Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

It's been a bit hectic here in the last week.  I was so late with my Christmas preparations that I've had to rush around quite a bit!  So after the snowflakes had all been posted in their Christmas cards, there was not much time for any more tatting.

I did start on a little project I plan to work on during the holidays - not tatting for a change!  Someone will recognise this beautiful hand-spun yarn.  I hope my project works out as I intend and I will show you more in the New Year if it does.

It's the evening before Christmas Eve.  I don't think I will be posting again until January so I would like to wish you a wonderful, peaceful, joyful Christmas with your families and friends.  I want to thank you for your supportive comments on my blog throughout the year.  I hope 2014 will be for you all another great year full of discoveries, creativity and happiness.

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Snowflake Earrings

I like snowflake earrings.  I spent some time trying to come up with my own design but eventually, on such a small scale (limited in the elements you want to have if you want the snowflake to stay small enough for earrings), it's hard to move away from the designs that are already available.  I was ending up looking too similar to other small snowflakes so I purchased Elizabeth Zipay's and Decoromana's snowflake patterns, both of which appealed to me.

And this is my version of Decoromana's. They are tatted in Lizbeth silver in size 20 and I added pearls "under the arches".  I made a little hanging "thingy" so that I could wear them with some stud earrings I have.

I love snowflakes!
Real ones and lace ones.

I've also decided, after trying it, that it's better to slightly stiffen tatted jewellery.  Earrings and necklaces can lose their shape pretty quickly and start curling in places you don't want them to if you wear them in their softer, natural form.  Just a bit of diluted white glue painted on and left to dry and the earrings keep their shape very well.

Best wishes,

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Twinkle Twinkle

Here is the pattern for this simple little star if you'd like to make it.  It's quick to tat, perfect for last minute presents or to decorate a card.  It does involve self-closing mock rings though!  I like to use SCMRs because they produce a sharper angle between two chains (so better for stars).  If I had used a thrown ring at the tip of the chains instead, the shape below would be more rounded and look more like a flower than a star.

And here is the second motif with six sides.  I'm pleased with it.  Yes, it is reminiscent of Flocon d'Or from last year, as Margaret pointed out, but it's also different enough to be a separate pattern of its own.

Best wishes,

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Star Evolution

I've had this little star design in my pattern book for some time (last year I think).  I got it back out thinking this was the time for stars.  In fact, it had six sides when I started but I thought it would make a better star so I modified it to have five points instead.

Then I started playing with the design and I ended up with this:

Not at all like what I started with, is it?
Interesting sometimes, how designs evolve...

Now I'm thinking this second design would be better as a snowflake so I'd like it to have six sides!  Done in one pass (of course) and I made it so that the threads end up at one of the points when you're finished so you can use the ends as a hanging loop and no need to hide them.  Perfect.  But, if you were wanting it as a six-sided motif, then would it look better if the threads finished between two "arms" or at the tip of one again?

Best wishes,

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Wanda's Wheel

Here is Wanda Salman's Crowned Wheel.  I just saw it on her blog and thought how pretty it looked so I got the pattern and tatted it straight away… for a little change from the many Céleste I have been tatting recently.

I tatted this in Anchor Artiste Mercer Crochet (size 20), a thread which I hadn't liked when I first tried it but it's growing on me now I've tried it again.

I am slowly building up a collection of Céleste
for my Christmas cards…

Many more to go!

How is everyone's Christmas tatting coming along?

Best wishes,

Monday, 2 December 2013

Little Tree in the Snow - Take Two

The little tree begged to be tatted again with some beads for baubles… and of course, it needed a star for the top.

I strung a mix of beads (you can mostly see the red ones) and sprinkled them randomly as I tatted, slipping one up between stitches at various intervals.

I think the pattern designer meant for the threads to just be carried to go from one round to the other… but that wouldn't do - would it?  So I finally figured out that this can indeed all be tatted in one pass, if using split rings (which are in the pattern) and split chains (which are not).  And now that I find split chains easy (with Marie's method), this little tree is no trouble and tatted all in one go, just as I like it!

Now, I must get tatting snowflakes!  It's soon time to start writing Christmas cards and I like to put a snowflake in mine…

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Little Tree in the Snow

I don't want to seem irreverent by moving on so quickly from my blogpost about Jan and his wonderful work.  But it occurred to me that the best tribute we can make to the Mary Koniors and the Jan Stawaszs… is to KEEP TATTING!  To carry on sharing our love of this beautiful art.

So that's exactly what I'm going to do.


Do you remember last month I had seen this pretty Christmas tree on Joschaocchi's blog?  She then kindly helped me to obtain a copy of the pattern by Edith Roesti and even sent me THE TREE so I could study it and figure out how it's made.  It took me a little while to get around to tatting it.  The pattern is all in German and I couldn't figure out from the diagram how it would work and I kept putting it off.  Well, no more.  I decide it was time I tackled it.  I'm still not clear on how the author meant the pattern to work out in a couple of places but I improvised where I couldn't understand and I'm still pleased with how it turned out.

