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:

magicsquareneedletattingpattern

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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.

Ebenezer Lace: Corner Re-design

Ebenezer Lace It is finished! I made modifications to one of the sides and designed corners for the Ebenezer Lace. This altar lace was originally made a specific shape by the request  of the temple matron in order to fit a particular altar. After four months in service, we determined that the corner cut idea wasn’t working well. The lace kept sliding out of position without corners to add stability.  So I took it home and have been working on a redesign of the edges, including a fill-in for the missing corners.IMG_20141022_092107

I was able to continue the Linnaea blossoms as well as the radiating line theme. The corners are complimentary. I am really pleased with the result. This lace will be turned in Friday. Hopefully it will fit as beautifully on the altar as it looks in a picture.IMG_20141021_194252

From the Treasure Box: My First Lace

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I found this in an old box in the garage, full of lacy bits and memories. I showed it to my husband. “Do you know what this is? It’s the handkerchief I made for the Mount Timpanogos Temple dedication.” So many memories attached to this lace.

The Timpanogos Temple was the first temple we’d ever had the opportunity to see built and dedicated. At the time, we were newly married, and students at BYU– barely scraping by on 500.00 a month part-time income. We lived next door to Mirla Thayne, who wrote the children’s hymn, “I Wonder When He Comes Again”.  It was about a year before she died. 

I also  worked, but from home, caring for our upstairs neighbor with Alzheimer’s.  Clyde.  I’ll never forget Clyde, he was a character, and as innocent as the four year olds in my Sunbeam class.  Oh the adventures we had with him– once we found all his clothes neatly hanging from the front door.  He’d mistaken it for the bathroom door, and by the time he got out of the house, forgot he was going to take a shower, and figured it was time for a walk.  Off he went, and after him I ran.  That job carried our rent, and Troy’s income paid for everything else. My mind can hardly wrap around those meager figures looking back, but Troy, who keeps everything, still has the pay stubs to prove it.

There’s a part near the end of every temple dedication that requires a clean, white, handkerchief.  I didn’t have one.  I looked at the budget.  No help there.  I wanted to make something special for the temple dedication rather than just order something I didn’t have money for anyway, so I bought thread, a hook, and a book of lace edging patterns with my meager budget instead. I began working the simplest pattern possible. I was nervous, but too new at this sort of thing to be daunted. Though I had seen others do it, this was my very first experience making lace.

After a few false starts, I began to get the hang of the smaller thread, and the lace started looking like something. When I finished, I was so proud of my work, I had no idea how rough and primitive it was. I only saw beauty, and it was beautiful.IMG_20140817_174312631_HDRLater, my mother-in-law sent me a few other temple handkerchiefs, finer in detail, and smaller in thread. The difference, rather than discouraging me, inspired me, and my interest in laces grew.

That was October 1996. Less than four years later, we’d graduated from BYU and moved to the east coast with Troy’s first job at BBN Technologies in Boston.  We watched and participated with interest as the Boston Temple took shape.  We lived in Waltham, Marlborough, and then Billerica, where I started and finished my first altar cloth.  In October 2000, I attended my second temple dedication–this time for the Boston Temple.

There’s something of yourself that gets put in things that you work hard for.  I don’t know which of my several lace handkerchiefs I used for that dedication, but I’ll never forget my first. I still can’t make a size 80 tatted handkerchief edging, but there’s always room to grow.

Of all the laces, bonnets, blankets, and edgings I’ve made over my life, I’m tickled to realize that even my very first, was for the love of the temple.

Two Temple Handkerchiefs

Side by side– my first size 10 thread crochet edged thick cotton handkerchief on the left. On the right is a size 80 thread tatted lace edged delicate linen handkerchief. Both beautiful.

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Birds in Flight: From Chicken Scratch to Fruition

ImageI’ve been working on this design for several weeks now. I am really pleased with it. I’ve just had the design cleared to be used for an altar cloth in the Los Angeles temple. Progress!

There are few things as rewarding as sheer creation. It must be human nature, the bit of God in embryo in all of us.

This one is for my children. They all are. Each lace tells a story.  “Birds in Flight” is the next chapter in the story of our lives and our walk with the Lord. So much heartache brought each of our children to us. Each of them is learning to fly.  Free.  Safe.  It is joy to me. So many miracles.

64 Crochet Lace Altar Cloths

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Gift of Faith: Hand crocheted altar lace for the Lord

I came across this story from LDS.org.  I love the faith!

“I visited the temple in Buenos Aires. Feelings of gratitude welled up within me to know that within the four dedicated temples of South America the fulness of the gospel is blessing the members of the Church.

An example of the marvelous commitment of the Saints of South America was demonstrated by the dear sisters hand crocheting sixty-four altar cloths for the Buenos Aires Temple when only seven were requested.

