Books on Bucks Point

Introduction to Bucks Point lace with pictures.

Views about books on Bucks Point and point ground laces from the lace email list, arachne. This is a compilation of views expressed at different times. The list includes books which are known to be out of print, as these can still be found in libraries.
The books suggested were, in alphabetical order by author:

1. Lacemaking, Point Ground, by Channer

2. Introduction to Bobbin Lace Patterns by Bridget Cook

3. Video lessons by Bridget Cook

4. Dryad Pattern Pack

5. Mayflower by Jennifer Ford

6. Australian Wildflower Lace Books by Elwyn Kenn

7. Introduction to Bucks Point Lace by Jean Leader

8. The Technique of Bobbin Lace by Pam Nottingham

9. Buck's Point Lacemaking, by Pam Nottingham

10. Technique of Bucks Point by Pam Nottingham

11. Point Ground Lace by Pam Robinson 1984

12. 100 Traditional Bobbin Lace Patterns by Geraldine Stott and Bridget Cook

13. A Visual Introduction to Bucks Point Lace by Geraldine Stott,


I also asked about the difference between point ground lace and Bucks point lace, I have put the answers to that question at the end.

I have listed the comments by book, so some contributors appear more than once. I have edited contributions where splitting them up made this necessary, any additions by me are in square brackets []. I have left in similar opinions, to show how many people contributed.

First a general tip

From: Jane Partridge

In any case, before you splash out on a book check the quality of the prickings - [in some books they are] all over the place and require hours of truing up. The dots should line up in vertical, horizontal and horizontal planes - if they don't you are heading for very uneven lace. The ones computer generated are OK.


1. Lacemaking, Point Ground by Channer

An old, out of print book

Bev Walker

The article [in the Canadian Lacemaker Gazette] recommends Nottingham's Technique of B.P. Lace and Channer's Lacemaking, Point Ground.


2. Introduction to Bobbin Lace Patterns by Bridget Cook

Published by Batsford

Elaine Merritt

Bridget's Introduction to Bobbin Lace Patterns is also a book of adapted point ground. This book gives fewer general instructions. It is not really a "how-to" book.


3. Video lessons by Bridget Cook

Michael and Suzanne Mlodzik

I am not an expert on Bucks Point but I have been taking the video lessons by Bridget Cook. I find them very helpful. The first Bucks I tried was from Elwyn Kenn. I thought her instructions were good and clear but Bridget teaches some of the techniques in such a way that I found them very easy to catch on to. I like the term 'slick'.


4. Dryad Pattern Pack

Out of print

Margery Allcock

I taught myself from a pack of prickings in a white A5 envelope, with a black image of a 3" medallion drawn on it, produced by Dryad. I found them very good.


Bev Walker

I did go through Dryad's Bucks point lessons - couldn't do a thing without the diagrams at my side but I learned the catchpin business and how to do the tulle ground (cross twist tw. tw.). There were 6 or 8 lessons starting with a very simple edging then the sheep's head one, and, oh, some more difficult edges, a motif I think and a bookmark.


5. Jennifer Ford's "Mayflower" book

Available from Jennifer Ford only

Jane Partridge

I believe Jennifer Ford's "Mayflower" book - can't remember the exact title, I only had sight of it for one lesson then she threw me in at the deep end with photocopies of the prickings! - is available from her. She has written it in a "one step at a time for somebody learning to make lace from a book without a teacher" style (which is the way she originally learnt to make lace, but couldn't find any books, apparently). It might be easier to follow than some of the Technique books. Bucks is Jennifer's preferred lace.


6. Australian Wildflower Lace Books by Elwyn Kenn

Jacqui Southworth

The books by Elwyn Kenn are really good but be warned - she does use the gimp in a very unconventional way. You have to make a large loop of it to one side of the work, thread the bobbins over it and work the necessary pinholes. The gimp is passed through the threads from these pins and then pulled tight. a nice silky gimp is absolutely vital, or it won't pull through easily. I tried my first one with a metallic thread and it just didn't work. However once you understand the method used, the patterns are a delight to make up.


