Saturday, August 30, 2014

Trying Corina's Tips

The first of Corina's dragonflies that I made was a poor, pathetic creature with mangled wings. So I did two more using double double stitch for the wings. The problem is that it makes the wings rather too substantial for dragonflies. So this morning I tried to follow Corina's tips for tatting large rings with ordinary double stitches. I made a very large loop of thread, winding the excess round my little finger, so that I wouldn't have to enlarge the loop from the shuttle. And I tried earnestly to close the ring moving only the core thread and not the stitches themselves. Hmmm. Better than the first one, but could probably use more practice. Thanks for the help, Corina.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Corina's Dragonfly

I've been meaning for some time to tat Corina's beaded dragonfly. The pattern is on her blog here. My advice would be to practise the techniques involved before starting. I read Corina's instructions for the beaded 'diamond' in the split rings and thought, oh yes. But when I came to actually do them, I wasn't sure how to position the final bead. I had done the 'stacked' beads used for the feelers before, though on a chain rather than a ring. I also had to remind myself of the double double stitch. On my first, no second, attempt, I used ordinary rings for the wings and they are twisted and horrible. Double double stitch works better. On this one, I messed up the final ring and had to cut it off. Few more attempts and I'll get it!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tat Along

I'm very excited that Wendy of Umi and Tsuru blog and Fox of tat-ology are planning to tat my Under an African Sky doily and have issued an invitation to others to tat along with them. The pattern is here or there's a link on the right hand side of this blog.

Helen has completed a third version of the doily:
This is what she said, "Dear Jane, so happy to have finished my third doily. made a lot of changes. i used double strand under my ds for round 4 to avoid the chain curling. for round 7 i use lizbeth size 20 for row 1 and lizbeth size 10 for row 2. this time it is not thta crowded like before. for the animals i used size 20 and for my round 9 i use lizbeth size 10 and intentionally omitted the sr between leg 2 and 3. i also ended my last round in a ring 4-4+2+4." I like the variations in the trees, like the variations in a forest. Well done to Helen.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lacy Scarf

I tried several other unsuccessful patterns like this one before deciding to use a pattern I've knitted several times before. It's called Branching Out, designed by Susan Lawrence. It's not a difficult pattern, but I just love the way different methods of decreasing stitches results in leaves and vines that go this way and that.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spring Colours

I've finished spinning the wool I dyed last week. Spring colours. Winter is trying to hang on, we've had frost every morning since Friday. But Spring is creeping up anyway. The nectarine tree is in flower:
And lambs are being born:
Spring wool, ready to be knitted:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

More Mitts

This pair was a knitted up a bit quicker than the first pair because I used just one yarn for the entrelac, instead of joining in a different colour on each row, and I didn't have to work out the palm pattern again. Done.

Friday, August 22, 2014


'Ride boldly lad and never fear the spills' is a quotation from Banjo Paterson's poem, The Man From Snowy River. My husband looked at me very oddly once when I told him that that's what I say to myself when I'm about to do something I'm not confident about. Like add a cuff to the sleeves of the satin blouse I'm making. I thought that using my favourite blouse pattern for this project was an entirely safe choice. But I hadn't taken into account the weight of the fabric. Because it's quite heavy, the sleeves didn't drape as they usually do, but stuck out wildly. I decided to tame them by gathering them into a cuff. It was a bit nerve wracking because the material frayed when I put a lot of gathers in to fit it to the cuff, but in the end it worked. Phew.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I want to spin another three ply multicolour yarn - pink, green and natural. So I needed to dye the pink and green before spinning. First step was to weigh out 100 g wool.
Why 100 g? Because that's what fills one bobbin of my spinning wheel. I mixed up dye powder with water and vinegar in an icecream tub, using dishwashing liquid to make sure the dye dissolved. Then dunked the wool in.
While it was soaking, I dyed a skein of wool for a pair of mitts.
I drained the water from the pink and then put it in the oven so that the dye would set. Same process for green. So here's how they look now they're dry:
I may have to rethink the process a bit because the dyeing is very uneven. The dye seems to be instantly absorbed, so that some areas have intense colour and some none at all. I don't want to stir and muddle the fibres. Hmmmm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Don't Think So

I spent an evening knitting Roam Cowl by Jennifer Dassau, but I'm not happy with it. The stitch pattern is easy, but laborious. Adding yarn overs on one row and eliminating them two rows later means very many stitches on such a long row. I feel as though the result doesn't warrant the effort involved. Also, I don't like the way the edges are curling. I think I'll do some contemplating before deciding on an alternative pattern. Feather and Fan perhaps?

Monday, August 18, 2014


The back of the mitts is Reservoir Mitts by Allyson Dykhuizen, the palm part is my own invention. I'm tempted to make them again. They don't take much yarn and less time than I expected and the results are fairly spectacular.


