Category Archives: Patterns

Know when to hold ’em, know when to frog ’em….

With apologies to Kenny Rogers for repurposing his wonderful song in my blog post title.

There is so much going on in the world this week, I offer this blog as a distraction from the reality of war, flood impacts and the ongoing pandemic.

Those who have been crafting for a long time will understand that sometimes a project will just not be going how you had hoped. This realisation often comes multiple hours into a project, and there is a point where you need to decide to persevere regardless, put it aside in the naughty corner for a while, or just decide to frog the project and move on. Over the last month, I have been wrestling with this decision with a project that I had hoped would become a special family heirloom for our first great-niece.

First, for those new crafters, to frog a project means to pull out the work done in crochet or knitting. The motion of unravelling the stitches which make up the fabric you have painstakingly worked on. We often say “rip it, rip it” back, which sounds like “ribbit”, hence frogging. That is the word origin story I am familiar with, anyway.

Now, to the problem item. A seemingly simple pattern, the knitted spiral baby blanket from Monsteryarns. I thought it would look amazing using a whirl, which has beautiful variegation and long slow colour changes. I had come to terms with it being a labour of love, over a kilometre of 4ply yarn on 3mm needles was going to take a while. So, in November I began knitting. By December I realised I had misread one of the pattern rows, so frogged what I had done (approx 30 rows in) and started again.

A top view of the swirl circular baby blanket, with colour fading from pink in the middle to mauve and bue on the edge visible in the image. The swirly lines begin in the middle of the blanket and spiral out as the blanket increases in size at the edges of the circle. The rest of the yarn ball is at the top left of the image.
Progress on the spiral baby blanket.
The swirl blanket on circular needles, folded in half to look like a semi circle. The colour fades from pink in the middle to blue and yellow at the bottom of the picture. It is attached to the rest of the yarn ball, which is at the top of the image. The pattern makes swirls of eyelet stitches which make diagonal lines in the fabric.
Another view of the swirl baby blanket.

I was happily working at least 2 rows a day over the Christmas holiday period, and into February. This is when the next issue surfaced, the shlubs in the yarn were really visible in the knitted item. Previously I have used whirls to crochet. The schlub (aka fuzz buzz) is where the new colour is added in to the yarn. It is a feature of this yarn, and usually not very visible in crocheted work. Unfortunately in this blanket these schlubs were very visible, making it look like the fabric had been caught and pulled. I tried to pull the fuzz to the back of the work, but this made the stretch in the stitch more obvious, somehow.

A very close up image of the knitted fabric. The fabric is pink and fades to pale pink. There is a stitch that is fuzzy and looks pulled, due to the nature of the yarn used.
The pink colour change on the whirl is quite obvious. The fuzz buzz makes the fabric look like it’s been pulled.
A flattened out section of knitted fabric on circular needles. The fabric is blue which fades into a pink colour. There are two sections that look like stitches have been pulled.
Two sections here look pulled, and even blocking may not change it.
A close up imahe of knitted fabric on circular needles. The fabric is yellow and blue. There is a slightly fuzzy yellow stitch.
This yellow colour change isn’t very obvious, as it is on the lace increase section of the pattern.

There were two options that I worked through in my mind. I could keep knitting and hope the schlubs could be blocked out. Not likely, as the stitches are quite visibly different in the knitted fabric. I could frog and re-knit it, cutting the yarn before and after the schlub, then weave in the ends. This option defeats the purpose of using this beautiful, long gradient yarn, as the big draw card for me is having a stunning fabric made with only two ends to weave in. Could I really give this to a new baby when it looked so unprofessional? Yesterday I decided that I couldn’t do that, so have decided to frog it completely and instead finish off another bakewell blanket to gift instead.

So I will frog the knitted blanket and try the spiral blanket again with an 8ply hand dyed yarn sometime in the future. For my new great-niece I will finish off a bakewell blanket I had in progress, and will probably also have time to make another little kina or in threes cardigan also.

