Featured, Tatting, Tatting Patterns

Celandine Necklace

Necklace by Kersti

My first finished piece of needle tatting is this necklace. I’ve adapted an edging and corner pattern by Mary Konior which she has called Celandine, and added swarovski beads to make this piece which is worked in size 10 Anchor mercer crochet cotton.

The necklace is made in three sections, and don’t make the mistake I did – do the central rosette first!

You need – 1 clasp (two halves), 19 small beads, one large bead, size 10 thread and a tatting needle.

R : ring
C : chain
ds : double stitch
p : picot
j : join
smb : small bead
RW : reverse work

Thread on 7 small beads to the ball thread.

R 7ds, p, 5ds, smb, 5ds, p, 7ds close
* R 7ds, j, 5ds, smb, 5ds, p, 7ds close
Repeat from * 4 more times
R 7ds, j, 5ds, smb, 5ds, j, 7ds close
Sew in large bead over the central gap.
Sew in the thread ends and cut.

Side and Chain

Close up
Close up of the design adapted from an edging by Mary Konior.

Thread on 6 small beads to the ball thread followed by one half of the clasp.

R 3ds, clasp, 3ds, close
Make a chain of 6x 1st half of the double stitch followed by 6x 2nd half of the double stitch until you get the desired length.

R 10ds, smb, 5ds, p, 5ds close
R 5ds, j, 5ds, p, 5ds, p, 5ds close
R 5ds, j, 5ds, p, 10ds close RW
C 10ds, smb, 5ds, smb, 5ds, j to join on rosette, RW
C 10ds, j clover, 5ds, p, 5ds
R 5ds, j chain, 5ds, j middle R of clover, 5ds, smb, 5ds close
R 5ds, smb, 5ds, smb, 5ds, p, 5ds close
R 5ds, j, 5ds, j rosette, 10ds
Sew in thread ends and cut.

Make the second side, joining to the opposite side of the rosette as per the photograph.


Librarian shows others the fun in tatting

From JournalStar.com

Sandy Wallick, a long -time member of the Lincoln Lacemakers Club, demonstrates the lacemaking technique of tatting at the Camp Creek Threshers Show in Waverly, Saturday, July 18, 2009.

Sandy Wallick loves to show others how tatting is done.

The Lincoln librarian recently set up shop for a weekend at Camp Creek Threshing Show near Waverly and soon will be doing more demonstrations with other members of Lincoln Lacemakers.

Wallick, who also does bobbin lace (which uses a weaving technique), said she does more tatting than anything else.

“It’s very portable and very durable,” she said, noting that tatting is the type of lace most often seen on pillowcases, towels and everyday items.

Tatting uses a knotting technique, she said, which means that errors require the stitches to be picked out.

The shuttles used for tatting can be made from any type of material, she said, and they come in a variety of sizes. She prefers an Aero shuttle, which has a detachable bobbin and is easy to load.

“This way I can work on several different projects at a time,” Wallick said.

“Learning can be frustrating,” she said of her experience about 20 years ago, “but once you get it, it’s very relaxing.

“Once you get a rhythm going,” she said, “it’s very calming. I tat and watch TV or listen to a book on tape.”

Her projects are a variety of items, ranging from earrings she’s made that incorporate beads to an amulet bag she wears daily. Plus there are edgings, bookmarks and three-dimensional items like the framed squirrel she entered once in the Nebraska State Fair.

One of the original members of the Lincoln Lacemakers, Wallick said she enjoys representing the group at area events. Her next demonstration will be Sunday (Aug. 2) at Homestead National Monument.

The group also will have members at the Wilber Czech Festival from Friday through Sunday, the Nebraska State Fair and at Arbor Lodge this fall during one of its Living History events.

Wallick, who has worked for Lincoln City Libraries for 30 years and currently is the Youth Services librarian at the Gere branch, said she enjoys showing tatting to others, mainly kids.

Next on her agenda is getting items finished to enter this year’s Nebraska State Fair.


Red Berry Gin

Red Berry Gin
Red Berry Gin

OMG! This stuff is just gorgeous, better than I expected and so easy to do.

I took a large screw-topped jar, filled it with mixed berries and currants and scraped the seeds from a vanilla bean in there, added the bean itself and then filled with some high-quality gin.

Left it for 2 weeks in the fridge and then strained through a large cotton tea-bag that I have. You could use an unused stocking or a coffee filter.

