Saturday, March 21, 2009

On Questions on Bobbin Lace Making:

I have gotten some questions on my bobbin lace. So, I’ll answer them today here so anyone else that thought about asking but didn’t get around to commenting can get the answers too.

1. It looks so complicated, how do you keep it all straight?

As you can see in the picture, the threads meet at the pins and all you need do is follow the thread down to the bobbins to know which ones to pick up and work with at a time.

If you keep your bobbins in order (Meaning the threads are all lined up from the work down to the bobbins.) and you are working from a pattern, the count is always from left to right and the left most pair is always one, the second always two and so on.

The pattern may say ‘5-6 linen stitch’ and you know to pick up the fifth and sixth pair and do the linen stitch with them.

2. What happens if you make a wrong stitch somewhere?

I go back and fix it. I take out the work done after the mistake and redo it. I must say, I do try not to make many mistakes.

3. How long does it take?

To learn? As long as it takes to get your hands to remember what to do. There are only five basic stitches to start with. The rest of the time is in practice and concentration.

To make one repeat of the pattern I‘m using in the picture? About fifteen minutes. I’m slower then I used to be and there is a lot of stopping and starting to exchange working bobbins and place pins.

4. What’s up with the pillows?

I have five different kinds of pillows: a cookie or flat round disk on a board for flat pieces like doilies,(like my picture here) a ball pillow for things like lace baby caps, a Victorian cylinder or roller in a pillow for edging, the cone for making corners for handkerchiefs and collars, and the bolster for edgings or wider pieces. All are hard packed with stuffing to hold the pins steady in place and I made all my pillows myself. But there are places you can buy them.

5. What kind of Bobbins do you have?

I get them from a lot of different places. I have wood, plastic, and a few glass. Some are fancy, others plain. Different ones for different size and type of thread. Some are heavier, others lighter. Some are old, others new.

I learned using push pins for hanging laundry to dry as my first bobbins and kite string.

I’ll be happy to help you find answers to any other questions about bobbin lace. It really is easier then it looks. But, I must say it is not for the impatient unless you are looking for a tutorial on patients. It takes a long time to have a good piece of hand made lace.


Rebecca Nazar said...

Again, I've got to say: simply gorgeous work.

Guzzisue said...

great explanations :-)

Judith said...

This is nothing short of magical! I watched a young woman in . . . somewhere in Belgium (it was 30 years ago) making bobbin lace and her concentration was intense as her fingers and hands flew back and forth. I'm so pleased you know how to do this! It's important to keep all of these hand crafts alive! Hugs!