|Postcard of girl in Irish crochet|
I don't crochet much myself, and Irish crochet is so fine and intricate that I am sure it is way beyond my skills. But I do admire the things in the collection - they are just beautiful. So since the Rowan magazine article was proposed, I have been keeping a look-out for Irish crochet illustrations in the Guild collection.
Although much Irish crochet was made commercially, there were also many Irish crochet patterns published in needlework magazines in the early part of the 20th century. But the illustrations with the patterns are usually just the piece of crochet - they are rarely shown being worn. So it's difficult to get a sense of how Irish crochet was worn at the time. (I don't think the Rowan model looks very much like an Edwardian lady - it's not a modern look.)
I have recently been looking at the postcards and photographs in the Guild collection - they have all been acquired because they show knitting or crochet, and there are several from around World War I that show Irish crochet. Here is a selection. The postcard of a girl wearing an Irish crochet top (cape? jacket?) is postmarked March 1912. (Postcards of pretty girls were popular at the time.)
|Miss Julia Neilson at Home |
Postcard published by Beagles Postcards,
from a photograph by Ellis & Walery
|Miss Marie Studholme|
Postcard published by Rotary Photo Co.,
from a photograph by Foulsham & Banfield
The young woman wearing the large crochet jabot and stand-up collar (and huge hat) is evidently wearing her best clothes for the photograph.
I also found an ad for Manlove's crochet cotton, in Fancy Needlework Illustrated from 1914. The "peasant girl" in the ad is making a set of motifs for a collar. (When Irish crochet was made commercially, the more experienced and skilled workers made the motifs, which were passed to less experienced crocheters to join together.) So if you were making your own Irish crochet collar, you could aspire to the standards of the professionals by buying the thread that they used.
|"Irish Peasant Girl making Irish crochet Lace"|
Fancy Needlework Illustrated, June 1914.