Thursday 31 December 2015

Legwarmers - 4ply

I have finished my legwarmers and have given them a try out.  They are 17 inches or 43 cm long, light and soft. This is a great project for a beginner.  I have now started a hat to match and almost ready to start the decrease rows.  I have made a significant subtraction to the cones of yarn I started with shown in an earlier post.

These two projects are the same color yarn but lighting makes them look different.  I used natural light for the legwarmers and artificial for the hat below.

Both photos taken with my phone and posted with an app.

This is the last post for 2015, wishing you all a very blessed, prosperous and happy new year.

Friday 18 December 2015

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

I needed some small boxes to gift my tatting.  I used old Christmas cards but of course any paper or card stock could be used.  

Materials needed, old cards, scissors. straight edge, stapler or tape, pencil.
Cut card in half now you have a front and back. 
Measure corner to corner, mark center
Fold all edges into center
Cut along long fold to the next fold
Fold tabs in then end of box over top of tabs. staple or tape in place. 
Inside of box can be lined with felt or cotton
Slip bottom inside top to close

A larger card will make a larger box. Rectangular cards work best.  Line box with felt or paper if you don't want anyone to see the previous years message. If you have any questions, just comment and I will answer for all. 

I will be filling some boxes with candy and dropped into stockings for little treats.  These little boxes work great for my small tatting.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

4 ply

So funny how life works don't you think.  These cones of yarn were gifted to my mother and she did knit with them a bit. After she passed I packaged up all her yarns (bags and bags) and gifted them to one of my sisters who knits a lot. I gave away most of her knitting needles (I say most because I have come across additional ones). 

I kept some cottons to crochet with and any tatting threads she had.  Well my sister went through the bags of yarn and found some large cones of very fine wool.  She brought them to me thinking I could use them for tatting but they are unsuitable (too weak for rings and hairy).

Instead I put these four cones together to create a lovely 4 ply lace weight yarn. The colors used are gold, white, tan and brown. 

I needed a new pair of leggings so before I knew it these are now growing in length. I made a K1P1 cuff and chose a simple YO K2tog pattern. These leggings will replace the leggings I have used for the past 30+ winters. 

Below is a close up of the knitting and homemade 4 ply yarn. 

Saturday 12 December 2015

Johar, a Star

I am still cleaning up UFO's and emptying shuttles. This Star is called Johar and is designed by Jon Yusoff, Show below is the star right off the shuttles so it still needs to be blocked.The pattern can be found here.   I stopped tatting this a few years ago because I didn't know how to add thread.  It is made with Lisbeth size 10 color Snow White, the problem is that the star is 7.5 inches wide.  I plan to sew it on to a red sweater and wear to our ladies lunch next week.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

UFO Sighting

Jane Eborall recently had a post about cleaning up her tatting cupboard and emptying up some EZ Bobs,  it prompted me to take a look at my collection of UFO's. So I made a list of the projects in progress aka UFO's.    I thought that there can't be more than a dozen and lucky for me I have not exceeded that number, Ahem, I did have many more than I expected.  So it is time to finish up a few of these projects.  Fortunately I have a copy of the pattern slipped into each bag when I stopped the project so it is easier to pick up and finish.

I wish I had a picture to show you but I'd rather you saw finished projects :).  But what prompted all these UFO's. In one instance it is a large project and I just got tired of doing it, others presented a technique I did not know how to do.. yet.  Perhaps new thread, pattern or shuttles arrived and I was taken away to try new adventures; most likely it was all the above. 

During clean up and organizing I also found a list of all of the projects I would like to do.  I had seen them on others blogs, in books, Pinterest or on Craftree.  And so I shall carry this Want To Do list into 2016 and with any luck add to it too. In the meantime its UnFinished Objects that will be on the agenda.. well that is my plan anyway.

 Happy Tatting everyone.

