Snowflurry Lace

A few months ago, I was asked to make an altar cloth that was very dense, for a specific altar.  This is what I came up with.  It’s called “Snowflurry”, and it’s made lengthwise rather than in squares.

I like it.  It’s simple, and elegant, but one of the things I discovered after making this lace was that even though it was dense and beautiful, it tended to stretch more in one direction than in the other, making it difficult to keep blocked.  In order to help it keep its shape, I modified it, added extra stitching in a double row around just before the border.  The stay stitching helps!  However, I’ve learned an important lesson, block patterns are better than one piece patterns for altar lace.

Interesting lesson learned!

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MJ Stegeby’s Snowflake Lace– Completed!

Mary Jo Stegeby is a good friend of mine, and my very first lace student.  Her first altar cloth was a pattern I love, called Pondlily.  This is her second. She started this altar cloth about a year ago, and it’s now complete.  This is a pattern she designed and modified from a visual image on pinterest. It’s size 30 thread. It’s being given to the Monterey, Mexico Temple. So beautiful.

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Crochet Class: Granny Squares to Altar Cloths

A little more than a year ago, a group of ladies in my area started taking crochet lessons from me, with the goal that they eventually wanted to make an altar cloth.  Most of these women had never crocheted before, or had just a few basics down, but not enough to follow a pattern.

We started with yarn.  There are four basic stitches in crochet.  “If you learn these four stitches, you can make almost anything!” I told them.  There are of course, fancier stitches, but most everything you make is a combination of chain, single crochet, double crochet or triple crochet.  There’s also a slip, that hardly counts as a stitch at all.  That’s it.  Four stitches.

The first pattern we tried was a traditional granny square: IMG_20150708_232259.jpg

We made a lot of granny squares, and put them together in afghans.  Some of the ladies got a little more creative with their granny squares, but the basic idea was the same.  Squares.  A basic granny square requires a chain stitch and a double crochet.  That’s it.  Not too hard.

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After our granny square afghans were completed, we started a new project with one size smaller yarn, and a modified granny square.  We discovered a need for NICU baby blankets to help preemie babies at the hospital.  This time, armed with baby yarn, we were making baby blanket granny squares. Almost the same pattern, just a little smaller.

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IMG_20150928_111229350.jpgIMG_20151006_175333.jpgWe met at the park and made NICU baby blankets all summer.  When we were confident with that size thread… we started a new project.  Size ten thread lace squares:

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The lace thread was a larger jump than going from yarn to baby yarn had been, but with a little practice, many of us are getting it.  We decided to start an altar cloth.  IMG_20160307_092104.jpg

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It’s a work in progress!  So far, seven sisters are participating in the making of this lace.  We’re calling it the “Sister’s Lace”.  Each square is only six rows, not very much different than a granny square.  This is great practice for an altar cloth.  If you are looking for a pattern that is simple and elegant, this is a good one to try.

The secret is, if you can make granny squares, and have the will to practice, you can make lace.

 

Needle Tatted Altar Lace for the Gila Valley Arizona Temple

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This altar lace is a beautiful example of needle tatting.  It was recently finished and donated to the Gila Valley Arizona temple by lacemaker Barbara Barney.  It’s a size ten thread, and took her nearly  a year to complete, with approximately 250 hours of labor.  I asked her about needle tatting and she wrote:

“I have always had a talent for needlework, crochet and knitting at a very young age.  I always wanted to learn to tat and my grandmother knew how.  The problem was that she lived in Idaho and I lived in New Mexico and our visits were never long enough for her to teach me.  I tried teaching myself from several different sources but it wasn’t until I got a copy of Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework that I figured out how to tat with a shuttle.  I added it to my list of abilities and moved on to other things.

About 10 years ago, I was introduced to needle tatting and I gave it a try.  Love at First Project!!  I can do both methods, needle and shuttle, but prefer the needle for so many reasons; much more forgiving when you make a mistake, it seems faster to me, my work comes out cleaner and I love the uniformity I can get with a specific needle and thread size.”

