Bobbinlace Beginners

For all beginners in bobbin lace who need a little help, and for experienced lace makers who are willing to assist.  Learn how to make bobbin lace.  Learn bobbin lace.  Bobbin lace lessons.  Bobbin lace tutorial.  For other bobbin lace tutorials online, and for discussion of bobbin lace structure, look in the next right column for the red link ONLINE RESOURCES.

Members: 161
Latest Activity: 13 hours ago

Bobbin Lace Beginner Lessons and Resources

Discussion Forum

Working a stitch in the hands rather than on the pillow 3 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Nancy M. Terselic on Friday.

Does lace have a right side/wrong side? 6 Replies

Started by Sharon. Last reply by Administrator Feb 10.

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT-Beginners 12 Replies

Started by Administrator. Last reply by Administrator Jan 14.

Beginning samplers. 6 Replies

Started by Brad Rohr. Last reply by Brad Rohr Nov 2, 2014.

Beginner Pattern Sizing question 9 Replies

Started by Sunela Thomas. Last reply by Sunela Thomas Oct 27, 2014.

Lessons from Jo Edkins website 23 Replies

Started by Administrator. Last reply by Kathleen Minniti Jul 21, 2014.

Cluny Leaves - Tallies (wording??) I am stuck.. 26 Replies

Started by Anagromydal. Last reply by Anagromydal Jun 2, 2014.

Attaching lace to fabric 11 Replies

Started by Administrator. Last reply by Selena Marie Joosten Jan 28, 2014.

Deep in thought 8 Replies

Started by Karla Breaux. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti Nov 15, 2013.

Moving lace on the pillow and runing threads over dense areas... how? 9 Replies

Started by Anagromydal. Last reply by Selena Marie Joosten Nov 15, 2013.

Getting that hitch right 8 Replies

Started by Anagromydal. Last reply by Sue Rypka. Oct 19, 2013.

New beginer hitting a wall. 10 Replies

Started by Karla Breaux. Last reply by Karla Breaux Mar 14, 2013.

bobbinlace beginner question 1 Reply

Started by Stacy Echols. Last reply by Administrator Feb 12, 2013.

Lorelei 3 Replies

Started by Cindy Smith. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti Aug 5, 2012.

What is the Best Place to End this Lace? 5 Replies

Started by Administrator. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti Apr 6, 2012.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Administrator 13 hours ago

Good point, Liz.

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti 17 hours ago

If a worker thread breaks, and you can tie a kknot, - then swap the worker for a passive - 2nd thread in from an edge is a good place to swap,(with just a twist), and then you have a good worker, and you can remove the knot from the passive (as it now is) whichever way you decide.  Never have a knot on a worker thread, - always swap it for a passive.

Comment by Gina Shillitani 21 hours ago

Thanks for the explanation :) The knots are in the passives currently working the ninepin braid, so it should be ok. I'll tackle it tomorrow!

Comment by Administrator 21 hours ago

Gina - sorry to be getting back to you so late.  I have put rings around the 2 knots that I can see. If you are working cloth stitch there is something you can do. Cloth stitch has a lot of friction, so this will work in that situation. Even braids have a lot of friction. But NOT half stitch. Never do this with half stitch.

Take the thread with the knot and hang it on a pin above where you are working, high enough so that the knot is above your current place. Then just continue working. You now have a loop lying on top of your work. When you are more than an inch below the point where the loop starts just cut the loop off close to the work. The friction will prevent the thread from pulling loose.


Comment by Gina Shillitani on Friday

There is a photo in my post of where the knots are in relation to the lace. I'm not sure if there is enough of the old thread to do what you suggested?

Comment by Administrator on Friday


The correct hitch is most of the solution to the unwinding problem. Whether you bobbins are wound clockwise or counterclockwise the hitch should be made so there is a little U and the thread should come from inside the U. Look at this section for diagrams. 

As to the knots problem - do you have knots actually worked into the lace at this point? If so you may have to live with that.  To hang in a new thread I do this:

The weaver's knot is for when a thread breaks and you have just a little thread tail left.

Constant unlacing can weaken the threads, but I would question the thread itself. Sometimes when you take thread off a new spool the top layer of thread may have become brittle and fragile. If that happens just discard the top layer of thread off that spool. I have found that lower layers usually are stronger. I don't know if it is try air that causes the weakening of the thread, or if it is light that damages the fibers.

Comment by Gina Shillitani on Friday

The bobbins are all wound clockwise (the bobbin is rotated to the right and the thread winds on clockwise), and to make the half hitch I hold the bobbin in my right hand and wind the thread over the front (the side the fingernail is on) and around my left thumb, cross the threads and put the half hitch on the bobbin. To lengthen the bobbin I turn it horizontally with the head of the bobbin pointing left and rotate the bobbin toward myself (essentially rotating the bobbin to my left or counter clockwise).

I will try the suggestions for the knots, I have to learn sometime LOL... thanks so much for the tips!

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on Friday

Devon has just answered my thoughts on the unwinding of bobbins - they may be wound the wrong way.

I hold the bobbin in the left hadn (I am right handed), and wind clockwise, then the half-hitch usually keeps in place and does not unwind.

I am surprised at Jo using Polyester thread. it has a stretchy feel to it, so is much harder to get a good tension. that is why I use cotton thread - it does not stretch.. I have used Polycotton - and that, too stretches a bit, - but at least it does not crease, so the lace always looks like it is recently pressed!!!!!

With broken threads, I always add a new bobbin, and tie it to the knotted one, work a few rows, then throw out the knotted thread, and continue with the new bobbin. I hang the new bobbin, with a slip knot onto a pin a bit further back, and then later on, that end, and the knotted thread can be trimmed away.  With Beds lace, - there is usually a lot of adding in, and throwing out of bobbins, anyway, - especially if you graduate to the Floral Beds!!!

Comment by Devon Thein on Friday

Regarding knots, take an extra wound bobbin and hang it from a pin above where you want to eliminate the knotted thread so it is hanging next to the knotted thread bobbin. Twist this new bobbin and thread with the knotted thread about three times. With a rubber band or hair elastic attach the two bobbins together and work as one for a couple of stitches, or even just one stitch if that is all the room you have. Then lay the knotted thread bobbin back with no pressure on it, continue working and eventually cut it off close to the work.

If I were you, I would check to see if the bobbins that keep unwinding are wound in a different direction than the ones that do not unwind. The hitch has to match the direction in which the bobbin is wound or else it will unwind all the time.

Comment by Gina Shillitani on Friday

The thread is 36/2 Egyptisch Katoen. I think part of the problem is abrasion from unlacing... I've done a lot of unlacing. Other than that I'm not sure why they have broken. The closest I have in linen is 35/2 Bockens Knyppelgarn. In cotton I have Brok 36. The pattern requires 36/2.


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