Another finished object- Honiton heart

I was lucky enough to get a second weekend at Alston Hall last October making Honiton lace with Pat Perryman. I finished my heart and was very pleased with the fillings, but my perls and sewing ins were a disaster! I’m posting pictures to shame myself.

Bad perls

Gah, what a mess.

So when I got back I spent a lot of time practising and decided to do another heart, with different fillings and better perls. I haven’t been working on it consistently since then BTW, and I actually finished it more than a month ago but it’s just taken a while to post about it. Anyhow, this is a (poor quality) in-progress shot- those perls were feeling much more stable and the sewings-in whilst not quite a dream were definitely less messy.

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And here are some close ups of the fillings- blossom at the top and brick at the bottom.

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The previous version had four pin filling at the top and whole-stitch block at the bottom:

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Take your eyes off those dreadful perls and focus on the fillings…

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They look quite similar from a distance but are all very different. It always amazes me the number of distinct patterns and effects you can get by just a different combination of twists or crosses.

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The two together- bad perls on the left- booo.

So I now have four Honiton fillings under my belt and can do acceptable looking perls. Yay, me! Having made lace since I was a child it’s nice to be learning something new.

I’ve had this frame for a while and the heart fits into it perfectly.

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Main learning points? I need to make sure I’m pulling up properly as some of those sewings-in and stitches are still a little loose <sigh>.

Finally though, a piece of Honiton I can be proud of. I’m thinking of doing a sampler next to practice some more fillings but there are a few other things on the go which I’d like to get finished first so it may take a while.

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My humble heart

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On a bit of a catch-up today, having been away recently, including three days of making lace, eating and gorgeous surroundings on my residential Honiton course with Pat Perryman at Alston Hall. The hall and its grounds are so peaceful (apart from the music drifting from the Russian summer school!) and just what I needed- to get away from hectic life, Wi-Fi and deadlines- it was a bit of a culture shock getting on a busy train home with all my lace gear!

There’s a group of regulars who go twice a year, many of whom I remembered from the last time I went five years ago. Pat was as patient as ever and answered all my questions. She also displayed this fan which she’s just finishing- my goodness she is talented!! Such an inspiration. (My poor photography just doesn’t do it justice at all.)

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My humble Honiton heart looks pretty paltry in comparison but is starting to take shape.

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I’d wanted to do something a bit more ambitious, and when I think this is all I’ve achieved during the course, it doesn’t seem much, but if there’s one thing that I already knew about lace-making, it’s that it takes a lot of time and patience.

Frustratingly when I got home I ran out of bobbins to complete the filling but my lovely friend Lorna gifted me hers, with the ominous words ‘I’ll never be doing any Honiton ever again” so once I’ve got them wound I’m on my way again. And I’ve just booked onto the next course so I’m aiming to be onto another piece by then so I can make full use of Pat’s advice and 45 years of experience.

So what did I learn? How to do leadworks properly (whether I’ll succeed is another matter…), how to plan and create fillings, and that you should definitely walk before you can run.