More reticello practice,lisää harjoituksia


A new try of reticello with slighly bigger squares of around 2 cm each. Just about the right size for my son’s historic collar.


Uusia reticello kokeiluja vähän isommilla ruuduilla. Reilun 2 cm kokoisina ne ovat suunnilleen sopivia historialliseen kaulukseen jota suunnittelen pojalleni.


Here’s my sampler onto which I’m outlining a little square doily next. The unevenness of the linen thread is causing some problems, but maybe it will just be part of the attraction?! I am slowly getting more familiar with the work –  even with the venetian picots…


Tässä mallikappaleeni johon hahmottelen seuraavaksi pienen liinan kulmia. Pellavalangan epätasaisuus aiheuttaa välillä ongelmia, mutta ehkä se täytyy hyväksyä osaksi työn viehätystä?! Pikkuhiljaa alkaa erilaisten kuvioiden, ja jopa nyppyjen tekeminen sujua…


Some new linen pillowcases are also getting decorated.


Uudet pellavaiset tyynyliinat saavat myös kirjaillut koristeet.

Puolikas kuvio

Reticello practice/harjoituksia

9 squares1

I’ve started my reticello practice with the help of the new books I ordered from Italy. The author Giuliana Buonpadre is a distinguished teacher and reviver of old needlework techniques. She has a beautiful website called Filofilò.


Tilasin Italiasta käsityökirjoja niiden kirjoittajan Giuliana Buonpadren nettisivujen kautta. Hän on arvostettu vanhojen käsityötekniikoiden opettaja ja uudistaja. Reticello-kirjan opatuksella pääsin hyvin jyvälle tämän vanhan revinnäistekniikan saloista.

Il libro

My first attempt below looks quite clumsy (at least blown up like this!) You need good lighting and a good pair of glasses/eyes. The linen I’m using here is a little too fine, about 20 threads to the cm instead of the 15 Giuliana Buonpadre suggests. You can see I’ve struggled with the thread count etc.

The light blue sewing tread is an Anchor Mercer Crochet 80 / Fil à Dentelles cotton, of which I bought 15 balls from a sale! Maybe to be used for some Hardanger later on since I bought that book too 🙂 3 sqares

The next try was with a linen thread since I’m planning to make a 17th century style collar with this technique and the historical pieces probably would have been made with linen. This finnish bobbin lace thread worked pretty well (Pella nypläyslanka 60×3), quite even for a linen and not getting muddled too easily.

Mitan kanssa

Here are the preparatory stages: counting and removing the guide threads, whip stitching the edge, four sided stitch to reinforce, and weave stitch to cover the bars that remain.


On with the needle lace to fill the squares. For my collar I’ll need bigger holes! I’ve also ordered some mercerized linen thread – we’ll see how that works…


17th century cuffs, 1600-luvun kalvosimet


The cuffs for my son’s 17th century outfit are ready. That was the easy part. Next I’ll be making him a reticello collar – a huge project compared to these cuffs!


The cuffs are made of thin linen. First I finished the edges with a rolled hem and then sewed the needle lace straight onto the hem. Little pleats mold the cuffs into shape and with the added wristband the cuffs are attached to the sleeves of a jacket. I’ll make a post about the technique for the needle lace later (click here to see the post) . Quite easy 😉

Here are some pictures of cuffs of that era. On the left you can also see an example of the kind of collar I’ll be tackling next!

2017-10-09-15-18-35Finished just in time for my son’s trip to “the Battle for Grolle” ! 😉

Reticello lace

Reticella neliö valmis

I am absolutely fascinated by lace! After acquiring some more books on the subject, I had to try my hand at reticello, a needle lace that dates back to the 16th century. You know – huge, opulent collars of kings and queens of that era, Elisabeth I for example – that’s reticello! The original reticello was cutwork made onto a woven linen fabric by pulling most of the threads out. The resulting squares were filled with tiny geometric designs. What I practiced is an evolved version where the lace is made onto a pattern that is later removed. Punto in aria or “stitch in the air” it’s called.

