Lace Threads Fall 2005

President’s Message

Where has the summer gone? I hope everyone had a nice relaxing summer. Robert has been in Australia for over a month and he loves the country. In September he will go to New Zealand and Tasmania for a two week spring break. Yes, it is springtime in Australia. Patrick is at Indiana University, hopefully studying hard. Victoria just started seventh grade and misses her brothers. Our house is relatively quiet for the first time in years.

I hope to get more lace started and completed during these quiet days. So far I completed a rose from the Horiton workshop. It looks beautiful in its silver frame. My next project will be a lace ornament for our group Christmas tree and maybe one for my own tree. I cannot believe Christmas is in just four short months. I love to decorate our group tree and look at the beautiful lace all of you contributed. Everyone in this group is wonderful, talented, and creative. It is a pleasure to meet with you every Thursday night.

Make sure you read the Calendar of events and make room in your schedule for a workshop or demonstration. The workshops are always fun, interesting and will bring out your creativity. The demonstrations are a great time to show others our craft and hopefully will bring in new members. It was at the Greater Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival where Betsy was demonstrating that got me interested in the group. I asked her many questions and soon joined. I would love to see you and your lace projects at the next demonstration. Who knows, you may even complete a project while demonstrating. I completed my Honiton rose at Old Economy. The next demonstration is Oct. 1 & 2 at Phipps. Mark your calendar and come on out. Theresa Troyan
No articles appearing in this newsletter may be reproduced without the express permission of the author.

Calendar of Future Events

Saturday, October 1. National Lace Making Day

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2, 11:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.-Demonstration at Phipps Conservatory

Friday thru Monday, October 7-10 Ithaca Lace Days phone (607) 277-0498 or email:

Friday, Oct. 14, 6:00 – 9:30 P.M. English Lace Villages at Churchill Borough Building by Susan Wenzel

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15-16, 9:00 A.M. –5:00 P.M. –”Starts, Finishes and Turning Corners in Torchon

Lace” workshop at Churchill Borough Building

Thursday, Nov. 3, 7:00 P.M. Regular Monthly Meeting at Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church

Thursday, Nov. 24 no class scheduled Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, Nov. 27 Newsletter Deadline.

Thursday, December 1, 7:00 P.M. Regular Monthly Meeting at Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church

Sunday, December 4, 1:00P.M. Demonstrate at The Nationality Rooms (tentative- information Dewi Wong)

Pittsburgh Lace Group
Recent Events
Old Economy – Really HOT by Louise Chuha
OnAugust 13, four of us intrepid lace makers-Amy, Suzanne, Theresa and me–set off into the wilds of Ambridge and Old Economy. We were to be the featured activity for the day. We set up our very nice display in the Feast Hall and went to work. I think it was the hottest day of the summer and we were grateful that there was an electric fan to blow the hot air around. Unfortunately, we had very few visitors because it was so hot. But among the first group that came in, there was a lady from Belgium, I think, who actually knew what we were doing and was even familiar with the kind of bobbins I was using. We all got quite a lot of lace made since we didn’t have to talk to many people.

We were in a reproduction of a school room. There was a tall teacher’s desk with slates and slate pencils, and samples of the things children would have to practice writing and saying. There were even some arithmetic problems.
In the middle of the afternoon, the choir went upstairs to practice for an upcoming concert and it was a pleasure to listen to them.

Around 4:00 we packed up and headed for home, being exceedingly grateful for the car’s air conditioning.
Louise neglected to mention the uncomfortable folding chairs. She was smart enough to complain and was provided with a padded chair with arms. When she left the room, she left it guarded securely by Dylan and her pillow.