A square baby blanket with dusky rainbow colours which fade through blues, greens, yellows, pinks and finished on the outer round in purple. The pattern has a lattice shape with bobbles in the middle of each lattice square.
A bakewell baby blanket made in a popin candy whirl.

With the decision made I feel quite relieved. I can now stop worrying about what it might look like at the end of many more hours of work, and just move on to make some beautiful items.

I wonder if you have been through a similar thought process with a project you thought would be special?

Until next time, happy crafting and stay safe,

Fiona T

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Lockdown projects- 6.0

Hello again friends. Lockdown 6.0 in Melbourne is well under way. From the daily numbers of Covid19 cases, I think we will be in lockdown for a few more weeks (I am, however, happy to be wrong in my estimation, and hope we can get back to normal sooner. )

So, my days are spent teaching my students online, and trying to keep up healthy routines with my family. My evenings are mostly spent watching TV and trying to craft. Somedays I can follow a pattern well, and others my mind just wanders and I have to frog my work the following day. I have decided to stop beating myself up about this, and start to accept what I am able to do as a bonus.

Many of you, who have followed me for a while, know that I usually have multiple projects on my shuttles, needles and hooks at anyone time. I have always floated between projects, working on them when I feel like it. Over the last few months I haven’t been tatting very much (just starting a couple of small doilies, and some basic bookmarks), and much of my time has been spent knitting and crocheting, as I have been mostly choosing simple pattern repeats that I am less likey to mess up. Here are a few of the projects I have been working on over the last few weeks.

A Milo Vest, size 3yo with heart cable. Made in 8ply Bendigo Wool Mills Imperial (wool, alpaca and silk blend).
Finished Milo vest, 3yo size, BWM Imperial blend.
Two of the three swirl hats made for toddlers. I forgot to get a picture of the blue one.

I really like the simplicity of the patterns when knitting in the round, and by making smaller items I seem to be motivated to complete them as I can see them on the shelf near the TV. I find my bigger projects often take longer as I put them in the cupboard between sessions, where the languish until I am hunting down a thread/yarn/pattern or needle/hook/shuttle and ‘rediscover’ them.

Here are some links to ravelry and the patterns I have used above. Some are paid patterns.

Milo vest: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/milo-3 by Georgie Nicolson

Premmie hats: easy peasy new born sock hat by Knitty Gritty Thoughts https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/easy-peasy-newborn-sock-hat

Swirl hats: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/swirl-hat-3 by Mandie Harrington

Bakewell Blanket: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-bakewell-blanket by Jollijenii and Chlola

Until next time, happy crafting

Fiona T

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Tatting Using Electron Configurations

Tatters are a creative bunch. Over the last couple of years there have been quite a few brilliant tatters designing and sharing patterns or developing interesting ways to use tatting elements and techniques. More recently there have been a number of tat alongs and new patterns shared through Facebook. It seems that when tatters around the world have some ‘free time’ they begin to ‘tat’ down those ideas that have been rattling around in their heads and share them.

I have recently begun the ‘Threads that bind’ doily, which dear Jon Youseff has shared a week at a time though facebook. I was impressed and excited when she opened up the last round of the pattern to others to design and share. There are now several versions of this last round (in some cases rounds) for tatters to drool over and then re-create themselves.

This morning I woke up to a post from Natalie Rogers on facebook where she has begun sharing her ‘tat you own adventure‘ poker cards again. If you join the Facebook page, she will draw some cards for you too. This poker card format gives you elements to play with, to design your own motifs and patterns. Last time she ran it, I managed to keep track of the elements and began drawing some possibilities. They didn’t make it to my shuttle, but it was a fun process.

My notebook with the first tat your own adventure poker draw

My notebook with the first tat your own adventure poker draw

The most recent tat your own adventure poker draw from today.

