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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chinese Dragon!

Way back in 2009 I tatted Anne Bruvold's Chinese Dragon having see the beauties that others were showing.

Haven't had the chance to show you before now and today seemed appropriate.

My first attempt was in Altin Basak in an olive green with Rainbow Ruby beads.
It was quite hard to manage as you tat all the way along to the tail before coming back and joining to the first side all the way to the head....I had all the long length of tatting twisting and flopping around.

It wasn't until I tatted it again in a firmer thread that I realised how much the solftness of the thread had made it so much more unmanageable.

I wanted a bead for an eye but didn't have the  patience at the time to try to work out how to do that so am sewing one on afterwards.
The pattern is very very well written, but I still enlarged the diagram and coloured every bit in as I went along to make sure I knew where I was.

The second attempt was to be my piece de resistance in my own thread, Raspberry and Chocolate Mousse. This is a favourite thread as I like the subtle colour change.

However, despite colouring in every ring and every chain on my diagram when I got to the neck I was a ring and chain out!!

I checked every bit of my tatting and blow it but I couldn't find where I had made the mistake.

Isn't that funny, I can see as clearly as anything that the mistake is in the first loop of the body, but I can't pin point exactly where it is.

So forget it and live with it, it's just a rather differently postured dragon!

I did have to add an extra ring and chain in the neck so he has a longer neck and a slightly more bowed head!
Little gold beads twinkle throughout the body.
This thread was so easy to tat with, I am so pleased.

In size 30 the dragons measure 21cm.
Thread amounts
Sh 1 approx 15.75m,   Sh2 Approx 13m.

Would love to tat one like Tattycat did holding a pearl bead in it's mouth.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Encouraged by my fellow tatters...I have now finished another past of TAT Artisan...well I will have when I have tatted it just once more!
A project which seemed so hard 5 years ago.....was really a doddle (almost)! Helped considerably by Jane Ebs publication of Marie Smith's' Fast and Easy Split Chain'.  If you haven't tried this then you really should.  The only problem that I have with it is the stitches are made...1st half, 2nd half......but I had 2 split chains to make and one was on the front side the other on the back side. Anyone got a way to make the stitches 2nd half, first half?????

The instructions say that the second half of the split chain should look as good as the first. There is just a tad of improvement needed here. I couldn't have done this 5 years ago! So do give it a go!

There is another tatter out there who has admitted to having her TAT Apprentice pack since I just have to challenge her to do it along with me!

I am doing Jane's TIAS, here is my latest scan.
OK so I gotta show SOME tatting!!

Looks to me like a jet propelled squid, and a very determined one at that. If only the eye had gone in that central ring!

Next post is going to be somethig tottally tatting unrelated...well I might manage to squeeze just a little in....and I do need your help!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ooops! there is just one more!!

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

I think that I may have misled you in my last post........there is just one more snowflake from this book that I tatted over Christmas.

It's The Eighteenth Day of December.
This design is made of rings and split rings only and was easy to long as you stay awake!

Tatted in Lizbeth 20  Red Secret Santa gift from measures 10cm.
Thread amounts
Sh1 7.75m     Sh2 5.35m

This really is the end of the line for this challenge ...for this year at least. I am not really disappointed that i didn't get all 24 done. 18 out of 24 ain't bad.

I really have to move on to other things.  I looked thro' my TAT Apprentice folder and was horrified to find that I got my Certificate in July 2005......and I thought it had only been a couple of years.  I certainly am much more capable of completing what looked like very difficult projects in they just look difficult!!

I finished my 3rd one last night...only 9 more to go.....should I pick an easy one next or go for broke!

You will still be hearing from me as I still  have lots of things to show you.

Weather report from Tatskool-land
Within a period of only a little over a month we have had (NB I have had only the 'lite' version of most of these!!)  extreme flooding, extreme freezing temps, extreme snow, torrential rain, gales, freezing fog, power lines down, burst pipes causing reservoirs to run low, lack of water, lack of grit/salt for the roads.......some of this is still going on causing great hardship to farmers and livestock in particular in remote has all caused extreme damage to the roads.....the main road out of our hamlet has been closed for a week, we think to 'fix' a stream which has decided to be a permanent fixture across the road!!  All of this is extreme and unexpected to us..........but here after more heavy rain last night and they say we need a whole lot more to fill the reservoirs........the sun is shining and the sky is blue!
Long may it last.

My dye studio is running with water that must have got in under the door with the force of the rain.
Oh Well!!
Will have to create some new appropriately named dye mix!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Trying to get back to normal!

What is normal...I wonder.

Well my snow lasted only a be blasted with sheeting rain (1inch just during the night) and a Force 9 Gale which was quite frightening, especially the way the glass in my huge bedroom window was flexing in and out. Finally some power line went down and we were with out electricity for a few hours. I can't even imagine what it must be like to try and restore power during a gale. Well done to them.

The still frozen fields...frozen for over three weeks...just couldn't absorb all this rain....which just poured on to the roads.....causing more flooding. Last night they froze again.....more icy roads. When will it end.
Today has been beautiful, warmish at 6C and so sunny.....but it's freezing over again now!

I have ventured out into the dye studio as I was suffering withdrawal symptoms! Dying to try something new as well as colours that I MUST dye.

Miranda sent me a photo of a doiley she has made for her mother. It is edged with a design by Tatman Fleur De Lys in size 40 Vanilla Sky and has butterflies by Jane Eb on the fabric in Size 80 Vanilla Sky.

It looks beautiful to me.

During the Christmas period I did manage to tat another snowflake from Lene Bjorn's Book 24 Snowflakes in Tatting.

This one is the Seventeenth Day Of December.