A Visit Home and a Lace Workshop by Robin Panza

In July, the Keystone Lacers (the hosts of the 2004 IOLI convention in Harrisburg) brought in Greet Rome-Verbeylen to teach Lier lace. This is a form of tambour, chain-stitch embroidery on netting. Until I saw Greet’s work at convention, I disliked tambour, but her work is spectacular and I wanted to learn Lier. Greet was scheduled to teach at “The Lacemaker” but that class was cancelled so I signed up for the Harrisburg class. I arranged to fly in and out of Pittsburgh and rent a car to go the rest of the way. That way I could spend time in my old stomping grounds. First of all, the workshop was wonderful. Greet is vibrant and a lot of fun, as well as being an excellent teacher. We all had a great time in class and I came away with enough to know I can continue with the lace. Best of all was that Greet understands me! When I told her I don’t finish anything, she didn’t have a problem with that. When I wanted to experiment, going on tangents other than what she was showing us, she encouraged me in my flights of fancy. The technique of Liers lace (lace from Liers, Belgium) is simple, but with lots of room for “growth”. I believe I’m going to have a lot of fun with this! When I returned to Pittsburgh after the workshop, I got to stay at the Gibbons’, a great home-away-from-home. Amy arranged for the lace group to come over one evening and we had a lovely party by candle light (the power went out during the storm). It was wonderful to see so many of my lace friends again, especially since I haven’t been able to be there on a meeting night. Thank you, all, for the impromptu birthday party and for all the love and friendship. And thank you, Amy, for putting me up (putting up with me?) and creating the party. I had a lovely visit. Pittsburgh Lace Group
Future Events

Phipps ~ Oct.1 & 2 & International Lace Making Day

This year we are combining the annual celebration of International Lace Making Day (October 1st). with our visit to Phipps Conservatory. It is one of the most pleasant places to make lace. The public is always interested and interesting. If you have time to join us either day, please be sure to bring your pillow and some pretties to share, for a pleasant way to celebrate lacemaker’s special day We will be there from 4:00p.m. both days. If you haven’t been to Phipps since it has been remodeled, you will be surprised at how nice it is. If you can’t join us at Phipps, please take a couple of minutes to sit down and make some lace Saturday, knowing that around the world other lacemakers are doing the same thing.
A New Knitting Store Comes to Pittsburgh

Saturday, September 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. will be the Grand Opening of


at 2721 Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill ( right up the street from Poli’s.

Regular store hours M,W,F, Sa: 10-5 T,TH 10-8 Su 12-4

Get hooked on Pittsburgh’s total knitting experience! Supplies, classes, expert knitting service and lounge, all in one very fun place. Join us as we celebrate our Grand Opening-and become part of our closely knit community. We will have door prizes such as gift certificates, yarn kits, sample sweaters and refreshments. Bring the family…we even have a kids area. For more info call us at 412-421-6666.

If you mention that you are a member of the Pittsburgh Lace Group or (embarrassment of embarrassments) mention my name (Amy Gibbons) on September 10th you will receive 15% off. The rest of the time, my name will only open the usual doors.

English LaceVillages and Starts, Finishes & Turning Corners Workshop

Oct. 14-16 with Susan Wenzel

We are fortunate to have for our Fall weekend Susan Wenzel, who will bring her shop along . Bring your friends to shop and enjoy an excellent slide tour of English Lace Villages on Friday evening. Please remember to bring along some finger foods to share with each other. On Saturday and Sunday We will improve our lace decision making. The three most common topics in bobbin lace for someone just past the beginner stage is the fear of “starting”, “turning corners” and “finishing” a piece of lace. If you find yourself unsure about any of these techniques, this is the class for you! Starting methods will be discussed and tried in class, focusing on the use of a magic thread which aids in the final joining at the end of the work. Students will also make a small medallion with four corners. Once completed, you will learn proper joining and then how to weave your ends in so that it is difficult to see where the piece of lace has been started and finished. Skills required for this class include knowledge of how to make a Torchon footside edge, fan, spider and trail. Suzan is an excellent teacher and I am sure we can all benefit from the information that she is bringing. This class is good for every level of lacemaker. As usual if you are taking the workshop, we ask that you bring along something to share for lunch. To sign up for the workshop, see the last page of the newsletter.Pittsburgh Lace Group
PLG Summer Camp
by Louise Chuha

This was the PLG’s second annual minicamp. We decided to spend this one on knitting. Most of us in the group knew something about knitting, but there is always more to learn. Amy led the workshop.

Monday we learned at least a dozen ways to “Cast On.” There are 2 groups of methods for “casting on”–long tail and short tail. I was familiar with one of the Long Tail methods, but not the others. My favorite Short Tail method is the one that uses a crochet hook. I actually still remember how to do it!

