Monday, March 21, 2011

I've never really considered myself an "activist" but as I went searching for Rosemary Shepherd's beginning bobbin lace book today, I found exorbitant prices, over $100 and $200. The book is in print again and it's available on a couple of websites new for around $35.

So I emailed one of the offending pricey booksellers and asked if they were aware the book was available for $35. The response:

Thank you for your email. The cost of this book is based on a competitive market for rare books.

We thank you for your message and hope you have a pleasant day.

I emailed back and said that was the point - it's not rare and this practice is becoming quite common's giving booksellers a bad name.

You'd think they would already know that, so in my mind it makes them unscrupulous as well.

Off soapbox now.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

(Sheepish Grin) I know....I said I was done with this pattern. I still don't have the next pricking printed and ready and it had been on my mind for a few days....what if I made all those diamonds in half stitch instead of cloth stitch?

So I decided to give it another go and instantly forgot to make the first diamond in half stitch as I was so intent on following the directions exactly! So then I thought I would make the last one cloth stitch too for symmetry. Well, I did something wrong and was undoing the weaving and decided to make it half stitch after all. As you can see, I do much better, with this pattern anyway, in half stitch. I actually think cloth stitch is easy but not in this combination.

I found 3 places where I forgot to twist before the stitch (Yay - I can recognize that!) and two of them are around the first diamond. The other is close to the side which is done in cloth stitch too. I also noted something "off" in the last diamond but I'm not sure what it is unless I crossed a pair inadvertently. Still, overall, I'm very pleased with this one. If I were to do this pattern in the future, I'd do all the diamonds in half stitch since they work out so much nicer.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I bought this at an antique store early in the week. One mat is the size of a placemat and the other is the same width but half the length. I probably should have pressed them so the scan would look better but here we are.

I was excited by the pulled work in the corners. It's something I hadn't seen before. The embroidery is done varying strands of floss, depending on the color and purpose of embroidery. I am not sure about the edging. At first I thought it was crocheted, but it's padded so I think it's a buttonhole stitch over threads which reminds me of Hedebo or at least a form of needlelace.

The larger mat is in good condition but the smaller one has a piece of the outside lace missing. One scallop is missing on two different sides. The edging of the cloth part confused me but on close inspection, I see that it is folded over to the back in a tiny hem and the lace is stitched on top on the front. It is hand-stitched as I can see the single thread slightly uneven in places indicating needle and thread. This makes me think even more that the edging is handmade. The thread was so fine that I considered machine stitching but I think not.

I love a good find!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Finally! Everything is done according to the pattern. The inconsistent tension is obvious in the middle diamond and in the ground surrounding the bottom diamond. I noticed it in other places too but I think this is as good as it gets for me, right now.

I don't like that there is a cloth stitch border on the sides but not the top. The pattern actually leaves those threads hanging at the sides but I didn't particularly like that either.

I'm currently tacking these down on card stock and then putting that in a protective sleeve. They were in the sleeve but it was all of them and they were getting crowded, slipping and sliding around. I didn't want to actually attach them to anything but it's the only way to keep them secure. I hope that someday I can pull these out and MARVEL at how much better I am. LOL! Don't hold your breath.

I guess I haven't printed out the pricking for the next and last bookmark in this particular book. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Boo Hoo!

I was disappointed to see holes again. It's better than the last one and I see where I missed pins. I don't know how and it's mostly on the right hand side.

I know I said I was going to move on and come back to this but tonight I wound another set of bobbins to do it again! I like this color combination but my pillow is also navy blue and at times, it did make it confusing so the ones I wound are a different color combo. I could use a light colored cover cloth too. It's also occured to me that I should try the diamond in a different pattern. But I'm going to make one last stab at this one before I decide that.

I found some resources for crocheted flowers and edgings that are truly spectacular. I'm itching to make some but my plate is pretty full right now so it will wait.

