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German spider

Someone asked me about a German spider that she had found specified in a pattern. There was a photograph:

German spider

I had never heard of a German spider, but we tried to figure it out from the photo, and I put it on this webpage.

Later, Leena from Finland wrote to me saying that she had found a similar design in the cap of a Finnish traditional costume. She had worked out for herself how to work it, and I am sure that her solution is better than mine!

German spider
Here is her working, with different threads to show the working

Pattern for open spider with square hole
Pattern (left). I prefer marking in where the pairs go (right).

Please note that unlike a conventional spider, there is no central pin at all. There are two pins to hold the hole open.

This diagram shows each thread as a line. The stitches used in this spider are twist single pair, cloth stitch and twist and cloth stitch. The details of each stitch are not shown in detail below - follow the links in the previous sentence if you are not familiar with them.


Repeat Step Back

Working: First work all lace above the spider, down to and including, the framing pins.

Work out the pairs that will form the spider. This example has 8 pairs (although the edge pairs interact with the rest of the lace at one point). Twist each pair several times.

Work the middle two pairs as cloth stitch and twist with a pin in the middle. Then continue with both those pairs across the other pairs on each side, still using cloth stitch and twist.

Put the pin in.

Work the outside pairs on each side across the two pairs already done, then each other, then the other two pairs, all in cloth stitch. Carry on across the last pair on each side in cloth stitch and twist. At this point, these two pairs join the rest of the lace, and return (or a different pair returns).

The pair re-entering the spider do the same in reverse, across the outer pair in cloth stitch and twist, across two pairs, each other, and two more pairs in cloth stitch, and across the other outer pair in cloth stitch and twist.

Put the next middle pin in.

Work the middle four pairs across each other in cloth stitch.

Work the outer pairs (still in the spider) scross the other pairs, finishing across each other, all in cloth stitch and twist.

As a contrast, here is my original effort! See pattern 202.

German spider German spider

We still don't know if the original description "German spider" means that it actually comes from Germany.