To start here is my analysis of the basic grounds used in bobbin lace.

First some basic rules.  A leaf tally and a standard braid (plait) both contain 2 pairs.  Therefore, structurally they are interchangeable.  Also a square tally is one way of crossing 2 pairs.  So wherever 2 pairs meet in an X you can substitute a little square tally.

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This one illustrates different ways of crossing 2 braids (plaits), each containing 2 pairs or 4 threads.


Valenciennes method, I call it a Val crossing, for lack of another word.

There are several variants of the little snowflake, used in Binche and Flanders, which have this structure. This is the simplest variant.  Also called cord ground (which I think is used in Bucks).

The same thing exploded, by inserting a twist before each cloth stitch.  This is 5 hole ground = rose grouns (virgin ground, term in French & Spanish).

This is various ways to cross 3 braids, each containing 2 pairs.

This is basically the same pair movements as in the large Binche snowflake.  Here it is exploded with twists in between all the cloth stitches.

Here is the same movement of pairs, but compacted, where each pair is treated as a single thread.

Continental crossing, exploded.  This is not the same as the one above.


English version, exploded


Crossing 4 braids makes 4 rose ground  units.

A 3 point diamond can be worked as a cloth stitch diamond, a honeycomb unit, or a square tally. This is what you get when you omit the center pin of the unit. So honeycomb is an alternative to crossing 2 pairs tc pin tc.  A square tally also can replace tc pin tc.

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I have just revised the large diagram at the top of this discussion.  The leftmost column is a sort of shorthand set of diagrams for the groups.

Here is another way to think about grouping the grounds by thread movements.  It comes down to 3 basic paths: diagonals crossing each other (with or without complications), verticals which may be crossed horizontally or diagonally, and vertical stacks which connect to each other in alternate rows (which may be crossed horizontally).

It would be nice if you could do a 6 or 8 pin honey comb as a ground.

Here is a description of    fond malin      which is basically a torchon ground with a vertical pair that feeds into the crossing of the diagonals.   See group D # 3 in the  diagram at the beginning of this discussion.


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