Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Teacher Learns


Torchon lace bookmark in teal and peach

One of the challenges to any craft is the learning curve and the fact that if you don't use it, you lose it.

It was a bit of a happy surprise that when I sat down at the pillow last week, my hands retained so much of the basic movements.  That led to a bit of hubris, and I found myself trying levels of difficulty that were far beyond where my current skills happen to be.

So I had some pretty 'sad' results until I realized I really did need to dial back and re-enter the craft at a more beginner level.

Happens I have a few (ahem) books on lace and one of them is a pretty basic introduction to the craft that I feel will be appropriate for teaching purposes.  Both for myself, and anyone who wants to learn.

Last night I prepped and started this bookmark and (thanks to insomnia - has to be good for *something*) I worked on it in the wee hours of the morning until it was finished.

No, it did not go without errors, but they were soon fixed and onwards I went.  I didn't like the 'ending' the author had given, so I did something different, with some level of success.  But I can see I might want to adjust what I did on the next one which is similar to this, see if I can come closer to what I would like it to be.

My plan for the 'taster' session(s)* is to introduce the student to the basic stitches and how they are formed, and do that through the making of a sampler of stitches.

I have lots and lots of tag ends of unmercerized 2/8 cotton, which isn't the usual yarn/thread used for lace, but will serve.  I'm not going to go out and buy more yarn!  Plus all my tag ends come in lots of different colours so the student can choose something pleasing to them.

Once bobbins are wound, we'll begin and do a 'lace along'.  I'll do the sampler on my pillow and they can follow along on theirs.

If that goes smoothly, this bookmark will likely be 'next'.  There are just two 'stitches' - half and spiders, with some extra fillips to help make it all work.  

Hopefully it will be enough to get the person started and then they can see if they want to go further.

In the meantime, I know I have to practice more and go a bit slower.  The basics are there, if I don't rush, I'm sure I can figure it out.  

Slow and steady will get me there.

*Scroll down the page to the appropriate event


Betsy said...

Can I ask what the book is that you say is good for learning? I've been meaning to have a go at bobbin lace and would appreciate book recommendations! Thanks :)

Laura Fry said...

The book is Beginner's Guide to Bobbin Lace by Gilian Dye and Adrienne Thunder published by Search Press. Published in 2007. Not sure it is still in print, but may still be available, second hand?