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Simple Snowflake

Bobbin lace snowflake
Cloth stitch snowflake on left, and half stitch 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 6 pairs. The snowflakes can be part of a simple snowflake ground. See pattern 304.

A snowflake joins 6 pairs, similar to a spider, but with definite differences. There is no central pin, so no hole in the middle of the body. The two left pairs, and two right pairs cross each other, but do not return. The body is held together by the middle two pairs crossing each other at a pin, then circling the other pairs, then crossing each other at the bottom.

Pattern for open spider with square hole
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 twist single pair, cloth stitch and twist, 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.

Spider

Repeat Step Back

Working: Twist the two left pairs a number of times, and put a pin between them. Do the same with the right two pairs. Please note that this pin is not part of a stitch - it merely provides some support to the structure of the snowflake. The number of twists will depend on the scale of the lace. The description I copied said two twists, but I did four!

Work the two central pairs as cloth stitch and twist, pin, cloth stitch and twist. This is equivalent to a double Torchon ground stitch.

The body of the snowflake will be worked either in cloth stitch or half stitch - see above. So use one or the other in the following steps.

Work the left central pair across both the left two pairs (so it is now on the outside on the left).

Work the right central pair across both the right two pairs (so it is now on the outside on the right).

The two pairs which used to be on the left and the two pairs which used to be on the right are now in the centre as a group of four pairs. Work the left central two pairs across the right two central pairs (this will be 4 stitches).

Work the pair on the left across the next two pairs on the left so it arrives near the centre.

Work the pair on the right across the next two pairs on the right so it arrives near the centre, next to the pair in the previous step.

Work the two central pairs as cloth stitch and twist, pin, cloth stitch and twist, as above.

Twist each of the two left pairs a number of times, and put a pin between them, as above. Do the same with the right two pairs.