Jo Edkins website has a huge number of beginner patterns, much explanation and animated stitches.  Any student using her material is welcome to post questions here, and either Jo herself or another of our members will try to help.  But you must join laceioli before you can post questions.  Joining is free.

       Jo's website.

Bobbin lace lessons       Bobbin lace tutorial       torchon ground tutorial      how to do cloth stitch

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Haven't found that site till now. What a wide variety on offer. Well done Jo. That really takes the beginner through a wide variety of techniques.

Lesson 1a


If you want to start out in bobbin lace using Jo Edkins materials on her website, I suggest that you study these pages in order.

This lesson is about the 3 basic parts of a torchon bobbin lace design: the solid clothwork parts, the open lacy ground, and the footside.  The 2nd lesson will be about putting these elements together.  Start by learning the parts separately, working them until you are confident that you can do it without mistakes.  All the basics: pillow, bobbins, pricking card etc.  Preparing the pattern. Winding the bobbins.  How to choose a starting place & # of bobbins.   How to work the basic stitches.  She is a cross-twister.

From this page:  Links to all her beginners patterns.  Click on SAMPLES (top of left column)

This page has 2 patterns: cloth strip and ground.  Start with this pattern:   for a narrow cloth stitch and half stitch strip.  Right click on the pattern, then save it.  Then you can print it at any size you want, to fit your thread.  For each practice pattern prick a strip about 8 inches long.


FINE:  For both the cloth stitch strip and for the ground pattern, at original size, use DMC broder machine #50, Aurifil quilting thread #50, Brok cotton 100/3 or 60/2.

MEDIUM:   If you don't want to work on so fine a scale, enlarge the patterns to 150% of their original size and use tatting cotton #80.

THICK:    Larger still, enlarge pattern to 200% and use pearl cotton 12 or cordonnet crochet cotton #40.

If you get confused or need help, post a question here. 

Lesson 1b


Then do the simple grounds:  on the 2nd pattern from the previous page.  Use the "net sample" pattern from this page: 


Lesson 1c

FOOTSIDES.   Various kinds of footsides (part that attaches to fabric.)
Then use this pattern    with the page on footsides.

As you complete each part, post a photo here.  You have bragging rights.

Supplementary videos:  these show basic movements and might make it easier to understand.

Working a cloth stitch diamond in torchon: 


Jo's site has been a god-send for me as a beginning bobbin lace maker!  I recommend it to anyone just getting started, especially people like me who don't have more experienced lacemakers nearby to turn to for help and guidance.  And the variety of patterns available has been so much fun to play with!  I've made several prickings from charts on her site.

Jo told me she takes a "tough love" approach when I emailed to thank her for the site. Once you get past the beginning, well-explained ones, she leaves it to the lacemaker to figure out what to do.   This is a very challenging approach, but once I have a "breakthough" and figure something out, it feels very rewarding.  That happened with the Tally Flowers with six petals when I determined that you start with pairs going both ways from the start pins (not a fan of tallies yet, though).  Just recently, I decided to tackle the Sampler Mat.  I was nearly in tears trying to figure out how to start it and nearly emailed Jo in defeat when I suddenly realized it starts on a diagonal with bobbins running from the corner to the center!

I'm silly, though, in that I don't do things in logical order from easier to more challening.  No, I look through until I see something interesting to try and then have to backtrack to find the skills I need to learn in order to complete it! 


Good review. Thanks.

I always find that the best patterns are at the back of the book, - and they are the ones that are the hardest!!!

Welcome to the world of lace, Nancy!!  You certainly will learn heaps by doing things your way - not sitting only doing the easy pieces!  Don't be afraid to ask this list for help.  that is part of the reason we are all here - to help eachother.

Thanks, Elizabeth!  I know what you mean - the really *fun* looking ones are always the ones toward the end of my books.   While I wouldn't recommend to many people to try my way (unless they love frustration!), it has forced to me learn new techniques I would not otherwise have seen/attempted yet if I worked my way from the beginning of books in order. 

Back to Jo's site, the next prickings on my docket: after the sampler mat, I hope to do several variations of the celtic knots and, not content to just use things as they are, I want to take the corner cat, elongate that into a full triange, and make it a fox face.

If people haven't tried them, her Fireworks and Rosebed are a lot of fun.

I just did the simple footside pattern last month.  In fact, I was travelling on business and had a 4 hour flight, and brought it along with 2 other 6-pair bobbin lace patterns to work on while on the plane.  I used the Lacis foam pillow (it fit in my carry-on luggage) and I stood it up between my lap and the seat in front of me to work.

ioli said:

Lesson 1c

FOOTSIDES.   Various kinds of footsides (part that attaches to fabric.)
Then use this pattern    with the page on footsides.

As you complete each part, post a photo here.  You have bragging rights.

Just wanted to say the website is terrific and I purchased her ebook as well. Great for those of us who don't have anyone nearby to teach.


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