Both Jenny and myself have the book Bedfordshire lacemaking by Pamela Nottingham so we have decided to slowly work through the book together, especially as this style is new to Jenny and I have only ever made a bookmark in Beds so far. If anyone would like to join us, you would be most welcome. We will not be starting until March as Jenny has lace to finish :-) and I have broken bones which will take time to mend.
see here and here
Marg , I will be super, super slow too. My bobbin lace skills are very limited and it has been a few years since I have done tallies, and then only a few. My pillow has been dormant for a few years until just recently, all because I was totally bored with the piece I have been doing. So this challenge is my inspiration to get me back into my bobbin lace & do something different. I hope to have time to finish the current piece, as well as practice footsides ( which I have not done for a few years) and tallies before I start on this challenge. Glad that you have decided to join us, it should be fun & we will all help each other.
Thanks Jenny. With such encouragement from you and from Sue I don't feel so bad about my inexperience. And you have been warned! My efforts may be awful.
Now I can't wait to get my pillow out of storage but it will have to stay put another week until the visitors go home - not that I want them to go - I would live without lots of things to keep them as long as possible!!! Still maybe this will be something to cheer me up after they go.
I believe it is possible to start bobbin lace with Bedfordshire, or with only very basic torchon skills. But I think you should be prepared to work ALL the patterns in sequence in whatever book you decide to use. Most authors are sensible about organizing their book progressively. And it is important to gain really thorough control of the easy steps before going on to the more complicated techniques. The point of doing that is so that you have a rock solid confidence in your ability to tackle any project you want to, once you have learned enough. Too often I see those just beginning who are unwilling to progress systematically, and the result is frustration. I don't mean to say that technique is the only important thing. It isn't. But frustration caused by jumping into the middle of a book is the surest way I know to turn somebody off bobbin lace. You don't need to make a big project out of each beginner pattern. If the design is an edging, make a square only 3 or 4 inches on a side, and you have a coaster or an edging for a pincusion, or sachet, or Christmas ornament. (Whoever said lace has to be white?) Mastery of technique also gives you the ability to design in that style, if you want to do that. This is always part of my motivation.
The point of doing bobbin lace, I think, is to have fun acquiring the mastery, and then being proud of yourself because you have achieved it. Making something beautiful in the process is just the icing on the cake.
i promise my approach to lacemaking is very different from my approach to embroidery - I agree with what you say about working in sequence for lace - it is after all a form of weaving and as a longtime weaver I know there are no shortcuts in the beginning.. There is a real drawback for me with lace - maybe a bonus - every time I get out my pillow I make the very first bookmark where I learnt to practise the stitches! I have quite a collection of these bookmarks - can't remember the book I got it out of - a lovely one from the small library in our country town - the only one in the collection! Then i slowly work my way through Rosemary Shepherd - unfortunately I have not got very far there either but have multiple tries!
That is so true but there are exceptions to every rule! This you need to remember - I think I am often the one that proves this! It is interesting though - I never give up lace because I get bored with repeating . Probably because I get as much joy, if not more, from the process as the product. That could be why I am a fabric weaver - the metres never stopped me. And the longer I am at the process the more "what iffing" I can do in my mind.
You have said the magic words: getting more fun from the process than the product. Every bobbin lacer I know says the same thing. It's the fascination with the process. It is satisfying and hypnotic.
I just now discovered your question about the Underwood BEDFORDSHIRE IN 20 LESSONS. Her book is the only one I've seen that tries to take students systematically into advanced levels of Bedfordshire technique. I would say that the first half of her book covers beginning to intermediate Bedfordshire skills. But the last half, with all the floral patterns, is the truly advanced part. I'm not there yet, but with her help, I may be one day. Other learning manuals I've seen usually quit at what i would call the upper range of intermediate level. (I'm not there yet either. Almost). This does not make others bad and hers good, just because of that. But her contribution is significant. If you intend to go far with Beds, eventually, you should try to find a copy of her book. As far as I can see she doesn't make mistakes in her diagrams. Sometimes Nottingham does. (I should complain. My diagrams are often a bit messy with wiggly lines.) Nottingham has a lot of well designed beginner patterns. The only author I would be cautious with is Robinson. She appears to use Cluny technique in many places, rather than true Bedfordshire technique. I would dearly love to have a conversation with an expert about this matter of distinctions between Beds and Cluny techniques. Blut nobody locally (the Chicago area) has really gotten deep into Beds, and i don't travel much. I may be 2 miles from an international airport, but i could be in the middle of the Sahara for all the use I make of it.
I was very interested to see your bobbin lace experiments that you just posted today (yesterday?) I can see that the itch to get started on your Bedfordshire learning project is becoming overwhelming. I can see it in the pictures. Your passion for playing with bobbins is about to possess you completely. I know the feeling. How are the broken bones doing?
broken bones slowly healing but make repetitive movements painful. I have a need to be doing something so I'm slowly stitching and moving bobbins around. I have some lovely continental and old south bucks bobbins which are easier to handle than my usual east mids.Many of the pictures were of work made in the three weeks or so before I broke my arm so ,yes, I'm itching to get back on track.