I am brand new to Bobbin Lace... Discovered it while watching a period drama series (Lark Rise to Candleford)... And was enthralled with the idea of it.
I have found the New England Lace Group and am planning to attend the connecticut lace day on June 3rd... Purchased a little starter kit on ebay to get a feel for it... I am currently researching pillows vs bolster... Etc am very excited to be on the journey back in time!

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Elizabeth - Amen, sister!  My primary pillow is my bolster, but I have 5 cookies I use for teaching, a big rectangular pillow, a bolster in progress, and a Princess machine!   Right now I'm experimenting with teaching kits that use pink closed cell foam insulation for the pillow, and while I'm sitting here at the computer I'm experimenting with making lace on a section of pool noodle!  I'm going to check at the end of gardening season for sales on garden kneeling pad- if I can find a good price, they might be good as the pillow in teaching kits as well.

Elizabeth Ligeti said:

'A lot of lacemakers have more than one pillow..."   That, Jo, has to be the Understatement of the year!!!!!!! :)


Not yet...but am getting some spangled...or actually to spangle...the ones that came with the kit are not drilled....

I do like the idea of the spangles to give them weight for tension....the bobbins I have are very light weight...I figured they would be good for just starting and getting used to them in my hands....

I have been researching equipment...oy...so many choices....But I believe I will be ordering yet another kit....this one I found on esty....from a place here in the USA....my other choice would be snowgoose lace....the 2 kits are very similar in price content etc....

So yet another newbie question...what size cookie pillow....16..18..20 inch....I can understand why people have so many....lol.....I will be working on a small table top or in my lap mostly....starting out 'small' and working up.....I am thinking 16 or 18 inch's would be good to start....


Jo Edkins said:

I notice that your bobbins aren't spangled (having those attractive beads on). The beads aren't necessary and spangling is a bit of a nuisance when you're aching to get started! So use them as they are. You can always spangle them later if you want. Or buy ready spangled bobbins. Or carry on with unspangled bobbins - that's what most traditional lace was made with. It's just us Brits who liked the dangling beads... 
There may not be enough pins. You need LOTS of pins. Especially if you drop them all over the floor, like I do.
Bolster v. flat pillow - they are very different to work with. I think (but people on this forum may disagree!) that a flat pillow is easier for a beginner. You can lay all your bobbins out in the right order (VERY important!) and they stay in that order, and don't roll over each other. You pick up just one, or at most two, bobbins in your hands and move it/them to the new correct position. So I suggest starting with a flat pillow. If you want to try a bolster, there's always later... A lot of lacemakers have more than one pillow, but one is enough to start with! The bolster would have been used in Lark Rise to Candleford, I suspect, although that was at the end of the real lacemaking period, so they might have been using the new flat pillows. But that is 'new', only for England. The Dutch pillows of the 1600's are flat(ish).


Pictures posted below
Administrator said:

Can you show us a picture of your kit?

I have one book....Beginners guide to bobbin lace by Gilian Dye and Adrienne Thunder....and another on the way to me...Bobbin Lace Making by Doreen Wright....and have been to Jo's web site and watching you tube...that is where the confusion came in....either I miss understood the video or what I was reading or she was, I think taught differently.... I am also a kinetic/audio learner first  (see hear and do) a visual learner 2nd...(read and then do)....I can also process better when I can speak to someone rather than typing and texting...HOWEVER, I do my best to adapt....its just taking the steps and figuring it out....

YOU ALL here have been amazing and very patient with me!!!! I do appreciate that...I tend to ask a lot of questions....(I was a talk radio show host for a short time doing interviews...I question people and things a lot) but its my nature...I strive to UNDERSTAND...and pick peoples brains....

I am going to attend a Lace Day in CT ...on June 3rd...part of the New England Lace Group....am hoping to make a connection or at least get a lead on someone I can Harass...oops I mean ask questions of....(I try to be as non obtrusive as I can.)  

Back to my reading ....research etc...This Journey is already amazing....Thank you all again!!!

Attached is my first attempt....I can see....when the pins are crooked, and the tension is wrong...a few bloopers...and my vertical threads are not straight....this I did with the tctc method...I think lol...

Nancy M. Terselic said:

Welcome to the addictive world of Bobbin Lace!  I see you purchased the Lacis kit; it's not bad for just starting out, although I find the foam pillow a bit too thin (although it does fit into my airplane carry-on!) and the bobbins too long.  The instructions aren't bad but yes, they are lacking.   Jo's site is good, and I suggest finding a few of the bobbin lace books to augment, although they can be hard to find.  (Dover carries books by Doris Southerd book and Brigita Fuhrmann, both worth picking up.)  

The preference of CTCT vs TCTC varies from lacer to lacer, but (and this may be an over-simplification) also seems to be indicative of Continental vs. English lace, although both give essentially the same final effect when working simple laces.   Ending on a cross vs a twist can make a difference when doing work that includes plaits and some more complex laces; CTCT is my preference, but that's what I learned from the first books I found.

Attachments:

Dee,

For just starting out, your sample looks very good!  I would suggest angling your pins away from the lace so that you can tension against them. (see photo link)  The rest is just going to be a question of practice and experience.    I don't spangle my bobbins - my lace incorporates sewings / brides so spangles would be problematic - and I study Renaissance lace, when they didn't use spangled bobbins.  (Spangles in the lace, yes, spangles on the bobbins, no.)   Also, I primarily work on a bolster so gravity and spacer pins keep my bobbins in place, and you don't want the bobbins to be too heavy.

