Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mrs. Weber's Lace

Last night, I am pleased to report, we had a rip-snorting good time at The Fiber Gallery. The official topic was photography; but before the class one of the students, Sabrina, pulled out something she'd brought to show me.

This is Sabrina's Romanian grandmother, Regina Weber.

Mrs. Weber

When Mrs. Weber passed away earlier this year at age 87, she left behind a legacy.


Small Knitted Doilies

Some of the pieces were knitted.

Large Knitted Doily

Others were crocheted.

Arabesque Doily

Still others appeared to be–to our eyes anyhow–a mix of crochet and...tatting? Are those rings tatting, perhaps? Sabrina's not sure.

Flower Doily

Do any of you out there recognize this sort of work? Can you tell us about it?

Leaf and Flower Doily

One thing is certain: Mrs. Weber was an accomplished needlewoman. I feel lucky to have seen her work. Thank you, Sabrina!

Grape Doily


Rosie said...

It looks like tatting to me. I was actually given a very similar piece from Portugal which looks like a combo between tatting and crochet, with the crochet acting kinda like a border. These are truly lovely!

noricum said...

Beautiful! I think the rings are just crochet... possibly around metal or plastic rings.

annie said...

It's all absolutely beautiful, and I believe that's romanian point lace that is something of combination of a crochet and tatting. Those are exquisite examples. Sabrina's grandmother was a brilliant needleworker. Please thank her for sharing with all of us. This link has some photos of similar work

Anonymous said...

Oh, my! How lovely! And humbling. Thank you for posting these and thank you, Sabrina and Mrs. Weber.

Unknown said...

I recognise one of the braids used in the bottom two - I know them as Romanian lace. I use one of the braids (learnt from 'Spin Off' years ago). sunshineharbaugh on Ravelry has instructions for braids on her website and there is a book by Angela Thompson.

Rose said...

It looks to have elements of irish crochet which is another slippery slope for those who crochet and like lace. take a look

Daniel said...

Crochet, Romanian point lace (as has bee pointed out) but I don't see any tatting in there. I see some Cluny & Irish crochet. Let me know before you leave Seattle, if you need to look through my library. I think I may actually have some copies of these patterns.

Bring Harry! Moe has been wanting to meet him.

Daniel said...

Oh, and Bouillon crochet from Brazil, or is it Portugal. I can never remember.

Adrienne said...

Lovely stuff! No tatting there; I agree it's probably Romanian point lace.

Janel Laidman said...

my old eyes have trouble seeing at that resolution, but I concur that it looks like crochet to me. I recognize bullion stitch, and the rings look like crochet around a ring of thread or a solid ring.

KarenJ said...

Breathtaking! What a wonderful legacy!

Unknown said...

The rings do look like tatting, done in combination with crochet. Eastern European cultures around the turn of the 19-20th centuries did loads of this sort of thing. Isn't is beautiful?

The other lace is a needle lace - embroidered over a gridwork stitched over paper that is later torn away. Again, quite lovely, and obviously Sabrina's grandmother was quite an accomplished needlewoman!

Julie Kwiatkowski Schuler said...

I thought I saw some needle lace. It's all so lovely.

Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing this. Simply breathtaking! Truly an art form all to itself.

WonderWhyGal said...

Since I knit, my Aunts recently gave me similar work that my grandmother made me but they couldn't tell me anything about the work.

I will cherish all the hours Grandma put into her work. I'm thankful they gave me the heirlooms.

Jen said...

The January 2001 Piecework Magazine has an article on Romanian point lace with instructions on making a project. You crochet a cord, then stitch it together decoratively over a fabric, then take the fabric away. What a lovely collection!

Nicole said...

What beautiful lace! I've never really cared one way or another about lace, but these pieces are beautiful.

Laurel said...

Both your grandmother and the lace are beautiful, Sabrina. That photo is so full of life--makes me wish I could get to know her. Thank you for sharing the woman and her art with us!

