Last summer at a yard sale I spied a box under a table with what looked like some lace. I pulled out the box and there was a large pile of homemade lace and tatted pieces. Some were stained and all had been wet at some time. They were wrinkled and tussled up.
I went over to the home owners, an older couple, and asked how much they wanted for the box. The man made a comment about that useless stuff and said it should be thrown away. I held my tongue. The woman didn’t seem to care and said, “If you want it, just take it. We are selling someone’s junk.” I restrained myself from running to my car and slowly ambled away. I couldn’t wait to get home and check out my find.In the box are handmade pieces of lace and tatting. Wikipedia states “Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops. Tatting can be used to make lace edging as well as doilies, collars, and other decorative pieces. The lace is formed by a pattern of rings and chains formed from a series of cow hitch, or half-hitch knots, called double stitches (ds), over a core thread. Gaps can be left between the stitches to form picots, which are used for practical construction as well as decorative effect.
Tatting dates to the early 19th century. The term for tatting in most European languages is derived from French frivolité, which refers to the purely decorative nature of the textiles produced by this technique. The technique was developed to imitate point lace.”
There were collars, bibs, lace for edging, round pieces and strips of lace many feet long. Some had been white and there were pink and yellow pieces. Also I found a few old pieces of embroidered lace that looked Austrian or Bavarian. The piece that attracted and surprised me most is a piece that was the top of a pinafore of some kind. It has shoulders and a front and opens in the back.
I dried the pieces and aired them out. I chose not to wash them in fear they would shrink. I actually like the mottled colors and patina they developed over the years. I will never know who made these pieces of art, how many hours were spent making knots or what event they were created for. I do know I found someone’s heritage and I treasure them.
The pink pin cushion is one I made with a piece of the pink lace. That handsome fellow is Mister T, love of my life. He just had to get in the picture. But that is ok because he is part of most everything I do. He loves to go to yard sales and get stuffed animals. He carries them off to the car then pulls the stuffing out of them!