Some of my patterns

31 March 2014

A square in another colour!


So, further thoughts on the square and this is what I've come up with now!!!!


Another 'thing' I don't like either now is the centres of the squares. I've worked this up entirely differently from the original and this has made it not as easy to keep the centres the same size so I'll be looking to change this too.

I know what I'm going to do (BC3 came up with an idea) so at least that's sorted!!!!  Just got to do it now!!!!  Where DOES the time go?


29 March 2014

A second attempt!



Another sailing boat arrived yesterday so please go and look at Surya's - she's number 93 so we might yet make 100!!!

So, in this version of the square I've lengthened the chains slightly and skinned down the rings a bit too. Still doesn't 'do' it for me. I'm going to have to sit down and have a serious chat with somebody about this. Now, who shall I ask/consult?

No point in me saying anything else as you all know who I'll call on!!!


28 March 2014

So, I can if Toucan!!!


Well, finally he's done and up on the web site here.

He certainly looks a lot better in 'proper' colours!!! When researching toucans I found so many colour combinations for the beak it was amazing. Also some have a black piece on the beak too but hey, I'm not a perfectionist and thought adding a bit of black was pushing things a bit too far on a small tat like this!!!!  Personally I prefer the second one with the darker coloured beak.

One thing I've learned through doing this guy is that it's almost harder to alter a pattern you've done previously as it is to start from scratch!!!

Now, what shall I do next - OR what am I already working on.  More another day!!


27 March 2014

A square


I do like this little square I found in an old book. Not sure yet how it'll work out joining several together as it doesn't look very 'square'!!!  In fact the outer chains look 'stressed' where they join in the book.   I'll tell you which book it is when I have more time and there'll be further progress on this in due course too!!

I'll play with the idea for a while and let you all know 'what happens next'!!  The book has a lot of designs which appeal to me.  Watch this space!!!

Hopefully the toucan will be ready tomorrow!!!!

26 March 2014

Toucan progress!


Here are two more versions of the poor almost extinct toucan.

The top picture is a beak I tried on yesterday's body and bib. Looks OK but it's a bit 'fussy'!!!!

The bottom picture is another bib with a more solid construction and a beak that's been simplified too. Oh, there is an eye there too - just a tiny bead that I found on the seat of my chair!!!! 

I think the next post will be the finished guy. I SHOULD get the pattern completed over the next day or two. Why? Well it's gone wintery again here and that keeps me in the house a bit more!!!


25 March 2014

Continuing the Toucan story



Before I start today it's worth checking out the Tat It And See blog on this link as I've more sailing boats - one came in last Friday and one today. We may YET reach the magic 100 but doubt if we'll beat the pram results!!!

So back to the toucan!!!

If you look at the parrot (you don't have to, though!) you'll see that the tail is different. That's because the toucan pictures I found on 'google images' showed the toucan had a more 'splayed out' tail. That's what this guy has now got here!!!! 

You can also see I've made a start on his white bib too. OK, I know it's not WHITE but it's all I had close to me in tat corner!!!! 

Well there may be a species of black bibbed toucans you never know and if there aren't then I've got a beakless black bibbed toucan. A rare breed which is almost extinct and soon will be when my scissors get near him!!


24 March 2014

Difficult situation!!!

Continuing conversations via email with Allesandro at the magazine mentioned here have been interesting.

I realise what a quandary he's in too!!!!  It must be very difficult when you have little knowledge of a craft to start a new magazine aimed at new tatters.  After all - learning to tat can only be rings and chains made with a double knot.  Later the new tatter will need more techniques and then patterns with those  new skills will be needed too.  But at the moment let's just look at this situation from the copyright point of view of simple designs.  

Looking round the internet (and in books) it's quite obvious that a lot of the patterns we see could easily have been used (not deliberately or maliciously) in a tatter's 'need' to create.  They could have come either from previous patterns or from the imagination.  This is because, of course, everything is made up from JUST rings and chains.

These are what I call 'generic' patterns.  By this I mean that all of us could have easily 'designed' them!!!  

