I recently decided that there was a textile technique that I needed to master; spinning. I am very excited by the idea of being able to make something entirely by hand so I decided this was the next step. I started by buying a drop spindle and some silk fibers and watched the following youtube video which was very good http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gXTWgMeMgI. My first attempts are a touch ‘rustic’ but making lace with the finished yarn is very satisfying. Here is a picture of my first lace piece made from hand spun silk. Hand Spun

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Here is a picture of my latest lace installation that I created whilst on holiday in Denmark. This was done in a couple of hours before I had to fly home.The tree trunk is hidden from view by its branches, I wonder how long it will take someone to find it!  Apologise for the slightly fuzzy photo, I didn’t have my laptop with me so I couldn’t see how the pictures had turned out. Photo of the traditional counterpart to follow.

Lace on a tree in Denmark

Lace on a tree in Denmark

Lace on a tree in Denmark

Lace on a tree in Denmark

 

Experimental Bedfordshire lace

Experimental Bedfordshire lace

Experimental Bedfordshire lace

Experimental Bedfordshire lace

Traditional Bedfordshire lace edging

Traditional Bedfordshire lace edging

The problem with trying new things is that they often go wrong. I recently started creating a piece of contemporary lace on my garden gate to explore creating lace in unconventional settings. I am also currently in the process of making, albeit very slowly, a piece of traditional Bedfordshire* lace in order to improve my traditional lace making skills. I decided to use this pattern for my contemporary lace piece as I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. Unfortunately, I chose a very bobbly silk thread which was a little too thick for the scale of the pattern that I had settled upon and tangled very easily…… It took me four hours to create one ‘head’ which is a section of a pattern which is then repeated , before my patience with the troublesome thread ran out….. The moral of the story is not to choose a thread just because it is pretty! Take two to follow shortly.

* Bedfordshire lace is characterized by round and square tallies, continuous woven trails, a ninepin edge and no ground, with plaits providing structure. I have been using Introducing Traditional Bedfordshire Lace in 20 lessons by Barbara M Underwood which is fantastically still in print.