Connected by Thread: Crocheted Lace

May 2, 2011

Crocheted Lace Butterfly

Crochet is a thread that connects daughter to mother, crafters across continents, and the past to the present. The annual PieceWork Lace issue explores those connections as well as connection forged through lace creation in other crafts such as Carrickmacross Irish lace, Orenburg lace knitting, and Alençon lace.

Within the pages of this issue, you'll meet Englishwoman Flora Klickmann. Flora was a prolific author and an editor for women's magazines and books in the early 1900s. She advocated the use of quality materials in needlework and taking pride in one's work-a sentiment I think we can all appreciate. As Flora once said, "If you really want to be happy, do something original for the human race."

Crocheted Shawl

You'll also find the pattern for a delicate crocheted lace butterfly (above) originally printed in Flora's book The Modern Crochet Book (n.d., circa 1913). Karen C.K. Ballard translated this pattern from its antiquated British notation to modern instructions. This intricate thread butterfly represents not only the beauty of crochet but a connection between a needleworker a hundred years ago and the modern crocheter.

Crocheted Doily

Doris Chan shares how crochet has connected her with her mother and provides a pattern for the Yokohama Mama Shawl (at right), which was inspired by the only surviving doily her mother lovingly crafted for her own trousseau. Even more inspiring is the story of how crochet helped Doris' mother through the war.

I am currently working on the Moth Wings Shrug (Interweave Crochet Summer 2010) as part of a Crochet Me crochet-along. This elegant garment is constructed of beautifully lacy motifs, but what makes the crochet experience more enjoyable are the connections I'm building with each crocheter.

Lace creates connections, threads of experiences and passion passed from one crafter to the next. Subscribe to PieceWork today and find your own connections. 

Best wishes,

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WalnutBaby wrote
on May 2, 2011 11:21 AM

My mother was a very accomplished crocheter, sadly she died when I was nine years old did not have time to teach me to crochet herself.  I have taken up a hook now that I am into my 30's close to the age that she died, very inspired by the wonderful creations that she made.  I am no where close to her skill level yet but I continue to aspire to her skills and continue to create, and hope to eventually create something that she would be proud of.

TweetysER wrote
on May 2, 2011 1:26 PM

Hi Toni,

        Do you happen to have a free pattern for the butterfly on this page?  I would love to try this. Have not done anything like that before.  Thank you for your time and effort.


                         Mary Anne

on May 3, 2011 1:10 AM

My Grandma embroidered pillow cases and dresser scarves and crocheted the edges on them. When i was about 7 or 8 she gave me a ball of rainbow crochet thread and a steel hook and showed me how to chain. And I strongly suspect the insturctions that followed were "now, get off the arm of my chair'!  From there I have been self taught using the diagrams and booklets. That was something aroung 1952.

Wish I had been an annoyance when she was tatting!

She also taught me to sew using her treddle machine which I still have.

Joe A wrote
on May 9, 2011 7:48 AM

I was raised in rural Puerto Rico and I was thought to crochet by a neighbor, who was really accomplished;  when I was six years old.  It was done covertly as I wanted to present my mom with a Mothers day gift, since I didn't have any money at that age. My first project was a lace drawsting purse. This lady gave me her knowledge, and taught me patience;  which I have been expanding on for the last forty-five years.  Even a beating by my father, for having learned a woman's craft never took the passion out of me; and my admiration and gratitude to this lady has never worn off.  Ironically, I am now the only one, in my rather large family who has the skill and knowledge of crochet & knitting.

CrochetLace wrote
on Jul 13, 2011 12:30 AM

A crocheted lace butterfly!!Wish I knew the pattern. I'm very interested in a lace cardigan too.So, that probably will be my next direction:)