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Barbara already has another two needle tatted altar cloths in progress. Her goal is to make an altar cloth in honor of each of her 9 children.

I am not as familiar with needle tatting as I am with shuttle tatting and crochet, but this turned out to be just beautiful.

This is the pattern from Pinterest:

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Deseret Rose Altar Cloth Pattern

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Donna’s Deseret Rose Altar Cloth

This is an altar cloth made by Marla.  It was featured about a year ago, and has been completed.  It’s beautiful!  Marla originally saw a piece of lace that had no pattern and recreated the pattern from scratch.

She wrote up the pattern and when I asked her what made her think of making an altar cloth, she included this experience in her letter to me:

“I have to tell you this little story…. a couple of weeks ago when the big final push was on to finish, I took the cloth with me to my Aunt (my Mother’s dear youngest sister) Colleen’s cabin in Island Park for a family reunion.  My mother passed away 2 years ago last July and because of that my Aunt decided to start getting all the cousins together every August at the cabin where we all spent our childhood.  I thought I could get a lot of work done while sitting and visiting in the evenings… and I did, but while working on the cloth my sister-in-law asked what made me want to make one…. I explained that I really didn’t know & I had never thought about it before, but that a few months after Mom passed I came across your site and was prompted….Strongly…. and this nagging feeling just wouldn’t go away!  I just had to do it.
My Sister-in-law calmly said that it was Mom’s pushing & insistence from the other side that made me do it.  After thinking about it I really believe she is right.  :)  My mom worked in both the Mesa AZ & Idaho Falls Temples and Maybe a little bit in the Boise Temple I think but I’m not sure.  She did a lot of quilts & crochet tablecloths, but I don’t know if she ever made any Altar Cloths…. So this one is for her….. ‘Donna’s Deseret Rose’ Altar Cloth.  :)   I do hope she keeps pushing me!”

 

DESERET ROSE ALTAR CLOTH PATTERN

(Remade & written up by Marla Nikirk – from an unknown vintage pattern)

Deseret Rose Motif:

Rnd 1: Foundation ring….Chain 9, slp.st. (slip stitch) in beginning stitch.

Chain 3 (counts as 1st triple), 23 triple (triple crochet) in beginning ring. Slp.st. in 3rd stitch of beginning chain 3. A ring of total of 24 triples.

Rnd 2: Chain 6, skip next triple and *single (single crochet) in top of next triple, chain 6,* repeat all the way around ending with a slp.st. in the first stitch of beginning chain 6 (a total of 12 chain-6 loops). Slp.st. in next 2 st’s. of beginning chain 6, single in the chain-6 loop.

Rnd 3: Chain 6, *single in next chain-6 loop of previous rnd., chain 6,* repeat all the way around ending with a slp.st. in the first stitch of beginning chain 6 (a total of 12 chain-6 loops). Slp. st. in next 2 st’s. of beginning chain 6, single in the chain-6 loop.

Rnd 4: Chain 8, *single in next chain-6 loop of previous rnd., chain 8,* repeat all the way around ending with a slp.st. in the first stitch of beginning chain 8 (a total of 12 chain-8 loops). Slp.st. in next 2 st’s. of beginning chain 8, single in the 4th stitch of the beginning chain 8.

Rnd 5: *Chain 6, single in the next stitch of the beg chain-8 loop. 13 Triple in the next chain-8 loop, single in the 4th stitch of the next chain-8 loop.* Repeat all the way around ending with a slp.st. in the first stitch of the beginning chain-6 loop. Slp.st. in the next stitch of the beginning chain-6 loop, single in the beginning chain-6 loop.

Rnd 6: *Chain 6 (counts as 1st triple & chain 3), triple in beginning chain-6 loop of previous rnd., chain 3, triple in same chain-6 loop, chain 3, triple in same chain-6 loop, chain 3, triple in same chain-6 loop. Total of 5 triples & 4 chain 3 spaces. Chain 4, single in top of 5th triple of previous rnd. triple grouping, chain 4, skip next 2 triples and single in next triple, chain 4, single in the next chain-6 loop, chain 3*. Continue around ending with a slp.st. in the 4th stitch of beginning chain 6. Slp.st. in the next stitch and single in the chain-6 loop.