I left a loop on top so it can be hung but as you can see, it can also stand.  I have ordered some little stars to put on top of the next one I will be making.

Pretty clever construction.  I like it!  The "snow" is added afterwards with a round of crochet.  I think I might also try it with a few beads for baubles.

And in size 20, it's just perfect to fit on the end of a pen or pencil.
A Christmas Tree Topper!

Kinda cute, isn't it?

And I'd like to wish
a wonderful Thanksgiving
to my American friends

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Jan Stawasz

I have always been a big fan of Jan's designs and feel very sad that we will see no more new creations from him.  When I heard he had passed away, I got one of his books out and tatted the red motif above whilst thinking about him.  I am really grateful for his contributions to the tatting world and will always cherish his two books which are some of my very favourite tatting publications.  I send my best wishes to his mourning family and friends.

Here are a few of Jan's designs I have tatted in the last couple of years.

As always,

Monday, 25 November 2013

Star… and a bit more beading

This is a motif I had started working on last year but for some reason had abandoned and never completed to my satisfaction.  I was inspired when I found it again and decided to work on it some more.  It was six-sided originally but I thought it would make a nicer star so I changed it to a five-point motif.  This is not quite the final version but it was the prettiest of my samples so far.

I wanted to have a repeated star effect…
the first one made by the small rings in the centre,
then by the first round with lock chains
and then again with the second round with lock chains.

The other interesting problem this pattern presented me with was that I wanted to make it in one pass (as always!) which required the use of a split ring but as I'm using two colours for this motif, I ended up with a two-colour split ring when I wanted a one-colour ring!  This got the brain cogs whirring… and I came up with a solution:  my split ring is in fact a single-shuttle split ring… made with two shuttles!  So you make the first half of the SSSR holding the two-shuttles together to make the stitches; this enables the colour you are not using to be enclosed with the core thread and hidden but end up at the other side of the ring, ready to use for your next chain.  Perfect.  Then make the second half of the SSSR as normal.

Now I'm not saying I've discovered something new - no doubt someone else has thought of this before me, but I was still chuffed to have found a solution to this problem which may present itself in other designing ideas.

And secondly, here is a beaded necklace I made for a friend (I'm pretty sure she doesn't look at my blog).  She likes apple green so I hope she will be pleased with it.  

Best wishes,

Friday, 22 November 2013

Céleste Pattern Ready!

Thank you for all the positive comments in the previous post.  I have made the draw.  There were 40 names entered and here are the three winners as chosen by the random number generator:  nos. 12, 16, and 20.  And these are:  Jane Eborall, MBDuke, and Shay.  Pattern will be on the way to you today.  I have an email for Jane and Shay but I can't find one for MBDuke, please contact me using the "email Frivole" link in side bar.

I made a couple more samples and will be tatting quite a few more as this is the snowflake that will go in this year's Christmas cards to my friends and family.

I hope you enjoy making it too!

This is Lizbeth Victorian Red
with silver seed beads and silver lined 4mm beads

This is Lizbeth Blue Ice
with Rainbow Crystal Montana Blue seed beads
and silver lined 4mm beads

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


I've been out of shuttles for a week or so.  Awaiting delivery, hopefully soon.  But it's been a good thing.  It's given me time to work on a new pattern.  Here is what I have been up to recently.

I liked the look of bare threads and double picots in the Banashek motif I recently tatted.  It makes for a light and airy look which appeals to me.  Inspired, I wanted to make a new motif that had those qualities.  I have called it "Céleste".

This is the motif as it comes off my shuttles,
not pressed or blocked in any way.  If you wanted sharper angles,
you could pin the picots and bare threads but I like the softer look.

The motifs above are made with seed beads (size 11) and larger 4mm beads for the join between petals.  I have tried it with small Swarovskis bicones on that join for extra sparkle and that's great too.

You can play with the long double picots to get the look you want but I like the delicate, more free look of leaving them slightly uneven and floaty.

Céleste can also be tatted without beads if you wish and this is what it looks like without (purple motif below).  In that one, it's the inside thread of the double picot inside the petals which I have pulled longer (the picots are adjustable) for a different look.  See how this gives a cross-over look?  I think that's nice too.

Then I thought I'd try it in Christmas colours below in Lizbeth Jungle Greens with red seed beads and silver lined 4mm beads but no beads on the end of the large rings.

Right.  Now I'm happy with the shape, I better get down to pattern writing!

Nearly forgot to say (well, actually I forgot so the first few readers who commented won't have seen this), I will be having a draw for free patterns as I like to do when I publish a new one.  Three winners will be picked at random from the comments made on this post.

Best wishes,

Friday, 15 November 2013

Pretty Pretty

I know I published a blogpost only yesterday but a generous lady gave me an old copy of the Oklahoma Shuttle Bugs Newsletter... in it was this lovely motif by Judi Banashek.  It appealed to me as soon as I laid eyes on it and I started tatting straight away.  As soon as it was completed, I wanted to share it with you as I like it so much!

