Irish Crochet: Day 3

All but one of my motifs are done.  Hopefully I can start the mesh today with the Clones (Clone-es) knot. 

What a fascinating history Clones Irish Crochet has.  The gist is during the potato famine it was a way for women (and some men) to help support their families.  At the time Venetian Point lace was popular as well as very expensive.  The ladies in Clones developed their style to provide a less expensive version of this popular needle lace. 

The top bit of lace in the photo is Venetian Point Lace and took an estimated 300 hours to make.  The bottom bit is Clones Irish Crochet and took 36 – 40 hours to make.

Pieces were often worked by several women – each specializing in a motif or technique.  Buyers would travel the region acting as middle-men between the ladies and the marketplace.  Children were often involved in the production work making simple motifs.

One of the reasons I enjoy needlework so much is because it is a way to touch history.  Whether I’m knitting, crocheting, or tatting; or showing another how to my hands are touching the hands of all those who have gone before me.  The techniques can be as new as yesterday or as ancient as centuries and millenia.


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