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Pattern 192 - Wavy lace

Picture of lace

This is an attempt to reproduce an existing piece of lace (see below).

   Pattern of lace

Bobbins: 16 pairs

Style: Torchon (experimental)

   half stitch
   cloth stitch
   cloth stitch and twist
   twist single pair (grey)
   gimp (pink)

   French fan (yellow)
   long open spider (green)
   Torchon ground (grey)
   twisted footside (grey)


Follow the links above for explanation of how to work the different parts of the lace.

The French fan headside is the more complicated version. It is worked throughout in cloth stitch and twist.

The main feature of this pattern is what I call the long open spider. This is started and finish like a conventional 12 legged spider. In the middle, a pair of threads travels horizontally across the lace. Alternate rows travel in opposite directions. This slightly strange way of working means that the feature has space on one side and not the other. Which side varies with whether the first worker pair travelling across goes from left to right or vice versa. This space is filled with two pairs of threads which are really acting as gimps. The worker pair crosses them using cloth stitch, but the gimp threads have no pins, and could be removed from the pattern without altering any other stitch.

The workers crossing the long open spider and gimps need to shape the passives. There are a few pins to shepherd the passives into the right shape, but it also helps if you twist the workers 3 times before and after the gimps, and before entering the spider on the other side, plus six times for the centre of the spider. This means that the workers, and passives, tend to get in a tangle, and they need careful tightening.

Here is the lace that I was trying to reproduce. I bought this piece of lace because I liked the way the threads waved up and down. It is however rather ugly, with coarse threads and a distinctly confused idea of which thread goes where. I thought it would be fun to design a Torchon pattern based on the same idea. Josette Martin-Favelier, from Rully, Bourgogne, France has told me: This lace attracted my eye, because it looks very much like the peasant lace that is sometimes called "Free Hand Lace" (i.e. without any pricking and with just a few pins on both sides) that can be found in Europe. The thread being coarse and the threads not following a certain regular pattern could be explained by the fact these laces were made "by heart", some of them being either "perfect" or regular, or if the lace maker was a beginner or less clever, they contained a certain amount of mistakes. Mind you, I've made some mistakes using the pattern! If you are interested in the idea of Free Hand lace, then I suspect that Panama lace is made this way.

Picture of lace

I had several goes at trying to reproduce this lace. Here are some of my earlier attempts. I have not given the starting bobbins, and the patterns are rotated to save room on the page.

Picture of lace
Pattern of lace
17 pairs

Picture of lace
Pattern of lace
21 pairs