Yesterday Laura showed me (among many other things) how to do bobbin lace. It turns out to be just as simple as she said it was – at least for the introductory bookmark she had me working on – I literally had it down in ten minutes. I worked on it a bunch last night, and a bit more this morning – addictive and fun! though I don’t think I could see myself doing a full 10 yards of lace trim for the dress from it (though I did think about it!). I’m going to see if I can finish this bookmark while I’m here, and then once I get home, I’m going to see about getting myself a bobbin lace pillow of my own. Not sure I can afford one, so if anyone knows where I can get used bobbin lace equipment I’d appreciate it.
At any rate, here is a photo of my proto-bookmark:
Laura and I worked on ergonomics for a good part of the day, but I’m saving those photos for when I get home and can edit and post the videos we took.
She did have one thought on threading, though, that I thought I’d share. Typically when threading up straight draw, threading instructions have you starting with the shaft nearest you and then going to the shaft furthest away. (e.g., 1, 2,3, 4…16). As Laura pointed out, this is a very non-ergonomic way of threading if you are threading right to left (as most right-handed people do) – because you have to reach around the shafts in the back to thread the shafts in front.
A photo is worth 1000 words here:
Threading from back shafts to front shafts:
Notice how the hand is at a comfortable angle.
Now, let’s look at it threading from front to back, according to convention:
See how awkwardly the hand is canted to reach around the back shafts to get to the front shafts?
I had never really thought about it, but it makes total sense now!
(Laura pointed out that there is one other advantage to threading this way: when it comes time to sley the reed, it’s much easier to grab threads from the next set because you don’t have to worry about getting the threads wrapped around each other. If you thread ascending, then you have to get shaft #1’s thread – pulling on shaft #2’s thread from the side will pull shaft #1’s thread around the heddle, and produce very unpleasant effects when you’re weaving. If you thread descending, there’s no way for them to wrap around the heddles.)
Anyway, that’s it for the moment – gotta go make myself breakfast, and then get back to that bobbin lace!!!