Dawn said...

Hi Franklin,
Except for the first photo of knitted lace, all of the other photos are tatted (no crochet). I just took a class on tatting--quite a challenge to do those double layers and rings without knotting up all the thread. If you are interested, the classes are held at Schaumburg HS as part of the adult continuing ed program.

Sabrina said...

Thanks, Franklin for sharing my grandmother's lace with everyone!

The 4th picture is the very typical crochet style that she and her sisters made all the time. I have loads of those doilies! They are cotton and heavily starched. I don't believe that the rings were made around metal or plastic rings.

The last two pictures show what Oma called point lace. I had not seen that style before and was quite interested. She explained that it is made, exactly how some of the commenters said, by embroidering over a gridwork stitched over paper that is later torn away. And parts are crochet. I don't think there is any tatting involved.

I really appreciate all of the comments and am so pleased to be able to remember Oma Weber in this way. She wouldn't have known what a blog is, but she would have loved seeing the pictures of her lace on the screen (wondering how they got there!).

Thank you all!


Denise said...

Definitely Romanian Point Lace - check out I took a class with Sylvia at the IOLI conference in Portland this summer and commenter Jen's description is the most accurate. Thanks for sharing Mrs. Weber's lovely lace with us!

Paul said...

Absolutely stunning!!!

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I agree with the other posters that I don't see tatting. I don't know what it is, though.
When my grandmother died, she left me tatted lace of all shapes and sizes. And all her tatting stuff. I can do it, but I don't. While tatting is gorgeous, I would rather knit.

Rebecca said...

Oh, those tiny round doilies in the first picture! I think they would make great coasters if they were sandwiched between glass panels, and now I am desperate to reverse-engineer a pattern. Hmmm.

Thanks for sharing, Sabrina and Franklin!

Cadi said...


Elissa said...

Lace has never caught my attention but these examples are gorgeous and I have just lost my morning to the lacefairy site! Thank you for sharing a beautiful treasury of handwork.

Seanna Lea said...

The rings look like tatting to me even though it has been about 11 million years since I last did tatting (I'm, of course, very old).

Breathtaking work!

Diana L. Sullivan, CPA said...

I think it's crocheted, even the rings. Try it - make a chain stitch ring and then single crochet in it over and over. The result will look tatted.

Susan said...

Having the pattern for the piece in the third photograph would be enough for me to dig out the Cordonnet and a steel hook. Mercy, that's a nice piece.

Sharon said...

Beautiful laces, Crochet, Romanian Point lace. Definitely NOT tatting.

ali said...

This may be some very fine crochet work. I have some done by my grandmother that was done a size 14metal hook. The rings are crochetd over thin metal or bone rings like the work she left. me.

Alwen said...

I'm going to echo that it's Romanian point, a type of needle lace.

Unknown said...

It looks to be a combination of both tatting and crochet. The last round on the doily in the last picture looks to be tatted.

What a wonderful legacy to have preserved.

My grandmother taught me to both shuttle tat and crochet. I wish I still had samples of her work, but sadly my uncle threw all that out when he cleaned out her house.

It's been 11 years since she passed away. Seems like yesterday sometimes.

knit one, knit two said...

so beautiful. that's priceless work.

Julie said...

I like to think their needlework projects were so perfect due to the fact that they didn't have television to distract their attention from counting stitches.

bricolo-chic said...

A beautiful person for beautiful laces!
It is not "tatting" (chiacchierino in Italian), it is a long ribbon crocheted and needle work. The technique is the same of what we call "pizzo rinascimento", or Bruges lace, these are done with "spighetta rumena", with some Irish themes. All world's techniques applied!
Sorry if I used Italian words but it is quite impossible to translate for me!

Mady said...

Exquisite pieces!

Anonymous said...

Looks like Romanian point lace a combination of crochet and tape lace.

Anonymous said...

Tatting---and quite beautiful!

Lynn said...

