Jenny Brandis' Handcrafts

December 2006 lace

It is now 21 months since I started this lace making journey and during that time I have made many wonderful friends thoughout the world. All because of this wonderful thing called the Internet.  

I have been trying my hand at designing my own Torchon lace over this time and as it is the season of Goodwill to all I have decided to give you a small gift.

The idea of using graph paper, pencil and eraser (lots of eraser :) did not inspire me, but I discovered fairly quickly the software program called Lace 2000. With that I am able to erase my mistakes much easier, I can copy and paste the lace elements around easier, I can let my mind wander down the "what if ... " path easier.

It does not make design easier :) It does not do the design work, it is but a tool for my imagination to use but it does free up the drudgery of the design process. It does allow me to print the design in whatever grid size I like - no more redrawing or resizing on the photocopier for me.

What does this have to do with the gift? The gift is two prickings I designed using Lace 2000.

Ruth is a bookmark I designed to use the leaf spider element I gave you last Christmas (see here if you did not read my site last year). I ask that you have pity for my efforts at making leaves - they bring the total of leaves made by me to 40 and as you need to do 1,000 before you are any good .....

The file is a PDF file that you will need to have Acrobat Reader on your computer to use. Acrobat Reader is a free program that will allow you to read/see many of the free files on the internet.

Click to download

Ruth 350kb in size

The second one I have called Yvonne, it is a quick little one that I though might look good on the Christmas tree or a card.

.Click to download

Yvonne 33kb in size

What else have I been doing? Lace wise I have been learning more about Torchon lace. Things such as
  • how to start a bookmark with a straight footside all the way around;
  • how to finish off pointed bookmarks using a figure 8 knot;
  • how to start in the middle of a fishtail (firtree) fan at the top of a bookmark;
  • Three variations on torchon ground
  • Three variations on directional changes in trails
  • and most of all - spiders, simple spiders, complex spiders, spiders in trails, spiders that arn't really spiders
The next two bookmarks were made from the booklet "Torchon Lace Patterns" by Coral Westley (Published by The Lace Room, 4 Cedar Ave, Warradale, South Australia 5046 Australia)

I made this one using Gutermann Quilting Cotton in three shades of mushroom - note that it starts in the middle of a fishtail (firtree) fan?

This one was made using Gutermann Quilting Cotton in purple and lilac

I revisited the spider bookmark in "Introduction to Bobbin Lacemaking" by Rosemary Shepherd and made one in scarlet with gold footside passives. I keep coming back to this bookmark as it is soothingto make spiders and the bookmark takes just 5 hours (you can see by this that the commercial lace industry need have no fear of me)

I also made two other bookmarks which I designed myself so December has been a bookmark month :)

My lace challenge for the New Year is to learn more about

  • tallies, both to replace a pin and between pins
  • gimps
  • neat starts and finishes
  • design and the lace elements

NB: Here I am in December 2007 and I realise that tallies still have me on the defensive. Gimps on the other hand are easy if I stick to the basics.


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