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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You have find my website useful once you get started:


It has animations of the stitches, grounds, etc, which you can watch, or step through. Also lots of patterns, including simple ones for beginners.

Good luck with your lacemaking!

Can you show us a picture of your kit?

Welcome to a wonderful addiction!  You will never stop learning!! As there are so many types of lace there is always something new you just Must try, - and so it goes on! Bobbin lace, Needlelace, and all the other sorts - such as filet lace, knotted lace, tatting, etc.

--(I did say it was addictive!!)

You have found an excellent site here, and we are always happy to see what you are doing, and help in any way we can. We were all Beginners at one stage, - and still are when there is something new that we have discovered!!

These are photos of it prior to opening...
It's an OK kit to sample what making bobbin lace is like... However the instructions are poor... And too few pins... Thank goodness for you tube!
Jo Edkins I will be utilizing your site.... Also your kindle version of the book is the first ones I downloaded! I really enjoy it.

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).

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

The reason that there are so many different pillow shapes is basically to make the lace maker comfortable. If you have any problems working with what you have, obtaining another pillow shape might be the solution. But the important thing is to get started. Jo's website is very useful.  I also have free tutorials on my website, and here on laceioli.


I have a question.... I have watched a video on YouTube.... Redcardinalcreations.... She states to start each stitch by using a twist... Then cross twist cross... Then the twist... Then CTC ... Is this the tctc that I see references to as opposed to CTC?
Hi Dee,
You are about to start a real journey of enjoyment! You will love it, I am sure.
I started a little while ago and never want my journey to end.
This site is invaluable and everyone is do helpful and kind.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


All of bobbin lace is made of twists and crosses. Different stitches and different situations use different combinations and sequences of those movements.  When I searched youtube for redcardinalcreations I got lots of red birds and humans in red clothes, but not bobbin lace. Probably way down the list.  Let me suggest that you pick a simple pattern from Jo's website. That way we can all see the pattern, the lace, and Jo's instructions. We will know what you are talking about. Use the youtube videos for how to set up the pillow, and handle the bobbins.

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.


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