Royal Lace: A Knitted Doily

The Queen's Lace Doily. Ava T Coleman used Anna Marie Jensen's pattern for The Queen's Lace. (Photograph by Joe Coca)

In honor of the fabulous royal wedding this morning (I'm exhausted, how about you?), I have a special lace story for you from the new issue of PieceWork magazine.

The Queen's Lace
by Ava T. Coleman

Imagine being a resident of a small town in eastern Colorado and receiving a letter from a queen asking for your help. That's exactly what happened to Danish-born Anna Marie Jensen of Brush (2000 population, 5,117) in 1971.

Queen Ingrid of Denmark (1910-2000) was an avid knitter. She wanted to make a doily like one that she had in her lace collection but needed the instructions. And she knew exactly who to contact for help. Then Crown Princess Ingrid and her husband, Crown Prince Frederick, had met Anna Marie and seen some of her lace knitting during their visit to the Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center in Brush in April 1939. Anna Marie, her trip sponsored by the queen and financed by the Danish Guild for the Promotion of Handiwork, returned to Denmark to re-create the directions for making "The Queen's Lace." In a 1982 interview, Anna Marie told Eben Ezer staff member Libby Scalise, "The doily was like a spider web . . . in fine silk threads," Anna Marie noted. "Her Majesty was quite satisfied with my work."

Anna Marie Jensen was born in Thisted on May 31, 1892. Her maternal grandmother taught her to knit as a child. Before long, she was not only duplicating complex traditional knitted pieces but also creating her own knitted-lace designs. Her knitting traveled with her wherever she went throughout her entire life.

I first learned of Anna Marie from a knitting student. The student had signed up for a knitted-lace class because she wanted to learn how to make a doily like the one made by Anna Marie that she had bought at an Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center craft sale as a child. It was the pattern Patricia, glued firmly to a piece of pink construction paper with a price of 10 cents written in pencil on the corner of the paper. The student's mother, a Lutheran and a lace knitter, had received some of Anna Marie's patterns from a friend who attended the same Denver church that Anna Marie had. Among the patterns they shared with me was The Queen's Lace.


I hope you've enjoyed this article. The doily is truly fit for a queen, isn't it?

Read much more about Anna Marie Jensen and get the pattern for The Queen's Lace in the May/June 2011 issue of PieceWork. Subscribe to PieceWork today so you don't miss any features like The Queen's Lace.


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