I have been looking at all the Bobbin Lace stitches that one can possibly make and wondering if I could create new ones.  

I started with "The Book of Bobbin Lace Stitches" by Cook and Stott.  I examined the stitches in this book and came up with a set of rules for how they are defined.  I then used these rules and wrote a computer program to generate all the possible patterns in which pairs of bobbins can traverse a grid and produce workable bobbin lace stitches.

Many of the patterns I discovered have a more organic, asymmetric appearance than is seen in traditional and commonly used stitches.

I presented my results at the Bridges Conference on Math and Art.  There were many Artists and Mathematicians in attendance but only two other Bobbin lace makers :(

I would really like to hear from more Bobbin Lace makers and designers.  What do you think of this approach?  Can you use my results to design new pieces?  

You can find a copy of my paper and diagrams of the pair traversal patterns that I produced at the following links:

Paper: http://web.uvic.ca/~vmi/papers/bridges2012.html
Diagonal Grid Patterns: http://web.uvic.ca/~vmi/papers/diagonalpatterns.html
Interleaved Grid Patterns:http://web.uvic.ca/~vmi/papers/interleavedpatterns.html 

I am also very interested in hearing from other Bobbin Lace makers who have looked at using Math to design pieces of lace or for designing new stitches or new genres of Bobbin lace.

Kind regards,


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Update on progress since the article was published.

I have discovered over 1.7 billion (or 1.7 thousand million if you are in Europe) different workable bobbin lace ground patterns using my simple algorithm.

That is way too many patterns to even start looking at so I have been modifying the algorithm to find patterns which contain symmetry.  By symmetry, I mean reflection (like a mirror), rotation (like a fan), glide (a glide is a special kind of reflection and is the pattern your footsteps make when you walk in the snow) as well as translation.  These symmetries can appear in different combinations (17 different combinations to be exact) and these combinations are sometimes called the "Wallpaper" symmetry groups.  If you are interested in learning more about this topic, there are several good sources on-line.  In addition to Wikipedia, you might try:

Below is an example of a pattern that I found by modifying my algorithm to look for patterns like the ones you see in a kaleidoscope.

Here is the finished sample - the top half is worked in "cross, twist, pin, cross, twist" and the bottom half is worked in "cross, twist, pin, cross".

And here is the ground pattern (with and without arrows to show how the threads travel).

It reminds me of some of the Alhambra tiling patterns in Spain.

I am trying to figure out if this is a new ground or one that is already known.  It is similar to the Schneeflocken and Sternen patterns in Grunde mit System (pages 167 to 177) and also a bit like the design by Magrit Dallenbach in Moderne Grunde (pages 252-254).  But these patterns are not quite the same - the main design in these known grounds is repeated in more of a diagonal "brick" fashion rather than the "checkerboard" style in my example.  Has anyone seen this ground before?

I really like this one. I haven't seen it before, but I don't have all the books of grounds. I know I haven't seen it in an antique lace.  Alternate rows have what is basically a roseground unit. But the larger motif in the alternate rows is really interesting.

Hello Veronica,

I continue the translation of a big part of the contents of your dibl site. As soon as I ended, I publish these translations in files .pdf.

If you think that it will be advantageous for you, for the lacemakers to publish it on your site, I completely agree with this idea.

Thank you for trusting me so.


Bonjour Veronica,

je continue traduction la d'une grande partie du contenu de votre le site dibl. Dès que j'ai terminé, je publie ces traductions en fichiers pdf.

Si vous pensez que cela sera avantageux verse vous, verse les dentellières de publier sur votre le site, je suis entièrement d'accord avec cette idée.

Merci de moi faire ainsi confiance.


GuyI'm the creator of the DiBL site in response to Veronika's work, she contributed too. You can contribute directly too, that is the intent of an open source project. If you are or can get familiar with GIT, fetch a local copy of the project at https://code.google.com/p/dibl/source/checkout?repo=wiki otherwise follow the browse link to get source files of the wiki pages.

Dear Jo,

I have never used GIT but I am going to inquire. I look at the link which you give me and I return if necessary. To you also thank you for your trust.

Cher ami Jo, je n'ai jamais utilisé Git mais je vais me renseigner. je regarde le lien que vous me donnez et je reviens en cas de besoin. À vous également je vous remercie pour votre confiance.



If you have never used a version control system, and even if you do, it might be better you somehow give me your email/gmail privately so I can give you edit rights on the wiki. See also Localizing Wiki Content You might also want to translate these html files, follow the raw links to see which texts are visible.

Hello Jo,

I send you a request to become your "friend" and be able to send you my e-mail address to MP.


Netti Mims, a lacemaker in a facebook group that I follow, learned of your work and mentionned the names of a few Czech lacemakers with interesting new grounds.  Zdenek Dolezal -  Jana Frajkorova




You might find this interesting, if you haven't seen it.


The album has several new grounds. I don't know if they are from one of the books of grounds, or if they are new inventions.


Thanks Lorelei,

I recognize quite a few patterns from Moderne Grunde.  Schönsee Germania 2013 was a lace conference of the Deutscher Klöppelverband in Germany and several of the authors of the Moderne Grunde taught courses at the conference.  It would have been a wonderful event to attend.


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