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent on knitting, purling, increasing and decreasing, and binding off. Since I missed those 2 evenings, ( editor’s note: please see the articlebelow). I won’t attempt to write about them.

Thursday evening was spent on TOOLS, lovely tools! We all know that lacemakers love tools! And Amy did have some neat gadgets. But playing with tools wasn’t all we did that evening. We learned how to graph a knitting pattern. Once you know how to read a pattern graph, it is faster than reading through all the words, and you can them make your own graphs. I noticed, though, that when Amy asked if anyone wanted to try graphing a pattern, there were no volunteers. I think it’s something you have to really take the time to learn.

I would say that the “minicamp” was a success. We all learned something and the company was good, and it wasn’t too hot in the church. What more could we ask?

by Suzanne Potter

Tuesday— On Tuesday, we campers learned how to knit and purl. Those of us who knitted the “continental” way were taught the “English” method. At first, some of us resisted learning the other way. Gretchen and I were heard muttering about old dogs and new tricks. Amy was patient and persistent with us and soon we were throwing the yarn with abandon. Then we moved on to purling which was harder to master, but we persevered. Barb Lis is a new knitter and has been working on a scarf.

Wednesday—- The class on binding –off techniques was the most informative class of the week. Amy showed us several new methods that should prove useful. One of the ways – Called a “knitted cord cast off” in The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee, or an “Idiot cord Cast off” in The Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman, finishes the edge with a handsome, narrow band that will be a nice finish for many projects. Thank you, Amy, for all you hard work!
IOLI Information by Amy Gibbons

Did you know that from August of 2004 to August 2005, nine members of The Pittsburgh Lace Group demonstrated in seven different places? Did you know that every year I am asked to turn in our hours of demonstrating to IOLI so that they can maintain their non-profit status? That our Regional Director asks to have a survey filled out with the number of hours we demonstrate, the types of programs we have, when we meet, how many Lace Days we have? She then turns this information in to IOLI. So if you demonstrate any where, you might want to let me know. Thank you.

Rush, rush, rush! It has been a summer of “yikes, I have to have the lace done when!?!” Amy started it with the need to have two sets of wise men made to take to her brother’s in August. And no, she didn’t have to sew them on the flight to Tacoma. Gretchen was next with a last minute wedding hanky. She started working on it in late July and we saw the beautiful result on August 25. I’m next in line. Two of my sister’s children have decided to reproduce; soooo, that means I have to have lace edged christening caps for September 2005 and February 2006. Those two projects would’nt be too onerous if her third child wasn’t getting married in November! There will be little cooking and cleaning at my house in the foreseeable future.
Editor’s Note: While we were at Old Economy I attached lace to some fabric, a job that had been sitting for several years and Theresa returned to work on her Honiton Flower. She finished it on the 18th at class. Hooray for tasks completed.
2006 I.O.L.I. Contest

Dear Charter Chapters,

I am inviting your members to participate in the 2006 I.O.L.I. lace contest. Please consider entering. It will be fun!

2006 I.O.L.I. Lace Contest:

In honor of the 2006 convention theme: Dentelle et Arts de la Table/ Lace and the Art of Table Dressing, the 2006 contest theme will be: Feast for the Eyes.

Flowered or geometric, traditional or modern, colorful or subdued: what is the feast for your eyes?

With the passage of time, precious moments of family gatherings and holiday joy can fade. An item – a table ribbon – may serve as a visual, tactile reminder of these events, a symbol of past cherished family memories. The tradition of a lace ribbon at holidays may preserve special moments in ways a picture might never do.

The contest: Table ribbon 35 to 45 inches in length (90-100cm) – 3.5 to 5 inches in width (9-12cm), any technique, any size or type of thread, at least two colors. The lace can not be attached to fabric or framed. All sides of the lace should be finished. Beads and wire are permitted, but remember this is a two dimensional contest.

Categories of submission:

Original Lace Design – The entry must be designed and worked by the entrant. A copy of the original pattern and working directions must be submitted with the entry.

