Q: What is Venetian Crochet Lace?
A: Any type of crochet characterized by thick bars of single stitches over chains; usually worked as a chain backward and single crochet forward over the chain.
The Venetian crochet open-work technique is timeless, as appealing today as it was centuries ago. One of the earliest examples is depicted in the head dress of Beatrice d’Este Sforza’s portrait, painted in 1493. Venetian Lace is typically worked on a parchment pattern without mesh or netted back ground (as in Irish crochet net), the sections of the design are connected by bridges or bars. Since most of the Venetian patterns today are point lace (or done with needle, rather than hook), I was happy to discover this particular square. It fits nicely into any room of the house.
Small as they are (about 4″), each square takes about 30 minutes to complete. The joining round uses 2 sides of the square as it is joined in rotation; hence the interior filet looks diamond shaped rather than square. What really makes this square pop, is the unexpected design of the joins themselves, which form a small square between the four corners.
You can see my interpretation of the original pattern here: https://crochetthread.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/venetian-tile-piano-runner-project/
One of the things to consider when working a vintage pattern is whether you can improve upon it. For this lace I stuck to the original pattern for the first table runner and began experimenting with the placemats. There’s a lot of variations you can try, beginning with the center grid; a picot trellis for instance or checkerboard filet. Even a floral applique. Adhering to a Venetian design, strengthen the interior mesh with sc over each row. One of the biggest variations is whether to work the sides one by one or do them in rounds. Initially I worked the whole side before moving to the next, but found the joins were tighter if worked in rounds. This method also improved the joining technique because the sides are broken into 2 sets of 3.
Here is a plain Venetian Lace table runner without edging: