Friday, December 20, 2013

This week I have mostly been...

 Doing Blackwork. This is the kit I received the other day, with the first half finished. I changed some of the filling patterns, and I tend towards more open fillings, so I have not filled as much as in the pattern, but as it is all still on the frame I can add more if it looks too empty at the end.
Blackwork is not very portable, but I can do it while watching television. We haven't got a signal at the moment so we are working our way through episodes of Jonathan Creek on the computer via an HDMI cable.

Friday, December 13, 2013

More lace

This is a sample of Torchon ground showing four different stitches.
This is the finished sample of Flanders, with the (not very) heart shapes.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wittering about lace

This photo shows the first heart completed...yes, ok it looks more like a kidney than a heart, but still...
 I want to insist that this is probably the most bobbins I have ever worked with, and it can feel a bit daunting sometimes.

Yesterday I received this excellent book from Jo Firth lacemaking. I had been looking for it for some time, but mostly it was way too expensive. This copy is in mint condition.

 Who wouldn't want to make this cute kitty edging? I think it's a bit too complicated for me at the moment, as just working out the bobbins for the heart shapes takes me ages.
 The patterns are so pretty though.
Right, today I want to finish heart number three, ready for the final lesson on Monday. (This is the backside of the lace, it looks better from the front.)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oh D--n!

I had started Delia, using Perfect Quilter colourway Pansies. Here it is, after I had done the first repeat, and I was quite happy with it.
But then I started to make mistakes...and after I had cut and restarted I realised I had made a mistake way back...and the scissors need to come out again. Oh, it is so frustrating!

Friday, November 01, 2013

doilies and lace

 So Cornelia was finished last Sunday.

Snowflake doily has some more snowflakes completed...but I used a different shade of yellow for some of them. I know some tatting friends would cut and throw...but I will probably just aim for symmetry.
 This is three hours work! Yes ground lace is slow progress.
112 bobbins...I thought that impressive...
 Then I had a go at this butterfly, which was not only lots of bobbins, but all running in different directions. There are quite a few mistakes not least being the choice of thread, which was much thicker than the pattern called for. Rule 1, obey the  instructions. :)
So this is the first wing finished, and I took about five days to get this far.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Slow slow progress

I have three doilies on the go at the moment, and I am dying to get on with some different ones. I have told myself that I must finish something before starting something else, or else it all becomes too complicated, especially as I have a lace lesson on Monday to start a new piece of bobbin lace! Here is Cornelia, not too much left to do, is there? I am thinking that is probably my best bet.
Renulek's Snowflake doily had been sitting quietly at row 4, but Janemac finishing hers persuaded me to pick it up again, and it was her suggestion that this row should be red and yellow. I am really pleased with it, and think I will use yellow for the joining motifs as well. Each snowflake takes about an hour... although I may get faster with practise. Not likely to be all done by Monday though!
And finally this thing! The multi motif mish-mash which is a victorian design from a German book. It seems to be taking forever. The very vigilant may see that some progress has been made since I last showed you what was going on, but believe me, it is fiddly and complicated and needs full concentration, plus being made of tiny elements there is a ton of ends to hide. This will not be finished by Monday unless I did nothing else for the next three days!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Some catching up.

Here is the Valdani edging short by two repeats and partially sewn to a piece of cotton fabric. I some ways it loses the pattern by being such a fussy print, but it has colours that match and it is too small to be anything... the edge was the right size for the piece and I had just enough thread to do this size edging...well I think I do, because I have got bored and left it as it is, waiting for a moment of enthusiasm to actually finish it all off!

This is the first half of Cordelia from Iris Niebach's book of doilies. I was going to do Delia, because I already made Cordelia a couple of years ago, but I made a mistake after just a few rings and chains. I decided to return to the earlier pattern, get my hand in and then try Delia once I was feeling more practised. The thread is Lizbeth wildflowers size 80, and it is tatting up nicely. :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Scanner not really obeying my instructions

 I will just show you some not very good scans of some tatted bits. This motif, from a magazine and designed by Edwige Renaudin, is in Yarnplayer's Sugar Maple, size 80.
This is me trying the Sulky Wildflowers, from the parcel I showed yesterday. I like the thread, and I love the colour.
I apologise for the scan...and I made this in Perfect Quilter Pansies, with three mistakes! That is why I haven't bothered about hiding the ends.
And lastly for now, two squares from Patchwork in Occhi, which once again could not be persuaded to match up to each other.
The one on the right reminds me of a very early motif I did in 2006 although now I look again, I see the colours are not so similar!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Did anyone notice?

