It all started with the local Steiner School fair, where a group of women from the Manly Warringah Lacemakers were demonstrating their skills. There was a real beauty in their equipment, a wonderful symmetry in the lace they were making, (I am a sucker for symmetry in design) and a soothing quietness to the gentle clicking of the bobbins as they moved them over and over each other to create such intricate and beautiful patterns.
So I spent my hard earned babysitting money on a block pillow and some bobbins. Unfortunately I couldn't afford the flash wooden bobbins. Plastic had to suffice. But I prettied them up with spangles I made from Mum's jar of old beads. You've got to love a craft with equipment called spangles! With time, a few lovely bobbins crept into my collection - mainly as gifts from my Mum and Dad (always supportive of my new crafting endeavours) but also one that was a gift from the Manly Warringah Lacemakers. They welcomed me into their group and their lounge rooms. For the short time I spent with them, they were so friendly and so eager to share their knowledge with me.
So, am I a flash lacemaker now?
No, I didn't get beyond the very basic bookmarks of an absolute beginner.
Am I an active member of Manly Warringah Lacemakers? No, but I remember them as such warm, welcoming, helpful ladies.
Do I remember any of the techniques I learnt?
No, not a one.
Do I think I will ever make lace again?
I hope so. When I dug that block pillow and bobbins out from the back of a cupboard on the weekend, I have to say I looked at it quite wistfully. It was from a time when it seemed reasonable to spend hours creating one or two centimetres of beautiful work. Now my craft gets squashed between work, family and sleep. I hope the time for lace making will come again. And when it does, I'll be off to join the Manly Warringah Lacemakers!