Sunday, March 31, 2013


 I've long admired Frivole's Flowering Quatrain bookmark and had it on my to-do list. But I just haven't been able to get it right. On my first attempt, in size 20 thread, I left small spaces between the split rings of the middle row. So when I came to do the second side of the outer row, the middle split rings were bunched and ugly. Aha, learnt that lesson. So on my second attempt, using size 40 thread,  I snugged the split rings neatly next to each other, except where Frivole said not to. Alas. When I finished I found that my tension was still wrong somewhere, the outer row is ruffling. It's a very pretty bookmark, or would be if it was tatted correctly!

Happy tatting on International Tatting Day. Don't get chocolate on your work!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


This is Flower Bookmark by Rachael Mohler.
 Here I joined all six rings to a long picot on the first ring, instead of making vsp on each ring. I also made the chains  a bit longer, which was probably not a good idea. (OK, I confess, I left out a ring at the end, sewed in the threads before I realised. I also needed to pay more attention to the tension of the LHPJs).

Friday, March 29, 2013

More Bookmarks

 This is Kersti Anear's Jessica bookmark in monochrome. There's a link to the pattern on the blog entry I wrote yesterday.

This bookmark is also Kersti's. It's called Floral Tatted Bookmark. I have a picture of it tatted in two colours, but I think on this one I prefer monochrome, which enhances the stylized nature of the design. The large rings could be a bit tricky for a beginner, but it's not a difficult pattern.
I've had this pattern in my files for a long time and made it a number of times. I found it before I started a blog, in a time when I was less fastidious about provenance! If anyone can tell me who the designer is, I'll be happy to credit them. The pattern is based on a classic idea, I have a Coats booklet with an edging that looks like this, and some of Renulek's designs use it too.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


 On Tuesday I was asked if I'd be prepared to help other people tat bookmarks for a competition. Of course, I'd be more than happy to! So I thought I had better look for patterns that use only rings and chains -  no split rings, self closing mock rings, interlocking layers, you get the picture. Keeping the theme of flowers which the competition requires.  This bookmark is called Jessica, designed by Kersti Anear. I'm working it again in one colour, so that I can have ball and shuttle CTM and have fewer ends to hide. The pattern uses only one colour, but I like the effect of flowers and vines that two colours give.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Susie's Version

Following a comment from Susie, I simplified Jane Eborall's pattern ever so slightly by using two shuttles wound CTM with pink thread for the flowers and then doing the green with ball and one shuttle. It doesn't have the touch of green winding through the middle, but it's easier to tat.  I did the flower using daisy picots, as I did on the blue one. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Tail's Tale

 The pattern says to make the flower, tie and cut and then make the tail. I wanted to make the flower and then carry on with the tail without cutting. I thought I could do that by doing the last petal as a single shuttle split ring, carrying the green thread inside the first half. The problem was, I couldn't join that petal to the other petals of the flower. It was just a mess. So I decided to use daisy picots. I haven't done daisy picots for quite a while, the tension on my first attempt was hopeless. But, eventually, I had a flower with a green centre and could continue the tail without cutting.

Flowery SCMR

I had some green size 40 thread left on my shuttles, a good reason to get on with Jane Eborall's Flowery SCMR bookmark that has been on my to-do list. I think I should've chosen a brighter thread for the flowers. It's a tricky bookmark to tat, worthy of being used for a competition entry! I'm still working on the tail. I'd like to do the flower and the tail without cutting, but it's proving more difficult than I imagined (I guess if it was easy, Jane would've already done it). The competition rules say the bookmark must be less than 20 cm in length, so I may have to do fewer repeats of the pattern to have room for the tail. I think these flowers look like water lilies.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A bit smaller

 I made Paula Gero's Roses and Vines Bookmark using size 40 thread instead of 20. This one measures 18 cm, where the other was 22 cm. I'm surprised there isn't a bigger difference. Obviously I haven't done enough of these comparison tats! It looks more delicate than the other one. I'm not really sure that either of them is firm enough to be used as a bookmark. It may work better as a decoration on a little girl's dress, as Diane suggested.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Roses and Vine