Monday 30 November 2015

Lene's Blizzard

This year I had the opportunity to purchase the book 24 Snowflakes in Tatting personally from Lene Bjorn.  She signed my book so of course I had to tat up her snowflakes.  The diagrams in this book are large and excellent. In the front of the book you will find an explanation of the diagram symbols along with detailed techniques used in the book. There are a few spots where I needed further instruction.
I started at the front of the book and worked my way through each day of December, 45 days later I had completed them all at least once.  The snowflakes still need to be stiffened and blocked then on to my holiday tree (once it is set up).  I will gift the doubles to family.

All snowflakes shown were completed in a vintage thread, Coats size 30. I used one ball or  ~300 yards of thread. The completed size ranges from 2.5 to a maximum of 4 inches tip to tip.  I suggest you prepare a template to block them on but most of them come out very nice if you don't have a template.  

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Renulek Advent Wreath

I have been busy tatting up snowflakes and gifts for Christmas and had to try this wreath by Renulek which can be found here.  She also has a new one for 2015 here.  Originally I thought I would use it as a brooch but doing it in Pearl cotton it came out quite large but I had an idea.  The idea actually came from another tatting site, I believe this is the same candle holder that Cornelia uses and shows the inserts she has made on her site.

I won this glass candle holder at The Fringe Element Tat Days 2015.  You can place almost anything between the glass and it will stay clean and protected. You can add a tealight candle, real or battery powered. If you turn it over it will hold a bit larger candle. I almost need a few more of these for the table as I only have the one. 

Friday 20 November 2015

Toe Up Socks

These short socks were found in a bag full of various UFO's.  They needed the ends woven in and once that's done they will be great to wear.  I believe the yarn was one of Patons KROY yarns, most likely not available in this color anymore.  It is a yarn made specifically for knitting socks and one skein made this pair of short adult socks.  Looking at the color I am confident I made these for me. :)

When I first learned to knit socks I was taught to do them Toe Up and I do the heel in a similar manner.  It is an easy method and you can very quickly do up a pair of socks just for the fun of it.  I make mittens the same way, starting at the fingertips.

Just a little diversion, now back to tatting.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Cluny Fail... or not

The leaf, cluny or tally is created using two threads. I created a loom with my hand by wrapping the core thread over my fingers and using shuttle 2 to weave over and under the threads. A cluny traditionally would substitute for a chain but modern tatting allows for a cluny to hang free. 

The Fail... I got through the cluny but while closing the thread broke; so I tried again. I am using a vintage thread so no surprise that the thread broke. I think I adjusted my tension so much that the thread got very twisted and could not move through the loom at the close.  

In my second attempt the cluny came out well but I don't like how the beads sit in this earring.  I am not fond of my execution of the Victorian sets either.  Perhaps some blocking would improve my result.

This pattern by Dagmar  Pezzuto was available on the online tatting class run by Georgia Seitz, a few weeks back so I took a break from my other projects to do up this earring. This earring has many tatting techniques, using a bead, split ring, throw ring, SCMR, Victorian sets and finally clunies.

I believe that tallies or clunies are like any new technique it just takes practice. 

Sunday 1 November 2015

Hearts Doily Row 7

I am on the last row of this doily, the banner row complete now to attach to the main doily. Wish me luck.

I am thinking of replacing that blue center with the yellow and I think it can be done. Any suggestions?

Helpful links:
Last Row

Friday 30 October 2015

First Cluny or Tally

I've been attending the online tatting class when I can and last week we reviewed Cluny  tatting. Known as cluny or tallies, these weaves look like little leaves and add more interest to your tatting. You can use your hand or a loom to create a cluny. I have submitted my modest trials below.

Back to the basics with two colors of thread and a larger size.  Starting at the bead (1) this first cluny was made during the class.  Asking questions as I typed with one hand as the other held the loom.  I was able to relax my hand and adjust the tension once rested, and start weaving the cluny again.  I also realized that I needed to start much closer to the previous element and to use a template (post it note) to keep all clunys the same size.

