Firstly I should apologise for not posting for such a long time. If you follow this blog you will know that I share my time between the UK and The Gambia, and at the moment I am in Africa. This means that I’m reliant on solar power to keep my laptop charged up. Now, you may think that Gambia has unbroken sunshine, but that’s not the case at this time of year. Technically it’s winter here, and the days are often hazy or cloudy, which makes it hard to keep our solar battery charged up. As I use my laptop for my day job as a freelance, writer, and I also keep a blog about my life in Gambia (www.lifeinthegambia.wordpress.com), I often find that by the time I’ve done all that, plus emailed family and friends, there isn’t much power left to do other things. I also only have limited internet access via a stick.
However, I am hoping that I will be able to post a bit more regularly from now on. You may know that I decided to teach myself to tat earlier in the year. I have always loved the look of tatting, and had a few attempts over the years to master it, but this time I managed to find lots of useful resources on the internet, including video, which made it much easier.
I have been beavering away at my tatting whilst I am here in Gambia (much to the bemusement of our many visitors who are always fascinated by what I’m doing), and I have been making some snowflakes for Christmas decorations which I will share with you another time.
After making a few, I decided it was time to have a go at designing my own, and here is my first attempt…
Now I know that tatted items are meant to be starched and then blocked when they are finished, and in the UK I could do that easily with my electric steam iron, However, as we have no mains electricity here, I am reliant on a charcoal iron like this:
Apart from my worry about getting charcoal dust on my tatting, it’s also a real hassle sorting out the charcoal, finding a table, covering it with a cloth and then ironing, so I have had to resort to flattening my tatting under a heavy book! This hasn’t turned out too badly, but it’s impossible to pin everything out evenly, so sometimes my work looks a little lop-sided!
If you look carefully at the snowflake above, you can see that there is some overlapping of the design, which I wasn’t keen on, so I adapted it to make some of the rings a little smaller, and that seems to have solved the problem. So here is the revised version…
I’ve spent a while trying to chart the pattern. I have called it Snowflake with clover motif if you would like to have a try. Please do let me know if you spot any mistakes in the pattern as it’s my first attempt and I may well have got some things wrong.
I am really pleased with my design, and hopefully I will be able to design a few more patterns in the future.