up a level

Pattern 5 - Cloth and half stitch fans

Picture of lace

This introduces half stitch.

Pattern: Pattern of lace
Pattern of lace

Bobbins: 9 pairs

Style: Torchon

   half stitch
   cloth stitch and twist
   cloth stitch

   Torchon ground (grey)
   twisted footside (grey)
   cloth stitch fan (red)
   half stitch fan (blue)
   solid cloth stitch
   solid half stitch


This is the same as the fans pattern, except some of the fans are half stitch. With cloth stitch, you have a pair of workers which are involved in every stitch. The worker pair swaps places with the passive pair with every stitch, and so goes on to the next passive pair.

Half stitch is different. Imagine that you are working a row from left to right. You start the row by working the first stitch as a half stitch. However, this does not swap over the pairs. After the stitch, the pairs "get muddled up". Ignore this. Just take the (new) right pair from that stitch, and work it with the next passive pair on its right. As long as you don't think about it too much, then you will feel that you are working a pair in a row across the passives, even though the actual "worker" pair keeps changing.

There is a problem with half stitch. As I have said, it muddles up the pairs, and they stay muddled for the rest of the lace. If you have been depending on checking that the pairs are in order to make sure you haven't made a mistake - well - you can't do that any more! However, it is an attractive stitch, and worth the effort to learn how to do it. Any pattern with solid cloth stitch can have half stitch instead, or you can mix them in the same pattern, like here. It gives you some interesting variation. You can even work a shape partly in cloth stitch and partly in half stitch.

Picture of lace
Close up of the lace, so you can see the working in more detail