This is 'Roses and Vine Bookmark', designed by Paula Gero. I found the pattern on Intatters. I pruned the vine a bit - the pattern calls for chains with 5 ds between picots, but I reduced that to 3. I also used four flowers instead of five. It's still 22 cm long. I had to keep my wits about me to follow all the twists and turns of the vine, but the pattern is very clear. I may try it again using size 40 thread instead of the 20 I used here. The pattern actually says size 10. I think Paula's size 10 must be different to mine, or the bookmark would be absolutely enormous! I had trouble hiding the end of the yellow thread in the small ring, so I did a false picot and then hid the start and end threads in the purple chains.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


 I've had my dye pot out again. The blue dye I used is called Midnight Blue and has a touch of red in it. That's why the pale greens are rather olive or khaki. I did the multicolour skein and then poured the dye that was left into my coffee tin dye pot. I was pleased with the very dark green that emerged. The thread is Cebelia 20.
Since there were four skeins to unravel, I dug my swift or skein holder out. If I'm winding just one skein, I often don't bother, just hold the skein round my knees.
Jess kindly sent me some ezybobs. Very handy. Otherwise I use the centre cores from the original thread. I've found that winding the thread diagonally works better than straight around the core. I do have a ball winder which works wonderfully for knitting yarns, but I find that thread balls tend to collapse if I wind them on there. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A flower

 This flower was designed by Martha Ess. It's on the folded rings page. Pretty. Martha uses a regular chain for the stem, but I used Victorian sets and added a clasp to make a dangle. I thought that using so many colours would mean a lot of ends to sew in, but that wasn't so - I tatted over the beginning of each colour, then the end of the green is hidden in the small purple flower, so there was only one yellow and one purple thread to sew in.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter Eggs

Jane Eborall put this pattern on her blog a few days ago. The pattern doesn't actually specify a thread size. I assume Jane  used size 20.  I did these in Cebelia size 10 and Milford Satin 3-ply. The lilac one is almost 7 cm long. I can't post chocolate Easter eggs to my grandchildren, but these should go in an envelope no problem!

Monday, March 18, 2013


 This pattern is called Leaves, designed by Valentina Georgieva. I found it on Ravelry. It's a quick knit. I whipped  up a couple of pairs to give as gifts. Now I think I may need a pair for me.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Celtic Bookmark III

Really, I drive myself crazy. Yesterday I hurried and scurried to finish the interlocking layers before I went to cook dinner.So naturally I twisted the last section. I didn't notice until I had done a couple of repeats down the second side of the outer row. That was too much to undo, so I had to cut and rejoin and hide four threads. Sigh. That was the second bit of cutting on the outer row. I started off reducing the short chain from the 6 ds of the pattern to 2 ds, but the row was still a bit ruffled. So I cut it off and started again, leaving the short chain out altogether. It lies much flatter, which I think is better for a bookmark.

Here are my 'notes to self' for when I come back to this pattern

1. I used size 40 thread instead of the 20 that the pattern specifies.
2. I used the alternative method in the pattern, tatting layer 2 first and then weaving it in and out as I tatted layer 1.
3. I concentrated on keeping the tension tight in layer 2, but also reduced the stitch count. For the rings I used 20 ds instead of 24. Chains are 10 ds instead of 12.
4. I made very small picots in the direction-changing chains for joining. Instead of doing a SLT as the pattern said, I did the second half of a ds. So my 3-part chain was 9 vsp 1, turn work, second half of stitch, 10, turn work, second half of stitch, vsp 10.
5. I blocked this layer before starting on the next.
6. For layer 1 (tatted second) I used the same stitch count as the pattern. So there are 12 ds in each ring and split ring. That's the yellow layer in the  photo.
7. For the outer layer, I kept the stitch count the same as the pattern for the rings and long chains, (6+6 and 12 ds respectively) but left out the short chains.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Both Sides of the Story

