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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just a box!


Just before son and 'DIL to be'left after Christmas, little grandson came to stay......for quite a lot of days!

They tend to take over our house and our lives. We were warned not to put glass ornaments on the lower branches of the already saw that I put all the things a baby might like there remove all spikey and poisonous plants from his reach!!! tho' he tends not to harm plants...being a thoughtful little botanist!

She said that his favourites at the moment are...cupboards and their contents...door and handles.

This set me thinking about all the fun we used to have in the old days when my kids were little....with just a cardboard box. We all know that most kids prefer the box to the toy within. We made a car with all sorts of knobs and dials, a fort with castellated turrets....painted it with thick grey paint mixed with sand, and boy was it gritty.

The house elf's Christmas present had arrived in a large very strong box, and that got me thinking.....if he likes cupboards full of plastic, door and handles then that is what he will get. He wouldn't have the strength to open our cupboard doors YET! anyway.

So when Christmas day was over....son, 'DIL to be' and I got our thinking caps on. I told them what I wanted and sonny boy drew it out on the box so that 'DIL to be' could cut it out....he being the architect and foreman!!

This is the back with little patio doors leading out into the carpet, and a fab circular window....just right for stuffies to peep out or to post things in....and to make it quite bright inside, tho' I am not sure that a baby will go into a cave!

One side has 4 windows, 2 single and 2 double....all with lime green little baby sized handles.

Son tapes up the inside...

...before we add the chimneys.

The house is in need of some exterior decoration but that's for later.

Grandbaby arrived and so did even more computers, this is just 4 out of the 5 Mac laptops to say nothing of the big screens. They do bring their work with idle hands in my house!

Grandson is now 14 months old, has perfect balance and is quite capable of walking...but he tends to stick to walking round the furniture...always with an object in each hand....preferably his shoes....after all shoes are made for walking.

For speed he prefers crawling or his new mode...developed especially to hold an object in each hand...of standing up on his knees and shuffling forward.

I decided not to force his house on him but to let him discover it in his own good time.
The Christmas tree did fascinate him and every time he approached it his mum would say 'touch' and his index finger would reach out and touch an ornament ever so gently and make it bounce.

The house he ignored! just like his wrapped presents he had no concept of what it was.
I wondered if this was going to work.

Next day we decided to open the main door and tempt him..especially by his stuffies tapping on the little doors from inside and the poking their heads out of different door. Very soon he was pulling the little handles and giggling.

I showed him how I could post little objects down thro' the chimneys on the roof and with in a day he suddenly got it!

It's just baby height, cool!

By the 29th he had really got enthusiastic and discovered some of the many pieces inside...but his absolute favourite is to post a little plastic bottle down the chimney, drop to his knees, into the box to retrieve it and do it all over again.

I think this is one of his earliest sessions of entertaining himself.

Whenever he sees a chimney on a house from now on he will think it is there to post things thro'....bit like Santa really!

He is really good at ducking his head to get back out....until one time when he went right in and sat down and then couldn't get his head low enough to get fault in the low doorway...blame the architect!!

You will now understand why Life and Thread Dyeing have been temporarily terminated!!

I don't know how you guys with little children manage!!

Happy New Year everyone.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Secret Santa!

My Secret Santa Package organised by Erin at Tatting Goddess HQ arrived well in time for Christmas, was duly shaken to see if it rattled (it did!) and was dutifully placed under my Christmas tree...even before there was a tree to place it under!!

I always open these packages last so that I can enjoy them to the full....this one didn't want to give up its secrets straight away as it was full of prettily wrapped packages....with just a solitary Altoid's tin peeping out unwrapped.

Now I have heard so much about Altoid tines but have never had one in my own little hand....a very handy little tin.

Tucked inside was a very pretty bracelet...made by my SS???? It was soon on my wrist!

