Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Daisy and Butterfly

This is Ladytat's pattern Daisy and Butterfly Bookmark.  A pretty pattern. Once again, I used a thicker thread than normal and abbreviated the pattern. When I've used the pattern before, I didn't do the tail,  but one repeat of the pattern wasn't quite long enough, so I did do the tail. I like way the split chain  makes the tail hang correctly from the middle of the flower. Thanks Ladytats!


 For the next batch of bookmarks I used Kersti Anear's Stumpy pattern. Great pattern. I don't really like that multicolour thread, the colour changes are too sudden. It's a Milford Satin 2 ply. I wonder if I could overdye it?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Morning Glory

 This bookmark is Morning Glory Bookmark, designed by Eliz Davis, aka Tatknot. I used a thicker thread than the pattern calls for, so I pared it down a bit, doing three rounds of chains on the flower instead of four and fewer leaves. Pretty quick tat that way. Thanks Eliz.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bookmark Order

 I have an order for 17 bookmarks! I only have a couple of weeks to make them, so I'm going to aim for bright and bold. Naturally I started with Jane's bookmark. There's a link to the pattern on the right side bar. Four down, thirteen to go.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hot off the Press

I have just finished the Victoria Trellis doily from the Julia Sanders book, and ironed it. I must blog about it straight away before my internet connection disappears. For the second day in a row our nearest town has no electricity because the cable has been stolen. Our internet man is kindly running a generator for a few hours to keep us connected for a while. My brother tells me that cable theft is a problem world wide since the price of copper went up, but gee, this is getting ridiculous!

I still have to find the right fabric to go in the middle of my doily. The thread I used is Cebelia Ecru size 20.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Making Progress

 I started the Victorian Trellis Doily (as Frivole dubbed it) on Saturday. I'm making good progress, it's going along more quickly than I expected. That may be because it uses only chains. The shuttle thread lasts a very long time, there's no refilling the bobbin or joining in new threads. And no altering the length of the working thread between rings and chains. The last row looks a bit adrift, but that will be rectified on the next row.

Victorian Trellis Doily

This is my 20th challenge for the 25 Motif Challenge. I have actually done trellis work before in my previous incarnation as a tatter. But that was an awfully long time ago and Frivole has updated the method for tatting this. Thanks for the very clear tutorial! Thanks to Frivole too for a link to the Priscilla Tatting Book edited by Julia Sanders. I own a copy of the book, but it's in storage, so I'm glad to have access to it online. I can work the rest of the doily from the online book.

Monday, July 22, 2013


 When I saw this motif on Helen's Goudenregen blog I knew it was just what I needed to practise lock chains. The motif was designed by Tina Frauberger in 1921 and updated by Frances Burgess. You can find the pattern here.  I've used  Jess's Tat-ilicious  rainbow thread, size 40. The rainbow thread works well to show off the lock chains.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tunisian Patchwork

This is one side of my shopping bag in Tunisian crochet. It would be neater if I sewed the ends in, but I'm not really sure it works and want to get a second opinion from the ladies of my craft group before I finish it off. I originally envisioned two rows of four squares, but that really didn't look right. The competition guidelines don't say anything about the dimensions of the shopping bag we must make, so perhaps it doesn't need to be the same shape as the canvas bags the supermarkets sell? Hmmm. I'm not very confident about this project.

Heart Bracelet

I used Birgit Phelps's Li'l Heart pattern to do the bracelet, but I adapted it slightly, inspired by Betsy Evans's Rainbow Heart, so that I could join the hearts together. In Betsy's heart, the small ring is more intrinsic to the heart, but it's ok, I can live with this. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Compounding the Mistake

I could kick myself. Yesterday I made a mistake when I tatted the first heart for Betsy Evans's Rainbow Heart Bookmark. I realised when I'd finished that I joined the small ring after the bottom trefoil to the wrong picot, so the heart wasn't 'square'. Not a great problem, I'd wound too much thread onto my bobbin anyway, so I just tatted another one. This morning I made a third heart and realised when I'd finished that I'd joined the second and third hearts to the wrong heart, the one with the mistake in it!

Talking of mistakes, the version of the pattern that I have has some mistakes in the written version. It's better to work from the diagram than from the written instructions.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Butterfly Bracelet

 This is a bracelet for an order. I used Jennifer Williams's pattern, but I used a SCMR instead of daisy picots, seeing as I was working with only one colour. It took me a few goes to get the strap right in relation to the butterfly. My first attempt was hopeless:

I had visualised the strap coming from the middle of the butterfly, but that didn't really work. I did get it right eventually.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Theory's fine....

Yesterday I learnt three more stitches and where to put them on my Schwalm embroidery picture. I learnt the theory, that is, but it's going to take a lot of practice to get my stitches neat and even.
 The teacher's leaf is on the left, mine on the right. Mine is not symmetrical, just to start with. I was pleased with the bullion knot in the middle though, it was easier to do than I expected.
Rule number one: the petals in blanket stitch must be absolutely even. Mine are not, so I'm going to have to try that again.
And most difficult of all are the satin stitch leaves. Satin stitch may look simple, but to get it smooth and even is really not easy. If all else fails, all the leaves could be done like the ones in the top picture, but I assume I can get the satin stitch right if I work at it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I've been working on Tunisian crochet in the evenings. I'm taking a patchwork approach to my shopping bag. I hope it's going to work, I seem to have spent a lot of time on this. I unravelled my first attempt, I don't really want to do any more unravelling!

