I worked on a linen copy of the same pattern, only scaled down from Saturday, July 25th to Sunday, August 2nd. This post serves as my postmortem.
There were a couple of significant hiccups.
The long thread at the top of the picture is the replacement pair anchored to the pillow. Basically I removed the broken thread from the work and knotted the two seperate bobbins back together, keeping the knot up and out of the work. When the lace was removed from the pillow, I trimmed the dead thread away.
The other big boo-boo was a failed windmill. It's hard to see in the linen finish photo but the cotton piece has a great example.
To understand what went wrong, I'll have to explain a couple of lace stitches.
Stitches in bobbin lace making are almost always in combinations of twists and crosses.
This website has great visualization of many different stitches in animated gif form: Gwyndir
The threads as the approach the pin moving in CTC-TC-TC. When the threads meet the pin each pair is treated as a single thread and subjected to the same CTC. The purple and dark blue threads are crossed over the light blue and pink theads in the first Cross move. The Twist to follow would bring light blue/pink over the red/orange theads and the green/yellow over the dark blue/purple theads. Finish with a Cross of red/orange over green/yellow.
Looks neat, right?
I didn't do that...
Here's what really happened
I performed the first Cross almost automatically by working my piece from right to left. By completing the right braid up to the pin, it leaves the threads (light blue/pink) in an ideal position position for crossing later as they'll be on the bottom (underneath the dark blue/purple threads when that braid is completed from the left). Only I forgot the Twist and brought back the threads to their original sides.
This is something I need to watch for. I must have hung the pairs against the pin with every intention to windmill them (I'll work a lot of braid up to the exchange pin and go back from right to left to continue the work).
The roller pillow was christened with a practice cotton piece. It's been two years since I've touched lace, and I wanted to work some of the kinks out in my technique on cheap thread first before moving on to the nicer fibers.
Using a piece of the canibalized 'horror kit' foam, I prepared a pricking. Using a tip from the nearby lace laurel, instead of transferring the pattern on to card stock, I printed the pattern onto normal printer paper and covered the printing with scotch tape. I eased the pricker into the paper, careful not to punch at an angle - beeswax was used on the needle to help the process.
The next step was to mount my pricking onto the roller pillow and hang my bobbins in pairs.
This type of lace involves mostly plaiting which can be quick to work up - that being said, it took me three evenings to make 3.5 inches. I am slow. I hope to pick up some speed when I reproduce this pattern in linen thread.
So, looking at the picture you can see some decorative loops on the lace. These are called picots. When working with thin thread (which I will be) it is recommended that you use a double picot.
Double picots look like this:
The idea is to twist the thread before and after placing the pin (with a little thread manipulation around the pin in between). When you tighten your pair after, the twist is supposed to travel up and around the pin making a nice stiff picot. When the twist doesn't travel around the pin you are left with two floppy and seperate loops when the pin is removed.
I had a whole lot of floppy ears.
Clearly I needed picot practice.
It's not the best shot, but above on the left hand side you can see a picot that didn't successfully twist. On the right, you can see that the twist made it around the pin.
Now that I've played with picots, I think it's time to move on to linen thread. I will be using the same pattern but scaled down to account to the change in thread size.
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.