All those little packages one by one were a delight. Another tin...a great rectangular shape, said on it Wriggley's Spearmint Chewing Gum and true to it's name was stuffed with chewing she trying to get me to concentrate more by keeping my jaws too busy to talk???

A pretty cotton bag with a snowflake motif held little tablets of soaps in Honey Almond, Sage and Lavender to keep my hands squeaky clean. the bag will be great for keeping a ball of thread out of harms way.....and there was a ball of thread in another wrap to prove the point. Lizbeth 20 my very first ball of Lizbeth. Red Burst...gosh what a lovely mix, had to try it, tatted another snowflake but you will have to wait for that!

A tube of beads, some tiny, tiny buttons perfect for little tatbead family feet (Jane E's designs)...a tube of mini M&M's to keep me going........

....... so where is THE TATTING!!!

Hidden in a pretty gold box was................ a cute and very clever tatted Christmas tree, complete with gold baubles, a trunk and a tree skirt.

Here they all are...

The tree deserves a closer look...

I decided to stiffen it to show it's branches at their best and it hangs on my silver disc/rainbow tree......very, very nice addition.

The only thing missing was a card to say who it was from!!!!! I do HAVE my was posted in Tennessee.....but I don't trust these sneaky SS senders not to be playing tricks on me like a certain someone does!!

So come on 'fess up!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Christmas Day!

Christmas eve. The Santa hats were laid out under the tree, mince pie and a glass of milk for Santa (mustn't turn him into an alcoholic!). The tree twinkled in a way that made my eyes keep turning to look.

Christmas morning the hats were full of chocolates and chocolate money....yipee santa never lets us would think we had small children in the house....instead of thirty something children... We hope that we never grow up and lose the magic.

We all got the most delightful gifts, DIL to be is busy at the moment making sparkly french knit necklaces from the ribbons that I gave her. DH got the ultimate coffee machine that he has spent his life looking for! Fergeal was of course jealous as that's what he had wanted for his office! and so on...

The weather was absolutely atrocious.....going from sheeting rain to hail storms until it cleared enough for us to drive to see if anyone was brave enough for the Christmas swim. We parked as near as we could and watched from the car as so many raced into the sea....and raced out again.

The rain poured down.

Santa's danced in the icy water.

Finally son and I ventured out of the car to get a bit of exercise and fresh air as the rain had stopped for a few minutes.
Watching the Christmas swim has been our family tradition for years and years and I don't ever remember such awful weather. I suppose I just don't remember bad things.

The rest of the day was spent eating.....and eating ....and eating.....

Hope your day was as good.

Happy St Stephens day to all my friends.

I just offered my son his choice of snowflake (he loves my tatting) and his chose the Rainbow Bright one with the yellow center...I knew he would!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Wishes!

Christmas has caught up, snowflakes are getting thin on the ground.

A Happy Christmas to all the followers of my blog. I have so enjoyed your company and comments along my journey.
I would have liked to have sent every one of you a snowflake for Christmas, but the best I can do is to send you all a Christmas card. This is my card that I sent out this year, I had no time to make my usual handmade cards...... I wonder why!!

Enjoy all the merryment, you have all earned it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sixteenth Day of December!

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

I continue to blunder my way through my challenge, trying to tat as fast as possible....Resulting in so many mistakes which I am happy to show you, tho I would prefer perfection but that doesn't happen first time always....indeed not often!

We all have to practice, concentrate and learn.

Snowflake number 16 was no exception!
This is a very pretty easy to tat snowflake...provided that you concentrate enough!

Shuttles loaded I was a good way round before I realised that I was didn't have enough picots left to join to to give me 6 tall and 6 short trefoils.....clang.....mmmm!!! since there are 6 tall and 6 short trefoils then I need 12 picots!

Now of course this would have been obvious if I had been concentrating and not watching TV at the same time. The book had lulled me into a feeling of false security that all the central motifs have 5 picots and a false one.

Rather than throwing all my work away...too far to untat....I though that it would work equally well with 3 tall and 3 short trefoils......wrong again. I ended up with a 3D object.....

