Learning how to join lace neatly is a vital skill to learn. A messy join will undermine the many hours invested in the making of the lace itself. You will never achieve a completely invisible join but a neat line across the work will be barely noticeable.
The main methods of joining lace are by using a tiny (0.6mm) crochet hook, a lazy Susan, a needle pin or the use of ‘magic threads’. The methods I tend to use are a crochet hook for Torchon, Beds and Bucks Point, and a needle pin for my Honiton. This tutorial focuses on using a crochet hook.
1. Work all the pins in your pattern. You may want to push down some of the surrounding pins so you can get to the joining area more easily.
2. Ensure the pair to be joined has a twist on it. Lengthen the thread on the left hand bobbin.
3. Remove the pin from the holes you are joining the pair to. Insert the crochet hook and carefully pull the left hand thread through the hole to form a loop.
4. Put the right hand bobbin through the loop spangle end first. Pull it up tight but don’t stretch the pin hole out of shape.
5. Make a reef knot with the two threads. Put the pin back in the pin hole and put the two bobbins to one side whilst you join the next pair. If necessary for the pattern, two pairs can be joined to the same hole.
It can take some practice to do this without stretching the hole or splitting the thread, so take your time. There’s nothing worse than ruining a piece of lace by bad joining- trust me, I’ve been there. As an example, the piece worked in white thread below has been joined correctly; the piece on blue thread hasn’t. See how the holes have been stretched out of shape on the blue version (the join is on the bottom left corner). Consider yourself warned, my friends!
Next time we’ll look at how to sew ends in.