Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bobbin Lace

As well as embroidery, knitting and now spinning for the last couple of years I've been learning to make Bobbin Lace - in particular Torchon.

Every Thursday evening I drive from my home on the edge of the middle of nowhere along some tight windy country roads and arrive in the depths of the middle of nowhere. There I sit for the evening before an Aga in the front parlour of a very old house having my lesson.

I was nine years old when I first thought I might like to make bobbin lace but it was over 20 years later before I started.

There are many crafts/hobbies that look difficult - like knitting - but actually are quite easy - learn to knit and purl and everything else is a mix up of those two stitches. I have never heard anybody say making lace is easy.

This is part of one of my two current wips - I started in on October 5th 2006 and I think there's about another 6 weeks work in there. It's an oval and the pattern is repeated 4 times. I admit this isn't one of those things like knitting that you can just pick up and do 5 or 10 mins whenever you feel like it. To sit down at my lace I must not be tired, drunk or angry. Although I can chat I can't watch TV, listen to the radio, music or podcasts. I must be at the dining room table and cannot just get up and walk away - leaving it needs to be more planned. For example if you walked away in the middle of a half stitch trail there is no telling what mess you would find on your return. And as for not fastening in a spider - forget it.

This means that other than my weekly lesson I get very little time to sit and make lace. This is the one thing I do that completely proves I am a process person.

I love making lace............

The pillows are gorgeous - I currently have two but am in the market for a third.

The bobbins are beautiful - my favourites were made by a talented man who is no longer with us and whenever my fingers recognise one of his my heart sings with memories.

The spangles are .......................well they are sparkly - need I say more?

This isn't an expensive hobby - there are very few shops even online ones are rare. I have two opportunities a year to shop for lace making stash - one in October and one in March when the Lace Fair comes to town. However, once set up there isn't really much to buy - in the last 12 months I have spend about £15 (excluding lessons) on stash. If you add a nought then you are closer to what I've probably spent on knitting and stitching in the same time.

I love the fact that lace making was once such an important part of peoples lives in the UK and by learning the skills I'm in some way keeping those memories alive. Although this is true for knitting there are so few people making bobbin lace that I fear it's a skill that may very well die out.

These are all the reasons I love to make lace - why does this make me a process person...........................'s because I don't really have any use for the finished product.

1 comment:

Aussie Stitcher said...

This is something that has always fasinated me. Yours is looking wonderful. Do you get confused with having so many bobbins? Alpine Garden is looking wonderful, this is the one Chatelaine that I think I could stitch.