Friday, December 19, 2008

Tatting and bobbin lace

I didn't say, but actually my wrist was fractured in the fall and I have to wear a splint thing until mid January. I have tried to tat but it's frustrating, and painful. The b2b doiley was my project in England, and I managed to make several mistakes, but am too lazy to change them.

On the other hand I have been looking at my lace books and finally I prepared a pricking and twenty (yes, twenty!) pairs of bobbins to do a piece of lace.

It's a little bit clumsy, but I have done the cloth stitch squares and a little bit of roseground. I haven't managed the the two footsides very well, but plan to sort that even yet....

I have never had this many bobbins, it's quite a jumble. I should be doing half stitch for the next section, but I am tempted to do cloth stitch, because then the bobbins stay in pairs, and I use the fact that they have matching spangles to help me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

No tatting for me, for a few days anyhow.

I have been over to the UK for a week to visit my mother. While I was there we went to Honiton, because I wanted to visit the Lace Museum...but it was shut for the winter.

I did find a book on Honiton Lace, plus I bought a 2nd hand copy of the Guild of Lace Magazine describing a visit to nearby Killerton House, and a really good booklet on Torchon Lace. The next day though I put my back out, and was struggling to do anything. The voyage home on Friday, with me having to drive the hire car to the airport, and then sit in the plane, and then drive my car home was all very painful. Then...this morning I was filling the car with fuel, (or trying to) and I fell over! So stupid! I lay there on the forecourt in the dark and rain and diesel puddles and wondered if I was ever going to be able to get up again, but then I pulled myself together, stood up, and surveyed the damage. My glasses were smashed, and my wrist hurt, and also my knees, and my back was no better for the incident but that was all. I was allowed home early from work, and slept all afternoon, and I feel much better, but until I get some new glasses, and my wrist improves I can't do much lace, or even read very well.

As you can see, it has done nothing for my looks either. Luckily David left for England on Saturday, or people might think we had had a disagreement!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thoughts on groups

I really like the online tatting community, it's so friendly, encouraging and sympathetic. People only seem to have kind or helpful comments, and if anyone has a problem then there are always good samaritans who willingly provide the appropriate aid. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy being a part of it. :)
I also belong to the "Ring of Tatters" and have just received the Autumn Newsletter. I can recommend the group to all my tatting friends, in the latest issue there are articles by Jane and Linda, plus several interesting patterns and ideas, as well as an article on rings of all kinds.
I was trying out some ideas with Sherry's beautiful silk threads...I wanted to make a pattern from Anne Orr with three shuttles, but it didn't work. The second row would not lie flat, so I cut it off, and decided to try a simple pattern in one colour from the same book. I also tried some of the simple shuttle motifs from the newsletter. They are designed to be done with two shuttles and linked together with split rings, and are both simple and effective.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Some more things

I have managed to complete Beatrice after some invaluable help from Sherry, who found a spare length of "Peach Pandeora" thread. Here it is, but I am having trouble with my scanner, and the first scan made a file too big to transfer.

I then wanted to try the silk thread, "Royalty", so I made Judith, again following one I had seen on Diane's page.

Finally, this motif, from Blomqvist and Persson's book, is not made in Rainbow Bright! The trouble with HDT is that it comes in finite quantities, and so I have become rather careful, not wanting to waste it. This thread is an ordinary machine embroidery thread from Gutermann, and the colours are not so bright, or so well blended. Still I wanted to see how it would look in this classic motif. It is very small, I am guessing the thread to be approx size 100, and when I miscounted it was nearly impossible to undo, so I didn't bother!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rainforest things

I have after a lot of struggling finished my rainforest dragon. It has a few mistakes, but it is my first piece of figurative work, and I am quite pleased with the way it looks.

With the left over rainforest thread I made "Aladdin" with rainbow bright for the second row, in the same way as Pamela did.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I have tried to use people's names in my blog list...I like real names, and faces, and feel uncomfortable when bloggers are too selective with the information they choose to share...but then I realised that my own name might seem like a pseudonym.
I was christened (yes, once upon a time I was a christian!) Katherine Eirlys David, and as Eirlys is Welsh for Snowdrop, (my father was Welsh) my name was "shortened" to Snowy. In France I am called Katherine or Kate, because Snowy contains too many unfamiliar sounds (and no, Tintin's dog is not called Snowy in France, but Milou, I tried that already!)
Otherwise my friends all call me Snowy, and while I don't think it particularly suits me, (when I was at school a friend asked me if it was because I looked like a rabbit...) I am not sure that I can think of an alternative, so there we go.
My brother's name is Morgan, usually shortened to of his friends at university once asked me "Is he called Morgue because he's such a miserable bastard?"
Typical sisterly solidarity, I answered "Yes"!
If anyone doesn't like being "named" for their blog, please contact me, and I'll change it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rainbow Snowflake