The colour is exactly what you see here – there was a lot more of it too, but it’s just too yummy to last!

I’m on to my second run of this one and have just picked up some passionfruits to try next.




There’s so many bretzel recipes out there that I had avoided making them for so long. A lot of them had accompanying pictures that looked nothing like the gorgeous dark brown and creamy white originals. This one, however, showed a little more promise. This is one of those recipes that is not hard to make…but makes you feel a great sense of accomplishment when looking at the finished product. You can either make them into a tight knot, pretzel shape or simple bun shape. And how was that finished product? Tasted just like the originals and Christian went back for more so I’d call that a success.

NB I use Australian measurements in my recipes.

* 1 1/4cups warm water
* 1 1/2 tablespoons warm milk
* 7g active dry yeast
* 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
* 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* kosher salt or pretzel salt
* 2 litres cold water
* 1/2 cup baking soda

In a large bowl mix a 1/3 cup of the warm water (just above room temperature or it will kill the yeast) with the yeast and let stand until foamy.

Add the remaining warm water along with milk, sugar & melted butter and stir lightly to dissolve the sugar. Add flour and combine until mixture forms a nice a firm, pliable dough ball. Add more flour if necessary.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured table and knead for 2 minutes. Roll into a 2 foot long log and cut into 12 even pieces. Cover dough with plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.

Pat dough into rolls or form knots and arrange on a lightly floured surface about an inch apart and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let the pretzels rest for an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

In a large stockpot, bring the cold water to a rolling boil and add baking soda carefully (it will fizz and bubble).

Drop two rolls into the boiling water and boil for no more then 30 seconds, turning once. Carefully remove with tongs or slotted spoon and hold above pot and let drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

Arrange rolls on baking sheets and bake on the upper and middle racks of the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until browned all over.

Let rolls cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature.



I can’t say that I was totally surprised given my previous experiences but it was such a shame to throw away what was left of our fruit and vegetables. The lemon and carrots covered in mold, the aubergine half mush. I had hoped that these would last 7 days, but to be throwing away at the 5 day mark seems like such a waste (and to be fair I didn’t go into the stash yesterday, judging by the state of them I’d say they would have been thrown out yesterday morning)

So it’s off to the organic market for us today and we’ll see if we can’t do any better.


Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns

My fabulous friend Suzie has a recipe for Hot Cross Buns on her website and she assures me that they’re very easy, so I decided to have a go at making them.

However, I’m not the biggest fan of sultanas and come Easter you’ll generally see me picking the wretched things out of my hot cross buns before toasting them, I even pick them out of cereal. So I decided to have a go at replacing the sultanas with chocolate chips.

When I made these I did a direct swap of the chocolate chips with sultanas – and some of the chocolate melted leaving a lovely chocolate bread. I reckon you could probably leave the choc chips until much later in the process to avoid some of that melting.

Here’s my version of Suzie’s recipe.

Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns
Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns

1 tablespoon dried yeast or 30g fresh yeast
125ml warm water
185ml extra water
500g white strong flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
40g butter
150g chocolate chips

30g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon caster sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons water

1/3 cup of icing sugar
1/3 cup of water

In a small bowl, put yeast, 2 teaspoons of the flour, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 125ml warm water and stir well. Leave until bubbles appear on the surface, it should be frothy and slightly increased in size.

Sift the remaining flour and spices into a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Rub the butter into the flour with the tips of your fingers. Stir in the chocolate chips. Make a well in the centre, stir in the yeast mixture and up to 185ml of water to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth, add more flour if necessary, to prevent sticking. Place the dough in a large floured bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a drought-free place for 30-40 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 200′c. Lightly grease a baking tray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to deflate. Divide into 12 portions and roll each into a ball. Place the balls on the tray, just touching each other. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave for 20 minutes or until nearly doubled in size.

To make the crosses, mix the flour, sugar and water into a paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe crosses on top of the buns. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. To make the glaze combine the icing sugar and water together. Brush over hot buns and leave to cool.



I was looking forward to coming home tonight to my bag of vegetables from homeorganics.

The spinach and lettuce don’t look quite as fabulous as they did last night, but still look pretty good and the green bananas are going yellow.

I picked up some fresh ravioli and made up a sauce using one of the onions, some garlic, chopped spinach and mushrooms from the bag. To this I added herbs, crushed tomatoes, red wine and pinenuts.

Was a lovely meal, now I just have to work out what I’m going to cook tomorrow night 🙂