more of the material to make another one.  

In May my brother (also Jane's brother!) e.mailed us to say that he had seen the car that he owned 50 years ago (his first car) amazingly it was still 'road worthy'!   The log book also has his name and the address where he was living at the time.

The car then 

The car now

We both urged him to buy it back, but he said no.  He used to pay me to clean it all those years ago, of course not enough for the privilege of doing it!   As you can see there have been some changes made to the car, but the fact that it wasn't scrapped long ago is truly amazing.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

A Chameleon

I've not had chance to blog or to look at other people's blogs until today.  This Chameleon is the only thing I have made in the last few weeks, therefore not much tatting has been achieved.  Spent a few days in London last week walking along the canal, so relaxing.

Not sure that this Chameleon has been tatted exactly as Jane's pattern, but a very good attempt was made and I finished it without loosing the plot!    The reason Jane called the pattern Karma Chameleon (just  in case you didn't know) is because it comes from the song of that name sung by Culture Club in the 1980's.   Boy George being the lead singer and this is what he says about the lyrics "The song is about the terrible fear of alienation that people have, the fear of standing up for one thing. It's about trying to suck up to everybody. Basically, if you aren't true, if you don't act like you feel, then you get Karma-justice, that's nature's way of paying you back."

All too often we can act like a Chameleon we fit in to whatever happens at a particular moment in time, including our appearance, interest, opinions whatever, instead of being true to ourself and others.

This Heron was seen by the canal, searching for fish and you will notice how quite well disguised he is blending in with the surroundings

Friday, 31 July 2015

Primrose Path

In April I posted a picture of some primroses on Facebook and Karen Parent reminded me that there was a pattern called 'Primrose Path'.    So I went off to find the Mary Konior book which has it displayed on the front cover and the instructions inside and began tatting it.  Because of such a busy life it took a few months to make this very small mat.   I remember tatting it years ago and never was happy with the final result, but thought with more experience and different thread it would turn out better.  There really were too many ends to deal with and in a way it doesn't look complete, there could almost be another row to bring it altogether.  Such a long time was spent tatting this piece (with quite a few mistakes on the way) only to end up with the final piece being such a disappointment.

The real primrose path is much more effective

There are to be more pop-a-bobbins on sale in Jane's Etsy shop soon.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A bit of sparkle!

I was given this metal cross some time ago, it had a ribbon to attach it around the neck. Although I was never happy with the ribbon, so decided to tat a cord using split rings with beads in the middle.  Since doing that I have worn it a lot and somehow it seems to have enhanced the cross and made it more elegant.

You can't see from the picture how the stones glitter, which is a shame.

This is a brooch I bought at a Summer fete last month, fell in love with the sparkling stones and found out that it is a Vintage piece dating from about the 1970s and was sold by Avon the cosmetics company. I paid a princely price of £1 - bargain?

They are not pieces that you could wear together, but separately brighten up many an outfit.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

St. Swithun's Day - did it rain?

St Swithun was a Bishop of Winchester who died on 2nd July AD 862 and is remembered for a number of kind, clever and even miraculous deeds. He built a stone bridge over the River Itchen at the Eastern gate of Winchester, to help the poor cross the river to sell their wares in the city.  The story tells of an old woman, who while crossing this bridge dropped her basket of eggs, breaking them all. Her pitiful crying was heard by St Swithun who immediately restored the eggs to her, unbroken.

Basket pattern by Jane Eborall

He was buried, according to his own desire, in the churchyard of the Old Minster (Cathedral) at Winchester, where "passers by might tread on his grave and where the rain from the eaves might fall on it." His reputation as a weather saint is said to have arisen from the translation of his body from this lowly grave to its golden shrine within the Cathedral, having been delayed by incessant rain. Hence the weather on the festival of his translation (15th July) indicated, according to the old rhyme, what it would be for the next forty days:

"St. Swithun's day, if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain;
St. Swithun's day, if thou be fair,
For forty days 'twill rain na mair."

St. Swithun's bridge in Winchester

And so did it rain today - well there was a little drizzle and that was all, will have to wait and see if the legend comes true.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Two Bookmarks

Now I made these bookmarks a few weeks ago, and as soon as I finished them Jane altered the pattern slightly, so it may not be exactly like the ones that she has on her blog. Anyway it is another great pattern, a very firm and pretty bookmark which should not get lost either inside or outside a book. 

I particularly like the bead on the end to give it some weight. 

This flower arrangement was in church last week, and I thought it was stunning just love the combination of the blue and white flowers.

Right off to test the next batch of pop-a-bobbin shuttles