This is an old pattern which I got with a straw filled roller pillow. No annotations! It's Bedford, I think - bought in Cambridge which was on the edge of the Bedford lacing making area. I am NOT an expert on Beds lace!

Some of it looks like cloth trails, because of lots of pinholes bordering them. Maybe something like a 9 nine headside (although atypical). A footside of course. I've posted the original, plus my ideas of how to work it. My queries are:

How are the cloth trails held together? There needs to be something going from one to its neighbour to stop the whole lace falling apart. Plaits? Wouldn't they indicate where? Or twisted pairs? Surely not one pair for every pin!

And there are clusters of three holes next to the footside - fairly spaced out. Ground? A bit far apart. I can't think of a Beds device which needs three holes.

Any ideas would be really appreciated. I'd like to work it to illustrate a talk in Cambridge as an example of (possibly) local lace. The pattern itself isn't really enough! (It's for non-lacemakers.)

By the way, I thought I'd posted this into the main area yesterday, but I can't see it today. Perhaps I forgot to click on Post! Or it's ended up somewhere else, or is there and my computer can't see it. If so, apologies for double posting. A separate discussion is more appropriate, anyway.

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If I understand kiss stitches right, the pink circles below are:

 In this image the pink circles are not kiss stitches, because the weaver goes back where it came from.

Your pink circles are Stitch pin stitch, then continue the trails.  It might be called a Brussels ground stitch.

A kiss is stitch, continue with the trail.

Good grief! I certainly got that wrong. I'd looked at existing Beds lace, and thought they doubled back round a pin, but you're quite right - they cross over. Deary me! (Perhaps I ought to read a book or two before trying new things out, but it's quite fun getting them wrong...) Of course - it's a kiss because it's an X!  I wonder if the crossing over explains why a kiss tends to look weak in Beds lace? The cucumbers are OK, and so are the plaits, and the tallies, but the kiss is often two long dangly pairs of threads which look weak to my eye.
Does the kiss stitch have a pin in the middle? Obviously lots of twists first, but then is it half stitch, pin, half stitch (then more twists) or is it cloth stitch and twist without a pin?

To avoid the dangly threads situation in a kiss, twist both weavers a few times, enough to make them look like a solid line. It depends on how big the space is and how your thread size relates to the space size. And no, the kiss does not have a pin in the middle. It may or may not have 2 pins, one supporting each weaver before it makes the kiss stitch.

The stitch is twist ctc twist. Interpret twist to mean however many twists you think you need.

Discussing this issue makes us both understand why the designers made their patterns the way they did, and why the old lace makers worked the patterns as they did. Various stitches, connections, intersections are done for reasons, because they function in a certain way.

So in Beds (and Cluny) a braid/plait = normal tally. They function the same and are interchangeable.

In Beds a kiss = a cucumber. They function the same and are interchangeable.

A tally or a plait would transfer the 2 pairs to the other trail, whereas a cucumber or a kiss stitch keeps the pairs in the 2 trails.  

Use which ever you want  - it is Your lace, and it depends how you like the trails to be consistent, even, and regular. 

Yes there is always a lot of adding and throwing out with Beds Lace - helps keep it interesting!!!!!!  You can cheat, of course, - when taking in a leg use 2 bobbins together, - so you just have one extra stitch - not 2-  especially if you are just carrying  the extra pairs a short way - a pin hole or 2. Then you are working One extra stitch across the braid, and it does not widen (show up) so much.  (Hope I am making sense!)

Will you be at San Antonio? If so, look me up, and we can chat about Beds lace!!!!! (and other things!!  :)  )

You make perfect sense (taking in a leg) - something to think about. I'm so used to Torchon "trails" - they aren't of course, just diagonal strips - so I started by treating the Beds trails like that - all wrong! It took me some time before I realised that legs are taken in at a single pin, not two... But as you say (one of you) trying these things out makes one realise why the old lacemakers did it this way.

I'm in the UK (I assume that San Antonio isn't!) I live in Cambridge, which isn't that far from Bedford, and I've seen the lace in their museum. Lacemaking spread as far as Cambridge, and I'm giving a talk to Cambridge U3A (University of the Third Age) about bobbin lace. I reckon they will be interested in what Cambridge lace looks like, and I don't think anyone knows! The local folk museum unashamedly shows modern Torchon lace (as an example of bobbin lace). A nearby town has some pieces which are Beds style, some are Bucks style, and one a mixture of the two! The pattern which started this thread was bought by me in Cambridge, connected with an old roller pillow, in an antique shop. No provenance, but it MIGHT be from a local lacemaker! I've picked up loads of pieces of lace from charity shops (thrift stores) and they are all Beds lace, so I'm thinking - that's what Cambridge lace was. By the way, Bucks isn't much further from Cambridge than Beds is. We're 100 miles from London, and both are closer to us than that. Everything is closer together in the UK!

OK - latest attempt. Yes, it took me a bit before I got the hang of cucumbers (and they still got away from me from time to time) and the kiss got messed up at one point...
But I quite like the design. Two pairs of passives stay within each trail throughout. But the worker pairs wander round the place a bit (which is fun). I don't know whether I've handled the plaits (legs/brides) is an acceptable manner. They cross the trail in cloth stitch (the trail's worker pair temporarily becoming an extra passive pair). I found it very logical to work, and the result is quite robust.

That's interesting. It's got a little of everything!


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