... this beginner's lace making kit, because I have been watching lace makers at work and I really, really want to play! This year we have been running a textile art project at the archive, encouraging people to create textile pieces inspired by documents in the archives. The project ended with a series of exhibitions at which a local lacemaking group gave demonstrations. It wasn't until the third and final exhibition that I started seriously watching what they were doing and having a go at basic stitches on a pillow set up for beginners to try. I got hooked.
I like crafting in various forms, but I am definitely more inclined towards crafts with a pattern to follow as I don't have a creative imagination. I don't mind things being intricate or fiddly so long as I know what I am supposed to be doing, and I think I could have a lot of fun making lace. I also like the historic element to the craft. Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire were two of the three main centres of handmade lace in England (Honiton in Devon was the third), and I know there were lacemakers among my Buckinghamshire ancestors.
Not only will I get to make pretty things, I can also collect pretty bobbins. I am trying to declutter and become more minimalist (although I have a very, very long way to go), but bobbins are small enough not to become a clutter monster and larger projects need a considerable number. I love the idea of using bobbins which are either meaningful or decorative or both. A few I have my eye on are this commemorative Magna Carta bobbin, chirpy Christmas robins, canal art bobbins (these are already painted, but a friend has started doing canal art and she may be getting some bobbin commissions), Jane Austen, and ... well, a glance at this site shows just how easy it would be to get carried away!
Instructions have been issued to He-Who-Hates-Christmas-Shopping and I now just have to wait patiently for a couple of months and hope that I don't forget all the helpful tips and information I was given by the lace demonstrators.