Make, learn and talk about needle lace.
Greetings, my lace-making comrades and skillful needleaholics,
It is such a pleasure and good fortune to have found this website and be a part of this community! My interest in lace is recently new, but strong enough that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to try my hand in creating the magic.
The first piece I made was as per the Needlelace Made Easy video mini-series with Michael Dennis on Youtube. A lovely little flower it was –I haven’t seen it after my three-year-old asked to have a closer look at it )))))))))))) Just as well – saves me the embarrassment of sharing my fiasco (yes, I thought after I make a flower I’d move on to a couple of collars, a doily and a few placemats ))))))))).
So, considering the experience, I decided to make a sampler to get more practice. And, as with the previous project, I thought I’d fit about six various stitches in it – ha!ha! I barely managed to sort out single Brussels! ))))))) Having read in The Priscilla Battenberg and Point Lace Book from 1912, which I am using as my guide, that it is the foundation stitch for most others, I was close to calling it quits after the first three rows ))) Nevertheless, curiosity prevailed, and while I am not entirely happy with what I’ve got, I am reasonably satisfied, as I think I’ve worked out a lot of things I shouldn’t do!
Below are descriptions of the photos attached, followed by my observations and questions with which I would like some help.
My apologies for such a lengthy post, I hope you are not asleep yet )))) I will be grateful for any comments on my modest attempt as well as regarding the questionable issues I’ve mentioned.
Your single Brussels stitch actually looks quite good. Very good, in fact, for a beginner. Mine was really bad. Single Brussels can be worked with differing degrees of density. For some styles it is worked close together. For others the stitches are spaced fairly far apart. If you will be working your own designs, or modern designs, you can choose what density you want to use. Also buttonhole/singleBrussels can be worked left to right or right to left.
To keep the tension even there are tricks to use. Make the stitch to the tension you want, plant your thumb firmly on the stitch so the thread doesn't move, and while doing that manipulate the needle to make the next stitch. Look at this video, and pay attention to what she does with the hand that is not holding the needle. http://needlelacetalk.ning.com/video/make-needle-lace-mvi3937
Also, my explanations in my tutorial might help. http://needlelacetalk.ning.com/group/beginners/forum/topics/needle-...
To see how our experts space the stitch, look at our PHOTOS. Then look for an album of CONTEMPORARY NEEDLE LACE.
About whipping the beginning or ending of the lace thread -- you are right. How many whips depends on how far apart and how tall you want your stitches to be; close together for short rows, farther apart for tall rows.
The purpose of the double (triple or quadruple) thread laid on top of the outline as you buttonhole it is to smooth out the surface of the cordonnet. If you are right handed, it will work best to do the buttonholing right-to-left. That way your left thumb can coax the laid threads to cover the bumpy outline and smooth out the finished appearance.
And yes, just about everybody agrees that corded or whipped Brussels is the easiest stitch, much easier than just plain single Brussels. It is easier to keep the tension even and the rows neat. In all antique laces (as far as I know) the dense parts are worked in corded Brussels, some times with holes for decoration. Single Brussels is actually one of the most difficult stitches to do well.
You are doing very well for a first try. Congratulations. - and Welcome to a wonderful Addiction!!!! :)
Corded Brussels is the easiest stitch as it is all one way for the stitching, and just a straight return for the odd rows, so the awkward stitching the wrong way - right to left if you are a right-hander - is eliminated, and you can work on the tension with you 'normal' way of working.
I suggest you try to purchase the Guild of Needlelaces 2 books - Basic Technical, and Intermediate - - very pale green, and a mid green covers - they are excellent for starting out on this craft. You do Not have to be a member of that Guild to purchase the books. Get the 2 at the same time, to save on postage, as there are only 6 or 7 projects in each book, - but good, clear diagrams, and detailed text for each project. Well worth buying, and will help you, I am sure. They teach a variety of the most used stitches, and show them used in the projects.
Thank you for your comments. Whew, I can let out a sigh of relief )))))))
I've looked at the videos you've shared, and it looks like intuitively I've come up with almost the same solution - if I hold the working thread in the right position, then the stitches turn out more even and the loops stay where they should. Not sure why this bothered me - maybe because I thought all lace makers do what fairy godmothers do: wave their hands in swift motions and magic happens! )))))))))
I am still struggling along with buttonholing, but I am sure I just need some practice (five meters at least! ))))
And thank you for the reference to the albums on the website - I've just had a peak and it looks like I am going to be stuck looking at all those beautiful and interesting things for days!
Thank you for your comments. And yes, addiction seems to be the right word )))
Thanks for the suggestion on the books - I've actually been quite frazzled at the choice of literature, as there seem to be so many good books people reference. Will definitely look into the two you've mentioned!
Yes there are now lots more books on Needlelace to choose from. Another good Beginners book is Starting Needlelace by Val. Grimwood. that has a variety of stitches, and good diagrams. Just get a couple of these Beginner books, work from them, and get to understand what you are doing, then you can evaluate and choose more advanced books. There are so many different needlelaces, so it is better to get to know the craft before spending a lot of money buying books on a type that you find you don't like very much!!
Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I get so overwhelemed and I want everything!!!!!! And then as the time goes by, I realize that some literature is not that useful, or information repeats itself, or it is not what I need. This time I promised myself I would be sensible )))))) And thank you for yet another suggestion!
Dear Teri, greetings.
Thank you for the mention of the book. I've seen it on a different website, but thought I would have a look at it later - going back now! )))))