Tuesday 27 November 2012

Buttons and Bobbins

Not sure if this will be my last blog post for a while as I am having trouble with blogger and photographs.  Here are some badly scanned buttons which you will have seen on Jane's blog today. A fantastic pattern which has given me hours of fun whilst making them.

However, I am loosing patience with computers and have decided to go into hibernation until all problems have been sorted.

Just wanted to say thank you to all who have bought shuttles etc from Jane's shop, there are still a few items left which have been made by 'im in the garage,  including these bobbin holders. There is a story about the wood that they are made from, we purchased the wood from a funeral director. Many, many years ago his late father had purchased the mahogany to make coffins out of. Now a days most coffins are mass produced so this wood was doing nothing, just stacked up in a garage.  It is lovely mature wood, rich in colour and the bobbin holders are a work of art as well as being  very practicable.  Here is the link to the wood when it arrived at our house.  

Monday 19 November 2012

Christmas bauble pattern

One of the problems when writing a tatting pattern to be used with a bauble or button is that even with the best will in the world, it is not always easy to find a universal pattern that fits all, even measuring buttons and baubles does not always work!   Threads can also vary, not to mention every ones different tatting tension.  So I've tried my best with this pattern and just ask that if you use it, then test it first and alter your stitch count accordingly, especially if it is not a cosy fit over the bauble.  When you have finished the pattern the bauble cover should look something like this.

It is then placed over the bauble like this

And  assembled by threading a separate piece of thread through the bugle beads 

Finally the beads to decorate and hide where the threads are pulled up, are added
The pattern:

Materials required:
Seed beads
20 thread (or you can use 40 or 50)
small bauble (circumference approx 3 1/2")
SCMR self closing mock ring
R ring
SR split ring
P picot
VLP very long picot
Roch Ring on chain
LCh Lock Chain
Sh 1 shuttle one
Sh 2 shuttle two

Wind 2 shuttles with the continuous thread method
Add 1 B Sh 1
20 B Sh 2

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

SR 1 B @ back of hand before starting 4 B 4 / 4 B 4 cl bring a bead from the shuttle thread and pass the other shuttle thread through it continue with
LCh: *6 Roch 6 VLP add bugle beads take bead from core thread move into ring and attach VLP to other side 6 Cl
LCH 6 + B on ring of round 1 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 one of the sets of bugle beads (five gaps 10 bugle beads altogether) 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.

I have also made a couple of Jane's button brooches and as you can see they vary from hers because of the button size and tension

 Some of these holly shuttles will be on sale soon

I have so many projects  (tatting and otherwise) on the go at the moment, but hopefully should have completed some of them in a few weeks time.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Ash disease and ladybirds

It is not a good time for Ash trees in the UK at the moment, there is a disease that threatens to wipe them out,  or at least seriously diminish them.  You can read how the government are trying to tackle the threat of the disease here, some say however it is too late and measures should have been taken a long time ago to stop its spread.   In the 1970's Dutch Elm disease took hold in this country and over 25 million elm trees were destroyed by the 1990s.  There are some beautiful forests in the UK and particularly around where I live so I hope that this disease will be contained and not spread so widely as the Dutch Elm one did in the 20th century.

But on a more cheerful note we have a small stock of ash in the garage and this is one of the latest post shuttles that has been made from it. Can you see what an interesting grain it has?  The ladybird sticker was purchased when Jane and I were in the USA and one of the people we visited Pam Freck is particularly fond of ladybugs.

Now here is a reject pop-a-bobbin shuttle, it comes from this piece of wood blown down in the winds. The knots in the wood have caused a split inside, however instead of being thrown away it is stopping with me, even the sawdust sprinkled on it makes it feel like a bit of a reject though!

I intend to write out the Christmas bauble pattern that was shown in my last post (it differs slightly from the two I have already put on the side of my blog)  and also show how the  tatting is assembled on to the bauble when completed, just need to take some photos of the different stages.

But I would like to leave you with this beautiful picture of a ladybird (ladybug) 

Thursday 8 November 2012

Must stop buying Christmas Baubles!

Although I did not sell very much at the Christmas Fayre the baubles were quite popular and prior to the event I spent hours tatting around them, and have continued in the same vain!  If I stop I know that I will never start again until the last minute before they are needed next year.  Having a good display also means that there is plenty of choice.  I have bought so many of these baubles that I must now stop and complete the ones I have, but the temptation this time of the year is too great, especially when I see them in the shops!   Here are the ones I have been working on over the last week.

They are relatively quick to make and use up thread and beads that I have had for a long time.  

I am also tempted when seeing buttons, these are my latest purchase from a charity shop.
The purple one is 1 1/4" across! 

More shuttles are in the process of being made and I hope to show you some pictures next time, included in the next batch are some post ones.

Saturday 3 November 2012

Christmas Fayre

Today  there was a Christmas Fayre at the church and I took along my tatting to sell, I have actually been tatting so furiously in the last few weeks  in order to have enough to sell.  The larger items such as necklaces did not sell but the lower priced items sold quite well, they included earrings and Christmas baubles. These leaf earrings are using Jane's pattern which can be found here. Although I have to say not one of them sold!

I took along these earrings too. Barbara Hevener who I met in the USA designed the Christmas Wreaths  I am very grateful to her for sharing the pattern it really is very clever and very effective and I was so pleased to meet her in person.

The little seahorses are again Jane's pattern and they look so cute but I did not sell any of these little chaps either!  The earrings that sold the best were Marilee's Giddy earrings from her book 'Tatted Jewelery', which are such fun to make and yes I also met Marilee in the USA!.   So all the items that I made for today and did not sell will be packed away for another year.  I must just add that we live in a village, not a big town and so there were not that many people around for the few hours that the Fayre was open.

I just feel that I have now got my life back and can stop tatting for a few days in order to catch up with other things.  People have no idea how time consuming tatting is and so are unprepared to pay for the time that is spent making the items.