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.

charles and celinda with car 1946

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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.