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 Administrator 17 hours ago

What pattern do you plan to use for the edging?

Comment by Jenny 21 hours ago


Thank you, thank you,  thank you! You are a gem! I tried so hard  to figure it out & poured over the photograph trying to figure it out. Then I went to my books, & the more I thought about it, I thought I had it. I knew I had to add in for the tallies, but  was going to drop them out again at the end, & add them in again in each section.

I am really wanting to do a Beds  handkie edging. My pricking is nearly ready, my bobbins are wound, & have my handkerchief linen, now just waiting on my new 9 block pillow. This book mark is to tide me over until my new pillow arrives.

Once again, Thanks for all your help


Comment by Administrator 23 hours ago

The ninepin edge --red--will require 2 groups of 4 pairs to be hung on. 4 pairs can be hung on the red circled pin. 4 bobbins will move leftward, and 4 rightward.  At the square red pin hang 4 more pairs. 4 will move towards the outer edge and make the picoted braid/plait with 3 picots on it. The other 4 bobbins will connect with the cloth trail.  

The cloth trail--blue-- will need a minimum of 4 pairs (possibly 6) hung as passives. 4 to 6 of the passive bobbins will move leftward and 4-6 will move rightward. 2 more pairs will be needed as weavers for the cloth trail. 2 bobbins will zigzag leftward, and 2 will zigzag rightwards. The cloth trail in Bedfordshire uses a minimum of 2 pairs as passives, but 3 pairs as a minimum seems to be more common. It is partly a matter of how thick your threads are relative to the pattern size. Also below the widest part of the diamond spot the tally pairs will be stored in the cloth trail temporarily, so you will have far more than 2 pairs in the trail at that point. Therefore 2 trail pairs at the start are probably a good idea, to leave enough space to accomodate all those tally pairs later on.

At each green box you will need to hang in 2 pairs to make each leaf tally.

Comment by Jenny yesterday


Morning All

I am after some help starting this book mark, pattern by Olwyn Scott & Robyn Hueppauff, published in Australian lace, 2005. All I have is this photograph with no instructions whatsoever.

I have found a "start" on pg 25 of "Practical Skills In Bobbin Lace" by Bridget Cook,  - "Stating with picots".

This entails twisting 2 pairs together, hanging around a pin, then whole stitched through each other.

As this bookmark is plaits with picots, would I be correct in saying that I would start with 4 pairs twisted together, hung around a pin, then whole stitched together like a crossing? My theory is that this would then give me 2 pairs each side to continue with the plaits. Feed back on this would be very helpful

Then there is the issue of adding in extra pairs for surrounding straight plait. Would this just be adding them in with a crossing? More feed back please........

All help would be greatly appreciated. TIA Jenny

(PS sorry for any cross postings)

Comment by Administrator on April 6, 2014 at 4:48pm
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on October 11, 2013 at 7:33pm

I find leaf tallies easier than square ones or cucumbers, but thst is because I make more of them, I suppose.

Whenever I make square ones or cucumbers I Always use the "Gate" method, - the central passive crosses from the start side to finish on the opposite side.  It makes for a better tally, I think, as that central passive can easily be drawn to one side, and you have a loose area. when it crosses over, then the tally stays more regular.

Comment by Kate Bainbridge on October 11, 2013 at 1:34pm
Many thanks for this comment, it makes clear why I was having so much trouble with the shape. I was using the central & one outside passive and could not work out what was wrong
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on October 10, 2013 at 9:18pm

However, the instructions for the leaf tally and the diagram don't match!!  She says tie the knot with the 2 outside passives - the way I do it, - but the diagram shows a knot with the central and one outside passive!!!

Use the 2 outer passives, I suggest!  Hope that trick helps you.  I sometimes put up the pin at the end of the tally, then tie the knot, remove the pin, and ease the knot up. I seem to get a better shape that way.

Comment by Kate Bainbridge on October 10, 2013 at 3:59am
Many thanks everyone. I have now found this knot tying method in Practical Skills in Bobbin Lace, By Bridget M Cook. What a fabulous book this is!
All I have to do now it try to make it work on my leaves. Kate
Comment by Administrator on October 9, 2013 at 4:35pm

The bottom half of a leaf tally is the hard part.  Making it wider and wider is easy, making it narrower and narrower is hard.  I always end my tallies with ctc.  I use those pesky "parking pins" that Liz mentioned, and they do get in the way. I have tried her method and it does work.  I've seen it described in books, but can't remember which ones.


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