Technical Proficiency – The entry must be worked completely by the entrant, but another lace designer’s pattern may be used. Information acknowledging the designer and source of the pattern must be provided with the entry.

Start a tradition, include the family, and create a table ribbon that binds your family traditions and memories.

All entrants must be members of the I.O.L.I.

First right of publication is granted to the I.O.L.I. Bulletin. Designer of original work will hold the copyright.

The Bulletin editor or I.O.L.I. Board designated photographer will photograph the lace pieces.

Request entry forms and more details: from Debra Jenny, 311 Arbor Lane, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54301-1649 or e-mail Deadline for submitting lace entries is June 24, 2006.

Pittsburgh Lace Group
Lace Adventure in France

It all started with some information that Pompi Parry gave during her Blonde and Polychrome lace lecture last spring in Pittsburgh, about the annual International Lace and Embroidery meeting in Creully, Normandie ( The five-day event would open with demonstrations of the crafts and the vendors’ marketplace during the weekend, followed by various classes. Pompi, along with other lacemakers from all over Europe, would be demonstrating lacemaking.

Since this event was just a week before Viviane Morelle’s (my dear niece) wedding in Compiègne, I made sure that I had time to check it out even just for a couple of days. I was excitedly looking forward to my visit; I would have much to tell Therèse Salord, a longtime family friend and fellow lacemaker, when I would see her, at the wedding.

The day after I arrived in Paris, my sister Janny dropped me off at the train station, from where I would be taking a two-hour ride to Caen. When she said good-bye to me, I whispered to her, “this is going to be a great adventure.” With a backpack, a lunch bag, and a little French vocabulary, it was adventure indeed. From Caen I boarded the event’s chartered bus, arriving in Creully an hour later. I saw many laces and lace posters throughout the town, at supermarkets, hairdressers, antique shops, hotels, etc. The Castle and its grounds were such beautiful surroundings, which made the stroll among the demonstrators and vendors very pleasant. There were bobbin makers, tatters, netters, tambour, bobbin and needle lacemakers. This year’s theme was “dolls” and the doll and lace shows were very interesting.

I found Pompi demonstrating in one of the rooms up in the castle. So was Greet Rome-Verbeylen, from Belgium, whom I met last year at the IOLI convention in Harrisburg. One of the committee members, Jocelyn Renaud, was very helpful to give me some directions in English. That weekend, I also made a new friend, Aminatou Gbedji-Diallo, who came all the way from Togo, Africa. She was accompanied by Sorry, her seven-year-old son. She took the embroidery class. The three of us bonded instantly and throughout the two days I was there. Every time I saw them, I felt like I was seeing old friends.

After going around the castle, I walked to the nearby umbrella factory. It was a nice stroll, following the cool, wooded path of the dry moat. I passed a rolling brook and a meadow where farm animals were resting. When I looked back, I got a magnificent view of the castle. The factory is still in operation and I saw how they make the artisan umbrellas of excellent quality. I also viewed their lace parasol display and decorations of lacey umbrellas made of paper and other materials. From the factory, I walked to the center of the town and stopped at the Church of St Martin to peek inside. Most of the church’s walls were from the 12th and 15th centuries and only a small part was from the 18th century.

I attended the event’s dinner and was given a ride to it from a very kind couple, Claude and Jaqueline Roche that lives in Caen. Some people wearing Norman costumes and spanning three generations welcomed all the guests. The full four course French dinner and magic show were fantastic. I tremendously enjoyed sitting with Pompi and meeting new friends. The grand finale of the evening was a procession of the families in costume and holding candles, followed by the entrance of a huge tray of cake with firework sparklers. They asked people from different countries to come forward to cut the cake. Guess who represented the USA? Moi! The highlights of the whole event were really seeing the Blonde lace in its original setting; meeting Claudette and Michael Bouvot, the authors of the books on the subject; meeting Yves Wirbel, the artist whose sketches decorate the Honfleur lace book, and his wife Annie, who demonstrated lacemaking with Pompi and a few other people who execute the beautiful Polychrome lace. It was a real treat to bring the whole experience of the Normandy laces – Blonde and Polychrome – to life. I am very grateful to Pompi Parry, for without her information, I would not have been there!

