Lacing It Together

On Saturday, I got to spend eight hours of my life surrounded by lace. Lace presentations, lace demos, lace supplies, lace making and lace conversations filled my day. The 20th Annual Lace Day was a blast and lucky for you I remembered to take some pictures.

Setting Up for Lace Day

I arrived around 8 am, well before the event started, in order to help with set up. I came armed with my lace pillow along with everything lace related that I own. I also brought a pound cake, whipped cream and sliced strawberries. If I couldn’t win anyone over with my lace making, I could always bribe them with food.

Lace Makers Setting Up Their Sations

The Lacey Ladies of Arizona had no problem putting me right to work. I helped unload cars for vendors and put signs out telling people where to turn to get to the event. Throughout the morning, I started sounding like a broken record as I answered the same questions from the various members- ‘What’s your name?’ and ‘ How long have you been making lace?’

Recent ribbons won by some of the members

The event officially started at 10 am and there was no shortage of people coming in to ask questions, get advice and watch lace makers at work.

One of the members gave an awesome presentation about the history of pillows used for lace making. Basically, every country that makes lace has their own style of pillow that sets them apart.

Chart showing where different laces originated

Lace makers are a very talkative group and were happy to dish out their advice to me. I got three book suggestions and a really good tip on preserving my prickings- cover your pricking with contact paper and you can use them again and again.

Display of various lace making pillows

The book recommendations were, ” Bobbin Lace Without A Teacher”, by Betty Alderson. It is sold through the company Snowgoose, which happened to be one of the vendors there. The other books are, “The Bobbin Lace Manual” and “The Practical Guide to Bobbin Lace”. Both books can be found on Amazon or Ebay.

Close up of one of the display pillows

Being a short black girl with dreadlocs really made me stand out in the crowd of sliver-haired grandmothers that made up a good percentage of the people there. My oddity always turns out to be my asset as a number of people came and asked how someone like me got into making bobbin lace.

My own lace pillow

Oh, here’s something you may not have known. When you get a chance, look up the name Simon Toustou. Who is he, you ask? He is the maker of what is considered the BMW’s of lace making pillows. His pillows are to die for. Or at least to save few hundred bucks for. (Santa, if you’re listening, I want one!)

I did some shopping and got four new bobbins, some neat thread and a few thimbles that were begging to come home with me.

Close up of my lace work

Overall, I had a wonderful time and can’t wait for next year’s event. I already plan on volunteering for any upcoming public demos. Don’t worry. My bobbin lace won’t interfere with my sock knitting. There are places where my pillow can’t go, but my needles are always welcomed.