Crocheted Maltese Lace - Collecting Insouciant Lace Crochet

When I was growing up, the attitude in our house was “if you want it and can’t get it, find away to make it.”  That involved everything from hats to noodles to petit fours to gears for the washing machine.  That’s the first thing I thought when I saw this collar, crocheted to look like Maltese bobbin lace.


Crochet clr front

The insouciant spirit of the lacemaker comes through.  Someone looked at a piece of Maltese bobbin lace, thought “I can make that,”  picked up a crochet hook and a ball of thread and proceded to do just that.

crochet clr back


I don’t have a close look-alike in Maltese to match it up with, but key design elements are there.  Obviously, the Maltese Cross.  

Maltese Cross detailCroch Malt cross









Cross at the left is handmade Maltese bobbin lace, at the right is the crocheted cross.  The bobbin lace is woven clothwork  the crocheted clothwork is individual tiny crochet stitches.

Other design elements, more difficult to produce in crochet, are the typical wheatears or leaves. 

Malt wheatears skinny st931Croch Malt bars green curve tally










 Nevertheless, the intrepid lacemaker produced curves in the stitching to do a fair job of imitating a skinny wheatear.

Little rounds like spoked wheels also figure in Maltese (top picture, left) -- and in Bedfordshire Maltese, (bottom picture, left) an English imitation of Maltese.  Crocheted Maltese is at right below.

Croch Malt clr end938


real maltese roundscroppedcolor








Beds maltese roundscolor adj








In the Cutwork Alencon lace article I talked about collecting lace, not names.  Perhaps this lace should have a name, one that reflects the “I can do that ” spirit.  Intrepid seems too strong, too militaristic.  Wannabee too dismissive.   I like Insouciant lace -- lace pieces that best represent the ”I can make that” attitude with a bit of nonchalance and absolutely no fear of lace police.

Crochet lacemakers seem to more often play with imitations of other classic laces than any other technique.  I've seen examples of crocheted Cluny, crocheted torchon, crocheted reticella, crocheted Gros Point, Point plat, Coralline and other needle laces, Battenberg -  what else have I missed? 

Any thoughts on why? 

Are crochet lacemakers more creative, more daring, more clever?  I still like insouciant:  blithly unconcerned, nonchalant, happy-go-lucky.  In short, an abundance of "Can Do" attitude.

Please share, and if you find other Insouciant crochet, please let me know!  And if you choose to try to prove me wrong with examples of other techniques imitating other techniques, have at it!  (Some of you may have seen my example of Bedfordshire bobbin lace copying Honiton bobbin lace in Guide to Lace and Linens.)  For those who haven't perhaps that should be a "Favorite Things" article in the near future...


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Posted August 20, 2013



lacecurator@gmail.com  www.lacemerchant.com      219-659-1124    Elizabeth Kurella 2014