I've finished the bookmark sampler except for the buttonhole stitch edging, but I'm not happy with the center section. Yes, it's my first piece, but it bugs me, and I'm thinking of cutting out and redoing it.  What do you think?

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You should keep it; it will help you see how far you've come after future attempts.  Make another sample of that ground, and use this one as a reference for what you want to work on improving.  Keep them together once finished to show the progress you've made.  It may come in handy someday when you are trying to teach someone else, and they feel they can't live up to your standards. ;)

Is your dislike of that centre section possibly because it is a much more Open stitch, where the others are more solid-looking?

As a first piece, I think you are being a bit hard on yourself! If you started off doing perfect work - what else would there be to strive for?!!!

I think you are doing very well for a starting piece. The other sections look nice and even.  Just keep going and you will be turning out beautiful work very quickly.  Just don't be too hard on yourself, - just enjoy the working, 

I like Kathleen"s ideas to keep it and use it for reference, unless you need that piece for something now,  All first pieces should be kept to see how far you have come.

I agree, you should finish it and keep it.  I think I see what you dislike about your center section.  It looks like you started out with what is known as a pea stitch, and switched to a triple buttonhole stitch.  Maybe next time, you will do a section with each one.  They are both some of my favorite needle lace stitches.  

Ok, you've all convinced me. I'll finish off the edges and borders and keep it as is.  I guess I'm too much of a perfectionist.

Elizabeth, I had intended for the center section to be more open.  I'm unhappy with it because it's so uneven.  I didn't really get the hang of the tension until about five rows down (which of course was weeks later).

Loretta, I THOUGHT I was doing the same stitch for all of the middle section, but maybe not.  Now that you mention it, I think I did intend for it to be pea stitch.  When I picked it back up after a break, I thought I was following the same stitch (I just tried to copy what I had done before), and I thought the difference in tension was the problem.  I'm also puzzled because the 2nd and 4th sections (counting from left to right) are supposed to be the same stitch (Ardennes), but evidently I did something different on the fourth section.  At least it's relatively neat and even.

I don't think it is that bad. I would not cut it out. Just make another project of some sort and strive for better tension. My first attempts were much worse. I think of these practice pieces as stages on a journey. If the first ones have flaws, you will nonetheless see improvements as you make more. Seeing that improvement is very satisfying. In my experience needle lace requires lots of practice to make good work. Some of our members seem able to bypass the lumpy stage, but not me.

I think with this piece, making the buttonholed edge is important. The whole purpose of the exercise was to give the student an understanding of the overall working method. Perfection was never expected.

Having just read everybody's comments, I see that we are unanimous!

I agree, Lorelei,- seeing the improvement as you progress is very satisfying. think - if you were perfect the first time, there would be nothing else to strive for. How boring!!!! :)

To me, that is half the fun of starting a new craft - or type of lace - learning new techniques, and seeing the improvement in my work as I go along.

Getting tension is something that usually needs practice. there are a few lucky people who seem to have perfect tension straight away, but the majority of us, (from experience and talking to people) need lots of practice to get it Very even all the time.  Just enjoy the journey, and the tension and improvements will come when they want to!! Have fun making lace, that is the main thing, and don't be too critical of your work, - just enjoy it.

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