Hello everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself. I'm a total newbie to needle lace, although I have done bobbin lace and attempted other forms in the past. Working on my first piece now, which is a total experiment - I've attached a photo of the work in progress. I know there's some issues with tension, but I think I'm improving even as I work on it! Would love some feedback...

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Morning Averil. You are obviously really enjoying experimenting and through this comes knowledge. Your poor fingers though working the outline on what looks to be card!! I'd be inclined to get hold of some more flexible type of working sheet from Staples, or one of the lace suppliers, far kinder to your fingers. With regard to the cordonnette, try working the outline as a very last step, your worked segments will appear more prominent. The section you want to "bring forward" and thus have the greatest prominence, is worked last. Also you may like to work the sections along the flow of the outline to see what effect this gives and this will also help your tension. Questions I always ask myself are: is the thread suitable for the design/shape/size of project, likewise with the stitch/stitch direction etc. Do keep going, tension will come naturally with experience and the thread which suits you. Above all, enjoy!!

Thanks, Teri!  I really am enjoying it, and thanks for the tips!  It's actually printer paper, so not as bad as card! :D  I will look for proper material from one of the lace suppliers, though.

Teri Dow said:

Morning Averil. You are obviously really enjoying experimenting and through this comes knowledge. Your poor fingers though working the outline on what looks to be card!! I'd be inclined to get hold of some more flexible type of working sheet from Staples, or one of the lace suppliers, far kinder to your fingers. With regard to the cordonnette, try working the outline as a very last step, your worked segments will appear more prominent. The section you want to "bring forward" and thus have the greatest prominence, is worked last. Also you may like to work the sections along the flow of the outline to see what effect this gives and this will also help your tension. Questions I always ask myself are: is the thread suitable for the design/shape/size of project, likewise with the stitch/stitch direction etc. Do keep going, tension will come naturally with experience and the thread which suits you. Above all, enjoy!!

One of my suggestions matches Teri's -- save buttonholing the outline until last.

The other suggestion is to make the tacking stitches which hold the outline threads in place closer together, about 2 mm apart. Then you won't have the irregularity in the outline of the top section.

A good start. Everyone has to start somewhere. My first piece was far worse.

I think you are doing very well, Averil.  The others have given you good advice. I would add a couple of couching stitches where there is a largish gap between them, further down the pattern. More is better than less, where couching stitches are concerned.

Also always leave the top stitching, the cordonette, till last.  that way you can decide which part of the design goes "behind" the other bit, and which bit is "in front" so to speak.  You can trick the eye and brain into seeing your piece more in a 3D effect, with carefully placed cordonettes!!

I would use a contrast coloured paper, covered in contact for my pattern, - depending on the colour I am planning to use.  White on white, or cream, is very hard on the eyes.  I always work on 4 layers of fabric for the pad, - so I can cut the couching stitches apart between them without the stitches sinking into the fabric too much. holding 2 layers apart seems easier and firmer for me.

Be aware - needlelace is very addictive - so welcome to the club of Addicts!!  Ask as many questions aw you like, as often as you like. We love helping new needle lacers achieve their goals!!

Thank you very much, everyone! And Elizabeth, yes, I'm already hooked!

Good!!!!!  I love to have company in my addiction!!!!! :)

Getting a good grounding in the various stitches is the best way to start., then you can be more adventurous with better results, and gain more confidence that way.  Really most laces use only a few stitches, and mainly the same few, I find, so work on the basics, and get that working well, before you become too adventurous!!  Learn to walk, well, before trying to rung and jump!!!!!!! :)

Keep in touch with us, and keep showing us your progress, -- and ask as many questions as you like!!!

Just a thought... Also look at the Laceioli site. Occasionally, Needlelace features there and also new tips too. Thanks Liz, saw your comment to a newbie there.

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