I am very grateful for this group! I am obviously new to neelelace and was wondering if there was a discussion somewhere on choosing thread given the project"s size? I do not have any books as of yet. I ordered C Barley's, but it has not arrived. I'd like to place an order for various threads and did not know which would be good basic ones to have on hand. I just have basic embroidery threads for whitework.

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Point de Gaze is a very delicate lace, usually made with very fine threads.  I've done some projects with 80/2 Egyptian cotton or similar weight for the design elements and 120/2 Egyptian cotton for the net.  I know finer would look nicer, but this is a thread weight that is comfortable to use after a little practice.  My lace fan in photos is worked with this weight thread.  Go to one of the lace supply dealers online for the threads if you don't already have a good source.  For practice while you are getting accustomed to using finer threads, Guttermann silk 100/3 or cotton quilting thread such as Maderia 30/2 would be good choices.  It is important to use a thread with a good twist and some body for it's size.   

Thank you for the advice. I will purchase the 80/2 and 120/2. I have primarily floche which as you know is flat. I do have a Gutterman silk spool. The spool is marked "S 303". Is that the weight? It is very fine.

Yes, Guttermann marked S303 is the one.  It is rather similar in weight to the Maderia 30/2 quilting thread. They are both a little heavier than sewing thread which is usually about 50 weight.  As the number goes up, the weight goes down, so 80 is finer than 50, and 50 is finer than 30.  120 is of course finer than 80.  When we say 80/2 that means it is a 2 ply thread.  The silk at 100/3 is a three ply.Most threads are 2 ply although some are 3 ply.  

For practice, try your Gutterman silk for the design areas with some cotton sewing thread for the net portion.  If you don't have any cotton sewing thread, just use the usual cotton wrapped polyester.  It should work for you.   

Thank you, Loretta.

Try to use cotton thread (or Guttermans silk) I avoid Polyester thread as it is a bit stretchy, and getting good even tension is very hard with polyester. I mainly stick to cotton threads, as there is no stretch, and there are various different thicknesses!

Catherine Barley's book is excellent - however it is not a Beginners book, it is for those who are beyond the beginner stage.  I have learned SO much from that book. It is marvelous - when you get that little bit further along with needlelace.  It takes you to the next level and beyond! - a good buy that you will never regret!

Elizabeth, what references/book would you recommend for a beginner?

"Starting Needlepoint Lace" by Valerie Grimwood is as good a book as any -- if you can find a copy.   I am not sure what new books are available -YES, I do!!! --   Go to the Guild of Needlelace web site, and their Sales section. They have 2 small books - Basic Technical Instruction Book, and Intermediate Instruction Book , and the new one is L:earn a New Stitch - that just has some different stitches in with diagram and instructions on how to work each stitch.

The first 2 books are very good - a small pattern, with a new stitch and diagrams, and each new pattern incorporates one or 2 new stitches. I think they are £5 each (not sure) but get both together if you decide on them - as there are only 7 patterns in book 1, and 8 in book 2.  But they start with a simple leaf, and advance by steps from there. I wish they had been available when I started needle Lace!  they would probably be the cheapest way to get a good start. If you can afford the Stitches booklet as well - that would save postage with the 3 together. the stitches book is only 16 pages. All 3 books are A5 size.

I think these would get you off to a good start.

Fantastic. Thank you. Have started by using the Gutermann silk and the sampler with instructions here in the tutorial section. This will buy me time until the proper thread and books arrive. I think I'm getting the tension right. I appreciate all the help. I just can't imagine how they made lace without magnification and lighting. They had better eye sight!

Welcome to a "Beautiful Addiction"!!!!!!!!!! :)

I received the 120/2 and 80/2 Egyptian, but forgot to order thread for the cordonette. What is recommended for Pt de Gaze?

I often use tatting thread for the cordonette.  Anything close to that in weight would work just fine.

Thank you. I found in my stash DMC tatting size 80. Should I use regular machine sewing thread for the couching? Just tried the 120/2 for the ground. Yikes! Mighty fine thread. Not sure that I'll be able to handle it. Or, it could be that I'm not making the stitch right. Practice, practice!


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