For example look at the drawing below.  This is a basic design seen regularly all over the place.  I've seen it as a base for earrings, crosses, bracelets, bookmarks, fans, necklaces, edgings etc and all based on two rings back to back and a chain between.  Add a few beads, change direction a few times and it becomes something else.  BUT it is essentially just a very simple rings and chains design.  Something a new tatter would be able to make.
So, let all of us who want to design something new keep a lookout to make sure we're doing something really new.  Interestingly in the past nobody used to claim a design 'belonged' to them and I had several patterns published in magazines here in England without my name on them.  I was soooo proud to have them there that it didn't bother me one bit.  Actually it's only when I see people using my free patterns to make money for themselves (by re-publishing or selling things made from them) that I get upset especially as I have a Creative Commons Licence on the pattern site!!! 

When I started designing (purely to amuse myself and the young children I was teaching) I only used rings and chains as that was all I knew at that time - however I learned very early on never to base anything on a pattern in a book.  Imagination, persistence and a thorough knowledge of a craft are the requirements needed to become a designer - not the ability to copy from a picture seen somewhere!!!

One thing I have pointed out to Alessandro is that the ladybird and the interwoven celtic motif in the magazine belonging to myself and Rosemarie Peel might look simplistic nowadays but were, at the time of publication, innovative.  Over the years they may have become 'old hat' but they do in essence have their birth in our two brains and it's nice to be mentioned for that!!!


Coming up with new ideas gets harder and harder as I try to go 'where no man has gone before'.  Star Trek?!?!?!  Does that last sentence make sense anyway?!?!?!  

22 March 2014

Well, well, well!!!

A month or so ago I bought a leaflet off Ebay and when it arrived I thumbed through it (as you do) and came across a very familiar pattern!!!

Familiar as I know I made it way back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.  YES, I was/am a dinosaur in Tat Land as you know!!!  I knew I didn't work it from this leaflet as this one is all in Italian and I don't speak or understand that language!!

It's bothered me ever since I saw it so yesterday I donned my safari outfit and set out with courage by my side and fought my way to the bookshelves.  Why, oh why do we both 'dump' stuff in the back room and always in front of MY BOOKS?

Anyway, I arrived breathless and perspiring having fought off snakes, lions, elephants etc to find the folder with the odd loose sheets in - least I knew roughly where to look.  Now to my surprise - there it was.

This is just a loose sheet which I must have inherited when my gran died.  I've got quite a few but this one is a mystery as I've no idea which publication it came from.  Looking on the back of the sheet it wasn't a tatting book.  I'm wondering if it was from 'The Lady' as it's got an article about a National Trust property on the back.  When I have assembled an army of volunteers to accompany me again (well I'll ask the cat if she wants to help) I may take another trip to the bookshelves to see if I've got anymore that are from the same source but with more clues.  As it's suggesting that Coats thread is used I've a feeling they must have sold the pattern to the magazine.  

Bet you want to know the name of the Italian leaflet I bought?  It's Il Lavoro Chiacchierino 4.

No prizes for spotting that the Italian and English versions both have the very SAME photo!!!!  

There are other patterns in both my loose sheets and the Italian leaflet that are the same.  Does anybody know the history behind this?  Bet Georgia knows!!!


21 March 2014

I think I can



Now one of my online mates asked me ages ago if I could do a toucan for her. 

This sounded really easy as I've got the parrot pattern over here. So after waiting for ages for BC3 to get himself out of bed and ready to work I set off. 

How WRONG can you be!!! Although you'll see from this first attempt the wing is more or less the same as the parrot that didn't mean it would work for the toucan!!! For starters the toucan 'needed' to start in a different place because, of course, he's mainly black and I didn't need to work with several colours. This first experiment shows BC3 muddling through the wing part!!!!  That 'bit' at the top left is supposed to be the upper part of the head.  Well, that's my excuse!!!

I have got the pattern completed but I'm going to show you a little of how it 'got there' and tease you with it a while longer. 

I still have to add links to the darn thing and y'all know how I prevaricate over hyperlinks!!! They're not hard at all - just time consuming and I need to concentrate while I'm doing them and that needs gallons of tea and the bathroom nearby to accommodate the results of the gallons of tea!!!  

