In With the New

…But not out with the old.

I love lace and it’s not a secret to anyone who knows me. When I was a kid, my mom made custom wedding dresses and we lived near Philadelphia so I would travel with her to the fabric district in Philly whenever she neede to by fabric for the next wedding. I would get sucked into the room with all of the laces. From all over the world. Some hand embroidered, some beaded, some that cost hundreds of dollars per yard. I had a hard time not toouching them and I got in trouble a lot.

When I learned to knit, one of the first things I tried was lace after I had the basics down. But bobbin lace has been calling my name for years. I love the pillows and the bobbins and the very fine thread and oh how I wanted to try it. But I was a little afraid that it would be too much for me. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough.

Well, last fall Jillian – you all know her, right? – told me to just go for it. And she bugged me until I found a teacher. I was able to find someone a little less than an hour away. I got myself a pillow (not the fancy one I really want) and a few bobbins and I’ve been going for it.

This is the last project I worked on.






It’s not perfect butI can’t believe I can do it!

I have big plans for spinning for bobbin lace next. A fine, smooth, tightly plied thread. And because I am me, I will try it with a soft Romney and Blue Faced Leicester and maybe Polwarth and see how the laces differ from each other.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

6 replies
  1. jacey
    jacey says:

    Oh goodness beth, these are astounding. Really really amazing. I can’t even imagine it. We have got to make an article out of this! It’s stunning. I’m also very confused by the process.

  2. Laia
    Laia says:

    Hi! In Catalonia we have a very strong tradition on bobbin lace! You can find lots of “Associacions de puntaires” (something like your guilds but dedicated only to bobbin lace). We even have a museum and a official school! It’s considered national heritage, so it is fun to see it so far from my country. It will be very interesting to read about that on Ply magazine!!!

  3. Jane Bretz
    Jane Bretz says:

    My best friend does and teaches bobbin lace and I have wanted to spin for her. Would like to hear how your spinning goes. Keep us updated.

  4. Beth P
    Beth P says:

    Hi Beth, I am totally impressed! All those pins would make me crazy before I even began, lol! I think this is one thing I shall admire from afar, LOL! I will stick with just knitting lace instead, which for me is enough of a challenge!!!

    You go girl… keep up the fabulous work…
    Beth P

    • Beth Smith
      Beth Smith says:

      Tatting uses one or two shuttles. Bobbin lace uses between 6 and infinity number of pairs of bobbins.


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