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Simple open spider or pea

Open spider (left) compared to conventional spider (right)

A spider is a decorative effect where 4 or more pairs meet. These pairs meet at a point in a normal spider, but in an open spider or pea, there is a hole in the centre. I am not sure what the difference is between an open sider and a pea, or what lace tradition these belong to. See pattern 202.

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

You can see that the spider fits within a diamond of pins. Unlike solid areas, you do work up to and including these surrounding pinholes before starting on the spider. The threads from the points of the diamond of pins are not actually involved in the spider at all.

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

You can have an open spider with more or less pairs. This example has 8 pairs. I think that 6 pairs would be a minimum. I hope you can see how to extend this description for different numbers of pairs.

This diagram shows each thread as a line. The stitches used in this spider are twist single pair 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. Twist each pair several times.

Work the middle 6 pairs as half a spider - every pair on the left is worked across every pair on the right (or vice versa) using cloth stitch. Be careful not work too many stitches, and also do not touch the two outer pairs yet.

Take the left pair, and work it across the other pairs on the left side. Pin between it and the others, and work it back again. Do the same on the right. This has the effect of opening out the central hole.

Work the bottom half of the spider using the middle 6 pairs. Then work the framing ground stitches.