This is the remainder, about 2/3, of the antique handmade lace collar from which I snipped the little circular units I used in the Beachwork piece, see two previous posts, below. Each is about 1.5cm or 3/4″ across.
The workmanship is impeccable. I am sure I have a book or two back in Aus that would give the exact directions, but basically how I think they were made is: with something like a #8 or #12 perle cotton, wind the thread around something handy like a finger, several times, and commence buttonholing that circle – every 1/8 distance around the edge, or perhaps that is every say, 10th buttonhole, cross to the other side and do 10 buttonhole sts there, then cross back, and repeat until 7 spokes are in place, on the 7th crossing wind the thread around over and through a few times then go over to the edge again to make the 8th spoke. A final buttonhole, or 10 ? finish it off, bury the ends somewhere, and voila. They were easy to snip apart, and so were clearly separately made then sewn together. Beautifully done – hard to find any ends at all. Mind you I haven’t actually tried it yet! – but will as I’m sure it would work. They are so uniform that clearly some kind of rhythm developed.
Anyway, they made perfect little round thingies for my beachscape! and when I run out, I may need to make some more myself. I’ll keep you posted.