I've put 'A Lace Guide for Makers and Collectors' by Gertrude Whiting on my website, with decent indexes

Someone of IOLI told me about 'A Lace Guide for Makers and Collectors' by Gertrude Whiting (1920). I can't find who, but thank you! This book has a LARGE number of grounds, with names, photo and instructions. There are editions online, but I found these a little hard to use, as you had to look things up in an index at the back, which gave you the (print) page number, and then had to scroll to find it. But since it's got so much useful stuff, I've copied the pages of Chapter 4 (which covers all these grounds) onto my own website, and indexed it properly. See


Each ground is on a separate page (there are 144 of them!) and there are three indexes.

First index is of the pages in the order in the book, but gives all the ground names for each, in computer text, so they can be searched. (The original online books were pictures, which can't be searched.) Click on page number to go to ground page.

Second index is pictorial - thumbnail pix of each ground. Click on picture to go to ground page.

Third index is alphabetical. Every ground name (and some grounds have several names) are listed in alphabetical order. Click on name to go to ground page.

I'm telling this forum in case anyone would find this indexing of this book helpful. I hope that anyone who would like to learn a new ground could find inspiration from this book, especially with these indexes.

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I just went to the site with the grounds and it is pretty nice.  I also knew that I had purchased instructions for a lot of grounds, so this morning I had time to go looking.  They are by Viele Gute 'GRUNDE' ULRIKE LOHR.  I don't know how to put the marks on the letter above the u, but anyway. I have both I and II.  I wish they would have been put in a different form other than two plastic slip in bags.  In English would have halped also.  This is from way back when I was first starting and I learning about so many different grounds.  I just noticed that they do have holes in them, so now...I hope that one of the holders I have will work. Much easier to use them.    I was just to quick to buy,  but I have learned my lesson, I hope.


I found a folder and both of them fit in them just fine.  At least I don't have to keep taking them our of the plastic all the time.  

I'll still be checking into the site that you posted.  I just went back to it again, and I really love it.   Some of it is in color and it refers you to another pages sometimes that is even easier to understand.   It's much easier to read and it doesn't cost anything either...!  Thanks again.

Jo - putting that up was a lot of work. Thanks. Very useful.

By the way, how reliable is Gertrude Whiting? My instinct is that this book is very useful, since it associates old bobbin lace style names with real photos (and so many of them!) There were one or two oddities, such as her idea of rose ground isn't mine, but then terminologies vary. But I know that some old authorities made errors which makes some modern authorities look down their noses at them! If there is anything specific where it is known that Gertrude "got it wrong" in this book, I'd appreciate knowing, so I could mention it on the relevant pages.

Terminology is always a problem. I know that her book is famous. I would hesitate to take her names as absolute. Not because she is wrong, but because the lace world has moved on considerably since her book was written and there has been so very much cross-pollination among different national traditions. I suspect her terminology reflects what was common in her day among collectors.

The terms rose ground, honeycomb ground, 5 hole/Flanders ground (and its variants) and virgin ground are used differently in different traditions. I think everybody will not be confused by "honeycomb ground". But Scandinavian tradition calls it rose ground. The English call 5 hole ground "rose ground", but the French call it "virgin ground".  If French and Danish are translated into English you get "rose ground" for honeycomb and "virgin" for 5 hole.

No one tradition is more valid than any other. They are just different. We need to be aware of the terminology usage so we can communicate with each other. I know it gets confusing. Don't be deterred.


That was what I felt. On the index page I've said "Sometimes I add my own comments to a page. Some of the names seem a little odd to me - for example her Rose ground (page 118) is what I would call Honeycomb. My Rose ground is her Virgin ground. Different lace traditions have different names, which is why her photos and my diagrams are so important."

I really like her book, because it is based round photos and descriptions of how to do the stitch, rather than just names, as many books do. Names matter for identification of lace, of course, and her names are valid for her time and much may still be valid. But I like browsing the photos and thinking if I might try out a new one for myself! That was one reason why I did all the thumbnails. I was also trying to figure out her "Line/Column" organisation. I reckon that she came up with a system of grouping similar stitches together, but found that it broke down after a while, yet still carried on. I still think that it's weird that she didn't group all the Valenciennes together in one place, and all the twisted hole ground in another, rather than reading her table the other way. Still, I guess she thought her book would be more boring like that! Her way means that you do read through different grounds next to each other. Makes it harder to find anything though! Or compare different versions of the same basic stitch.

Someone on the Lace Identification forum has told me of Gertrude Whiting''s index! https://www2.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/books/whiting.jpg

You probably knew about that, (I didn't!) I'm repeating it here in case anyone is interested. But I think my work is worthwhile as my thumbnails are clickable, so you can go direct to the page.


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