make your own bobbins II.

Note: Written in Seoul in 2009

Well, it’s been a busy week. Working in a foreign country, having no locals to ask for advice, and facing a serious language barrier (my knowledge is limited to a few words describing food I like to order when there is no picture menu to point to), I have still managed to create the absolute must-haves if I want to continue learning how to make bobbin lace.

I also realized my practice might be limited to the number of bobbins I own (I made 6 pairs only – making them out of chopsticks was ingenious but a bit time-consuming and, well, it gave me blisters). So I was thinking long and hard about how to make bobbins quickly, easily, and most importantly, without breaking the bank.

All I had to buy were skewers. The rest – superglue, and two kinds of beads – I already had at home. The project was super easy, super quick, and dare I say – the bobbins look awesome!

Here’s how to:

  1. Cut the skewers into 4 1/2 in (12cm) pieces.
  2. See if you can bead the skewers. If yes, go to step 3. If not, sharpen both ends into points with an X-acto knife.
  3. Add a drop of superglue into the smaller of two beads and attach it to the skewer. Repeat on the other end, with the larger bead.
  4. Let the bobbins dry for at least an hour before starting to use them.

Note, September 26, 2010:

I made 50 pairs of these beaded bobbins last year. I am yet to work on lace that would require that many – but a year and a half and many projects later (including wire lace), I still have all of them. Considering how economical and easy they were to make, they seem indestructible. If you are only learning, or are working with a limited budget, I really recommend you make your own bobbins. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

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