Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Encaje de bolillos - Bobbin lace

I promise I won't be posting here on a daily basis after today. I just wanted to get a few posts up before I 'go public' with it, so today I thought I'd show you some of my latest craft hobby, making bobbin lace. Every Wednesday morning I go to a crafting session in a neighbouring town, where a group of between twenty and forty women, mostly British, meet to knit, sew, and chat together. Such networking is very important when very few of us have immediate family nearby to turn to, and it is a good opportunity to share skills, ideas and resources. One lady is a very skilled and experienced lace maker and she is happy to pass on her expertise to anyone who is interested. So about a year ago, I borrowed a beginners set of bobbins and 'pillow' from her, and she set me off on a road of discovery. This is Sammy snake, my very first piece, which taught me the basic lace stitch.

I then progressed through several small projects and I am now quite confident to take a pattern and get started on my own without help, but I only do torchon lace, and there are many other types for me yet to learn. This Christmas I made a set of Christmas tree decorations to sell at a charity fayre, all based on a 65mm bangle. I used a variety of colours and threads, some of which have been in my stash for years, just waiting for a use for them to be found. I then added beads or gems for an extra bit of sparkle and I was quite pleased with the result. Other people must have liked them too as I sold them all save one, which is now hanging on my tree! Here they are, pinned to my working pillow, ready to go to the sale.

And lastly, this is the piece I am working on now. It's a bit more complex and utilses rather a lot of bobbins. It has been on my pillow for far too long, but unfortunately I had a fall back in late summer which resulted in a badly torn ham string, so I was unable to sit on an upright chair for several months. I have not managed to achieve working the way you see continental folk doing it, sitting on their doorstep with the pillow on their lap, and the bobbins flying as they chat with one another. I need to sit up to a table and realy concentrate! And just as the bruising on my thigh was subsiding, and I had started perching somewhat onesidedly on a chair, my long awaited appointment for a cataract operation came through, and for nearly two months, while my eyes recovered, I couldn't see where I was putting the pins. So I settled for making the little decorations which did not have to be quite so accurate. Now I have new glasses and all is clear again, so my new year's resolution is to finish this piece ASAP, so I can start on a kit I bought in the Autumn, to make a lace fan.


veronica said...

really admire anyone who has the patience -and eyesight- to do lace! Your tree decorations are great, look really impressive

Glenda Waterworth said...

Congratulations on the blog Kate - love all the fur babies and the lace looks incredible.


craftimamma said...

Congratulations on the blog Kate. I love and admire your lace very much. It is something I always wanted to have a go at (having tried many other different crafts)but doubt I will ever find the time now, Lol!

Lesley Xx