This centuries-old craft is currently enjoying a surprising resurgence in popularity. Youtube tutorials and books are readily available but the best way to begin is to find an instructor.
You will need a bolster or pillow which – again – can be made with help from youtube or books. Your instructor may also be able to help you find or make one. Essentially, a bolster or pillow is styrofoam covered with durable fabric. You will also need bobbins, straight pins and thread or string as well as a series of patterns of increasing complexity. You will learn various stitches and make samplers to practise those stitches.
Samplers make nice bookmarks. Lace can be attached to garments. Check Google Images for an array of examples: https://www.google.ca/search?q=Bobbin+lace&client....
This craft is not gender specific. Historically, cloth and lace makers were men. People of any age can learn to make bobbin lace.
The finer the string or thread, the finer the finished work. The best way to begin is with thicker thread or string and larger patterns. Crochet cotton is terrific for novices.
Once you have all your supplies and materials, pin your pattern to the pillow and set a row of pins at the top of your pattern. Cut your string into 6’ lengths and wind it around your bobbins. Your instructor will show you how to tie a slip knot which will keep the thread from unravelling as you work.
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Step 1: Not As Complicated As One Might Think.
Pins will hold your work in place until the project is complete.
When you reach the end of the pattern, carefully remove all pins from the inside of your lace piece leaving only those on the perimeter. Using a letter opener or something else equally long and slim (to fit between the pins), carefully raise the work an inch or two above the pattern. Spray with hairspray and set everything aside to let it dry. The hairspray will fix or stiffen the lace for ease of handling. Once dry, remove remaining pins. If using as a bookmark, consider encasing in plastic.
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