Sunday, May 18, 2014

Distracted - and tempted

Hello, I'm still here, knitting, and spinning, sewing, and being generally distracted as usual. A few weekends ago our annual knit retreat camps was held, and while it is called knit camp this time it was about lace making. The kind with bobbins not the kind that is knit. Our teacher was one of the local lace makers who also knits, and she did a fantastic job of leading everyone through two small beginner laces.

Here is my first piece, a bookmark comprised of several basic lace work patterns. I'd have to look up the names of each - but after working this I understand how to differentiate between each kind.

This is the plan for the second piece, the sample and the pattern were worked by our teacher, and I thought that if I photographed it I would have a guide when I workd mine. Mine will be In simillar colours to the once above. Littlest cub has a dance event on the Sunday so I missed the last day of the workshop weekend. Still I was able to make a start (and finish) on my own sample the following week.


As usual the Saturday night as camp was show and tell which loosely translates in this group as 'show off your best'. The phrase that is used again and again is 'it's not a comptiton'. Except it so is, there is serious competition to work something amazing - in any craft and bring it, and very friendly discussion about who is in the running, who knitted or stitched the largest, or most intricate blanket, or dyed dozens and dozens of different colour yarns to make a grandest blanket, or stitch the finest embroidery using one strand of floss so the piece looks painted not stitched. The competition is all in fun, after all how can anyone say a blanket crocheted from 36 different hand dyed yarn samples is better or less than a quilt hand stitched with as many individually pieced blocks, or a cardigan worked with delicious cables in hand spun? Anyway, P, our teacher for the week brought this amazing peice of lace, together with its pricking. We all agreed, this time she won.


And the paper (card?) prickings used in bobbin lace are in themselves works of art. There was serious discussion about how something like this, with the intricate pattern of holes would be amazing as a lampshade or on display where light could shine through the pinpricks. And as we all knew at that stage, there would have been hours if not days of work just in getting the design to this stage.

This introduction to lacemaking and the tools was in an odd way very tempting. I am and have aways been a fool for pretty work and nice tools, bobbin lace offers beautiful tools and simply dozens if not hundreds are needed. It's like open permission to collect pretty things. I bought a set of student lace bobbins at the workshop, and spangled them. Spangles are the beads that hang from the base of each bobbin, which add weight and stop the bobbins rolling. They also make it easier to keep track of bobbins. Since then I've been crusing online sites looking at bobbins, and bookmarking ones that appeal, midlands bobbins come in fancy woods, bone, and other pretty materials. Some are decorated with painting, or etching or inlays. They have little acorn shapes at the top, and you get to hang pretty real glass and stone beads on the other end. Oh help me for I don't need another hobby, and especially one that requires hours and hours of devotion to achieve a few inches of progress.

With all that going on, between sessions drooling over lace bobbins I don't need, I've been knitting socks and the cardigan, something secret for the midwinter swap that can not be named, sewing a dress for myself and helping little cub sew one for little cubs doll, and of course I have been spinning but I'm not organized enough to have photos to show of any of these. At work there has been marking, marking, and more marking, I think Friday I might have got to the last three which means the light is at the end of the tune.




Joanne said...

Oh dear Stella, have you been bitten by the lacemaking bug?! Collecting the bobbins is a hobby in itself ... but they are small and don't take up much space ;)

Your first pieces look great.

Vanda Symon said...

I would only be in it for the bobbins!