Beginners Needle Lace


Beginners Needle Lace

For beginners who want to learn true needlelace. Post questions and answers here.  How to make needle lace.

Members: 224
Latest Activity: Jun 11

Needle Lace Patterns Books and Supplies

I have broken down our lengthy list of books, supplies and resources into several sections.  Click on the links below. 

Recommended books and videos 

Supplies and materials needed

Patterns and tutorials on this site 

Online resources at other sites 

Working Setup: in the hand and with a pillow

Photos of Beginners' Work

Working setup, various ways -   

Discussion Forum

My little wings 17 Replies

Started by Michelle H. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Apr 26.

First try 12 Replies

Started by Verónica Castro. Last reply by Verónica Castro Feb 26.

needlelace 2 Replies

Started by Hannah. Last reply by Hannah Dec 13, 2018.

my first piece of needle lace 1 Reply

Started by Hannah. Last reply by Sandra Popek Dec 2, 2018.

Pillow preference 7 Replies

Started by Tina Heron. Last reply by Sandra Popek May 4, 2017.

Needlelace Tutorial - Leaf 10 - Part 2 8 Replies

Started by Lorelei Halley. Last reply by Maria Delaney Mar 1, 2017.

My first try - sampler 8 Replies

Started by Maria Delaney. Last reply by Maria Delaney Feb 27, 2017.

New and first try at needle lace - comments, please? 10 Replies

Started by Gina Shillitani. Last reply by Maria Delaney Feb 11, 2017.


Total beginner! 7 Replies

Started by 313ak82ug1b8r. Last reply by Teri Dow May 24, 2016.

bolster pillow 3 Replies

Started by e parkes. Last reply by e parkes Dec 14, 2015.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Sandra Popek on December 8, 2018 at 11:15am

Please let me clarify myself is there any books that show you how you can connect your motifs and different ground stitches that are used?  Thank you!

Comment by Teri Dow on December 11, 2016 at 5:02pm
Hi Brona, I've just linked into your website and see you have been busy again. As I had hoped, you've done something for Christmas. The bauble is fabulous, crisp and modern and the instructions will be of great assistance to beginners out there.

Everyone else - To see the bauble go to "Sita krajka". This decoration is lovely and as it involves several different stitches, it is ideal for those wanting to expand their abilities. The site is available in English.
Comment by Yuuka Harris on September 30, 2016 at 12:43pm

Hello everyone :] 

I apologize for being so late, I've been up to a lot in other areas of my life and briefly put needlelace on hold. I'm back now and have selected a simpler drawing for practice that I'm happy to show. I've already pricked holes where the cordonnet will go and attached the pattern to the temporary backing. I'm still planning how to lay the cordonnet, though. 

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on September 21, 2016 at 10:18pm

The 2 books sold by the Guild of Needlelaces are very good - One is showing the very beginning - laying the outline, and then working the filling stitches, and each pattern teaches you a little bit more.  The other book (Intermediate with the deeper green cover) follows on, with more stitches and techniques.  You do not have to belong to the Guild to buy them, and they are well worth getting, in my opinion.  As some of us have them, we can help you more easily, if you ask the question, and refer to the page in the book, and we, this end, can look it up and have a fair idea of where you are at!! 

Everyone has a slightly different way of doing things - depending on where and who they learned from! None are wrong - just different!!

We love to see new lacemakers progressing, and are always happy to help, but  sometimes it is hard without seeing exactly what you are doing.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on September 21, 2016 at 3:41pm

Yuuka - Here is an antique piece. Notice how all the motifs touch either the outer border of the lace or the straight inside edge. This is partly so that the net filling stitches which lie between have something to anchor to.

This is a 20th c Chinese piece, See how they solved the problem of free floating motifs.

Another point de gaze. See how the motifs are positioned to break up the ground area, so the net stitches have an anchor. And the motifs either touch each other, or touch the footside (the straight edge that would be attached to fabric).

And here is a famous example of modern needle lace by a world expert. She has a large free floating motif in the center. The ground stitches attach it to the rest of the piece.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on September 21, 2016 at 3:14pm
Comment by Lorelei Halley on September 21, 2016 at 3:14pm


The reason we keep asking to see the pattern you will work on is that we can't answer your question without knowing the specific problem. If we have an example we can point out several alternative solutions.  

Sometimes, if you have a free floating motif you can connect it to the outline/border of the piece with the net filling stitch, or with bars made of close buttonhole stitches.

There already is a collection of videos. Laurie Waters of lacenews has collected playlists of various lace videos, sorted by country and lace type. Her list has a few playlists of needle lace. I have not search them all, but there probably some how-to videos in there which might serve.  Also study Michael Dennis' videos. If you can't find instructions for the particular stitch you want, choose one that he does demonstrate. With your first piece the important thing is to learn the basic principles, the general idea, of how needle lace is made. Once you have that solidly in your understand, you can work on beauty and personal expression.

Comment by Teri Dow on September 21, 2016 at 11:28am
I can understand any reluctance to purchase books at the beginners stage, but among the serious lacers, they become our bibles over time. Many wonderful projects have been achieved just by using the resources of NLT. You will not go far wrong with the online encyclopaedia. If your query relates to a floating element within your design, then it will need some form of "ground stitch" to hold it all together, and there are many patterns to chose from.
Comment by Teri Dow on September 21, 2016 at 11:19am
Hi Yuuka, needle lace, along with so many other crafts, is a constant learning curve. I doubt everyone knows all the stitches simply because the scoop is so vast. NLT is an excellent resource, especially the Encyclopedia of Needlework by Theresa de DIllmont. Additionally, there are quite a few good second hand books available, or books from the Guild of Needlelaces. Pat Gibson and Catherine Barley books are also available and not at the ridiculous prices found on the web, and the books by Ombretta Panese and Marialuisa Severi.
Comment by Yuuka Harris on September 21, 2016 at 6:59am

Side Note: 

Have any of you thought of starting a needlelace YouTube channel showcasing the various stitches? 

I would do it myself, but I'm a beginner and I obviously don't know half the stitches most of you here already know :] 

It might be a nice resource for newcomers or to practice with and it would add to the needlelace resources out there. 


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