Sunday, 18 March 2018

Squares for Brussels

Thank you for your comments as always.   I carried on with the top left design from the previous post in the end.  As Muskaan said, the one without centre may not have been sturdy enough, the extra centre ring adding a lot of stability to the design.

12 made so far...

There are many patterns available already for these little 3x3 cm squares, they can be found on the "Let's Tat a Brussels Monument in Pink for Women's Rights" Facebook page is you're interested. I'm adding mine if anyone fancies it.  

Best wishes,

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Reverse Quatrain Mod for Brussels

It really doesn't look the same but I've kept the same idea and stitch count.  I tried different centres... which do you prefer?  One has just four picots on a centre ring and only the big rings are joined to it (dark pink, bottom right); one has a larger ring in the middle and all rings are joined to it (dark pink, top left) and lastly, there is one without a centre ring (pale pink).  The fourth one (top right) was an earlier version that didn't work out so well, it was too pulled in towards the middle which made it too small.  The others do measure 3cm x 3cm and as you can see, they will now join easily at the corners.

I suppose it doesn't really matter which I pick and I could make several of each version.  When it's all put together, it's going to be hard to spot individual designs anyway.  I like the idea of a worldwide tatting endeavour and wonder how the finished "fabric" will look!

Thank you for your comments on the previous post.  It's wonderful to read that many of you have been participating and sending off your little squares.  

So what do you think?  Should I make all the same or send off different ones?  Which one do you prefer?  I think my favourite is probably top left (larger ring in centre, all other rings joined to it).

Best wishes,

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Little Square - Big Meaning

I have seen several tatters working on the little square for the Brussels Monument and as this is in support of women's rights around the world, it's a good cause which I wish to support.  The project will also happen during the World Lace Congress in August so it's also good to help promote tatting.  I'm a bit late joining the party but there are still two weeks left to send the squares so I plan on making several and sending them along.

Cathy provides a pattern for the square but she also says you can use your own if you wish as long as it measures 3cm x 3cm.  I wondered if my Quatrain would work and yes, if I omit the trefoils on the corner, it has the right dimensions.

The one in the right hand corner is Cathy's pattern.

However, I have now realised, after tatting a few, that although the size is right, the shape is not!  Because if you try to attach them at the corner, the curve means that they have to be one on top of the other to fit.
See what I mean?

Of course I could just keep using Cathy's pattern but I'm stubborn.  I want to make mine fit.  So I will try to keep the spirit of it but change the shape so that it fits properly at the corners and at the size required.

On the other hand, I'm wondering if I tat tightly though because I have measured my square made to Cathy's instructions and it turns out a bit too small!

Right, off to play with my design and see what I can come up with.  Anyone else making some of these squares?

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 6 March 2018


As some of you may know, the UK was recently hit by a rare snowstorm.  This caused us to go in search of our warm mittens and hats so we could go outside and enjoy the snow.  I found this old pair in a drawer which is now 35 years old!  It's a little frayed but surprisingly not bad really for its age.  It inspired me to look at patterns and think I could knit a couple of new pairs so we'd have them in the drawer for the next time we might need them... and because there are so many lovely patterns for these types of nordic mittens!

Mittens are also a small project which don't take too long to knit.  I know a few friends who'd like a pair...

This is the first of the new pair.  The pattern is "Northman Mittens" by David Schulz.
The colours are olive green and duck-egg blue.

I like the whole thing but particularly
the Latvian braid which I'd not tried before.
Easy to do and effective.

It's the arrow-looking part at the bottom of the cuff.
Here's a little sampler where I tried the stitch
before tackling the mittens.


I'm on the second mitten now... but I've run out of wool!  I thought it'd be a good idea to use leftovers... except there wasn't enough.  

I might try these "Selbu Mittens" next.  

Best wishes,

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Edging with Corner

I made a video for the handkerchief edging.  It needs quite a bit of editing before I can upload it but in the meantime, you can find the pattern here if you wish to make it.  It's adapted from a vintage edging, in the "Hen & Chick" vein but slightly different.

