Hi there, I am learning Bucks Point from a book (Pamela Nottingham) and while I feel I am grasping the principles, there is something not right with my double thread picots.

I am 99% sure that I am forming them correctly, I've consulted several books and the internet.  And when I remove the pins, most of them seem to be fine. However, as you will see from this recently completed motif (I am aware it has other mistakes as well), some of my picots just pull out into a long loop when I remove the pin. I tried removing the pin as gently as possible, holding down the loop while I did so, but it still happened.

Any suggestions why this is happening? Many thanks in advance if you can help.

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In a picot, you need to have one thread of the pair going above the picot, and one below. So you twist the pair several times (I think you've forgotten to do this in one picot above - the pair seem to have separated). Then you twist the pin round one thread (after this twisted bit), which gets it to go under the loop. Push the pin into the pattern at the right place. Then guide the other thread round the pin on top of the loop. Then twist the pair to anchor the picot. Then pull everything through to actually make the tight loop round the pin. See

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/lace/picot.htm

This shows the diagrams at each stage. It looks a little weird, as the pin is held sideways, when normally the pin is upright, but that is necessary to show how all the threads go.

If your picots turn into loops, the most likely reason is that the first thread twist - the one that goes under the loop - is twisted the wrong way. You are using the pin as a tool, which is a bit odd in lace. And there are two ways to wind the bottom thread round the pin. One works, the other doesn't. And unfortunately the 'wrong' way feels more natural to do. After putting the pin in, try (gently!) lifting up the thread up the pin. You should be able to see that it is trapped under itself. If it just unwinds without a problem, then you have twisted it the wrong way.

Thanks. As I said, I'm pretty sure I'm doing them correctly, having looked at your site, several books, etc. I suppose I may have forgotten to twist afterwards on a few picots but I'd be surprised (and disappointed in myself) if I had forgotten that many times as there are bad picots on this sample. I think of it as a double hitch like we learned in girl guides, with the two threads on the outside of the 'hitch' pulling the inner twist around the pin. I did notice the bad picots are mostly on one side so on my next sample I am putting extra effort into tightening the picots on that side. I'm doing 4 twists before and 3 afterwards, in Finca 50 thread.  Practice makes perfect I suppose  :)

Jo Edkins said:

In a picot, you need to have one thread of the pair going above the picot, and one below. So you twist the pair several times (I think you've forgotten to do this in one picot above - the pair seem to have separated). Then you twist the pin round one thread (after this twisted bit), which gets it to go under the loop. Push the pin into the pattern at the right place. Then guide the other thread round the pin on top of the loop. Then twist the pair to anchor the picot. Then pull everything through to actually make the tight loop round the pin. See

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/lace/picot.htm

This shows the diagrams at each stage. It looks a little weird, as the pin is held sideways, when normally the pin is upright, but that is necessary to show how all the threads go.

If your picots turn into loops, the most likely reason is that the first thread twist - the one that goes under the loop - is twisted the wrong way. You are using the pin as a tool, which is a bit odd in lace. And there are two ways to wind the bottom thread round the pin. One works, the other doesn't. And unfortunately the 'wrong' way feels more natural to do. After putting the pin in, try (gently!) lifting up the thread up the pin. You should be able to see that it is trapped under itself. If it just unwinds without a problem, then you have twisted it the wrong way.

I've looked at the picots on the top, and labelled them. Picots labelled 1 look fine to my eye. The picot labelled 2 is completely separated - I'm not quite sure what happened! The pair certainly weren't twisted before the picot was formed. Picot 3 is a standard U loop shape which is the picot not having one thread under and one over. But the interesting ones are picots labelled 4. It looks as if a picot has been made, but not tightened enough, so got pulled out. You twist the pair (lots!), twist one thread round the pin to get the thread underneath, and wind the other thread round the top. Then you have to pull the twisted part through these two threads and round the pin. Then one simple twist to 'lock' the picot. Then the pair goes back into the rest of the lace, and you must make sure that this pair gets tightened properly.

I have had another thought... You do need to tighten the lace BEFORE making the picot. The picot is a bit of a tangled mess (frankly!), so if there is some slack before the picot, you can't really tighten to get rid of the slack AFTER making the picot. If this tightening doesn't happen then this slack will losen up the picot when all pins are removed and I suppose the picot may undo itself. I know well that when making lace I am better at tightening in some places than others. I get tired, or bored, and slapdash. So it could be that this is what happened.

For double thread picots, the finer the thread you are using, the more twists you need on the pair that makes the picot. For the threads typically used for Bucks, which are very fine, I would twist the picot pair 7 times. Then take one thread around the pin, set the pin, and then allow the 2nd thread to follow its partner. Then twist the pair 2x before taking it through the edge passives.

This is my diagram for double thread picots from my website.  My diagram doesn't show the twists. I use about 3 twists for 40/2 linen, and 5 twists for tatting cotton. For fine Bucks thread I would use 7 twists.  The high number of twists should keep the 2 threads wound together, even after you remove the pin.

http://lynxlace.com/learningbobbinlace-basics.html#picots

I think you are not wrapping the threads separately, in the correct way around the pin.

Do the 5 twists (or however many you usually do) then lay the pin on the top of one thread and wrap the thread over and around the pin, and insert the pin in the pricking.Keep the thread loose. Take the other thread, and wrap it around the pin in the same direction, and only Then tension the 2 threads up together.  They should stay twisted together, but one thread comes from below the twists around the pin, and the other thread comes from above. Give them another twist or 2, and continue on with the lace.  The threads should stay twisted together.

I almost always do 5 twists before and 2 after the pin for picots.

Thank you everyone for your  kind assistance. The note about tensioning BEFORE the picot hit home as I have been having trouble with the headside tensioning, it is so fine and hard to see but I've just got new glasses so hopefully it will be easier. I will try to be extra diligent about tensioning before I form the picot. There also seems to be a number of opinions on twists before/after - Pamela Nottingham's book says 3 before 3 after, I've been doing 4 before 3 after in hopes of improving results, perhaps I will try 5 before. Finca 50 isn't the finest thread as I am still on the beginner charts for Bucks Point that aren't as fine as the real lace so I think 7 twists would be too much. I don't think I would be able to see well enough for the real scale of Bucks Point without magnification.

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