Making Irish Crochet Lace

This is my first piece of Irish crochet lace. Irish lace is more free form than rigid in pattern. I had no idea when I started how fun it would be.  It’s also a little intimidating, because there are no instructions except in pieces.

The Irish people made their motifs from the things they saw around them from their windows and cottage yards and hills.  Leaves, thistles, roses, clover, briars.  The various motifs, thrown together and wrapped in picot lace, ARE Ireland.  Many of my ancestors were Irish, so I’ve always had a fascination with Irish lace.  I was determined to give this one a try.

The middle of the lace was made in pieces, with roses and a center, and then each motif was enveloped in stitching afterward.

Constructing Irish lace by sections

Constructing Irish lace by sections

Each flower was made first, and pinned to a section of paper in the shape of the finished lace. Filler stitches are then attached with picots and mesh to fill in all the areas between the roses until the circle form is complete.

The lacy center is complete, now for the borders

The lacy center is complete, now for the borders

There are several traditional borders that can be added to a lacy center to fill out the piece. This was a great project to learn on.  I love Irish roses, and have used several types of roses and other Irish motifs  in other projects, but this was my first complete Irish crochet lace.

Irish lace doily with roses, clones knots and traditional edging

Irish lace doily with roses, clones knots and traditional edging

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2 thoughts on “Making Irish Crochet Lace

  1. Your lace is beautiful! I’m just learning how to make lace now. I’m planning a trip to Ireland to visit the lace center in Kenmare and found your photos as I was researching my trip.

    • Dina, That is wonderful! I wish I could go there. One of my favorite lace books is “Clones Lace: The Story and Patterns of an Irish Crochet” by Maire Treanor. If you haven’t read it, you should. It has wonderful historical bits in it, and some fascinating patterns.

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