Monday, November 30, 2015

The Tinies

This is Frivole's tiny snowflake pattern, from this blogpost.  It's really tiny and very sweet. I used the SCMR version because it means you don't need much thread on the shuttle and don't need to change hand position between elements - it's essentially a continuous chain.
Jane Eborall's tiny snowflake is a little bit bigger but still a quick tat and a great way to use small lengths of thread.
I have now emptied two E-Z bobs of Jess's tat-ilicious hand dyed thread.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Palest Pink

I found some pink crystals lurking in my tatting bag. So I dyed some pale pink thread and made a couple of pairs of earrings. I plan to let a friend of mine choose which pair she'd like, and I'll keep the other pair. Marinda will be wearing a pale pink suit next weekend as 'mother-of-the-bride'. (I think it must be 'wedding season' in this part of the world, there seem to be a lot of weddings at the moment.)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Set

It was unlikely I'd find place mats with sunflowers on them in town. I didn't. But I did find these mats in the right colours to go with the sunflower food cover, and red serviettes. The serviettes are probably superfluous, but hey, they match and I thought the new bride might want to impress her mother-in-law. The food cover took me much longer to make than I bargained for, but I'm happy with it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Corner

The earrings caused a bit of a diversion, but I have also been working on the food cover. The edging took some time to sew on with beads added. It is a bit of a palaver, but the beads add a good weight to the edge.

 Now I'm working at sewing on the motifs. One corner done.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tiny Earrings

When Tersia said she wanted tiny earrings, I thought the small earrings I showed here would do the trick. Mmm, no. But Tersia saw a single ring doodle in my earring box and suggested I turn it into earrings. Aha. It works. That's what I like about collaborating with customers - other people come up with ideas I hadn't thought of. Here are a couple more pairs:
I also made three pairs of Dewdrop earrings:
I hope Tersia will like them. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Adjusted Cascade

Now to tat the thread I custom dyed yesterday. Mother-of-the-groom gave me small, sparkly beads to use. They're a rather odd shape, like two seed beads fused together. I started off with my usual stitch count, but I didn't like how it looked:
I reduced the size of the rings from 8-8 to 6-6 and did an extra row of rings (well, two extra rows, strictly speaking). I think that works a lot better for the small beads.

Friday, November 20, 2015

As Close As I'll Get

I made a rather rash promise yesterday. No problem, I said, I'll just dye thread to match your mother-of-the-groom dress. Right. Eight dyelots later I think I have it.
I enjoyed the process and I'm happy to have an array of interesting thread colours added to my stash. It was tricky to get the colour right working with such tiny amounts of thread and dye powders. Two grains too much yellow and you get brown, two grains too much blue and you're into green. I worked out eventually that it was better to dilute the colours separately and then mix them rather than mixing tiny quantities of powder.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Earrings Galore

I was wearing my red Cascade earrings on Tuesday. A visitor to our craft group asked me if I'd make her some, and some smaller earrings for her daughter. Yes, sure. I've made a few versions so she can choose.


I spent much of yesterday as part of a cushion-making team. The group I belong to will be holding a conference in March next year. The venue is an old church. The pews are rather hard so we're going to give each delegate a cushion they can sit on and then take home. Corlie managed to get curtaining samples that worked well to give an array of cushions. We made 27 yesterday. The photo below shows the machinists, but there were others ironing, cutting, sweeping up the scraps....

It was fun working in a group instead of on my own as I usually do.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Yes, two threads of metallic thread work well for the wings of Martha Ess's bee. The one on the far left uses three threads, the others two. I have a swarm!

A Bee

I remembered seeing a bee in block tatting. Could I find it again? I could, thanks to Google and to Georgia Seitz who kindly groups links to patterns on a theme. This is Martha Ess's bee that I found here.  I used three strands of DMC metallic embroidery floss for the wings.  I tried one strand, which didn't work, but I think I'll try two and see how that looks.

I've tatted four of Jane Eborall's sunflowers. I love that pattern!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sunflower and Update

This is Amanda's Sunflower, the pattern  from Jane Eborall that I found yesterday. I'm really pleased with how it has turned out. I did make a false start. On my first attempt, my picots were much too long. I soon realised that the petals were not going to reach around to make a circle:
Now I know.

