Trying a new craft

A couple of years ago (!) I wrote a post about receiving some things from overseas. I had a quick try at one of them around a year ago then put it aside again. Then earlier this year I saw an article in the local paper that caught my eye.

It was about a lace-making course that was coming up in September! It was the first I’d seen advertised and it was local as it was to be held at the Karori Arts and Crafts Centre so I had a good read of the article. It was a two day workshop so I had a chat with ‘t other ‘arf, aka Boar, and he was quite happy for me to go along. He usually is but one needs to consult!  😜

I’ve been interested in lace-making for years. In fact I think I first became aware of making lace when I read about it in a series of books I read growing up which begins with The School At The Chalet and in which it is called pillow lace. Re-reading the books is like meeting up with old friends. Yes, I collect the books  😁  My interest was re-kindled when I saw a display in Te Papa along with an explanation of the lace.

The course was fun, challenging and I managed to produce a couple of pieces. There are only a couple of stitches but the combinations of them are many and varied. It took a lot of concentration too as I find learning any new activity does! The other ladies were lovely and it was great to see that there was one young (in years!) lady there. The rest of us were young at heart . . . well, I feel that way even if my body belies it!

One thing I did was to make my own lace pillow. I used some polystyrene I had lying around. I got the dimensions from


I also got the instructions on how to cover the pillow from the book.

When I was ready to pin the fabric to the pillow I wanted some sturdy pins and remembered popping some that I found in my Mum’s things in a desk drawer. Who knows how old they are, they could even have belonged to one of my grandmothers! They are quite a bit thicker in the shaft than pins are now.

This is my first piece which I finished half-way through the first day. I was pretty happy with it even if it does have a mistake in it! The tutor was kind and had started the bookmark off for us and also had us omit the beads that usually go in the eyes up the top.

This is my second piece which I started the first day and which took me most of the rest of the second day! It was quite a bit more complicated, for me anyway, and at one point I made the same mistake about three times in a row requiring me to undo the strands and re-work it! I found this pretty frustrating as my perfectionist tendencies were rearing their heads . . . i.e. I should be able to do it right the very first time! So I shoved them back in their rightful place and persevered  😎  The piece of paper under the working is a pattern with dots on and every dot has a pin to hold the knot made in the lace. Lots of pins! When you take the pins out the lace holds together – hopefully!

Here it is completed. There are a few mistakes in this one as well, and the tension is a bit all over the place in some spots but I can live with it. I was really happy I attended the course to have a go at it. The tutor showed us some of her work which is beautiful. Some of it is done with silk strands and is very fine work.

I started another bookmark on my own at home intending to practice and give some as Christmas gifts. Then life got rather busy and that didn’t happen, so maybe I’ll get some done by next Christmas!

There is a weekly craft & quilters meet-up at the Karori centre, plus a lace-making group that meet monthly which I’m going to try and get along to next year.

How about you, dear reader, are you trying any new technique or craft?

Update:- I posted this a few days ago. This morning I had a look at what is the first piece of lace I have tried on my own. Oops . . . It has been moved hither and yon by various family members . . . and . . . those bobbins are not meant to be up there! They should be sitting neatly under the white tape. I shall sort it out and finish it off.

Oh, and I actually managed to do this update on my phone! Shhhh all you young ones who have it sussed  . . . older minds sometimes take a bit longer to suss these things out. Mine does anyway!

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