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Royal Lace: A Knitted Doily

Apr 29, 2011

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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djsdesigns wrote
on Mar 19, 2013 11:38 AM

Where can I find other patterns by Anna Marie Jensen?

ciyona wrote
on May 13, 2011 12:05 AM

I need help with the Queen's Lace pattern. Rnd 1 yo,k1 repeat  to end. Does that mean yo,k1 in first st of 6 then last st of same needle so I get 1 sts for all three needles. I am fairly knew to knitting and I know I can do this project. I just have trouble with how I am reading what the pattern says. Also, when I change needles can you explain what happens to the other sts on the needle as I switch to the new one for working the second needle Are they suppose to unravel a bit. A small video demo would be helpful.

thanks for any assistance.

on Apr 29, 2011 9:41 PM


spanks wrote
on Apr 29, 2011 6:59 PM

i got excited too but read at the end i had to buy the subscription to get the would be nice to see some really nice free patterns shared with us, NO-ONE these days will share the finer things, just the average or plain yuk patterns, and that is sooo sad......i love the news letter, but how about you throw us a meaty bone and not a dry dusty one once in a while?

MeredithB wrote
on Apr 29, 2011 2:12 PM

I was totaly blown away when I read te article about the Danish lace.  Would anyone believe I was born at Eben Ezer Hospital in Brush, Co in 1935.  Wow, I guess at age 4 I wouldn't have known about the visit of the Crown Princess Ingrid and husband.  I might just add that my mother reported that wet sheets were hung in all the hallways to collect the dust-- yep- dust bowl days!!! Meredith - now in Olympia, WA

CherylC@42 wrote
on Apr 29, 2011 11:51 AM

I would love this copy of the Piecework magazine but doubt it is ever going to happen, despite my husband buying me an annual subscription back in November as a Christmas gift.   I still haven't received a single copy of ANY issue despite frequent emails to them and emails from them ensuring that they will fix the problem.  It is 6 months since the subscription was bought.   Think twice before you subscribe to this magazine.

imalulu wrote
on Apr 29, 2011 11:23 AM

I agree with CynthiaM@34...though I love reading Knitting Daily very much, it has turned into a vehicle to sell. sell, sell. Wouldn't it have been wonderful if the Queen's Lace pattern was an actual GIFT today in honor of the royal wedding...but alas, just another push to sell.  I'm sure that it exactly what Kathleen is directed to do in her job.  

knitterlynan wrote
on Apr 29, 2011 10:24 AM

I love lace. The doliy is amazing. I would love to see the pattern.

You highlighted an issue of Piecework magazine in September of 2010. I became very interested and subscribed immediately. November came along and no issue. They promised it would come within weeks. January , no issue. They promised me they would re-issue my subscription. March, no issue...I cancelled my subscription.

I would love to read the magazine..but the service I received was very frustrating.

I'm a great fan of your newsletter. Thanks for all your hard work!

joannedenver wrote
on Apr 29, 2011 10:08 AM

I was pleased to read the article about the Queen's Lace. Anna Marie Jensen was a friend of my maternal grandmother at First Bethany Lutheran Church in Denver, Colorado. I believe my grandmother and Anna Marie Jensen also knew each other at Brush. My maternal grandfather and great-grandfather help found Eben Ezer in Brush, and one of the windows in the chapel there is dedicated to my great-grandfather. I have met Ava Coleman and purchased some of Anna Marie Jensen's patterns from her. I now have a doily made by Anna Marie Jensen that my aunt purchased at Eben Ezer.

Thanks for your articles with a story behind them.

CynthiaM@34 wrote
on Apr 29, 2011 10:06 AM

When I first started reading this article I thought "Wow, they're going to give us a beautiful pattern in honor of the Royal wedding!" Then I finished reading the article and thought, "Of course, why should anything change, it's just another article to get you to subscribe to something, AGAIN!" This is sadly what Knitting Daily has become, nothing more than a way to sell, sell, sell. It never used to be this way, at least not completely. So sad. So very sad.

d00rst0p wrote
on Apr 29, 2011 7:27 AM

So pretty! Ty