Jane Eborall (kind of like the Yarn Harlot of tatting, in my opinion) has an annual tat-along and I’m going to try it this year! I have all my supplies ready:


She’ll post a new row each week, and we won’t know what it is for a few weeks! I’ll post my progress here as I go. Fun!! I haven’t tatted with a button yet. I’m excited to practice split rings, too.

Day 1: Jan7
I can’t believe it. I stitched this up in about 15 minutes! I think the diagrams she provides are very good, plus I compared my work to pictures on Craftree that other’s have tatted already. Wonder what this is going to be?? Any ideas so far?

OOPS! Thanks to the lovely people at Craftree, I found out I goofed. I was supposed to join in the same button hole, so here is the fixed product. I did take about 20 minutes of patiently undoing the tatting, but it worked out.

hmmm. This windowsill makes an excellent background.

Day 2 January 7:
No mistakes this time! The little rings are getting…littler. I’m guessing a starfish or star at this point…ideas?

Day 3 January 13:
Even more teeny tiny rings!! I hope they get bigger next time.

Day 4 January 16:
I think it’s a tail of some kind. Crocodile or T-Rex? Still thinking starfish too. We get another one in just a day and I’m excited to keep going! B thinks it might be a caterpillar.

My friend Beth started a new group on Ravelry called Finish A Thing 2015, where we are challenged to finish something this year! Here’s her description:

I’m excited about this because it means I’ll be able to get through all my WIPs in a better way, more organized and less chaotic. I’m hoping to renew my excitement for these projects as well as resist buying more craft supplies. I organized all the yarns last week and I have a LOT I could be using, I really do not need anything new right now. It should be a good experiment in self control, as well as appreciating what I already have. I…love to shop online. Not like I-need-to-go-to-a-meeting or anything but I could be a lot better at it. I love getting mail, is part of it. ;-)
Anyway, kind of along those lines, I started Graze today. I placed my first order and should get it next week! Graze is a snack box service. I’ll get a box a week/biweekly of healthy, portioned snacks. I did the math, and it is affordable, as long as I stop buying junk when I want a snack. These cute lil boxes can replace the garbage I buy at the gas station/wherever when I’m out working or driving around with the kiddos. One box has four servings, and one serving of gas station snacks for us cost about the same as one box of Graze. Don’t even consider how much fast food costs for three people, even if two of them are small. This should be fun to get boxes in the mail, and discover yummy new snacks to munch when I’m working, reading, whatever. I’ve done well the last month or so with eating less. It’s tough, but the healthy snacking is helping! I portioned out a bunch of almonds&cheese, almonds&chocolate chips, and almonds&raisins the other day and actually had fun doing it! Now I can grab one of the little boxes when I’m hungry. I used to scoff at that idea, like, cha, why would anyone, like portion out into a million little boxes and where do you even get the boxes and why not just, like, eat better. D’oh. Good thing I grew up, huh? Another good thing is that we DO have about a thousand jillion little perfect portion sized boxes laying around. ;-)
I got off topic. Food does that to me. mmmm. Snaaacks…
Projects! I chose two for this month. Yup. Two. Not four or five or too many, just two. AND if I don’t finish one or both I can carry it over to next month. No pressure. The group is, of course, full of people who are cheering each other on to finish something, anything, so it’s been pretty easy to just work on those two things when I have a minute here or there. I have to say it is a lot more relaxing, too. Now I don’t think about the 50 WIPs looming in the closet, I only think of the two I picked. (well, and the cardigan I’m knitting but that’s plain fun. I’m also waiting for some safety eyes to arrive this week so I can finish working on another fun knitty thing-more on that another day! I’m mostly using the group for non-knitting stuff first. So. Many. Cross stitch projects…)
I picked Bruce’s Tatted Doily from www.be-stitched.com and the über-talented Nancy Tracy. Her husband designed this one and I love it. I think I’ll put it under a yarn bowl I put next to my bed for bedtime knitting/reading.

I finished another row since this was taken. I'm more than halfway finished now!

And Dreaming In Tuscany for my aunt and uncle’s 50th anniversary in may this year. It will be a huge weight off my shoulders to finish up these to-be-gifted cross stitches.


I have some chores to do today, but after those I hope to get to this. For now, I’m off to build a napping place for my 3yo. ;-)

Shuttles are so easy to collect. They are exactly like knitting needles and pens in that respect; before you know it you have a box full! I have seen a lot of organizing ideas for tatting stuff, and one of them is those little drawstring bags with a bunch of pockets. We got those in our welcome boxes at NMT in the dorm…I knew I had at least one of them somewhere…I remember they were popular back then. It had little bottles of shampoo/soap/perfume samples/etc. (Side note-I’m still hooked on Cool Water. It smells like memories.)
Hey I found it!


