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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Wonderful Weekend Part 3!

Oh I forgot to tell you that on the Saturday night as well as the wonderful talk on Antique Lace.. the ladies of the Women's Institute came in and showed some of the wonderful things that they make and we had to show them and repeat all the tomfoolery till tears ran down their cheeks!
They were so impressed by my tatting and threads that they will be learning to tat too.
Tatting certainly spread it's name that weekend, and so many little butterflies and cards were given away.

On Sunday morning we got our second chance to make lace. Fergeal has already reported what he learned but I guess I better repeat it here very briefly in case you don't follow Fergeal and his mates on their blog.

Carmel was making a butterfly in Youghal lace.

Ok! I have gotta explain this one to you. First of all how to pronounce Youghal, it's Yawl. It's a seaside town in East Cork. This is what Lacefairy has to say about the lace:-

Of all the varieties of Irish lace that are known, Youghal lace is justly regarded as the most beautiful. It is at the same time the most difficult to make as it is worked stitch by stitch without any foundation. The Youghal lace industry had its birth in 1847, the Irish famine year. Mother Margret Smyth, a nun in the presentation, convent of County Cork, horror stricken at the sight of starting women and children around her, conceived the idea of starting some employment which might provide them with bread. But of what that employment should consist of perplexed mother Smyth. It so happens that one day, searching in out of the way nooks and corners, she chanced to light upon a scrap of rare old Italian lace. The moment of inspiration had come. Here was work which might yield bread for the poor hungry girls and children. That lovely scrap should be made to give up the secret of its construction. Setting to work, she picked the lace to pieces, unraveling it unraveling the thread, until at last she fully grasped all the details of the delicate and intricate pattern. Mother Smiths difficulties were however, by no means at an end. Her self imposed task was an arduous one; but at last, after many attempts and repeated disappointments she succeeded in establishing a school for lace which is now of European reputation.

It's a very difficult lace to make...I think as it has no foundation material to work on. That green stuff that you see does not become part of the lace. the stitches are worked on top of it. I have tried it and mmmmmm!!

Jackie was doing Tambour Lace. She uses a hook and very fine thread. Can you see the Swallowtail Butterfly that she is copying. The net is stretched over a frame the Tambour like a drum and the hook draws the thread through the net to make a chain stitch.

I didn't get very far with my Carrickmacross butterfly....too busy teaching tatting...and talking!!

Jackie finished the butterfly from the pattern that I had taken to make. It's from the Bucilla Blue Book 317, adapted by Wally Sosa.

The lady who had the Antique Lace brought in some more..this time bobbin lace. fergeal had a good look. She said that it was ok to show these pictures.

Just look at the fantastic Bobbin lace that one of the ladies we met was that a lot of bobbins or what......but as we are always told only two pair of bobbins are being used at any one just have to remember waht all the others are for!!1

While we were busy working we were offered a tour of the house so that stopped work!!

One of the things that I liked the most was all the stained glass by George Walton a contemporary of Renee Mackintosh. There was stained glass everywhere...the nuns had looked after the house so well that it was all intact.

There was such an emphasis on letting in natural light.

I wish I could show you it all.

This window was repeated throughout the new extension and I guess is relatively modern, isn't it beautiful.

When the nuns bought the house in 1929 all that was left inside were three wash stands from 1873 which are still in fully working order in the bedrooms in the old house. Our bedrooms with our fancy ensuite's were wonderful but Oh my these were so elegant.


This piece of furniture also survived ..but only because it was built and recessed into the thick wall.

The woodwork and William Morris wallpapers were stunning.

Wish I could show you more, what a perfect peaceful place for a retreat.


  1. The lace in progress pics are lovely. It looks like everyone had a nice time! :)

  2. I loved looking at all of your pictures and reading about the different laces. I would love to get some either Youghal or Carrickmacross lace since I have a ton of Irish running through my veins. Beautiful Pictures!!!

  3. Hi Chic, Hi Sherry..there are so many different Irish laces each one as beautiful at the last. Glad you enjoyed it.


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