Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bobbin Lace

A long time ago (ooh, about 20 years) I went to evening classes to learn how to do this beautiful craft. I was hooked, well and truly. Never one for doing things in half measures, within a year I wanted to expand my field and start on a meaty project. A complicated one that I could really get my teeth into.

And I came across a pattern by The Springetts. I can't remember what it was called, just that it was gorgeous and I was going to make it. And so ended my love affair with bobbin lace!


Here it is in all its half finished glory. I remember spending hours pricking out this pattern and winding up all the bobbins. A whole evenings work could hardly be noticed - this is fine cotton on what seemed like a million bobbins.

Yesterday whilst tidying out the airing cupboard (yes, that's another thing to tick off the list) I re-discovered it all. Sadly no longer in the same pristine condition as it was 20 years ago. The cotton has yellowed horribly and I have lost all enthusiasm for it. Infact I don't even remember how to do the stitches.

Just look at it will you. I made this. Sometimes I amaze myself! How on earth could I have done this?

I have some very lovely bobbins. Hand-painted ones, bone ones (don't look vegetarians) incredible wooden ones and my absolute favourite - the glass one. It has been filled with confetti from my brother's wedding - the man who made this was so pleased with it that he started offering them in his catalogue. This was a long time before web sites!

I've got lots of antique ones too - here are just 4 of them. I love the green one - the colour has faded and the pattern worn showing that it has been well used (not by me obviously!)


Now then, if someone could just tell me which one I need to start with next, I might have a go at getting a bit more done...

(Of course I am only joking. No way will I ever do another stitch of this. As my mum said rather sadly yesterday, this is a part of my life that has moved on. E-bay anyone?)

14 comments:

sara said...

This is gorgeous and one of the things that I want to try. It is on the to do list (which is long).
I think that you are very clever.

kerrie said...

oh my goodness. it gives me a headache just looking at that, you are so clever. Ebay it though, definitely. x

katrynka said...

Wow!! That is amazing. I have no clue how that works! But I would collect the bobbins just for their beauty. I had never seen anything like them before.

trashalou said...

Suggest Guantanomo Bay - that has to be the ultimate form of torture!

Working Mom Knits said...

Ooooo! Send it to me! I LOVE to do bobbin lace!!

*falls off dream cloud with a hard bump back into reality*

Or.

Not.

Good gravy woman! Your talents are never ending. I stood for about 15 minutes (with my mouth agape) watching a woman do this at the county fair. Amazing. Beautiful. And I have absolutely NO desite to attempt it : (

picperfic said...

Oh Michaela, you are one amazing woman! I always wanted to learn to do lace, simply because I love the sound of the bobbins as the clatter as you work...! You must frame that piece of lace as it is and date it, it owuld look beautiful in a frame.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to eBay it split up your bobbins don't sell it as one lot you probably won't get a fair price. Also stagger the sales don't sell all the lots on the same day. Split the antique ones out and sell them singly, anfd please keep the ones that have sentimental value to you, you can buy display carousels that will show off a dozen or so bobbins under glass. - can you tell I'm a lacemaker?
jenny

Anonymous said...

sorry, meant to say it's Bedfordshire lace and you made very nice leaves
jenny

quinn said...

This is a time when photography - and especially the ease of digital photography - is a powerfully useful tool. As a photographic subject, that project can become art...
and you can let go of the original :)

alice c said...

Gasp! You have nearly done three sides - couldn't you manage another side? Then you would have a square to ... errr...ummm...put a handkerchief inside?

Sue said...

I have a similar tragedy in my life: was an avid bobbin lace maker until my son was born. He found the beaded bobbins irresistable and so I had to put it away. At twelve, I think he could be trusted around it but I've lost the skill I had - never as good as you, though. I want to relearn the lacemaking so I can finish the Bedfordshire lace hankie border I started, and one of these days I will.

Pink Sky said...

All I can say is WOW!!! I am beyond impressed at your patience and skill.

Your bobbin collection is beautiful too.

Gina said...

I am totally in awe but know I would never have the patience. I always wanted to take up bobbin lace just so I could collect the bobbins!

Guzzisue said...

go one, be a devil and finish it! I didn't touch lace for a few years whilst doing c&gs but came back to it again earlier this year when I really needed to do something different for a few weeks, found I still enjoy it.