The next two were made using a small plastic loom in my hand. I could not get the loom to stay taut and the space to weave was too tight to get my shuttle through. I think it would work great for needle tatters.

Finally the last two done using my hand again.

In all cases I had no issues closing the loom.  I hope to show you more cluny tatting once I've had more practice.  I also think better threads will make much better cluny.  Do you remember what your first cluny looked like? Do you use a loom or your hand?

Helpful links:
Jennifer Williams Cluny weave and closing
Muskaan Tips on Clunies

Friday 23 October 2015


Some things didn't get done, but I did accomplish quite a bit on my time away from the blog.  I've been to Tai Chi three times now and it is beginning to feel very good, all the housework I wanted to get done happened and more. We had a great Thanksgiving and the following week my sister came for a visit and the box of family history was reviewed and ready to go out the door. (They would have been returned but I forgot them at home and too far away to go back) Closet was organised a bit but still needs more work.

Oh yes tatting was done.  Here is a leaf I finished just in time to be given to my sister. It is done in Lizbeth Falling Leaves size 20, pattern is from Tatting Samples Book 3 by Karen Lindsay. 

I also found who left me the bag of vintage thread a few posts back and I was able to send a thank you card with some tatting from the grandmother's threads.  They are still cleaning her house out and brought another bag of threads.  Below is the card I gave them with a star motif and tatted angels.

This is the first cold day and I miss sitting on the back deck in the sun and tatting, but I did get something in the blog today and feel great that I did get some tasks done. 

Thursday 8 October 2015

Collecting NUTS (nagging unfinished tasks)

How does this keep happening? I have so many things to do and so little time. I have more shuttles full than empty,  More shuttles attached to WIP. More patterns waiting to be done, and that is just the tatting.

I still have some archiving to complete on the family history and a large box of photographs to be returned.  I have scanned and identified members and have been able to solve many mysteries.

In my closet I need to replace the short sleeved shirts with the longer ones and put away the short pants and pull out my sweaters.

I have housework to be done in the downstairs bathroom (I rarely go there, it's the boys room), along with dusting and general clean up of the spare room.

I want to join the Tai Chi class at the community and have yet to make the call.

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada so there will be guests and dinner for six at least on Sunday to be planned and prepared.

Looking at my list I may need to set the tatting aside for a bit so some other things can get done around the house.

See you all in a few weeks once my NUTS are completed.

Friday 2 October 2015

The Danish Connection - long post

These are just some of the books and patterns I bought, won or was gifted. Which brings me to the funniest event at The Fringe Element Tat Days, the Danish Connection.  Do you recall from an earlier post that on the Thursday night before the event I was treated to dinner with the Danish ladies and one lady from the UK.  I did not have their names and they did not have mine, I was the lady from Alberta.  In any event Jane K. who picked me up from the airport had arranged to take us all out for dinner.  When I arrived at the hotel there were the three ladies all tatting away down in the lobby.  I quickly checked in and came back down to head off to dinner.  Linda (UK) (the best tatter I have ever seen) joined us.  The Danish ladies were Lis, Tina and Lene. Well I had heard of Lene Bjorn and I was sworn to secrecy not to tell anyone who she was.  By Saturday a few had it figured out, but not all.

On Saturday afternoon, the three Danish ladies and I were in Georgia Seitz class Onion Ring Brooch and Georgia was taking attendance.  
Bernice? Here I said.
Tina? Here said Tina,
Lene? Tina replied, she is here just stepped out for a second. She is here and pointed to an empty chair beside her.
Lene Bjorn? Georgia asked again, looking carefully at the class list, not quite believing her eyes, Yes Tina replied, we were all nodding yes. 
Georgia's eyes were getting larger. 
Lene Bjorn from the snowflake book?  Yes Tina replied, then Lene walked in the room.
I thought Georgia was going to fall off her chair. The look on Georgia's face was priceless. Lene went over to say hello to Georgia right away as she had always wanted to meet her.  
I did get my books signed by Lene and was lucky enough to have spent the entire weekend with the Danish Ladies.  They were representing Dansk Orkisforening. Lis is the Chairman, Lene the Treasurer and Tina the Substitute Board member. 

