PieceWork May - June 2018

PieceWork is the only magazine for those who love all things made by hand and the history behind them. Every issue explores the life and work of traditional needleworkers, takes an in-depth look at historical needlework techniques, and gives instructions for making heirloom-quality projects of your own.

United States
Long Thread Media LLC



Here we go again—our annual Lace Issue of PieceWork! It’s our eleventh look at this extraordinary fabric, which continues to captivate. Although the techniques for making lace vary—from bobbin and needle to knitted, crocheted, and tatted—the stories behind the creations keep this theme on our perennial list. The offerings in this issue are no exception. When Evelyn McMillan, who wrote about lacemakers in Belgium in the May/June 2017 issue (see “Gratitude in Lace: World War I, Famine Relief, and Belgian Lacemakers”), inquired about sharing a different story on an individual lacemaker for this issue, I immediately said “yes.” The first few sentences from Evelyn’s article, “Subversive Lace,” set the scene: Louise Liénaux-Vergauwe (born in 1890), a young Belgian wife and mother, created six exceptional pieces of pictorial lace during World War I…


EXHIBITIONS Berkeley, California: June 29, 2018–February 2019. The Boteh of Kashmir and Paisley, at the Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles. (510) 843-7290; www.lacismuseum.org. District of Columbia: March 10–July 9. Binding the Clouds: The Art of Central Asian Ikat, at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. (202) 994-5200; www.museum.gwu.edu. Melbourne, Florida: May 19–August 11. Apron Strings: Ties to the Past, at the Ruth Funk Center for Textiles. (321) 674-8313; http://textiles.fit.edu. Paducah, Kentucky: Through June 12. New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Bow Tie, at The National Quilt Museum. (270) 442-8856; www.quiltmuseum.org. Boston, Massachusetts: Through March 10, 2019. Collecting Stories: Native American Art, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (617) 267-9300; www.mfa.org. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Through July 1. Miao Clothing and Jewelry from China, at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. (800) 642-2787; https://new.artsmia.org. St. Paul,…


Classic Crochet Hook An elegant tool makes all needlework even more pleasurable. The fine-turned handle of the Addi Olive Wood Crochet Hook is based on their comfortable Color Coded Crochet Hook. The crochet hooks are available in U.S. sizes A (2 mm), shown here, through I (5.5 mm). www.skacelknitting.com. Decadent Drape Indulge yourself with Luminance Lace Yarn from Knit Picks. A light, lacy wrap in this luxurious 100 percent silk yarn will feel divine draped around your shoulders. The generous 50-gram (1.8-oz), 439-yard (401.4-m) skeins come in fifteen radiant shades. Shown, left to right, are #27044 Peaceful and #27049 Thoughtful.www.knitpicks.com. All-In-One Tool Handy Hands has created the Ultimate Tatting Gauge tool for both right- and left-hand needle and shuttle tatters. The tool includes a 3-inch (7.6-cm) ruler and needle gauge. Use it to measure picots…

subversive lace

Louise Liénaux-Vergauwe (born in 1890), a young Belgian wife and mother, created six exceptional pieces of pictorial lace during World War I (1914–1918). She used this unlikely medium to express her thoughts on the German occupation of her country, to offer her own form of resistance to the invaders, and as a way to cope with her grief over the separation of her family by the war. Through her highly political depictions of the realities of the war, Louise both commented on and celebrated her country’s perseverance in its fight against the German army that had overrun Belgium, a small neutral country. In the early weeks of the war, with her husband already called up for duty, Louise and her two small children joined the thousands of refugees fleeing to the…

spanish frisado de valladolid needle lace

In the 1500s and 1600s, when the Spanish Empire was a world power and the Roman Catholic Church ruled along with the monarchy, gold, silver, and silk were used to make some of the most spectacular lace and embroideries ever created in the Western world. One type of lace made during this time was frisado de Valladolid, named for its surface texture of gold or silver loops and its center of production in Valladolid in northwest Spain. Frisado comes from the Spanish verb frisar, meaning “to lift and curl the hairs of fabric.” I have had the great fortune to travel to Spain twice to study this fascinating lace in its historical context. Frisado de Valladolid is a needle lace constructed by making detached-buttonhole (also called corded Brussels) stitches with colored…

my frisado de valladolid journey

My foray into frisado de Valladolid lace started in 2012, when Mariña Regueiro González-Barros introduced me to it and encouraged me to learn it and teach it to American lacemakers. Mariña owns the Escuela de Encaje in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and is a frequent bobbin-lace teacher in the United States and Europe. She sent me a few photographs of the lace, and I found examples in online collections such as at the Victoria and Albert Museum (accession number 57-1869) and at the Rijksmuseum (accession number BK-2000-3). It was like no other needle lace I had ever seen, and I was keen to learn more. In 2015, I visited Mariña in Madrid, where she arranged for me to have a frisado-lace class with a lacemaker trained at the Barcelona school. We…