Lace with Hearts

While looking at Downton Lace in Salisbury Museum (England) I discovered the Downton hearts. These are simplified zigzags. Click here to see how to work them.

Simple hearts
Hearts with triangles
Double red hearts
Hearts and dots
Sri Lankan hearts
Hearts and roses
Hearts (narrow)
Hearts with curved edge

Simple hearts lace pattern

Simple hearts

A heart is not difficult to work, but if you are a beginner, I suggest that you try some diamonds first. Then read about diamonds and solid areas. This covers hearts as well as strips, zigzags, etc.

This pattern is a very simple insertion (with two footsides and no headside), which has the hearts touching each other and also touching the footsides. There is a normal Torchon ground and single twisted footside.

15 pairs of bobbins.

Simple hearts lace photo

Hearts and triangles lace photo

Hearts with triangles

This pattern has smaller hearts, further apart. It also has a more interesting filling, a triangular ground between the bottom of the hearts to emphasise the shape. There are still a few Torchon ground stitches at the top of the hearts. I've also tried some colour, with the single twisted footside in darker blue.

14 pairs of bobbins.

Hearts and triangles lace pattern

Red & yellow hearts lace pattern

Double red hearts

For this lace, I wanted to really use colour. I know some lace-makers detest colour, but I'm afraid that I like it. However, a lot of colour in lace is used in footside threads, or gimps, which is rather obvious. I wanted to use colour to bring out some of the essential complexity of the lace (after all, that's why we do it, don't we?) So I tried to make a lace, where the hearts were solid red, and the background was a different colour. The pricking pattern shows where each coloured thread should go, and uses blue, so the red threads show up. The picture uses yellow, and shows where the background threads go. It's important that you don't make a mistake - it will be glaringly obvious.

Where a red crosses a blue, then work it as Torchon ground. Where a red meets a blue, but stays on the same side, work it as double Torchon ground. I've used a single twisted footside, but of course you could have any footside that you wanted.

19 pairs of bobbins, with 9 pairs of red threads.

One of the beginner patterns has a different solution to making the hearts different colours.

Red & yellow hearts lace photo

Hearts and Dots lace pattern

Hearts and dots

This is a more complicated edging of lace. The hearts are in cloth stitch, similar to the patterns above. In between, the 'dots' are half stitch diamonds.

The headside is made of half stitch fans and twisted fans. The rest is Torchon Ground although you could use other grounds, of course. There is a single twisted footside.

19 pairs of bobbins.

Hearts and Dots lace photo

Sri Lankan Hearts and Triangles original

Sri Lankan hearts

This lace came from Sri Lanka and I was asked to make up a pricking pattern for it. This is my attempt, below. It doesn't look quite the same as the original!
Sri Lankan Hearts and Triangles photo

The hearts are in cloth stitch, similar to the patterns above. The triangles are in half stitch. In between are spiders. There is a double Torchon ground.

The headside is rather like Maltese headside although the pins are in different places, and some of the spider legs are taken into the headside some of the time. Also the passives are taken into the point of the heart. The outer edge (purple on the right) is made of a plait.

19 pairs of bobbins.

Sri Lankan Hearts and Triangles Pattern

Hearts and Dots lace pattern

Hearts and roses

Here is another way of colouring a heart. Rather than making all the threads in the hearts red, you can colour them by just making the workers red. These always stay in one heart or another. The passives are white. Theyh enter the hearts from the ground (rose or Torchon), and leave it to go into more ground. While the passives are in the heart, their white colour gets dominated by the red of the passives.

The hearts are in cloth stitch. There is Torchon Ground next to the single twisted footside, and rose ground between the hearts.

22 pairs of bobbins.

Hearts and Dots lace photo

Hearts (narrow) photo

Hearts (narrow)

This is a simple pattern using not many bobbins. The workers are red and the rest are white, making the hearts stand out.

There is Torchon Ground to start and finish, and a single twisted footside. The headside is an extremely simple twisted fan headside - so simple that it looks rather different! There is also a single triangular ground stitch between the hearts.

12 pairs of bobbins.

Hearts (narrow) pattern

Hearts with curved edge photo

Hearts with curved edge

This is a simple pattern, but uses a technique from English Maltese lace.

The hearts are in cloth stitch, with Torchon Ground and single twisted footside. But the headside is a trail headside. This takes in more threads from the pattern as it curves inwards, and releases them as it curves outwards again. I also put tiny cloth diamonds between the hearts, but I don't think they worked well! You could leave them out if you want.

16 pairs of bobbins.

Hearts with curved edge pattern

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© Jo Edkins 2002