I modified the corner from the version in green I made on the hanky.  It wasn't symmetrical and that bothered me so I played with it a bit and came up with a better corner.

I pinned my versions on cardboard to make sure the angle was right and there was no pulling or frilling when going around the corner.  I tried a few different versions before settling on probably the simplest, which is the one in yellow below.

I hope you'll enjoy making this simple edging if you decide to make it.
I do like working one shuttle designs as I find them easy and relaxing,
with no re-winding of shuttles required.

Best wishes,

Monday, 19 February 2018

Birthday Gifts (Handkerchief & Socks)

I completed the edging a couple of days ago, and we are now back from our travels so here it is:

Here is how I attached my edging this time:  I used a couple of tiny stitches to fasten down each picot to the handkerchief edge.  To travel between picots, I pushed my needle inside the hem and popped it back out in line with the next picot.

I also finished the socks
which are to be given with the hanky
(they are now being blocked)

Whilst working on the tatted border, I had to refill my shuttle several times and some may wonder how to join new thread and hide ends when working with just one shuttle and bare threads so I thought it would be a good idea to make a new video.  I'm working on it today and should have it uploaded later on.

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Hanky Choice and Valentine!

Thank you for your comments on the previous post.  The variegated purple turned out more popular than expected but although the colours matched really well, I was unhappy with the look of variegated for this project.

The other choice that got most votes was the bluer green which I think matched best of the two greens so that's what I went with (although I did hesitate for quite some time and ended up working too much of both before I made up my mind!).  I'm finding it very relaxing to work this one shuttle edging and am making good progress.

The colour is not accurate at all in this photo
but it was taken in the evening with poor lighting.

However, when examining my hanky to check how many repeats I needed for each side, I noticed how badly hemmed it was...  Look at that.  It's all crooked!  The hem is not even lined up with the woven lines in the fabric.

See this corner?
Not impressed.

So I decided to undo the hem, cut the fabric where necessary and re-hem so that it has four straight and matching sides.  I made nice little mitered corners and hand-stitched the hem.  Yes, that's better.

And lastly,
today is the 14th of February

so I'd like to wish a Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Something Like This?

Here is the hanky I want to make for a birthday... but I don't have much time at all!  So I'm going with a one-shuttle edging because they are faster to work.  I slightly adapted a vintage edging (just changed a stitch here and there) and figured out how to go around the corner with it.  It's simple but I think it's pretty.

The only problem is... what colour?

I'm away from home at the moment and these are the only three colour choices I have brought with me.  Neither green is quite perfect (I have waaaay fewer colours in my stash of size 40).  The purple variegated is the best match but I always find you lose the lovely shape of the lace when using variegated as your eye is distracted by the colour changes.  I made more of the brighter green as I thought I'd go with that but now, looking at it again, I think I might prefer the bluer green.

Any opinions please?

Thank you!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A Tiny Bit of Tatting...

Sorry I've not been very good at posting as regularly lately...  I made a card today and put a Twinkle Twinkle on it so that's my tiny bit of tatting to show you!  I thought the colours married well.

I'm hoping to have time to make a hanky edging for the same birthday as the socks so if I can get those finished, I'll start on the edging.  Anyone can recommend a favourite one shuttle edging?  Apart from Hen and Chicks that is - don't get me wrong, I do love Hen and Chicks and am considering using it but if you have another favourite you'd like to share, I welcome suggestions!

I'm making good progress with the the socks but it's slow work with all those tiny cables going on every other row.  I hope to be able to show you the finished article very soon!

Best wishes,

Monday, 29 January 2018

Another Pair...

I finished it.  With a contrasting heel and toe and as mentioned in previous post, I added a few stitches before turning the heel to add a bit more depth in that area of the sock.  I think it's better.  I added just four stitches and I think next time I might add six as I don't like feeling tightness across the foot in that area.  That's one reason I really like gussets in socks.

I like the colours of this wool (Stylecraft Head Over Heels) but I'm not sure I like the bits where it looks like there's colour missing!  Can you see the nearly white lines?  I don't know if it's meant to be like that or if I had a bad batch?  Or maybe it's meant to look a bit like it's "painted"...

