Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Irish Lace

Photo credit: Wikicommons, Creative Commons Attribution

Since I’ve always admired Irish lace, it seemed fitting to share it with everyone for the A – Z Challenge.  I’ve never actually made Irish lace myself, though it is on my crochet to-do list.  I’m including some interesting videos with this post, so you can see the process of making Irish lace, and understand how inspiring this facet of crochet art actually is.

The history of Irish lace dates back to the Great Famine in the 19th Century. Irish women were extremely resourceful in their efforts to ease the burden of the land. Besides making Irish lace to sell, they ensured lots of it would be around by teaching it throughout the land. No fees were charged for these courses, and women were diligent in employing their new skills to produce and sell skillfully crafted lace that would help feed their families. Their efforts were so successful that the art of making Irish lace has been around ever since.

From everything I’ve learned about Irish lace over the years, basic instructions include the following steps. However, you may want to do your own research for more thorough explanations regarding lace design and connecting motifs together.

Step 1:  Make a series of lace motifs
Step 2:  Lightly tack (with needle and thread) or pin them onto a fabric background
Step 3:  Crochet a mesh background of chain and picot stitches to join motifs together.
Step 4:  Remove tacking or pins to release lace from fabric.