Ndebele Inspired Tunisian Crochet Potholder

11 November, 2011

in Crocheting & Knitting

ndebele potholder 006

Hello and a Happy Friday to you!

I have been excited to show you this project for awhile! Do you remember this Bright Things post I did on Ndebele Painted Houses back in January? Their colors and lines have percolated in the back of my mind ever since!

And then I learned how to do Tunisian Crochet in February…and realized that I’d found a great vehicle for some of the colorwork ideas I’ve had for crochet pieces.

Ndebele Inspired Tunisian Crochet Potholder

This potholder uses the basic Tunisian simple stitch (Tss), so all the learning and technicality on this piece come from the color changing.  And binding the edges together…I still need to work on doing that bit better.

Ndebele Inspired Tunisian Crochet Potholder

One thing that’s always amusing to me is to watch myself and other people to see what details we focus on and which ones we forget. 

I was quite picky about getting the color right and it took a couple weeks to find the correct colors of yarns I needed.  I never did find all the colors from the same line.

Yet, for all the hunting I did for the earthy yellow, dusty-but-bright blue, and dark green, it took a lot of concentrated effort to count my stitches correctly!  I guess I just haven’t done enough colorwork yet to be used to paying attention to that.  I was constantly double and triple-checking my counting and stitches to make sure I was following the pattern correctly – even though I wrote it!

Ndebele Inspired Tunisian Crochet, Back

That said, if you are ready to try colorwork in Tunisian Crochet, this is good practice.  You can practice your stitch first with the plain background, and then work on the front.  (You may recognize the back from a sneak peak here and my Tunisian Crochet page button on the right side of the blog.)

Ndebele Beadwork

As excited as I was to share my Ndebele inspired potholder with you, it got totally amped up when I received this real Ndebele beadwork egg from my friend Trace Dicocco!

Her family has lived in South Africa for the past several years, working at a community center.  They are currently transitioning from there to some micro-finance work with Turame in Burundi.  When we had lunch together a few weeks ago, she brought me this egg!

Ndebele Beadwork

I was so blown away, I got tears in my eyes!  She says it’s a little thing.

But whenever people pay attention to you and remember your interests, your inspirations, it’s never a little thing. Never.

All the behind the scenes work I am doing, all the patterns and kits and such- it’s not just for me.  I want to grow a business where a lot of people can benefit from making and purchasing handmade goods.  To hold in my hand the colorful, graphic beadwork made by an Ndebele woman a world away encourages and motivates me to no end!

Ndebele Inspired Tunisian Crochet Potholder

Can I tell you one more thing?  You motivate me, too. 

I’ve met so many lovely people through this little space and I am grateful for you all.  Here in America we are embroiled once again in sexual abuse scandals.  It’s depressing for a lot of people.  People want to be able to look up to politicians as statesmen and women, and to cheer with some honor for their favorite sports teams.

I am so incredibly thankful for you and for anyone who is out there working everyday to make the world a better place.  It all matters and someone is looking to you, hoping they can look up to you.

Hoping for hope.

Keep doing what you do.

Keep taking care of your people.

Keep reaching out to the people who aren’t your people.

Keep making beautiful and useful things that brighten people’s lives and bring dignity to their days.

As I grew up hearing, keep fighting the good fight.

Much love,


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

MandyNo Gravatar

Wow! I really love the bright colours of the potholder. You certainly made good use of those lovely colours and patterns shared some time ago. The egg is amazing. What a delightful gift to have been given. So special.
Thanks for sharing.


ElizabethNo Gravatar

Thank you, Mandy! I really cherish the egg. It’s propped on top of the bookcase in my dining room. :)


pamNo Gravatar

Your Tunisian crochet makes my eyes happy and your words make my heart happy. Too much greed, ugliness, in the world – what a gift we have in our blogs to be able to share the good that is in us and the good that is in our virtual community – which IS a REAL community – just connected virtually.


ElizabethNo Gravatar

Yes! I love the online crafty community! Thanks so much for your compliments on my Tunisian crochet & post. :)


traceNo Gravatar

Elizabeth, I’m just now seeing this post and my heart is full of goodness and love. xxx


ElizabethNo Gravatar

Thank you. :) xoxo


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