...which actually would look great draped over a bauble....if only the central circle had been bigger.....which brings me back to the beginning again!

By this time I was heartily sick of this colour....Oren Bayen...gorgeous teal green.

A change of colour would do me good and it did.

Looks beautiful doesn't it and I bet you didn't notice the mistake...yes another mistake. I ran out of picots to join to again...I was sure I had 12....if you look closely at the top right you will see the little blighter that got caught up in the previous bit of tatting.

Nothing for it but to soldier on and MAKE another picot in the last stitches. Looks ok mostly.

It measures in Oren Bayen 50 9cm.

Thread amounts Sh1 11.5m if you don't RW after the central ring then Sh1 does all the work. Sh2 1m or less.

This really looks like the end of the challenge for a bit. Christmas really did catch up with me and the rest of the family refuse to believe that it is only the 16th and wait a bit.....probably because their flight home won't wait!!

16 out of the 24 snowflakes, two thirds....not bad I suppose.

I do have no 17 about a quarter finished but sonny boy wants to play Cluedo and Mahjong tonight and have a party of our own, since the one we normally go to is cancelled. Cluedo I will put up with, Mahjong is our all time fav' since we bought out set in HongKong a life time ago.....

The family that plays together stays together.

Trying to catch up on all the Christmas blogs is impossible but I am trying.

The family just don't know the secret life their mum leads!!! ain't it wonderful.

See ya tomorrow.... I had hope to photograph all the 16 snowflakes together but no time. I actually tatted a total of 32 snowflakes if you count the repeats!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fifteenth day Of December!

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

There are tatters out there who don't believe that it is really the 15th of December!!!

They may be right!

If they are then I will not have finished my 24 Snowflakes before Christmas!

But I keep going in the hope that they are wrong!!

Today has been a hectic day in my house, finishing decorating to name but one minor thing. I nearly didn't make it to my computer for this post, so think yourselves lucky!!

There are others who believe that there are tatting helpers in my house, they obviously don't know just how lazy two leprechauns egging each other on can be!!

Today's snowflake no 15 in the book was a real pain in the ....! I am beginning to see a pattern here of easy ones
to give me a feeling of false security followed by similarly easy looking ones that are NOT.

Lene's tatting is so immaculate in her photos, every picot is just so, and her chains all so even, that I am wondering how many dozens of times did she have to tat these to get a perfect one or can she do that every time!

OK enough of that, time to show what I achieved.

I can tell you that it looks a helluva lot better now that I have blocked it than it did before.

The tatting itself is easy. It is basically chains with rings thrown off, but it is so difficult to get those long chains to be smooth and even. Maybe practice would make perfect but no time to do that. That and getting the joining picots just the right length. Done really well it would be stunning.

The thread is another Altin Basak 50. the snowflake measures 9.5cm again.

Thread amounts Sh1 1m, Sh2 11.5m, sh2 does most of the work...or Sh1 if you don't RW when you come out of the center ring. In which case adjust thread amounts slightly.

Today's bonus snowflakes...more of my favourite Dec 3rd..this one is just so easy and so stunning.
I wanted to try it in Vanilla Sky. MY first one has a center of Raspberry Ripple and Real vanilla.

You may or may not notice a glaring mistake...but I will point it out anyway! Major forgetfulness in the big ring at the bottom of the scan. I get so used to tatting my picots in the central rosette with no stitches between them that I forgot not to!

I was too far past it to even think of untatting so I said to myself who cares anyway! It's just hand made that's all.

I don't really like the effect of the varig' center so I will use a solid colour. The choice was a pale pink from Vanilla Sky or a slightly deeper one. I chose the deeper one.

Not sure that this was the right choice, need to do another with a paler center!

On to tomorrow....still a week until Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fourteenth day of December!