The most recent tat your own adventure poker draw from today. Cards drawn are sketched along the top of the page, with one possible pattern drawn out underneath.

Now, this poker game and designing phase has reminded me of an idea I had last year in November. So I thought it would be a great time to share with you all now too.

As you may be aware, I am a science teacher. Walking past a colleagues desk I saw a pile of worksheets for her Chemistry class. On top of this pile was a page listing the valence electron configurations of some elements. The notation reminded me of tatting patterns, and so the idea was born. (*Thanks to my colleague Fi1 for sharing her lesson and not thinking I was too crazy while I muttered about double stitches and picots.)

Part of the Electron configuration worksheet I noticed on a colleagues desk. It reminded me of tatting patterns.

Part of the Electron configuration worksheet I noticed on a colleagues desk. It reminded me of tatting patterns.

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My notebook from November 2019 with the electron configuration sheet that started my idea.

I decided to try and make a motif of Krypton. The first step was to make a decision about the translation of the valence notation into tatting elements. I used the numbers in each orbital, along with the letter, prefix and superscript to make a pattern in tatting.

The outer orbitals I used for Krypton (Kr) were:   5s2 4d10 5p3

I defined the letters in the orbitals as:

  • s= ½ Double Stitch (Josephine knot)
  • d= Double Stitch
  • p = Long picot
  • f= faux picot to climb out of a round
  • If the orbital has a prefix, this may be used as the number of stitches of that type.
  • If the orbital has a superscript, this could indicate the number of repeats, for a section or a round.

Perhaps once you choose an element, the final round is always chains showing the long picot repeat?

Of course, you could change any of these elements to suit your ideas and style of tatting.

To make my Krypton motif I found the final sequence to work:

  • 1st round: Rings of 5 Josephine knots, and 2 small picots, chains of 4 p 4 p 4.                5 repeats for the round.
  • 2nd round: Chain of 5 picots, join to previous round’s chain at picot. Repeat.

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A close up of tatting with electron configurations: Krypton motif

Of course, this is just the valence electrons (electrons in the outer shell) of Krypton. If you wanted to include all of electrons and orbitals for this, the 36th element, you would make a doily instead of a motif.

This lead to me thinking about a “First 20 elements Doily”, where the rounds would be built up of each element’s electron configuration.

More notes and thinking for tatting with electron configurations

More notes and thinking for tatting with electron configurations

The only problem I can see is in the execution of this idea.  When an “s= Josephine knot” Hydrogen and Helium are very tiny and fiddly to make. So maybe, for this experiment, we would need to redefine “s” as a double stitch, and “d” as 2 double stitches, or even a padded double stitch.

The first two rounds of this doily could then be represented as:

  • 1st round: (H) 1s [ Ring 1ds p 1ds p 1ds], Chain (He) 1s2 [1ds p 1ds]
  • 2nd round: (Li) 2s [Ring 2ds p 2ds p 2 ds],  Chain (Be) 2s2 [2ds p 2ds]

I haven’t tested this yet. I would be interested to know what you all think.

I have been having fun looking up other elements and their valence electron configurations. Here is a link to a table with the electron configuration of every element: https://biochemhelp.com/chemistry/electron-configuration-of-every-element-2/

If you wanted to make a Krypton doily you could base it off this:

36 Kr Krypton 1s2 2s2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6

Well, I hope that has given you some ideas to work with, and maybe you’ll try and define your own tatting elements from the electron configurations. I would love to see and hear about your own tatting adventure with the periodic table and valence electrons 🙂

As always,

Happy tatting!

Fiona T

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Crafting in the pandemic

I think it is fair to say that the last few months have been a rollercoaster for all of us. It is times like this I am glad I have my regular crafting routine. From age 7 when I learned to knit, crafting has been part of my everyday experience of the world. It is as much a part of my identity as my love of reading and science. I am pretty sure for most of you it is the same, the processes of crafting are part of our “being in the world”.