You might want to see if CTCT works better for you if you started TCTC, but find what is comfortable for you!

Angled Pins

Nancy
 
Dee Dove said:

I have one book....Beginners guide to bobbin lace by Gilian Dye and Adrienne Thunder....and another on the way to me...Bobbin Lace Making by Doreen Wright....and have been to Jo's web site and watching you tube...that is where the confusion came in....either I miss understood the video or what I was reading or she was, I think taught differently.... I am also a kinetic/audio learner first  (see hear and do) a visual learner 2nd...(read and then do)....I can also process better when I can speak to someone rather than typing and texting...HOWEVER, I do my best to adapt....its just taking the steps and figuring it out....

YOU ALL here have been amazing and very patient with me!!!! I do appreciate that...I tend to ask a lot of questions....(I was a talk radio show host for a short time doing interviews...I question people and things a lot) but its my nature...I strive to UNDERSTAND...and pick peoples brains....

I am going to attend a Lace Day in CT ...on June 3rd...part of the New England Lace Group....am hoping to make a connection or at least get a lead on someone I can Harass...oops I mean ask questions of....(I try to be as non obtrusive as I can.)  

Back to my reading ....research etc...This Journey is already amazing....Thank you all again!!!

Attached is my first attempt....I can see....when the pins are crooked, and the tension is wrong...a few bloopers...and my vertical threads are not straight....this I did with the tctc method...I think lol...

Nancy M. Terselic said:

Welcome to the addictive world of Bobbin Lace!  I see you purchased the Lacis kit; it's not bad for just starting out, although I find the foam pillow a bit too thin (although it does fit into my airplane carry-on!) and the bobbins too long.  The instructions aren't bad but yes, they are lacking.   Jo's site is good, and I suggest finding a few of the bobbin lace books to augment, although they can be hard to find.  (Dover carries books by Doris Southerd book and Brigita Fuhrmann, both worth picking up.)  

The preference of CTCT vs TCTC varies from lacer to lacer, but (and this may be an over-simplification) also seems to be indicative of Continental vs. English lace, although both give essentially the same final effect when working simple laces.   Ending on a cross vs a twist can make a difference when doing work that includes plaits and some more complex laces; CTCT is my preference, but that's what I learned from the first books I found.

Thoughts on the travel pillow in photos below? Thanks in advance
Attachments:

Dee - In your sample you have all the threads going in the right direction. That is the most important goal to meet. Next goal is to improve tension. The stitch you are doing is either ctct   or tctc. (They both look the same when finished.) At the end of each row  set the pin under the weaver, and then gently but firmly pull on all the pairs while pulling on the weaver, to remove all the slack.

Lorelei

It looks like a workable travel pillow. A 16 inch pillow would be a bit small, to my way of thinking and would work only with fairly small projects. Figure that the outer 4 inches of the pillow will not have lace on it, but will just serve to hold the bobbins, and another 4 inches for the thread coming off the bobbin.. So 16 -4 -4 -4 = 4 inches max for the size of the lace. That would be fine for Honiton, or really fine scale laces. My personal preference is for 19 to 21 inches in diameter. But then I tend to work large scale.

Lorelei

My Personal preference for starting to learn Bobbin lace, is to start with the Cloth stitch - CTC.  It is easier to tension, and get the passives lying straight.  I always thing CTCT (or TCTC) is the harder stitch to get right, and looking how you want it.

May I suggest,  Dee, you work a section of that pattern in just the cloth stitch - 3 movements, not the 4 you are doing now  _ leave off the last movement, and move on to the next pair of passives, and when you have completed the row, and put up the pin, hold your workers firmly, and ease down each passive thread one by one, and they should then lie in a straight line down the pillow.  See if that helps get you work looking better - like woven fabric (why it is called Cloth Stitch, I suppose!!).

You are doing well, just working from a book.  I hope you enjoy your Lace Day, and find someone who can help you get a really good start.  Don'

t be shy of asking questions. (I am noted for asking questions - about anything and everything!!)  We all enjoy helping beginners, and seeing them flourish - and get as addicted as we are! :)

Dee,

I too am new to Bobbin Lace....I discovered it when I went to a Renaissance fair in Atlanta, Georgia.  I saw a tent with two ladies and their pillows and since I tat also, I stopped to chat. 

I am having to learn on my own since there are no available teachers where I live in Alabama. 

Good luck.

Dee and Shirley,

I, too, taught myself bobbin lace since there were no teachers or resources near me. 

The 2 books that really got me started on the right path were Gilian Dye's Beginning Bobbin Lace (once very expensive on Amazon, but I believe it's been reprinted - buy it if you can find it!) and The Bobbin Lace Manual by Geraldine Stott (pricey but worth it, and a good resource - I keep referring back to it frequently).

Between those 2 and Jo's website, I had the tools to start my lace journey.

The Bobbin Lace Manual

Sep 1, 1989

Nancy,

I've been monitoring The Bobbin Lace Manual on several websites (it is a bit pricey at $54.00!!!) but I may have found Gillian Dye's Beginning Bobbin Lace for $12.00 on Amazon. 

Thanks for the advice!

Shirley

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