For those who love hand made lace.
American English calls this kind of lace braided lace. British English calls it plaited lace. Both Cluny and Bedfordshire are forms of plaited lace. The early stages of both forms use the same techniques, mostly.
This is a very simple lesson to begin bobbin lace with braided/plaited lace. When you finish this lesson, you will know enough to make 2 other laces from our BEGINNERS PATTERNS album. Links are posted at the end of the lesson. I have started this lesson series with plaited laces because it is possible to make something you can use after the very 1st lesson.
The page BOBBIN LACE BASICS contains the preliminary steps: winding bobbins, how to make the hitch, how to do the stitches, the international color coding system.
At the original size the pattern uses DMC or Anchor cordonnet crochet cotton #40 (or 30), pearl cotton #12, or Bockens linen 35/2.
For a list of rough thread size equivalents, look here, at the first comment..
Number of bobbins = 12 singles
This lesson contains only a few simple elements:
How to hang on a bundle, for bookmark or samples
Make a braid of 4 bundles of threads
Make a 4 strand braid
How to make a windmill crossing
How to make knotted picots
To obtain the pattern, right click on the pattern at left. You can then either print it directly or save it.
Each of the black lines in this pattern will be a braid of 4 threads (2 pairs). The short thick line between a and b will be a braid with 4 pairs in it. You will need a total of 6 pairs, and you do not need to wind them in pairs. Two yards of thread per bobbin will be enough.
I've set this up so you can use it as a bookmark. Make it whatever length you want. The starting method I describe below is good for bookmarks, with a short braided tail at the top and the bottom.
Start by taking all 12 threads, make them into a single bundle. Then start a knot in the whole bundle but keep the knot loose. Hang the knot on the top red pin/dot. The diagram shows only 2 bobbins, but this can be done with any number.
This will keep your bobbins from sliding around as you work.
Divide the bundle into 4 groups. You will have 3 threads in each bundle. Number the positions of the bundles 1-2-3-4. Cross bundle 2 over bundle 3. Re-number the positions 1-2-3-4. Simultaneously twist bundle 2 over bundle 1 and twist bundle 4 over bundle 3. Re-number. Cross bundle 2 over bundle 3. Snug the bundles apart after each cross, to remove the slack and create a nice compact braid. Make the braid as flat and smooth as you can. Don’t count the number of stitches, just keep going until the braid is long enough to cover the distance. When you reach the green pin at the bottom of the blue line, each bundle will go its own way.
When you reach the green pin put a pin in the middle of the bundle. With the 2 leftmost pairs, you will make a proper 4 strand bobbin lace braid from a to c. A bobbin lace braid is nearly always made of 4 threads (2 pairs). It is worked as a succession of half stitches, beginning and ending with a cross. Work a thicker braid from a to b.
For a to c, work ctc, then snug, tc snug, tc snug, etc. What I mean by snug is that you should separate the pairs, pulling each pair outwards and upwards, at the same time, to remove the slack. Use gentle but firm tension. A good braid is flat and smooth. So do whatever motions help you achieve that. Don't count the number of stitches, just make the braid long enough to cover the distance. Stop the a to c braid at c just a little bit short of the pin, because you will do a windmill crossing at c, and the crossing takes up a little space itself. But you must do something else first.
You will have 4 pairs, or 8 threads, left unworked, at a. Divide that group of bobbins into 4 sets of 2 threads. In other words divide those into 4 pairs. Treat each pair as if it were a single thread, and work a braid. You will have pair 1, pair 2, pair 3, pair 4. Do the motions of a normal braid, but with more bobbins. Cross pair 2 over 3. Twist 2 over 1, and simultaneously 4 over 3. Re-number in your head. Cross pair 2 over pair 3. Remember we are talking about positions, not bobbins. Work ctc snug, tc snug, tc snug, etc. until the braid is long enough to reach b. Stop the thick a to b braid at b with a twist. Set a pin in the middle, so that you have 4 bobbins left of the pin and 4 to the right of it. Work a last cross of pair 2 over pair 3 to close the pin.
The right hand 4 will make a 4 strand braid from b to d. Make the bd braid, and leave it. The left hand 4 bobbins from b will make a braid from b to c. Make the b to c braid.
At c work the first windmill join. This is a quick way of crossing 2 braids. Use the ac braid and the bc braid. Divide each braid in 2, and you will have 4 sets of 2 threads per set. Treat each pair as if it were a single thread and work a cloth stitch: cross, twist, pin cross.
Then resume the braids. The leftmost 4 bobbins from c will make a braid from c to e. The rightmost 4 bobbins from c will make a braid from c to d. At d make a windmill crossing with cd and the bd braid. At e make a windmill crossing with the ce braid and the de braid.
Continue in the same manner.
Now come picots -- the little black dots that are slightly outside the braid line. There are 3 kinds of picots: single thread, double thread, and knotted picots. Double thread picots are the usual in fine Bedfordshire laces and in fine thread laces like Honiton, Duchesse, Flanders or Binche. Knotted picots seem to be most common in Cluny, but I've also seen them described in books on Beds. I will explain knotted picots.
To make the picot on the right side of a braid, reach under the first thread and grab the other thread, using the pin to drag the thread out to the right.
Being careful not to lose the thread, take the point of the pin over the straight right hand thread, and insert it between the 2 hanging threads.
Being careful not to drop the thread, bring the pin point up between the 2 upper threads.
Then swing the pin over the outside thread and out to the right and set it into the pinhole.
Snug the threads so they lay flat and parallel.
When you get to picots on both sides of the braid, work one picot, then work ctc with the 2 pairs of braid threads. Then make the 2nd picot. For the rest, finish the way you started.
Jo Edkins shows a slightly different way of making knotted picots: http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/lace/picot.htm#knot
You now know enough to work these patterns, which are also from LePompe:
© Lorelei Halley 2012 You may copy this for personal use, but not for commercial use. Copying to another website is specifically prohibited.