WORKING REPORT – FILET OF DRAGON

More progress.

I’m only three rows from being done with this side panel, so I turned my attention to figuring out how to join the top and bottom strips. I think I’ll end up doing something like this:

I’ll be working this strip the long-narrow direction, joining it to the side of the existing piece. I think the joins will be visible if you know to look for them, but they shouldn’t be too distracting because except for the first two and last two rows of the piece, the column of meshes thatis being attached are all filled in, and any additional heaviness should be visually lost in that solid line.

In the mailbag I had a couple of questions on why I thought that filet crochet is clunky and heavy looking. The people whowrote thought my piece was anything but. However, to me filet isheavy by comparison to Lacis – the style it emulates.

Lacis is worked by darning in the meshes on a hand-knotted net background. You start with a netted ground, then with needle and thread, weave in the meshes that need to be worked solidly. There’s a wonderfully arcane logic to designing one’s path of stitching so as to minimize ends. If you like themental excerciseof working double-sided blackwork or cross stitch, you’d really enjoy Lacis. For delicacy though, filet crochet just can’t compare:

This photo is froma photo catalog of household and decorative arts held by the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The book is in Russian and French, published in 1974. It identifies this piece as being Italian, 16th century, but says very little beyond that.

To my amateur eyes, it looks like this piece of lace was cut down for re-use, because not only are motif roundels rudely interrupted, both the tape at the top and the applied needle lace lappet edge at the bottom are sewn on to roughly cut edges that in some places slash meshes in half. Even so, look at the extreme contrast between the darned solid bits and the spiderlike open areas formed by ever-so-thin single thread mesh ground. Now THAT’S delicate! You can also see yet that the use of the borders and centralpanel areais yet another bit of inspiration that stewed around beforethe idea for mydragon curtain was birthed.

This designs in this particular pieceare on my "to-do" list to graph up for Ensamplio Atlantaea. My postulated but not yet realized sequel to The New Carolingian Modelbook. Little things are holding up that production – like the lack of a good graphing platform, not having a publisher, that so many other people are now plowing the same turf and I don’t want to repeat material others have issued.

How did I lay hands on the Russian decorative arts catalog? It’s amazing what you can findin the damaged goods deep-discount boxes at some Cambridge, Massachusetts used book stores.

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