Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bobbin Lace


I got a new obsessive hobby. I can never have too many of those, because knitting and sewing weren't enough, apparently. This does make some very pretty stuff, although I doubt I will ever become an expert lacemaker, any more than I am an expert knitter.

Bobbin lace has always fascinated me, initially because it is so pretty. Then when I read a few things about how lace is made, I was amazed by how simple the basic mechanics of lacemaking are. No matter how fancy a piece of lace looks, it is always made by doing one of the following things:

Take 2 strings. Either cross the left one over the top of the right one, or

Cross the right one over top of the left one.

If you line up a whole lot of strings and cross them left over right or right over left repeatedly, you will have lace. It's just like making a rather wide braid with tiny threads instead of large cords.

So, how do you know what order to do it in? Well, you draw a little map on a strip of paper, which shows you where your strings go, and pin your lace to it as you go along. How do you know where to put in a pin? You draw a little dot on the map, of course.

The cool thing is that, to an extent, you don't need to do the parts in any particular order. As long as you cross to the left or the right in the correct sequence, it will turn out fine. Sure, you can get pretty obsessive, and it's true that the more methodical you are, the fancier a thing you can make, but the pictures are of a super easy beginner's pattern I found online, and I think it's awfully nice.

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