Mary Corbet

writer and founder


I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (52) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Learn Carrickmacross Lace – a Kit Review


Amazon Books

If you love embroidery and you want to learn embroidery – all different types of embroidery – one of the best places to find accessible, clear, thorough instruction in a variety of needlework techniques is Berlin Embroidery Designs.

Tanja Berlin was one of the first fine needlework teachers in North America to establish a thriving online business offering contemporary goldwork kits and supplies, needlepainting kits, fine whitework kits and supplies – all kinds of kits and supplies for fine needlework techniques that were just beginning to enjoy a resurgence of interest in the mid-1990’s. I remember just seven or eight years ago, searching up and down and all over the place for a good selection of goldwork threads available in one shop, and Berlin Embroidery was the only place in North America that I could find a really good selection of supplies. And since then, her selection has grown by leaps and bounds.

Berlin Embroidery Designs

Tanja’s a well-known needlework teacher (you can check out her credentials and teaching history here) who graduated from the RSN in the 1990’s. I had the pleasure of meeting up with her a couple years ago at an event – she’s fun, funny, laid back, a great teacher whose experience shows through in her easy confidence in what she does.

And she likes dogs and chocolate mousse, so we know she can’t half bad!

Her expertise in teaching comes across in all of her kits and printed instructions – she really writes the most thorough, clear instructions for her embroidery kits, making the techniques that she covers completely accessible to beginners and beyond.

Her latest kit – a Carrickmacross Lace Sampler kit – is no exception. I just took a close look at it last week. I’m itching to work this sampler!

Carrickmacross Lace Kit & Instructions

Carrickmacross lace is a type of appliqué lace originating in Ireland (influenced by Italian lace), involving the appliqué of a sheer fabric onto a net ground, with the excess fabric cut away and the appliqué and net ground further embellished with needle lace stitches.

Although I’ve worked needle run laces on net ground, and I’ve done some Italian needlelace, I’ve never actually tried Carrickmacross lace. I’ve wanted to for a long time! I went through a research and book spree about seven years ago on the subject, but I never took the plunge. Tanja’s new sampler is just the thing to “sample” the technique.

Carrickmacross Lace Kit & Instructions

The kit comes with a 30-page instructional booklet, needle, organdy fabric, tulle, and the two types of threads involved – a couching thread and DMC Cordonnet.

Carrickmacross Lace Kit & Instructions

The instructional book covers the entire sampler (each motif, and all the techniques in general) with step-by-step photos, diagrams, and written instruction. As typical with all of Tanja’s kits, you’re guided every step of the way, so you really learn the basics of the technique. This comprehensive covering of the essentials gives the beginner in any technique an excellent foundation for further exploration.

Carrickmacross Lace Kit & Instructions

There’s no guessing about her diagrams, either. They’re large and clear.

Carrickmacross Lace Kit & Instructions

The various circle elements in the sampler can be arranged according to your own whims using the templates provided in the kit to make up your own arrangement, or you can follow Tanja’s layout. Within and around the circles, you practice the techniques of Carrickmacross lace, and again, you can do this with each circle as they are demonstrated in the kit, or you can mix and match the techniques.

If you check out Tanja’s Carrickmacross Lace sampler page, you can see the various motifs up close, and you can also see the really neat way she finished and framed her sampler.

So there you have it – this is going to be my “I’ve Always Wanted to Try This” project! I’m very excited about it!

And just in case you’ve always wanted to try it, too, I’ll surprise you a little later this week and have a give-away!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(10) Comments

  1. I can see that excellent scissors would be needed for these projects. Wow! I hope she has instructions on how to repair a clipped picot. LOL Love the diagrams. Wish I could stitch with a needle like that. Even I could see that one. 🙂 Looks very interesting. I hope you’ll share some pictures of what you’ve made.

  2. As a needle tatter, I’m interested in all forms of making lace with a needle, and I’d really love to learn Carrickmacross Lace. I’ll look forward to seeing what you create.

  3. Aloha Mary,
    Well, if you are a woman after my own heart. I have done needle lace samplers and too have wanted to try this but…
    If I don’t score on the giveaway, I will order the kit.
    It is lovely, fragile work that looks stunning.

  4. I can’t possibly sing enough praise for the amazing Tanya Berlin, but I can sure try. I have not had the chance to work one of her kits (I’m saving up for some or nue ones though), but I have ordered supplies from her shop on several occasions, and her level of customer service is unparalleled! The quality of her supplies is amazing, and if it wasn’t for Berlin Embroidery I would have to look to several stores in the UK to find the variety of metal threads she has available. Thank-you Tanya and please keep up the good work!

  5. Fascinating! My Irish heritage is intrigued! I have pieces my Grandma McGill made and I love the clear directions in this book. Thanks for sharing the info, I’m going to check it out!

  6. Oh boy! This is exciting news! I was just looking over some of my “Always wanted to try” lists, and Carrickmacross kept jumping out at me. I don’t know of anyone near me who could help me learn, so this kit sounds like what I need! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Really good article. Learnt carrickmacross lace 20yrs ago and am now going back to doing some more. One thing I have found is that the tulle used should preferably be cotton, if you are lucky enough to find some, and the top fabric can be organdie, lawn or – I have just read on a website – muslin, as long as they are cotton.

  8. Hello, I would like to purchase a Carrickmacross kit, could you tell me how to order and if you use paypal.
    Many thanks Gail Parish from Australia.

More Comments