View Full Version : Probably a very dumb question, but . . .
I took a bobbin lace class a couple of years ago. The class consisted of doing a torchon ground bookmark, and a wholestitch "icicle". Both patterns were simple "straight down" patterns, and starting pinholes were indicated, along with the number of pairs to hang from each pin. I was sick at the time, and to be truthful, it was difficult for me to take in everything that was said.
I have since purchased a bobbin lace kit from Snowgoose, and I've completed a bookmark with spiders. I feel pretty comfortable with the stitches, but here's the dumb part. I'd like to make some bobbin lace ornaments. I have an angel pattern that doesn't specify where to start or the number of passive pairs. It's done in cloth stitch (kind of a tape lace outline of an angel). The only pinholes shown are the ones on the sides as you do the stitch (does that make sense?). For a pattern that is a tape that changes direction, how do I know where to start? Also, if no starting pin holes are on the pattern, how do I know how many pairs to use, how they're spaced, etc.? I thought it was just this pattern, and I got the book, 75 Quick and Easy Bobbin Lace patterns, but I find myself in the same situation. It says how many pairs to use, but I don't know where to start.
Any help would be appreciated.
01-11-2010, 12:01 AM
Hmm..... This is a tough question. And your first patterns were Torchon which typically starts at the upper left corner and works either across in rows or diagonally from the upper rightmost unworked pin to the bottom left(typical of grounds). But you will notice that I said "typical". That means that all options are always open. The other bit is that now you are looking at tape lace, which has a completely different construction method. Torchon is all in one piece from start to finish. Tape lace first works an outline in tape and then hangs in pairs to work fillings and grounds. Every space inside the tape can be worked a different way with different numbers of pairs and densities of stitches.
So right off, you are dealing with 2 different kinds of lace that won't start in the same way or work in the same way.
The tape lace question is fairly straight forward. Tape laces generally have places where the tape goes over itself. Where that happens, the best place to start is with the layer underneath at the edge of the part of the tape that goes over. By starting where you know the tape will cross over itself, you can sew the part that goes over into the the beginning of the tape and the end also connects to tape that is already finished.
An example: if the tape is making a figure eight then start at the right hand edge of the place where the tape will cross itself. After you complete the tape figure, end the tape at the opposite side of the piece of tape from where you started. The in the enclosed spaces of the tape you can work grounds or fillings. The pairs for the fillings will have to be sewn into the edge of the tape that forms the inside edge. Different fillings require different numbers of pairs (honiton does this), sometimes a very small number of pairs are used to make very complex grounds (russian tape lace does this).
Most beginner books tell you all the details on what to do for a specific piece, but don't generalize the information into rules, mostly because there are so many possibilities. If you add to that the techniques that improve the overall beauty of your lace, the options skyrocket.
Since I have 75 Quick and Easy Bobbin Lace patterns, pick a pattern and we can work on it, right here on the forum for the benefit of yourself and other bobbin lace beginners. While I rummage about to find the book, I will try to discover if you have only overlooked the information you are looking for.
Patty, thank you for your response, and thank you for making me feel a little less dumb about staring at these patterns blankly not knowing how to start! I would love it if we could work through a piece together. The butterfly on page 13 or the Christmas tree on page 27 look like a good start. Or, I could send you a copy of the angel I was talking about. The instructor gave it to students in the class but I don't see a reference to a designer - I don't know if she designed it herself or not. The angel doesn't have any filling stitches.
Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I'd really like to learn to do this.
02-11-2010, 05:42 PM
is it that kind of lace in the pic?
Normally are 6 pairs of bobbins enough. It depends on Your Yarn thickness and how lacy You would like to have.
02-11-2010, 06:47 PM
My books got packed up for painting, but I'm on it! Probably in a day or so.
03-11-2010, 02:59 PM
Found the book! Working on some notes for the Christmas Tree on pg 27. Will post the PDF here.
03-11-2010, 07:27 PM
I restricted myself to how to start and the implied how to finish. You were exactly right. Nothing shows where or how to start this pattern. So this is a Quick and Easy book for people who already know how to do it!
15-11-2010, 06:41 PM
i am thinking about starting to try bobbin lace and last night i stumbled onto this website http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/lace/start.htm it is a wealth of knowledge
15-11-2010, 06:44 PM
Yes, that is a very good place to start! Jo Edkins Lace School. She does a great job of introducing the subject. Be sure to post questions to the Bobbin Lace Forum, there are a number of us bobbin lacers here on InTatters.
15-11-2010, 09:06 PM
WOW- the main page for Jo Edkins Lace School is AMAZING!!! But I HAVE to stop reading all this- I have my pillow, my bobbins, my threads and my books all packed up. Enjoyed making the lace mentally, but my eyes and fingers hated it! It is SOOO tempting to dig them out again- but I WON'T, I WON'T, I WON'T......
BTW- here's that main page: http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/lace/
15-11-2010, 09:53 PM
I am just not as interested in this as I am with tatting. I think part of it is too much tools needed.
15-11-2010, 11:42 PM
Yes, well, every craft skill does not sing to everyone. How boring that would be. I find that I have seasons of crafts and return to special favorites when the mood strikes. Does that make me flighty? or just omnivorous?