Butterfly Handkerchief

Butterfly Handkerchief

Butterfly handkerchief at 60% of actual size

This is the handkerchief that won a first prize in the Handcrafts section at the Royal Highland Show in 1987. (This show, organized by The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, is held at the Ingliston showground near Edinburgh in June every year.) The handkerchief was illustrated on the front cover of Lace, the magazine of The Lace Guild, number 54, Spring 1989, and the pricking and instructions appeared in the next issue. If you’d like to make the edging yourself the pricking and instructions can be downloaded in pdf format.

I adapted the pattern from the butterfly edging on pp. 82–84 of The Technique of Bobbin Lace by Pamela Nottingham (first edition ISBN 0 7134 3230 6) published by B.T. Batsford Ltd., London.

Sample 1: worked using the pricking in the book

In my first sample (1), where I worked the pattern as it appeared in the book, I thought that the butterflies looked very stiff and lifeless. I tried using a coloured gimp to ‘liven’ them up a bit but it did not help.

Left: Sample 2 — the old piece of lace;
Right: Sample 3 — my new butterfly

Then a friend showed me an old piece of lace (2) with butterflies which looked as if they would be able to fly. I changed the shape of my butterflies using the old lace as a guide, worked a sample, and was very pleased with the result (3).