Wednesday 30 December 2009


Before Christmas I was looking for a simple snowflake pattern to include with my cards. I found this one in Anne Orr's Classic Tatting Patterns and when working it for the first time I decided to add beads, with a very pleasing result. However, it took ages to make, particularly because the pattern is written one row at a time with continuous instructions in small print which made it hard to follow, then adding beads caused more problems! In the end I was forced to draw a diagram to help. It was clear though that this was not going to be a quick pattern to tat and even making it again without beads was still quite slow, although if I had persevered I would have become faster, but then Jane's butterfly pattern flew into the scene and I was smitten!
Just before Christmas though this delightful snowflake (below) arrived through my door with sparkling beads on, it came from Tatskool - thank you very much Pamela, the thread may be her own rasberry sorbet? Not sure, but it is very pretty.

I have never taken part in any exchanges but have enjoyed watching those that have taken place, especially the "Secret Santas". It is good to see the generosity of all the tatting people and a little bit of the culture of the country they originate from woven into the gifts.
2010 is almost here..................................
What is your New Year's Resolution?
Obviously to find time to do even more tatting!
A HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone

Wednesday 23 December 2009

"Sweet Singing in the Choir"

Here is a little choir boy that I made many years ago out of patchwork, the pattern comes from a book published in 1976, but it remains a favourite of mine, although these days I don't have time to make items from it. The book is entitled "Patchwork Playthings" by Margaret Hutchings and in the middle of the book are all the templates for the toys, there is so much work involved that you would hardly call them toys. This little fellow has been up in my attic and I brought him down for Christmas and tatted around his surplice to give up a fresh and sophisticated look.
Over the last few weeks I've attended quite a few carol services, but none of them had a proper church choir, with choir boys in. Thankfully our English Cathedrals still have their own choirs, and now also have girl choristers.

One of the most loved traditional Christmas festivals is the 'Nine lessons and Carols' which is broadcast every Christmas Eve from Kings College Cambridge and in candlight it is truly a delightful service.
The title for this post comes from the carol "The holly and the Ivy" the chorus ends with these two lines "The playing of the merry organ, Sweet singing in the choir."
Well I'm signing off until after Christmas as tomorrow is going to be one of the busiest times of the year for church services so I wish you......................

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Small Bauble

I purchased these tiny glass baubles last year after Christmas, I found them reduced in price in the Hobby Craft shop and thought that something could be done with them! So in January this pattern was born, but like all my patterns it ended up on a scrap of paper, somewhere! I've just revisited it and written the pattern down. It took longer than expected because the metallic thread that I had been using had untwisted itself off the reel and was in a mess, when I eventually wound it together with the tatting cotton on to the bobbins it really wasn't fit to use. So after two aborted attempts I opened the new metallic thread.

They are really pretty and sparkle when the lights are on the tree, so far I haven't dropped one!

As I have no drawing programme this is it finished before it is attached to the bauble, a very simple design but as with all designs, and especially this one, it had to fit comfortably over the bauble.
So here is the pattern and a picture of the thread I bought, this particular one is recommended as it does run smoothly (unless you abandon it for 10 months!) other threads are not so easy to work with.

Materials required:
Seed beads
80 cotton and Metallic thread
small bauble (circumference 3")
SCMR self closing mock ring
R ring
SR split ring
P picot
VLP very long picot
Roch Ring on chain
Sh 1 shuttle one
Sh 2 shuttle two

Wind 2 shuttles with the cotton and metallic thread
Add 1 B Sh 1
41 B Sh 2

SCMR 5 B 5 *(2 B @ back hand before starting R 4 B 4 – 4 B 4) 5 B 5 repeat from * 3 times 5 B 5 Cl

SR 1 B @ back of hand before starting 4 B 4 / 4 B 4

Ch: *6 B 4 B 4 Roch 5 VLP add 6 B take bead from core thread move into ring and attach VLP to other side 5 Cl 4 B 4 B 6 + P on round SCMR repeat * 4 times attach to base of SR

To complete fit over the bauble and thread a piece of tatting cotton through the gap made between three of the six beads continue through the rest of them and draw up tight then add a large bead or beads, thread more cotton through the pulled up beads and through the dangle beads, knot close to the beads making a tassel.

Saturday 12 December 2009

At last!

The pattern for these baubles is now on this blog, its taken me ages to get it sorted, I've had to be dragged away from the butterflies (for which I blame Jane), as well as the usual Christmas preparations that have taken up my time, including of course preparing for carol, christingle and other church services.

Looking at the photograph it seems to be on its side! Well it doesn't really matter, because I'm sure you can see them well enough. In fact if you enlarge the photograph you can just see a reflection of Jane's hands in the shinny baubles as she takes the picture. She kindly took the photographs for me earlier on in the year. Which just shows how long this project has been on the go!

Of course baubles come in all shapes and sizes, this particular one is about 1 1/2" but its relatively easy to adjust the stitch count. The one thing you have to do is make sure that it fits "like a glove" otherwise you loose the effect when you draw a thread through the bugle beads.

This is a smaller bauble and I had to alter the pattern to make it a cosy fit, will write it down some time in the future. I think the black on gold is very effective and I plan to make a lot more when Christmas is over!