To do this webby stuff I put pictures in a folder on my web site, open it/them one at a time, copy the link, go to the word document, highlight the right part, go to 'add hyperlink', close.  Repeat and repeat and repeat!!!!  Make some things larger, other things need thumbnails, open an html software thingy, add words, add hyperlinks, etc, etc!!!!  Then the whole texty caboodle has to be magically changed into a pdf and that has to be uploaded.  THEN the pdf needs links from the front page (in this case 'animals') and that pulls in another whole set of aggravation!!!!  

Drives me mad.  Well it would if I wasn't mad already!!!!!

20 March 2014

Bad days turned around

This is probably going to be a long post!!!! 

The ladybird pattern problem has been sorted - thank goodness. The lady who sent the pattern to the magazine had worked it out from a picture she'd seen of the ladybird and then just didn't realise the copyright implications. We have spoken about it and all is well in that area.

The magazine took it in good faith not knowing a lot about tatting as their main aim is to sell craft items and books.  Remember - this was their first publication.  The result now is that they will issue an apology in the third edition (although I did say it wasn't necessary) and will be running an article about me sometime. I'm sure the Italian readers will be bored to death over that!!!

I have offered to help them with researching patterns which are submitted to them in future in order to prevent them being put in a similar situation and already I've run my eye over two of them.  Of course this isn't fool proof as I don't know all the patterns that there are in every book and on every internet page.

One of the things that the magazine is concerned about (and which I said I'd mention here) is the number of tatting books (which they also sell) being uploaded on the internet for anybody to take.  We ALL know that this happens and I hope we all avoid sites like those and report them to the appropriate authorities if we stumble on them.  After all if all pattern books were available for free on the internet then designers would stop writing them, wouldn't they?  Then where would we all be - patternless.

So, to sum up. I now have a good relationship with the magazine and with the lady who submitted the pattern. The magazine has now learned that tatting patterns are for shuttle tatters and the dreaded needle tatters too!!!

19 March 2014

More about my bad day!

What a day it was yesterday!!! 

As you know if you read yesterday's blog I found out that an Italian magazine had published my ladybird pattern with somebody else's name to it. First before I give you the update I'd like to publicly thank Edda and Corina for all their help in tracing the person who'd sent in the pattern to the magazine calling it theirs.

I have been corresponding with the magazine and I think we're making some sort of progress. I had to explain that there was no difference between needle tatting patterns and shuttle tatting ones as the editor or publisher said that they were purely needle tatting patterns!! Also had to explain that a small change in stitch count (and a possible missing picot on the head) did not make it somebody else's design either!!

Below is the pattern in the magazine - as it's really mine and has been plastered all over Facebook I've no worries about posting it on here.

Discussions will continue and I am now hoping that a fruitful collaboration will be established between us ensuring that this doesn't happen again.  I will update on progress tomorrow!

18 March 2014

Blatant theft

I was totally gobsmacked yesterday on a troll through Facebook at finding my ladybird pattern on one of the tatting lists. 

It was printed and obviously came from a publication of some sort. I left a 'strong' message on the list and the person who put it there took it off immediately.  I also contacted that person privately too and they confirmed the name of the Italian magazine that it's in. I am truly, truly grateful to the tatter who removed the post and for their wonderful help in confirming the magazine. It's called 'Il Mio Chiacchierino'. Here's the link.  

If ANYBODY has a copy of this and is willing to sell it to me or scan and send me a copy then I'd be very grateful.

I can also prove when the pattern was uploaded onto a previous site I had (thank you, wayback machine) and it was put up on the 20th July 2001.  Again, here's the link.  The reason for me mentioning it is to see if I can get anymore information from anybody reading my blog about who publishes it and to find out if there are anymore stolen patterns in there too.

I have used a translator to translate the page and it appears to be the first in a series of magazines.  I hope that by stopping and stomping on this NOW we can prevent others from being as hurt as I am.

Sorry this post isn't in my usual lighthearted manner but I'm upset and ANGRY.

17 March 2014

Finally it's all done and dusted!!!


Finally finished and placed in the position on the radiator shelf it was made for. Well, for now!!! 

I wonder how long I'll like it for and when it'll be relegated to 'the box' of tatting!!!! I find it pleasing at the moment but I know me and I know that won't last!!! 

