This summer, I have discovered I love lace. I mainly like crocheted lace, because of all the twists and turns that can occur in one piece. Large pieces of fabric can be made from such tiny thread and some kind of metal needle. It's beautiful, delicate work that I just admire.
So far, my obsession is with crocheted lace, tatted lace, needle lace, and bobbin lace. I feel like embroidery is a completely different art. I will take it up sometime, when I can sew my own dresses on a sewing machine. I plan on embroidering the bodices and hems of my lolita dresses by hand eventually. But that kind of embroidery isn't lace. Still beautiful though.
I've fallen in love with irish crochet lace. Its so small and delicate, but the tiny delicate motifs and thread can be built into a more substantial complicated image. I one day hope to make larger fabrics, like tapestries. Its almost like painting with a hook.
I have to be very careful not to get it dirty with my fingers, because the thread is often white. I do have some green thread I got from a thrift store years ago that I brought from home. I am washing my hands a lot more than I normally do to avoid this.
There are so many generations of women (and a few men) making delicate geometric designs. Unfortunately, crochet is a relatively new craft, as its roots can only be traced back as far as the 19th century. Even still, there is a wealth of creative designs and constructions using all sorts of yarn materials and hooks.
I don't know much about tatting other than it is created with a shuttle with a hook at one end, and creates a very loopy fabric. Apparently, it was called the poor man's lace, because it was so quick and simple to make. Lace was at one point a very important skill for decorating clothes and other accessories. Lace was costly, and there were experts that inspected lace, especially all the way back to the 1600s. Regions were known for their specific skills in lace, and lace was a very important commodity.
I have been working on knitting a replica cutsew, but I am still choosing the lace to put around the collar. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of that because I haven't gotten that far in its creation. Perhaps i will be able to scan in the planned picture.
Eventually, I want to learn needle lace and cutwork. I feel that these two branches of lace make a more traditional , dense lace. I don't so much like knitted lace, because you have to wash, block and press it after every use, and there are too many holes 'where they aren't supposed to be'. I can understand its pretty, with the yarnovers and such. I do like putting them in more solid knitted fabric.
I am looking forward to examining the history of lace.I have already read some wikipedia articles and looked in the local library.
Unfortunately, my time for creation of lace and research of lace is short, as I have work from 10am to 6pm.
These are some of the patterns I'm working on right now:
I"m also working on a lace cravat from the australian home journal. If you have ravelry, here it is. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cravat