Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vintage Lace find

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!


WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

What a great find, Abby! My grandmother showed me how to tat when I was about 10. I couldn't tell you how to do it now, but I have her shuttle and tatting string ...maybe it's like riding a bike or playing the piano ...if I sit down with it for a few minutes, my fingers might remember. It is truly a lost art, at least in this country.

Katidids said...

SCORE!! I've never learned or, seen anyone actually tattng. I know you found a treasure though!

The Frugal Fraulein said...

whoa I meant to take pictures before I posted this article! I will get them done today and post away. I was typing last night and my finger pushed the wrong button.
Yes it was a big score. One of the best yard sale finds I have made in a long time.

Cozy Little House said...

Goes with the old saying: One man's junk is another man (or woman's) treasure. I never learned to tat, but love the way it looks.

Bea said...

Wow! All that wonderful stuff - FREE! Glad it was not thrown in the trash.

CC said...

I'm so proud you rescued that lace..
what a find that was. Imagine all that beautiful work being thrown away. Happy VTT..

thasnifty said...

oh thank God you rescued that lace from a landfill. It is stunning! I am so glad you gave it a good home.
Thanks for sharing your find :)
- brightest blessings.

concretenprimroses said...

I'm so glad that you rescued the beautiful lace. I have seen tatting done and its amazing! I love the crocheted piece too.

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

These are just gorgeous. I'm so glad you'll be taking care of them from now on.

Sorry I'm late to come by.

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