I wanted to find this because I scored a few more shuttles this week. My neighbor and his retired US Marine friend went antiquiing and offered to find some for me. They ended up finding a bunch, and got a good deal for the whole bag. That’s the second time I got a deal on a bag of shuttles…must not be a big demand for those. ;-)
He brought back three plastic ones marked “Gloria” (four actually, but one was broken right in half, I threw that one away.), a Bakelite shuttle (maybe? I think it’s the large black shuttle), and a big plastic one (that needs to be cleaned, I swear those are teeth marks on there…maybe someone had an adventurous puppy). I had everything kind of crammed in a basket in my thread box. Not the best organizing skillz.


There were some shuttles in bags and in the silver tin. Bits of tatting mistakes are in the M&M tin for reference. Oh! See that cool spool of thread? That was an empty wooden spool that I wind leftovers on. The leftovers are great for sashiko embroidery and they look pretty on a wooden spool, lol.
Here are my shuttles (the ones not in use and the ones scored from antique stores).


OK, so the big fat Starlight shuttle isn’t antique, but I grabbed it on sale at a hobby store last summer. It’s big so you can put beads on the thread. I’ll try that eventually…I have some super cool beaded dragon patterns to try once I mast the split ring/split chain technique. The shuttle beneath the red one is a Detach-A-Spool that I do use, it’s sturdy and I love the sharp pick. The one below that is a Just-Rite, and it’s very cool, but it felt awfully fragile when I used it, so it’s retired now. I would hate to break it! The three Gloria shuttle are in the middle top, with the toothy plastic one, and what was told is Bakelite. Bakelite is so cool! The rest on the right are my extra Boye shuttles. Classics, them. About 2-3 of them are in good shape but the others need to be cleaned and polished. Someone somewhere wrote on them with either a wax pencil or *gasp* a Sharpie so I need to get that off. ~Sigh~ The brown Gloria shuttle was scotch taped (like the old yellowed kind) to the broken shuttle, so now it has 20+ year old tape residue on it. Blech. Orange oil should get that off, plus the markings. We’ll see! Some weekend when I have time I’ll go through them and clean them all up, hopefully with before and after pictures. I love before and after pictures.
I put them in the cute bag:

Big Red wouldn't let the bag close, so I put it back in the basket with the beads. They're friends so it made sense to keep them together.

I kept the rough ones in a small plastic bag and grouped the Glorias together. (now I have the GLOREE-AH! GLOREE-AH! song in my head)
And a shot of my thread box, better organized:

Note toddler pj legs on the left.

Those bits in the basket are actually finished projects I need to block. There is some pretty blue edging from one of the usable shuttles in there too, that some long ago crafter made. And of course you might be asking, “If those are the shuttles you aren’t using, where are the shuttles you are using?” (I know Beth is wondering that)

so many pretties so little time....

Going clockwise from the top center: The Twirls Autumn-something might become a neat square motif bookmark with a charm (on top of the ball), the grapey edging is for a pillowcase (the Starlit shuttle from Handy Hands is amazing!), the Twirlz purple stuff is the mask (I’m finally on the outer row. It’s another one where I’m writing out the pattern in US terms as I go) with the Dymondwood shuttle, two Clover shuttles for practicing split rings and chains, and another Detach-A-Spool with a Twirlz Patriotic sample. I’m using the same pattern as the edging, but making it into a bookmark.
It was a lot of fun to think about my neighbor and his friend asking about “lace tatting shuttles”. ;-)

Some thoughts on how old these shuttles are:
Boye:  Some of these are all marked “BOYE IMPROVED MORE THREAD-LESS KNOTS” with “PAT. APR. 17, ’23” around the center. I have four  of these, they were manufactured up to 1947, so these are pretty old! The others are marked “TATTING SHUTTLE MADE IN U.S.A. THE BOYE NEEDLE CO.CHICAGO”. That dates them to around the mid to late 20th century. The current Boye’s have a straight label, these are curved along the edge. They are very common in the stores I’ve visited and I own a few of them.
Celluloid: I’m pretty sure the unmarked toothy cream colored shuttle is a celluloid shuttle. I suppose it could be Bakelite, but it doesn’t feel like it. Bakelite is a little hefty, light but strong. This just feels like plain old plastic. It’s pretty beat up and almost looks handmade.
Detach-A-Spool: I have two of these, both marked “Detach-A-Spool PAT.APPL’DFOR”, which I think dates them to around he 1920s? But I have read that they were made by a different company into the ’40s as well. These are in great condition, so I’m leaning towards the ’40s.
Gloria: Produced by McCoy & Jones Co. I have a white, tortoiseshell imitation, and black. They are the smaller size without a pick. Marked “Trade Gloria Mark”. The tortoise shell imitation is bent open a bit, I wonder if a previous owner put too much thread on it. I can’t use it in this condition but I’m chuffed to have three Glorias in different colors! They came in ivory but I don’t;t think mine is real ivory, whew.
Just-Rite: Marked “Justrite PAT APPLIED FOR”. Dates to around 1940s. I have one of these.
Pumpkinseed: I have a feeling this is not Bakelite, but rather a “Pumpkinseed” shuttle produced around the 1920s (?). I can’t find a lot of information about them. It looks exactly like the pics I did find online, though, it’s even the right color. It’s a little larger than the others. It doesn’t look like the pictures of Bakelite shuttles I found. Oh well. The quest goes on!
All the rest are modern, either Clover brand or Handy Hands except for the Dymondwood and the bone shuttle from Hobby Lobby. All the older shuttles were purchased in bags, except for the Just Rite.

