Working: half stitch pin half stitch
Torchon ground is used in Torchon lace. It is strong, as the threads move in straight lines diagonally (more or less). This also makes it easy to tighten.
The pin leaves a small hole in the middle of the stitch. See pattern 5.
Traditionally, Torchon ground is shown as dots. I prefer marking in where the pairs go.
When working grounds, you need to figure out which two pairs of bobbins make the next stitch. There is no pair of workers. The best way to work ground is in diagonal rows. Whether left or right does not matter (and you can switch from one to the other). You may need to work a stitch or so to get the diagonal started, but once that is done, you can work one pair of bobbins right across the others. This helps to guard against making the stitch with the wrong pairs.
In this diagram, each pair of bobbins is a different colour, to show how the threads move.
You can see the diagonal movement of the threads. The pairs of bobbins stay together, so you can check whether you have made a mistake!
The Dutch for this ground is Grond in netslag.
It is possible to work Torchon ground without any pins at all. Each stitch becomes a cloth stitch and twist (since this is equivalent to two half stitches). You tighten the threads as they leave the ground and re-enter the rest of the lace. This means that there is no hole in the stitch, of course. Lacemaking in the past sometimes did this (we can tell, as the patterns have no pinholes marked). It speeds up work if you do not have to place pins. On the other hand, pins are useful for tightening, and also to check that you have done the right number of stitches!
You can also work Torchon ground as cloth stitch and twist, pin.
The stitch rests on top of the pin - this is described as "not closing the pin" or an "open pin". "Closing the pin" means doing a stitch after the pin. Click here for more on this. Doing it this way means that there is no longer a small hole in the centre of the stitch caused by the pin.
Another variant is to twist each pair between each stitch. This gives a tighter net. The working becomes half stitch pin half stitch and twist. This is called Dieppe ground.
These variants produce only a subtle difference in the final lace, so don't bother about them if you are a beginner!
© Jo Edkins 2016 - return to lace index