Freehand Lace

Freehand bobbin laces are a group of peasant laces made in various countries in Europe.  What they have in common is that pins were only used along the 2 outer edges, and careful tension control made the threads follow their proper path.  Some of the localities for these laces are Sweden, northwestern Italy and southeastern France.  Scania, Queyras, Maurienne are some of the varieties.

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Latest Activity: Oct 28, 2018


Swedish         Queyras           Maurienne       freehand         freehand


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Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 28, 2013 at 3:51pm

This version is called Binche snowflake in a frame.  It is only one variant of many.

1st, disregard the large diamond shapes with 2 dots in the center.  Those are not the actual hexagons that form the snowflake units.

In the lower part the red lines mark the basic hexagons for the snowflakes, and the green lines are where the diagonal threads are led between the hexagonal ground units.  As you can see, no pins are used to support those diagonal threads.

The upper part shows how the various threads move through the ground.  There are 2 pairs of diagonals that cross through each other, inside the hexagons.  And the quasi-vertical pairs that surround that crossing and compact it.

The large dots are in the center of each hexagonal unit.

This pattern is taken from Michael Giusiana's BINCHE, publ by Dryad, 1989. It is out of print.

Comment by Veronika Irvine on October 27, 2013 at 8:38pm

Thank you for the page and pattern numbers from Grunde mit System.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but it looks like the pins for these Diagonalrahmen grounds are along the edges of the diamond - so couldn't this be done on a standard pricking? You have two pin holes in the middle of the diamond but I don't see these in the book. Are these helper pins?

I think Knospensterne 4039 and 4040 on page 177 might be examples that require additional pin holes - although the pins in the middle are close to but not quite exactly on grid crossings so you could make a slightly distorted version on standard pricking.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 27, 2013 at 3:05pm

4035 on page 175

4036 page 176

Comment by Veronika Irvine on October 27, 2013 at 2:28pm

Thanks Lorelei.  I have a copy of all the reference books you have listed (picked them up after you mentioned them earlier) except for the last one (Introduction to Bobbin Lace Stitches).  I have just started going through them and looking at the pin placement for each.  I was just wondering if someone had already gone through a similar exercise.  Thank you for the examples of exceptions - I will take a closer look at them.

I have not worked with Binche lace before - it obviously has some interesting variations. The combination of a 45 degree grid with a 60 degree grid sounds very interesting.  Is that ground included in Viele Gute Grunde?

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 26, 2013 at 9:26pm

Your question is a very large one and a meaningful answer will take me a few days to assemble.  The simple answer is that they cannot all be worked on the same standard pricking.  Many are based on a diamond grid.  Some flatten the diamond and squash it vertically.  Some omit one of the holes, which allows the threads to take a different path and create a large hole.  Some versions of rose ground (5 hole ground) add extra holes to the diamond grid.  The "little showflake" used in Binche works on a rectangular grid, not a diamond grid.  And the Binche "large showflake" uses a hexagonal grid.  And some variants of this one add a torchon like diamond grid in between the hexagonal units.  And even this doesn't cover it all.  And I'm not even mentioning the grounds based on braids (2 pairs per grid line) instead of the single pair used in all the ones I've listed so far.

Just recently I added a list of the grounds books that I know of here.

And on this web page I have photos of several of these grids.  I'll be adding to this section in the next few days.  I'll let you know when I've added the ones necessary.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 26, 2013 at 9:17pm

Some grounds can be worked on a plain diamond grid, simply by not using some of the pins.  

Example, honeycomb ground and Paris ground  just miss one central pin.  But point ground laces are worked on a grid with flattened angles. 52, 56, 60 degrees instead of the 45 degrees of torchon.  

Some variants of 5 hole ground add extra pins to the basic diamond grid.

The Binche ground known as "little snowflake" uses a rectangular grid with one pin in each corner.

The Binche "large snowflake" is worked on a hexagonal grid.  But it has variants which insert a frame (basically a torchon grid) in between each hexagon.

To really answer your question in depth is a very large matter.  I will have to collect grids and photos and post them to demonstrate what I mean.  It will take a few days.

In the meantime, I just posted the names of the major books on grounds that I know of.  You can find it here.  Look under RESOURCES.  Also I have a section on grounds on this web page.  I will add to it in the next few days to address this issue. 

Comment by Veronika Irvine on October 26, 2013 at 6:41pm

I have a question and I was wondering if this group could help me find an answer:  Can all traditional lace grounds be made on a standard pricking?  If yes, do you know of anyone who has written about this?  If no, can you give me examples of grounds that won't work and also let me know if you think the number of exceptions are small or large?

Thank you,

Comment by Michelle Chase on July 9, 2013 at 7:35am
Samples 1 & 2 from "Pettersson Lace" by Nordstrom. This lace is from Sweden and is done on a standard pricking with no markings, 60/2 Bockens linen, with 35/2 for gimp. (See my photos).
Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on July 7, 2013 at 3:11pm

We can look forward, then, to photos!

Comment by Michelle Chase on July 7, 2013 at 2:57pm
I have the book "Pettersson Lace" by Nordstrom and just started the first pattern- very cool! When I get a decent bit made, I'll post a photo.

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