I would love advise on a thread issue I'm having.  There are a couple Milanese patter I want to do.  The instructions say Copley Marshall 80.  I don't have that thread nor can I find it.  Frankly I can't find any of the alternatives listed in the "Thread for Lace" book.  So here is my question.  Do I try it with a slightly larger thread (44 wrp/cm instead of 48) Or do I need to enlarge the patter.  One of them I relly don't want to do larger.  Any advice out there from more experienced lace makers!

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I don't claim any massive knowledge on this issue.  But I've looked at Brenda's addendum lists online to get a general idea of the scale of the threads you are talking about.  I think the difference between 44 and 48 wraps is small enough that the thicker thread will fit.  With other part laces the easy solution would be to use fewer pairs.  But with Milanese that may not be a workable solution, because all the decorative stitches in the tape are based on a specific number of passive threads.  You would have to reduce by 2 pairs (to make the count even), but that may not leave enough pairs to make the fancy stitches.

You might test it by working 1 inch of the tape to see if the thicker thread fits.

If you decide to enlarge it, you would have to increase it only a few percent.  Like 2 or 3%, at most 5%.  Hardly worth the trouble.

So, is there a specific technique on enlarging or shrinking patterns? I've been trying to figure that out for a while. 

There is a way to calculate, with near perfect results, using algebra.  It is kind of hard to describe, but I'll try.

I use graphed torchon patterns as the base (because it is easiest).  If you dot a torchon pattern on graph paper the ground pins are separated from each other vertically 2 graph meshes apart.  Thus a straight footside has half the number of spaces between pins as there are spaces on the graph paper.  40/2 linen works perfectly on 8/inch graph paper.  The paper has 8 spaces per inch, but the pattern will have 4 spaces per inch.  But my calculations are based on the size graph paper, not the pattern.  #80 cordonnet is perfectly graphed on 12/inch graph paper.   #50 DMC retors-- broder machine-- is perfect on 16/inch graph paper.   But if you work from a pricking for 80 cordonnet you will count 6 spaces between pins.  Or on a pattern for #50 retors you will find 8 spaces between pins on the footside.  So measure the number of spaces between pins on the footside and multiply by 2.

We are going to compare the relative sizes of the spaces between pins and use that as our calculation base.

40/2 linen    8/inch graph paper.  Each space on the graph paper is .125 inch

# 80 cordonnet    12/inch graph paper.  Each space is   .0833 inch

# 50 retors     16/inch graph paper      Each space is .0625 inch

What we want is the ratios of how far apart the pins should be.

Start with a pattern for #80 cordonnet, but you want to work it in # 50 retors or Aurifil #50 (same size)

H = what you have     G = your goal, what you want

H times x (some unknown number) = G



.0625/.0833= .75   Reduce it to 75%

You could do the same with metric graph paper, but you would have to have test samples to start with.

Or suppose you have a pattern for # 80 cordonnet, and you want to work it in 40/2 linen.  Same equation.



x=.125/.0833 = 1.5   Enlarge the pattern to 150% of its original size.

umm, I just put it on a xerox copy machine and make a couple of copies at different sizes guesstimating the shift based on the visual difference in thread size. I then lay the larger threads down to see if they fill the space in the correct pair amount.  But then I do tape laces not the grids with grounds.

I also do Tatting and that is all thread size *laugh*

Thanks a bunch! I've been thinking about how to do this for a while. I'm really curious about how it works for part laces, or tape laces. Is it a similar process? Robin, Hahaha, yeah it is =) 


Yes, my system works for any style of bobbin lace.  Because what you are measuring is the relative distances apart that the pins should be.  If enlarging to, say, 125% works for torchon, it will also work for Flanders, tape lace, Honiton.  You just have to have a baseline to start from.  If I have a Flanders pattern that calls for # 50 DMC broder machine, and I want to use tatting cotton - # 80 - I use the same basic equation.

Brenda's charts:


Go to the pink and blue chart.  Along the left are the sizes, in mm, of spaces between pins.  Your 2 threads are approx 44 and 48 w/cm.  On the left, for torchon, the space size differential is 2.8/2.5 = 1.12.  So, by her system, you would enlarge the pattern to 112%.

Thanks! This really makes my life easier, I was kinda banging my head against the wall on this one =) 

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