Rnd 7: *Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 7, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space. Chain 5, skip the next chain 4 space, 3 triples in the next chain 4 space, chain 5, skip the next chain 4 space, single in the next chain 3 space.* Continue on around ending with a slp.st. in the first stitch of the beginning chain 3. Cut and fasten off the thread and finish by sewing the tail in.

Rnd 7 at joins:

*Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, (@ normal chain 7) chain 3, single in the chain-7 space of adjoining motif(s), chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space.

(@ normal chain 5) chain 2, single in the chain-5 space of adjoining motif, chain 2, skip the next chain 4 space. 3 triples in the next chain 4 space.

(@ normal chain 5) chain 2, single in the chain-5 space of adjoining motif, chain 2, single in the next chain 3 space.*

Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, (@ normal chain 7) chain 3, single in the chain-7 space of adjoining motif(s), chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space.

Continue on around using the join counts *-* as required for attaching to adjacent motifs. If there are not adjoining motifs to connect to use the stitch counts for the regular Rnd 7 chains. End with a slp.st. in the first stitch of the beginning chain 3. Cut and fasten off the thread and finish by sewing the tail in.

Deseret Rose Motif Cloth Edging:

Rnd 1: Start with a single in one of the outer chain-7 loops along the straight side.

Down the side: *Chain 3, single in the same chain-7 loop, chain 8, single in chain 5 space, chain 8 (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space, chain 4. Triple in the joined chain-7 loops (between 2 joined motifs) chain 3, triple in the same joined chain-7 loops. Chain 4, single in next chain 5 space, chain 8, (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space, chain 8, single in next chain-7 loop.* Repeat down the straight side to the first open chain-7 loop of the corner motif.

Around the corner: Chain 3, single in same chain-7 loop, chain 8, single in the next chain 5 space, chain 8 (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space, chain 8. Single in the next chain-7 loop, chain 3, single in the same chain-7 loop, chain 8. Single in the next chain 5 space, chain 8, (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space, chain 8, single in the last open chain-7 loop of the corner motif.

Across the scalloped end: *Chain 3, single in the same chain-7 loop, chain 8. Single in the next chain 5 space, chain 8,(skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space. Chain 4, triple in the joined chain-7 loops (between 2 joined motifs) chain 3, triple in the same joined chain-7 loops. Chain 4, single in next chain 5 space, chain 8, (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space. Chain 4, triple in the joined chain-7 loops (between 2 joined motifs) chain 3, triple in the same joined chain-7 loops. Chain 4, single in next chain 5 space, chain 8, (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space. Chain 8, single in the next chain-7 loop, chain 3, single in same chain-7 loop. Chain 8, single in the next chain 5 space, chain 8 (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space, chain 8. Single in the next chain-7 loop.* Repeat across the scalloped end to the first open chain-7 loop of the next corner motif.

Continue around the corner motif as before and around the cloth as directed. When you get all the way around to where your first started, slp.st. in the first stitch of the beginning chain 3, single in the beginning chain-3 loop.

Rnd 2:

Down the side: *Chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 6, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop. Chain 6, single in the next chain 8 space, 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 4 space. Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 4, single in the same chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 4 space. 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 8 space, chain 6, single in the next chain-3 loop.* Repeat down the straight side to the first open chain-3 loop of the corner motif.

Around the corner: Chain 4, single in same chain-3 loop, chain 6, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop. Chain 6, single in the next chain 8 space, 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 8 space. Chain 6, single in the next chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in same chain-3 loop, chain 6, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop. Chain 6, single in the next chain 8 space, 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 8 space. Chain 6, single in the last open chain-3 loop of the corner motif.

