This and That

Random bits of my life

Leaf Tallies in Bobbin Lace

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 9, 2009

I haven’t done bobbin lace in ages, but I wanted to mention Tess’s video on making leaf tallies. These things are tricky! I know Tess from the Arachne lace list, which I moderate. I don’t use this method but I’m posting it because good videos on bobbin lace technique are not very common.

It’s a little tricky to see the tally itself because the camera is so far back and the light is dim, so here’s a close-up photo from an edging:

Cluny edge (closeup)

The trick is to get fat, nicely rounded leaves with smooth edges — not “holly” leaves!

I started this Cluny lace edging in December, 1998, for a bobbin lace demonstration/lecture that I gave at the Dec. 31 meeting of the Jerusalem Fiber Craftsmen, at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The pattern is from Pamela Nottingham, Bobbin Lace Making, worked in Bockens 50/2 linen. It was completed in February 1999. When I started this edging, I had no idea that it would eventually have over 200 leaf tallies. I also didn’t realise how difficult it would be to keep talking during the lecture while working a leaf tally, which depends on such careful tensioning of the bobbins.

I drew threads from the edges of a piece of linen and triangle pin-stitched (not to be confused with the embroidery stitch of the same name) the edging to the fabric center.

Cluny bobbin lace handkerchief edging

UPDATE: Just found out about Jean Leader’s excellent drawings of a leaf tally. She also has a video, which is very clear.

5 Responses to “Leaf Tallies in Bobbin Lace”

  1. Jenny said

    Oh my! This lace is beautiful! I have tried to join the Arachne lace list but as yet have been unsuccessful.

  2. Oh heavens this is such a great posting and the Cluny lace is just breath taking. Thank you so much. I am newish in bobbin lace ( but oldish in years 🙂 but love it. We raise sheep for spinners so have always been a “thread” addict! Can I join the Arachne list?
    Have joined IOLI and am struggling through the Torchon Proficiency Journal! Whew.

  3. Gina said

    Where is the pricking you used available for purchase? It’s gorgeous!

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