*Edit: I have realised the date once I posted this- Happy international tatting day!

I have been focussing on finishing the baby blanket began in December/January. The colourful wedges baby blanket, from Purl Soho, was a fun knit, it uses only garter stitch and has taught me how to do short row work too. I made it in Bendigo Wool Mills Imperial blend (wool, alpaca and silk blend) which was a limited edition release last year. It is a beautiful yarn to work with and makes this blanket soft and drapey.

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Starting the Colourful Wedges Baby Blanket. Pattern: Purl Soho Wool: Bendigo Wool Mills Crafter: Fiona T

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Beautiful wool from Bendigo Wool Mills to make clothes and baby blankets

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Blocking the Colourful Wedges Baby Blanket

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Colourful Wedges Baby Blanket Finished and ready to wrap

 

You may also recall that I began making a dress for my Neice in the same yarn. I really like the look of the crochet dress, but I think I will have to adapt this a little as making the full dress in the yarn is too heavy for practical daily wear. I think I will pull the dress part back, and use some fabric to make a dress and attach to the neck and shoulder line. So it will still have the cute granny square colour burst, but not be too heavy for my niece to wear.

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Beginning of a crochet dress for my niece

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Progress on the crochet dress

I have also been tatting along with the Arleta doily, from January. I am using Alenalea’s beautiful threads, which reminded me of the colour of irises. I was surprised recently just how close her colours are to nature, as my Iris had a midseason bloom. The picture below shows just how close these colours are.

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A pale pink and purple iris matches exactly to the variegated thread colour “Gorgeous Size 20”

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Progress on Arleta doily

I am tempted to join in Jon’s tat along on Facebook and have a shuttle wound for it. A very special shuttle from Lorraine Kolasa’svalentine giveaway.  It took a few weeks to get to Australia, but it was very welcome when it did arrive. It is so beautiful, both to look at and to feel. Thanks so very much Lorraine for this super generous giveaway. I am eager to take this shuttle for a test drive.

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A well-packaged gift

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The beautiful Valentine Shuttle

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Valentine shuttle wound with wildflower size 40 thread, ready for Jon’s pattern

I am also working on a few other projects, and have found some very old UFOs as I tidy up shelves and cupboards.  I will share their progress next time.

I wonder what craft are you getting done during the pandemic?

Happy Crafting

Fiona T

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Tatting along-Serwetka Arleta

At the moment I am tatting a sweet little pattern from Laura Bziukiewicz which she has shared through a facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/983262432055451/?active_tab=discussion

You will need to join the facebook event and message Laura for the pattern if you would like to tat along too.

It is a nice pattern for a beginner, and I have levelled it up a little by using split chains to climb out of rows. I am working on round four now, and it is coming along nicely.

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Round one of the Arleta tatted doily, in size 20 Gorgeous Alenalea thread.

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Round two of Round one of the Arleta tatted doily, in size 20 Gorgeous Alenalea thread.

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Round three Round one of the Arleta tatted doily, in size 20 Gorgeous Alenalea thread.

Laura has also released a few patterns on her facebook page, all of them look lovely. I hope to finish this one soon so I can try another that has caught my eye. Thank you Laura for sharing your talents with all of us!

Until next time, happy tatting

Fiona T

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Lego block baby blanket

Welcome back. As long-time followers will know I enjoy multiple crafts, not just tatting. I always have several projects on the go, and will choose to work on different projects each day depending on my mood, energy level and if there is a deadline for a project. In last week’s post, I spoke about choosing two baby blankets to make for my new Nephew.  In addition to the knitted colourful wedges pattern, I also wanted to take the opportunity to make this crochet Lego style blanket: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lego-block-blanket-2 . It is a paid pattern by Bethany Miller which I tracked down on Ravelry. The individual blocks are made with a moss stitch to ensure even edges, making the blocks quite elastic.  It took a few trials (read: most of September and October) to find the right stitch count for the yarn I was using. I am using milk cotton from OzYarn, which I chose as it had the best bright colour range for this style of blanket.

