Tatted train-doodles make it home


It’s amazing what a difference a camera can make. Mr Occasional Crafter took the above photo on his camera, as for some reason mine just wasn’t really cutting it. It’s far too blue, but I decided not to correct it, because I love it! It makes my tatting look amazing, I think.

Back to harsh reality now, and the photos I took. Sorry!


I’ve continued to ‘doodle’ with my tatting recently, which I’ve rather enjoyed. While one part of me worries that I’m not tatting with a purpose, the other part is quite enjoying wingin’ it. I’ve been tatting daisy chains again – or rather daisies, and then joining some as I go to create more solid shapes. The plus side of this is that it really shows how useful split rings are – without them I’d’ve needed to cut and tie a few times, the minus side is that I could really do with actually planning it a bit to make a more fluid or useful shape.

I’ve been using a lovely silver grey DMC thread (size 80), which tats up beautifully. It seems to have really good stitch definition for some reason – almost more than other colours – and I’ve loved using it. This weekend I decided I’d stitch it onto… *something* and then decide what to do with it. For once, I decided against linen – maybe the tones were too similar, I’m not sure, but it really didn’t look that good. I almost went with black, but at the last minute switched to grey. That old grey sheet I saved from the charity shop is really earning its keep!

I pinned it out before stitching it, as you can see. Then I unpinned it as I stitched and completely changed the arrangement bit by bit. It seems appropriate. Tatted as a doodle and stitched as one too.


Sorry – the photos really are all over the place in terms of colour, but at least you can see the layout here – and the beads. I sewed the lighter beads on first (they’re actually a silvery grey), and then at the last minute, after realising I had some, I sewed the black beads on for some contrast. I wasn’t sure about them initially, but actually I think they work quite well.

close up

I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with it… maybe a panel for another drawstring bag? It’s a bit big for a lavender bag. Actually, maybe I could use it as a panel on a fabric basket? I’ll have a think. All suggestions gratefully received!

Either way, I really enjoyed making it. Also, it does look rather nice. So nice in fact, I’m quite surprised I actually made it. (I’m not showing you the back though).

Odds n’ ends


Hello! I’ve had a few days off, weekends away, and various house guests, which is why I’ve been a bit quiet recently. I have been tatting a tiny bit, although not as much as I’d like – mainly as I can’t always get a seat on the train, which is where I usually tat. Spare evenings are still taken up with The Knitted Scarf, which is coming along nicely. (Although not without a fair bit of unpicking, whilst trying to watch Alien in the dark. Unpicking knitting is quite frustrating, isn’t it? Not so with crochet.)

Above is the trusty Stormtrooper, engaged in a bit of a scrap with some train end-of-shuttle doodles. I do like these daisy chains…

daisy chain

These are size 80 thread… I’ve not really decided what to do with them yet.


They’re not that big. Perhaps the right size for a bracelet or a necklace, but a bit delicate. I’ll stitch them on to something, I think. Not sure what yet, but it would be nice to use them for something.

piggy post

This little piggy is currently in transit. He lived on the shelf for a little while, and then decided it was time to head out. I love making things for people – but I just can’t make them to order! Ages ago, after a lot of not-so-subtle hints, I made my friend and elephant. Her mum and I were with her when she opened it, and her mum really seemed to love it. I always meant to make her one too, and then time wore on and I forgot. As I was wondering what should become of the pig, it dawned on me that maybe she would like it, so off he popped in the post. Hopefully she’ll get it next week. It’s always a bit tricky as they’re not *that* sturdy, so they’re not really toys for very little kids. They’re shelf dwellers really, but they do like to be loved. I hope she likes him.

In other news, I went to Yorkshire for a few days which was lovely. I had a brilliant time (seaside, countryside, cream teas and brilliant company!). We went to Nunnington Hall, and spotted this lovely crewel work:


There were three panels, all quite large and they were beautifully done. They had chunky stitching and felt quite free-form, although they were carefully planned out with lighter stitches before they were filled in. I loved the feel of them though (visual – I didn’t touch them!) As I’ve said before, I’m not a needle worker, but I would potentially make an exception for something like this… Like I need another hobby!

Brilliant things mums give kids

There’s no pictures in this post I’m afraid, but I hope you’ll read it anyway – especially if you’re a mum.

I was tatting on the train on the way home from work tonight, thinking about things to make. My mind wondered to hair accessories – and then to a hairslide my mum made for me when I was little. What a hairslide! I loved it.

As a child I always had my hair in a bob. It was between chin and shoulder length, and quite ‘swishy’ – I’ve got very thick hair. One day my mum made me a special hairslide – I’m not sure what prompted that, now I think about it. It was platted in green and white cord across the top, stitched on to a flat metal hair slide, but with long pieces of cord that dangled into my hair, with beads on the end. Wait – I’ll draw it. Ignore the no pictures thing.

See what I mean? I can still feel it in my hair now. All dangly and brilliant. I thought it was the best thing ever. It WAS the best thing ever. It’s not the only thing my mum has ever made me of course.

She also made me dresses (when I was really little) an aran jumper (which she hated knitting, but was very well done), cakes and biscuits, a hot water bottle cover, cushions, some beautiful embroideries and lots of other things. (She also instilled the deep love of a good book).

Of course the very best thing she gave me, was her time.

We both enjoy crafty stuff, but mostly different crafty stuff. She does the most incredible embroidery, cross stitch, Hardanger and she’s really practical – so if there’s a need for a *thing* in fabric, she’ll figure a way to make it. Boxes, decorations, aprons, peg bags, iPod cases, that kind of thing. I’m not at all the same. I think I’m still working out what I like doing – tatting, for sure – and I’m liking learning to knit and use my sewing machine.

Growing up with a major part of my youth in the 80s, there was a real rejection of craft. Somehow, my family still had hobbies. I just grew up thinking that there was more to life than TV. Now I’m older, I can really appreciate what a gift that is to give to your children. I’m rarely bored – when I listen to friends who suddenly find them selves alone on a Saturday, or stuck in on a weeknight and forced to watch TV, I think how nice a spare evening to yourself sounds — a chance to *do* something! (Not to watch TV.)

So, Mum – thank you. Thank you for all the things you’ve made me, all the things I’ve made with your help, and all the things I’m thinking of making.

And apologies – for the lack of pictorial evidence, I just felt like posting this tonight.