Arlene Essex

The Australian Wildflower Lace Books by Elwyn Kenn are strictly not true Bucks point and are labelled as plain "point ground" books. Most of her designs are absolutely gorgeous, but are not for the novice. Her gimp work can be difficult to learn but looks great when finished.


Bev Walker

I bought the first of Elwynn Kenn's books several years ago. I didn't know any better, not being an advanced lacemaker, and waded in, trying a few of the patterns. Her diagrams are so clear, even the Blind Follower can make the lace although I hadn't a clue about the why's of the design. Eventually I decided I needed more understanding of the technique in order to do the lace more efficiently but, golly, it's not as hard as it seems.

I really like how Elwynn uses antipodean plants & animals in her patterns - "witchetty grub" edging was what sold me on the book in the first place.

I have noticed in the past that Bucks traditionalists have hedged around Elwynn's patterns, not really saying they don't like them, but giving me the impression that they might not like Elwynn's "unorthodox" techniques. Maybe it's hard to adapt if you have had certain methods drummed in.I don't know any better so whatever works is fine with me! The looping of the gimp that a correspondent referred to on the list is not done in Bucks technique but it can give an asymmetrical loop if that is the desired effect, and can place a loop anywhere to satisfy the design. EK's examples are great, contemporary pieces.

I have tried a few of Elwynn Kenn's patterns and I like them (she refers to her patterns as *floral point ground*). They seemed geometric to me, that is, quite straightforward, with only adding and taking out for corners and round motifs as in Bucks. The designs are "organic" - Elwynn's subject matter is flowers and insects.


Jane Partridge

The Australian book includes a lot of cheating (getting gimps to go where you want them to instead of following logic - tip, read from at least six pages before the pattern you want to do....! - I found the instructions as to how to do the leaf sprigs in one pattern only after I had done all but the last one as best I could!)


Janice Lawrenz

I have been taught basic Bucks by Elwyn Kenn and since she has moved to the Mountains I have been dabbling in it from time to time. I use her books to refresh my memory on the basic techniques used.


Elaine Merritt

I think you will find the books by Elwyn Kenn very easy to follow and the ones I have seen give basic instruction in this type of lace. Bucks Point lace is not difficult if the pricking is well constructed, and hers are.


Susie Johnson

The patterns in the Australian books are original designs with Australian inspirations but the working of them is basically Bucks and the books are quite good.


Amanda Richards

In the Elwyn Kenn books watch out for the gimp loops - very fiddly to work and not really true to bucks. Her books are not for beginners as they don't really explain some of the more unusual characteristics of bucks. They are point lace but I wouldn't call them true bucks and those that I've worked I've usually ended up adding more pairs in the cloth to stop some of the fairly tortured thread paths she uses which can look quite odd close to.


7. Introduction to Bucks Point Lace by Jean Leader

The Lace Guild, ISBN 1 901372 11 1, 2000. Available directly from the Lace Guild. The book is based on a series of articles which first appeared in the Guild's magazine, Lace.

Mary Tod

Jean's directions are very easy to follow and to visualise what is happening at which point with the lace. The diagrams are excellent, and for the first 6 patterns there are inserts for individual elements or specific areas that highlight the thread paths clearly. I recommend it enthusiastically to one and all as a superb beginning Bucks Point book for the money.


Sonja Sillay

I have made the first seven patterns from Jean's beginner's bucks. I started when I saw the first article in the Lace Guild's magazine. This was my first steps in Bucks and I had no problem following the instructions as they are very clear. I started making bobbin lace late three years ago and have mostly made Torchon, tape lace and a few beds-pattern before starting Bucks.


8. The Technique of Bobbin Lace by Pam Nottingham

published by Batsford

Glenys Pople

I find Nottingham's books extremely clear and helpful. The Technique of Bobbin Lace, Batsford, first published in 1976 (my edition is the thirteenth impression, 1989, which must say a lot about how many lacemakers have used her books with success) includes a substantial section on BP.