Here is an image of my progress so far, I’m about a third of the way through:

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As well as learning two new stitches- the chainless foundation (aka Foundation Single Crochet- FSC) and the moss stitch -this project is also an opportunity to work on my tension/gauge with crochet. I have had quite a few frogging episodes where the end of a longer block is shorter than the foundation, and so I have had to rework the sections. I also needed to note down the hook size I used for the round buttons on the blocks, as the ones I began to make for the blue blocks varied in size from those in the red. I am experimenting with different hook sizes and am sure I’ll figure out the right size and tension soon.

Overall, I am enjoying making this blanket and hope to have it completed by April/May before our winter here in Australia. I hope the colourful wedges blanket will also be completed by then. I’ll just keep chipping away, a little each day.

Until next time, happy crafting,

Fiona T

 

 

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Merry Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas to all of my followers, and best wishes for the new year ahead of us. Again I am in awe of how this blog has grown, and hope you have enjoyed the sharing of craft over the last year. To those who have participated in the give-aways this year, I have enjoyed reading your comments and stories, and love being part of this community. I hope to bring some more crafty fun through 2019 too.

I haven’t found much time to blog in recent months, as I have been busy working on a number of craft projects for others to gift to their relatives. I can share them with you all today, as I hope they are being opened by recipients today. As always, I have no business motive on this blog and recieve no payment for the links I share here- they are products I have sought out, paid for and used myself, and share them with you in case they can help you reach your crafting goals too.

First I will share the yarn bombing, co-ordinated by the Melbourne group Yarn Corner https://www.facebook.com/groups/157893757611209/ . I have been a member of this group for a year or so, and I was determined to be a part of their Christmas project this year. I made time to contribute a few squares and two strips to add to a tree. I didn’t get much time at the install day to take photos of me with my tree, but here is another lovely volunteer sewing our piece onto a tree. The pattern for the snowflake squares was adapted from Linda’s snowflake pot holders: http://web.archive.org/web/20090607063420/http://www.lindaslists.net/snowflakeph.htm 

If you are based in Melbourne (or Australia for that matter) you might want to be part of this group- they are an amazingly supportive craft community.

Second I will share the first graphghan I have ever made. I was asked by a family friend to make this for her sister’s new baby, and I really enjoyed leveling up my skills to make this. I worked on this since August and was able to finish it by mid-November. The pattern was a paid pattern from: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Crochet-Patterns-ELEPHANT-and-GIRAFFE-Color-Graph-BABY-GIRL-Afghan-Pattern/262086460308?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l9372 and I changed the colours in the background to off white, as the baby this was made for is a boy. It took a lot of concentation, counting, retro-crocheting (AKA frogging) and pateince to sew in ends, but it came out really well and is very cute. In time I might attempt another similar pattern.

Elephant and Giraffe baby blanket. Made from Oz yarn milk cotton, and this paid pattern from Karen on Ebay: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Crochet-Patterns-ELEPHANT-and-GIRAFFE-Color-Graph-BABY-GIRL-Afghan-Pattern/262086460308?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l9372 . I used single crochet to complete this graphghan, and changed the colours as it was for a boy.

Elephant and Giraffe baby blanket. Made from Oz yarn milk cotton, and this paid pattern from Karen on Ebay: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Crochet-Patterns-ELEPHANT-and-GIRAFFE-Color-Graph-BABY-GIRL-Afghan-Pattern/262086460308?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l9372 . I used single crochet to complete this graphghan, and changed the colours as it was for a boy.

The third thing I was working on was a pair of ‘gym boot’ booties for a work friend’s first nephew. These worked up quickly and each time I make them I think they look great. The pattern is from a book of booties I have had since I was a teenager, and I used the Milk Cotton from Oz Yarn.

