The internet is a wonderful resource for lacemakers. Knowledge, supplies and inspiration are just a click away. Not having access to a lace teacher or an actual lace community is no longer the stumbling block it once was.
There are plenty of tutorials, blog posts, online discussion forums, Facebook groups and Youtube videos available nowadays. (In a previous blog post I provided some handy links for lacemakers.)
And then, of course, there are online bobbin lace suppliers – a particular favourite of mine. Living in New Zealand means I am pretty much half a world away from most of the bobbin lace suppliers. So, unfortunately I can’t just wake up on a Saturday morning and pop down to a shop that stocks lacemaking supplies. This can of course prove very frustrating if I decide on a whim that I would like to make a particular pattern, but it turns out I don’t have the appropriate thread in my stash, or I don’t have enough bobbins. So, I have to do a bit of advance planning before I launch into a new project.
I can lose myself for hours browsing through the websites of my favourite lace suppliers. Checking out lace books, thread, bobbins, pins and patterns.
I have bought most of my lace pillows, bobbins, thread, pins and books from overseas lace suppliers via internet shopping. To date, I have had a 100% success rate – service levels are generally great, and parcels normally arrive in a very reasonable timeframe. (Touch wood – long may that continue!)
For me, one of the great pleasures in life is to arrive home after work to find a parcel on my doorstep. Making a cup of tea, sitting down in my favourite chair and then slowly unpacking the parcel – I feel like a child on Christmas morning! I recently ordered some Bucks Point books and pattern DVDs from The British Lace Guild. It was shipped to me on a Monday, and it arrived in New Zealand on the Thursday. I was most impressed with the speed of delivery. It was such a joy to sit down with a cup of tea (and a cupcake!) and to read through the books.
In the beginning I confined myself to English websites. Some of the bobbin lace suppliers in Europe have the option on their websites to display all of the information in English, and I have always found this very useful.
But over the years I have become a bit more adventurous – no longer confining myself to buying from English language websites. The turning point came a few years ago when I was learning to make Idrija. There was a particular kind of thread that I wanted to use, and I couldn’t find it anywhere other than from a Slovenian website. I used Google Translate to translate the website and the transaction went off without a hitch.
A few weeks back I saw a beautiful bobbin lace fan and a handkerchief edging on one of the Spanish bobbin lace Facebook groups. After a bit of sleuthing I managed to find the patterns on a Spanish website. Again, Google Translate came to my rescue, and within days the parcel was delivered to my doorstep. I was so impressed with their service. And the icing on the cake was that part of the fan pattern was already pricked!
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