9. Buck's Point Lacemaking, by Pam Nottingham

Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-2235-1, 1985.

Glenys Pople

I have subsequently [after The Technique of Bobbin Lace] used her Buck's Point Lacemaking. They have been excellent books for me as a self-taught lacer: I can't speak too highly of them.


Elaine Merritt

I consider the book by Pam Nottingham to be a true Bucks manual with explanations on areas that are necessary to understand if you want to continue past the first patterns.


Jacqueline Bowhey

I don't care for P. Nottingham's books much but everyone raves about them. . She covers a lot but not in order. You have to keep leafing through the book to find what you need next plus in the Bucks one there are several mistakes.


Amanda Richards

Sat down and looked through all my Bucks books last night and came to the conclusion that there are 2 that are better than the others 2. Bucks Point Lacemaking by Pamela Nottingham. (This is quite different to the Technique of Bucks Point by her). Nottinghams' book is nothing like her technique one, it is better laid out and has clearer text and diagrams. Mine is a 1992 Paperback reprint and has a colour misaligned diagram on p88, but this isn't really a problem.

Neither book covers proper floral bucks, true floral is another matter and easier done on a course after learning the basic bucks.


10. Technique of Bucks Point by Pam Nottingham

Published by Batsford, but out of print.

Bev Walker

The article [in the Canadian Lacemaker Gazette] recommends Nottingham's Technique of B.P. Lace and Channer's Lacemaking, Point Ground.


Susie Johnson & Keith Hongisto

Pam Nottingham's books on Bucks Point are absolutely the best there are for truly understanding the theory of how the lace works. Her discussions of Bucks rules are sound and consistent. And this is important for going on to work more advanced Bucks. You just need to start at the beginning and carefully work a sample of each pattern. Except for the corners, don't simply follow the diagrams. That defeats what you are trying to do and will only make you diagram dependent. Read what she has to say. Think it through. You want to internalize how Bucks works and make it a part of your subconscious. Bucks is a very logical lace with very specific rules. But not really terribly difficult. And a lot of fun. The rhythm of point ground (CTTTpin) is very satisfying. You are probably aware that her Technique of Bucks is unfortunately out of print (although Batsford has been promising that it will be reprinted). Her Bucks Point Lacemaking is the book I use when teaching Bucks. As with any book, there are a few errors but it is still the best book available. It takes you step by step through the foundation skills of Bucks and gives you the skills to go on and do whatever you want to. Her newly reprinted Technique of Bobbin Lace has an absolutely fantastic Bucks section in it. This book was partially re-written and the changes to the Bucks section are invaluable. Her discussion of valleys is terrific. There is nothing wrong with the other books. It is just that Pam's are the best for truly learning what Bucks is all about.


Amanda Richards

Would agree that the Technique of Bucks Point is another of Pam Nottingham's less clear books and not ideal for learning, but, it has a lot of very useful advanced stuff for later and it covers floral.


11. Point Ground Lace by Pam Robinson

1984, out of print I think

Jacqueline Bowhey

A friend from Wales loaned me a copy of Pam Robinson's book 'Point Ground Lace' (1984) and I worked through it. I think it is the best for a beginner.


12. 100 Traditional Bobbin Lace Patterns by Geraldine Stott and Bridget Cook

Published by Batsford

Tonnie Corder

I enjoy Bucks point lace, my favorite book, so far, is 100 Traditional Bobbin Lace Patterns by Stott and Cook. It has beginning to advanced patterns. The most complicated pattern I've done is the 'Olive' pattern, but I must admit I've only done about 5 inches. The problem was my pillow fell over and it has 58 bobbins on it, and about 10 of the threads snapped, so I decided it was time to move on to another pattern.