The last thing I was working on intermittently during that time was some crochet market bags- again in milk cotton (I do enjoy working with this yarn). The pattern is free at Justbcrafty: https://justbcrafty.com/2014/03/crochet-mesh-grocery-tote-pattern.html   They work up pretty quickly and I use the yellow one to hold my fruit and veg, and the blue one is great for bread- it doesn’t get squashed!

Crochet market bags. Made in Milk Cotton from Oz Yarn, using this pattern from justbcrafty: https://justbcrafty.com/2014/03/crochet-mesh-grocery-tote-pattern.html

Crochet market bags. Made in Milk Cotton from Oz Yarn, using this pattern from justbcrafty: https://justbcrafty.com/2014/03/crochet-mesh-grocery-tote-pattern.html

Phew, it feels great to be able to share all of these projects with you. I have also gotten back to tatting, but I think I have shared enough craft for one day. My next post will be devoted to the tatted items I have recently finished.

Until then, have a lovely holiday season!

Happy crafting

Fiona T

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1,800 followers give away

With all of the exciting things happening in the tatting world more people have found my blog and associated facebook page. When I checked this morning the facebook page was up to 1,806 followers. So, to share my excitement I am going to have a little giveaway.

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Here are the four books which I will post to the winner of the giveaway**.

Two are vintage publications, one is a recent reprint of a vintage publication and the hard cover ‘new dimensions in tatting’ is an ex-library copy of 1994 reprint. Some really great patterns in these books and ideas for taking tatting in different directions too. These books all have lovely items, and I have made things from most of them- for example: the anchor doily I made for my sister is a republished pattern from the ‘Coats 1088- learn tatting’ book on the right; The tatted collar I made for a christmas present is from ‘Coats 660 Learn Tatting (middle back); and one of my favourite handkerchief edgings is from the re-printed ‘tatting 2 more doilies and edges’.

Details on how to enter: The books in the prize pack have some of my favourite tatting patterns in them. In the comments below on the blog or on this facebook post please let me know–  What is your favourite tatting pattern at the moment? 

Only relevant comments on the blog will be counted in the random choosing of the winner, and all comments will be moderated before publishing (to keep spam out). Winner will be drawn and announced on Sunday February 4th, 2018 at 4pm Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time (AEDT) – so you have over a week to enter.

Looking forward to reading your comments 🙂

Best of luck and happy tatting

Fiona T

**I have purchased all of these books personally. There is no business motive for this giveaway. Three of the items are second hand books, and have some wear as expected with vintage/second hand pattern books. Each comment on the blog and facebook page will count as a separate entry. The order of comments will be noted and my son will choose the winner using a random number generator. The giveaway is open to all followers with an address I can post to. I will contact the winner via email/facebook messenger and announce on the facebook page and blog, you will have three days to respond otherwise the prize will be re-drawn.

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Happy New Year for 2018

To all of my followers on onemadtatter, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing in my  crafty fun. Best wishes for a great 2018. 

I have been relaxing over the last week and making these little squares to send to Brussels for the ‘tat bombing’ of a monument there. 

The suggested pattern is pleasant to work up and easily remembered, so I can make these quickly each time I have a chance. Each square takes about 20 minutes to complete. I have made 16 so far, and estimate I can make another 4 with the thread I have remaining. 

What is on your shuttles at the moment? 

Until next time, happy tatting 

Fiona T

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Merry Christmas angelinas 2017

Merry Christmas to everyone who follows one mad tatter. Here is a picture of my Christmas tatting this year, some of Alenalea’s angelinas. The pattern is available from her etsy store. 

This year I made seven of these gorgeous ornaments for some very special people in my life. They stand at about 2.5cm high and are made in size 40 thread. 

I hope you have a joyful holiday season, where ever you are in the world. I hope 2018 brings crafting fun for you too. 

Until next time, happy tatting 

Fiona T 

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