The edging turned out in the end to be similar to the last round of the Fandango coaster but with SR's instead of the chains and it worked well. Here's a close up of it first.






15 March 2014

A better attempt!!!


So back in the same book as yesterday I decided to try the little butterfly using the SCMR and the alternative threads method. This is much neater as there aren't any picots in the AT part. 

I like this little butterfly and the only thing I did differently was to use lock chains for the antennae. It's a sweet little 'tat'. 

This has now put me in the 'mood' for butterflies but I've got another new idea 'on the go' so can't start anything else til that's done!!!   

The Fandango runner is progressing well and I HOPE to finish it over the weekend - that's if I don't get distracted yet again!!!

14 March 2014

Alternative Threads?


While I was 'bobbling away' and talking to Gary and Randy one of them asked if I'd ever tried the Alternative Thread method that's in this book of theirs.


I'd already played with this idea back here in 2009 when I first got my mucky mitts on the book so it was time to 'refresh the BC3' once more.

Not sure how many of you will have tried this way of tatting but I must admit it's deliciously challenging and I found I could really do with at least another ten pairs of hands!!!!

The effects of using the two threads is great but my attempt here isn't very neat as I should've done a practice piece first!!! Still this motif shows just a smidgen of what can be done with the technique and the book is easy to follow.

Just realised I chose the same motif to try it as I did last time.  Now what does that say about me?  Answer - I'm BORING!!!

12 March 2014

Yet another bobble


This bobble is in the book but I added the finding at the top.  It actually looks better in real life and the picots are all the same too.  Not sure why it looks like it needs a haircut in this photo but tat's life!!!  Having said that - my hair needs cutting too - I look like the 'wild woman of the west'!!!!  I'll have to get the lawnmower out tomorrow and get Nick to cut it for me!!!!

Now during one conversation with Randy or Gary I was challenged to try something from their last book.  I'll show you what happened another day.



11 March 2014

Fandango edging decision

Right - tat's it!!! 16 Fandango coaster motifs done. 

BUT it definitely needs an edging now so what to do, what to do!!! 

Best thing is to try things out 'on the hoof' as it were. The ideas at the top were OK but sort of lacked volume. 

The top idea on the second photo was better but too scrunched, I thought. 

Then I went for 'keep it simple' on the lower edging on the bottom photo but that didn't 'do it for me' either. 

I'll show you what I decided next time.


10 March 2014

Another alteration and another variation!



On Saturday I was sitting here with nothing particular that I had to do and thought it was about time I played with the 'look' of the blog!!!  I know it must drive you all mad but I do like 'fiddling around' with stuff.  It's the only way I learn!!!  

If you decide to do it at any point I thoroughly recommend downloading the blog first so that if anything goes wrong you've got a backup and can start all over again!!!!!  I do it as I know what I'm like - I never read about how to do stuff - I just plunge straight in!!!

Anyway, I hope you like it.  I do like a clear font (verdana is so internet friendly) and a 'non white' glaring background.  There are a few blogs that I'd love to read but can't as their backgrounds are too dark or the font too 'fancy' for my poor old eyes/brain!!!!  I also have trouble (don't know why) when reading centred text too.  Perhaps I should give up now and stop reading blogs but what would I do instead???!!!!

Back to bobbles/baubles.  On this experiment I added a flower at the top. In fact it's just four rings which I then 'dropped' the shuttles through and the finding before adding the ribs. 

I also did a sort of 'skirt' of picots at the widest point and then when I finished I used the six threads through the beads in pairs.

Whilst all this experimentation is going on dear old BC3 is learning all sorts of things about bobbles!!



8 March 2014

Life becomes clearer - with consequences!


The 'joys' of old age are sometimes thrust upon me!!! Two weeks ago I had my eyes tested. They'd deteriorated a LOT in the past two years so I was told.  Plus there's a cataract too in one of them (please don't tell BC3).  Not that the new 'resident' is any cause for alarm but yet another small annoyance.


So, on Tuesday I picked up my new specs. 

Wednesday I went back as I was getting motion sickness - due to them needing to be adjusted.

Thursday - fine.