Pittsburgh Lace Group
A SUMMER ADVENTURE (Continued) by Sonya Hancsar

I was thrilled to be back in Moscow. I had been here for a month more than thirty years ago with the University of Pittsburgh School of International Studies while studying the Russian language at one of their teachers’ institutes when I still had hopes of being a translator and/or interpreter. I was interested in seeing how Moscow had changed after all those years. I expected to see a lot of personal names on stores, something like Gimbel’s or Horne’s, but that turned out not to be the case. Fortunately, they’ve stayed with names such as bookstore, supermarket, etc. making it much easier to shop there than here. There are, however, more signs and billboards advertising gambling and sex that were not in existence thirty years ago. There were now two large highway rings around the city where only one had existed thirty years ago. There are many trees and small parks between the buildings and concrete apartments. We arrived at the hotel Aerostar – a very modern looking building with tall square columns of marble and a lot of glass, also, a two-story lobby with several chandeliers, a mezzanine with a piano which is played during cocktail hour (free champagne for guests), and leather-upholstered furniture on beautiful rugs. I waited in the lobby while the co-ordinators of the trip organized the room distribution. I met Sarah Danser, who was going to be my room-mate so that we could split the cost of lodging to keep our expenses down. Everything worked out. We settled into our room and I had some time to look around the hotel and amuse myself trying to translate anything and everything that was printed in Russian.

For Saturday evening, we were scheduled for a tour and a “welcome” dinner. It was a wonderful evening. We walked around Red Square for a short tour then went to dinner at a historic museum in Red Square. The dinner was wonderful and traditional with Russian appetizers (zakooski) including dilled sour cream and cucumbers and, of course, caviar. I ate so many filled pirogies that I didn’t have room for the main course. (We were trying to figure out the code for the notches on the edges. Did three notches mean mushroom filling?) The servers were dressed in old-fashioned outfits and it became a race to get our hands over our wine glasses or vodka glasses to keep the servers from re-filling them. I eventually left my glasses full and only sipped on them in hopes that the servers wouldn’t notice that the liquid had gone down a smidgeon. After the dinner, we had an evening bus tour of Moscow.

The next morning, we had a complimentary buffet breakfast at the hotel cafe just by showing our room pass-key card. The buffet was wonderful! There were several different tables with a variety of cold cereals, juices, cheeses, breads, hot dishes including sausages, stewed tomatoes, hot cereal, small pieces of baked potato, scrambled eggs, even omelets made-to-order. There was even a table with traditional Japanese foods, such as, rice and miso, for the Japanese guests. It was all-you-can-eat, so I wasn’t hungry until late afternoon. On Sunday morning, we visited the gravesite of the orchestra conductor, Nikolai Kalinin, who had just died of cancer. In the afternoon, we attended a rehearsal of the Ossipov orchestra at the Tchaikovsky Music Hall where they gave us a small performance; and then, invited the members of our club who wanted to participate, to join in playing several pieces with them.

Afterwards, we had a small friendly reception where we had a chance to get to know each other and I had a chance to be in awe of the Moiseyev dance studios that were in the same building. In the evening, we had several options – we could go off on our own, we could attend an opera “Queen of Spades”, or we could attend the “Don Quixote” ballet at the Bolshoi Theater. I decided to go to the ballet. It was spectacular! The performance was videotaped because it was the prima ballerina’s first time as the lead female dancer in this piece and she danced flawlessly! The scenery was stunning – even though it was two-dimensional, it looked three-dimensional. It really was awesome to be attending a performance at the historic Bolshoi Theater!
The hotel was able to extend our stay through Monday night, but for Tuesday, we would have to to make other arrangements – although we still didn’t have any idea what that might be. On Monday we took tours of the famous Moscow art gallery – the Tretyakov Museum – and also the Kremlin. In the afternoon, our guide was kind enough to escort us to the main tourist shopping district – Old Arbat Street. I left the group here to go off on my own, although, with some trepidation. With a map and an address for a Western Union office (there are 40 in Moscow), I set off to locate it with the hope that eventually my parents could wire me some money once I knew how much extra I might need. I located the place and then headed back to Old Arbat Street. I didn’t expect anyone to still be there but I didn’t like the idea of dealing with the Moscow streets and subway by myself, at least not yet. When I had ridden the subway thirty-four years ago, the wooden treads on the escalator steps were so short that the tips of my shoes would stick out over the edge and the escalator tunnels were so deep that the bottoms of the tunnels couldn’t be seen. It would make me dizzy, so I would ride the escalators to the subway backwards until I could see the bottom floor. (The escalators are now all modernized and look like any of the modern steel escalators found in the department stores.)I wandered along Old Arbat Street and purchased a souvenir apron and then continued walking along, when, to my surprise, I saw two of the women from our group. I was SO happy and relieved. I hurried over to them. They told me that the rest of the group were in the shops looking for souvenirs. The guide had had to leave but one of the women in the group had been on the subway just recently and knew the way back to the Aerostar Hotel. We had no problems getting back.

