Friday, August 3, 2012

More Lace--with Irish Eyes

Some time ago, while working on a crazy quilted vest I found a strip of thick lace in my stash.  I don't remember buying the lace myself, so it must have come from my Mom's stash of embellishments.  Only later, as I began to look into learning Irish crocheted lace did I realize that it probably was made by someone in Dad's family, who came from Ireland.  It is now a pretty precious piece of lace!

Irish lace, I discovered, is quite different from other lace, as it is usually worked around a foundation cord--hence the thickness of the lace. 

I am beginning again to delve into Irish lace, and ready to learn.  My first foray (aside from a shamrock--what else could I start with?) is actually a rose and leaves motif pattern for a pincushion.  Traditionally, the motifs and the background "lattice" would be worked separately but for this pattern the background is worked out from the rose motif, and the leaves added later.    It is also not worked around a foundation cord, but it is in the style of Irish lace.   The edging IS worked around a foundation, and added later.

Here's the rose motif for the center:

And here it is, with the lattice background. 

I have completed leaves (I like the way they're done, though it took me a couple of tries to get them to look as I wanted), and will attach them when I have blocked the main piece and tacked it to the linen pincushion form.

As I recall, when I first started working on Irish lace, working around a foundation cord is cumbersome, and is going to require some practice.   But while I'm working on it I can think about my trip to Ireland, meeting my third cousin, visiting the family's old homestead property, and seeing my great great grandfather's grave.   It's one more connection to that side of my family.

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