Below is a little mouse from Jane K. and  the Onion Ring Brooch which still needs the back cleaned up and the brooch pin attached.

A few more books revealed later.

Monday 28 September 2015

Got, Bought or Won.

I have just arrived back home from the 10th Annual Tat Days in Cambridge Ontario Canada. I got, bought or won a hanky, 1 picot set, 1 hand carved hook, 2 balls thread, 2 HDT, 2 roommates, 5 shuttles, 12 pattern books, bags of beads, loose patterns and techniques, a whole sac of tools, tealight holder and many new friends. 

The weekend began with my arrival at the KW airport where there was a tatter to pick me up. Below is the sign Jane K. made for me, Bernice's Shuttle.

We had planned to go out for dinner with the ladies from Denmark and the UK so off we all went along with our host Jane K. We all got to talking so much we were the last to leave in the restaurant, we pulled out our tatting back at the hotel and continued chatting long into the evening. 

Friday morning many more tatters had arrived and I was invited to go off to Lens Mills a large fabric store nearby, I enjoyed it and found a few things to put in my suitcase.  Registration began on Friday afternoon and I was first through the doors, and an hour later taking a class from Judith Connors (AUS) and Jane Eborall (UK) sitting in the class. The fun had only just begun.  I soon learned that I cannot talk, listen to jokes, take instruction and tat at the same time. Oh things did get better by Saturday afternoon and Sunday I actually finished a project.  I also took additional classes from Jennifer Williams (Wales) and Georgia Seitz (USA).  Linda (UK) was kind enough to show me pearl tatting and Georgia come by to show both of us another way of doing it, tatters are the best.

Much to my surprise Karey Solomon was at the event selling her HDT and books, one which I've had my eye on for some time.  I met so many nice ladies and  didn't blow my budget.

I would encourage all tatters to attend a tat and chat in your area and if you have the opportunity to attend a conference like I did, do it at least once.

Happy tatting. 

Wednesday 23 September 2015


Just a sample of some needlecases I have made.  I learned to do these from the book Beaded Needlecases by Jeannie Might.

An Aunt of mine really liked these and her husband was a carpenter so he was able to make me some wooden cases to bead around.  These are the longer needlecases in the picture. The needlecase on the right was made for my mom who loved carousel horses.  I just don't bead as much as I used to. I am slowly incorporating beads into my tatting.

Thursday 17 September 2015

Almost half around

Almost half around this row and eager to finish to get back to the "Big One".  You tat a banner of hearts separately and it is recommended not to close into a circle but wait for the connecting round. I really like the hearts pattern round the edge of this doily. The pattern can be found here.  

The last of this years canning has been completed and I just finished up 11 quarts and 2 pints of pears.  It is not my husbands favorite so these are all mine, although I did promise a jar to my sister.  I used the glass lids and rubber rings, these look so pretty in the cupboard as I remove the metal bands to store. It is a little tricky to use glass lids and I wouldn't recommend it to someone just starting out canning as there are newer and easier ways.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Hearts Doily Rows 4 and 5

It might be hard to see these last two rows, they are full of picots in contrast to the only joining picots in the previous rows.  Next is a band of hearts and then finally a joining round.  I am doing the round of hearts in the rust color.  The doily in Hakelgarn  20 currently measures 11 inches (27 cm).   

I've been busy doing up some gifts and below is one of my favorite snowflakes, It is from Tatting by Penelope Book 3, picture on page 4 and directions on page 14.  I plan to put it on a Thank You Card.  I have actually tatted this once before and in my earnest to tat this I learned to do split chains and my first split ring was done on this pattern. This snowflake is done with a soft embroidery thread measures 4 inches (10 cm), point to point. I made slight modifications from the original pattern.


