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Pattern 140 - Snake

Picture of lace

Pattern:
   Pattern of lace

Bobbins: 22 pairs

Style: Torchon

Stitches:
   half stitch
   cloth stitch
   cloth stitch and twist
   twist single pair (grey)

Details:
   cloth stitch zigzag (red)
   vertical edge (red)
   Torchon ground (grey)
   double Torchon ground (grey)
   twisted footside (grey)

Description:

Follow the links above for explanation of how to work the different parts of the lace. Twist pairs as they leave the zigzag.

The snake is made mostly as a cloth stitch zigzag, but with different amounts of 'zig' and 'zag'. The corners are smoothed off with some vertical edges,

The start needs care in this pattern. It is a pointed start with two diagonals, using false pins. The middle two pairs, at the top, work in cloth stitch and twist through the other pairs to left and right, to make the first row of the lace. The passives for the twisted footside start inside the lace, just below the point at the top, and they then work, also in cloth stitch and twist, through the other pairs, until they reach their correct positions. But the main difference in this pattern is the coloured pair - red in the pattern and blue in the photo. These two threads will form the worker pair which colours the cloth stitch zigzag to make the snake. However, they need to get to the top of the snake. They do this by splitting up. Each blue thread joins with a white thread at the start, and is hung from the pins shown. Perhaps the two threads could be knotted together to do this. Most of the ground is double Torchon ground, but these mixed colours pairs are worked in Torchon ground until they reach the top of the snake. (If they don't reach the top, then you've started in the wrong place!) So at the top of the snake's head, you have two pairs, each with one white and one blue thread. Move a bobbin until you have the two white on one side, and the two blue on the other, put in the pin between them, then use the blue pair as workers for the entire snake. This pair does a lot more stitches than the other pairs, so make sure you have wound on more thread. At the bottom of the snake, the coloured pair stays together, but is worked in Torchon ground rather than double Torchon ground to reach the bottom.

The reason for this treatment of the coloured threads is to make a forked tongue for the snake at the top, while the bottom is the very tip of the snake's tail. If you don't want to do it this way, you could make a coloured pair start at one of the marked points, and hope people don't notice the coloured line! Or you could start at the top with entirely white pairs, and add a new blue pair at the tip of the snake's head. (See pattern 121 where this is done.) This would mean that there are more passives inside the snake than Torchon normally has, but this merely means that the cloth stitch is more tightly woven. It would increase the count of bobbins to 23 pairs, as well.

You do not, of course, need to keep to these colours. Choose whatever coloured snake you wish!