A Pincushion to Make in Irish Crochet

Published: October 15, 2007
Technique: Crochet, Lace
Skill Level: Easy

The stitches of Irish crochet are simple; what strikes the beginner to this craft is the sheer number of them required to make the smallest piece. The pincushion with rose center and leaf appliqués shown here, of the sort our grandmothers made by the gross to join into banquet cloths and fullsize bedspreads, requires nearly 2,000 stitches. Its 12-inch (30.5-cm) length of simple edging, also of the sort our grandmothers worked by the furlong to trim bed and table linens, hankies, curtains, corsets, and petticoats, is fashioned of more than 1,200 individual stitches.

The pincushion takes some shortcuts. The center rose is worked from the center out; its petals have detached edges, which provide the threedimensional effect of traditional Irish crocheted lace. The background network, rather than being worked separately, is worked continuously outward from the last row of rose petals. The leaf motifs are worked separately and appliquéd in place to the finished piece.

If you are new to crocheted lace, this small project will give you a taste of how such work was done and a sense of the time and attention it commanded. If you are familiar with the chain, slip, single, and double stitches used in all crochet, you can expect to spend perhaps four hours on the rose square and an equal amount of time on the edging. Stitching up the pincushion takes only a matter of minutes.

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