Monday, April 29, 2013

Modern Love--Kim's Shamrock Piece

Shamrocks from Priscilla and D'Arcy books
This little piece of Irish Crochet seemed like it would never be finished!  It started out as just the shamrock motifs.  I was planning to make a top or blouse but used No. 10 thread for the shamrocks, and thought they were a little big for what I had in mind.  The border that you see there (from a Priscilla book) was going to be a waist decoration.  It just wasn't working out so when the IC Lovers group on Ravelry had a backgrounds CAL (crochet-a-long) in October 2012, I was happy to use the shamrocks for that.  I had to make more, but once I got the layout designed, the filling in went pretty quickly.  I made the center first, with the close mesh, and then did the Clones Knots working from the center out to the edges.  I can see where I changed direction but overall I'm happy with finishing this!  I think I will make it into a pillow.

Clones Knots as taught by Maire Treanor

Flowers in the center border are from Duplet

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


The following excerpt is from "The Ladies' Complete Guide to Crochet, Fancy Knitting and Needlework" by Mrs. Ann S. Stephens, and was published in 1854, in the US.  It's an interesting view of crochet in an historical context. ~~Kim

"Crochet Work proper is, in its present improved form, almost a modern invention.  It has only been introduced to any extent into this country within the last twenty years, but now it is very general, and our old-fashioned knitting work is completely thrown into the back ground by the Crochet needle.  The embroidered sheath and chased silver needle-case have disappeared even from the cherry-wood workstands of New England, and a thousand beautiful designs for chairs, cushions, toilets and wearing apparel, supply the place of the old-fashioned stocking basket with its well mended contents.  In England and Ireland, where the ladies are always industrious, Crochet work has arisen to the dignity of an art.  It is introduced into the national schools, and hundreds of poor are supported by the rich laces and pretty collars produced there.

It is quite wonderful to what perfection this art has reached in some districts of Ireland.  Every day develops new improvements and contributes some novel pattern to the world, which promises to render this class of lace making more popular than even the English point, has been, especially on this side of the Atlantic.  At the Crystal Palace this year, some specimens of Crochet collars, sleeves, and even entire dresses, were exhibited that had all the rich effect of old point lace.  Flowers, even raised in petals from the ground work, have been invented, and the most intricate patterns are given with a boldness of effect only to be found in the ancient lace we have mentioned.

Thus it is pleasant to see that what was late only a dainty accomplishment with which the gentlewoman idled away her time, promises to become a means of support to the working classes."

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Thread Heaven at Lacis

I made a little trip up to Berkeley (California) last week and stopped in at Lacis for some shopping and inspiriation.   I browsed through many hooks, just getting one old standby--the Boye steel number 12.  I seem to use and lose this one more than most!  Of course, there were many types of white and ecru threads, including egyptian cotton and one hundred percent linen.  I just thought I'd share the colorful shelves of Lizbeth threads with you.  So many colors!  This is a view of about half the aisle, and there is another aisle on the other side with DMC and other types of thread.  I bought some Lizbeth in burnt orange, in number 10 and number 40.  I really exercised some self control here!!!

Colorful, wonderful thread at Lacis, in Berkely