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Round Valenciennes ground

Round Valenciennes  ground

Round Valenciennes ground is one version of Valenciennes ground, the ground or open part of lace in Valenciennes lace. One unit of round Valenciennes ground needs 4 pairs on bobbins, 2 on each side. Valenciennes is in northern France, close to the Belgian border. It was famous for lace. This lace was made with very fine thread, and lots of bobbins. The ground is a simple pattern, but made of short plaits rather than twisted pairs. See pattern 317.

Round Valenciennes pattern
Pattern representation of round Valenciennes ground

The tradition pattern of Valenciennes ground just marks the pins, or even leaves them out (as Valenciennes ground was often worked without pins). They are set diagonally, similar to Torchon ground, but probably spaced further apart. I prefer to mark out exactly where the lines go - see above right. Remember that each line is a plait, not a pair.

The diagram below shows one pin of round Valenciennes ground. It shows each thread as a line, with each thread a different colour. The stitches in round Valenciennes ground are cloth stitch and twist, half stitch and twist. The details of each stitch are not shown in detail below - follow the links in the previous sentence if you are not familiar with them.

Bobbin lace round Valenciennes ground

Repeat Step Back

Working: Work the left two pairs in cloth stitch and twist, twice. Work the right two pairs, also in cloth stitch and twist, twice. These have no pins and are equivalent to short plaits.
Twist all pairs.
Now work the middle two pairs with half stitch, pin, half stitch (this is a Torchon ground stitch). The outer two pairs are ignored at this point.
Twist all pairs.
Work the left two pairs in cloth stitch and twist, twice, and the same for the right two pairs, also in cloth stitch and twist, twice. This makes the short plaits to get to the next pins on left and right.

Variants:

The description above says two cloth stitch and twist for the plait between the pins. This is equivalent to four half stitches. There can be more or less half stitches, depending on the size of the pattern and the thickness of the thread.
The description above gives the stitch at the pin as half stitch, pin, half stitch (like a Torchon ground stitch). Other stitches can be used at the pin, such as cloth stitch and twist, pin, cloth stitch and twist, or even half stitch, pin.
The pattern above is on a square or Torchon grid. I think that Valenciennes lace is made on a grid between square and hexagonal, but I don't know very much about it!

This is round Valenciennes ground, with a more open joint at the pin than the more usual Valenciennes ground. This causes little gaps either side of the pin, and the gaps between the plaits is rounded rather than square. This is caused by the extra twists before and after the stitch at the pin. You can give more or less twists than is shown here. There seem to be a lot of different Valenciennes ground!

The Valenciennes grounds has some similarity to the brides or plaits in English Midland and other guipure lace. But the plaits are very regular rather than merely being positioned where needed, so it is a ground. The joints between the plaits is also different.