A small swimmer

For the last 10 years, Jane Eborall has hosted a tat it and see, also known as TIAS, in January. It is a small tatted pattern she designed, which she has broken up into small bits, and feeds to us every couple of days. We do not know what it will be, but we dutifully perform the required tatting, and then the fun begins. We send a picture of our segment to Jane, and start guessing. It is so much fun to follow along on the TIAS blog and read everyone’s guesses, see everyone’s thread choices. I have only followed along since I learned to tat just over a year ago, and this was my second TIAS.

It was so much fun, and I very much enjoyed the process.


Take this sweater for example:

I will be the first to admit, it looks kind of odd, laying there, on the table, just to have it’s picture taken.  You can, however, get a really good look at the color play caused by the yarn this way.  I love that part.  And actually, I really love the sweater.  The ‘sleeves’ go just over the edge of my shoulder, still covering my bra straps, and the whole thing looks really kind of nice.  And I am not the only one who says so.  It took me a while to knit it, but it was fun.  The yarn had been given to me by a dear friend, as a secret Santa present.  The pattern?  It is called Summer Darling, a pattern from Drops.  I made mine a little longer then the pattern called for, I happen to be kind of tall, and the top fell quite a bit above my waistband without the extra length, something I am not fond of.  Now it falls right at my waistband, and I am quite happy with it.  I called my version Purple Pleasure…  😀

The bottom edge has a little pattern/lace to brighten it up:

I used Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale Solid, a 100% cotton yarn, in the purple colorway, with the very catchy name 9563.  I ended up buying a 5th skein, for a total of 700 yards, and when I was done, I had about 11 feet left!  The yarn, being cotton is a bit on the splitty side, but it’s beauty (for me) made more then up for that.  If I would make this top a gain, I would probably rewrite it for a lighter weight, since we do not need heavy summer tops in our neck of the woods.  Fantasy Naturale is an Aran weight, and belongs more on a winter sweater, though it being cotton does make all the difference.  Even with our hot days (yes, we already hit 90 several days here) it is a very comfortable top to wear.  The color is gorgeous, consistent, and does not appear to bleed.

Definitely a pattern I would recommend, do not let the odd looking finished product fool you.

And here she is

I had a friend who very generously gave me a 11/0 bead to use in my tatting.  Unfortunately, life got in the way, and it took a week and a half between asking and seeing her again.  I had never used a bead that small in my knitting, and did not have any that would have done, especially if it was to be an eye.  When we last saw each other, I had finished the one part, and was about to start the second part, which needed the bead.  But today, after I got the bead, I quickly continued.

Here is the 9th installment:


And since I really wanted to finish with the rest, I quickly continued with day 10, and 11, and went so fast, that I forgot to make a picture of day 10!  But here is the final picture, with the whole gorgeous little lady finished:


Today I learned the alligator join!  And I learned that big rings are much harder to keep neat when closing them up.  But then, it is my first project in tatting, and I am still proud of it.

Is it fluttering

I did skip showing you day 7 by itself.  I figured you might get a little bored with all the little updates to my little lacy thing.  I am more than happy to show you at this time though.


And I have to admit, I was completely at a loss as to what this might possibly turn in to.  I trust Jane Eborall enough that I believe I will have something fun and pretty when we are done.  The guesses have centered around a big gown and a butterfly, but I also saw some guessing a frog, or a snail.  But after day 7 everyone was a bit stumped.

Then came day 8.


And I most definitely see a butterfly wing at this point!  I actually had to tie, cut and hide my ends today!  We are going to start with a new thread, and the bead will finally come into play.  Lots of people were guessing a butterfly today.  Part of me hopes so, because it does look very pretty as a butterfly.  But how the one bead will be used?  I have no idea…

I have something new to share with you.  Like some other knitters, I often like to bring a little project along, and one of the easiest projects to take along is a sock.  And my kids love hand-knit socks, so what do I do?  You guessed it, I knit them socks when I have some time that my hands are not busy, and I can’t go do something else.  It was my oldest son’s turn to get a pair of socks, and I had found a really cool sock yarn for him.  He approved, and off I went, starting just after summer break.  Well, last week they finally got their toes kitchenered closed. I think they had been waiting for 2 weeks for that, because that is the only part of the socks that I do not know by heart yet.  And then they disappeared onto my son’s feet before I thought about taking a picture!  So here they are, freshly washed, and a picture taken before my son comes home and claims them again.


