Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A Challenge for you

Anybody know how to do a split chain in node stitch??? Is it even possible? Please help - I am desperate!;)

Monday, 30 March 2009


As I teased you yesterday - I am going to share Arlene's generosity to me by having a giveaway of my copy of the book she sent me and a couple of other suprises. This will have to be a 2 day only offer as I will need to draw it late Wednesday night (my time - GMT+1 [summertime now]) so that I can contact the winner and be able to post it on Friday as DS & I are going down to Edinburgh for a few days on Sunday.

To enter please leave a comment on this post and the ability for me to contact you. I'll get DH to draw it late Wednesday night.

Good luck.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Words fail me

I am not often lost for words but I am finding it very difficult to express myself at the moment - I'll explain.....

.....back in February Arlene had a giveaway which I won and was SO happy about. She emailed me last Friday and said the parcel was on it's way - well, it arrived today &


Her generosity is quite overwhelming - so I think I'll let the pictures do the talking!

To explain - a note with pictures of tatted doilies; a beautiful doily from one of the japanese tatting books; a lovely glow-in-the-dark snowflake; a cute lttle bag to put the "loot" in; a gorgeous skein of Marilee's "Sunset Trail" HDT in 100; a packet of teensy buttons; a ball of variegated blue thread; a ball of variegated blue & pink thread; a ball of variegated purple thread; a ball of ice blue thread; a large sample of the Fufu glow-in-the-dark thread that Arlene talks about on her podcast; a large sample of sun-active thread; 2 vintage detach-a-spool shuttles pre-loaded with white & glow-in-the dark thread; a large ball of plum-coloured thread (that I missed out of the photos) and a tatting book. I deliberately did not take a photo of the book as I already have a copy of this book and plan to do somehting with my copy - keep watching this space!!!!

I really can't thank Arlene enough for all this stunning "stuff".

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Dutch Tatting Books

I finally have a chance of posting about the Dutch tatting books I managed to find online. I paid for 5 and the VERY kind lady sent me six - the sixth is also a hardback book whereas the others are paperback books/booklets.

This is a pretty blurry photo of the first three - they are a "set" of books published in the 1940's.

The next is a book that I have seen in at least 3 languages - french, german & here dutch.

This is a stunning book that I hadn't seen before

And the free book was the following

I'll give you a quick tour of them - the first of the "set" of books must have been published in 1947 as #2 was published in 1948 & #3 in 1949. It shows the basics of tatting and has 22 fairly basic patterns starting with very simple edgings going through to more complex collars and doilies.

#2 continues from #1 with 18 patterns for again, edgings, collars and doilies involving more techniques including node stitch.

#3 doesn't seem to include any more techniques but offers 23 patterns for a butterfly, flowers, edgings, a bag, bow, collars and more doilies.

The hardback book "Frivolite Vroeger En Nu" which translates as "Tatting Past & Present" is by Sytske Stratenus published in 1977. It starts with some history and the basics of tatting before the first chapter of "Frivolite van Vroeger" (Tatting from the Past) with patterns for edgings, a motif and collars. The chapter "Frivolite van Nu" (Tatting from the Present" shows edgings, a brooch, glass cover, insertion and collar. The last chapter is on tatting with other techniques including embroidery and has patterns for brooches, letters and the decoration on a cloak done in wool tatting and embroidery.

The "Frivolites" book I find odd - simply as there are no written or visual (as we would recognise visual patterns today) patterns - it simply shows enlarged line drawings of the patterns and to do the item you would have to stitch count the line drawing and work out the order etc. No wonder it has appeared in many languages as there are a very limited number of words to translate!!! It has 60 patterns with all but 3 patterns for mat & 2 doilies being edgings or hankie corners. I would say it dates from the 1970's or 80's.

