Blog catch up 1 – Lacemaking

Last November I enjoyed a welcome break from my studies to attend a lacemaking weekend in Folkestone. A last minute decision to change which type of lace to work on saw me trying a type of lace completely new to me. Well. Kind of.

The previous year I was learning Idrija lace (from Slovenia) as you can see in this previous post and my main lacemaking love for some years now has been Italian Milanese lace (see here). This time I decided to try my hand at the Spanish Hinojosa lace. Hinojosa is, to my mind at least the best of both worlds. Worked in only 10 or 11 pairs of bobbins makes it a relatively fast growing lace. It generally follows a single path in the design from start to finish, as does Idrija, but with the benefit of the added interest of working the different patterned braids as you would in Milanese lace. In fact many of the Hinojosa braids are similar to, or the same as the Milanese braids.

Over the course of the weekend I completed just over half of this spider pattern that was designed by Carolina de la Guardia (pattern can be found here) using a number of different braids.

Hinojosa spider, Lace weekend progress

Over the next few weeks I was able to complete the piece.

Hinojosa spider completed

Since then I have completed two other pieces of Hinojosa lace. Normally I prefer to work on lace of my own design but, being so busy with my teaching studies I have really enjoyed the fact that this type of lace is really easy to pick up and work at for short lengths of time and feel like you are making good progress on the piece.

Piece number two is an adaptation of Caroline de la Guardia’s Butterfly from her book “Witch Stitch”. I removed the head section of the butterfly and have worked this piece to be used as a modesty panel to go into the front of a top. The head would not have stood up to this usage of the lace.

Hinojosa modesty panel

The second, and larger piece proved to be a godsend as something to occupy me during what turned out to be an extremely wet week in Cornwall at the beginning of June. I’m not 100% satisfied with this piece and I can see several areas that need working on to improve the work, overall though I am fairly pleased with it. I have included a couple of in progress pictures of this one too.

Hinojosa 10 inch square start

In Progress 1

In progress 2

Hinojosa 10″ square, holiday progress

In progress 3

Hinojosa 10″ square completed

Now that my studies are complete I can turn my attentions back to work of my own design and to a Milanese piece that I completed the design for over a year ago now which I am hoping will be good enough to enter into next year’s Lace Guild competition.


Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

Yet again I’ve neglected my blog and yet again I have a few things to catch up with. This one goes back to towards the end of June. My youngest sister got married at the end of August, but for the purposes of this post that should be a couple of months away yet.

In something of a first for me though, I designed and completed a piece of lace well in advance of the event it was required for. Anyone who knows me well will know that this is nothing short of miraculous. I usually get things done in time for deadlines but it is usually very very much by the skin of my teeth.

I am pleased with this piece of lace and judging by the reaction of said sister, she was pretty thrilled with it too. The lace is 4 inches wide and 30 inches long, worked in Finca 50 thread in blue and ivory with accent thread of fine Finca silver. It also has tiny silver lined clear seed beads worked into the lace to add a delicate sparkle. The lace took approx 60 pairs of bobbins and at a  rate of about 1 hour for every 2 square inches or thereabouts it probably was a good 60 hours work. That’s one valuable piece of lace.

It was finished with a silver covered elastic and thankfully stayed up for as long as it needed to which is always a relief.

And now. The obligatory pictures.

Close to Finishing

Close up

FInished lace before gathering