That Monday evening, we had a small party at a room in the hotel. Everyone who was there on the trip had to decide what they were going to do next. Some were going home, some were going to St. Petersburg, some were going on a pre-packaged tour of the historic Golden Ring cities near Moscow and would return to Moscow on Friday, some returned to Scandinavia, and some, like myself, decided to stay in Moscow. Someone had mentioned that there was a reasonably-priced, nice hotel on the outskirts of Moscow and I decided to try going there. It turned out to be great. It was old-style architecture but clean, neat, cozy, and reasonably-priced. Plus, it was only about 2 blocks away from the big and expensive Cosmos Hotel which had a casino, money exchange booths, souvenir shops, a restaurant, but, most importantly, a business center where I could send e-mails to my family. I became familiar with the nearby kiosks and small neighborhood grocery shops. One was even open 24 hours. I was comfortable and happy at this hotel – there was even a little refrigerator in the room (although they also had a very nice small cafe in the hotel where we again had complimentary breakfasts).

On Friday of that week, a minor glitch came up. The staff were scheduled to have the weekend off, but the tour group hadn’t returned yet, so, I agreed to store all of their instruments and packages in the room that Sarah and I were sharing. Sarah was understanding and the tour group returned Friday night and everyone picked up their stuff. Sarah left on

Saturday as well as some of the others in the group. Our merry band was now quickly dwindling in numbers. I couldn’t help wondering if I was going to end up alone – the last one standing in Moscow. …. ….to be continued

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the newsletter. Especially Theresa Troyan, Suzanne Potter, Louise Chuha; Dewi Wong; Sonya Hancsar AND Robin Panza. Articles are always welcome. Please send them. Amy

The Pittsburgh Lace Group Fall Workshop
Slide Presentation of English Lace Villages

by Susan Wenzel

Friday, October 14, 2005 at 7:30 p.m.

shopping with Lacy Susan begins at 6:00 p.m.

Admission at the door is $5.00 members and $7.00 non-members

Refreshments will be provided (donations are welcome)

taught by Susan Wenzel Skills required for this class include knowledge of how to make a Torchon footside edge, fan, spider and trail
Saturday, October 15 & Sunday, October 16 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

with a 45 minute break for a pot luck lunch and a 15 minute break in the afternoon

Cost for the workshop will be 75.00 for members and $85.00 for non-members
Directions to the Churchill Borough Building

From Monroeville: Parkway East (I-376) to the Churchill Exit (Exit 10-A). Exit from left

lane. Turn left at first intersection and immediate right into Borough Bldg. parking lot.

From Pittsburgh: Parkway East (I-376) to Churchill Exit (Exit 10-A); right at bottom of

ramp to “Y” intersection with Beulah Rd. (Rt. 130-W); take the right branch and immediately

get into left lane. Turn left at the light (left turn signal) onto Old Wm. Penn Highway.

Borough Bldg. is on the left, entrance to parking lot is just beyond the building.

You may use either parking lot, but if you use the lower lot, please park away from the

building so the police can park close to the building. Enter through the center front door.

Workshop Registration Form

The workshop is limited to 12 participants, to be given priority, active members must register by Oct.1.

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