Monday, 7 December 2009

The National Christmas Lace Fair, Solihull, UK

I had a busy day last Saturday. It was the day of the National Christmas Lace Fair and the Ring of Tatters had a stand to display some of our tatting for Christmas. The table was only 6' X 2' 6'' so we didn't have much space. As we hadn't been represented at this event before we wanted to show the bobbin lace purists that tatting is not inferior to bobbin lace, it's just a different form of lace.
There were four of us on the stand, demonstrating how traditional tatting works and generally promoting tatting to anyone who was interested. At all of the other exhibitions that we attend we're asked how much the different items are but at this one we were asked where they could buy the patterns so watch this space (for next Christmas).

Sunday, 15 November 2009

3D Snowman

It wouldn't be fair to the ladies who were on my Missenden Abbey course for me to release the patterns just yet but I'll give you the link to the 3D Snowman pattern that Jane Eborall has converted into a pdf for me.
I write my patterns in a drawing programme called 'Serif' and export them into 'word' This pattern is four pages long so it'll take a while to download.
The link for the pattern is on the left hand side of the page.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Christmas Tatting at Missenden Abbey.

I had very busy couple of days last weekend at Missenden Abbey in Buckinghamshire. The course was called 'Tatting for Christmas' so I'd taken patterns for snowflakes, baubles, embellishments for cards and an angel.
Four of the students were absolute beginners so their first challenge was to learn how to 'turn' the stitch. As anyone who teaches tatting will know, some people achieve this quicker than others but it isn't a race and they were all pleased with their progress. Two made at least one simple decoration to take home and the other two were well on the way to finishing their first tatted project. They all did very well.
On the first evening I gave all the students, who could tat, a fairly easy pattern to work but from then on each lady decided what she'd like to make next, with a bit of advice from me when necessary. When they found that the pattern used a technique that they didn't know, or had forgotten, we had a learning session. The most popular designs were the little angel and a beaded snowflake (not shown in the picture). Some tutors of tatting courses move on to a new pattern each session but from what I've been told by students what they don't finish on the course usually ends up as a UFO and they all chose to finish one project before moving on to another.
I wouldn't usually do the choirboy, choir girl or snowman on a weekend course because there is too much tatting or sewing to be able to complete just one of them in the time. These projects I've done with my groups at home where we do part at each meeting and there is time between classes for my ladies to catch up ready for the next stage.
I've got two more tatting events before Christmas so my bungalow has boxes of tatted decorations in most of the rooms because it isn't worh putting them away.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Thursday, 22 October 2009

An easy snowflake

One or two of my ladies found the 'daisy picots' a bit difficult last month so instead of making the butterfly I gave them the option of doing this snowflake instead. It is quite easy and uses mock rings instead of normal ones in the second row.

When they had all gone home last night and I was tidying up I noticed that there weren't any of the patterns left on the table!

A butterfly using the 'daisy picot' technique

I promised I'd give them a pattern this month that used their newly acquired technique so here's a picture of the little butterfly we did.

Daisy picots

Last month I did 'daisy picots' with my groups and they made these little flowers.

I suggested that instead of throwing away the thread left their shuttles they could make these little flowers and either use them on cards or send them to Jane Eborall to go on the bookmarks she makes to be given away at the Ring of Tatters' stands at exhibitions.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

I'm into baubles this year and I did this one for the workshop in Bristol at the beginning of October. I'd taken red and purple baubles so that the ladies could choose. The pattern uses self closing mock rings and for the workshop it was worked without beads. I showed them the beaded version and gave them all the written instructions, with diagrams, for adding the beads so they could do that version at home.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Do you, or someone you know want to learn how to do traditional shuttle tatting?

Learn to Tat with the Ring of Tatters’ DVD

** Members of the committee have used their knowledge and experience acquired from teaching in schools and colleges along with their many years of tatting to compile this DVD.

**It is aimed at absolute beginners and covers the basic techniques.

**The student is shown slowly, step by step, how tatting ‘works’ and included are the instructions for how to make a simple edging.

**It also explains how to follow a tatting pattern.

If you can already tat you could buy our DVD for that friend, or family member who keeps asking you to teach her – but you just haven’t got round to it.

The DVD costs only £3·00 (UK) including p & p

Add two balls of size 10 thread (in contrasting colours) and a shuttle and it will be a perfect Birthday or Christmas present.

