On St Patrick's day our local branch of the Knitting & crochet guild had a trunk show of the beautiful pieces of Irish crochet from the collection. We got to hear all about the history of Irish lace and how it was made. You can watch my periscope of the event on katch but I thought I would share some of the lovely intricate lace pieces in more detail here.
I find it amazing that such fine and tiny white stitches were made by women who had very light to work by, only candles and possibly oil lamps, and they would not had bathrooms and hot running water so how they kept it so clean just amazes me.
The hook and thread is so thin, it is almost impossible to see the hook on the end. I think it is 0.4mm or less, they must have had good eyesight!
My favourite piece in the collection is this lace blouse. It was worn with the bottom of the blouse tucked in. The motifs are beautifully created and have such fine stitching, it is almost impossible to see the individual stitches. I love the little newt - can you spot it?
The baby gowns are also beautiful. I guess they would be for christenings or special occasions. I would not like to put a vomiting/drooling child in one of these too often!
Another fascinating piece was a book of patterns that was used to help join motifs together. Each motif was laid onto the pattern page and mesh stitches worked around to join them. The book was made of an interesting type of paper, it felt like the paper used in bank notes, almost fabric-like.
The motifs themselves are very beautiful and I intend to have a go at making some. This vintage book had lots of fun and pretty motifs including tennis rackets, the newt, butterflies and of course, lots of flowers and sprays.
My other favourite piece was this 1960's (?) shift dress made up of lots of Irish roses. They had sparkly beads in each centre and I love the style. I could imagine wearing that now!
After the event, Marie and I continued our celebration of St Patrick's day, but as we were both driving we had bottles of green apple fizz. We are so lucky being close to the KCG collection in Holmfirth. They do a great job collecting and preserving knitting and crochet pieces and it is well worth a visit on one of their open days if you get a chance.