Bobbin Lace Bookmark

The rhythmic hand movements and slight clatter of glass beads caught our attention as Ed and I were mall-walking one Sunday afternoon. We drifted closer, intrigued by the handwork which several ladies were demonstrating.

Married less than two years, Ed knew I enjoyed cross-stitch, crochet and needlepoint. He immediately suggested this was something I’d be interested in learning.

For the next three months another woman and I took lessons from one of the women we’d meet in the mall.

The first thing she had us make was a lace making pillow using layers of a wool blanket with a wooden base and a tough cloth for the surface. She sold us the wooden bobbins and told us to put on glass beads which would keep them from rolling on the rounded pillow. It didn’t take Ed long to make me a number of pairs to use.

Those bobbins were the very first in what would become the first of thousands of fiber arts tools that Ed has now made.

About twenty years ago I made my daughter a bookmark to keep in her Bible when she went to Indonesia to live with friends and attend her senior year of high school. That was the last time I made bobbin lace.

Until a couple months ago. Feeling a need for the gentle clacking of the beads and the rhythmic twisting and crossing of the bobbins I dug out the flat work pillow, found the pattern, and wound threads onto the bobbins — sighing at the lack of beads on some of them. I have no idea where the proper bobbin lace pins disappeared to, nor have I found an online source for the 2″ thin brass pins with tiny heads. Instead, fine sewing pins are working okay.

Remembering how to read the pattern made up of pin-pricks on card stock with faint ink lines in places where the pattern changed took some trial and error.

A great deal of unlacing took place during the remembering stage but eventually my hands felt the sequences of when to twist or cross and the flow of the pattern.

Considering that it’d been twenty years, I’m quite pleased, despite the very rough starting edge, the slightly wonky side edges, and areas where my tension varied.

Grateful for:
Being able to create useful items with threads.
The love of fiber arts which was instilled in me at a very young age.
Ed’s skills in making so many tools for me!