Saturday 12 September 2015

Crocheted Beaded Bags

Some years ago I started making these little beaded bags.  Made with size 11 beads and crochet cotton, pearle or size 10. I use mine to keep jewelry in when travelling.  It would be easy to adjust the size of the bag to accommodate a shuttle and small ball of thread or just a shuttle.  The picture below only shows what I have left as I have given many away.

They were based on the patterns and techniques found in Margaret Snouffer's book Crocheted Beaded Bags which I purchased at a local bead store.  I have also made a small evening bag using the same techniques.

Monday 7 September 2015

Salsa Weekend

It's a holiday Monday here in Canada "Labour Day" and the day was full of labour. Saturday the tomatoes were purchased and peeled and cored, then set overnight.  On Sunday I chopped onions and peppers, a few hot ones and cooked up the salsa. I pulled out the canner and processed 17 quarts,  I hope it lasts a while as it takes a long time to complete.  

Today Monday, I canned up the leftover tomatoes and now have nine quarts of canned tomatoes.

I have a box of apples that my sister dropped off so applesauce, apple crisp and apple pies may be in my near future.

Just a little bit of tatting was done.  These little angels done in "Ricamo Ancora" part of the vintage thread gifted a few weeks ago. 

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Hearts Doily Row 3

Don't look too close, I had to repair in two spots as I had extra set of chain stitches in them.  Then there were eight ends to hide.

I went ahead with the rust color and it looks great, I will use yellow for the next two rows and then a row of rust hearts to finish off.

I am also working the Big Monster JS Doily but row 12 has been quite the struggle.  Miscounting and the size 10 tires me out so I make more mistakes.  Seems I go backwards more that frontwards so I have put it aside again.  

Thursday 27 August 2015

Leftover Thread in the Shuttle

It started out as just using up the leftover thread from the lanyard project.  Instead of choosing a smaller project this happened. I was able to get more than halfway around before I needed to add thread as I was using the large clover shuttles. 

This is the first two rows of the Heart Doily found here, Frywolitkowa Serwetka Serduszkowa - Tatted Heart Doily by Dorothy Koscielniak.  It is a very striking doily offered up as a tat-along from Land of Laces. You tat the row of hearts separately and use a joining row to attach the hearts to the previous rows of the doily.   I have used Hakelgarn 20 in a navy blue and pale yellow and am trying to decide on  a color for the next row.

So should I stay with these two colors or branch out?  The other Hakelgarn colors I have at hand are light green, bright yellow, beige, peach, rose, rust and red. I am open to suggestions.

Wednesday 26 August 2015


As a kid I recall big boxes of fruit that would arrive from our relatives in British Columbia.  Mom and Grandma would get busy canning and the rewards would be fruit to enjoy all winter long. My favorite was the peaches.

 I still prefer canned peaches on my pancakes.   I got busy myself today and did up 16 jars. The cost works out to just less than $3.00/quart. 

Monday 24 August 2015

First Lanyard

It always feels so good to finish a project and this lanyard is done.  It's not perfect but that leaves room for improvement.  I used Hakelgarn 20 in a navy or dark blue. The pattern was from Jane Eborall.

Although I do like the pearls I found them difficult to work with. 
The length of the beads are 34 inches and does stretch a bit.  I did have some issues keeping the threads straight, it was tricky using the larger clovers but a good learning experience. 
I had recently broken a lanyard so I had extra attachments to put on the ring.  I may make another one. Any suggestions?

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Vintage Thread Surprise

As we arrived home this past weekend there was a bag of treasures hanging on my front door. No note so I don't know who has done this. My favorite thread is the Vintage Coats Size 30, enough to make snowflakes for a very long time.  There is a wide assortment of vintage embroidery cotton too.

There were also two vintage crochet books, along with a few vintage loose patterns needless to say I am over the moon.  Whoever you are, THANK YOU.

