Lacemaking

Lacemaking

Never say, “I’ll never do that!” I saw bobbin lacemakers now and then at craft shows and fairs, and as I watched them toss those little bobbins of thread around on their “pillows,” I would shake my head and say bemusedly, “I’ll never do that! That looks way too hard!” But each time I watched, I also thought, “That’s awfully pretty . . .”

Lacemaking

Making lace at The Mountain State Art and Craft Show, Ripley, West Virginia. My pillow and bobbins are all handmade, as well as the lace. This pattern is called “Spider Parade.”

One day, my husband and I were in a large chain bookstore, and I cried out, “Look, a bobbin lace book!” It wasBobbin Lacemaking, by Doris Southard, now reissued as Lessons in Bobbin Lacemaking. I picked it up and leafed through it. It started at the very beginning, even showing how to make your own pillow and bobbins. “Look, Les, this is just an oval of thin plywood, with that little box on it . . .” It had wood in it, which caught his interest. We bought the book, and the rest is history.

I have only scratched the surface of the bobbin lace possibilities. I’m not even halfway through Bobbin Lacemaking yet. But I’ve made lace for hats, brooches and barrettes, blouses, and a dress I dearly love, and now I demonstrate at craft fairs. When people watching shake their heads and say, “I’ll never do that!” I laugh and give them fair warning. Then I give them a simple lesson. Sometimes, history starts again.