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September 03, 2012 7:23 AM | Sr. Madeleine Cleverly
One of the NELG members emailed me about looking for some old thread i.e. out of production. I read the email at the local fast food joint one day and thought 'I don't know what she is talking about in English' letting alone finding a shop or explaining in French what I am looking for "Fat chance of this I thought"....... Nevertheless a challenge is always good so off I trekked armed with the notes from the email. As luck/ God would have it, the first shop a big one on Wollenstraat for those of you who know Brugge sort of an old factory type shop wooden floors and pictures of lacemakers from the last centuries in the window was the one I tried. It looked promising as it was big. I faithfully cornered a saleslady about my age and repeated as close a translation as I could get. She said 'ah yes' in French of course rushed to a hidden drawer underneath a big display of lace and presented a drawer full of little bags  filled  with skeins of thread. Hmmm I thought now what??? which little bag????
She asked me some technical questions like how thick? what was I going to use it for? all of course which I had no idea of not being the eventual user of this item! SO then she said she really had no idea either it was her daughter who knew about all of this and we peered together at an equally Greek like chart with numbers and presumably sizes on. So we agreed we knew nothing and I would write back describing what I saw in the little bags to the lacemaker searching for this item and she would ask her daughter and I would return the next day. THe whole interchange was quite comical!
     In a few days I returned with the decision, the finest and the whitest now that was reasonably simple or so I thought, the finest was not available as some other lacemaker a few months  ago had bought every skein of the finest they had had! You have to remember that this thread is no longer made so it is not exactly like a reorder is possible! Then of course white is relative ( it all looked off white to me... ) But what they had they had and this was it so I bought the whitest and the finest of what they had. Now mind you this is not the cheapest stuff so how much to spend when you are spending someone else's money.... even as a nun one does want to be responsible but again it is not like I can come back next week and get my friend the lacemaker more. So I decided on two skeins oh yes she had said skeins so again the mother and I mused over what exactly constituted a skein since this thread comes in packages and is sort of tied together with little read threads. and again the decision amounts  to spending $3.00 or $33.00 dollars depending on one's  definition of skein. So the mother and I had quite a time analyzing this problem and at last I decided on what seemed to us at least a reasonable amount not knowing what she was making or how much she wanted to spend!
  Suffice it to say the skeins were safely tucked into my suitcase ( thread is light Thank God ) and  are actually sitting beside me ready for mail. I must admit I have a desire to see these threads in the finished lace product! I think I will ask..

More adventures tomorrow


  • September 09, 2012 6:11 PM | Carolyn Wetzel
    Thank you Sr Madeleine! I am the lucky lace maker to get the thread, which arrived yesterday. You made an excellent selection, and I am curious to know who bought up all of the finest thread a few months ago....
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