Tag Archives: Craft

1,500 likers giveaway

I’m very excited to announce a new giveaway to celebrate 1,500 likers on the One Mad Tatter Facebook page. There will be two prizes – one for my Australian and New Zealand followers, and one for my international followers. For my local followers, I will put together a craft pack- including a vintage tatting book and Alenalea thread, that I will post to you. The ever increasing price of international postage means that the International prize will be a selection of PDF tatting patterns, that can be delivered by email to you.

The threads and PDF patterns will come from Alenalea’s Etsy shop . The International winner will get the 2015 snowflakes pattern and have a choice of 2 other patterns from Alenalea’s store. I have organised to pay for these patterns on your behalf and email them to you. Once again- this is a hobby blog and I have no commercial motive, only that I would like to support local and international tatters. Thanks to the lovely Lea for letting me gift her patterns in this round-about way.

For the local winner – I have added a photo of the books I will give away below. I will also include some of Lea’s lovely threads (from my stash) and some beads and little tatting knit knacks.


To enter: please answer the question by commenting below, or on the One Mad Tatter Facebook page under the post where this link is shared. The prize will be drawn next Sunday, November 20th at 16.00 (4pm) Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time. I will list all of your names in the order you have commented, assign a number and get my random number generator (AKA my son, Little Tacker) to pick a number. I will announce the winner on the facebook page and blog on Sunday November 20th,  after the draw.

THE QUESTION: I wonder what is your favourite pattern to make and why? It may be a tatting pattern, or another craft.

In other news: Recently, I did enjoy test tatting and making Alenalea’s little christmas tree 🙂 This was made in size 50 Altin Basak threads, with some seed beads and a little bell added. They would make a nice earring in this size, although I think I will add some ribbon and use it as an ornament alongside some little Angels from last year.



So, good luck with your entries, and I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.

As always, happy tatting,

Fiona T


Filed under Eye Candy, Patterns

Knitting with the magic loop method

A few weeks ago I took a craft lesson on how to knit cable stitches and in the round using the magic loop method. I have never ventured into using cable patterns and thought this was a good way to learn the technique. The magic loop method was one I had never heard of before- so I was surprised at how cleverly it uses the cable to allow you to work on small peices in the round. The lesson took place at one of my favourite places- Unwind Craft Cafe in Keilor East. I used the lovely cable needles I got for my birthday and some Bendigo Wool Mills milky way  (blend of wool and milk fibres). 

I was pretty pleased with how quickly this knitted up, and how nice the wool was to work with. The pattern is from ravelry- main street by tin can knits. 

Until next time, happy crafting 

Fiona T 


Filed under Crochet and other craft, Eye Candy, Patterns

A pattern won and made.

The winner of the 1,000 likers on facebook prize, Janis, received her craft pack recently. Here is a quick picture of what ended up in the pack. I included a purple birch ‘joke’ shuttle and a few other little surprises too. It is lovely to share the crafting fun with everyone. Next giveaway will be at 1,500 likers. Again- thanks to everyone for following – it is so much fun to have you with me on my crafting journey 🙂










Around the time of my own 1,000 likes giveaway recently, I entered a giveaway on Dearest Debi’s facebook page.  I was one of the winners,  and was given a code to select three of Debi’s crochet patterns from ravelry for free!  I was really excited- she has some lovely patterns.  Here is one I selected- flower bud granny octagon. I have just sat down and made this now,  and the pattern was pretty easy to follow (I made the usual substitutions from US pattern terms to the ones I am familiar with), and I am really pleased with the results.


Thanks for the patterns Debi, I look forward to trying the others I downloaded very soon.
Until next time,  happy crafting
Fiona T

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Filed under Crochet and other craft, Eye Candy, Patterns, Uncategorized

Crochet Frenzy

As well as knitting, I have been crocheting kid’s hats. In the past I have made some for my son, including the R2D2 hat http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/star-wars-droid-beanies and some slouchy beanies. 2013-08-10 R2D2The most recent one I can share is the frog hat I made for my youngest nephew. The pattern is from http://amray1976.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/crochet-frog-child-hat.html and was quite quick to make. Australian and UK crocheters should note that this is an American pattern, and uses the US terms for stitches.2015-08-19 frog At her blog Amy has many other easy to follow crochet patterns too- so do pop over and have a look. I wonder if there is a novelty item that you have enjoyed crafting?

Until next time, happy crafting 🙂

Fiona T.