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

You wouldn't believe how much this tatting challenge is luring me into a false sense of security. In my mind it is really only the 14th of Dec and I am immune to the hustle and bustle going on all around me (well almost!). My mind says...plenty of time left to do everything. I think it might hit me on Christmas Eve that I AM NOT READY!!! HELP!
Well there is lots of help here anyway and Son and DIL to be are both so laid back that there is no hassle in Tatskool land.

Last night was the coldest we can remember for years, went down to -2.6C with the whole garden and windows covered in really thick, crystalline frost. Yesterday I skidded on an icy corner..the first real skid I have ever had. Today we are waiting until the bright bright sun thaws things enough to take the kids town to see all the changes, a whole new shopping street since they last came. The shops shown on the advertising video clip aren't the ones that actually came. It is about 75% occupied which in a recession is amazing. The shop on the corner called Fink (I think) is now a dedicated Apple Mac shop...superb. the new street which is a widened small lane goes thro' from our main street to our beautiful old art gallery. So if you want a glimpse of my city this is it.

Back to business. Today's snowflake was one of the stunningly beautiful easy ones. A lot of work in it but nothing difficult.

The thread that I chose is a very, very pastel Altin Basak 50 in pale peach,green.cream.
Lets take another look on a black background.

A very clever design.
The finished flake measures 9.5cm
Thread amounts. The total was 12.25m, not easy to give amounts for each shuttle as Sh2 did most of the work and so I had to switch shuttles half way thro'. Next time that I do it I would probably put 3m on Sh1 and 10.5 on Sh2.

A little extra treat today for everybody suffering Rainbow Bright withdrawal symptoms.

Isn't that a wow! and it really does look as bright as that. So now which one do you like the best!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Leprechauns in love!

I guess that the one most of you were interested in was THE GIRL!

Well she landed safely in Idaho into the welcoming hands of Lady Shuttle Maker. You can see them here. They look so alike it's hard to see which is the leprechaun! I think they are going to influence each other a lot.

I wasn't going to show Fergeal that blog post 'cos I know that he liked her...a lot. He tried to get her to stay, but she said "No! I want to travel while I am young enough and have no ties!" I think that I have heard that somewhere before!

We all hope that there will not be a repeat of last year when Brendan decided that he hadn't travelled far enough! and wandered off.
I can assure you (fingers crossed) that she is Brenda the stay at home..the homemaker. Blathnaid ( Irish names you always lean on the first syllable) means we should be seeing flowery designs and HDT's in abundance from LSM.

Well back to this post, when I went to get a cup of coffee, Fergeal spotted the open window on my computer from his office on top of my piano..dragged up his tin of Chocolate Leprechauns to climb on for a better look.

I left him there while I got my lunch ready, when I came back I was gobsmacked to see that where I left one, now there were two leprechauns admiring the photo and not only that but Fergeal had managed to enlarge it so much that she was almost in the room with us.

In the blink of an eye Fergeal had lifted the other one on to his shoulders to get a better view.

"What's going on here?" I asked rather feebly, 'What's he doing still here??"

Fergeal wheeled round taken very much by suprise....

"Er...ummm!.....he's...he's.....he's my apprentice!!"

Apprentice my foot!

Seems that our Fergeal is lonely. He has seen three lots of leprechauns....just like him...well almost...arrive and then be sent away before he had chance to get to know them. "It's just not fair." he said.

Then he began to try to justify his actions. he reckoned that as he was in charge this year and did all the advertising and all the interviews, that his workload had got so much bigger than stated in his he decided that he was in need of an assistant.....and had talked young Tadgh into staying....promising him...well who knows what he has promised him!!

I think we are going to here a lot more from he and Fergeal are always together dreaming up some big scheme.

In case you didn't know Tadgh is the Irish equivalent of is pronounced Tie-gg. Don't forget to lean on the first syllable.

Next time we write we will show you some more photos of Fergeal and Tadgh and some never seen of Blathnaid AKA Brenda before she left.

