#loveyourblog challenge: Ugly – a work in progress

love your blog creativity challenge with A Playful Day 1

This week’s theme for A Playful Day’s Love Your Blog Challenge is “ugly”.  It got me thinking about how ugly gets sidelined in favour of beauty.  Beauty is lovely.  Beauty got itself connected with truth and honesty and all kinds of great stuff. We like beauty – we stick pictures of pretty things on Pinterest and make sure we only upload the more flattering photos of ourselves to social media sites, and post nice pictures of perfectly finished craft projects.

I’m guilty of this.  We’re all a little too guilty of this.

So today I’m going to share all kinds of ugly. Specifically, my sad attempts at learning how to make bobbin lace.

WP_20150419_008

Karl got me a lace-making kit for Christmas.  I had visions of me sitting pertly upright, making perfect, snowy drifts of lace. There would be classical music.  And a soft-voiced person would read excerpts of charming Victorian novels to me as I worked. I would be like this lady only more elegant and less squinted. And with better hair.

Vermeer's Lacemaker

Vermeer’s Lacemaker

And for once in my crafting life, I was sensible.  I decided to made the lace flower described in the kit and not go all ambitious dilettante like I normally do with craft projects.[1]

The first piece of lace I made was a piece of cake.  A little finicky to get started, certainly, but I got the hang of it easily enough.  One pair of workers, four pairs of passives, same stitch across and back, over and over.  Simple.  OK, it doesn’t look like much but I think it’s a pretty passable sepal for the flower.

tada! Lace sepal!

Tada! Lace sepal! Obviously will trim ends before wearing…

The next piece of lace I attempted was…well…see for yourself.

Disaster

Disaster

It’s a hot mess. I don’t know if lace-makers have an equivalent of the knitters’ term ‘frogging’.  But I frogged this.  Over and over.  Five times I got about four lines into it, got hopelessly tangled, pulled out the pins and then spent the guts of an hour trying to find which bit of thread belonged to which bobbin.[2]

Ugh.

After industrial amounts of tea and television, I felt like I might be able to face the lace again.

This sixth (seventh?) attempt is better – a little – the top edge of this piece is still really, really ugly.  All I can see are the mistakes.

But I’m going to finish my ugly flower and make it into a brooch.  Maybe the finished thing will be more than the sum of its parts. Maybe it won’t. But that’s OK too. Because lovely isn’t everything.

***

[1] I’m the kind of fool who goes straight to the back of the ‘learn to…’ books to get to the good stuff.  None of those boring beginner’s projects for me, no ma’am.

[2] No exaggeration, the neighbours will attest to the violence and volume of the swearing…

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8 thoughts on “#loveyourblog challenge: Ugly – a work in progress

  1. I was just talking to someone (a knitter) about bobbin lace, and about how our eyes might be too old to take on this craft.

    • So far I haven’t found it any worse on the eyes than knitting with fine lace but I guess more intricate patterns with really fine thread would be harder on the eyes.

  2. I’m a member of a lace guild and every time someone has offered to teach my bobbin lace I have passed. The tangling just seems like it is way too likely to happen and it would be so frustrating! I think it’s awesome that you’re doing it!

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