Across the scalloped end: *Chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 6, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop. Chain 6, single in the next chain 8 space, 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 4 space. Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 4, single in the same chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 4 space. 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 4 space. Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 4, single in the same chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 4 space. 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 8 space, chain 6, single in the next chain-3 loop. Chain 4, single in same chain-3 loop, chain 6, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop. Chain 6, single in the next chain 8 space, 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 8 space. Chain 6, single in the next chain-3 loop. Repeat across the scalloped end to the first open chain-3 loop of the next corner motif.

Continue around the corner motif as before and around the cloth as directed. When you get all the way around to where your first started, slp.st. in the beginning chain-3 loop.

Cut and fasten off the thread and finish by sewing the tail in.

 

Love and A Letter From Laurie

laurie4It is with permission that I share the story of Laurie’s lace.  She and I discovered each other about two years ago.  We share the same great grandmother, Celinda Twitchell Olson.  Celinda is my great great grandmother, and her great grandmother… so we’re one generation off.  We’ve never met, but she stumbled on this blog and in reading the stories, discovered our shared heritage.  The love of Grandma’s hand-made lace  inspired each of us to continue Grandma’s work.

Dear Angela,
I found your wonderful website page last week and I have had a window open up for me that is truly amazing. I am a crochet lacemaker. For about two months now I have wanted to start to crochet again. BUT with a purpose. Then!!! I found your wonderful web page and now I know where my talent can be used. I am a self taught crocheter. But I understand and see instructions and am able to figure them out. I just need a little help probably with having  a pattern I can read. Meaning: I don’t know if I can make one up myself. I do love the laces I have seen in you pictures. I am good enough I can crochet them if I have instructions.  My great grandmother was Celinda Twitchell Olson. My grandmother was Margaret Olson Davidson, Celinda’s oldest daughter and(Mabel) Margaret’s twin sister. They were Mary Olson Almond’s older sisters. I have a pillowcase with some of Celinda Twitchell Olson’s lace edging on it. For years I tried to figure out how to knit that lace. I did not have good luck. But I tried to collect books back in the 1980’s with patterns of knit lace in them and have just a few.  So I turned my hand to crochet and taught myself how. I would unravel a project and my husband would always tease me “You’re not going to get very far if you keep undoing it.” But he understood. His mother was a knitter and crocheted also. He had seen her unravel a mistake also. Anyway it is so thrilling to know we as strangers are connected by a common thread of beauty. LDS Lacemaking.

I have grandchildren and my goodness I have no idea why I did not think of making lace for their blessings and baptisms. But I have one coming in June of 2015 and we will be making plans now. Thank you! for posting the lovely pic of Anna’s baptism dress.   I live in Price, Utah. My daughter lives in Cedar City, Utah where a new temple is being built. Also the Manti, Utah temple is the temple for my area. If you could please give me information on how to get started on this wonderful project that I have been led to the last couple of months I will be so thankful and so thrilled. The Lord has some blessings to bestow on my hands. Another question I have also is where do you get the right size of thread? I live in a very small town and do not have the ability to travel to shop. I do my shopping over the internet. Any suggestions on that will help me. My husband is 90 yrs and I am 60 yrs. I care for him. So I am home-bound a lot of the time. Thank you for your webpage. You have truly inspired me to get with it again and get busy. Like you said in your words, “Crochet lace and lots of it” that is what I feel inspired to do.

One last comment,When I knit or crochet I will always keep at it as the twilight comes on and I find myself knitting in the dark or crocheting in the dark. I read in the blog about Great Grandma Twitchell Olson doing the same thing out on the old ranch, way back when. AAAHHH we are connected in more ways than one.  I await your joyous reply.
Laurie Davidson Milovich

Sometimes people write, get patterns, start their laces, and I never hear from them again.  But I did hear from Laurie.  Last year, she wrote again:

Dear cousin Angela: I hope I can do this attachment. I have had to start over with my motifs. I was using a 12 hook and my finger was beginning to be irritated by the hook. It seems I kept hooking my finger. SOOOO….. I went up to a size 10 and now have 8 squares hooked together as of last night.