I’m still on the lookout for interesting shuttles wherever I can find them. ;-) I’m going to have to find a book about shuttle collecting for more info on these and any more I find. I love the history of an old crafty item-I just know someone used this before me and it feels like I’m adding my own history to it with every project.

I finished Cyndi! I went as far as 33 or 34 repeats, instead of 48. My yarn is quite a bit thicker and I just kind of knit until it was a good size for me. The edging (scallops/shells) are knit as the last row before binding off. It’s a lot easier than I thought it would be. It works a lot like a crochet shell. Granted, crochet is easier, but these were so cute and fun! I admit it, I giggled a lot making this. This is what they look like on the needle, before binding off:


And another couple shots while binding off:

look at those cute pink scallops!
My parent's carpet is so clean. I could live on the floors there.

Finished! I blocked it gently, with a quick bath in the sink with a few drops of Soak and I pulled it to the shape I wanted instead of pinning it. It made it that much softer.


the pink stripes are my favorite

My brother and his wife came for the holiday, and I bought some more yarn from LYS in Nob Hill (my favorite in town) for my now annual tradition of buying a new ball of something around Thanksgiving. (you know you do it too. Isn’t it wonderful when you find the perfect yarn for a project you have in mind, for much cheaper than you expected?) My brother and his wife are happy to drop me off at a LYS, then meet me for a drink, where I cast on Trillian (another Strickmich pattern) in a lovely purple Malabrigo Sock. This year we went to Astro Zombies comic store, then The Yarn Store at Nob Hill, then Tractor Brewing Co! woohoo! I had a berry cider and it was amazing. So sweet and light. Like the air on a crisp fall afternoon.


SIL found a hidden gem in Bernalillo, too, the Kaktus Brewing Company. It is small and warm and friendly. I had the best red rye I’ve ever tasted. It was smooth and spicy and just wonderful.


I packed up Trillian in my purse for on-the-go knitting, and I worked on it a little during Thanksgiving. :-) I also brought the Epic Doily to tat…Here’s my progress:

that's your average beloved authors' hardback for scale

The latest row is pretty floppy, but I got the hang of it. It should straighten out nicely with the next row, which will connect to all those floppy rings.
I’ve been writing up the pattern as I go as well, I’ll post that here whenever I finish it.
Hope you had a nice holiday! If you aren’t in the states, and you found this site somehow, hope you had a nice Thursday!

I’ve been working on this one lately, its 22.5 Degrees by Martina Behm (strickmich). I made he Hitchhiker pattern and like her style so much that I bought four more patterns! (This is a free one.) I am using a self striping yarn that reminds me of the 80s, and I named it Cyndi. :-)
It’s super easy. It starts out with a few stitches cast on, then increases every to to make a long triangle “shawlette” style scarf. I love how the colors are striping thick and thin. The edging will be knitted scallops, which is cool! I’ve never knitted scallops before but it’s common in crochet. The scallops/shells should also highlight the small color changes well.
Progress photos!


I'm up to around 250+ stitches now.

Since this yarn is thicker than the pattern’s, I may stop at around 300 stitches instead of the recommended 389 to account for gauge. I want to use as much of the skein as possible!
Speaking of Strickmich, I’m working on this adorable heart scarf too, called Knit Your Love. The yarn is Mill Ends from Socks That Rock, the color way is somewhere around their “room without a roof” color way. (Mill ends are color ways that are one of a kind, off kilter somehow that they offer for a discount price). It’s squishy and the colors are amazing. Penny gave it to me for a Hitchhiker style scarf. I got her hooked on that pattern. ;-)
This is also an easy pattern, but not as I-don’t-have-to-look-at-it-as-I-go easy as 22.5. There is a repeat of 14 rows to make the hearts, which are started upside down and it increases as the scarf is knit, as per usual for her patterns. So fun! (the hearts fold up but I’m sure they’ll block out nicely)

This was my third or fourth picture, taken quickly before cat or toddler got in the way again!

I’m only working on these two lately because I was overwhelemed with…everything. SO many things to do, think about, etc, that I put away all my projects and only work on the one or two I’m thinking about at the time. It’s helping! I also stopped browsing the netz so much, I have to put my tablet away for that. The result is that I’m getting more of everything done (especially with the help of a good to-do list app). This week is Thanksgiving, so my fam has the week off for vacation. I’ll see my brother and his wife in two days! woohoo! I’m looking forward to slowing down a bit and relaxing. And eating. ;-)
Happy stitching!