I think we tend to forget how things used to be made. You can walk into any craft store and pick up a piece of lace for decoration, and it's not expensive. Some of it is, some of it is dirt cheap. Most of it is machine made: I don't know if any lace you can buy in a store is handmade anymore.
Lace is one of those things that you can crochet: not fine "Irish" lace, but a lot of cotton lace (doileys, fine bedspreads) is crochet, if it's handmade. I've always looked at the beautiful pieces that some people have made and gone "Gosh, I'm not sure I could do that". I worked with some heavy cotton last year and made the little fan bookmark:
Which I was super proud of. But I haven't tried any more lace/fine work again.
So when I picked up some 2/3ply remnants from Bendigo Woollen Mills, I ... I have no idea why I picked them up! *laugh* They're beautiful and very very fine.
Beautiful soft colours, very soft yarn. You can see why I got some :)
I decided that I'd try to make up a pattern in a book that I'd gotten out of my local library. Foundation row: 338ch. Did not help that I had to completely unravel two rows on my 2nd attempt at the piece.
It's got two side pieces and a centre piece that 'joins' the two edgings together. I'm partway through the centre piece, but I had to just put it aside for a bit. The yarn is so fine that I was having a hard time working it up.
Not exactly the kind of lacework I was talking about earlier, but you can see the similarity. It's very fine work that's going to take a bit of time to get done. I hope the recipient likes it ;)