Friday - back to complain. I was forced to make a complaint to the optician about my new specs. Why? Well I can now see DUST and COBWEBS and am forced to address those darn problems.  Sheeeeeeesh, I hate housework!!!

Size 20 thread looks like bailer twine which is great!!!!!  Below are a few more Fandango Coaster squares on my runner.  I've lost track of how many I've shown you now!!!!


7 March 2014

Another go at bobbling!


So you all know me too, too well. I can never leave things alone and I love trying new things out. 

This potential earring (which like the last one didn't pass the OG test!) had to have beads in as I can't live long without beads in my work!!!  I've put beads on the rib threads as Gary and Randy did for the critter's eyes. 

I also used slightly longer rib threads and switched to them to throw off four rings. 

The failure of these rings to stay in the position I wanted them to proves to me that if I want to do them again in the future I'll have to 'anchor' them somehow back into the main body of the bauble. An interesting concept which I will look into sometime.


6 March 2014

Fandango ing again!!!



Well after the Tat It And See the OG (Old Git) is well and truly in the doldrums when it comes to designing. The bauble/bobbles are still proving a great source of distraction during the winter afternoons but the Fandango radiator runner is (as you'll see below) still on a roll in the evenings - particularly now the hanky is finished!!! 

I think BC3 (brain cell 3 - I've only ever had three in all my 70 years) got burned out doing the designs that I've submitted to the Palmetto Tatters in the hope they'll forget my past misdemeanours and choose me (amongst others) to teach in September. IF I get chosen then I promise on my honour never ever to mention ice cream the whole weekend!!!



5 March 2014

Just when you thought!!!!


It was safe to read my blog again after the bobble/bauble 'phase' it returns!!! 

I decided to make myself some earwigs!!! So, here is a simple bobble with a finding on to make into a pair. BUT I'm not happy with it!!!! Yes, it's an 'it' and not a 'them'!!! 

LOVE the thread which is just right but not sure I really like the shape. Still it kept me out of trouble for an hour or two while I made it. 

I'll admit to you - but keep it a secret, please. This form of tatting has become an addiction!!! Hopefully less harmful to my body than my usual addictions (chocolate and gin - but not together). 

I WILL get a pair of earwigs done this way but not sure how or when!!!!

Before I toddle off to do whatever I can to avoid doing anything other than something tatting related, I must tell you that I met up with another tatter yesterday in town. I had a great time with Bev and her DH from Australia. I took them on an 'alternative' tour of town!!!! Alternative? Well it has to be a bit different as I don't know much about the local bard having lived here all my life!!!!




4 March 2014

Hanky final



Yes I know it was going to have block tatting in it but in the end that just didn't happen!!! I got distracted and annoyed and in the end came up with this one!!! Now I'm happy about this edging although others may not be!!!!

I'm happy because it's got 'depth' in one round and it's not too fancy schmancy!!! I like that it's got plenty of joining picots too which makes it become almost a 'part' of the hanky.

This is done in size 80 (my favourite for this sort of project) and it is now residing somewhere in a box of 'stuff' in the mayhem called 'home'!!!!



3 March 2014

Back to the ongoing project



Well I'm still working away slowly on the Fandango coaster project for the radiator shelf. I usually pick it up towards the end of the evening when I've finished playing with the other things I want to do. 

To me it's a relaxing tat - rather like the hanky edgings that I do from time to time. Which reminds me - I finally finished the hanky idea and will show you tomorrow - unless I think of something else, of course!!!!!


1 March 2014

Playing with SCMR's

This is yet another motif from the Houtz book. I love this one and had to make it, of course. 


The technique itself is pretty easy once you know the SCMR but I did have to keep track of what I was doing!!! Strained BC3 at times keeping him focussed on which part was to be worked next which wasn't helped by numerous interruptions!!!! 

Also being ambitious I added beads too and joined the top and middle layer!!! The bottom layer is also joined behind the other two just to help it lie a bit better while I was working it.

Just a reminder of where you can get this new book from as this MAY be my last report on it. Doubt I'll put it away anytime soon as I want to play more with the bobbles and make myself some earrings!!! There are some great ideas in there for those too.





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