These are some of the books I bought this past summer. The first two in France. I couldn’t resist the beautiful Japanese book on Shetland shawls. The other one is a good guide to needle lace, describing a technique much like the one I used for my little square sampler. The finnish books are from a fabulous lace exhibition at the Salo Art Museum. The top one is the exhibition catalogue, with a concise history of lace and some wonderful pictures of the many different styles of lace they had on display. The exhibit also showed some contemporary lace art eg. by a Finnish lace artist Tarmo ThorströmReticella ja mallitThe start of my work and some antique pieces of reticello from the exhibition catalog. The pattern I used is from an antique DMC Library book “NEEDLE-MADE LACES 1st Series”, Th. de Dillmont editor, Mulhouse.

The base has three layers. A double thickness of plain cotton sheeting, a piece of paper with the pattern drawn onto it and a green plastic film. These are all first stitched together. Then supporting stitches are made through which the basic threads of the actual lace are sewn. These threads are covered with buttonhole stitches or just overcasting. When the piece is ready the supporting stitches are cut from the underside and removed. I’m sure all the stitches are not supposed to be worked like this. My work has way too many supporting stitches for example, and one big flaw is the tension which is too tight along the outer edge. I need to find another book for reference… And the right thread for this work.

Reticella neliö irroitettunaMy husband often asks me what am I making. Sometimes I have no answer except “well… lace”. But now I do have an actual project in mind that this little square was good practice for: in my fervour I promised my son to try and make some cuffs and a collar in reticello and punto in aria for his historical costume. We shall see what year I’ll manage to finish them!

If you want to find out more about this subject go and have a look at Jeanine’s fantastic blog Italian Needlework . She really has put an amazing amount of work into her research!

Little doilies, pieniä pitsiliinoja

Pikku neliö

I practiced different Hedebo techniques on this small doily which measures about 15×15 cm. For material I cut a piece of the fine old sheet that I used for the whitework tea cosy. I didn’t have linen thread at hand so I used a No. 10 cotton. The cotton seems to work well on the satin stitch of the little leaves but the pyramid structures still leave a bit to be desired. I’ll definately have to try the thin linen thread next!


Pieni Hedebo liina syntyi harjoittelutyönä. Käytin siihen samaa vanhaa pellavaista lakanakangasta kuin leikekirjottuun pannumyssyyn. Lanka on nro 10 puuvillaista virkkauslankaa, joka toimii hyvin laakapistoina pikku lehdissä, mutta esimerkiksi tyypilliset Hedebo pyramidit jäivät aika muodottomiksi. Ohutta pellavaista lankaa pitää siis kokeilla niihin.

Neliön kulma

Neliön reuna

Under here is another little doily with a tatted edging and the center made from the same old linen. The edging is a favourite of mine from a previous post. The edge is hemmed with the typical Hedebo twisted buttonhole stitch onto which I sewed the lace edging.


Tämä toinen pikkuliina on suunnilleen saman kokoinen. Reunus on sukkulalla tehtyä käpypitsiä joka on tuttu tästä vanhasta postauksesta. Tein sen renkaaksi ja mittasi keskustaa varten sopivan kokoisen ympyrän samasta lakanakankaasta kuin ylempi pikkuliina. Kankaan reuna on päärmätty Hedebo kirjonnasta tutuilla napinläpipistoilla ja pitsi on ommeltu siihen.

Frivolité pikkuliina

Pikkuliina pöydällä


Hedebo embroidery/kirjontaa

Kaulus ja liinat

This is Hedebo embroidery. It’s a type of whitework which has it’s origins in the Danish countryside and is quite identifiable thanks to its distinct motifs. You can read more about the history of Hedebo on this website. Inspired by some wonderful heirlooms I tried out this technique on some linen serviettes.


