Bedfordshire bobbin lace is a braid/plait based straight lace.  The designs usually involve a graceful clothwork trail that meanders through the design, and are usually curvilinear rather than geometric (except for the simplest ones).  The ground is usually a 4 strand plait/braid, often with picots.  The more complex designs often require threads to be constantly added and removed to achieve a good density.

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Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on August 23, 2014 at 8:52pm

You will never Stop learning, Jenny!!!

However, Beds Lace lets you do your own thing sometimes, and is not so rigid and bound up with "Rulers" as some other laces (Here I go again - getting "radical"!!!)

It is not so demanding in some areas as other laces, but a few good guidelines, and you can enjoy making it work to you own satisfaction, and getting the look that you want.   It is a "go with the flow" lace, - so sit back and enjoy making it!!!!!!!!

Comment by Jenny on August 22, 2014 at 11:41pm

Thanks Liz. Looks like I still have a lot to learn.

Comment by Administrator on August 22, 2014 at 12:08am

good advice liz

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on August 21, 2014 at 9:38pm

You can "paint yourself into a corner" very easily with Beds!!!!!! (Been there - done that!!!!)  As Helen says, - work from the centre outwards as much as possible.

When a leg or tally comes in on one side of a trail, and goes out on the other side, - do the "change Workers" or "working though/across the trail" method if possible, so the passives in the trail remain constant. this gives a better look, than the torchon way, of taking in on one side and leaving out on the other side.

Also when taking in a tally or leg, and carrying it a shot way along the trail, - work the 4 bobbins in pairs, so you only work one cloth stitch to keep them in with the trail. this prevents the trail from widening out too much with the extra 2 pairs, - one cloth stitch is worked instead of 2. Looks neater.

Comment by Jenny on August 21, 2014 at 5:42pm

It sounds confusing, but I did work it out to work as much of the center first as I could with this book mark. If I worked too much down the sides then I had hassle working the tallies because the pins from the outside were in the way. I sure has been fun, and I am still enjoying the challenge f it all.

Comment by Helen Bell on August 21, 2014 at 5:11pm

Actually to clarify what I wrote earlier (because re-reading it just now, might create the wrong impression :-) ):  One hangs in at the top or starting point (for eg, a corner of a cuff), and you work along, but once you get to a point where you have your headside and footside (or 2 headsides/footsides if working a piece with no foot or an insertion), then you work from the middle out in your progression of work.  So, you work your centre motif/ground/blob, whatever, leaving out your pairs, then work on either side of the centre of your lace.  If you keep that centre area slightly ahead of the outer edges, you allow room for yourself to work the fiddly bits, like tallies going in odd directions, legs going in/out, picots, etc.

Doesn't always work perfectly, but in most cases it does.

Comment by Jenny on August 21, 2014 at 3:51pm
Silly iPad auto correct! That should read Pamela Nottingham.
Comment by Jenny on August 21, 2014 at 3:49pm
Thank you Helen. I was learning Torchon, got to a lesson on tallies when I discovered Bedfordshire. I had acquired the Pamela Nottinghamshire book & was following that in order. Then I got distracted by the fish that my teacher wanted us all to do & that's when it all stopped because I wasn't interested. I distracted myself again with a piece of Tennerife & when that was finished thought I better finish the fish. As much as I didn't really like working him, there were lots of lessons, like working the outside first, center last, adding in pairs & dropping them out. Then I came beck to the Bedfodshire & decided to turn the next piece into a full edging, only to find the pricking would not fit on my pillow. The bookmark was another distraction waiting for a new pillow. I had filed it away to do "later" , and now while I was waiting for my new pillow was time.

I do get myself in a pickle sometimes, & you girls are just fabulous at helping me get out of it. Thank you all for your encouragement & words of wisdom.
Comment by Administrator on August 21, 2014 at 1:51pm

Plan a, b, c, d: that makes sense!

Comment by Helen Bell on August 21, 2014 at 10:01am

Jenny, when working something like this bookmark, or much of beds, a good rule of thumb is to work from the middle out.  Sometimes, it's working the middle out in 2 directions (like the bookmark).  Beds requires thinking in a different way, as it doesn't necessarily have the rhythm and flow of laces like the grid based ones (torchon, point ground), and you have to jump around a little, rather than work in rows. 

It's a lace that requires patience and thinking ahead, and having an enlargement or several enlargements of sections of the pricking so that you can sit down and pencil in arrows of direction of work beforehand can be helpful.  If you have a Plan A, just be aware that by the time you get to it, you might end up going through Plans B, C, and D, before you got to the final one of E :-)  I had a piece like that that I started in class with Jean Leader 2 years ago, and there was one section that required a lot of planning and rumination, and Just when I thought it would work on paper, it didn't on the pillow.  A solution finally came to us, and I got it completed (not sure it's how my ancestors would've solved the problem, but it was one way).

Hang in there, and keep persevering :-)


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