Added Sep 9, 2010
London, United K...
The dress I’m working on requires 64 inches of this black lace edging… so while I’m plugging away at that, I thought I’d upload a description of how the lace is made.
The pattern was originally published in Woman’s Weekly of November 27th, 1920, and obviously expected a fair degree of competence/experience on the part of its readers. I had a good deal of difficulty deciphering the instructions! What I give here is my own translation, made in an attempt to clarify the original pattern.
In most cases I have scanned the crochet work directly, but in some places I have added pen-and-ink diagrams in the hopes of clarifying what is going on. I’ve taken six hours so far to upload this – I hope there is sufficient detail here to inspire someone else to emulate the project!
The original specified “No. 36 crochet cotton with a No. 8 hook” to produce a very fine edging. (This would be a 0.60mm hook or smaller.)
Because I was edging a dress and not a handkerchief, I purchased a 1.25mm hook. Trial and error established that 3 strands of standard embroidery cotton (Anchor, DMC or Mouline) was about the right thickness to go with this size hook, which had the additional advantage that I could thus split the skein into two halves and use both in succession!
My local shops only stock coarse crochet cotton aimed at constructing garments rather than lace; if you can obtain cotton of a suitable fine gauge, this would obviously be better than improvising with embroidery thread.
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