Oh the number of Leprechauns that are writing in saying they are smitten by Blathnaid is growing by the minute, whatever will happen next!

Normal snowflake challenge service will be resumed tomorrow.....OK so I am just playing for more time!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thirteenth day Of December!

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

Gosh so many people seem to have just bought this book, I must have started a snowflake flurry! It will be great to see your results. Glad that you are enjoying following my journey.

Thanks for all the compliments about my tree and my angel. If I get a chance I will try to photograph my other trees. the little silver wire one with crystals hasn't even got a look in yet. just too busy.

The Snowflake challenge is on the downhill run and giving me a reason to keep tatting every evening, even with the son and DIL to be here now with us. Christmas is coming much too soon.

The snowflake for the 13th of December looked so much like the previous one for the 12th in my last rounds of chains...that I thought it was going to be as easy...well I was wrong!!

Be back tomorrow I hope.

It wasn't easy at all, it had a sting in it's tail! The instructions said to complete chain G with a false chain. It was in a very tight spot but OK I can do that I thought and was happy enough...until I got to the end of the next round.
I couldn't figure out what the diagram was trying to tell me. Printed the actual photo large and then again in reverse but it made no sense, until I realised that each chain G needed a split chain to finish...that was 4 split chains in awkward places! which seemed to get worse and worse.

The result looks tolerable but not good enough.

When I got round to having a good look at the photo and diagram, I realised that she had used graduated picots, and mine are no where near graduated enough to achieve the stunning effect that she got.

The thread is a varig' Flora 20 in a sort of peach and white.
Snowflake measures 10.5cm

Thread amounts, Sh1 2m, Sh2 10m as sh2 does most of the work.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Twelfth Day of December!

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

Snowflake number 12...yipeeeeeeeeee! Half way through the book.

It's all down hill from here...or should that be uphill!

This snowflake is a little beauty, one of my favourites.
It was so pretty that I had to stop halfway and do a is perfect as it is.

Add the final round and it is splendiferous. I think this is a design masterpiece.

It was very easy to tat, nothing more difficult than one split ring if you want to do it all in one go. It would look gorgeous in different colours for the rounds, but a lot of hiding of ends.

I tatted this in Coats 40 in a lovely medium purple. It measures 9cm. I really need to make all of these snowflakes in fine thread to make them suitable for the tree.

Thread amounts, Coats 40. Sh1 9.75m, Sh2 3m.

I finally finished decoration my big real Christmas tree. This year it has to be baby friendly, I put on only 2 glass ornaments and no little wire hangers like I normally use. A smaller tree than usual it had to be raised up...more baby friendly too. It took two milk crates to make a stable base I put all the cute decorations that a little boy will love to look at near the bottom, missed out all the tinsel and lammetta as it is such a pretty tree and then went to town with tatting.

Over 600 little tiny lights and it looks so much prettier than you can see.

Lets take a closer look

You will wonder why when I am tatting so many multicoloured snowflakes and then have a tree with nothing but white.

Well white is still the best for a snowflake and they do show up so well against the green. Upstairs I have also decorated my Silver Rainbow Christmas tree with total absence of white. My antique feather tree is all white also this year...totally all my white snowflakes are not on my big tree!

The angel on the top of the tree was made many years ago.....

.....but she remains my all time favourite.

One year in Brownies we made a start for an angel. A cardboard cone with a cotton ball for the head, and told them to go away and decorate it for the following weeks party. The results were fabulous. This was my attempt with gold foil,holographic paper, glitter glue and sequins and a little angel hair with a pipe cleaner halo.

Some of my favourite decoration on my tree are geometric shapes made out of thin card and decorated with glitter and sequins...I must show them to you sometime.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Eleventh Day of December!

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

11th day of December and I am still tatting. I wish it really was the 11th, then I might have a fighting chance of completing my challenge.

Snowflakes are beginning to get thin on the ground...tho it is just possible that we might have a White cool would that be....probably very. We have had almost a week of dry sunny weather, blue skies...but gradually getting colder.

