Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Bobbin Lace Bolster Pillow

I've started making bobbin lace! Here's my first weaving, a shape usually called a bookmark, from a pattern I found on Alexandra Stillwell's blog. This one is bookmark 3.

My first bobbin lace weaving, a bookmark.

This lace is made from a fairly heavy crochet cotton whose weight I don't exactly know since I no longer have the label (I'll make the effort to figure it out eventually). It was good for learning the stitches and pattern, and made it easy to see what I was doing when…undoing.

I have a bobbin lace kit, which I got as a gift (mrfmfl) years ago. It came with a big round "cookie" style pillow.

A basic "cookie" style lace making pillow, made from polystyrene.

My aim is to make lace yardage, so I made a bolster style pillow. The core of the pillow is a pad of shredded denim and other materials, which comes as insulation in our meal prep kits. Rolled it around a dowel, and wrapped the roll with a couple of layers of wool flannel.

My bolster pillow is made of a pad of shredded cloth
wrapped in wool flannel.

The cover, in traditional blue, is cotton twill. Excluding washing the cover fabric, from cutting the dowel to stitching down the ends of the cover, the whole thing took me maybe an hour and a half to make.

The finished pillow, covered in traditional blue.

I used a square dowel on the theory that if the pillow is resting on the dowel, the square shape will keep it from rolling too much. But I'm using my little Ashford rigid heddle loom (darn handy thing it's turned out to be) as a stand, and the pillow wedges nicely between the front beam, the horizontal support, and an empty heddle. I'm leaving the dowel, though, because it serves well as a handle for rotating the pillow.

My very small rigid heddle loom works great
as a stand.

Working a very simple lace edging.

In action, I've found the pillow to maybe be not quite firm enough. Pins flexed a little as I pulled stitches around them. I may wrap a few more layers of wool flannel around the core, and see if that makes it a bit more firm.