Into Every Lace, a Knot Must Snarl

Well, I may have just gotten in a wee bit over my head with this latest bit of lace I’m attempting. I even debated trying to whip up a different project (if I could in 1 evening) just to have something more substantial to show, but that would be a wee bit deceptive, and that’s not the point of this exercise.

It’s about new skills, and they don’t always come easy.

The first time I saw bobbin lace was years ago at a book fair (of all things). The artist had her pillow set up with all these pins in it, threads and bobbins seemingly everywhere but she was creating this amazing lace with so much detail.

(All of this being pre-blog and no camera permanently attached to my face–seriously, where is that cybernetic implant?!)

So when I hit the lacemaking art, I was super-jazzed about having the push it gave me to actually try out bobbin lace for myself.

And I thought the toughest part was going to be finding the parts and pieces I needed without spending a fortune!

Because, really, how hard could the rest of it be?

And now we’re back to the in over my head-ness of it all.

The supplies turned out to be surprisingly simple to cobble together:

  • I used a folded towel for my “pillow”,
  • I had plenty of pins and thread already in my stash,
  • and I downloaded a free pattern from Jo Edkins’ Lace School.

That same website had not only the best instructions I’ve found online but also a great tip that a reader had sent in about using pencils as bobbins–and I had plenty of those around the office–but I wasn’t sure about how long they were and keeping them from rolling around on the pillow.

Then I was wandering through Hobby Lobby–as you do–I spied these great party picks that I thought would do just great and, yeah, they look right.

In fact, if you look at my set-up, you’d think I knew what I was doing:

A good start to bobbin lace, but that's all

And, yeah, the set-up instructions all made great sense. And after a couple of false starts I managed to set up the foundation row that joined all the individual loops hanging on the starter pins.

But after that I got stuck.

I understand how to do the different stitches (again, great instructions from Jo Edkins, including little animated bits for the visual learners among us), just not how to get from point A to point B (or, rather, pin A to pin B). It probably doesn’t help that I’ve picked a simple-but-not-starter pattern to try and learn with, but I’ll soldier on and give it a bit more study and I’m sure whatever I’m not getting will click sooner or later.

Hopefully by next week!

When’s the last time you found a project that really challenged you?
Did you see it through or change gears? 

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