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Celebrate the Beauty of Lace

May 3, 2013

There are few things more beautiful than an intricate piece of lace, and there are few projects as fun to tackle techniques as knitting lace! The new issue of PieceWork magazine is the annual lace issue, and there's fabulous lace patterns, history, and photographs on every page. Here's Editor Jeanne Hutchins to tell you more:

    
Wrap yourself or someone you love in this stunning Orenburg warm shawl. Galina A. Khmeleva chose luxurious cashmere yarn for this project, a fitting choice for what will surely become a family heirloom. (Photograph by Joe Coca)
Magical Lace

In 1904, Brentano's published Samuel L. Goldenberg's Lace: Its Origin and History. (It's available online as a Project Gutenberg eBook.) Goldenberg (1864–1936) worked for the family business in New York City, Goldenberg Brothers and Company, importers of lace. In his introduction, Goldenberg writes:

"The task of the author of this work has not been an attempt to brush the dust of ages from the early history of lace in the hope of contributing to the world's store of knowledge on the subject. His purpose, rather, has been to present to those whose relation to lace is primarily a commercial one a compendium that may, perchance, in times of doubt, serve as a practical guide. though this plan has been adhered to as closely as possible, the history of lace is so interwoven with life's comedies and tragedies, extending back over five centuries, that there must be, here and there in the following pages, a reminiscent tinge of this association."

    
Delicate shell-motif lace from the New-York Tribune weekly edition, November 11, 1879. (Photograph by Joe Coca)
I discovered Goldenberg's book while putting together this annual Lace issue of PieceWork. Although Goldenberg's intent was clearly to produce a reference for those in the business of selling, not making, lace, he examines more than ninety-five types of lace, hand- and machine-made, from Allover to Ypres.

He succinctly describes the construction and relates the history of each type as well as providing crisp black-and-white close-up photographs.

Lace: Its Origin and History apparently was the only book Goldenberg wrote, and I could find no information about how long his family's lace-importing company remained in business, but I did discover that Goldenberg and his wife, Nella, who had moved from New York to Paris in 1905, were two of the survivors of the Titanic disaster in April 1912.

    
Karen Brock used instructions from Addie W. Heron's Fancy Work for Pleasure & Profit (1894) to knit this torchon-lace edging. (Photograph by Joe Coca)
Delve into more fascinating facts on lace—knitted, needle, bobbin, tatted, crocheted, and machine-made—in this issue. And discover a few more people who have been captivated by magical lace. There is just something about lace!

Subscribe to PieceWork magazine today so you don't miss any of the fascinating articles and patterns in our upcoming issues!

P.S. Do you enjoy lace knitting? Tell us about your favorite piece of knitted lace in the comments, below. Mine favorite is the lace edging that my great-grandmother knit for a set of pillowcases. I still use them!


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