This post serves to replace a missing post made September 7th, 2015
In the red box, I flubbed up and used a center pin in the windmill. Elsewhere, I’ve started using support pins around the join as I wanted to experiment with.
Getting proper tension at the junction points is much more difficult without the center pin to twist against. The gold thread also does not compress as much as the cotton, linen or silk threads, so the scale of the pattern (my previous metric to eyeball the scale was three threads side-by-side would be roughly what a four strand braid would compress to. I’ll have to keep that in mind for my next gold piece. The end result is something that looks sloppier than my other pieces. It’s a little discouraging – to see progression from a loose cotton, down to tighter linen, and tighter again silk and then lose it moving to the gold. I have a lot of learning to do.
I am also afraid to pull on these threads as much as I have been with the others. I’ve seen a couple spots when I have tensioned too much and can see the yellow silk core underneath the wrapped foil. It is thicker thread but much more delicate to work with. And at $30 US a spool, I’m not pushing it. As you can see from the photo above, what a difference *actual* metal content makes! The curve was amazing.
This post serves to replace an original entry made August 15th, 2015
All that glitters is not gold.
Gillian Dye’s Gold & Silver Edgings: Sixteenth & Seventeenth Century Lace, Book 1 offered suggestions on how to hold metal threads to the bobbins, as the hitch used to normally hold thread to a bobbin would cause the foil to split from the core. One of the suggestions was to use little butterfly hair clips holding the thread against the bobbin neck.
I bought a couple dozen from the dollar store and went about winding my bobbins.
The gold foil DMC Pearl thread was slippery and felt horrible to the touch. I initially tried to split the four ply threads down into individual threads to use, but they were too weak on their own to hold the weight of the bobbins. So each ‘thread’ that is plaited is a very obvious four ply twist. In the other plied threads, the twist seemed to melt into the thread.
This thread has no real metal content and won’t hold stitches well against the pins. I was very frustrated with the way this piece worked up. The plastic foil would easily untwist from the yellow fiber underneath.
I promised myself that I would only complete one pattern repeat and then cut the threads.
I knew this wasn’t going to a viable material to work with going forward, so I immediately ordered a No. 4 gilt passing thread, silk core, from Hedgehog Handworks (http://www.hedgehoghandworks.com/).
This one was a speed demon for me. I started this piece on Wednesday and finished on Sunday. I have no idea what got into me to finish this fast. Massive amounts of caffeine?
As the thread size diminished, I also had to reduce the pin diameters, otherwise I'd be left with gaping holes. The cotton piece was worked up using Dritz's #16900 Satin pins (no marked diameter). I needed something finer when I moved onto the linen thread. I purchased some Dritz #33 Bridal and Lace pins, diameter 0.5mm.
When it came to the silk thread, I needed to get creative. While browsing Van Scivers lace supply site (http://www.vansciverbobbinlace.com), I stumbled on a listing of insect mounting pins in various sizes. Cool!
I decided to give them a try and ordered SEOH insect entomology pins in size 00, 0.3mm diameter. Super tiny in person. And they worked a treat!
When it came off the pillow I was pleased to see tight picots and no missed windmills. I am progressing.
Next up: metallic threads. *gulp*
I understand the foil twist can be hard to work with.
Welcome to the SCA blog of Lady Jane Caldwell. Lady Jane plays in 1534 and is interested in early period lace. Lady Jane hails from the Barony of Skraeling Althing in Ealdormere. Lady Jane is also a clothes whore who will wear clothing from multiple periods to either feel pretty or feel comfortable.