On to Snowflake 11...this was really very easy, if you can tat a trefoil then you can tat this, you can even avoid a split ring if necessary.

...the instructions say to make it in 2 rounds but since there are split rings...the 2 rounds are continuous...something she says in other patterns but not this one. I guess it's just happened in the translation from Danish.

Pretty snowflake....don't like my colour choice much...a varig' Flora 20...looks better in the scan than in real life. A bit clunky in 20, next time I will make it in 30 or 40.

It measures 10cm....interesting fact is that if you tat a snowflake in size 20 it will be the same size as the diagram in the book!

Thread amounts, Sh1 6m, Sh2 7.

An extra treat today....look what I got in the post from my dear friend Sally from Tats Heaven....tucked inside the Christmas card was a simply divine be-jewelled butterfly bookmark designed by her very own sister.

Hope to see ya tomorrow, better get down to it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tenth Day Of December!

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

Sorrrry! been a bit busy, trying to get Christmas sorted, finish the shopping, buy the tree (at long last), get it up and decorated for my tat party today with my lassies.
Trying to make my tree safe and wonderous for a one year that possible!

Watching with fascination how Fergeal's new recruits have settled in to their new home. Two glorious reports so far,

find Ruari (Rory) here
and Stiofan (Stephan) here

Such wonderful photos for Fergeal's album, he is so proud of his siblings...and jealous too.

Back to reality and the next snowflake in my Christmas challenge.

Day 10 was an absolute joy to tat.
Isn't it beautiful, I love the negative space created by pulling those chains out to the side.

I made this in a gorgeous colorway in Oren Bayen another soft 3 cord Turkish thread which comes in gorgeous colours.
It measures 10.5cm and takes approx 12.5mm, can't give you the amount on each shuttle as had to do some shuttle switching to finish it, having put 7m on each shuttle.

This is a definate must do again.

Hope to see ya tomorrow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ninth Day of December!

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

This is the last of the 'how on earth am I going to tat this one' snowflakes. That's not to say there won't be any more, but they all look do-able from this distance!

This one took me 4 nights to get right, but I got there in the end. Tatted in one round, it goes in and out, up and down and round and about until you are dizzy!! Once you have figured out which direction you are going and where to join it's a doddle!!

I did start off on my first attempt going the wrong way as I came out of the inner ring and ended up with my block tat lines lying the wrong way round...which turned out to be that was abandoned...especially after I then noticed that there were direction arrows. silly me.

Once again the photo is the reverse of the diagram which doesn't help the confusion.
Nice big print out, flipped over had to be made.

The instructions are actually good with start arrow and follow up arrows.

Loaded up with Flora 20 in a minty green off I speed...too much speed not enough thinking! using Jane/Julie's method as in the last snowflake...I was half way round before I stopped to take stock and realised that....the picot shown by arrow A should have been joined to point B.....ooops!

Looks simple doesn't it...just tie them together when I have finished...WRONG!! that would make one row of block tatting too many and I would end up at the outside instead of the inside!

Well I was b...... if I was going to unpick all that I will tat as far as I can and see what can be done.

I cut out the offending chain and the first ring, stood on my head and tatted backwards to the beginning...or something like that. I did it anyway and it don't look half bad! Well apart from that blob of 4 ends tied off that you prob can't see and I won't look at!!

Yippeeeeeeeeee! it's was easy really on reflection! they always are..that's why I should tat it again and enjoy it this time. So what colour do you suggest.

Thread amounts it measures 10.5cm in Flora 20
This is just an approximation due to the mistake.....Sh1 9m, Sh2 17m that's a lot of tatting!

Joy of joys, tomorrow's pattern looks easy and don't peep and it will be a suprise! See ya!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Eighth Day Of December!

