Saturday, December 8, 2012

Treasure Hunt

I've had the most extraordinary antique mall visits lately.  I regularly make the rounds of the many around Springfield and whenever I'm out traveling but rarely find much.  I just enjoy the hunt.  Usually I'm looking for tatting shuttles (which I find from time to time), vintage craft magazines (which I find a little more often - I now carry a list of what I have so as to not end up with duplicates), lace bobbins (never found), and interesting textiles.  Up until recently the last category has been very few and far between. 

Then I found this:
It's a linen doily with a bobbin lace edge.  Obviously there is some damage but I realized that I knew how to do all the various elements and so I decided to try to recreate the pricking from the doily and see if I could work the edging.

The next week, I found a stall full of textiles.  The first thing I picked up was this:
A bobbin lace doily with, yes, butterflies creatively worked into the pattern.  It was worked with a thread that was a little too fine for the pattern. 

Detail of the butterfly.
Then I picked up... 
a packet with 2 more doilies of the same pattern!  These were each done with a different thread and, as you can see from the detail shot above, the slightly heavier thread fills out the pattern a little more.  Also, the center holes were more neatly done.  Practice makes perfect?
How fun is that to have the document of someone trying out a pattern with different threads to get the right one for the pattern!  I can certainly so all the techniques in this one so I'm going to work this weekend on getting the pattern pricked from the nicest of the doilies.  I think I've got the number of bobbins figured out and know how to start the work.  Maybe over the Christmas break I'll have the quiet time to get it started, at least.
But that's not all!
The last few weeks I've been working on documenting the vintage and antique craft magazines in my collection, especially focusing on the Needlecraft and Modern Priscilla issues.  Because most date back to the 1910-1939 time period, I wanted to minimize wear and tear but still be able to get to the articles and patterns, I've created a spreadsheet with the month and year and a note of each of the patterns or articles in each.  It's fun to see how different crafts came into and then fell out of fashion over the years.
I've been getting more and more fascinated by the needle laces that were so common in the period and these magazines have a lot of instructions for these.  I'm still delving into the Teneriffe Lace but I'm also fascinated by the drawn work. 

Lo and behold, what did I find?

Again, this one has some damage but it's exquisitely worked and I can't stop looking at it, trying to figure out how it was all done.  Jiminy cricket, it's beautiful. 

But that's not all!

I also found several examples (of varying quality) of Battenburg lace and cutwork.
I'll let you know what I come up with!