Homework Done

 I've completed all the embroidery that was marked on my pattern, in time for tomorrow's lesson. These are the bits done in coral stitch and chain stitch. Presumably we will learn another stitch tomorrow.

Working with white, embroidery or tatting, is hard on my hands. I keep washing my  hands, but can't, obviously, put hand cream on. I finish up with the back of my  hands looking as though they belong to a crocodile!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Putting a Stop to Procrastination

 I have another lesson in Schwalm embroidery on Monday. So it really is time to stop practising, stop finding other tasks that urgently need doing and finish my embroidery homework!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


My brief is to make a shopping bag using Tunisian crochet, with flowers included in the design. This is my first attempt. At 25 cm wide, it's too small for a shopping bag, so I'll have to regard this as a large sample. I'm thinking along the lines of patchwork, perhaps four squares wide, some squares with flowers and some without. Now that I have the sample, I can take measurements and plan the bag on paper, instead of just working away blindly.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What the Towels were for

The towels and face cloths that I've been adding tatting to were intended as packing for this toy tractor that my husband bought by the side of the road in Zimbabwe. I thought they'd be more fun than bubble wrap.
 It's not an easy thing to parcel up, and it's going to be expensive to post, even by surface mail.
I hope it'll get there safely!


 Warning! Tatting this motif could be hazardous to your sanity. Here's a link to the pattern.  Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to keep going with this. It's not perfect, but it's complete and I'm done!

Monday, July 8, 2013

What I've Learnt So Far

 I've by no means conquered Martha Ess's Two Hearts as One, but I've learnt a couple of things. Firstly, it helps keep track if you use completely different shuttles for the 'shuttle thread' and 'ball thread'. The first time I attempted this, I used aero shuttles for blue and post shuttles for pink, but it works better to use the aero shuttles for both 'ring shuttles' and post shuttles as the 'chain shuttles'.

The pattern neatly goes from round to round using split chains and split rings, but I think that to begin with it's better to do the rounds separately. That way, if (when!) you make a mistake on round 2, you can cut it off leaving round 1 intact.

Above all, don't panic, don't panic (said in a very panicky voice!)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Carrying on Regardless

 It must have been good luck rather than good judgement that enabled me to do the first round of Martha Ess's Two Hearts as One correctly on the first attempt. This is my third try. I was determined to get it right. I opened a ring and retatted it, I unwound a bobbin, moved the thread and rewound it, but still it's not quite right. It's not the twisted mess that attempt number 2 was, so I'm going to carry on regardless. Otherwise I'll never make any progress.

Friday, July 5, 2013


For the second time in a week, thieves stole a length of electricity cable outside Vryburg, so the whole town and a large swathe of farmland were without power until it could be replaced. Luckily for me, our power comes from a different direction, so we had electricity, but our internet connection was affected. Our connection to the world is beamed to us from Vryburg. That's why I didn't update this blog yesterday or last Saturday.
 These are facecloths that I added tatted motifs to, to go with the towels I've been working on. Here's a link to Martha Ess's folded rings technique page where I found the flower pattern.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Simple hearts edging

 This is a very simple edging, folded ring and chain, but I think it's quite effective. Ring 8 + 6 A(  2 first half stitches) 1-1 B (2 second half stitches) 6 - 8  close ring, keeping stitches between A and B turned inwards, reverse work, chain 6 - 6.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Heart Experiments

 I used up the last pink thread on the spool to experiment with folded ring hearts for an edging. The problem with the top one is that folded rings have a right side and wrong side and it's impossible to get all the rings to face the same way using this method. There is a solution - tat all the hearts on one side and then turn and do the hearts that face the other way. The middle row has a stitch count of 10, folded part, 10, where the bottom one is 14, folded part, 14.  This is to be another edging for a towel, so the bottom stitch count might work better. Decisions, decisions....

Monday, July 1, 2013

Stitch Count

I've written down the pattern for the folded ring flower edging so that I don't have to experiment again next time I want to tat it. I thought someone else might like it, so here's the pattern.

Folded ring flower edging
+ join, (all joins are to corresponding picot on previous ring)     - picot,            R ring,            Ch chain,        RW reverse work,               Cl r close ring (when closing rings, make sure that the stitches between A and B face inwards)
SS switch shuttles
A make 2 first half stitches
B make 2 second half stitches
Use 2 shuttles, shuttle 1 with flower colour and shuttle 2 with green. I used size 10 thread, but any size could be used. 
First flower
With shuttle 1,
R1: 10, A, 2, B, 6 – 4 Cl r
R2: 4+ 6 A 2 B 6 – 4 Cl r
R3: 4 + 4 – 2 A 2 B 2 – 8 Cl r. RW
Ch 18, SS,  R 6 – 6, SS, ch 6 RW
Second and subsequent flowers
R1: 8 + 2 A 2 B 2+ 4 – 4 Cl r
R2: 4 + 6 A 2 B 6 – 4 Cl r
R3: 4 + 4 – 2 A 2 B 2 – 8
Continue in this way, making flowers of 3 petals with chains between. On last flower, the last ring should be 4+ 6 A 2 B 10.