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Ringed snowflake ground

Binche ringed snowflake ground
Cloth ringed snowflakes on left, half stitch ringed snowflakes on right

Ringed snowflake ground is a Binche ground or open part of lace. One unit of ringed snowflake ground is a ringed snowflake, which takes 8 pairs. It is worked on a hexagonal grid, like Bucks Point. The bodies of the snowflakes can be worked in either cloth stitch or half stitch (see above). See pattern 305.

ringed snowflake ground pattern
Pattern (left). I prefer marking in where the pairs go (right).

Working: Work out how a ringed snowflake works before attempting this ground! Click here to see how to do a ringed snowflake. There are two types, cloth stitch and half stitch, so work out which you're doing.

In a ringed snowflake, there are four central pairs travel which travel straight downwards. These are divided into the ring pairs (pink) and the inner central pairs (green). These attach the snowflake to the snowflake immediately above and below. The ring pairs (pink) encircle the snowflake with cloth stitch and twist. Inside that, the inner central pairs are part of the body of the snowflake, but they, too, encircle the body.

The other pairs (yellow) travel diagonally, either left or right, and attach the snowflake to the snowflakes on each side (above or below).There are two pairs travelling together from left to right diagonally between the snowflakes and these cross each other with a cloth stitch and twist between the ringed snowflake units. A pin is placed between them inside the ring but outside the body of the snowflake, but there is no stitch but there is no stitch associated with these pins. These pins are just to guide the structure of the ground. Similarly for the pairs from right to left, of course. The body of the snowflake is made of cloth stitch or half stitch. See ringed snowflake for detailed instructions.

One oddity of this ground (if you're a Torchon lacemaker!) is that two pairs join any surrounding solid clothwork at each pin. (Normally we would just expect a single pair at a pin.) This "two pairs at a pin" is a diagnostic feature of Binche lace.

Binche lace is made in Belgium (or Flanders). Snowflakes are a feature of Binche lace, and there are several different types. I am not giving a comprensive account of all snowflakes. Pat Earnshaw in "A Dictionary of Lace" says under "Reseau" that one of the reseau or grounds is "patridge eye, oeil de perdix, fond de neige, snowflake ground: the characteristic reseau of Binche, sometimes found in Mechlin". The picture below is from a lace mat edging in my lace collection which has been identified as Binche. The ground looks like this version of ringed snowflakes, so I am assuming that this is the ground that Pat Earnshaw was talking about, but she might be referring to a family of grounds, all similar.

Binche ringed snowflake ground

Gertrude Whiting in "A Lace Guide for Makers and Collectors" gives a different (but similar) ground for "Round, Open-eyed, Brabant, Binche Spiders, Oeil de Perdix, Reseau Rosace, Point de Flandre" - see pattern 201.