Sunday, 25 January 2009

One of those weeks

This week has been a total loss in almost every way - all of us have had dreadful colds, starting with DH, continuing on to DS & then finally me as well. I honestly don't think I have ever felt so bad as I did yesterday but am a bit better today.

As you can imagine it has not been conducive to tatting, so only a little of the edging done - I am now going to have to go like a steam train to get it and the rest done to be posted by the 1st.

The weather here has been pretty awful as well - raining (absolutely pouring some of the time) for most of the week and it has been cold and windy as well. What is it about the fact that rain is more bearable if it isn't cold with it? Unlike most of the rest of the UK we have only had very occasional snow flurries with none lying as the ground is too wet. This wee corner of the UK is strange as snow is lying in Aboyne which is only about 20 miles away but we escaped it?

I am going to try and finish updating my list of tatting books that is ever growing (but slowly) and may even give you some opinions about them too! I've also thought about some pictures of my shuttles but don't want to overload things - what do you think?

Sunday, 18 January 2009

One of those days........

You know when you have one of those days where everything that happens is not right - well recently we, as a family, having been having quite a few. Like, when Ally decided to open some of his Xmas presents before Mick & I got up, which put a complete damper on Xmas day; or having a stinking cold and wrongly going to work to realise that by 11.45 you were not going to last much longer & then having your normally understanding boss shout at you when you asked to go home which was what happened on Monday; or finding out that your FIL has inoperable pancreatic cancer and having your DH pretend it doesn't matter (he doesn't get on with his father), which was what happened in November.

Anyway, finally on Friday I had one of those days where everything was right (finally). I had seen another pot-luck lot on eBay the week before - it was decribed as "YOU ARE BIDDING FOR A JOB LOT OF SEWING ACCESSORIES, COTTONS ETC. IT IS ALL THAT CAN BE SEEN IN THE PHOTO." and the photo was as below.

Now if you look very carefully in centre left, near the bobbin of sewing thread I spied what I decided could be a tatting shuttle. Basing my hunch on this and that the tangled mess that looked like tatting, I thought it was worth a chance and decided to bid the princely sum of nearly £3 (about US$4.50). To cut a long story short (well at least shorter, LOL) I got the lot for 99p (~US$1.43) + p&p, which was a grand total of £3.98 (~US$5.85) as no-one else bid. It arrived on Friday in a shoe box, which when opened revealed a tangled mess of thread & tatting. After over half an hour of untangling this is what I found.

A couple of fine crochet hooks, a thimble & several offcuts of material.....

.....a whole lot of pieces of edgings and insertions.....

......... various balls of thread........

...a lovely doily....

.....and TA-DAH (drum roll)......not one....

........not two........

....not three.........

........not four........

....................not five (and an Aero England in its packet!!!!!)..........

...........................but six shuttles and the cherry on top - another Aero England still in its packet.

I just sat there with my mouth open (it must have looked a sight LOL) - I simply adore Aero England shuttles, they are what I learned to tat with and no matter how hard I try I just cannot like the non-bobbin type (eg Clover) shuttles - so as you can imagine I was (and still am) in seventh heaven.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Still avoiding it

I will have to apologise profusely to Karey - I am still avoiding the issue with the "thing" for her. I did unpick the mistake a few stitches back and then very carefully put it away!!!!;) I really must get back to it.

Instead I started on the edging for my Valentine tea-towel - now I remember why I don't normally do edgings - I don't know about anyone else, but no matter how pretty the edging I find them intensely boring to tat. I would much rather tat a doily, mat, earrings, motif etc - in other words anything else rather than an edging or insertion. The pattern I have picked is really pretty and I have modified it slightly so it has more attachment picots so I have the option of adding it as a proper edging rather than on the tea-towel itself, but I still struggle.

I finally got my belated Christmas present from Ally (DS) in the post from Malaysia today - he picked Jon's Snowflake book (available from Jon at her blog) as I frequently do her Rings-Only Snowflake as an exchange gift and he loves it, so he chose the book. I have been very good and only had a quick glance so I don't get tempted till after Karey's & the Valentine exchanges are finished.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Does anyone know anything about this book?

About six months ago, I was lucky enough to win an incredibly good lot on eBay that had been a bit of a pot-luck chance. Included with some trimmings was a little book with the title "The Old Art of Tatting No.1 by an Englishwoman: Edgings & Insertions". It is totally undated, but appears contemporary with the early Riego books. At the time, I did ask Jane, Gillian & Georgia if they knew anything about it but drew blanks from all. They, however, did not see the cover as below.

It also says in it "[New and Improved Edition]..... printed by Holloway and Son, 10, Milsom Street, Bath." The really interesting thing, is that the chain (called in bar in the book using pink thread to learn) is included in every pattern as are joining picots (including detailed instructions on how to join "by pulling the thread which is round the hand through the pearl loop with the tatting pin when drawn to a sufficient length push the shuttle......" It also only uses one shuttle and not a needle to make the chain. So if it is contemporary with the early Riego books it would be the first mention of these methods published, contrary to what has been previously thought, that Mrs Pullan "invented" chains with a needle in 1859, Mee & Austin perfected the chain in 1862 and Riego uses them in her books after this (she was known to have appropriated the picot joining method as her own).

