I just wanted to introduce myself to the group. My name is Cathy Wesemann and I'm from the Belleville, IL area (right across the river from downtown St. Louis, MO). I just started to learn bobbin lace. Back in October, my husband and I went to the Kansas City, KS Renaissance Faire. They have a group there that practice bobbin lace, tatting, crocheting, knitting and spinning. I was invited to try my hand at bobbin lace and enjoyed it so much that I asked my husband for a kit for Christmas (which I got. :) )

And right there is the extent of my knowledge of bobbin lace! lol

Cathy

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That's where I started, with a book and a kit from my parents.  But I hadn't had  a chance to see it done or try it.  Just give it a try.  The folks here are helpful and wonderful

Have you used your new kit yet?

Do you have enough patterns? There are some simple (and free!) Torchon lace patterns on my website:

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/lace/index.htm

There's explanation on how to do the various stitches, etc. as well.

Jo's site is very good. It even has animated stitches!!

Welcome to the wonderful world of Lace . It becomes an all-consuming addiction, though - so be warned!!!!!!!  :)

Take it slowly, and learn the basics well, - then you will easily branch out into some of the other lovely laces - each has its own techniques, but if yu know the basice, then you won'

t have problems.  I am so glad you found this site, as you have masses of help just an email away!!!

Hi Cathy, how lovely you discovered that you enjoy bobbin lace making, and received a kit this Christmas. 

I also only started about the beginning of November, a class of two hours every week.  It takes patience to what I call 'get it' but once you know your stitch and understand how it works it is so much of a joy.  I am thoroughly enjoying bobbin lace even though sometimes I find some difficulty in remembering.  I wish you much enjoyment and using this website has been very useful to me.

Thank you, all.
I have opened my kit and have read the booklet and started my first practice pieces. I finished the first practice piece - just CT, and am now on the second project. This one is teaching me what a pattern looks like if you twist after every WS. It's pretty neat to see what a difference the pattern makes just by adding an extra twist at the end of a WS.
I have to say, though, that learning the terminology is probably going to be my biggest problem. I also knit and crochet, and WS is so ingrained in my brain as Wrong Side, it's difficult to remember Whole Stitch. I'm sure there are other abbreviations that are going to throw me off, too. I just haven't found them yet!
I will take a look at Jo's site. Thanks for the suggestion. I don't have any patterns other than what is in the booklet that came with the kit.

Yes I find too that I do not get the complicated stitches immediately, my teacher shows me rather fast, though she is very helpful (maybe i am slow), but after some practice and a lot of undoing I get it and then fly it. Just today finished an exercise which I found hard to get, but finally got it too.  It is still fun though, the challenge of trying to 'get' it and it teaches one patience :-)  Good luck and enjoy!

Agnes: good work!

Cathy: we do have some free patterns on this site, and Jo's website also has very many free patterns.

http://laceioli.ning.com/photo/albums/bobbin-lace-beginner-patterns 

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/lace/index.htm 

Terminology may be a worse problem than you realize. Everyone complains of the lack of universal agreement on terminology for basic bobbin lace stitches.  Bobbin lace doesn't come from just one national or regional source. Nearly every country in Europe had a tradition of lace making.  And it was at a time when ordinary working people didn't travel. So local traditions were isolated. In the modern age all these traditions are in communication and are easily able to see each other's work. It does produce the problem of translating the words, but it also puts us in a place of incredible richness, in terms of our access to all these traditions.   Don't get upset about the terminology.   Try to cope, and keep a sense of humor.  One way around the problem is to refer to the stitches by their movements -- ctc     ct    ctct,    or      tc    tctc,     braids (plaits)     and tallies.

Congratulations on finding bobbin lace! 

Making lace is true pleasure, and the lacemaking community is warm and welcoming.  You have just heard from several of the most knowledgeable and generous ladies in that lace world. 

Aside from the sites mentioned by the others, you can find a lot of lacemaking videos on You Tube, both instruction and demonstration. Some of the European lacemakers you can watch on You Tube are phenomenally speedy,  which is impressive for demonstrating for tourists and fascinating to watch on line, but lacemaking is a beautiful and pleasant craft, not a race.  (Also, they live in countries with stronger lacemaking traditions, so I always suspect they started lacemaking before they even started school.)  Believe me, no one is slower at bobbin lace than me - you can ask my teachers (Nadine Purcell and Louise Colgan, bless them), who have had to have absolutely tons of patience with me - so have patience with yourselves.

There are also quite a few good introductory books you may be able to find at your local library or buy or download from the internet or on your Kindle or Nook if you have one (just watch out for their free ebooks - they are so badly misprinted, they are not worth the nothing they cost you).   The site we are on, Jo's site, and lynxlace all give ideas on which books to look for.  If you do find lacemaking books, be sure to watch the author's instructions on how to do the stitches as they do differ as our Administrator mentioned, particularly on whether you do the stitches cross twist or twist cross and what constitutes a whole stitch.

Happy New Year to you all!

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