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1920s Irish crochet lace edging

Added Sep 9, 2010

by harrietbazley

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!

Material Notes

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.




Fall, Winter
Garment Type
Classic, Vintage

3 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • 121bcd6a71a_avatar_large

    Sep 23, 2010, 05.22 PMby harrietbazley

    I’ve now created a downloadable PDF holding the same instructions as the ‘pattern’ for this project; hope that was the right way to do it.

  • 121bcd6a71a_avatar_large

    Sep 9, 2010, 02.57 PMby harrietbazley

    N.B. I’ve now uploaded a scan of the extremely blotchy photo included with the pattern, to give an idea of just how little help it provided!

  • Imgp3732_large

    Sep 9, 2010, 06.40 AMby d3liriums4m4

    This is LOVELY. I am terrible at crochet, but my Mom is fantastic… I wonder what it would take to convince her to make trim?

    1 Reply
    • 121bcd6a71a_avatar_large

      Sep 9, 2010, 11.11 AMby harrietbazley

      I’ve marked it as Advanced because you really do need to be experienced at crochet to manage working with such fine thread and tiny hooks, and because the pattern is quite awkward to follow from a written description; once you’ve got the sequence into your head it’s a relatively quick way to produce lace. (Note relatively!)

      You do need quite a lot of thread though. I found I got fourteen scallops out of one 10m skein of embroidery cotton.

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