Email Lynne : for overseas cost and for details on how to get your copy (PayPal available)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

I haven't posted anything for a while because I've been house and cat sitting for one of my daughters. Sadly, one of the cats, Bobby, was found dead outside near the park one morning. It hadn't been run over by a car or poisoned so the vet said that it must have had a heart attack. The other cat, Charlie, missed his company and followed me everywhere. I found it very difficult to use the computer with him trying to sleep on my lap. Another way he got my attention was by walking across the keyboard; I can't spell at the best of times but he added odd symbols that even spell check couldn't have sorted.
The friend I mentioned in the first post on my blog stayed with me for the first week and we tatted some of the flowers for her daughter's wedding. The second and third weekends I had 'Tat Inns' at the house and as the weather was warm we took our tatting, and food, into the garden. I was a bit of a slave driver and part of the time was spent proof tatting patterns for the Ring of Tatters' Newsletter.
My other daughter, and one of my grandsons, joined us on the second of these weekends but she did her knitting and Matthew did what thirteen year old boys usually do - played on the computer. They spent all day Saturday in London and got tickets to see Billy Elliot.
Now I won't show you what we were tatting until it's been in the Newsletter but, in true 'Blue Peter' fashion (a children's TV program), here's something I did earlier. I designed and worked these daffodils and narcissi for the same lace exhibition as the Buddlia and butterflies picture.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Buddelia and butterflies

Last year the 'Lacemakers' Circle' held an exhibition of laces with the theme "Flora and fauna". There were some exquisite examples of all types of lace and I was honoured to have two of my pieces of tatting included in the display.
I had already created a buddleia as part of a bookmark and added butterflies in the same colour to make it more 'bookmark' shaped. Well, the butterflies didn't show up very well so I decided to cut them off and use the buddelia as the centre for this picture. I Googled 'British butterflies' and then from all the images I settled on three that I 'd try to interpret in tatting. The 'Orange-tipped' and the 'Purple Hairstreak' butterflies are quite near but I wanted to add some contrasting colour to 'the mix'. Eventually, for the third type of butterfly, I combined the markings of a 'Tortoiseshell' and a 'Painted Lady.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

This one of Jane Eborall's patterns that I made this week to match what I'm wearing to a party tonight. My son-in-law, Martin, was 50 in April and Marguerite will be 40 next week so they decided to have one big party to celebrate their 90th! Family and friends are coming from different parts of the UK and from across the pond.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Celtic picots

I like designing patterns for flowers and butterflies but I also do little mats for my groups, who meet monthly, and for workshops. This is one of the patterns I did for a workshop on 'Playing with Picots'.
You have to use a picot gauge for a Celtic picot (see and it has to be just the right size. If it is too big the 'knot' will be droopy and if it is too small it won't show properly and could pull the design out of shape. I found that a round picot gauge worked better than a flat one( cut from a piece of card or plastic). For this pattern I used wooden dowelling 3/16th inch (.4cms) diameter and cut it into pieces about 2 inches (5 cms) long for the ladies at the workshop.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

I didn't have much time to get on with the tender, carriages and guards' van last week because I was busy preparing for my two tatting groups but here they are at last. I was in such a hurry to get them photographed that I've only just noticed that the hand rail on the guards' van isn't straight!
There are three different carriages and I could use them to make a frieze for a play room if my grandchildren were younger but as they're 13 and 8 I don't think they'd appreciate it.
When I did the train I hadn't thought of doing the carriages until Jon suggested it. When I wanted to mount them I found that I had only one more piece of card the same colour so I had to photograph each part one at a time. Sorry about that!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Another wild flower - the daisy

I've been working on carriages to go with the train engine since last week but they aren't quite ready. I decided to do three different size carriages and a guards' van so I have a lot of tatting to do.

I thought I'd show you the pictures of my daisy which goes with the poppy and cornflower. Very patriotic when put together being red, white and blue.

Friday, 5 June 2009

One of my friends belongs to a tatting group and the members have decided to make a cot quilt and use tatting to decorate it. Each member will tat a pattern or picture to fit on a piece of fabric measuring 5 1/2 inches by 6 inches, (14 cms by 15.5 cms) then they'll all be sewn together to make the quilt.
To cut a long story short I said I'd design a train for her to tat and this is the result.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

The poppies set the size for these wild flowers. I used size 20 thread and size 15 beads for the poppies and for these cornflowers. The petals are worked in one row (pass) and not as separate layers placed one on top of the other which would result in too many ends to hide.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Just tatting!

This is my first blog, though a friend has been nagging me to do one for ages. I've been asked to design a wild or field poppy for a friend's daughter's wedding next year, she also wants a cornflower and daisy. This is the poppy.