–Elder M. Russell Ballard, Ensign May 1986, “The Kingdom Rolls Forth in South America”

Tatting Altar Lace: Ann’s Story

Ann's Tatted Altar Lace: a new work in progress

Ann’s “Snowflake” Tatted Altar Lace: a new work in progress

This beautiful tatted lace is from Ann, a lacemaker I featured about a month ago.  She has started another altar cloth lace.  This will be her third altar lace for the Boise Temple!  She’s made one tatted altar lace, one crocheted altar lace and is beginning her third altar lace.

Ann sent me this picture of it, and this story:

“Years ago I thought it might be fun to tat an altar cloth for the temple. At the time I thought I’d just get started and the Lord would know where it was when He needed it. Finally, after I’d mentioned it a few times, my husband directed me past the temple matron’s office, and we asked about measurements. I remember her comment very well, “We’ll see you in a couple years!” Wow! I didn’t know if I could do it that fast.”

This pattern is Ann’s second tatted altar cloth for the Boise Temple. See her finished tatted altar lace here. Tatting takes a long time.  Ann’s first tatted altar lace had over 500 motifs, and took over 600 hours over five years to make.

Ann says:

“I was about half way done with my first tatted altar lace when the temple sent word to our stake Relief Society that they needed altar cloths as soon as possible. I stopped working on the tatted one and made one out of crochet (which is much faster).

Over the years I had plenty of distractions with that first tatted altar cloth… a cruise, two returning missionaries, a wedding, a fiftieth wedding anniversary party, a huge calling in the church, and our temple closed for 1 ½ years. Finally, after five years, I made it back to the temple with the first tatted altar cloth.

I felt like I had nothing to do after finishing the first tatted altar cloth last April, so I got this pattern out, made some adjustments and started fresh. Tatted altar cloth number 2 is underway. Hopefully, it won’t take 5 years to finish it!

The lace I am making now is called “Snowflake.” I love this pattern because it really does look like snowflakes. The large motifs are 4 inches in diameter so I’ll only need to make about 77 of them. I like making both sizes of motifs and connecting them as I go rather than do all the small ones at the end because my hands are rather small. This pattern also has a couple nice sections where only a shuttle is used, and rings are formed on the inside and outside of the row. Since I started this lace five years ago I have learned how to jump from row to row without breaking the thread so I still only have to hide ends once per motif! This pattern had many picots that were what I call “empty,” meaning they weren’t connected to anything. I find that picots don’t hold their shape with repeated washings and I wouldn’t expect every single picot to be pinned out when it is blocked. So I altered the pattern so that all the picots inside the design are joining with other parts of the design. The only picots that are “empty” are around the edge. All the others are “occupied.”

This pattern is called “Snowflake Tablecloth” from Traditional Tatting Patterns, Edited by Rita Weiss, pg. 13″

–Ann

Another beautiful lace in progress!  Ann describes how she makes each motif:

The large motifs have five rows…meaning five places to tie off threads and five places to hand stitch the ends to hide them. I’ve been practicing my skills for jumping from one row to the next. All I have to do is wind enough thread on two shuttles and start in the middle. Then I do a split ring to move to the next row,
Beginning a new tatted motif

Beginning a new tatted motif

Ending the row with a split ring

Ending the row with a split ring

Ending the next row with a split chain

Ending the next row with a split chain

Starting the next row with a split ring

Starting the next row with a split ring

Coming to the end of the frilly row

Coming to the end of the frilly row

Last row

Last row– motif made!

 

Lillie and Lily: Another Generation

A trip through history: Lily Adeline with great-grandma Lillie's original lace bonnet and gloves.

A trip through history: Lily Adeline with great-grandma Lillie’s original lace bonnet and gloves.

When a child joins our family by adoption, we have a tradition of holding “Name Changing Day”, and each child receives a name– a gift tied to our family history.  It is a milestone day that we look forward to with each child.  Our philosophy is even if we don’t share biology, we can share history, and that history helps tie our precious children to us.

Each child that has come to our family has a name that is meaningful to our family in some way or another.  My daughter Lily is named Lily Adeline, after my husband’s Great-grandma Lillie and my Great-grandma Ada, both wonderful role models, and women we look up to.

A few years ago we visited Grandma Rockwood’s house in Colorado, and learned more about our grandma Lillie.  While we were there, we saw the original lace bonnet made by Grandma Lillie.  We have a replica of it in our house, but Lily had never seen the original.

Mary taught me grandma Lillie’s roll stitch.  Lily and I sat together as Mary made each beautiful roll.  I was able to learn it, while Lily watched.  When she is ready, I will teach it to her.

Learning Grandma Lillie's Roll Stitch

Learning Grandma Lillie’s Roll Stitch

Lily wrote up her thoughts on her namesake and history here.