Filed under Crochet and other craft, Eye Candy, Other blogs, Patterns

Neural Knitworks- the maker movement and crowd sourcing meets Science week

Here is a link to my post over at My Paperless PhD with a quick bit of eye candy for the Neural Knitworks Science week project 🙂 Enjoy


This year I have embraced Neural Knitworks again, and with a more timely introduction for my students we have had a good response this year. Today I finished hanging our display in our Science Foyer, and am excited to share this with you. Thanks to the students and staff who contributed- one learning to crochet to participate! If you would like to see what is happening on a bigger scale, or participate- here is a link to the Neural Knitworks site- and it’s call to crowd sourced making to improve our understanding and skills 🙂

2015-08-21 11 36 02 neural knitwork wall

This kind of hands on project and modelling of Biology can be a welcome invitation for teachers and students alike to develop new skills and contribute to a community project. There are no-knit options too, so there are differentiated entry points for anyone willing to give it a try.  Oh- and it is fun too!

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Filed under Crochet and other craft, Eye Candy, Recipes and links to mypaperlessphd

To Kina or not to Kina….a knitting with cotton adventure.

A few months ago I began knitting my second adult Kina. The one I knitted before was in wool, and too warm for summer weather here in Australia. I am happily wearing it in winter, over long sleeved T shirts and skivvies. However, I really want one for the summer, and so found Bendigo Wool Mills 8 ply cotton, in a lovely lilac and have started my second Kina! I hope to have it finished in less than a year 🙂 But have had a couple of setbacks.

The 8 Ply cotton knits up a little looser than it’s wool counterpart, and so the first cast on and increases looked a little gappy. This didn’t bother me too much. The real problem came when I thought I would try a different knitting style than what I currently  use- the much faster looking ‘continental style’. It was after doing a few, much much slower, rows that I decided to go back to my normal knitting style (that I have used for 30 years) and try continental knitting on another project. But first I wanted to get this Kina off my needles so I can make some other projects for some family and close friends having babies soon.  So, I kept knitting and then realised this had happened….

2015-06-25 16.12.41

Can you see it? Yes- a line! When I thought about it, the continental style did pull the threads through in the opposite way to my usual style, and I should have realised this at the time (hind sight, huh!). Having spent so long already on this project I was reluctant to pull it out- so have taken it to a few ‘knitting consultants’ (read: friends and family) to see how obvious this error is (the consensus is that is is VERY obvious). I also cast on a new Kina (I had another ball of this cotton) while I was waiting for feedback from others, and deciding whether to ‘retro knit’ the first one.  2015-06-24 19.48.472015-06-25 16.12.12I took the opportunity to use my new stitch markers, they are little macarons! Very cute- from Bead Passion on ETSY. I also decided to try and ‘fix’ the gaps, so I am using smaller needles and making the next size up of the pattern. Hopefully this will compensate and as it is a forgiving pattern I am confident it will work OK…but will keep you all posted as I progress. I still haven’t taken off the other Kina from the needles…when I need the next ball of cotton I will muster the courage 😉

Is there a project you have needed courage to start over?

Until next time, Cappy Crafting

Fiona T




Filed under Crochet and other craft, Eye Candy

The Blocked and the Beautiful (and wise)!

I know,  I know- Jan’s Doily II was a pain to make- I whinged and whined over it for the last few months. So I feel a little embarrassed to now be so very very proud of it! After blocking it is STUNNING (if I do say so myself, but Wonderful Husband (WH) agrees, so does Little Tacker(LT)). Thinking about my PhD research into what motivates people- there is a lot written in the education world about having challenges just at the edge of our current abilities (Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development ZPD) – that sweet spot where you know the task is a little harder than you expected, but you know if you persevere you can complete the task. As a teacher I feel pretty confident in finding that ‘sweet spot’ for my students and designing tasks that will support them to their next level. It is a good reminder that we all are constantly learning in life….however I wont be rushing to do another Jan Doily in a hurry…I’ll need to work up to the next one 🙂 Blocked Jan Doily ii

My next “ZPD” challenge is in Crochet. A friend of mine gave me a ‘Star Wars amigurumi’ kit for my recent birthday-

2015-05-30 19.01.37So, of course, it has distracted me for the last week as I learned new crochet stitches and techniques to make this little ‘wise’ guy 🙂

yoda for blog

After making one Yoda (WH claimed him) I had friends (and LT) who wanted one too. As it is winter in Australia at the moment there is a lot of wool at craft shops- so it wasn’t too difficult to locate ‘yoda’ coloured wool (there was a larger than I expected range of Green coloured wool!). So, I started a ‘yoda production line’ which was fine, until I was up to the feet…they are the ‘new stitch’ and the point where they are stuffed and embroidered. Below are pictures of the ‘heads’ and ‘bodies’ ready for the next step. As it is a long weekend in Melbourne- I hope to finish all the feet today and get onto the arms and ears too…I will post when they are done. yoda heads

