There seems to be a renewed interest in crochet at the moment. I had drifted away from it over the years, as it went into serious decline for various reasons. I suppose there is a whole new generation of 'hookers' now, all striving to perfect their stitches. The one technique I had not tried in depth is Irish crochet. The little motif above was taken from an ANNA magazine, August 1990. This is supposed to be used as a brooch, but I can see it's potential as a dimensional addition to a tablemat.
The little grapes are fiddly to do, and are supposed to be 'filled' with wooden beads, but I've just pushed some fibrefill into them, as having used white thread, most wooden beads would be a little unsightly in my opinion. All of the work has been done using #20 cotton.
Another motif I wanted to try entailed making mountains of loops which formed a frilly effect. The instructions for this flower are in a Dover publication I bought years ago. I didn't follow the instructions completely because they leave a lot to be desired. After a general perusal of them, I went off and did a Frank Sinatra!!
I hope this photograph gives you an idea of the thickness of the work. I'd like to try this 'flower' in a much finer thread, and perhaps use it with picot joining meshwork. I think it reminds me of an aster.
Another type of lacework which I've become interested in uses a form of crochet tape. The lengths of tape are made and fashioned into designs for leaves, flowers etc. It is commonly known as Romanian Point Lace, or as ANNA calls it Macramé crochet lace. It took me quite a while to work out exactly how to do the tape, ie where to put the hook through the correct two loops. I can now say I'm totally hooked on making this tape, and can see it's use in other forms of textile work. One really has no need to buy braid, just find an appropriate thread/yarn in your stash, and away you go. It curves beautifully, and after forming petals and leaves, you fill the voided areas with lacework stitching. I've again used #20 crochet thread, and apologize if it's a little small to see well. I will play a little more with this and post some work in due course, but I now have to get myself back into my hardanger. It won't get done doing this!!