I wanted to try Pamela's challenge of a rainbow snowflake, so I chose a pattern in Jon's book called Pirouette, and had a go. I hate this scanner because the colours are so much brighter in real life, but I hope you get an idea. It was so clever the way the colour repeat just did one spoke of the snowflake each time. I missed a chain in the last spoke, (grrr!) but I am so pleased with this otherwise.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Pamela's rainbow

Here on my desk is a skein of Pamela's rainbow thread which arrived today. With it was a sample of Coral Reef, and so now I have a snowflake to make, as well as a dragon. I had better start winding my shuttles! ps, the Gutermann is there as well as various other bits and pieces.

Green doodles

I have been playing with Sherry's "rainforest", with the idea of making one of Anne's dragons, but first I had to learn Single Shuttle Split Rings. That was kind of fiddly.
I decided I had understood enough to start, but then made a mistake on the stitch count, and then the thread snapped when I was pulling the ring tight. I wonder if anyone else has the problem of gaps between the rings, I think I have pulled up close but by the time the ring is pulled tight there is a big space.

I decided to abandon the dragon for the moment and see how it would look to combine the "rainforest" with a machine embroidery thread, which seems much finer, so I had a go at an edging from Mary Konior's book. I don't think it can be the different sizes that causes it to curve like that, but any way I have finished the shuttle, and I certainly like the colour combination.

You need really to click and enlarge the photo, the rainforest is 80, and the machine thread is Gutermann Sulky, probably about 100.

(By the way I used Tattingchic's method for thread winding, putting a cushion inside the skein, and it worked really well, despite interruptions from phone and dogs!)

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Raphael is a boarder this year at a school in Sarlat. As in all French schools there are no lessons on Wednesday afternoons as this is when they are meant to learn about God(s). Very few children actually do so, and if I am not actually working I go and take him out for the afternoon, to worship his favorite god, Manon. We usually buy him the latest book in the Manga series that he's following and then just wander about looking at the shops and then after sitting in a café for a chocolat chaud or an ice cream depending on the weather, we return in time for evening etude. It was in this way I discovered a little shop selling patchwork and embroidery supplies, and I ended up buying some quilting or embroidery threads. They aren't perfect for tatting, a little too fluffy, but the colours are pretty, and here is Mary Konior's Black Magic done in blues. I am not sure if this reminds me more of tempered steel or a forgotten yoghurt discovered under a teenager's bed, but either way it's an interesting mix of pinks and blues. My scanner doesn't do it justice.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Poor Beatrice, and hearts

Beatrice is unlikely to be finished, I have all but run out of thread, and stupidly I didn't buy any more at the time, and now there isn't any. Still, that's ok, because this doily reminds me of another Beatrice, my sad little princess in a chateau. At the time I was caring for her she was aged 38, but an attack of measles when only 18 months had left her severely mentally handicapped and suffering from rather unstable epilepsy.

It was my job to wash and dress her each day, and set up her feeding pump, and then in the evening I would put her to bed. She had been cared for by her mother until she had died of cancer and now she was the responsibility of her father. I personally felt that she'd have been happier in an institution, but he wouldn't hear of it, so poor Bea spent day after day alone in the kitchen of the chateau, like some poor imprisoned princess in a fairy tale. I quit that job in 2002, but I often think of her, and how her face would light up as I let myself in, and this doiley seems appropriate in it's incompletion...oh well, that's my excuse anyway.

The second heart is off the pillow, and I probably ought to have undone and remade it, because by the end I had a clearer idea of how it should work, but I couldn't face it! I won't wait so long before doing some more bobbin stuff, and so the next trial should be a little better. (should be, lol)

This is what it looks like when you put the two together, and that was the original be used for a greeting card! It would have to be for someone very special for all that work! I don't think I possess that much emotion...I don't really do love, although I do quite like some people...but enough for a card like this, hmmm I think not!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Torchon heart, but not right...

