Wednesday 29 January 2014

Tatting thread

My sister-in-law wanted to buy me some thread to use for tatting as a Christmas Present a few years ago, so instead of asking me what I would like she looked on the internet, ebay to be precise.   I was given 10 reels of some very pretty thread that came from Turkey but it was far to slippery to tat with.   Although it did not take me long to find someone who could really use it.   This person was so pleased when I gave it to her as she does Jacobean Embroidery and it was just right for that craft.  Some of the thread is in these cushions which she embroidered for me.

And there hangs another tale, I made the cushions from a Thai Silk bedspread that I purchased in Hong Kong over 36 years ago, but never used.  Sadly the photograph does not do the colours of the cushions or the embroidery justice as the material is brighter and some of the threads are shinny.   

In this photograph you can see some of the shinny thread a little better but the material itself has not come out any better. So now if I have any thread that is unsuitable for tatting I pass this on to my friend who does this lovely embroidery and by the way, it is all "free hand" she doesn't draw a design on the cushion to begin with.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Robbie Burns

Robbie Burns was a famous Scottish poet and he is always remembered on this day, especially in this part of the world.

This evening I am going to a 'Burns Night' celebration.   On the menu will be 'Haggis neeps and tatties" it is being held in a grand house.

Unfortunately I don't have any tartan to wear so made myself a thistle brooch - the emblem of Scotland.

Not a brilliant representation but hopefully it will be recognisable!

There might even be one of these chaps attending!

Thursday 16 January 2014

Thread Winders

It seemed a good idea to give 'Im in the Garage another task, and so I came up with thread winders.    I bought some plastic ones in the USA which have been useful but sadly I have now given most of them away.   Next month I am taking another tatting class for beginners and really wanted some for that day.   The problem was that there were so few bits of thin wood in the garage, fortunately a little was found to make these. 

The left one is made out of purple heart in the shape of a tree, as I thought that was a novel idea and had not seen one before. The right one looks a bit like a dog's bone but it is fit for purpose.

The tree now covered in thread, the branches could be made slightly wider next time,  but even like this they hold a fair amount of thread and are so pretty.      And before anyone asks they are not for sale, I just plan to give them away in due course.

Saturday 11 January 2014


Occasionally I  look at e.bay, but trying to discipline myself not to look at it too often can be problematic!  It seems that once you are on the site there are so many things to look up and see.  Last Sunday evening I went out leaving a reasonable bid on a couple of shuttles but by the time I returned home just knew that I would have been outbid as one of them was an Aero England.  So you can imagine my surprise and absolute delight when, much later on in the evening I looked and found that I had actually won them!   And here are the shuttles, the other one is metal, a little tarnished and has a removable metal bobbin, but there is no makers name on it, it is slim line and very light.

I would love to know the history of these two shuttles, where they came from, who owned them. The thread was still on them and it begs a question is the person who wound them still alive?  Were these items taken from the home of someone who used to tat but is not interested anymore in the craft?  You very rarely build up a relationship with a seller on e.bay so often whatever you purchase is clouded in mystery especially with regard to the owner of a particular item.

During the storms we had in England just before Christmas some branches of a Sequoia  and a Cedar tree blew down.  On Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) we went and collected these bits sawing them to a size that could be transported in a car.  They came from next to the church where Revd Awdry (author of the Thomas the Tank Engine Stories) used to attend when his father was Vicar there.  

I would like to say that the wood is drying out, but it is certainly not doing that at the moment with all the rain we are having.  Eventually this wood will be used for making shuttles, although the Sequoia has a tendency to split.

If you have not already heard, there are some pop-a-bobbin shuttles going into Jane's Etsy shop at 20.00 GMT this evening.

Today marks 60 years since the first weather broadcast on British television 

Fox helped me out on the story of the shuttles - believable or what?!

"The Aero belonged to Tessie Blanchard, from Surrey. Her husband deserted her after a political scandal in the 1980’s, taking her shuttle by mistake in his suitcase. He had left in a rather big hurry succumbing to the demands of his new love. His paramour recently divorced him for further infidelities, found the shuttle, and trying to raise some funds has put a number of things he left in her house up for sale on various internet sites.

The metal shuttle I am sorry to report was used in a bank robbery in Marseilles in 1996. The owner fled to England and hid in a small Yorkshire cottage till she was discovered in a clinic, where she was discovered masquerading as a midwife. She was arrested during the birth of triplets and instructed a friend to try to sell the shuttle as she was raising money for her defence. She skipped bail and is still at large, avoiding capture and arrest."

Hope this helps! 
Fox : ))

Thank you Fox

Monday 6 January 2014

Seeing Stars!

I am still Christmas tatting, which is rather crazy considering that decorations are now being taken down.  My problem is that I have so many threads and beads still lying around plus boxes of baubles that are crying out to be covered.  Somehow I never managed to get them done for this Christmas and just cannot bear to pack all the stuff away again without attempting to complete the task of tatting around them. 

Today is the feast of Epiphany so as the wise men were lead by a star, it seemed a good idea to show you the ones I have been working on since Christmas, and here they are. I have over 30 completed and in a box and stored away until November.

The pattern is this one  from Jane's blog, but I only used the centre bit and added beads.   It is a fabulous pattern for practising Self Closing Mock Rings.

I have also disciplined myself to stop buying anymore Christmas ornaments with the intention of embellishing them with tatting, mainly because they take up too much room and of course time never seems to be on my side!