As a beginner I'm anxious to learn as many techniques as possible. I'm  curious, is there a natural progression from beginners' bobbinlace to the other lace groups? There are so many "subsets" within many of them that wondered if I needed to stop learning the basic steps and start studying! (I am enjoying the history.)  I recognize the differences of tatting, crocheting, knitting, needlelace, & bobbins. I've done crochet, not talented at knitting, trying to master the basics of tatting with a shuttle, I still sew quite a bit so I'm most interested in bobbins. (Plus, since whiplash, neck surgery and about 12 yrs. of tingling and numb fingers- the bobbinlace is the only thing outside of most housework :( that I can do continuously with no numbness)  By the way, everyone's photos are beautiful and the discussions are very helpful and always positive!!!

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Your question is perfectly reasonable.  And other beginners have asked it too.  There is no one-and-only-way-to-proceed.  Having heard your question from others, also, there is one page in my website that has my answer.       It is quite long, possibly too long.  I'll try to condense it into a few sentences.  The most relevant sections are the ones called "learning bobbin lace--where to start" and "After the basics".

The different styles of bobbin lace do not have only stylistic differences ( they look different, the designs are different).  They also have differences in ways of solving problems.  Any bobbin lace has to solve these problems: how to connect dense areas to relatively open areas, how to move threads from one area to another, what kind of ground is used (mesh or bar), how to decorate the dense areas.  Different kinds of bobbin lace solve these problems very differently.  Some forms may share 90% of their techniques.  An example is Bedfordshire and Cluny.  A lot of their solutions are the same, but some are different.  Another example is Honiton and Duchesse.  They probably share 95% of their techniques.  Torchon and point ground probably share 80% of their techniques.  But Honiton and Bedfordshire (both English laces) share maybe 20%.

One progression might be to start with torchon, then move on to point ground laces, such as Bucks, Tonder, Bayeux, beginning with the geometric designs, then moving on to the more complex floral designs for those kinds, then Chantilly and Blonde.  In this progression you have the most direct track to make some really nice laces fairly soon.

Another possible progression would be to give yourself a thorough grounding in a broad range of bobbin lace skills.  In this case do torchon, Bedfordshire or Cluny, and some variety of bobbin tape lace.  It doesn't matter what order you do these.  If you have any desire to design your own lace, this might be a better progression.  Jo Edkins has posted a lot of torchon patterns with lots of information for beginners, on her website.  Go to the opening page of this group to find a link.  And I have written some very basic lessons for beginners in Beds and Cluny.  My lessons are posted here, and on my website.

Show us photos of what you have done so far, and perhaps we can make concrete suggestions.  There is more than one way to progress.


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