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Pattern 4 - Diamonds

Picture of lace

This is another piece of lace with two footsides. It introduces diamonds, a common Torchon solid cloth design. There are no new stitches, if you have done the previous patterns, but you need to combine the different elements, and there are more bobbins.

   Pattern of lace

Bobbins: 14 pairs

Style: Torchon

   half stitch
   cloth stitch and twist
   cloth stitch

   Torchon ground (grey)
   twisted footside (grey)
   diamond (red)


The edges of this lace are single twisted footsides like the previous pattern, so you should know how to do that. The ground (open part) is Torchon ground, and you should have done a sample of that. The pale red areas are solid cloth stitch, which you have also done in a sample, but it is in a diamond, which needs more care.

The start of this pattern is sloping, and has a line of pins outside the pattern itself, above the slope. These are the starting pins). This looks a little strange but is one way to start lace. Hang two pairs on the top pin, as marked. The right hand pair is the worker pair, and will work through all other pairs eventually to make the first row. Work the first two with a Torchon ground stitch, putting the pin below the starting pin, at the proper start of the lace. Remove the starting pin, and tug the bobbins slightly so the threads rest of the proper pin. Hang the next pair on the next starting pin down, and again, do a Torchon ground stitch with the worker pair and the new pair, remove thee stating pin, and tug the bobbins to get the threads resting on the proper pin. Carry on doing this with each new pair in turn.

There are two things to note about this way of starting. First, we have worked the existing pairs before hanging the new pair. It is tempting to wind and hang all pairs, but they are rather vulnerable like this, and apt to 'jump' off the pins and get tangled (and I dropped my pillow once at this stage! What a mess!) So a better way is to wind a few, start working them, then wind some more, and so on. I would advise this for all future patterns as well, if you can manage it.

Second, there is the business of having the 'starting pins' where you hang each new pair, make the first stitch with that pair (which involves another pin), then removing the first pair. Why do we do this? Well, the problem is that you need a pin to hang the bobbins from at the start of the stitch, but you also need to put the pin in the middle of the Torchon ground stitch. You could quickly take out the pin and put it back again - not advised! Or you could loop the first part of the stitch round the already put-in pin, tricky and you'd need to know what you were doing. Or, and this is what I'd advise, hand the pair/s you need from another pin - a false pin, if you like - and then you can put the stitch pin in where you want, without problems. The false pin will need to be removed afterwards, otherwise you'll have unnecessary little loops at the start of the lace.

Now you've started the lace, you need to work out what to do next. The following diagram shows how you work footsides and Torchon ground to do the bit of lace above the diamond.

Start of pattern 4

Repeat Step Back

Once you have done all lace above the diamond, you need to work the diamond itself. Click here for a description on how to do a diamond, which includes an animation, that you can repeat, or step through.

You can see that you are working with different groups of bobbins at different times. If you like, you can push a large pin into the pillow between the different groups of pins, so you can find the group you want later without having to work them out again. Some people use old hat pins for this!

Once you complete the diamond, you have to work Torchon ground and footside until you get onto the next diamond, and so on.

Once you have done this pattern, you should begin to understand how lace is worked. Every pattern is split into simple designs which I describe. Some parts have to be worked before others. Some have to be worked in rows, like the cloth stitch diamonds. Others can be worked diagonally, like Torchon ground.

I have suggested that you use Torchon ground and cloth stitch diamonds for this pattern as they are easy to do, and easy to tighten up (which makes all the difference to a good piece of lace). Also, if you have easily identifiable pairs of bobbins then the pairs at the start will still be pairs at the end. However, you could work this pattern with double Torchon ground, which will give a different effect (see below). You could also try half-stitch diamonds, which will muddle up the pairs, but look attractive.

Picture of lace
Torchon ground, cloth diamond

Picture of lace
Torchon ground, half stitch diamond

Picture of lace
Double Torchon ground, cloth diamond

Picture of lace
Double Torchon ground, half stitch diamond

In fact, you can have alternate cloth stitch diamonds and half stitch diamonds in the same piece of lace, which is attractive. I should keep the ground the same, though, unless you want a sample, as practice.