Friday 14 August 2015

New Tatting Teachers

I love that Canada is so big but I hate that Canada is so big.  I have been tatting seriously for 30 months and have only met one other person in Canada who tats.  Oh yes I do have "virtual" tatting friends/buddies but having another tatter watch you tat is priceless, especially when you are learning.  They see the shuttle move and can offer such good advice. A wasted movement here, a twist of the wrist there, more thread, less thread and together you share some new techniques and show off a few pieces too.
 Now if it wasn't for my virtual tatting friends, I would still be at a novice level as they provide plenty of advice, encouragement and sharing.  I thank them all but a book can always be by your side day or night so I compliment my learning from books and have recently added to my growing library.

We are travelling this weekend so I don't think I can pull out the tatting and I am working on some projects that don't travel well so my tatting teachers will be coming to keep me company if a quiet moment appears.

Thursday 13 August 2015

Jane's Lanyard

This is the second start of a lanyard using a Jane Eborall pattern. (the first was a test and may become a zipper pull.) I revised the ring count to fit the two sizes of beads and added a picot instead of more beads at the sides. The round beads do not like to sit beside another round bead, Bicones may have been a better choice, or only beading every other ring.  too late now. These are plastic pearls in two sizes, don't ask me the size as I just raided my stash.

The shuttles shown are the large clovers and if you don't like the points on clovers, then these points are even more painful but the shuttles hold more than twice the amount of thread than the smaller clover shuttles hold. My big hands don't mind the larger size at all.  I am using a dark blue Hakelgarn thread, marked 20 but it looks and tats closer to 30, a nice and easy tat and retrotat but... it is a dark thread so I work with plenty of light.

The pink paperclip is because I load up a bead just before I start the ring and don't need two hands to remove the paperclip once the bead is anchored to the top of the ring. I keep a hook nearby because I am attaching to the previous ring to keep the lanyard from twisting and it is working so far. I also use the hook to load up each bead. If you use smaller shuttles and find you need to add thread,  the ends can be easily hidden in the beads.

I have beaded a few lanyards before and found them very useful. By adding a lobster claw to each end you can attach a big loop to rest your glasses, cheaters or pendant,  it becomes a functional chatelaine and of course a place for an ID badge for work or play. 

Monday 3 August 2015

Jan Stawasz Moje Robotki 8/2007 Huge Doily tat-along Row 10 and 11

It is hard to believe I did this myself. I have only been tatting for a few years and would never have thought that I could get this far on such a big project. I am feeling quite accomplished but am reminded that there are still another seven rows before completion.

While ironing, I found one of the inner mofits had come undone so I needed to retat part of it. Painful task but needed to be done. 

I am using Aida 10, ecru and the doily currently measures 27 inches or 69 cm. It is sitting flat and I have just given it a steam and slight press with the iron.

I have two of Jan Stawasz books and tatted a few other of his doilies. This pattern is from Moje Robotki 8/2007. 

On to row 12.....

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Split Ring Climbing

It can get a bit tricky but using split rings and split chains to climb from one round to the other saves hiding a few ends.  The last four rings made here are all split rings and helped me complete five arches, this is a portion of arch number six of the Big "monster" Doily.   I tat over tails when I start the arch and climb to the second row using these four split rings. You may need to learn how to join on the second side of a split ring to keep an untwisted climb, I used Jane's site, here is the link.

I have been using Magic Loops or Magic Thread to hide the ends in the last chain.  I tat just a bit loose to allow for the threads which will be hidden beside the core thread.  I start one loop before the other so they end in alternate spots.

I am using some thin strong nylon beading thread which I had on a large cone but the cone is too big to travel with my tatting so I repurposed an empty floss container to hold some spare magic thread.

Just open up the container and wrap your thread around the little spool inside, You even have a cute little cutter, good enough for this thread.  I never had much success until I found the right thread to use.    
I find challenges in each bit of tatting I do, and its the learning and complexity that draws me in.  Just as Knitting or Crochet is not for everyone, neither is tatting.

At the end of these arches I will be giving this monster a slight block on the foam and I will show you the big picture again.