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Pattern 244 - Infinite mat

Picture of lace

This is quite complicated. I suggest that you are familiar with mats or edges first.

Pattern:
   Pattern of lace

Bobbins: 16 pairs

Style: Tape lace

Stitches:
   half stitch
   cloth stitch and twist
   twist single pair
   make a sewing

Details:
   half stitch zigzag (blue)
   double Torchon ground (grey)
   footside without passives (grey)
   corners
   how to start and finish

Description:

Follow the links above for explanation of how to work the different parts of the lace. You start at the pink line.

Lace start

Work the first strip (marked '1' on the pattern). The edge is marked by dark grey lines. These edges are not headsides or footsides. Instead, you merely twist the edge pair a couple of times, loop it round the edge pin, and return back to the rest of the lace. This looks a bit fragile at this point! Once you start reusing pins, do not remove any along the edges. Push them in up to their heads to stop them catching on threads while working.

On meeting the first dark grey sloping line, you turn the corner, and continue with the part marked '2'. This second part is just a triangle, like a quarter of a mat. After the next corner, on the third part (marked '3'), one of the edges is in the same lace as one of the the first part's edge. For this edge, remove the relevant pin, and, using a crochet hook, make a sewing between the current pair and the loop in the first part. This removes the fragility, as the new lace is now firmly fixed to the old lace. Making a sewing involves pushing a bobbin through a loop of thread made by the crochet hook. Pushing a spangled bobbin through a loop of thread is a tedious process as the beads catch on the thread. It tends to lead to either tears or bad language! So it is best to make sure that you do not have a spangled bobbin to do this. You could use entirely unspangled bobbins (which, after all, many lace traditions do).

You continue, strip by strip, in a spiral fashion, turning the pillow at the corner, and joining each strip to a previous strip, until you get to the edge. Now the outer edge changes. You no longer loop the outer edge pair round a pin. Instead you make a footside without passives on the outside edge. Follow the lines on the pattern to figure out which pair goes where!

This pattern obviously is not infinite! But you can see how it could be extended. The limitation will be the size of your pillow (and, possibly, your patience - I got bored!) If you really wanted an enormous piece of lace, you could work each strip separately, using a roller pillow, so there was no limit on size. Then you could sew the strips together with a needle and thread. I suppose that you could do the same with a number of insertions - sewing them together as parallel strips. But the joins might be obvious. The spiral nature of this pattern means that the joins are a spiral too, which is a pattern not so easily noticed.