Cloth hexagon surrounding snowflake on left, half stitch hexagon surrounding snowflake on right
Snowflakes are used in Binche lace, made in Belgium (or Flanders). They are worked on a hexagonal grid, like Bucks Point. Each snowflake takes 8 pairs. The body of the snowflake can be worked in either cloth stitch or half stitch (see above). The snowflakes can be part of a hexagon surrounding snowflake ground. See pattern 306.
The centre of this snowflake is a simple snowflake. This is surrounded by hexagons which work through other pairs with cloth stitch and twist. Since this stype of snowflake is quite complicated, it might be a good idea to try the simple snowflake first.
Pattern (left). I prefer marking in where the pairs go (right).
You can see that the snowflake fits within a circle of pins. Unlike spiders, these surrounding pinholes are part of the working of the snowflake. The 4 pins at the side are not part of any stitch. They merely guide the two left pairs and two right pairs. The top and bottom pins are part of stitches.
Please note that unlike a conventional spider, there is no central pin at all.
This diagram shows each pair as a line. The stitches used in this spider are cloth stitch and twist, Torchon ground and either cloth stitch or half stitch, depending where it is a cloth stitch snowflake or a half stitch snowflake. 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.
Working: There are six pairs for the body of the snowflake, two pairs on the left, two pairs in the middle, and two pairs on the right. The hexagon is made up of several pairs. At the start, the top of the hexagon should have been worked. This all happens at the end of the previous snowflake.
The six pairs in the centre are worked in a simple snowflake.
All folowing stitches are in cloth stitch and twist. One pair on the left is worked through the side of the hexagon and bottom of the hexagon. The side of the hexagon and bottom of the hexagon cross over. Then the other left pair works through both sides of the hexagon. Similarly on the right.
The central two pairs from the body of the snowflake are worked through the bottom two sides of the hexagon. These bottom two sides of the hexagon cross over. Then they work through the central pairs again.
Various pairs have to travel quite a distance before meeting another pair, and I recommend lots of extra twisting when this happens!
This is an abbreviated description of this type of snowflake. I suggest that if you don't understand, you study the animation above, or try the simpler forms of snowflakes first.
© Jo Edkins 2017 - return to lace index