Glad that so many of you enjoyed Fergeal's you enjoyed it do please leave a comment...they do show me that my efforts haven't just disappeared into cyber space.
Only one guess as to which day of the week he held his interviews!!
There will more adventures of Fergeal to come as he is getting big ideas above his station now that he has his office.

Back to my adventure.......

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

This is the second of the snowflakes from hell that I was dreading. Sorry Lene...all your designs are superb.

The finished snowflake is beautiful.

But it had major trials and tribulations.

I began with a solid colour in Flora 20....loaded up a shuttle connected to the ball.The instructions tell me that it is made in two rounds continuously...and I understand what she means...miraculously! I am told where to start and given direction arrows and further instructions.... so all should go well!!

But it didn't... I chose to do Jane's method of block tatting..that is one row of flipped stitches, followed by one row of unflipped stitches. Very easy once you get the hang of it and so turning at the end of a row. Jane has just reminded me that Julie Patterson used this method first, though Jane arrived at it independently.

All went well until I suddenly realised that I had joined in the wrong place! Way to far back to unpick...and so I abandoned it...and learned!

I do have one complaint about the presentation tho'! The photo is the reverse of the diagram...making it very difficult to compare where you are, especially when you are right left challenged. This wouldn't normally be an issue as most designs are symmetrical, but block tatting is not!
So I had to flip it and print it out...big!

I also learned something else...NEVER, EVER try to do block tatting with a soft thread like Altin Basak. In block tatting there is a lot of joining thro' tiny spaces and inevitably the thread gets split at some point. With 6 cord thread you can usually smooth it back into a useable state, but with this the soft single pulled thread broke and became a lump of fluff!! Twice I had to join in a new thread next to the you can't spot it tho'!!

I would tat this pattern again. I can think of so many threads that it would look pretty in. Using the shoelace trick method, the colouring in the block tatting would be continuous. Jane/Julie's method and switching shuttles method both produce contrasting stripes.

Thread amounts
Altin Basak 50 measures 8cm
Sh 6.75m, ball 4m...using Jane/Julie's method, other methods will take a different amount.

I promised to show you what I bought in the Big Smoke on wednesday. This was my best find, something I had been looking for for ages...and there it was in a sale, half price!

It's a tree about 18ins high, made out of silvery wire with crystals on each branch.
Even tho' the crystals are made of plastic they really sparkle. It's a good job they are not swarovski as they are destined to be taken off!

I put it in my hallway against a mirror so I will get to see two lots of tatting. I can see this with hearts or easter eggs too.

You can't see it very well in this photo so I have put a piece of card behind it.

Isn't that pretty.

See ya tomorrow!
Addendum...this is the same Altin Basak thread that I used for the first snowflake of 3rd December that I sent to Diane. Pretty colour.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Taking a break!

Necessity FORCES me to take a break from my challenge...that and tatting like a maniac to keep up!!

I had a wonderful shopping time yesterday in Dub's fair City! tatted a snowflake on the way up and another on the way home. The sun was shining and the sky was blue when we arrived having seen flooded fields all the way up in this sodden land,but within an hour the heavens opened and it poured down all day. I got some cool goodies tho'.

Ok back to business. all know my Leprechaun Fergeal and his siblings.....well if you don't...where have you been living, obviously not in my corner of blogland!

You can catch up by either searching for Leprechaun in my side bar labels..I see there are 10 posts OR in the search engine at the top of the blog. This helps me enormously when I can't remember if I posted some tatting or not! It might help you if you want to know how much thread to use for a project and I might have made it!

Also and in addition you can go to the Leprechauns my blog roll and read ALL the posts there......................................................................

sitting........................waiting for you to catch up.........................twiddling my hubby actually does this................while he is waiting at traffic lights.................who else does....................?

OK welcome back now I don't have to explain any more!

So lets start again.....

Fergeal has a list...(just like Santa Claus...only Fergeal checks his list every day). His list is all the tatters that he would like to have a Leprechaun.....

The problem is that he is such a gregarious little soul that his list gets longer and longer ...every day!!