 I've finished tatting Lenore English's Celtic Bookmark in softer colours. It really isn't as difficult to tat as it may appear! I'm thinking of tweaking the pattern a bit more by shortening the short chains on the outer row. And perhaps using just two colours instead of three. Shortening the chains of the second layer, pink in this case, was certainly a good move.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Alternative Method

 I'm tatting Lenore English's Celtic Bookmark again, but this time using the alternative method given in the pattern. In the original method, layer 2 was forced through layer 1. Here, layer 2 is woven up and down as layer 1 is tattted. I think it'll cause less distortions of the tatting, so it's better, really. I shortened the chains on the pink layer. The pattern does say that they must be very tightly tatted, but even so, I think they were a bit long.

Second Place

Well, my competition sweater was given second place. That's at provincial level, so now it will go to Cape Town for the national competition. Very exciting! I haven't seen the judges' comments yet, so I don't  know where I could've done better, but I'm happy with a second. I gave it my best shot and it's good enough to go forward.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Celtic Bookmark

I'm a bit tired of mignonette stitch now, and tired of working with white thread. So here's Lenore English's Tatted Celtic Bookmark. It's quite tricky to tat. I might redo it, using the alternative construction. The pattern uses size 20 thread, but I've used 40. I didn't want the bookmark to be too big or too thick. Also, the colours I wanted to use were in my size 40 stash. Having finished, I'm wondering if I should use colours that contrast less. I wanted the layers to show up, but it's not very subtle!

I'm going away for a few days, so I won't blog again until about Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pattern for Gloves

Here's a link to the PDF version of the pattern for the mignonette fingerless gloves. At four pages, is it too long? The only way I could shorten it is by removing all or some of the pictures. I could also put all the pictures at the end of the pattern, so the pattern could be printed without them?

Working on the Pattern

Size 20 thread. A pair uses much of a 20 g ball. 2 shuttles. Narrow ribbon and/or shirring elastic. Picot gauges, if you like, one 8 mm and one 12 mm.
R, ring; SR, split ring; Ch, chain; - or P, picot; LP, long picot; BTS, bare thread space; + join; CTM, continuous thread method; RW reverse work
I have very small hands. If you want a bigger glove, you could use more rings in the mignonette stitch, or longer bare thread spaces.
Notes on working in the round
It’s important to end each round by joining to the beginning of the round, before going on to the next round. To keep the number of rings constant when working the mignonette stitch, miss out the first BTS on one row and the last BTS on the next row, alternately. 

I made a good start to writing the pattern for the gloves, and then accidentally deleted all my work! I thought I was deleting a picture, but instead I was deleting the whole thing. Back to the drawing board.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Overhaul Complete

The technique of unpicking one row and knitting downwards is useful for lengthening children's jerseys, as well as mending husband jerseys. If you don't have matching yarn, you can put in a contrasting band. I had to  redo the neck of Jack's jersey too. He keeps his notebook, pen, glasses etc in his pocket and constantly pulls at the neck of his jersey to get at them. I once tried putting 'plackets' into his jersey for easy access to his pockets, but they gaped and didn't look good. V necks tend to sag more than round, so that wasn't a good solution either. This neck actually held better than most, but it needed a revamp to get it through another winter.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Preparing for Pattern

 I'm taking plenty of photos as I tat the 'second revised glove', so that I will be able to illustrate the pattern. I've scribbled notes down too, so I should be able to write the pattern once I've finished tatting.


 I'm not sure that 'mending' is an adequate word for this task, which has been on my to-do list for months. Last winter I knitted Jack a jersey. He promptly burnt a hole in the front, while using the angle grinder. I patched the hole. I don't know if the patch came adrift, or he burnt it again, but another hole appeared. I  ignored it. By the end of winter, the hole was huge! Yesterday I snipped a thread above the hole and then  undid one row, picking up the stitches at the top as I went. So eventually the bottom of the jersey separated from the rest. The jersey was knitted in the round, so I could go right around without any problem.  Now I'm going to knit downwards to replace the holey part. I'm going to keep the cut off part - I might just need it for more patches!