When working on the silk piece, I decided to use twisted picots exclusively. I made no changes to the workup method from the full double picots on the cotton and linen. The image below illustrates how I held the picot loop out with a pin so I have room to maneuver a hook through.
When I pull a loop through from the other plait, I would also secure it to the pillow to give ample room to pass the second bobbin through. When the sewing is finished, the pin holding the second loop is removed and the sewing bobbins are allowed to hang loosely. My attention is refocused on the picot pair, to tension the twist up and around the pin. If I start working the right hand side plait right away, I will inevitably pull the picot, expanding the size. To prevent this, if the inner plait is worked first, the threads become locked down, preventing the pull from the other side.
In my QPT presentation, I was asked what type of thread I disliked working with – my answer was linen, due to the temperamental breakages. I was given a suggestion to play with the humidity levels in the room that I was working the lace in – if the thread was too try it could be more prone to breaking. I didn’t have a humidifier, so I improvised by storing my spool of thread in a Ziploc bag with a lightly damp (but not sodden) paper towel. After I cut and wound my bobbins, I stored them in a second Ziploc bag with another damp paper towel until I was ready to work with them.
I wanted to retry a picot style that I had first attempted in the cotton piece. One of my concerns on the first piece when I transitioned to the fully twisted picot with sewing over top was the added bulk of the threads on top of the picot. The top picot on the right hand side was done to mimic the double (twisted) picot, splitting the loop into two curves (much like the top left hand side picot on the cotton). To see if bulk was reduced (and to see if the picot could be formed tighter), I tried a single bobbin looped in from the right plait.
Despite my efforts in taming humidity (as the piece was worked, I occasionally misted the air around the pillow with a spray bottle), I still mangled to break three separate threads, two at twisted picots during the tension around the pin. Most breaks happened around slubby bits of the thread, perhaps weak spots in the spinning. I had to pin in rescue bobbins above the breaks, and continue to weave with the broken thread and new bobbin side by side as a single thread. When the piece was finished, I clipped off the tails of the broken threads and anchors of the new ones.
Note: This post replaces content that originally appeared in October, 2015. I'm replacing posts that have gone missing from a hard copy of my documentation. Every effort has been made to see that the content is not altered from original posting to now - AR/JC
I was able to whip up the silk piece in less than three evenings. Having disliked the look of the simple twist picot on the cotton and linen pieces, I decided to abandon it here. In the photo above I have lined up all of the twisted double picots to the left, the single loop picots in the center, and the twisted picots to the right. The entomology pins are not strong enough to create picots around, so I used the Dritz Bridal and Lace pins – the larger diameter makes for more pronounced picots.
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.