Suzy's Making Bobbin Lace - part 1

Red & gold lace doily I made in my early twenties

My journey with lace making started many years ago when I visited the Church Farm Museum in Skegness with my primary school. This lovely little museum is well known for holding demonstrations of traditional skills and crafts including the making of corn dollies. I remember buying my mum one with a little peach bow, which she kept hung above the toilet door for years. On this particular occasion they were also showing bobbin lace making and I instantly wanted to do this. The lady demonstrating dressed in Victorian costume asked me if I wanted to have a go but I was too worried to mess it up and said no. Something I later regretted.

When I reached high school, in my first year I met a girl in my village whose mother was a lace teacher and ran a fortnightly Saturday children's lace group. So I jumped on that light lightning! I couldn't believe there was a class in my village all alone I had never heard of. I attended from the age of 11 until I was 16, continued at home until I was 18, collecting some beautiful personalised bobbins along the way. I then went away to Staffordshire University where I didn't take my lace making equipment through fear of it getting ruined. I dabbled a bit when I  was in my early twenties (see above) but now in my early thirties, I am starting it all over again.

First attempts at half-stitch diamonds with this mini-mat from Variations on Theme by Jennifer Ford
I am currently remastering the basics. I purchased a book called Variations of Theme by Jennifer Ford, as recommended by lace designer and teacher Louise West. I have found this to be a good and concise overview of the basics on Torchon bobbin lace.

Bookmark from Variations on Theme by Jennifer Ford with cloth-stitch & half-stitch diamonds, plus fans and spiders
I am now working on a much larger mat from Bridget Cook's Torchon Lace Workbook. I am not too keen on this pattern, I think I should have used thicker thread and I haven't really enjoyed the outer fans but it is proving to be a good practice piece. I am not even half-way round yet and it's taken over 26 hours already.

from Bridget Cook's Torchon Lace Workbook.
Until my next update... 

Thanks for reading Xx


  1. Wow that's a lot of hard work but stunning results x

    1. yes, it is no where near as quick as card making!


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