made by placing the original pricking (or the rubbing) over a new piece of card
on a cork base, then pushing a pin through the existing holes of the pattern or
the marks on the copy to produce a new pricking underneath the original. This
was done using a pin permanently fixed into a holder, like a bobbin shaft, or
using a pin vice (shown here) which holds the pin firmly in place. Using a pin
on its own would be extremely fiddly and probably hurt your fingers as pricking
lace patterns requires firm, precise, pressure. This image also shows how a
pricking for a length of lace can be cut so the two pieces interlock and a continuous
length of lace can therefore be made by alternating them.
phrase “By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes” has
nothing to do with lace prickings. It is said by one of the witches in Macbeth
and is used to describe an ominous premonition, so it’s a creepy feeling rather
than an overuse of lacemaking equipment!