The thread is another Altin Basak  and the snowflake measures 9.5cm.
It took....Sh1 6m,  Sh2 5.75m.
It was easy to tat and I have only one crib about the diagram.
In the diagram she shows only 5 free picots in the outer ring, but on her tatted piece there are  7.

Last night I got out my TAT Artisan Pack, still unfinished after at least two years (it was last years resolution to finish it!!). Two parts are finished.  Two more were started.  Eight more scare the life out of me!

I have learned so much in the last two years that I can attack it with renewed vigour...tho' there are still some bits that look HARD!
Tatting for this is difficult because I cannot show you...but it would be great to finish it. Spurred on by others who are now Master Tatters.......I must get down to it. The piece that I am working on has been made much better by Jane Eb's suggested ways to close a SCMR.   nuff said.

Monday, January 11, 2010

More Snowflakes!

Back to December the 3rd...can you remember so far back???

I just had to finish tatting this one in all my Rainbow Bright colours.

First is Blue.....

......then comes Indigo

...and finally Violet.

One last thing before I put them to bed is to see them all together.

OH      MY     GOSH!

Next time you can expect a different snowflake.....hope you get it!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And then there was SNOW!

We have been in winters icy grip for well over three weeks, my little pond has been frozen all that time. Can't ever remember having ice for more that a couple of days. Don't know how many bonsai will suffer, took a trip down the garden to look at non frost resist small pot cracked. One or two delicate ones prob won't be liking it.

All over the country roads are treacherous, we keep running low on salt and grit...we just don't expect extreme weather conditions and certainly not for so long. Schools will be closed next week.

But here in Tatskool land we have only had temperatures down to -2.9 degC....and NO SNOW.

My son sent me a picture of his snowman where he lives in England.

I have to go back to 1987 for our last snowman. Now THIS is a snowman

I did so want some snow....and finally today at 11am it began to snow. Flakes the size of pin heads, if it was rain we would call it 'soft'!
Bit by tiny bit it began to stick, first to the concrete and finally as it is getting dark we have a thin blanket of snow...yipeeee! Big flakes are falling now as it is getting dark. Tomorrow it will look beautiful.

In our garden we have two large Cotoneaster trees covered in red berries, which look stunning.
Yesterday we noticed that one of them was still loaded with berries and loaded with birds as well.

A couple were bullfinches, the rest we thought were thrushes...we get the Mistle thrush normally. But a close look revealed that they were Redwings, the smallest of the true thrushes.

They normally roam the fields and don't  come into gardens unless it is very cold and snowy. Every time I went to photograph them of course they flew away only to return minutes later. There must have been dozens of them.

Big fat healthy birds!

Spurred on my thoughts of snow I have continued tatting you some next time.

Friday, January 08, 2010

And then there were THREE!!

What should the postman bring to my house when things got back to normal...but a little packet. Inside was a very, very cold little Leprechaun who had been on his way since the 14th of December...thats 3 whole weeks.
Yes folks! he had missed Christmas!!
He was so cold that he just lay there in the pretty green tissue paper...looking up at me with his big blue eyes.
He hopped out of the wrapping and demanded to talk to Fergeal...without so much as a by-your-leave.

Now Fergeal and Tadgh were still trying to get a glimpse of Blathnaid and had been on duty watch by my computer ever since!!
They were taken aback when the newcomer rushed in and announced that he was moving in!!

'I'm HERE' he said,
Tadgh hopped down from Fergeal's shoulders and they were soon deep in conversation, plotting heaven knows what!!

My goodness he is one determined little Leprechaun, just look at the three of them. Poor little Tadgh had never seen anything like him. ' Look at his chin' he squealed, 'look at his big eyes!!' Fergeal took it all in his stride.
Finally I got a chance to read the long letter sent with him and found that his name is Nollaig....that's Irish for name! Ironic as he had just missed Christmas.

Now we need a bit of history here I think.

Last  Christmas if you will cast your minds back, several little leprechauns set off for foreign parts.
Well unbeknown to us here at Tatskool Leprechaun Lodge....there was someone out there who was sooooh desperate to have a Leprechaun that she went and TATTED one....yes you did read that correctly.......she tatted her own from scratch...having only seen photos of them.

Now that I see one in real to speak...I am amazed at how she got the height right...and the colours and the shoes...and Oh My Gosh the ears are just wonderful.  And of course she could give him that wonderful pointy chin that is so leprechaunish. Of course he is a lot older (in more ways that one) than my fresh faced little scallywags!

That's why we will have to keep an eye on him!!

Now we have learned later that it seems that his maker mum was busy attending to him at the very same time that here Fergeal was doing his isn't that amazing....and neither knew what the other was planning.

I fact we have learned that when battatter...who is in fact his mum....went to the post to send him on his way to Ireland....(let's face it where he really belongs!!)........she was amazed to find on her return home that very moment...that in her letterbox was a packet for her with Ruari/Rory inside.

I just bet she was staggered!

At this point in time when Nollaig left home, don't forget Conor (the tatted lep) had not seen Rory (a real lep), Tadgh had not seen Conor (a tatted lep), Fergeal had not decided to take on an apprentice.....and none of them had ever seen a purple cow..oh no that's another story altogether! sorrry.

Are you still with me????

So they all clambered up to get a look at the photo that I showed them on my screen from battatter of Conor and Rory. Conor trying his best to take the Rainbow Bright from the userper (or so he thought)!

You can all imagine the thoughts that are going through my mind now that there are THREE of them!

Oh by the way, I hope that all the other lep mums will copy and paste thier stories into the Leprechauns own personal blog  ....It's a Leprechauns's in my sidebar so that these wonderful stories can lie one after another for all the leps to be able to read for eternity what their siblings/cousins have been getting up to!!

BTW Nollaig is carrying a lucky Escudo...where did he find that, the boys are curious.