Bobbin Lace is something I’ve been trying to avoid starting for a while, now. At first, I avoided it because it looked complicated and there’s no way I could keep all of those strings and bobbins straight without coming out with a tangled mess. Then, it was because (and I hear this all the time), “you don’t need another hobby, Lauren.” Yeah, you see how well I listened.
I actually took this class at Gulf Wars, or rather, watched this class at Gulf Wars, because I wanted to get into the beaded embroidery class that was in the tent next door. People never left that tent for me to be able to get into that class, so it turned into me hanging out with the bobbin lace folks for two hours, instead. Our local A&S Officer is the queen of bobbin lace, so she gave me grief because a) she wasn’t teaching that class and if I was interested, I could’ve just said something and, b) seriously, she lives 20 minutes from my house, I didn’t have to go all the way to southern Mississippi to learn how to do it.
I started collecting stuff about a month ago to start working on this after school was out for the summer, with advice from the awesome Dianora on what I should be buying.
I bought all of the stuff to build my bobbin lace pillow and finally had time to stitch it together today. Now, I’m at the point where I need to find a good starter pattern and get to work. She has advice for that, too.
Now, being that I enjoy sharing the things I’m learning, so someone else can benefit, too, and because teaching other people is the best way to cement your learning (I’m a teacher, people, it’s the truth), I am going to share this information with you in the hopes of spreading the love of bobbin lace across the Known World!
What do you need?
Bobbins- you’ll want at least 24 of them, though you’ll only use about a dozen at first. THL Dianora recommended square ones to start with so you don’t have to worry about them rolling on your pillow. I bought mine on Amazon here.
Size 30 crochet thread- Now, for those who don’t understand how crochet thread sizing works, the higher the number gets, the smaller the thread is. So, size 10 is much bigger than size 30 , and size 40 is even smaller than 30. I bought Aunt Lydia’s brand crochet thread at Hobby Lobby, but I’ve also seen it at Hancocks (if you can get there before they go out of business). Finding it online was a bit tricky, but I did have some success with this amazon search which returned both Aunt Lydia’s and DMC!
A Bobbin Lace Pillow- You have two options here, you can buy one ready made, which you can find in kits and separately at some small retailers, OR you can make one, which is infinitely cheaper.
<quote>In order to make your pillow, you’ll want to pick up:
*self-healing foam insulation board at Home Depot/Lowe’s or wherever you buy building supplies (I bought mine at Home Depot and got a 3 foot square board for a little over $5. I only used half of it for my pillow.)
*a pillow form (this isn’t required, but I put one in between my foam board to fill up space)
*Fabric to cover both (any fabric will do, as long as it doesn’t have a problem being poked with bunches of needles)</quote>
Patterns for beginners- this isn’t as easy to find as you think it is. A search online will return you a whole bunch of supposed “beginner” level patterns that are way more complicated than I could handle and more than the class I watched was working.
The lovely Honorable Dianora suggested the following resources:
A Beginner’s Guide to Bobbin Lace, by Gillian Dye- at Amazon here
Fascinating Bobbin Lace (aka Nue Modelbuch), by Claire Burkhard- at Amazon here
I have found some references to these two books online in pdf’s, but I’ll let you explore their rather dubious nature, if you choose.
So, that’s where I am, ladies and gentlemen! Ready to start sticking pins in my pillow!
Until next time!