You will need to click on these photos to see the problem, but I have definately got some threads crossed. The bobbins were wound with matching spangles, but they don't all match any more.
I am showing this so you can see how it works, it's a sort of weaving, with the weight of the bobbins providing the tension. The fans are done in cloth stitch which is quite simple, two workers weaving in and out of the passives. The ground stitch is more complicated, with more pins, and I get lost knowing which pairs to do next. Practice helps, and I am ploughing on, because I hope to get round and then try again.
Helpful suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bobbin Lace Heart

This is from a book Lace for Children of All Ages, and is my first attempt at something other than bookmarks or edgings. OK, it's full of mistakes, but I'm pleased with it, and plan to try another one, a little more complicated, very soon!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

HDT help

Last time I unravelled a skein of hand dyed thread I ended up with a tangle that took me hours to sort out. Before I try again has anyone got any helpful suggestions as to how to go about it?
Thanks in advance.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ça y est! bookmark finished

J'ai montré la nouvelle a coté de celui j'ai fait il y a cinq ans. Je pense que il y a une amelioration, en tout façon je le crois....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Etape 3

Voila j'ai fait le tour en jaune, et ça va mieux deja! J'éspere finir demain ou au pire samedi.
Here it is with the yellow edging done, looking rather better. I am hoping to be finished by tomorrow or Saturday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Etape 2

J'ai fini tous les sept petits motifs. C'est assez simple, mais c'est qui est embetant c'est de gaspillé du fil si on a trop mis sur la navette, ou, une fois, pas assez! Pour ceux qui n'ont pas encore fait cet etape, je dirai, a peu pres...75cm sur la navette. Et puis ensuite il faut caché tous les bouts des fils.

Evidement, ce n'est pas tres bien monté dans les photos, mais aujourd'hui j'ai commencé la troisieme etape, et ça tient tout mieux en place.
For those who have asked for a translation...
I have finished the seven little motifs, which was quite easy, the worst bit was wasting thread, or not having enough. If you haven't done this bit yet I would suggest about 75 cm. Then afterwards you have to hide all the ends.
Obviously it's not looking too good in the photos, but today I started the third stage, and that pulls everything into place.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Je me lance!

Voici le progres en fin de la premiere journée, avec 4 metres de fil sur une navette et 6 metres sur l'autre. Le fil est DMC dentelles, et c'est un peu trop fine pour cette projet... mais c'est ca que j'ai et donc tant pis!

Et voila la situation hier soir, etape 1, c'est fini. Aujourd'hui j'etais pris dans la preparation infernal pour la rentrée de mon fils. Il fait son sixieme dans une college a Sarlat, comme interne, et je suis epuisé a la suite des courses! (Mon portefeuille aussi!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New challenge

I have joined a "tat-a-long" doing LaRae's Celtic bookmark on the site of my friend from Brussels, Bidouillette.

This means leaving to one side both Beatrice, (well I need to order more thread anyway) and the basic doily (which is being a bit fiddly at the moment ) and the snowflake project from Jon's book. This is the latest, "twirly" with the ends not hidden.

For the tat-a-long I will write in (not very good ) french, to be more accessible to my new french friends, this means the posts will be mostly photos!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Learning Curve

I have a lot to learn...and I am a slow learner!
This was my first batch of hand-dyed thread, so I had never tried to persuade thread to cease being a skein and become a neat manageable ball. Did I check what others had done, or look on Google or yarn websites? None of these things, I launched straight into the silky stuff and within twenty minutes I had a tangle that took me two hours to sort out! Pamela warned me that I needed at least fifty yards to complete Beatrice, but I had started already. All my friends suggested it was a pattern that needed oodles of concentration, but despite that I just keep tatting in odd five minutes at work and then making mistakes... I was in the middle of this ring when a women turned up to demand that I look at her mother's toenails, by the time I had listened to her harangueing me for ten minutes about how disgraceful it was that her mother had become incontinent, and we were doing nothing about it, it was time for the evening meal and all that entails! (It is so hot here, and definately not wheelchair pushing weather)
Having said that, this thread is extremely forgiving, and I have unpicked some (but not all) of my mistakes, and I shall get some more, and finish the doiley come hell or high water or nagging relatives, and you will all get to admire it! (yes, you will!)

Friday, July 18, 2008

In Black and White, and now In Colour!

I was doing a little blackwork, slowly advancing on my sampler, when the post arrived. I had a letter from America, which surprised me, I don't really know anyone from there, but when I opened was my threads from Sherry! I had assumed they would come from Seoul, but obviously she has some arrangement for the delivery with US mail.

Anyway, the threads are beautiful and I am afraid that the photo won't do them justice. I am already starting to unwind the silk Peach Pandorea, with the idea to use it for the Beatrice doiley! It is size 20, which is something of a departure for me, but I feel sure it will make a stunning combination. I can't wait to get tatting, but also wanted to share my delight with my fellow enthusiasts.
Big thank you Sherry!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pretty or pants

For those readers who aren't english 'pants' is a word for 'rubbish' or 'crap'! I have made a couple more snowflakes and at the same time as working my way through Jon's book I am also working my way through a box of DMC dentelles threads that I bought on e-bay. Variegated threads can be really effective sometimes but others they just look like vomit! This first one is called "Spring Blossom" and I thought I would choose a colour to fit the vernal theme. I don't think it has worked that well.

This one is called Astral, and I think the colour works better on this one.
Another problem for me is deciding how much thread to wind on the likes to waste thread, but joining two rings from the end is also really frustrating. For Astral I wound three metres onto shuttle 1 and 8 metres onto shuttle 2, this was too much, 1.5 and 7 would probably have been ample. Spring Blossom I forgot to note down, but it was just short on the last round and I had to join.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

B2B doiley 4th round

I hadn't counted properly, and this is actually the fourth round, it has taken ages and a load of thread! Now it is a bit ruffleyat the edge, perhaps that will sort out with the next row, but I am going to have a pause as it is quite similar to this row and I feel like a break, time for another snowflake I think.

By the way, I love the blog roll feature and am planning to add lots more as I like the way they show the latest update, but I haven't yet, time factors causing delay.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Weird thing

I received a package in the post this morning...and I only vaguely remembered ordering it, It came from Roseground and I ordered it very late one night last week, after wandering around the tatting blogs.
So I opened my little box, wondering what I had, in my tired, and possibly slightly inebriated state, bought...
Iris Niebach's Tatting Doilies, a green "Sew Mate" shuttle and a pretty hand turned hook. This rang a bell and I started looking back, and found this entry from Dianne! I think Beatrice must have impressed me more than I was aware!
Now, I keep looking at Sherry's new silk threads...
Having said that I am only half way through with the next round on my current doiley, I ran out of thread which I couldn't believe, but I have a new shuttle attached now. Not a scrap of blu-tack in the house when it happened, a lack which I have remedied for next time.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Learning, and back to basics

I have found blogging an excellent stimulus for learning and improving my work. Recently I bought Jon's book of snowflake patterns, and it has been a good way to learn and practise split rings and two shuttle work. These three are my first attempts.

I am also doing a back to basics doily, shuttle and ball, size 50 DMC cordonnet, from the french tatting book. I have only done two rows so far, and there are five, I wonder if I will ever complete it.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I was looking at this and I couldn't think how I would use a double shuttle. Can anyone explain how they work?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baby bootees finished

At last I have finished these, even though they aren't quite as I would like...I would change the pattern of the flower. I liked the bootees that Sharon made.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A New Book

I bought this book a week ago, via and I have to say I can't really recommend it. It suggests it's a book for beginners, and indeed it has five pages of instructions, but I couldn't really say if they were easy to follow, being as I know that bit. Then there are some patterns, which are in general very pretty, but then we hit the problems. On some patterns there isn't even a stitch count on the diagram, let alone a suggestion of where to start or what order you should tat. There isn't much on whether you should use one or two shuttles or any other techniques.

Here are a couple of stars from a very pretty doiley pattern called Rose
one done with me discovering after I had begun that I should have wound two shuttles in CTM and managing by using the SLT. Then, serendipity, as Jon showed how to do self-closing mock rings, and so I tried that as an alternative method. I think it was successful and am not even sure now which is which.
The bootees are coming along slowly, one is finished and one is on the third row, but I am running out of thread! Who else struggles to make their thread last, like driving home really fast before the petrol runs out!
Also, does anyone have time to explain how to get an E-Tatters banner on this page? I see others have done it, but have no idea where to start!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Black bootees

I have put a picture of progress on my black baby bootee on my other blog
There are quite a lot of other photos and the tatting is somewhere in the middle, so it's not for those in a hurry!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Latest work

I haven't been posting, because it's difficult to scan on my computer and I have to use the one belonging to the man I live with. He doesn't mind that much, but he often seems to be using it himself.
Anyway, here are a few bits from the previous month.
First, a lilac square from Mary Konior's book.

A little brown square from A Tatter's Workbook.

This was the beginning of a square from Iris' book, but I didn't like the colour of the thread...sort of bilious, I felt, so I gave up.

And then I discovered that the man's eldest son and his girlfriend are expecting a baby, so I decided to have a go at the bootees as shown by Pamela...not knowing what sex the offspring might be I chose black, well, it goes with everything doesn't it? Mmm, I have been getting a lot of "Black is not really suitable for babies" feedback, but as I am bound to make too many mistakes I am carrying on regardless, this will just be a prototype.

Monday, April 07, 2008

You're so square

This is my attempt at one of the squares from Iris Niebach's booklet Tatting Together, Square Motifs. I found it quite challenging, and this is a long way from being right, but I felt it was worth showing. Sometimes, bad tatting is as interesting as good... My excuse is that it was mostly done while on night-duty, which can be a jelly brain time. (Dealing with drunken phone calls at 2 am can be a bit distracting to the real business in hand!)

Music from Buddy Holly!