Friday, 28 November 2008

Needlelace

I've been looking for ways to add texture and 3-D-ness to my embellisher work.  I came across the concept of 'stumpwork' during my internet research - I had never heard of it before, and was intrigued by the name, so I bought this book.   Apparently there's a lot of stumpwork in the Bayeux Tapestry, which I remember going to see as a child on a family holiday to France - a totally amazing piece of work.

The book also gives a basic introduction to a technique called needlelace, which is a cross between sewing, embroidery, tatting and lace-making.  I decided to try to learn how to do it, using the book as a guide.  The instructions were really clear, and it all made sense to me, amazingly (usually my spatial awareness is pretty awful - hence the lack of knitting skills!) - so I've been practising this new technique, hoping to add some needlelace pieces into the fibre works I'm making for Christmas presents.

To make a piece of needlelace, you need to have a firm boundary, which you couch down, and you need to work out the final shape first.  I started with an easy rectangle!

You work on a 'pad' of fabric, with waxed paper on the top to form a tough surface to work against.  Once you've finished the lace part, you sew buttonhole stitch all around the border, and then cut off the couching threads to release the piece.
I tried a piece with space-dyed threads too, which seem to work quite well:


And finally, I realised I have been very remiss in not yet posting any pictures of my crafting partners-in-crime.  Well I say partners, more thwarters really.  Particularly if it involves eating, hiding, or sitting on what I am trying to work on!  This one is Rubedo, or Mr McGruber as he is more commonly known.

2 comments:

Myfanwy said...

Hmm... Needlelace in silver wire might be interesting.....!

The crafty Kaeru said...

Oooh, good idea, Myfanwy! I was just recently thinking about having another go with wire for kumihimo... but wire with needlelace is certainly an interesting prospect. Thanks for the inspiration!