While I was tatting one of the Maltese sunflowers yesterday, I took some photos of the process. I've added them to the pattern. Is this helpful, or is it just a nuisance for those who want to print the pattern? The pattern is now two pages instead of one. There's a link to the updated pattern on the sidebar.

Friday, November 13, 2015


The leaf braid I showed in the previous post is to be the edging for a food cover. I am making progress on it, in spite of mistakes.  The food cover is to be a wedding present. Really I should've thought the whole thing out before I began, but I didn't. This morning I perused Jane Eborall's pattern pages for inspiration. I must say, I do like the 'new look' index with pictures of each pattern, so that it's not necessary to open each pattern to see the finished product. I decided on Amanda's Sunflower. Now, Amanda's Sunflower has some orange in it. I had no orange thread size 20 on hand. But I do have a lot of neutral colour thread that I bought with the idea of dyeing. So out came the dyepot:
While the thread was drying, I tatted some sunflowers using my own pattern, Sunflower in Maltese Tatting. There's a link on the sidebar. I always have to do a quick revision of Martha Ess's instructions on Maltese tatting before I begin!

Now the thread is dry and I'm almost set for Amanda. I just have to wind the thread onto a core.  (I wonder who Amanda is?)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This Way and.....

I thought I'd tat a quick leaf braid (SR1: 2-6/4, SR2: 4/2-6). Right. I can't tell you how many times I've gone 'this way and this' instead of 'this way and that'. I read somewhere that the first rule of quick tatting is to avoid mistakes. I endorse that. The time spent opening the split ring and each wrong double stitch would be much better spent tatting the next split ring. I guess I had better pay more attention to my task.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Variation Three

I made another  work shirt for my husband Jack, still following the principle of varying the pockets and collars, as I explained here. I came very close to running out of thread:
This is all that was left on the spool when the job was done. I made it. Phew.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

PDF Pattern

I gave a short pattern for these earrings here but have now expanded the pattern with some how-to photos and made it into a PDF. They also have a name, many thanks to muskaan, Cascade Earrings. There's a link to the PDF pattern on the right hand of this page, or here.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Why am I unraveling my swatch? So that I can work out how much grey wool to dye.
The wool from two guineafowl is a bit more than once round the niddy noddy. There will be 14 guineafowl on each sock, so if I go 20 times round the niddy noddy, I should have plenty.


There's a flock of guineafowl who chatter outside my kitchen window who could be the inspiration for my next pair of socks. Though I have designed guineafowls before, for my Safari range of sweaters. I asked someone to send me a photo of her sweater to use as a basis, but when it became clear she wasn't going to get around to it, I decided to start from scratch. The proportions are different for socks, so it's probably just as well to start again. The top swatch is my first attempt. Not bad, but after a bit of contemplation I thought I'd try leaving off the stitches at the end of the tail. Better. The tail is less heavy and there's a better space between the birds.  I must say the knitting graph paper makes the job easier. Last time I used ordinary graph paper and had to do many more swatches before I achieved something I was happy with.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

More Flowery Bags

I scaled down this pattern to make a bag for four-year-old Isabel. The original ones I made were very plain, but I thought Isabel's needed some decoration. Flowers!
This is Forget-Me-Knot flower from Little Treasures. It's my favourite crochet flower, quick and easy and not too floppy. The leaf I just made up as I went along.
I made a pencil case in the same denim fabric:
Its flowers are hidden discreetly inside:
I hope it will make a useful project bag:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Back Pack

This is the yarn I rejected for Annika's cardigan. I thought it might work for a bag, rather than a garment. In Ravelry, I typed 'Crochet child's back pack' into the search box and amazingly came up with three pages of thumbnail tiles. Many of them were made to look like animals, which wasn't really what I had in mind. But this Floral Fiesta pattern from My Little City Girl is perfect. The original yarn was a bamboo/cotton mix, which reminded me that I had bamboo left overs just right for the flowers. I knitted an i-chord for the straps rather than the original crochet chain. It took longer, but I thought the crochet strap was too thin to be comfortable.