Most helpful critical review
I'm On the Fence Here
on October 14, 2014
After reading the reviews, I honestly expected more from this book. It's not a bad book, though, and I don't think a beginner would do wrong in purchasing it. I will say, however, that if I knew NOTHING about bobbin lace, and had bought this book to learn about it, I'd never have gotten into lace-making, as really the only piece of fine lace is the picture on this edition's cover. Most of the lace shown in the book is pretty heavy stuff; no Bucks-point, Honiton, or anything fine or delicate, which is what I personally like. (Certainly there are beautiful examples of Cluny, Torchon, and the "tape-laces" and these have many great uses; it's all matter of personal taste.)
Here are a few things to consider: 1) Don't even look at the cover. That's NOT really the type of lace this book goes into. This book is more about basic torchon-type lace, and tape-lace. 2) This book has a good many photos of "modern" lace-art. 3) This book mentions and has photos of Eastern European lace, which we often don't hear much about 4) The tutorial lace-illustrations in this book are made with very large thread, so that you can really see what's going on. This also makes the "lace" in the illustrations look rather coarse and unattractive in some cases, but I think it's made that way for teaching. 5)There is a short section about the history of lace-making and some photos of early lace. 6)There's a discussion about bobbins, pillows (including instructions), thread, etc. I started bobbin lace-making in the early 1980s, around the time this book first came out. At that time most of us had no way to find suppliers for bobbins, or pillows, so these directions were VERY helpful. Now these items can easily be found on the internet, but a good woodworker can still save money by making her/his own pillow, especially the cookie pillows.
If you're looking at a book for beginners, you might also check out the smaller "Bobbin Lacemaking for Beginners" which has less about history but more attractive patterns for plaited-type lace. (That's just my personal opinion, however.) The book "Lessons in Bobbin Lace-making" is larger, and is also a good resource. Happy Lace-Making!