Elaine Merritt

Once the concepts are learned, you can also find Bucks-type patterns in 100 traditional Bobbin lace patterns by Geraldine Stott and Bridget Cook but this book gives fewer general instructions. It is not really a "how-to" book.


13. A Visual Introduction to Bucks Point Lace by Geraldine Stott

Published by Batsford ISBN 0 7134 4371 5

Jacqui Southworth

IMO one of the best books to start Bucks Point Lace with is 'The Visual Approach to Bucks Point Lace' by Geraldine Stott. It starts with easy strips and very clear colour-coded diagrams, with easy to understand instructions, hints and tips. The patterns are very traditional and increase in complexity throughout the book, but the diagrams are so easy to follow you can quite easily jump to the end and do the harder patterns (I did!!!)


Arlene Essex

I think the best book for beginning Bucks is Geraldine Stott's Visual Approach to Bucks Point.


Margery Allcock

The book I have is "A Visual Introduction to Bucks Point Lace" by Geraldine Stott; this one is a good beginning. The patterns start very simple, and introduce new ideas in stages; and there are ideas for using your pieces. This book explains the catch-pin quite well - mostly in Bucks ground, the pin goes under the stitch and doesn't get covered - but at a catch-pin (the first one inside the footside) the pin goes at the side of the stitch nearest to the footside. Very surprising but necessary.


Janice Lawrenz

Visual Introduction is a really good beginner's book in Bucks lace.


Amanda Richards

Sat down and looked through all my Bucks books last night and came to the conclusion that there are 2 that are better than the others.

1. A Visual Introduction To Bucks Point Lace by Geraldine Stott

2. Bucks Point Lacemaking by Pamela Nottingham

Most of the other books contain only patterns with very brief and incomplete instructions. Stott tends to use a thread that is a little heavy for the patterns, giving a very solid look to the lace, but the book is full of good diagrams and some nice patterns. Neither book covers proper floral bucks (although Stott has what she calls restless lace - a couple of patterns), true floral is another matter and easier done on a course after learning the basic bucks.


Steve and Mimi Dillman

Geraldine Stott's is a real winner for the self-taught. I'm glad someone else on the list mentioned it as well. I liked the progression of the patterns, the very straight diagrams (missing or mis-aligned pinholes, while they exist, are rare), as well as the clear color diagrams. Everything is diagrammed all the way through.


Bucks point and point ground

Elaine Merritt

As far as I know, there is no difference. Two names, same lace. They refer to the fact that the net is made of stitches that cross, twist, twist, twist. Bucks Point gets its name from the fact that the lace was made in the English county of Buckinghamshire but it was also made in other East Midlands counties. Locally, the lace was called point ground to distinguish it from other types of lace made there. Lace with this net was also made elsewhere; for example, in France, where it is called Lille, and in Antwerp (Belgium) Beverin, Tonder (Denmark), etc., and the patterns are distinctive to the country of origin. The same net stitch is used in Chantilly Lace, Bayeux lace, and others.

One distinguishing stitch in Bucks Point is the catch pin, a stitch made as the worker enters the net area from the footside passives. The books by Elwyn Kenn explain this stitch. Tonder and Lille lace handle this point differently, and that is one way to tell the difference between Bucks and continental forms of Lille lace. Lille is the name generally used to distinguish the broad family of laces with this net.


Bev Walker

An opinion from a back issue of the Canadian Lacemaker Gazette says that Floral Bucks is worked with Bucks techniques but is not geometric. Pairs can be added within the cloth in order to keep it close and firm, and remove them again as necessary. According to the article, there is freedom to fill and shade the design (presumably at whim).


Susie Johnson & Keith Hongisto

Point ground is a general term referring to any lace which uses a CTTT pin net ground. Bucks, Chantilly, Bayeux, Tonder, and Lille are all point ground laces but each lace has its own style of patterns (although some are very similar, if not identical) and each has slight, but very important, differences in the working of the lace. Even Downton, from the Salisbury area, is not worked quite the same as Bucks.