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What is it about lace that captivates and intrigues? Its lightness? Its delicacy? In putting PieceWork’s fourth annual lace issue together, I’ve come to realize that what makes it so special to me is all the painstaking hours and hours of handwork that go into creating it, whether it’s needle, bobbin, knitted, or crocheted lace. Imagine being one of the thirty-six women who worked for eighteen months to create a single flounce of Alençon lace for France’s Empress Eugénie. The stories of lacemakers are as intriguing as their lace: Anna Marie Jensen “campaigned for knitting to be recognized as a lacemaking technique”; Dorothy Reade championed the use of charts and symbols in lace knitting; for countless Irishwomen, making lace meant the difference between starvation and survival during the Great Famine. Each article and project in PieceWork’s May/June 2011 special Lace issue illustrates the extraordinary story of lace. Enjoy!
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