Friday, November 30, 2012

Hooded Towels

These hooded towels, designed by Amber at Crazy Little Projects, will help fill my half of the market stall. I made the monkey and ladybird for my granddaughters. I'll put them on the market, then if they sell I can make some more and if they don't it won't matter. In case it's not clear what the other creatures are, they're a frog, a dragon and an owl.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ideas Magazine

Yesterday I bought the December issue of Ideas, a South African craft magazine. It has tatting in it! There's a page with photographs showing how to tat and three snowflake patterns. I suspect a person would be hard put to learn to tat from the directions, but I hope it will stimulate interest. Interestingly, the article uses the term 'double knot' rather than 'double stitch'. The magazine appears in an Afrikaans version and an English one, but they were wrapped in plastic, so I couldn't take a peek at the Afrikaans one to see what terms were used.

It was far too hot for take-along tatting yesterday, so I didn't get much done towards the market. I did make this simple bracelet to show off some beads that have been in my stash for a while.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Earrings for Market

The centre ones are Jon Yussoff's  daisy pin. The others are my own patterns - you can find the flower pattern on the side bar. Having grasped Catherine Wheel Joins, I'm more confident about doing split chains, since it's essentially the same manoeuvre, so I revisited an idea I had for an earring some time ago to make the black pair with rainbow beads. This is not a great output for the day. I should've stuck to my idea of repeating one pattern over and over!

Monday, November 26, 2012


One thing I learnt as I made bells last week was that repeating a pattern you get to know it well and the tatting goes along quicker. So, since time is limited, I decided to make Kersti Anear's Stumpy Bookmark in an array of colours. I chose this pattern because it is very attractive; it's quite small; it uses only one shuttle and ball thread and traditional tatting techniques. Last, but not least, I could see nothing on the pattern about it being for personal use only.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Preparing for a Christmas Market

I've been asked to take part in a Christmas Market on the 8th December. That gives me only two weeks to make enough things to create a good show. I'll be sharing a table, so it should be possible, but I'll have to get on with it. I've made a start by making two food covers using motifs I already had on hand. The only thing I tatted specifically for the project were the leaves, which I made up as I went along. Note the Catherine Wheel Joins - ta da!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Six Bells

 Phew, Chiara made 35 or 40 of these bells, which makes my task look a very small one! It's done. Once I'd made a couple of bells and learnt the pattern, things went quicker, so I needn't have panicked. The more I panicked, the more mistakes I made, the longer it all took.....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Working on bells

I need to make 6 of these bells before Saturday. It's taking me longer than I bargained for, I'll have to skip blog-reading for a bit! The pattern is by Jane Eborall. It should have beads incorporated. Luckily the person who wants them said not to add beads, otherwise they would take me even longer to make. On the other hand, I think the beads probably help the bell keep its shape. Another example of how you alter Jane's patterns at your peril!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Set

I grafted the toe of the second sock this morning, then packed the set up to post on our weekly trip to town. So that's done. It's a great pattern, Blackrose by Suzy Anvin, I enjoyed knitting it. I like the way the lace panel is asymmetrical on left and right sides of the socks and wristlets.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Glass Buttons

My sister-in-law Clare Gaylard is a glass artist. There is a link to her website on the sidebar.  She has sent me these wonderful glass buttons and a glass owl  bead - isn't he sweet? I'm thinking that I might be able to combine them with tatting in some way. I'll have to mull the possibilities for a while.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


 600 kilometres was a long way to go to buy some cherries, but we enjoyed the drive, through a part of South Africa we haven't seen before. I was passenger, so I could knit the pink scarf as I went.

I think the best way of overcoming Second Sock Syndrome (that curious reluctance sock knitters sometimes have to knit the second sock) is to have a deadline. These will be posted within South Africa, so I don't need to worry about international cut-off dates, but even so I need to get them finished and sent off. The pattern is Blackrose by Suzy Anvin, the socks form a set with the wristlets.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Novelty Yarns

 Summer has arrived at last, the temperatures are in the mid-30s Celcius (very hot!). So it's not surprising that the local habedashery shop has very little yarn in stock. I want to make scarves to go with the two hats I knitted. These aren't exactly what I envisioned, but I think they'll 'go'. The pink one reminds me of the velvet beetles that  come out when it rains in Southern Zimbabwe.

I'm going to a Cherry Festival, a few hours drive away, so I won't be blogging  for a few days.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


 Pretty pansies. The pattern is by Mariya Davydova. I found the pattern a little confusing, I have to say, but with the aid of the picture and a bit of winging it, I got there.

This is number 7 of my 25 motif challenge, on account of all the Catherine Wheel joins the pattern has. I have done CWjoins before, when I did Frivole's Happy Heart, but they were still a bit daunting. I really think I have the hang of them now. (Which is  not to say that all my joins are perfect, you understand, just that the idea of doing them is not so intimidating.)