I just love the way Judi used many different sizes of picots to give this design its unique look.  So pretty!  Now I'm normally one for eye-balling picots but with this design, you absolutely need a picot gauge as 6 different sizes of picots are used.  And particularly with mignonette stitch, it's really essential to get all those bare threads the same length.

I love everything about this:  the interesting contrast between the tiny rings and the larger rings on the outside, the wonderful combination of picots and their joins on the outside rings and the added texture of the bare threads.  Wonderful!

Just for fun I scanned it on pink too.

I believe this pattern is also to be found in Judi Banashek's book "Advanced Tatting Patterns" if anyone has the book and is interested in looking it up.  I, for one, will be on the search for a copy!  If it's still findable....?

Thank you very much to S. for so kindly sending me the newsletter.  This pattern is going on my favourite's list.

Best wishes,

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Black Ice Queen

I know this is a bit unorthodox... but I fancied tatting Ice Queen in black, to see what it would look like... for a change.  I still find there is more tension than I would like in this pattern and am starting to wonder whether I should update it...  I don't remember having problems when I first tatting it and wrote the pattern and wonder whether it's just that my bugle beads need to be a bit longer (they do vary in size) because the problem is mostly where the three rings join on the last round.  Having a longer bugle beads there would lift the centre ring and make more space for the other two small rings.

And I'm still enjoying a bout of beading and completed another pair of earrings.
In turquoise, one of my favourite colours.

Best wishes,

Monday, 11 November 2013

Ice Queen Revisited

Snowflakes are definitely on my mind now!  Nearly mid-November, I can hardly believe it.  I decided to tat Ice Queen again.  I had not made it since completing the work for the pattern last year.  I thought it curled a bit more than I remembered before I pressed it and wondered whether it would benefit from making the centre just a bit larger to give the rest of the design a bit more space to "breathe".

Here is tonight's version:

Also there's not enough contrast between the bugle beads
and the thread, I shall have to re-tat this.
Not satisfactory.

Best wishes,

Saturday, 9 November 2013

A Bit of This, A Bit of That...

My shuttles are not far away but I'm still enjoying doing a variety of things at the moment.  This afternoon, I saw a video on circular brick stitch bead weaving and fancied having a go.

I liked how this turned out so as I had a party to go to tonight, I then decided that I could make a pair of earrings to go with the dress I was planning to wear.

I still managed to do a bit of tatting too.  A lady contacted me about the dancing butterfly edging I made some time ago... so long ago that I couldn't quite remember how I made it!  So I had to tat a bit of it to refresh my memory.  This is from the German tatting book with the peacock (Occhi Schiffchenspitze Frivolité by Marianne Langwieser and Tatiana Scharowa).  I've still not got the length of the antennae right so I need to play with this a bit more.  I do think it's a delightful pattern.

Dancing Butterflies, Lizbeth 20, "Easter Eggs"

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

All Quiet on the Tatting Front?

It's true, I must admit, I have not been tatting very much lately!  What an admission.  I have been momentarily distracted by other pursuits.

One of them is these pretty braids.  They are not difficult and there isn't really much skill in making them but it's fun to play with all the colours.

Variety is the spice of life isn't it?  And I always like to try new things.  I know you are the same, "crafty people" rarely do one thing only!

Best wishes,

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Bat on a Green Moon...

Inspired by Fox and Jon's stalwart efforts with the mystery doily, I picked mine up again and just completed the third round.  I need to do some catching up, the gals are way ahead of me!

I have not pressed it and the third round does frill a bit so that's why there is a slight overlap at one spot.  I just squashed it under the lid of my scanner.  I think the frilling will resolve itself with the fourth round anyway.

As it is the spooky season, I tatted Marty's bat to decorate my mat.
I went a tad wrong on the wings
(missed a couple of stitches in the centre segment)
but it's still looking pretty good.

Nice pattern.

Best wishes,

Monday, 21 October 2013

Renulek's Medallions... and Crab Apples!

I saw a motif I liked on Pinterest.  Following the links took me to Renulek's website where I found a series of these made with the same centre.  Nice designs!  One of them particularly appealed to me and I set to making it.  But I counted from the wrong image and ended with 5 instead of the 7 picots I needed to complete the third round.  So I made the other motif first and then the one I really wanted to make second.

They are both really pretty,
but this second one is the one I liked best

I like everything about this one!

I also took photos before I pressed them as I thought they looked appealing with their edges slightly curled up... they reminded me of water lilies floating peacefully on a pond...

And finally, a bit more on autumn's gifts.  Look at those gorgeous red gems!  So beautiful.  Mother-in-law brought me a bag of crab apples a couple of days ago... would I make some jelly please?

Of course!

This was my first time making this beautiful jelly and I was amazed at how red those crab apples were.  They made a gorgeous colourful jelly.  I lit the jars from behind a bit so you could see the colour.  It only made five jars...  I wish there was more now because it is not only beautiful, but delicious!

Best wishes,