Materials required (size 20 cotton)
Christmas bauble (circumference 4 3/4")
Seed beads and 12 bugle beads

R ring
SR split ring
+ join
P picot
Sp small picot
+ B add bead to picot before joining
VLP very long picot
Roch Ring on chain
DNRW do not reverse work
RW reverse work
Sh 1 shuttle one
Sh 2 shuttle two

Before starting load Sh1 with 16 B
Sh2 with 18 B
(other beads are added to picots)

1R: b @ back of hand before starting 3 B 3 sp 3 – 3 DNRW
2SR: 3 – 3 / 3 - 3
3SR 3 – 3 / 3 B 3
4SR: 3 – 3 / 3 B 3
5SR: 3 – 3/ 3 – 3
6SR 3 – 3 / 3 B 3
7SR: 3 – 3 / 3 B 3
8SR: 3 – 3/ 3 – 3
9SR: 3 – 3 / 3 B 3
Join to sp on 1R with Sh 1 having the beads on the outside of the circle

Round TWO:
SR 10: B @ back of hand before starting 3 B 3 / 3 B 3 RW
Ch: *Sh 1 4 B 5 (Roch 3 – 3) 5 B 4 RW
R11: 2Bs @ back of hand before starting 3 B 3 + B next p on round 1, 3 B 3 RW
Ch: 4 B 5 (Roch 3 – 3) 5 B 4 RW
R12: 2Bs @ back of hand 3 B 3 + space in-between the rings with beads on 3 B 3
Repeat from * 1 more time RW
Ch: 4 B 5 (Roch 3 - 3) 5 B 4 RW
R13: 2 Bs @ back of hand 3 B 3 + final p on round 1, 3 B 3 RW
Ch: 4 B 5 (Roch 3 – 3) 5 B 4 join to base of SR 10 cut and tie

Round THREE:
Sh 2 18 beads

R 1: 6 – 6
R 2: *6 + B Roch round 2 , 6
R 3: 6 – 6 RW
Ch: 3 B 5 (Roch 3 LP slip two bugle beads on p take bead from core thread move into ring and attach VLP to other side 3 Cl) 5 B 3 RW
R4: 6 + B R3 6
Repeat from * 4 times
R 17: 6 + B Roch round 2, 6
R 18: 6 + B R1, 6
Ch: as previous chains with Roch and attach finished chain to base of R1
Tie and cut

The tatting looks quite strange at this stage but it is designed to fit over a 1 ½”bauble by adjusting the stitch count it can be adapted for other size baubles.

Once the tatting is fitted over the bauble thread a piece of tatting cotton through the gap made between the two bugle beads continue through the rest of them and draw up tight then add a large bead or beads, thread more cotton through the pulled up bugle beads and through the dangle beads and knot close to the beads, so making a tassel.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Butterfly and Bauble

I don't know how many of you have been over to Jane's blog today, but she has posted her new butterfly bookmark pattern. She showed it to me the other weekend and it looked so beautiful that I just had to have a go. Well we have both been absolutely hooked on making them. The ones you can see below have all flown away to different parts of the world, as I've put them in with Christmas Cards.
It is a very clever pattern and one of the reasons I like it so much is that I've manged to use up some beads where the colours have got all mixed up due to spillages.
Being Jane's sister means that I get to know tatting projects (although not all) before you do!

Which is one of the reasons why I have not had enough time finalise the bauble pattern yet! But promise it will be the next post.

Sunday 6 December 2009

St. Nicholas - Santa Claus

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas, although this bearded gentleman also goes by the name of Santa Claus or Father Christmas and is known for his red fur trimmed cloak. Yesterday we were treated to a Mummers Play in one of the churches. The Father Christmas you see in the picture is dressed in green, said to be a sign of the returning spring and he is known as Old Father Christmas, still quite a jolly fellow! His companions were St. George, a Turkish Knight, The Doctor and Johnny Jack. The origins of these English plays go back in the mists of time but are said to be pagan. However, I don’t think there is any harm in seeing them being performed in church .
After the performance one of the Mummers read out an interesting fact that had been sent to them (via the Internet). Apparently there is a painting in water colour in existence that shows Mummers performing in the late 19th century in the very village where this church is. The picture was painted by the son of a former famous village resident, so its good to see traditions revived especially on a dark, rainy cold December afternoon.

St. Nicholas was Christian Bishop of Myra, a seaside town in what is now Western Turkey in the early fourth century A.D. There are many legends about this bishop which have been passed down over the centuries and have probably been embellished and expanded far beyond the actual facts, though they may contain some elements of truth. St. Nicholas was very kind to children and has become their Patron Saint.
When living in Germany I well remember this day especially seeing a Father Christmas on the street giving sweets to the children. St. Nicholas is well respected, in many European countries.

This is another picture of a Christmas bauble, this time in a Father Christmas suit! I am a little nearer to posting the pattern only the last few days have been very busy so I’m struggling to get it written down in a clear and concise manner.

Thursday 3 December 2009

Christmas Baubles

I tatted around these baubles earlier this year, in fact it was January when I thought of the design and a couple of weeks ago I picked it up again to make a few more. If anyone is interested in the pattern I've just about managed to write it down, but sorry can't do drawings. Its basically tatted in two pieces.
For the blue on gold I used DMC 30 and the combination of these colours reminds me of Victorian jewelery

The silver one is tatted with Altin Basak cotton 50, not an easy cotton to work with but quite effective when used in a decorative way.
These baubles have a matt finish, I will show you some shinny ones next time, photographed at a different angle so you can see more detail.
I've actually stopped making them because Jane has just created another fabulous design and I have sort of got hooked on it! Anyway I'm sure she will show you soon.