17th century cuffs, 1600-luvun kalvosimet


The cuffs for my son’s 17th century outfit are ready. That was the easy part. Next I’ll be making him a reticello collar – a huge project compared to these cuffs!


The cuffs are made of thin linen. First I finished the edges with a rolled hem and then sewed the needle lace straight onto the hem. Little pleats mold the cuffs into shape and with the added wristband the cuffs are attached to the sleeves of a jacket. I’ll make a post about the technique for the needle lace later. Quite easy 😉


Here are some pictures of cuffs of that era. On the left you can also see an example of the kind of collar I’ll be tackling next!

2017-10-09-15-18-35Finished just in time for my son’s trip to “the Battle for Grolle” ! 😉

Reticello lace

Reticella neliö valmis

I am absolutely fascinated by lace! After acquiring some more books on the subject, I had to try my hand at reticello, a needle lace that dates back to the 16th century. You know – huge, opulent collars of kings and queens of that era, Elisabeth I for example – that’s reticello! The original reticello was cutwork made onto a woven linen fabric by pulling most of the threads out. The resulting squares were filled with tiny geometric designs. What I practiced is an evolved version where the lace is made onto a pattern that is later removed. Punto in aria or “stitch in the air” it’s called.


These are some of the books I bought this past summer. The first two in France. I couldn’t resist the beautiful Japanese book on Shetland shawls. The other one is a good guide to needle lace, describing a technique much like the one I used for my little square sampler. The finnish books are from a fabulous lace exhibition at the Salo Art Museum. The top one is the exhibition catalogue, with a concise history of lace and some wonderful pictures of the many different styles of lace they had on display. The exhibit also showed some contemporary lace art eg. by a Finnish lace artist Tarmo ThorströmReticella ja mallitThe start of my work and some antique pieces of reticello from the exhibition catalog.



The base has three layers. A double thickness of plain cotton sheeting, a piece of paper with the pattern drawn onto it and a green plastic film. These are all first stitched together. Then supporting stitches are made through which the basic threads of the actual lace are sewn. These threads are covered with buttonhole stitches or just overcasting. When the piece is ready the supporting stitches are cut from the underside and removed. I’m sure all the stitches are not supposed to be worked like this. My work has way too many supporting stitches for example, and one big flaw is the tension which is too tight along the outer edge. I need to find another book for reference… And the right thread for this work.

Reticella neliö irroitettunaMy husband often asks me what am I making. Sometimes I have no answer except “well… lace”. But now I do have an actual project in mind that this little square was good practice for: in my fervour I promised my son to try and make some cuffs and a collar in reticello and punto in aria for his historical costume. We shall see what year I’ll manage to finish them!

If you want to find out more about this subject go and have a look at Jeanine’s fantastic blog Italian Needlework . She really has put an amazing amount of work into her research!

Old handkerchief lace, vanhaa nenäliinapitsiä


I love old linen! These are some of the beautiful pieces that I’ve inherited. Each handkerchief has been decorated with a different type of lace, all with really thin thread and worked with very skillful hands. The round little doily adorned a jam jar that I was given many years ago and has a slightly more rustic feel to it.


Kauniit käsityöt ovat intohimoni ja näitä perintöliinoja vaalin suurina aarteinani! Kolmea eri tekniikkaa on käytetty nenäliinojen pitsien tekoon. Pyöreä pikkuliina koristi aikoinaan lahjaksi saamaani hillopurkkia ja sen virkattu pitsi on vähän karkeampaa tekoa.


Beautifully worked crochet! The motif is only 1,5 cm wide and about the same hight. The edging is also very neatly crocheted straight onto the linen.


Kauniin virkatun reunuksen kuvion leveys on vain 1,5 cm ja korkeus on sama. Malli on monelle virkkaajalle tutun tuntuinen. Pitsi on todella siististi virkattu suoraan tiiviin puuvillapalttinan reunaan.


The lace on the next one is tatted. The relatively simple pattern has been made with one shuttle. The handkerchief has been hemmed with the drawn thread technique and the lace is sewn onto the edge. Very pretty!


Seuraava liina on Frivolitéetä eli käpypitsiä. Yhdellä sukkulalla toteutettu malli on suht yksinkertainen, mutta silti todella viehättävä. Liina on päärmätty reikäompelein ja pitsi on kiinnitetty käsin ompelemalla liinan reunaan.


The smallest one has Turkish needle lace (also called “oya”) in one corner and on the edges. This is a method where the lace is worked with just needle and thread straight onto the edge of the fabric. This is actually one handkerchief that I can say I’ve used since it decorated the little pocket of my national costume. The dress was bought for me in my early teens. It was very cleverly sewn with a lot of seam allowance to take out when I grew. Since then the dress has also been worn by my daughter on many a festive occasion and I am hoping it will be passed on to future generations…


Pienimmän liinan kulmassa ja reunoilla on turkkilaista neulapitsiä. Tätä oya-pitsiä tehdään pelkällä langalla ja neulalla. Se koostuu kaarista joita kiinnitetään erilaisilla solmuilla edellisen rivin lenkkeihin. Sain tämän pitsiliinan aikoinaan isoäidiltäni koristamaan kansallispukuni taskua, ja siinä se on ollut näihin päiviin asti hakaneulalla kiinnitettynä, ensin minun käytössäni ja sittemmin tyttäreni.


Oya lace is an ancient art of needle lace used to decorate scarves and linen. It’s also a method to make 3D flower decorations for head decorations, necklaces etc. that can look amazingly realistic. This is my try at oya needle lace onto the edge of an old linen towel.


Eri pitsitekniikoita tutkiessani innostuin itsekin kokeilemaan ensimmäistä kertaa neulapitsin tekemistä vanhan pyyheliinan reunaan. Tässä harjoitelmani vähän paksummalla Novitan virkkauslangalla. Ohjeita löytyy netistä hakusanoilla “Turkish needle lace” tai “oya lace”nenaliinat-ja-pyyhe