Anyway.  On to the next pair.  These will be for my Mother-in-law.  I wanted something pretty and lacy, and gentle, and soft...

It's much slower going with all the one-stitch cabling going on but I think they'll look nice.  I'm a big fan of cabling without a cable needle but one of the twists made with three stitches was a little hard to accomplish so I had to resort to a needle... or sorts!  I couldn't find mine so I searched for an alternative.  Turns out a toothpick (or cocktail stick) works great!  Just the right size and enough grip so the stitches don't slide off it while you work the twisting.  So there you go, if you're ever stuck without a cabling needle, reach for the cocktail sticks!  

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Still Overcome...

... by sock madness!  As mentioned, I have several birthdays coming up and they're getting socks!  So look away for a while if you're a tatter and are bored by my socks (but please don't go away altogether as I will be back to tatting soon!).  This is the pair from the previous post which is now completed. The heel I tried in the end is the "Fish Lips Kiss Heel" - what a name!

Wool is Opal Rainforest "The Discoverer".

Here's a close-up of the heel. 
Not bad but I do find this type of heel doesn't give enough room at the instep.
I reserve judgment on the special stitch she uses and will
have to make a side-by-side comparison with other techniques
such as the German short-row.

I'm trying the next pair with a contrasting heel again,
but I will add a few stitches before turning the heel
to try to improve fit in that area.

Wool is Head Over Heels "Ingleborough"
by Stylecraft

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Favourite Heel Please?

Sock knitters out there?  What's your favourite heel please?  I like to knit toe-up and I want to make a contrasting heel on my current pair of socks - which heel would you use for that?  I'm a big fan of the Fleegle heel but because the gusset is incorporated, I don't think it would work for a contrasting heel. The other one I use is a German short-row heel with re-inforced back and that doesn't work either for contrasting.  Can someone recommend a heel that would work?

So I finished the pair that I had started on the previous blogpost.  The wool is by West Yorkshire Spinners and it's from a bird series... this one is "pheasant".

The next pair is already started as you can see.
It's a bit of a mad fun wool by Opal.
I'm going with red toes and heels.
Hence the enquiry about the best heel.

I decided not to start these at the same spot on the repeat...
I just went with where I was after I split my 100gm ball in two.

And lastly, I was in need of a quick gift today
so I made this small Lavender sachet.
I was pleased to find a perfectly matching button
for the centre of my flower in my button box.
The sachet I made up as I went along.

Best wishes,

Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Joy of Socks

After the slipper madness... I'm back to socks.  I have a couple of birthdays coming up and socks it's going to be.  I've really fallen in love again with knitting and wearing wool socks.  And I also really like giving them away as gifts.

But first, just one last photo of the slipper madness!

And this is the pair of socks I've just finished for a friend.
They will be in the post tomorrow.

She likes khaki.

I've used this pattern before - it's "Herringbone Lace Socks"

Except I've done them toe-up instead with a re-enforced,
German-short row heel.

I also made myself some coat-hanger sock blockers,
they're not perfect but not a bad idea I can improve on 

And I started already on the next pair as
I have another birthday next month.
This time I've gone for a plain knit with a self-striping yarn.

I took the time to wind my one ball into two
centre-pull balls to make sure both socks match.
I punched two holes in my ziplock bag for the yarn to come out from
which keeps everything really neat and tidy and easy to work with.

Apologies to those who like to come to my blog for tatting as I've still not got back into it after my Christmas snowflakes... but I'm sure it won't be long before inspiration strikes and I pick up my shuttles again.  For now though, I'm enjoying knitting.  The West Yorkshire Spinners wool I'm using for the current pair of socks is really lovely and a joy to knit with.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

An Idea

Well here we are:  the first post of 2018.  Another year gone by...

I wish you all a wonderfully Happy New Year!

Just before Christmas, my friend sent me a photo showing what she does with the snowflakes I send her every year...

She puts the snowflakes away after the Christmas holidays and then the following year, she takes them out again and hangs them from her lamp, adding the new one she has received.  I thought it was a nice idea.

I hope your new year is off to a great start!

Best wishes,