The Last Stitch

At last, I hear you say. I guess I had to decide what I was going to do with my gran's tablecloth before I could get around to finishing it. I'm going to give it to my niece, so that she has something that comes down from her dad's family. My brother is coming to visit soon, so that gave me the deadline to finish sewing the tatted edging on. My daughter has a magnificent tablecloth in linen and Spanish lace that my gran embroidered. I did check with her that she was happy for this one to go to Lizzie.

Many thanks to the folk of Tatland for their help, advice and encouragement in completing this project, especially Sharon D, who sent me the thread I needed to finish tatting the edging.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Pair

Gloves, like socks and earrings, must be made in pairs! This Blackrose pattern is by Suzy Anvin. I have the designer's name on  my computer, but not on my printed version of the pattern.

Last time I used this pattern, I followed the directions for dividing the stitches between four double pointed needles. But actually it works better dividing between three needles - needle 1 has the stitches before the lace, needle 2 the lace pattern and then the rest of the stitches on needle 3. That's a very uneven division, but it's much easier to have the lace panel stitches on one needle. I must remember that when I make the matching socks.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Geckos in Situ

Did you wonder what I was going to do with the geckos? I have sewn them to organza to make a food cover.

I had some trouble with the edging. I chose this machine embroidery stitch as being vaguely 'African'. I did samples to decide the best stitch length and off I went. Luckily the bobbin ran out of thread after two sides, because the result was horrible - wrinkled and ugly. Hmmm. Use a different pattern or make adjustments to my sewing machine? I used a finer needle, changed the  foot and loosened the tension, sewing samples as I went, until I got it right.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ameeta Scarf

I got into the 'knitting zone' on this one and have finished it. Admittedly I was using 6mm needles and chunky wool, with a pattern that has no 'knit togethers' or cables.  Here's a link to the blog of the designer, Denniss-Ayselle Firat. You can find the pattern there, though I downloaded it from Ravelry.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Knitting the Wool

 I soaked one end of the skeins in brown dye, leaving the other end undyed, to get a 'coffee and cream' effect. I set the dye in the oven, rinsed and dried the skeins and then rolled them into balls, ready for knitting.
The pattern is Ameeta Scarf, designed by Deniss-Ayselle Firat, which I found on Ravelry. The pattern says the skill level is easy. It is, in that it consists only of knit and purl stitches. But it requires a lot of counting and concentration to get all the knits and purls in the right place! I like the way it's turning out, it's worth all the counting.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Take Along Knitting

This is Blackrose Wristlet. I found the  pattern on Ravelry. I can't see the name of the designer anywhere. A perfect project to put in my handbag and pull out at a cattle sale to work on. A little bit eccentric, perhaps, I don't see anyone else knitting, but I don't like sitting doing nothing unnecessarily!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Last of the Wool

This is the last batch of the wool I was given to spin. Lovely soft, clean wool, a pleasure to spin. I don't have time to wash and dye it today, it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

A Mess of Geckos?

I tried to find out what the collective noun for geckos should be. The closest I could find was a 'mess of iguanas', according to tiny-on-line.  I hope my geckos aren't too messy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

To Bead Or Not To Bead.....

If you're going to add a bead to the centre of a split ring, it has to be the right size bead. Too small and a loop of thread shows unattractively. Too big and the ring won't close properly. I wasn't happy with how the beads were looking, so I started again, without beads. The thread is a Coats size 40. Since I'm not very expert at adding beads, I think for now I'll stick to using beads with size 20 thread.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Beaded Gecko

 I used a plain thread for this gecko, a Cebelia that I dyed myself, and then added beads to the split rings. They look much better in person than in the photo! I modified Tonya's method of adding a bead to a split ring so that I didn't need to use a safety pin. Here's how: tat the first half of the split ring, hook the 'thread around the hand' through the bead, pass the second shuttle through the loop, then tat the second half of the split ring and close.

Jane Eborall's pattern for the gecko is necessarily  complicated, so I mark off each instruction as I go. That helps me keep track of where I'm at. 

Friday, November 2, 2012


I love the sense of movement in the gecko. The pattern is Jane Eborall's and can be found here. Both are made in  Tat-ilicious threads. The top one is Keylime raspberry parfait, size 20 and the bottom one is Rainbow, size 40.

I have more geckos to make, but this project is number 6 for my 25 motif challenge. The legs are done in block tatting, which was next on my list of techniques to learn. I followed Jane's instructions for easy block tatting, done without changing shuttles. Clever.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Puzzled by Postal System

Yesterday I went to the Post Office to post off a parcel to Perth, Australia. No, no, the post mistress told me, you've missed the deadline for Christmas posting. Yes, she was talking about airmail and no, it made no difference if I sent an envelope instead of a parcel. Hmmmm. Plan B required. This morning I had a message from my son to say that the book bag and pencil case that I posted last week had arrived safely in New Zealand. I'm really glad about that, but I'm puzzled that a parcel posted last week took a week to arrive, but one posted this week is expected to take two months!

Just as well I wasn't intending to post the knitwear I've been working on.