I would have to hold it about three inches from my nose to tell you if those rings are crocheted, embroidered or tatted. (The back of the work would be a dead giveaway, at that range.) I do all three, though I have yet to tackle Romanian point lace.

MNLacer said...

Not tatting but Romainian Point Lace, as others have said and provided links to Sylvia's site. Those mysterious rings can be done around metal or plastic rings OR around a few strands of core thread. With neatly done button hole stitches or single crochet it will resemble a tatted ring. However a tatted ring is seldom perfectly round but more tear drop in shape since thread enters and leaves from the same point. The arrangement of rings in these examples is not the norm for tatting (no path for continuous thread - all of that cutting and tying, yikes!). What a treasure this talented woman has left her family.

Evelyn said...

Now that we've figured out the unusual techniques, I just want to say that the knitted lace is very beautiful!

Yvonne said...

Whatever it is, it's lovely. Thank you for sharing it.

Thank you also, for coming to Seattle. I was so happy to be in your lace class at Weaving Works! You are an excellent teacher, Franklin. Thanks for explaining the biasing stitches that happen in some of my lace projects. The Knitty pattern, "Spring Forward" had me thoroughly befuddled. I have a better grasp of what is happening now.

Oh, and my Dolores says "Hay". At this point, she is still a sweet and innocent little flower. Can't say that for Auntie Bliss, though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Franklin,

Many have already commented correctly.

The first unidentified piece is Irish crochet. The rings are crocheted very tightly to resemble tatting.

The last two or three photos are Romanian Point Lace. The outlines are crocheted; the fillings are done with needle and thread.


Gail (nosenabook) said...

Sabrina, I'm so glad you and Franklin got together and showed us these fabulous doilies.
I do not believe any of them are tatted, either. All crochet. Amazing and beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Simply had to add my 'thank you ' to Franklin and Sabrina for sharing.
What lovely work - Sabrina's grandmother was very talented, and I'm so pleased her work wasn't thrown out, as so many of these items are.
I had never heard of Romanian Point lace but I'm googling right now :-)

thank you

Life With Karly said...

I have been tatting for years and it does not look like tatting to me. I believe that it is either simply crochet around rings, as noricum suggested, or buttonhole stitching - also around rings. Most likely, I vote for crochet. I have made a number of items combining tatting and crochet or tatting and broomstick lace, and it's a totally different look.

Frauke said...

The kind of needlework used here is called "Makrameespitze" (macramé lace) in Germany. It is made up with crocheted cords which are sewn or crocheted together and many differend kinds of "Nadelspitze" (needle lace) or tatted or crochet insertions to fill up the blancs. The German crafts magazine "Anna" had a couple of tutorials on how to work this kind of lace - maybe you can get old issues. If not do let me know, I could scan some and mail them to you. Let me know if you have somebody at hand to help you with the language!


Teleri said...

I guess (not that I have a real clue ;)) the techniques on the last two pics are something like what's called "Makrameehäkeln" in German.
There is a tutorial on this page. It's in German, but I guess most of the pictures speak for themselves.

Anonymous said...

What extraordinary work!
I think that the fifth one down may be Teneriffe embroidery or lace. I have used this technique before in basketry. Weaving the Teneriffe embroidery w/ waxed linen as the centerpiece and framing it with coiled pine needle basketry

Gina said...

Ah, well, I see most have verified it is NOT tatting. LOL! And that the last is Romanian Point Lace (RPL)which is a tape lace made of crochet cord and needlelace. If you ever have a question about tatting again, please visit my blog and any of the links on there to other tatters. I also crochet and knit and whatever strikes my fancy for awhile.

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crazyQstitcher said...

Hi, I visited this site last year while searching for the raised bullion type work on your Grandmother's doiley.

I note many opposing ideas of how it's created . Yesterday I discovered this link which may help you decide about your own doiley.
All the work by your G'mother is fabulous. I am not a crocheter.
regards Maureen

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