DST went into effect overnight and I didn't realize it until mid day. It threw the whole day off. I truly despise DST. I do not believe it has that much effect on revenue for the State. We are still a multi-time zone state and it's still confusing. Nothing has been gained that I can tell. You can manipulate statistics towards any argument you desire. Kinda like lawyers. That's their job - to find the perfect loophole for a desired outcome but at least they don't have the final say.

My mailbox was finally stabilized by my son today. It's been too cold to do anything all winter and I did end up having to buy a new post but I'm happy it's not wobbly any more and I'm sure the mail delivery person will be happy too. to bed!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wow...two posts in one day! I thought this blog needed a few photos. It was looking BORING. I started this on Tuesday night and partway through the second diamond, I knew I'd done something wrong. I finally got up the energy and nerve to get it out today and back out of the whole diamond.

So I got the second diamond done again and at this point, I've just finished the third diamond. I had to back out of that one too. I think I miss pinholes. They're kind of hard to see. I'm doing this one better but still not as good as I'd like. Do I make another after this or go on to the next one?

I really think I need to do this one again, but I also think I need a break so I'm going to do the next and last one when this is complete. After that, I may come back and try this one again. Sometimes you just need time to let it all sink in. It was disappointing after I got to buzzing along on all the prior ones!

What's the deal with bobbin lace books?

Apparently the lace world at large is not interested in perpetuating this type of lacemaking. I checked online for a copy of a book I borrowed at the library. I don't think it's one I'd even use much. I'm not overly fond of Bruges but it had some simple pieces I thought I'd put in my file to try. A well rounded lacemaker should try everything, IMO.

I put the ISBN in google and got lots of hits. I picked the first one that I thought was a decent price for a used book. It was "out of stock". Every source I tried listed it at a price well over $100. Now if this were an exceptionally good book, one of a kind, I could see it, but I find this same scenario with every single bobbinlace book I check and there are hundreds of books on the market.

What IS the deal?

Tatters have seen this happen with Mary Konior's books, including the one in print and currently being sold at the regular price. People try to sell them for hundreds of dollars, sometimes over $1,000. It's very quickly turning me off of bobbinlace.

Maybe book publishers need to pay attention and start publishing more lace books that are affordable. I'm not a Nook or Kindle fan to begin with but this is definitely one art I would not want electronically. I have to have it printed out.

I have one "rare" bookseller who sends me an email every time she lists a tatting book. I didn't ask for this notification, she just does it. I have just about every tatting book there is and if I don't have it, I'm fine with that. There's probably a reason I didn't get it. Not because it's bad - just because I have more than enough already. But sometimes I check to see what she listed and I'll admit I'm appalled by her prices. The books are not exactly "rare" and in fact, most are available readily. A lot of tatting publications these days are self-published and limited in number. This is not true of the bobbinlace books I'm talking about.

Okay...rant over. I have FUN things to do today and better get to it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

For some reason, I've been really busy lately. I have not touched bobbin lace since the last post but tonight I started a new diamond bookmark. As I filled in the sides around the first diamond, I thought it was going well but shortly into the second side, I realized I was off somewhere. My worker for the diamond was in the wrong spot so I'll have to go back and figure out where I went wrong. All it takes is making one wrong pass.

I was crocheting a cord for something last night that I abandoned, at least for the project I originally intended it for, but it made me want to do some Romanian Point Lace since this is the cord used for that anyway. I've kind of gotten away from needle lace but really, I'm immersed in my tatting and bobbin lace right now. Only so much I can do at one time!

A friend sent me several balls of size 8 perle cotton to add to my bobbin lace stash. Ms. Bluebird from A Happy Bluebird had a giveaway and some perle cotton was involved. I didn't win but she had LOTS of perle cotton she was willing to part with and I was the lucky recipient. Most of the colors are different from what I already have. I can use it for hardanger and other embroidery too.

I've been getting a hankering for embroidery too but I have a 2nd slipper to knit for my sister and bobbinlace to sort out and some tatting that is done but needs to be mounted onto something.

and I am SO tired tonight. I think it will be an early night!