Fuel Your Lace Obsession with the New Issue of PieceWork!

This tablecloth is one of Herbert Niebling's magnificent designs. Mary Frances Wogec knitted the tablecloth, using size 20 crochet thread and size 1 (2.25 mm) circular needles. (Photo by Joe Coca)
Nancy Bush's "Socks with Fancy Cuffs to Knit." She used traditional Estonian nupps (small bobbles) to create the lacy cuffs. (Photo by Joe Coca)

A Note from Kathleen: My UPS gal continues to make my day! I received my copy of the new issue of PieceWork a couple of days ago, and I dropped everything, sat down on the couch, and spent the next half-hour looking at the glorious lace photos and projects that fill the pages of this beautiful magazine.

If you love knitting lace, this issue will push you to go further in your craft, and if you're just beginning to explore the world of creating lace, you'll be inspired to continue your quest.

Here's PieceWork editor Jeane Hutchins to introduce you to this fabulous issue!

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Lace Issue of PieceWork!

The word "lace" comes from the Latin verb laqueare, "to ensnare." That makes perfect sense when you consider nature's consummate lacemaker, the spider. Many believe that lace originated in efforts to reproduce a spider's web.

Since the sixteenth century, when people first created the openwork fabric that would come to be called "lace," it has been much more than personal adornment: Lace made and broke national economies; women and men, many with more money than sense, died trying to possess the finest examples; smugglers devised creative and even ghoulish ways to avoid paying taxes and duties on it; and laws were enacted that attempted to restrict who could wear it.

The merino/silk Honeycomb scarf by Galina Khmeleva. The Honeycomb motif is one of the elements found in Orenburg-style knitted lace. (Photo by Joe Coca)
Mary Polityka Bush's Dresden lace gift bag worked in counted thread. (Photo by Joe Coca)

I confess—I adore lace! I don't actually wear lacy things except for my prized knitted-lace Orenburg shawl and not-subtle lime socks, but I am totally fascinated by lace and how it's made.

So putting together the May/June issue of PieceWork—our third annual special issue on the magic and mystery of lace—was a dream.

Each story, each piece of lace speaks so eloquently to the beauty and value of work done by someone's hand. Some of those hands are unknown; others belong to lacemakers of today who are carrying on the tradition brilliantly. Here are some highlights:

—You'll learn how ardent knitters are keeping the life and designs of Herbert Niebling, a grand master of lace knitting, alive. In addition to step-by-step instructions and charts for knitting the Niebling-inspired bag shown on the cover, we included tons of tips and notes for working a Niebling design

—The soft, elegant socks with a lacy cuff from Nancy Bush are just my style; they're made from a yummy blend of merino wool and bison

—A reader shares the wedding veil she knitted for her daughter inspired by a story in the May/June 1998 issue of PieceWork

—Galina Khmeleva's "An Orenburg Honeycomb Lace Scarf to Knit" is sure to get those needles clacking

—Plus "The Great Pretender: Dresden Lace Embroidery" and instructions to make a beautiful Dresden lace gift bag using only two embroidery stitches; a charming sample book with tatted lace motifs from the 1920s and 1930s; detail photographs showing how point de gaze (French for "lace of gauze") needle lace is made; the centuries-old tradition of bobbin lacemaking in Spain; the results from our Crocheted-Lace Challenge II—The Maltese Edgings; and much more (see the full table of contents here)!

If you love lace, you'll love this issue of PieceWork; it testifies to lace's widespread and enduring appeal!


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