Grandma Lillie’s Star Lace Edging (Pattern)

Grandma Lillie's Star Lace

Grandma Lillie’s Star Lace

Grandma Lillie’s Star Lace Edging Pattern for Crochet

Ch 70

Row 1:  dc in 4th ch from hook, 3 dc in same ch, ch 8, skip next 8 ch, sc  in next 5 ch, ch 8, skip next 8 ch, dc in next 4 ch, ch 8, skip next 8 ch, sc in next 5 ch, ch 8, skip next 8 ch, dc in next 4 ch,* ch 2. Skip 2 ch , dc in next ch, *  repeat from* to* 4 times to last ch.

Row 2: Turn, ch 5(ch 5 counts as 1st dc and 2 ch threw out design), dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in next dc , 2 dc in ch-2 space, dc in next dc,   ch 3 ,* dc in last dc of dc-4,  3 dc in ch-8 space, ch 7, skip first sc and sc in next 3 sc,  ch 7,  3dc in next ch-8 space, dc in next dc, ch 3 * Repeat one more time from * to*, dc in next dc, 3 dc in ch-3 space.

Row 3: Turn, Ch 4,  4 dc in top of 1st dc, *ch 3, trc in ch-3 space, ch 3, dc in last dc of 4-dc,3 dc in ch-7 space,  ch 5, skip 1st sc, sc in next sc, ch 5, 3 dc in ch-7 space, dc in first of 4-dc, * repeat from * to * ch 3, trc in ch-3 space, ch 3, dc in last dc of 4-dc, 2dc in ch-2 space, dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in 3rd ch in ch-5.

Star Lace Edging, detail

Star Lace Edging, detail

Row 4: Turn, Ch 5, dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in next dc, 2 dc in ch-2 space, dc in next dc, *ch 6, sc in ch-3 space, sc in trc, sc in next ch-3 space,  ch 6, dc in last dc of 4-dc,  3dc in next ch-5 space, ch 2, trc in sc, ch 2, 3 dc in next ch-5 space, dc in first dc of 4-dc, repeatfrom  * one time,  ch 6, sc in ch-3 space, sc in trc, scc in next ch-3 space, ch 6, 4 dc in ch-3 space.

Row 5: Turn, Ch 4,  4 dc in top of 1st dc, * ch 8, sc in ch-6 space,  sc in next 3 sc, sc in next ch-6 space, ch 8, ** 2 dc in ch-2 space, 2 dc in next ch-2 space, * Repeat once from * to * repeat again  from * to **, dc in last dc of 4-dc, 2 dc in ch-2 space, dc in next dc, ch2,  dc in 3rd ch in ch-5.

Row 6: Turn, Ch 5,  dc in top of 1st dc, ch 2, skip next 2 dc, dc in next dc  * 3 dc in ch-8 space, ch 6, skip  sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 6 , 3 dc in ch-8 space, dc in top of next dc, ch 3, dc in last of 4-dc*  Repeat 2 more times. Ch 3.

Row 7: Turn * 1 dc in top of 4th dc of 4-dc, 3 dc in ch-6 space, ch 5, skip sc, sc in next sc ,ch 5, 3 dc in ch-6 space, 1 dc in next dc,**ch 3, 1 trc in sc , ch 3,*  Repeat from * to * 1 more time, then repeat from * to ** ch 2, dc in last dc of 4-dc , ch 2, dc in top next dc, ch 2, dc in 3rd ch of ch-5.

Row 8: Turn, ch 5, dc in top of next dc , ch 2, dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in next dc of 4 dc, ch2,skip next 2 dc, dc  in next dc of 4-dc,* 3 dc in ch-5 space, Ch 2, 1 trc in sc, ch 2, 3 dc in ch-5 space,1 dc in next dc, ** ch 6, sc in ch-3 space, 1 sc in trc, 1 sc in ch-3 space, ch 6, dc in last dc of 4-dc*, Repeat from *to* once .  Repeat from * to **.

Row 9: Turn, ch 3, *2 dc in ch-2 space, 2dc in next ch-2 space, ch 8, 1 sc in ch-6 space, 3sc in next sc, sc in next ch-6 space,  ch 8*  Repeat  from * to * one more time, 2 dc in ch-2 space, 2dc in next ch-2 space, ch 2,skip 2 dc, dc in next dc of 4-dc, ch2, dc in next dc 3times, ch 2, dc in 3rd ch in ch-5.

Repeat starting with Row2:  through Row 9: until it is long enough.    Shrinkage is usually 1 inch for every 20 inches.  So make it  an inch longer for every 20 inches of finished product. If making a pillow case, connect on row 8 to the other end. I used a 60 wt thread and # 12 crochet needle.

Lillie's pillowcase lace pattern on a sheet set --by Mary Rockwood

Lillie’s Star Lace Pattern on a sheet set –made by her granddaughter, Mary Rockwood