Saturday, 18 April 2009

bobbin lace

this mysterious photo is not a new lampshade - it's the pattern for the bobbin lace fan I am about to start (well, not just now, but later this evening!)... each of the small holes stands for a pin around which I'll lead the threads for the lace. winding the bobbins (esp. 56 pairs!) and doing the pricking - are the two jobs, I like least in lacemaking! it takes a lot of time, because it has to be accurate - I pricked for nearly three hours to finish the comparatively small fan pattern!

this photo shows the black and white photo of the finished pattern - it also serves as a guide for me - I can see which patterns I have to use to achieve the result I want. the upper part is done the same all over the fan, but in the lower part the "pyramids" have three different patterns, to keep the lace making interesting. of course the pattern could be varied, either by using different "stitches" or by changing the "spiders" etc. it's quite easy to change torchon lace; it can be done at any time and often there is no change necessary in the pricking. of course one could use colour effects too - but I prefer the black silk lace I have planned, to give an elegant finish to the whole fan.

this shows the finished pricking from the upper side - it's the actual size (about 40 cm wide and 16 cm high) of the fan when held open. (if you're interested in the pattern, I ordered it from here, where they offer the silk and the base for the fan as well)

I stopped making lace for a while, because I don't really use lace doilies, collars etc. that much. spinning and dyeing was more practical at the time. but compared to the times, when I started lace making (nearly 20 years ago!) the offer of yarn and patterns has changed a lot! of course, white and black cotton and linen are still in use today - but there are gorgeous silks on offer, some even multicoloured, also colourful cotton yarns - and wearable patterns, too - even though most of them take quite a bit of work to make them. I ordered patterns for blouse sleeves, some scarves and even berets from here several years ago - and when I saw the beautiful shawl pattern, I couldn't resist and ordered it as well:)) of course the yarn used is a bit thicker than for tiny doilies - but still, my eyes widened a bit, when I saw that the full size pattern spreads over 13 A 3 pages:)) but I'd still like to do it (after working the fan), though not in reds and pinks - blues and purples are more my colours. there's plenty of choice in either schappe or tussah silks - or maybe even one of those multicoloured ones, where I could concentrate on the pattern alone? it's done in continous lace with only 33 bobbin pairs, so not too bad really.

in the enlarged photo it's easy to see that the lace maker can change the pattern, either by choosing different stitches, or by changing colours - or by outlining certain areas with thicker threads or different colours. it reminds me a bit of freeform knitting or crochet - the pattern is the base and the lacemaker works it out the way she wants.

of course I still keep knitting my jacket, but progress has slowed a bit - due to the large amounts of work in the garden - where I'll go in a few minutes to keep the war on weeds going:)) the weather is brilliant today - warm and sunny and only a very light breeze - a perfect spring day!


Guzzisue said...

saw a nice Buck point fan last weekend worked in black thread with a white gimp. Sound odd but it worked really well. Don't envy you winding 56 pairs though. Thanks for the link to the shop, I'll have a mooch round and see what other patterns they have.

Helen said...

I think the lace pattern particularly the shawl are fantastic-first time in my life I could imagine enjoying lacemaking but otherwise I know that I would never have the patience. As for pricing the pattern- I know I would make a mistake!

Woolly Bits said...

I really liked that the pattern can be changed a bit to one's one liking, Helen. and I prefer to make wearables in lace, esp. when they aren't too dainty and "girly"! the pricking itself is easy, you do have a pattern, where there is a small dot on for each prick - it's just boring to do:))
Guzzisue: thanks for your comment - I do like black lace (huh, that sounds tacky:)), might look nice with silver too? the bobbins are ready - I finished all the boring preps and can start now:)) I wonder what people do, when they have to wind 200+ bobbins - listen to a nice audio book?

Leigh said...

I have to say that bobbin lace is probably something I'll never try my hand at, but admire profusely. How long will it take to complete?

Woolly Bits said...

Leigh, with me this depends on whether I have a deadline or not:)) without one it might end up in a corner for years, but given the fact that I need it until the end of june - I'll finish it by that time, never mind how:))