Lace to call one’s own

By Charmayne Allison

DID you know it can take more than 10 hours to weave just a single square inch of very fine lace?

And although it takes less time the less complex the design, there’s no doubt it takes a hearty dash of patience to be a lacemaker.

But for local lace artisans like Trina McInerney, patience doesn’t even come into it.

‘‘It is a very slow craft,’’ she admitted.

‘‘But I find you don’t need patience for something you love doing.

‘‘You need patience for washing, ironing, cleaning — but not making a beautiful piece of lace.’’

It seems to be a sentiment shared by many others in Echuca and surrounds.

The hall at St James’ Anglican Church was recently filled with lacemakers who travelled from across the region for a workshop and social time.

Local group Rich River Lacemakers hosted the event and said it was made possible by a $1000 grant from Campaspe Shire Council.

‘‘We try to hold a workshop once a year and this year we have a lacemaking tutor from Sydney helping us,’’ Trina said.

‘‘This grant is just fantastic as we are a small group and it can cost quite a bit to have a tutor travel and stay here.’’

Deputy mayor Vicki Neele said Campaspe Shire was eager to help the local group.

‘‘We are so lucky to have a group of expert lacemakers in our community and we’re pleased to support Rich River Lacemakers so this exquisite craft continues to be taught,’’ she said.

In addition to creating beautiful lace, the group has put together a cookbook, Workshop Favourites.

‘‘We always put on an amazing spread here and people keep saying they’d like the recipes,’’ lacemaker Karen Crook said.

‘‘This cookbook comes with tried and true recipes that are very simple and tasty — perfect for the family.

‘‘They are $15 each, $10 for postage — but if you live in Echuca we can just drop them around to you.’’

To buy a cookbook, call Karen on 0407 412 996.

And to get involved in Rich River Lacemakers, call Trina on 5482 6467.