In mid-August my computer died, and I was only able to get sporadic access via other people's machines, which meant I couldn't post or even do much commenting. However I am never the most voluble of bloggers or commenters so I don't suppose my absence was noticed at all!
I haven't got my scanner linked up yet, but I can show you the thread I bought from ds9designs.
I have been tatting a bit... and in a day or two I will try to show you what I have made, or rather several WIP which are advancing slowly.

The weather here in Lot is turning colder, and it is expected to rain all day, so I may be able to get a bit more done today. :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Catching up, running late.

 Firstly I have to explain that I am running very close to crazy at the moment...and feel as though I am likely to do something I regret. However, in the meantime I have been trying to finish some things, for example this was kicking around with just one and a half repeats to do, but no thread on the shuttle. At last I finished, but now, do I carry on, or call it a day. The next row is fiddly with lots of motifs... not my favourite thing, plus I am not sure how to choose the colours. Well I will look at it again later, to make up my mind. (Pattern by Renulek)

 Masquerade by Mary Konior just needs the ends sewn in, I think it has a lovely look to it, done here in Tatilicious' Grackle Mess, size ? 40, I can't remember, sorry.
 This pattern has had me squealing with frustration! It is from a German book called "Viktorianisches Occhi" and is the beginning of a doily. I am using some DMC 100 lace thread which my son bought me as a present. Well the pattern is all made up of separate motifs and bare threads, it flips and flops in every direction, and it gets very grubby very fast. There are six petals, SIX! not to mention all the little stars in between. This is not soothing to tat.
I know, decorating tatting shuttles is soo 2010! However, I decided to try it, following this page. Mine were something of a disaster, with rough edges and bumpy surfaces. Luckily I chose shuttles that were not my favourites, the one that now has shells on was already broken and mended, so I don't feel I have lost anything. I may try again...perhaps I can work out from my mistakes what to do another time. Suggestions welcome!

To finish I have been working on these edgings, the pattern is "Iris" by Frivole, and the golden thread is some of the Valdani, kindly donated by Fox, while the other is a Gütermann machine thread. I am having a little difficulty going round the corner...and it would be helped by a press with the iron, but the iron and the ironing board have been put away in case of I am not going to do it now.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Valdani, for Fox

These two pictures are to show Fox how pretty Valdani can look when it is used for bobbin lace. This was an easy pattern, and in all took me around five hours. I now need to get it off the pillow, and do it again, as I made quite a few mistakes, but I hate unpicking! It was always intended as a bobbin thread, it is only two ply, (I think...) and although it can be tatted, as you can see if you wander back through my blog (yawn, no don't!) I think it works better on a pillow.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Late night, after wine...

This is probably an unwise moment to decide to update...
And so let me start with this. My daughter thinks it looks like a relic from the 70s, when we all had rainbow fabrics everywhere, *sigh* she's right. So I will go no further with this one, design from "Be-stitched". Also she warns us that the SLT doesn't work so well, and I am inclined to agree. This is a pretty crap piece of tatting, and my only excuse is that I was trapped in a car, traversing the Czech Republic. :(
So, I decided to draw on my rather faulty memory and do ... this. It is a Mary Konior design, and I love it, although just right now I can not remember the name. :( 
I do need to do another square to finish it, but due to rather faulty progress  and many distractionsI am not holding my breath!
What is this? Yet another WIP, this is from the Tina Frauberger book from the Georgia Seitz pages. Yes I made a mistake, but WTH, I pretty much never unpick, I choose to live with my mistakes...or else I abandon the whole boiling lot... BTW this is part of a six motif ring...hmm just another five to go.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Oh oh...

I have a new scanner and so I apologise for this poor quality scan. I will eventually get the hang of it, by which time it will break and I will be faced with learning yet another set of controls. This rather sad pic shows my somewhat pitiful start at the German peacock. It's not an easy pattern to follow, especially if are trying to do two other things at the same time, one of which is to study Byron's Pilgrimage of Childe Harold, canto III. I didn't follow what she meant us to do for the beak at all!
(The charge of columns paused not,
Nor ceased the storm of shell and shot;
For all that war could do
Of skill and force was proved that day,
And turned not yet the doubtful fray
On bloody Waterloo.)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Frustration and slow progress.