Thanks to Cornelia I can tell you that this bookmark appeared in the Burda magazine. Problem solved, thanks Cornelia. When I put a picture of the bookmark in In Tatters, Lynn said that she thought a spiral or node stitch/Victorain sets tail on a bookmark was a mistake because it could make marks on the pages. Oh goodness. I don't want to damage books. So I've done these with a lock stitch chain. It looks especially good on the multicolour ones, but even in one colour it makes a pretty tail.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Testing an Idea

I'm working on Reservoir Mitts by Allyson Dykhuizen, published by Interweave Press. I really like how the back of the mitt in entrelac has turned out. But I don't like the rest of the pattern. To me it looks bitty and 'stuck together'. I thought of an entirely different way to knit the palm.
Hmmm. The principle is fine, but I've put the thumb gusset too low down. I've unraveled that first attempt and started again, noting where the thumb gusset should start, and making a few other minor adjustments. The work in progress looks a bit strange, but I hope it will work.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Who Designed This Bookmark?

 Does anyone know whose design this is? I downloaded it several years ago, before I had a blog, when I was less scrupulous about noting sources. It's a great, quick tat. I'm thinking of making a whole lot for a group I'm to teach tatting to next month, but I would like to credit the designer.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

More Bookmarks

I'm replenishing my stock of bookmarks. I like to have some on hand to give away as gifts. This is Grace Tan's pattern, which you can find here. Or on my sidebar, Jane's Bookmark Cross by Grace Tan. Grace adapted it from my Jane's bookmark pattern. Personally I think she doesn't take enough credit for the design, my input was just the beginning!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


This Kersti Anear's Jessica bookmark. My idea was that the top one would look like little red flowers in between green vines, while the second one would look like big red flowers with yellow centres. Not sure if that happened, but I do like the pattern very much.

Ninetta's Square

Ninetta was lucky enough to be given a tatted collar that is almost 100 years old. She has been studying it and recreating it, kindly putting tutorials on her blog so that we can all use the pattern. This neat square forms the basis of the collar. I don't want to make the collar, not at the moment anyway, but I thought that a few squares joined together would make a nice bookmark. Yesterday Ninetta gave instructions for triangles that form points of the collar. I thought a pointed end would finish the bookmark off well.
Thanks Ninetta! One day I might even make the collar itself. The thread is Milford size 20.

Monday, August 11, 2014


 Helen has made the Under an African Sky doily not once but twice! The bigger one is done in Lizbeth size 10 and measures 12 inches across, the second in Lizbeth size 20 and measures 9 inches across. Magnificent, aren't they? I especially like the way it looks as though there is fruit on the trees on the bottom one. Helen says she took some short cuts with the interlocking rows - "

i start my row 1 with ring then split ring before doing scmr, and i put marker on my first ring. and on round 7 i attach the rosette alternately to be able to finish earlier because i only have to do one join. that is why i spent only 10 days with my second doily.

10 days, wow. Here's a photo Helen sent to show her row 1:
Thanks Helen. Anything that speeds things up is always welcome! Thanks for using my pattern, I think you've done a really good job.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Morning Glory

 This is Morning Glory bookmark, designed by Eliz Davis. The pattern doesn't seem to be available any more - click on a link and Keep and Share say the account has been closed. I used three colours of Milford thread, size 20 to emphasise the flower and stem look.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friendship Bookmark

This is Jane Eborall's pattern, which you can find  here. I left the beads off, just because I don't like to put beads inside a book in case they damage the pages. I did my own thing for the motif at the end of the tail too. The first time I made this bookmark, I told Jane I couldn't get the motif at the end to lie flat - of course it's not supposed to lie flat! Ah.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A is for....

A is for Amber. I had some flannel left over from a nightie I made myself recently, which I thought would make a good wrap for a neighbour's new granddaughter. I machine hemmed it and then set out to put an A in one corner. I thought I'd embroider one. I downloaded a pretty letter A from Needle 'n' Thread, but I couldn't find a good way to transfer it to the thick, fluffy flannel. I found this tatted A designed by Lisa Trumble here. It works perfectly to personalise the wrap.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Another Infinity Scarf

I thought that since I'd already spun the multicoloured wool, this would be a quick project. Not so, but far otherwise. I suppose that working with three balls of wool at a time necessarily slows you down.I spun a three ply natural yarn for the cable, so that it would be the same thickness as the other wool.  The pattern is here on Rosmademe's blog. The original is a normal scarf, I turned it into an moebius scarf by twisting it and grafting the ends together ( note how casually I write that!).

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Nightgown for Annika

 Jack moved his trip to town forward, so I had to quickly quickly finish the nightie to go inside the pyjama lion for Annika. Serves me right for dithering so long. I found the pattern on the internet, but I confess that I followed such a long trail through link collections that I lost track of who created it. I adapted it a little, lining the bodice, which to me seems much quicker and neater than fiddling with binding edges.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pyjama Lion

You never know when a  new learnt skill is going to come in handy. I used broomstick crochet to make the lion's mane. This lion is going to guard Annika's pyjamas. The pyjamas that I still have to make and post to her for her second birthday.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Braid to Bracelet

In Muskaan's tutorial, she starts the braid by encapsulating five threads with the sixth and then tying a knot to make a loop. I thought of starting the same way, adding a bead at the end. Then I had a brainwave that it would be easier to start with the bead and hide the ends by encapsulating them. I was looking for the right bead when I came across my button box. Ah, a button might work better than a bead. So, I wound three shuttles, passed the threads through the button, then wound another three shuttles on the other side, tied an overhand knot and began to braid. At the end, I encapsulated five threads with the sixth to make a loop for the button to go through.