A skirt guard [in this case crochet] was necessary for ladies who cycled in long skirts. The guard prevented the skirt flapping into the spokes and causing an accident and preventing mud from splashing up. Modern cycles don't even have a mud guard.
Inspiration for how the old carousel my heroine's mother commissioned looks at the end of my novella, The Best Man in Brookside, after it's been renovated & updated with a steam engine. In real life, an Italian carousel.