Cloth ringed snowflake on left, half stitch ringed 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 ringed snowflake ground. See pattern 305.
The centre of a ringed snowflake is a simple snowflake. This is surrounded by two extra pairs, working through all other pairs with cloth stitch and twist. The side pairs cross over each other with cloth stitch and twist. Since a ringed 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 eight pairs, two pairs on the left, four pairs in the middle, and two pairs on the right. At the start, the two pairs on the left and the two pairs on the right should each have been worked in a cloth stitch and twist. In the middle, two of the pairs will surrounded the central snowflake - this is the ring. These two should have already been worked together in cloth stitch and twist, plus each pair should have been worked across the other central pairs in cloth stitch and twist. This all happens at the end of the previous ringed snowflakes.
Work the left ring pair through the two left pairs in cloth stitch and twist. Work the right ring pair through the two right pairs in cloth stitch and twist. Now tidy both ring pairs away to left and right, so they don't distract you while making the central snowflake!
Work the remaining central two pairs in half stitch, pin, half stitch. This is a Torchon ground stitch.
Put a pin in between the left two pairs (ignoring the ring pair!). This pin is not part of a stitch, by the way. Work the left central pair across both these pairs in cloth stitch or half stitch (depending on the type of snowflake that you're making). Do the same on the right.
The four pairs now in the centre used to be the pairs coming in from the side. Work the left two pairs across the right two pairs in cloth stitch or half stitch (as before). This means that the original left two pair now become the right two pairs.
We now need to finish off the central snowflake. The second pair from the left (which used to be one of the central pairs) is worked across two pairs to its right, and a pin placed between these two side pairs. Similarly on the right. Twist all these side pairs once if you are leaving cloth stitch (not necessary if it's a half stitch snowflake). Now the original two central pairs are back in the centre. Work them in a Torchon ground stitch.
This is a very good point to carefully tighten everything. The two pairs on the right should have crossed over to the left, and vice versa. The two central pairs should have surrounded these others. Pull each thread gently to make sure that there are no loops, and that the bosy of the snowflake begins to form its shape. If it is a cloth stitch snowflake, then it should produce a tightly woven smallish body. If it is half stich, then it is more open, but check that you get the diagonal lines that you expect with halfstitch.
Now to bring the ring pairs back. Work the left ring pair in cloth stitch and twist across three pairs so it arrives back in the centre. Please note that you have changed stitch! The central snowflake is either cloth stitch or half stitch. But the ring is always cloth stitch and twist. That is what makes the prominent ring effect. Do the same for the right ring pair, and finish off with both ring pairs crossing over with a cloth stitch and twist (no pin). You will probably need to tighten everything again!>
© Jo Edkins 2017 - return to lace index