Wednesday, September 27, 2017
A Bobbin Lace Hankie
Behold, my new lace edged handkerchief!
It's been a very long time happening. from the first day I contemplated making it, until the day it was finished, it has been nearly eight years. Mmmm..... that is a long time, but there are prickings to draw up, handkerchief linen to source & buy, decisions to be made about thread, threads to source & buy, decisions about how big to make the pricking, then sourcing and buying a lace pillow to work it. Then we get to the actual working of the lace itself, which took me about two years. I might add here that there have been plenty of other projects happening over the same time frame.
Lets start at the beginning. Quite some years ago I acquired a book called 'Bedfordshire Lace-making' by Pamela Nottingham. When I looked through the book, my toes began to curl in absolute delight. Another lace-maker I knew also had this same book , and as it was set out in lesson format, we decided to work through it together. I might add here that that challenge has long gone as life has got in the way for both of us. I have still continued on in my own time though.
For the lessons up to this point, I had only done samples, and I was tired of making samples. I wanted a finished project, so I decided to make this edging into a handkerchief .There was lots of learning involved, from using slubby linen thread, to making even tallies ( yeah right!) and working six pair crossings to make those little flowers. Then there was the joining. The little flowers were certainly a challenge, and there are no two alike. Someone told me it is just as in nature.
I was advised to use a linen thread, but in reality I may just not ever use it again. The slubs made it difficult to tension, especially in those tallies. It also snapped a lot, meaning there are joins in my edge everywhere. I was told that linen thread is the traditional thread used in Bedfordshire lace, but recently I was told that a lot of Bedfordshire lace makers now use cotton thread. Mmm...... something to think about for the next one.
There are 224 tallies in this edge. I have been told that I have to make 1000 before I can get the right. I think I have a few more to go. The next ones will be in a cotton thread I am sure.
Once the lace was finished and joined, I then had to mount it to my linen fabric. I had a few different suggestions as to how to do it, but chose something called 'Nun's Stitch' to mount it. I had to find out how to do it, then learn how to do it, but in the end it was easy, and it gave a little pinstitch along the edge which is pretty.
It may not be perfect, but the mistakes and inconsistencies in it show that it is hand made. I am extremely proud of what I have done. It is my first ever bobbin lace handkerchief edge that I have done and there will be more. Watch this space!