There is a difference between lace and lace. My great-aunts used to crochet lace, teeny tiny laces to put on sheets and curtains. They also crocheted dozens of lace table cloths and if I wanted to I could put crocheted lace table-cloth on every surface in my apartment and still have a ton of table-cloths left. I admit I have a quite small apartment but still. (That could be a challenge – how big apartment do I have to have before I run out of chrocheted lace table-cloth?)
I don’t crochet. I have nothing against it, I’ve just never got into it. But I’ve always admired those teeny tiny laces and the dedication it must have taken to sit night after night with a crochet hook so small it looks like something the dentist would use to search for stuff between your teeth. I mean, imagine knitting a lace kingsize bedspread with knitting needle size 1,5. It would take forever but the result, oh, so pretty.
When I was in school I got to try to make bobbin lace. It was great fun, so relaxing sitting there with your friends in front of your lace pillow moving the bobbins according to the pattern. I enjoyed it and ever since I’ve been looking for a lace pillow. A few years ago I found one on second hand together with bobbins, thread and some books on how to do it. I immeadiately started and made lace for handkerchiefs for friends who got married. I made one for myself too but it disappeared during the reception of one of the weddings. Either someone thought it too pretty to resist, a thought I would prefer, or it was mistaken for a used napkin and thrown in the garbage (a very demoralizing thought).
This semester I finally pulled myself in the collar* and signed up for a bobbin lace class. It’s so much fun! I’m very dedicated and have, *humble brag*, finished the course syllabus a little earlier than the course actually finished. Now I have to classes left to make new and extra laces and I’m really looking forward to it. I didn’t have time to start the new lace, called Wind Ripple, in class last night though but I will get there.
The thing with making bobbin lace is that you don’t need that much equipment beside your tools. In knitting you need yarn, lots and lots of yarn (mm, yarn!) but here all you need it some thread and that can last for many many centimeters of lace. It’s as if you could by a skein of yarn and knit 14 baby sweaters out of it and still have yarn left for a pair of wrist warmers AND the yarn would only cost you a few dollars (or in my case kronor). It’s harder to watch TV though while you make lace than while you knit, or maybe that’s just because I’m still a beginner. What I do know though, is that it’s much harder to make bobbin lace on the bus than it is to knit there. It is also very hard to bring your lace pillow on your bike but it is possible. I wouldn’t urge you to try it often though, accidents could happen.
*Pull yourself in the collar – directly translated Swedish expression meaning pull yourself together or shape up, concentrate.