My very first tatting pattern

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.

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Tatted birds

Tiny tatting: Aren’t these lovely?

I’ve been really busy over the last couple of weeks, with various visitors and lots of other things to do too. I haven’t had much time for blogging, but I have been trying hard to keep up with my tatting endeavours, with mixed success. I have tried several patterns, and I’m getting on quite well, but I haven’t yet got anything finished to show you. But, like most crafters, I hate wasting anything, and I was wondering what to do with the small amounts of thread left over on my shuttles when I’ve finished a doily or some other project. Then I discovered these delightful little birds! Aren’t they lovely? They only need a tiny amount of thread, and they are so quick to make. They would be great to use as little bookmarks.

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Ndebele inspired biscornu

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This week has been a very busy week. I have had to spend a lot of time on the day job (freelance writing), and I’ve spent most of the rest of the time watching Wimbledon tennis through my fingers! So I haven’t managed to upload any new posts. However, this evening I finished a project I’ve been working on for quite a while, and I am delighted with it.

The Ndebele tribe in southern Africa are renowned for their amazing geometric artwork, which they use to decorate their houses, artefacts and sometimes even cars! If you want to know more, and see some examples, take a look here and here.

I have always found it inspirational, and for some time I’ve wanted to have a go at designing a biscornu with an Ndebele-inspired pattern. And this is the result. It took me quite a long time to chart the design, and even longer to stitch, as it’s actually quite detailed, which is why it’s taken me a while to get it finished. Usually I stitch two identical designs for the top and bottom of a biscornu, but I knew it would take a long time, so I decided to stitch a border square instead. If you take a close look, you can see where I cheated a bit…

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I’ve uploaded the pattern to my Etsy shop, so if you are interested, you can find it here.

I’m thinking about designing some more biscornu based on art from different cultures, so watch this space. 🙂

I hope you are all enjoying your projects.