Hands Making Bobbin Lace


A few weeks ago I started a project called Hands Making Bobbin Lace.  The aim of the project is to document lacemakers’ hands while they are making bobbin lace.

I have uploaded all the photos to Letslace’s Pinterest page in a board called Hands Making Bobbin Lace.  The board has now been made public for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the project – the lacemakers that emailed their photos to me, and those that allowed me to photograph their hands.

The first lacemaker to send me a photo of her hands making bobbin lace was Noelene Lafferty of Australia.  I met Noelene through my blog shortly after it launched in January 2016.  Noelene has been very supportive, and much to my delight she wrote a beautiful poem about lacemakers’ hands.  I have reproduced the poem further below with her kind permission.

Noelene Lafferty (1)
Noelene Lafferty of Australia making a Torchon bookmark

Yesterday I went along to a meeting of the Bridge Lacemakers group in Cambridge.  The group meets monthly – alternating between Auckland and Cambridge.

Cambridge is a picturesque town in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand.  It is situated on the banks of the Waikato River and has a population of 19,200.

The town is well known for its thoroughbred studs and stables.  It is also nearby Lake Karapiro which is recognised as one of the premium rowing lakes in the world.  The town is home to New Zealand’s national sports organisations for rowing and cycling.

At the meeting, the lacemakers very kindly allowed me to photograph their hands making bobbin lace.  As I was downloading the photos to my computer last night I thought to myself that it is a great way to document our lacemaking history – a snapshot of a moment in time.

Lacemakers can still participate in the project – it would be lovely if we could document some more hands making bobbin lace.  Photos can be emailed to me by going to Letslace’s Facebook page and clicking on the ‘Send email’ button.  The button is located towards the right hand side of the cover photo at the top of the page.     It is a public Facebook page, so you don’t need to join Facebook to be able to see the page or to use the Email button.  Once you have clicked on the ‘Send email’ button, it should open up an email addressed to Letslace.  Please attach your photo, include a caption in the body of the email and then email it to me.

I leave you tonight with Noelene’s poem about lacemakers’ hands:

Lacemakers’ hands

Hands above the bobbins

Hands with bobbins held

Move with speed to place a pin

Move slow to tension thread


Old hands, young hands

Hands both dark and fair

Hands young and plump with gift of youth

Hands lined with time and care.


Some with rings or bracelets hung

And nails of polish bright

Others show the scars of time

In the lamp’s exposing light


But underneath’s the product fine

With twisted thread in place

A joy to work, a joy to see

The delight of making lace.

If you would like an email of my future blog posts, click on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of this page.

Thanks for visiting, see you next time!

4 thoughts

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post – I love looking at hands making lace. I don’t see mine at the lace pillow enough

  2. I didn’t expect to see as much as I did when first coming here for a visit. I am so impressed with all your lace. I hope it encourages me to get back to doing more of it. Beautiful pictures…

  3. Thanks so much for the inspiration to pick up my lace bobbins again 😀 . I would love to hear the stories behind those amazing colourful wooden bobbins pictured on your blog on bobbins and featured on the front of the NZ lace magazine too. I know I have enjoyed looking at friends bobbins and hearing the stories of where they came from or what occasion they celebrate like the commerative WW bobbins. Looking forward to keep up to date. Thanks

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