I think the last little book "frivolite-boek" is simply stunning. I think it dates to the 1950's but I'm not sure as there is not any thing in it that is easily datable. It also starts with a brief basics of tatting but then explains how to measure picots and how to do node stitch. It has 30 patterns of edgings, motifs, a bow, a jabot, a baby bonnet, corsage, collars and cuffs, insertions and some absolutely gorgeous doilies. The doilies appeal so much that after doing Iris's TIAS, that I had planned to redo in better colours and complete the whole doily this time, has been sidelined and I have started one of these instead. I have altered the pattern to include mock picots and split chains so I don't have to keep tying & cutting. Once I am a healthy way into it (or finished even) I'll post a picture.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I just had to share..........

This arrived in an email - I just had to share after I got back on the seat after falling off laughing so hard!!!!!!!!

Cat Lover or Not, this is Hysterical!

We've all had trouble with our animals, but I don't think anyone can top this one:

Calling in sick to work makes me uncomfortable. No matter how legitimate my excuse, I always get the feeling that my boss thinks I'm lying.

On one recent occasion, I had a valid reason but lied anyway, because the truth was just too darned humiliating. I simply mentioned that I had sustained a head injury, and I hoped I would feel up to coming in the next day. By then, I reasoned, I could think up a doozy to explain the bandage on the top of my head. The accident occurred mainly because I had given in to my wife's wishes to adopt a cute little kitty.
Initially, the new acquisition was no problem.

Then one morning, I was taking my shower after breakfast when I heard my wife, Deb, call out to me from the kitchen.

'Honey! The garbage disposal is dead again. Please come reset it.'

'You know where the button is,' I protested through the shower pitter-patter and steam. 'Reset it yourself!'

'But I'm scared!' she persisted. 'What if it starts going and sucks me in?'

There was a meaningful pause and then, 'C'mon, it'll only take you a second.'

So out I came, dripping wet and butt naked, hoping that my silent outraged nudity would make a statement about how I perceived her behaviour as extremely cowardly.

Sighing loudly, I squatted down and stuck my head under the sink to find the button. It is the last action I remember performing.

It struck without warning, and without any respect to my circumstances. No, it wasn't the hexed disposal, drawing me into its gnashing metal teeth. It was our new kitty, who discovered the fascinating dangling objects she spied hanging between my legs. She had been poised around the corner and stalked me as I reached under the sink. And, at the precise moment when I was most vulnerable, she leapt at the toys I unwittingly offered and snagged them with her needle-like claws. I lost all rational thought to control orderly bodily movements, blindly rising at a violent rate of speed, with the full weight of a kitten hanging from my masculine region.

Wild animals are sometimes faced with a 'fight or flight' syndrome. Men, in this predicament, choose only the 'flight' option. I know this from experience. I was fleeing straight up into the air when the sink and cabinet bluntly and forcefully impeded my ascent.
The impact knocked me out cold.

When I awoke, my wife and the paramedics stood over me.

Now there are not many things in this life worse than finding oneself lying on the kitchen floor butt naked in front of a group of 'been-there, done-that' paramedics.
Even worse, having been fully briefed by my wife, the paramedics were all snorting loudly as they tried to conduct their work, all the while trying to suppress their hysterical laughter......and not succeeding.

Somehow I lived through it all. A few days later I finally made it back in to the office, where colleague s tried to coax an explanation out of me about my head injury. I kept silent, claiming it was too painful to talk about, which it was.

'What's the matter?' They all asked, 'Cat got your tongue?'
If they only knew!

Why is it that only the women laugh at this?

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Last (?) installment of thread exchange & Valentine tea towel update

This is probably going to be the last installment of the thread exchange as I now feel that I am very unlikely to get the 5th exchange - it has been over 2 weeks since the last posting date and mail from the USA arrives here quicker than that (even if it is coming from the west coast area of Tacoma, Washington). So, I'll just have to chalk it up to experience and remember in future not to exchange anything with that particular person.

I'll post some pictures of the lovely ones I did receive - I'll do it in the order they were received.

1) A stunning pink holographic thread from Thread Art in colour 8154 was the first to arrive from Libby in SC (with an extra yard of pink Cebelia).

2) Next came the simply gorgeous custom 100% silk HDT (from Sherry) called "Karen's Halo" from Karen in OR.

