Monday, February 21, 2011

I have to find more time to make lace

Just a short note to express my joy and my distress.

First the distress, I hope I can make more time for lace making. I spend time studying, but I have little opportunity to actually make lace outside of my class, which due to the child care situation I cannot attended during the summer or the holidays.

I have been wanting to work on several types of lace but some time ago I decided to go through Barbara M Underwood’s Introducing Traditional Bedfordshire Lace in 20 lessons. Lesson 2 has two patterns. Most lessons have one but there are a few with even more.

On top of this I do not just make an ‘L’ to practice a corner I make a square. So I was aware that with the additional number of repetitions and the lack of time I might take a bit to get through the book, but after finishing Pattern 2b I had a frightening discovery.

I finished Pattern 2a on March 3, 2010. Take away the summer and the few weeks I spent on a project from a class with Hilary Davies it still seems unbelievable that I just recently finish Pattern 2b (sewed it up February 19, 2011).

I can’t take 20 years to go through this book, even if I could live that long.

Oh, well, the real problem is that I do not seem to be able to improve my technique this way.

In nearing the end of pattern 2b last week I forced myself to take the time to work up to the last corner and then to complete the project. After a little while I found I could actually develop some speed and I really did get a sense of “throwing bobbins”. So I must find some time, hopefully at least a few times a week to work on my lace.

One thing I did not do for pattern 2b that I have done for other projects is make a few repetitions of the lace, tie it off and make a few more repetitions from above the beginning to allow me to test finishing. Big mistake, I ended up with way too many pairs in one place at the end and used a tied bundle instead of individual sewings and sewing in the ends. I did try to do double sewings and tied them off, but the knots were huge, much larger than the bundle. I was lucky to get the knots out.

I will make at least one practice ending of pattern 3, though given my dislike for how the DMC Tatting Thread (size 80) worked on all the previous patterns from this books I was thinking of using DMC Cordonnet Special Size 100. The book calls for Madeira Tanne 30 and I do have some Madeira Cotona size 30, but I was saving it for more heirloom projects, should I ever get that good.

Well with all it inconsistency and bunny eared picots here is pattern 2b.

The first couple of repetitions have leaves as I first learned them from books and a couple of web videos, followed by the majority learned after watching a Christine Springett video. And the last legs after Hilary Davies worked with me. Still very inconsistent but at least a few are getting fat, and mostly tapper in both directions.

Oh the worst is finding that with some of your picot you have caught another pin. So unlike Barbara says, I am working on the back, for now at least.

Oh, and how did I pick the size to make pattern 2b. I had made what I thought were an adequate number of repetitions to practice in pattern 1, also a square. Pattern 2b fits around pattern 1.

Pat T.

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