I’ve taken up bobbin lace weaving again! While this is a hobby I love, my last class finished when I was at a very tricky starting point (the pace of the classes is individual, so the bad timing was totally my own fault). So I figured I’d wait until next semester, I anyway had lots of stuff I wanted to sew. Then there was too few participants… for four semesters in a row! (and there’s 2 semesters/year in this school). I could have removed the new, tricky pattern and just worked on a pattern I knew, but I got out of the habit…
Oh, and btw, did you notice I now know the correct term for this craft?! In Swedish it’s called “knyppling”, but apparently the English term is “bobbin lace”, since it’s made from wrapping yarn/thread around a “bobbin” and then moving the bobbins around (no resemblance what so ever to a bobbin that goes into a sewing machine). They look like this:
In Swedish we just call it a “stick”. Not very inventive… ; ) However, these can look very different depending on where in the world you’re weaving. Just take a look at this video, which will also give you an idea of how the lace is made:
Wish I had that speed and control over the bobbins! Maybe if I practice very hard for the next 40 years or so... =)
I’ve also seen this type of lace refered to as “pillow lace”, since it’s woven on a pillow. Personally I think it gets a bit confusing as the pillow used is called “a lace pillow”.
“So, what’s your hobby?” “I make pillow lace on a lace pillow.” Really??? =)
Anyway, this is a fun, meditative craft. No sudden progress, no smash and dash-glamour, certainly no “I’ll just make a shortcut here, no-one will know” cause here anyone looking at the finished lace will know. Sure, small mistakes can be hidden from an amateurs eyes, but there’s no covering up big mistakes or turning misguided shortcuts into design features. Then what’s the thrill? It’s seeing the lace take shape, inch by slow inch. It’s crossing, twisting, crossing, twisting, place a needle, and do the whole thing all over. Relaxed, calm and focused.
When I sew I have music on, I like chatting with people, my mind tend to wander to all sorts of interesting topics and daydreams. Hemming and the like is best done in front of the TV. But for weaving lace I need total silence. No talking, no music. No daydreaming of sewing a blouse to attach the finished lace to. I usually make a cup of tea, I usually don’t finish it. It stands half-full, forgotten as I’m lost in total concentration of moving the bobbins over the pillow. Why on earth haven’t I’ve done this in TWO YEARS?! Well, the class has finally started, I’m back on track and this time I’ll keep the skill alive.
For a little bit of fun, here’s a video from the 40s about Swedish laceweaving. It’s a lot of panorama over landscapes and so on, and if that’s not your cup of tea, I’d suggest skipping ahed to 2.20 and then 8.2o in the video.
Here, you’ll also see another geographic style-difference: the hand-placement. In some of the videos I found they hold the bobbins very differently from how I was taught (using thumbs). The way they handle the bobbins in this old clip is how I've been taught.
Anyone else who’s weaving bobbin lace?Love, Erika