Tämä on Hedebo kirjontaa. Se on Tanskan maaseudulla alkunsa saanut kirjontatyyli joka on helposti tunnistettavissa omaperäisen kuviointinsa ansiosta. Hedebo kirjonnan historiasta voi lukea lisää täältä. Vanhojen taidokkaasti ommeltujen perintökalleuksien inspiroimana päätin itsekin kokeilla tätä minulle aikaisemmin tuntematonta kirjontatyyliä. Syntyi erilaisia pieniä kuvioita pellavaisten lautasliinojen kulmiin.

I’ve shown you an old tea cosy made with Hedebo in my previous posts and while I was taking photos of that I remembered that somewhere in my collections I have an old collar that is very similar. Sure enough, the collar is a very beautiful example of Hedebo embroidery. The thread used here is much thinner than the one on the tea cosy. Along the edge runs a row of rounds and there are picots on the edge of the fabric, all typical Hedebo. Now that I have dug it out I think the collar deserves a promotion, framing?


Edellisissä postauksissa olen esitellyt Hedebo kirjonnalla tehtyä vanhaa pannumyssyä. Sitä kuvatessani muistin että jossain pitsilaatikossani on myös samankaltainen vanha kaulus. Kaivettuani sen esiin, totesin sen olevan myös ilmiselvästi Hedebo kirjontaa. Kuviot muistuttavat hyvin paljon pannumyssyn koristeellisia koukeroita. Kauluksen reikäommelkohdat on tehty vielä paljon ohuemmalla langalla, laakaompeleeseen on käytetty paksumpaa. Kauluksen reunassa on tyypilliset pyöreät reiät ja pykäpitsi kankaan reunassa on myös aitoa Hedebota. Vanha kaulus saa nyt arvonylennyksen ja taidankin kehystää sen tauluksi.

Here are some typical motifs that tried out. For reference I acquired three reproduced booklets, all of which have been first published over a hundred years ago. The key element of Hedebo embroidery is a twisted buttonhole stitch. This is what is used to line the cut out sections, make the little rows of squares, cover bars and to sew the pyramids. These should not be worked too close together as I discovered during my trials. In fact it is recommended to use a bigger needle size not to make the stitches too tight. Linen thread, which is stiffer than cotton is also used for the same reason, and indeed after changing over to linen I found it much easier to work the pyramids for example. A video of the basic stitches can also be seen on the Hedebo website.


Valkoisten pellavaisten lautasliinojen kulmiin kokeilin erilaisia kirjonnassa käytettyjä kuvioita. Oppimateriaaliksi tilasin netistä parikin uudestaan julkaistua yli sata vuotta sitten kirjotettua Hedebo kirjontaa käsittelevää opasta. Kirjonnan perusta on kierretty napinläpipisto, jota käytetään niin leikattavien kuvioiden reunustamiseen, pienten neliörivien ompelemiseen, pylväiden päällystämiseen kuin pyramidien tekoonkin. Ompeleita ei pidä tehdä liian tiuhaan eikä tiukkaan kuten huomasin kokeilujeni edetessä. Tästä syystä neulaksi suositellaan vähän suurempaa mallia ja lankana käytetään pellavaa, joka on jäykempää kuin puuvilla. Vaihdettuani pellavalankaan totesinkin esimerkiksi pyramidien ompelemisen sujuvan helpommin. Havainnollinen video peruspistoista on Hedebo Embroidery -sivuilla.


Here on the bottom row are the first ones I made with an embroidery cotton (DMC coton à broder n° 20). The top row is embroidered with linen thread, the bud on the left with a Bockens 35/3 and the rest with a slightly thinner 40/3. For my next experiments I’ll acquire some even thinner linen. There are so many more lovely patterns to try out 🙂


Tässä alarivissä on ensimmäiset neljä liinaa jotka ompelin tavallisella kirjontalangalla (DMC coton à broder n° 20). Ylärivin liinat on tehty pellavaisella Bockensin nypläyslangalla, vasemmanpuolinen nuppu paksummalla 35/3, ja loput hieman ohuemmalla 40/3 langalla. Seuraavaksi hankin vielä ohuempaa pellavaa sillä näitä kauniita kuvioita pitää tehdä lisää 🙂