Yesterday, I went to visit Donna, a fellow Black Sheep guild member who is into bobbin lace. She’s been doing it for 13 years, and has explored many different styles of lace, producing some absolutely exquisite work along the way. After I got done goggling at her finished pieces, I explained that I was interested in producing some bobbin lace to go into the wedding ensemble (thinking I could produce the piece while traveling, since weaving is not terribly portable). We talked about it, and decided that a tape lace to tie up the bride’s bouquet with might be good – simple and fairly small. We even picked out a pattern that looked interesting, but actually creating it was more than I could figure out on my own.
So, bless her soul, Donna is going to figure out how to do the pattern, and will then show me how to do it. She’ll do that while I’m away in North Carolina, and meanwhile, I’m taking several introductory books and lacemaking equipment/threads with me. (Donna was nice enough to loan me lots of bobbins, pins, etc. as well.) I spent yesterday preparing the pricking cards and winding threads off. I bought some linen thread (because I want to make the finished lace out of linen), but I couldn’t afford many different sizes, so I’m “filling in the gaps” with silk thread, since I have quite a bit of fine silk thread sitting around. I’m bringing 140/2 silk, 120/2 silk, 60/2 silk, 30/2 silk, and 12/2 silk. (Not that I’m a silk junkie or anything. 🙂 ) The last two will probably be used as gimps.
Amusingly, Mike walked in while I was doing this and said, “Don’t tell me – you’re working out how to keep yourself busy every second while we’re on vacation.” LOL. He knows me too well.
Anyway, between the sock blanks and the bobbin lace, I should have enough to keep me busy even if we just sit there for ten days. I’m rather hoping I don’t get around to much of either. 🙂
Dianne asked about sock blanks. There is a great tutorial on them here: http://www.knitpicks.com/KPImages/PDF/sockblankdyeing.pdf, but the essential idea is that you knit up a piece of fabric, dye it, unravel it again, and use the dyed yarn. Dyeing in different patterns gives different effects. To see all the stuff I’ve done with knitted blanks and weaving, see https://tienchiu.com/tag/knitted-blanks/. To buy knitted blanks for socks, weaving, etc. see Nancy Roberts’ website, http://www.machineknittingtodyefor.com .
Meanwhile, having packed my vast supply of things-to-do, I’m now free to start winding the warp for the sample again. So I will work on that today.
10 days!–here’s some other diversion possibilities (I think there’s websites for everything mentioned)
In Asheville, Bellagio has wonderful art-to-wear. A couple of blocks from this is Waechter’s, a great little fabric store. Asheville has many galleries (Blue Spiral perhaps at the top) that are listed on “about Asheville” sites. Cloth Fiber Workshop is an organization that offers classes in various Asheville locations on the weekends. The Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway currently has an exhibit of new members of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild, a couple of which are fiber folk. Also more fiber items in their gift shop. In the Spruce Pine area (east of Asheville) is Penland School of Crafts, a great craft gallery there. Also many craft studios in the area, though not in fiber, I believe. And there is an organization called Handmade in America that lists galleries and studios open in Western NC. They publish a guide but you can also plan a route from their website. Other good places to visit are the Biltmore Estate and the NC Arboretum. Also, a weather report–it’s wonderful. We’ve cooled down some with just a touch of autumn in the air. Enjoy your visit.