I have at last finished this edging, however it is just too small for a standard hanky. Here it is laid over a plain white handkerchief.
This shows just how much too small it is.
I also made a square of Frivole's working of Pomegranate with corner. The thread is from Tatskool, and is Coral Reef. This was just an exercise, I haven't thought what I could put in the centre, a doll's handkerchief perhaps!

This snowflake is made in Tatilicious' thread called "Grackle mess". The name fascinated me, and I thought Jess had made up the word Grackle, except that she mentioned plumage, so I googled it, and sure enough a grackle is a bird, somewhat similar to an European starling. In real life this thread captures that mixture of blues, greens and a touch of purple, but sadly neither she nor I can find a way to reproduce it on the computer. :( The pattern is from the site Be-stitched, and is called Jan 2007 snowflake.

I recently went to and bought this book. I am fascinated by the peacock, but probably need my life to be a little more settled before I try something so complicated. (We are trying to sell the property where we live, anyone fancy buying a gite complex in France?) I am forced to spend most of my time trying to declutter and clean, this in tandem with my studies for a university degree, a full time job and all the responsibilities that being wife and mother bring! Grumpy, me, no! However I am a bit frustrated that lace-making is being relegated for the moment. Well back to the pattern above, it is a classic, and this is the author's personal working of it. I was just doodling along with it to use up thread on the shuttles, but then I made a mistake, so I will probably cut it off there. I had pretty much run out of the green anyway.

This is another shuttle emptying exercise from the same book.
And to finish the beginning of a Schneeberg butterfly, that may be stuck on my carreau for a while, the way things are going here. Oh well, back to work....

Sunday, January 27, 2013


 Last week I was 53, and I received a lovely card and some HDT from Fox. The thread was dyed by Tat-ilicious and was called "Young Hearts". It's a pretty mixture of greens, pale blue, brown and magenta, to which my scanner does not do justice.
My first tat was this Celtic picot motif from Jennifer Williams. I had seen Fox do it and wanted to try the new technique myself. It is more fiddly than exactly difficult.
Then I decided that Young Hearts should be made into Heart's Desire...however this is not a pattern to be made while watching television. This one is so full of errors I am ashamed to show it, except that sometimes it's fun for other tatters to enlarge and spot the mistakes. I am no longer sure how many there are, at the time it seemed to look awful, and now it looks ok. Bizarre!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday frustration

I haven't been able to tat for a few days, I did a Fox! I was cutting up onions and sliced into my left index finger. David appeared just after saying "Did you notice that I sharpened the knives?" I held up my bandaged finger with a wry smile..."I did."
So I started some blackwork, oh and some untangling, because Guinevere loves to steal thread and tangle it for me, and this is Tatskools HDT choco-raspberry which I was planning to use for another try at the pomegranate edging, this time using Frivole's version.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Fox's rayon thread, Frivole's edging

.I tatted this motif with the shiny rayon thread. It tats up quite well, even if it's a a little bit fiddly sometimes, however I just gave up when I tried to sew in the ends. I couldn't get them to go where I wanted...I expect I will just have to try again, perhaps a finer needle would help. Fox, did you ever try sewing in the ends?
Now this is an edging I saw on Frivole's blog. I don't follow all that many tatting blogs any more. Once upon a time in 2006 when I was just discovering the online tatting world, via Sharon's 25 motif challenge, I would check every blog on her list! Now I just watch a handful, although I do sometimes wander around reading all sorts of blogs through the list on the side bar. I don't comment much...I don't know what to say, but I do find a lot of inspiration that way. Well, so I was reading way back on Frivole's blog and this edging caught my eye. I found a copy of Anne Orr's book, and decided to have a go. I wanted a Pomegranate coloured thread, but I am not sure who dyed this thread or what it was called. I am pretty sure it was either Yarnplayer, or Tatskool. I think it's quite a good match, in any case, although I am sure that the fruit didn't figure in the name! :)
 Pomegranates are a frequent symbol on Tudor blackwork, due to Catherine of Aragon, and I think that is what made me want to have a go.