My finger is better also. I took a pic of both motifs sizes so you can see the difference. I hate to say that arthritis has been a factor in my ability. But it has. I have been on some very good supplements to help with it and it is helping A LOT. It still takes me a day to do a motif. But then there is so much to do to keep the yard up also. My cute little 90 year old husband can’t do the yard anymore. We just have an acre. But that is a lot of weeds to keep under control. So I pull weeds and keep the lawn mowed and he does word searches and in the afternoons I crochet by his side. I very much marvel at your ability to care for all your family and squeeze in the crochet. But then we know how this project fills us with a sweet satisfaction and a sweet blessing that rests on our heads as we hold the hook and thread and make our stitches increase. Well now I will try to send the attachment. Take care and have a good day. –Your Cousin, Laurie

Today I got an email from her that after two years, she hadn’t given up.  Her lace was completed:

Cousin Angela,
The lace has been delivered and is at the Temple, by my Home Teachers. I hope this finds you well and your lovely family. Happy Christmas season to you and yours. This took me much longer than I expected. My hands are not as young as I wished they still were.  –My best, Cousin Laurie

Two years!  Such a labor of love.  Isn’t it beautiful? What a blessing to know such a dedicated and wonderful sister. Laurie is the fifth temple lacemaker among Grandma Celinda’s posterity that I have known.  What an influence for good she had on us!  Grandma Celinda has got to be smiling.

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Who are the Volunteers in the LDS Lacemaking Community?

Snowflurry: An altar cloth in progress

Snowflurry: An altar cloth in progress

So far in my work as a lacemaker for the temples, I’ve come across more than 35 other lacemakers, either in person, or through this blog.  We are quite a group! There are young lacemakers, older lacemakers, most live inside the United States, and some live outside the US.  Many are first-time lacemakers, bravely moving from yarn to thread for the first time.  There are many women lacemakers, but also men!

The other day, I was speaking with a woman who had worked a long time at the temple.  We got to talking about altar lace and what was required to make it, and I mentioned that the lacemaker before me had talked about a dear brother who was a long time lacemaker for our temple.  He made altar cloths well into his 90s before he passed away.  She perked right up and said she had known him! and remembered the laces he made.  She said he’d learned from his mother when he was young, and had never forgotten.  That would have been in the early 1910’s.  There are a few of his laces still in service.

Recently I received an email from a gentleman who tatted, and wanted to find a pattern to make lace for his local temple.  I sent him a few resources and he eventually wrote back with a picture of his work.  His lace was beautiful!

You guys are wonderful.  I’m so pleased to be a part of such  a great community of lacemakers for the Lord.  It really is a beautiful thing.

Janetta’s Lace for the Payson Temple, Complete!

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This altar cloth was handmade by my Aunt Janetta. Crocheted with size 20 DMC Cordonnet lace thread and her grandmother’s heritage hook, it was a labor of love and took nearly two years to finish. It is beautiful! It has the clones knot from our family heritage sprinkled throughout the design.  Janetta was able to finish this altar cloth just before the dedication of the Payson Temple, June 7th, 2015.

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Lily’s First Lace

IMG_20150320_145850My daughter Lily is learning to make lace. She has made a few things with yarn in crochet, but she was new to thread.  I started up a lacemaker class here locally this week, and she began attending. This is her first lace attempt, a snowflake! IMG_20150320_150330This snowflake took two tries to get right. The second time through the pattern only took an hour. She used size 10 thread and a size one Boye steel hook. When it was washed, shrunken, stretched and dry, it really looked beautiful. Lily's First Lace Lily wants to eventually make altar lace. She’s only 14 right now, but the amazing thing is that altar lace isn’t much different than a bunch of snowflakes, attached together. Once her stitching becomes even, she’ll be ready to make altar lace. Patterns don’t have to be complicated to be beautiful and meaningful.