I keep telling him "Fergeal, how do you think I can make all those Leprechauns, have you any idea how long it takes just to make one???"

Obviously he hasn't!

So I finally put my foot down and told him that I couldn't possibly make any this year.

He was not happy!

"If you stop that silly tatting you would have plenty of time!"

mmm I think I have heard that before!!

Well anyway, Fergeal decided that there was no option but to take matters into his own hands, handicapped as he is by his lucky Irish cent.

Nope, it's not what you think...he didn't borrow my felt, scissors, needles and thread.... he took the easy way out and he advertised in the Leprechaun Times....for Leprechauns willing to travel.... outside their homeland.....not afraid to learn new things...ambassadors for their country...and so on.

I didn't think that even one would apply..they are all so cosy at home....

But they must have been intrigued and so was I when he came and told me that he had seven!! (good job it wasn't the seven dwarves!!)

You might think that this was the end of the story...Oh no!

Fergeal decided that he had to interview make sure that they were of good character and wouldn't let us down!!

There's more....

He said that he couldn't possibly interview them..where he normally lives...on top of the piano...watching me......Oh no!! he wanted his own office!!

I hope it keeps fine for him I thought!

Well it may have noticed how the Leprechauns seem to get their own way...a lot. William has his own van and sets off whenever he feels the need....Oisin goes to college and let us not forget Brendan (the naviagator!) who was determined to see the world that he left his post and went AWOL! No we could never forget Brendan.

Fergeal didn't want a repeat of that.................and so I found myself in Leprechaun Office Supplies....with my credit card...bad move......

It seemed that not only did he want a desk and chair...but he wanted to upgrade his entire lifestyle!! He told me he wanted antique Irish furniture....solid mahogany circa 1850 ( he has been watching too many Antique Roadshows!

In yer dreams Fergeal!

Well to cut a long story short, he got ready for the interviews... I looked up and there was a line of Leprechauns waiting for their turn....pushing and shoving and nearly falling over each other, so eager were they.

A motley lot they look too!

Now there are no prizes...(but you can guess anyway)....for guessing which day Fergeal chose for his interviews???...think now think!.....or what he was going to ask them. All answers on a blank cheque please!

One by one they answered his gruelling questions, he even let them sit on his brand new rocking chair..... did they know what that mysterious object on his desk was?....

... the others relaxed on his new three piece suite!...and chatted amongst themselves...wonder what they were thinking...were they a teeny bit afraid of what they were letting themselves in for.

What was Fergeal holding in his hand and what was he going to use those books for that he had on his desk.....was he going to make them swear an many questions I was dying to ask...but i was going to have to can't afford to interrupt a Leprechaun doing his job.....remember that!

Every now and again he would get up and go over to his antique globe (note that it's an antique...well he thinks it is anyway!), give it twirl and peer into it and scratch his head.

Finally, finally the were all sent home, and I got to quiz him.

He was chuntering away to himself.

"What's up lad?" I dared to ask.

"One of them's a girl!!"
was his reply.
"A girl, I ask you who has ever heard of girl such thing!"

"mmmm!"I dared to reply, "if there are no girl leprechauns, where do you think you came from???"

Well if looks could kill!!

Looks to me like my brave little fellow fancies her, though he would never admit it.

I asked him how he knew it was a girl!!! He tapped the side of his nose knowingly and said that he knew all right, she may have been dressed like leprechaun but it was the little things that gave her away!!!

She was the first one that he called back and I did do a photo shoot while he wasn't looking.....but that's for another day.

As for the others he said they knew sod all about tatting, some of them had never heard of it.....but they were all keen....well wouldn't you be he said if you were offered the opportunity to travel the world.

I think he is jealous...he keeps on at me that I promised him a world tour!!

So anyway back to the job in hand....he has sent them away to the Lep Academy for their tatting/spy training and they just arrived back the other day.

I wonder where he has decided to send them.

I guess I will soon know.