Rereading past emails I have just realised that at the time I asked Georgia, she suggested I contact Erin, which I never did at the time, so I must check in with her.
Anybody else know anything - PLEASE help me try to find out.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Must finish & New beginnings

Life is a bit complicated around here at present (long story which I'll tell another time) and I ran out of time to finish all I had wanted to send Karey for the Secret Santa, so I must finally finish the last item for her (the others were sent pre-Xmas). I have also been procrastinating as the pattern I chose to do is great but I made the mistake (in this particular pattern) of adding in an irridescent thread to the plain white and they are constantly getting tangled - it has been finished all but the last 2 or so cm since before Xmas, but I got so frustrated spending all my time untangling it that I am having a hard time picking it up again. Once Karey has received it [assuming I finish it ;)] I'll post a picture.

I am going to do the new Valentine Tea Towel exchange so I got a tea towel today - it is okay but not what I had wanted. I wanted a plain white or very pale coloured one to enhance but you try getting a non-patterned, non-checked, non-striped, etc tea towel that doesn't cost an absolute fortune up here!!! Now all I have to do is see if all the things I have planned for it will work out to give a decent look?

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


I dearly love tatting and prefer it to any other needlecraft/general craft that I have tried over the years (and there have been many!!!) but I really love trying new things and my new diversion is temari. I have found some really great sites online


to name just a few but would really love to "see" the Japanese temari books (the ones written in Japanese). Unfortunately, we are not in a position for me to spend money on a whim, but I would really like one of the Japanese books. I will not buy something fairly expensive (with the rate of exchange SO horrible at the moment and added postage from either Japan or the US as there does not seem to be a UK supplier) without having a least seen one first (that is the only disadvantage of online shopping that I have found so far - that particularly with books I like to see what I am buying first!).

Amazingly, according to TemariKai there is someone about 20 miles from here [according to the people south of the border - we live in the outerreaches of civilization ;)] who does temari and is possibly prepared to teach/tutor which would be wonderful but I have heard nothing since I emailed TemariKai for them to pass on my details to the lady in question, so maybe she is no longer involved.

To explain my comment above - I live in Aberdeen, which is the 3rd largest city in Scotland (population in 2005 = 202000+) and we can boast the oldest medical school (and fifth oldest university) in the English-speaking world, but for some reason on the UK national news and weather reports when they talk about the "north" they are meaning northern England or at a push as far as Edinburgh - it seems that the UK ceases to exist from Edinburgh northwards!!! Strangely enough, even though the main source of income for the north-east was traditionally fishing (and thus alot of net-mending), if you mention "tatting" up here nowadays you are met with blank stares, whereas it must have been very common not so long ago.

Has anybody else tried temari before? Please let me know, thanks.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Tatting by any other name

Having finally put all (& more) back into my blog list, I thought I would add that quite a few I don't read just look at the pictures, as I am not proficent in Russian, Japanese, Chinese, etc. I can manage French & German at a push, but have learned to recognize the word "Tatting" in many languages, so I thought I would share all I can remember. Please correct mistakes and add any I've forgotten.

German - occhi, schiffchenarbeit, schiffchenspitze
French - frivolité
Dutch -
frivolité, frivolitet
Spanish -
Russian - фриволите
Chinese/Taiwanese - 梭子蕾絲
Japanese - タティングレース
Hungarian - frivolitás; hajócsipke
Finnish - frivoliteetti; sukkulapitsi; käpyily
Norwegian - nuperelle
Swedish - frivolitet
Danish - orkis
Polish - frywolitki, frywolitka
Estonian - süstikpitsi; süstikpits
Czech - frivolitky
Italian - chiacchierino

Saturday, 3 January 2009


I've been fiddling, trying to make this look nicer (which I haven't achieved as yet) and lo and behold it has lost my entire blog list - all 103 entries!!!!!! How it managed this, I don't know?

I don't want a generic template - I want a personal one and haven't, as yet, worked out how to do this. Any help?

New Things

I really have to learn how to customise this blog as it is not pleasant to look at, at the moment. I'll also have to work out how to post pictures too. I don't suppose it is difficult, but it is just a matter of familiarising myself with new things.

I really love listening to Arlene's Podcast (now lets see if I can attach the link) but couldn't do it myself - for instance, I have just had to leave the computer to break up a fight between DH (DH does NOT stand for dear husband in my instance, but at present "damned husband") and 7 year old DS. I know which one is older in his mentality!!! They just about drive me to distraction. Enough family in-fighting!

Tatting wise I got some really beautiful things from Erin in Gina's SS exchange

-an absolutely stunning tatted tiny purse (like an amulet purse) bedecked with beads with a sweetie inside

-Ruth's 2008 celtic snowflake
-a gorgeous tiny pink tatted angel (I must find out from Erin what pattern she used)

-a skein of Sherry's Royalty thread (now I'm part of the HDT brigade too!!!!)

-a packet of Mill Hill petite beads
-a packet of tiny heart buttons
-a packet of gems

and a large bag of sweeties (the remnants seen in the photo)

OOOHHHH I've just managed to do the same trick as Sherry, though not as badly. I hit the toilet seat (of all things) - oh well I had to cut my nails anyway but that one will be in the quick!!!!!

Having taken the photos now all I have to do is find the usb cable to download them onto the computer - that could be easier said than done! Once I remembered where "the safe place" was it was easy!!!!

Now to add them...................... okay let's see what that looks like? Well, so-so, but alright I suppose for a first attempt - must do better.

Must go - haven't fed the 7yr old & he is fading away...............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!