3) On the same day, the wonderful silver metallic Oren Bayan thread from Jeff in SK, Canada arrived (and a pattern and a postcard).

4) And then last, but not least, the beautiful multicoloured DMC thread arrived from Patty in TN.

I truly have been spoilt and cannot thank my exchange partners enough for their generosity. My offerings in various variegated shades of mainly Coats seem very paltry in comparison.

Next on to the Valentine tea towel exchange that I posted about before - unfortunately I seem to have lucked out on that one also, as again nothing has appeared - I do know that the parcel was going to be late but it is now nearly 4 weeks since Valentine's day (& nearly 6 weeks since my own one was posted to Chile) - it was apparently coming from Singapore but as my numerous emails to the sender are not being answered (either by going into spam or being ignored) I don't even know when (or if) it was posted. Normally, something from Singapore would take around 8 - 10 days to arrive here if posted airmail.

Oh well, I suppose that is part of life, but it does so spoil the whole nature of exchanges.

On a truly positive note I got my Dutch books today and just to reinstate the generosity of some people, I bought and paid for 5 book/booklets and 6 (one being a hardback book) arrived - the hardback book was free!!!! Wasn't that simply delightful and SO generous of the lady - it has gone a long way in increasing again my faith in mankind. I'll post about them in more detail later in the week.

Sunday, 8 March 2009


DS & I went for a run in the car on Saturday, up to the Falls of Feugh, near Banchory. This is a famous small waterfall area where you can see the salmon leap when they are returning upstream to spawn. We went to have morning tea at the restaurant and to see some incredible jewellery.

My friend Helen has simply the most stunning jewellery and gemstones and she keeps the prices well below high street jewellery prices by not having a shop (and thus no overheads) and only showing her jewellery at certain times or by arrangement. She is an internationally recognised gemmologist and manages to have really quality gemstones. I love to see everything that she has that is new and drool and dream for awhile - if only for an unlimited bank balance!!. But having said that she has items starting at about £15 or so - so something for every bank balance.

I'll add a couple of her images to give you a taster but her website, Just Gems, gives you a much better idea and is well worth a visit. She is happy to take commissions if anyone is interested.

This is a art deco Sapphire and diamond ring in 18 carat yellow gold and platinum.

These are the most unusual cufflinks you will ever see! They are naturally occuring and filled with liquid oil!
Cufflinks of natural doubly terminated quartz crystals with hydrocarbon inclusions, from Baluchistan, mounted in 9 carat white gold.

Aren't they just incredible!!!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Part 2 of thread exchange

Well, it seems that it is not going to be a two-part post for the thread exchange but a 3 part one as I have only received 1 of the two still outstanding.

This was a gorgeous multicolour size 80 thread from Patty that is very like my most favourite (now discontinued) thread from Manuela but it is finer than the Manuela which is a size 20.

I also thought I would add a link to a pdf of the list of tatting in other languages that I posted before as I know how difficult it can be to print blog pages.

I can't remember who mentioned this great page for printing, particularly blog pages, but I use it all the time to just print what I need and not the rest of the page. If anyone knows who mentioned it please let me know so that I can give them due credit.

Link now sorted

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Part 1 of thread exchange

Having participated in the thread exchange, I am now the proud possessor of (at this moment in time) 3 new (to me) threads. Why 3? Well, 2 haven't arrived as yet - this is why I made this part 1. I'll wait and post pictures once all are here. For the moment I'll just describe.

First to arrive was a gorgeous pink holographic thread from Libby.
Then, yesterday I got a stunning 100% silk ladyshuttlemaker HDT from Karen and from Jeff I got a wonderful metallic Oren Bayan thread that I've seen talked about by various people.

Haven't I been spoilt?!!! Now all I have to do is find some extra special patterns to do with these special threads.

I have just bought some vintage Dutch tatting books I found online, so when they arrive I'll post some photos and maybe I'll find some patterns to do in them. I love the patterns in the Finnish book and have done one of them but don't have a photo as I gave it away (the story of all my tatting) to DS's teacher at the end of the school year last year.