Last weekend's lacemaking course was great fun. We drove down to Stratford on Friday after work and had a lovely meal at Bella Italia. Saturday we drove to Aston Cantlow (a very pretty little village) along some lovely country lanes with lots of 'hedge-froth' - Hawthorn blossom, cow parsley etc - I love this time of year. We also saw lots of lovely deep blue bluebells in the verges.
Aston Cantlow is very pretty, and it was fun to do a lacemaking course in a timber-framed village hall. How very English!!
I was taking a Bedfordshire lace course with Christine Springett, and Sonia was learning how to turn lace bobbins with David Springett and Stuart Johnson. The latter was exceptionally dangerous, as I love Stuart's bobbins, and have a habit of buying lots of them...
Christine's style of making Bedforshire lace is non-traditional - she's adopted ideas from Cluny lace, which essentially mean that the passive pairs in a trail continue in the trail all the way round - they don't enter and exit at will to make leaves, plaits etc - so this finished effect is more 'perfect'.
I started with a fairly simple piece, to get the hang of Christine's way of doing things, and did about half of it. I have to say I've never managed to get such lovely fat leaves before!
The coloured threads in the photo are 'magic threads', which are used at the end to make the finishing simpler, and the knots neater. We'll see how that goes when I finish the piece!
It was soon clear I'd undersold my abilities when I answered Christine's questionnaire before the class - the patterns she sent me were very pretty, but not very challenging. Luckily I was determined enough to try something more difficult to bring along a second pricking (the card pattern you make lace on) of a butterfly, designed by Christine, and most of the necessary wound bobbins. I started it with an hour to go on the Saturday, then worked on it exclusively on the Sunday - I'm really pleased with my progress, and even attempted rolled tallies (which you can't see as the are rolled UNDER the lace you are making. Won't know how successful I was until I finish... There's the tip of a wing under and amongst all of these pins:
I should say that Sonia had great fun turning bobbins, and came away with 3 lovely pairs.
In other lace making news(!), Louise finished her Bedfordshire lace project when she was at a different lace making course the previous weekend. She went to Knuston Hall wither her mum, where the class is taught by Barbara Underwood - a big proponent of making lace in the traditional way - it'll be fun to swap notes and compare pieces, but last night I was far too tired to make our usual lace making evening. Anyway, here are some photos of a lovely cuff that Louise has made. I think she'd started it when I first met her... so it took quite a while really! She took an old pricking and had a go to see how it turned out. Very pretty, but she's not tempted to make a pair!