The pattern is just plain vanilla, 2×2 rib board, straight knitting down the leg and a slip stitch heel.  Easy to do while paying attention to other things. The yarn?  Oh of course you want to know about the yarn!  The yarn is called Naked Sock from Wisdom Yarns, a brand under the Universal Yarn Umbrella.  The color is called Trapeze, color number 101, and it is actually completely wool free.  It is however machine washable and dry-able!  Very important when making socks for kids…  The actual composition, according to the label is 93% Acrylic, and 7% PBT.  Yes, I went to find what PBT actually is, and have given you a link.  Basically it is like Lycra, kind of elastic, and this yarn has quite a bit of stretch to it. It is put up in 100 gram balls, with 430 meters (470 yards) in that one ball.  It was fun to knit with, once I got used to the stretchiness.

Of course I am still tatting, and TIAS day 6 is up, so I did my best, and got it finished.


I still have no idea what it is going to be.  I keep changing my mind, and keep remembering that 1 little bead that will be added sometime before the end! I still have no idea, especially since there is only 1 bead needed. Most of the people, including a ballgown or crinoline lady would have 2 eyes, because usually they are not created in profile… And if the zigzag chain would be a garland or belt/ribbon (as some have been guessing), it would usually go down the right front (do not ask me why…) In other words, I am totally lost too! On the other hand, it could be a surprise, be a monk, dancing belle, looking off to the side. I am having much more trouble being patient now that I am part of the TIAS. When I was just watching, I was much more patient to find out what it was.

I guess we will see what the next part brings!

And here is day 5

I know, things are getting boring most likely.  But I am very much enjoying the making, and the guessing is getting really wild!  Anyway, here is my day 5:


Guesses around the world range from monkeys, elephant foot umbrella stand, butterfly, tulip, ballgown, hot air balloon, crown, something with vines, sheep with a very long tail, and many other guesses!  I am loving it.  I actually saw a picture where someone had managed to pull the 2 strings of rings out, and turned the whole thing 90 degrees, and it really did look like a butterfly.  I am suspicious my zigzag chains are not very tidy in that case, and a bit long.  We’ll see!

Now, if you are bored with the tatting, stay tuned, I hope to have a finished object to show you very, very soon.  Actually, the item is already finished, but I have forgotten to take a picture of it, and it walked off…

TIAS Day 4

Today’s Tat it and see installment was a doozie!  Thrilled and excited as I was to see it was up, I almost immediately started with the questions.  The installment always has all the abbreviations explained, but today there was one I did not know.  Well, it was quickly asked, and before I even finished my morning coffee, I had an answer from Jane.  Lj is a Lock joint.  Very good instructions on her website, and I was good to go, or so I thought.

Then there was the Zig zag chain, and despite the very thorough instructions, both on the pattern, her website (at the bottom of the first collumn), and via private e-mails between Jane and I, I misunderstood how to count the stitches in the beginning.  But being the beginner I was, I wanted to be sure I understood, and quickly realized my mistake.  Fortunately I was asking before doing, so I did not even have to undo anything!  😀  A zigzag chain is quite a wonderful little thing, with first a regular double stitch, and then a non-flipped on, in reverse order, which makes this chain literally zig and zag.  Because we were doing 1 stitch switchbacks, the zigzags were quite small, but really cool.  The biggest trick was that when counting stitches on a zig zag chain, you need to count the zig and the zag, or the flipped AND the non-flipped ds as 1 stitch.  This would have made for quite a difference, if I miscounted it!

So, today I learned the zig zag chain and the lock joint and the shoe lace trick!


And I am starting to think that this looks like a bulb of some kind…