Make, learn and talk about needle lace.
SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS NEEDED
1. sharps needle for couching the cordonnet/outline threads (Ordinary sewing needle medium size)
2. tapestry or blunt pointed needle for doing the lace filling stitches and buttonholing the cordonnet. Have sizes 20-26 on hand. Which you use depends on your scale and thread size.
3. thread 3 kinds:
ordinary sewing thread for couching the outline threads
outline thread a little thicker than lace thread
lace filling thread a little thinner
4. paper pattern (colored paper for white or ecru thread, white paper for colored thread)
5. sticky transparent plastic film to strengthen pattern, prevent ink or powder getting onto the lace, prevent needle from piercing the paper
6. magnifier that can be clamped to a table or hung around your neck (for us older folks who can't see too well)
7. thimble (for couching) Leather thimbles are also available and may be easier to use. Devon recommends adhesive thimble pads http://www.amazon.com/Self-Adhesive-Thimble-It-Finger-Pads-64-Pkg/d...
These are little ovals of a material that is like packing tape or scotch tape. It protects your finger and spreads out the force of the needle. They are reusable. One pack lasts a life time. I prefer it to a thimble because a thimble makes you clumsy, whereas this does not.
8. backing fabric as temporary scaffolding, a little larger than pattern, medium weight cotton, 2 pieces 4 to 6 inches square, perhaps some larger pieces for larger projects. Some lacemakers use as many as 4 layers of cloth.
9. optional: cylindrical pillow to free both hands, also if pattern is large (Look at TUTORIALS tab across the top of this web page. There are links to how-to-make-a-needlelace-pillow) If you want to try working on a pillow, look at this, where I have collected several links showing various working setups (in the hand and with pillows of various shapes.