I created this pattern to be a bit more contemporary, influenced by op-art. It only uses one stitch and it's meant to be reasonable as a first lace making project. It's based on a huge amount of research, primarily wading through blurry scans of old books and pamphlets. I've also found work-arounds for the expensive specialized tools so that you can try it out before investing in hundreds of dollars worth of bobbins.
Bobbin lace is basically an elaborate braid and/or weaving pattern worked around carefully placed pins to form holes. I tried to make the process very clear, but the most important thing is that whatever you do, you do it consistently through the whole piece of lace.
When hand lace-making was a major industry it was common for girls to start going to a lace-making school at about 5 years old and focusing completely on lace until graduating at about 16 years old after making a "senior project" of sorts that included about 1000 bobbins. Don't feel bad if it takes an afternoon or two to catch on...
Step 1: Supplies and Equipment
- #30 cotton crochet thread
- cork tiles
- lots and lots of straight pins (I would try to have at least 200 ready to use)
- 24 clothes pins
- paper pattern
In proper lace making the cork would be replaced with a special pillow for pinning into, and the clothes pins would be replaced with bobbins. It would also all be on a slope to use gravity to assist with your tension.
Especially for a first try it's nice to have bobbins that can't roll and to work flat so gravity doesn't get involved. Bobbins are going for around $10 each on etsy right now and this uses 24. The pack of clothes pins I used was $2.