Bodies, they now have! Feet tomorrow, I will make!In keeping with the ZPD theme of this post, Kersti over at Craftree has started a ‘Mystery Doily Tat along’ which she has tailored patterns for both beginner and advanced tatters- needle and shuttle. It began last week and so I made a start on it yesterday. Round one is cupping (as expected from reading the discussion forum) and I hope to get the second round completed today. I urge you to join in- or at least come and join the fun in the discussion forums on Craftree 🙂  2015-06-07 09.54.33-1

I wonder- what craft has recently pushed you to work in your ZPD?

Until next time- Happy Crafting

Fiona T


Filed under Crochet and other craft, Eye Candy

Amusement Doily Facebook Tat-Along

Just before New Year Liyarra, over at the Facebook “Tatting” page, suggested the Amusement doily as a tat along – she and another tatter were keen to start it and it seems a number of us were looking for a holiday project too. The emerging conversation is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Tatting/permalink/10152443252606846/ (you may need to join the group to read the conversation).    The link to the original pattern (in the way back machine- internet archive)  Amusement.  I have had fun tatting this doily, I was looking for a project and when this popped up on facebook I used the shuttles I had wound (just waiting for a project) and began this. It is a nice pattern- quick to work up. So quick I decided to make two of these doilies for my Mum, as they match the colours in one of her smocking samplers. Here are my pictures of work so far- I hope to finish the pink version by tomrrow…and have an idea for one more colour scheme, not purple 🙂  Amusement doily one mad tatter- blue and ecru 2015Amusement doily blue and pink versions 2015So- do you think you would like to join us? It would be great to see more of these made- what colour will you choose?

Until next time, happy tatting,

Fiona T


Filed under Other blogs, Patterns, Tatting News

Finished and Blocked- Space Dyed Doily

Ok- so it took me a little longer than a week to complete the final round of the ‘Space dyed doily’ I was doing in Purple shades, from Morimoto’s wonderful ‘New Tatting’ book. I did make a couple of errors joining the final motif.  I followed the visual diagram in the pattern, but got my self twisted and knotted, and unable to make the final join neatly. I cut away the motif and left the project for a couple of days (that was while I got distracted with my Milward shuttle). When I returned to the doily I re-thought how the joins might be easier for me to complete, and made the joins in a slightly different order to that described in the pattern- it came out looking fine 🙂 and then, as always, the home stretch was much quicker to complete this doily.

morimoto doily finished 2014

This was made in size 40 Lizbeth threads- a mauve shade and Scottish Thistle. I would like to make this again, in solid colours, as I think it will be very pretty. As with all the patterns in Morimoto’s books, the pattern is simple, yet the use of colour is striking. It is a book I think I will come back to again and again 🙂

Until next time, Happy Tatting

Fiona T

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Tatted Baubles- 2014 installment of the story

In a recent post I alluded to ‘Christmas baubles’ being a story for another time– well, here is the story. A few years ago I bought a bulk lot of colourful Christmas Baubles from a clearance sale, with the intention of tatting covers for them as gifts for family and friends. Here is a link to the post. I had left a box of six with my Mum, who had crocheted a few and decorated some with sequins too. When the DMC book arrived I was inspired again to begin some baubles for gifts next year. Of course this recent post from Sharon also inspired me to have a few smaller projects on the go all year too. So, I began to hunt through my house for where I had stored the several remaining boxes of baubles. For over 2 weeks I turned every cupboard inside out- and still no baubles. I checked with Mum, and she only had the one box (and had decorated them too- much better than me 🙂 ). It was by chance, on Christmas Eve, that my son asked about an old ‘jack in the box’ toy of mine. While retrieving the toy from the back of yet another cupboard, I found the bag containing the remaining boxes of baubles- a ‘Christmas miracle’ in my mind.

On Christmas night I pulled out the DMC book and began making a cover for the first bauble:bauble in progress 2014

I have made the top and the bottom, and am working on the ‘middle’ band that will join them. I think this first one will be for me- as it is purple, and there are a couple of mistakes in it. The next few I will do in white thread – I think they look a bit more striking that way. I will take Sharon’s advice and try to work on one each week – though I am sure I will shift this over the year to one a month- but will still have 12 baubles complete by the end of the year, so that won’t be too bad overall.

All the best for a relaxing holiday period.

Happy tatting

Fiona T


Filed under Eye Candy, Patterns