What I learned with my first piece of lace

  • Couching thread should always be 1 ply.  You will regret life when you have to pluck all those multiple strands out at the end, and your wrist/hand/arm will hate you for it.
  • Your backing fabric cannot be too big, or you will regret the decision to make it that way.
  • Do not rush your buttonhole stitches at the end.  You will end up with a wonky mess and regret it later.
  • You may want to invest in a needle lace pillow.  Like, yesterday.  

Most importantly?  I learned that I can't wait to start my next piece and already have the next ten or so projects started in my head.  I come to needle lace by way of crochet and randomly browsing youtube late one night.  I thought it looked fascinating and definitely something that was right up my alley.  I have been obsessing over what I call 'antique techniques' and have been really enjoying looking into the process for all of these things.  The obsession started when I saw a woman advertising for wool spinning lessons and I thought that would just be the niftiest thing to learn to compliment my crochet obsession.  And here I am =P

I decided to follow Michael Dennis's video tutorial as a starting point.  There were other types of lace i was more interested in but his looked like the best sampler to get me started on the whole process, and his videos were the most in depth in terms of step by step instruction.  Also they were in English and I was running into the problem where I was finding lace techniques that I wanted to try with instructional videos only in other languages.  So Dennis won!  lol.

I am open to any critiques.  Love to get all the help I can!

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Comment by Lorelei Halley on March 24, 2015 at 5:55pm


Very well done for a first piece. Mine looked far worse. Yours looks good. Just pick another project and get started. I agree about the size of the backing fabric. As to a pillow, I found it very useful when working a piece too large to hold in my hand. But for small pieces working in the hand is more comfortable for me. What is especially appealing to me about needle lace is that you can use just about anything for a pattern -- a photograph, a drawing, a figure from a child's coloring book. The most important thing, I think, in planning your worn work is to achieve a good balance of dense areas and open or transparent areas in the piece.

As Teri says, your tension is quite good. You clearly have a talent for this kind of lace.

Comment by Teri Dow on March 24, 2015 at 6:16am
Hi Leslie, congratulations on your first piece. Your tension is superb and already you've mastered some complicated stitches to perfection. Love the format of your blog, especially the first points! I think we have a natural in the making here. NL is not just about tension but so many other factors too. NL is not the easiest of crafts to get ones head around, but to have access to Michael's videos is a fantastic asset and your accomplishment makes all his generosity so worthwhile!

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