Thursday, May 19, 2011

I laced this butterfly at the weekend, finishing up on Monday night. I first tried this pattern in 2009 at the L.A.C.E. Lace Day. I think it was the first time I actually learned something other than "cross, twist". Janice Blair taught the class and started at the very beginning - how to dress the pillow, what the tools were, how to wind the bobbins. We used their supplies which were very basic but adequate. She explained pricking and hanging the bobbins. She was actually filling in for the original instructor and she did a wonderful job of it. Sewings were part of this class so I learnt that too. I was able to come home and finish that butterfly and make another one. I actually joined that group as a result of the class. They're 3 hours away so I don't attend, but I do support them. I went to a beginner bobbin lace class sponsored by them last summer and left feeling overwhelmingly confused, but it did inspire me to get started again. The pattern was far more complex than this one and the class was one of a series, obviously a bit beyond me.

Since I've been meeting with Sally, I find myself continually improving, though very slowly since I do tat more than I bobbin lace. So when I came across this pattern in some cleaning, I decided to try it again. The instructions on the paper are sparse compared to what we learned in class but I was so pleased to know I not only remembered everything, I felt much more secure in what I was doing. I know I'm making progress. The final sewing on this came loose and I just now realized it was because I did not knot it afterwards, or not well enough. I used a bigger thread than we did in class so the lacy effect is lost but I'll do it again and it will be better. It's easy to do too. The pattern is from 100 New Bobbin Lace Patterns by Yusai Fukuyama.

So...since the butterfly was done Monday night, I decided to turn my attention to another petal when I met with Sally. Cathy, from our lace group and also the I.O.L.I. librarian stopped by so we pumped her with questions. Years ago, when I first joined this guild, the members were reluctant to teach, for fear of giving out the wrong information. As time has gone on, I think they are more comfortable with at least sharing what they've learned and a few will teach easy classes. That wasn't the purpose of her visit though, but I did ask about wire gimp. She thought what I was using would work. The main purpose is to give the motif shaping capability. I've done that in tatting too but rarely. A really crisp thread is helpful too. For this petal, I used some size 40 Venus. I don't like the way the wire shows up and wonder if I'm not twisting/pinning in the right spot. I'll experiment with the next one. I was able to tension better though it doesn't show here. I didn't smooth it out when I scanned it and it's been moved around so much it doesn't look very good but at the time I first finished it, it was a substantial improvement over the first petal.

I'm not really enjoying the petals and wonder if I shouldn't move on to something else. I think I'll make three or four more though and see how they look together. It's discouraging when it looks bad and it is so simple it should look good. I'm trying not to judge myself so soon but really, it is discouraging.

Til next time......

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