New England
Lace Group
Bobbin Lace Braid
Gilian Dye

Bobbin Lace Braid was published in 1979. It is written as a beginner book starting with instructions on how to wind a bobbin and how to make the “band aid” sampler. From there it presents a number of braids that will give the reader many of the standard techniques of bobbin lace including sewings, tallies, and Russian-style gimps. There is also a short section on beginning Torchon. There are a number of the motifs that have prickings, although not all of the images have prickings.

To test the book I chose to start a piece from it. This will eventually become a mat. The pattern is a variation of the lace found on the cover. The instructions are mostly precise, although there is some flipping through the book since I haven’t worked with it before. Note that I am also not using the original threads since this is a great opportunity to play with thread. Notice that I have introduced some machine embroidery thread.

The value of this book to a beginner is obvious since that was its design. But why should it appeal to anyone else? I believe there are a number of reasons.

The first is that these designs are simple enough that they can be used to build speed in your lacemaking. I find it is much easier to work on moving your fingers faster when you don’t have to concentrate on the lace so much as you would in the continental laces.

The second reason is that you can make an attractive lace quickly, and it can be used for decoration. I have an apron with that sort of lace for when I want to display practical lace.

The third reason is that braids make great projects for demonstrations. They are easy enough that you can talk while doing them. Adding color to the lace also attracts people.

Submitted by Sharon Sacco

New England Lace Group © 1982-2023 Last update September 2, 2023