the maddening yet addictive world of lace making

February 20, 2011 § 2 Comments

You see before you a bookmark, the final product of my learning to make lace this week. It may not look like much, but trust me, it required a lot of love and effort.

As part of lace making week, I watched an old 40s classic called “Arsenic and Old Lace” with Cary Grant. He finds out his maiden aunts who raised him are homicidal maniacs and insanity runs in his family. After this week I like to think that what the title really suggests is that his aunts went loco from lace making. It definitely tested my sanity at times.

Just take a look at the amount of pins it took to make the bookmark above. This also reflects numerous mistakes I had to go back and fix. I’ve been learning torchon bobbin lace and the bobbins alone were enough to drive a person crazy. They often have a mind of their own and like to come unraveled when you don’t want them to. John was watching me in a moment of exasperation and said “I guess you can see why lace making hasn’t made that much of a resurgence.” Yes. There is a reason. Bobbins.

Despite the pain in my back and the strain in my eyes, there is something oddly fun about making lace. I like that you get immediate feedback as you’re working. You can see by how the pattern is forming. I like that you can go back and just fix mistakes; they’re not undoable. I felt a great sense of reward pulling out all of those awful pins and seeing what was underneath. I won’t be making Miuccia Prada’s next lace collection, but I did officially make lace and now have a much greater appreciation for it.

As I did more research into it this week, I think needlepoint lace might be more up my alley. It doesn’t involve bobbins which already scores a point in its favor. I found what looks like an easy tutorial. Just from one week alone, I feel like I have a greater understanding for the construction of lace and can think of lots of fun places to go with it.  I’ll close this week with one of my favorite lace inspirations, a lace chain link fence by Demakersvan, a Dutch design house. The cool thing is after just a week I have a greater understanding of how they made this.

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