Spiders and roses

This lace was mostly designed using my interactive lace designer. This allows you to design lace online, by picking up patterns and dropping them into a grid. This designer works at an angle, which explains the tilted prickings below.

While testing with the interactive lace designer, I found that it was possible to fit spiders and rose ground in unconventional ways. I wasn't quite sure if it would be possible to work these, or what they would look like in a piece of lace, so I made a sample, 16 pairs of bobbins wide, to try them out. It's a simple insertion with two twisted footsides, to maximise the area for ground. There had to be an occasional Torchon ground stitch to fill up gaps. The results are below.

A simple rose pattern
Scallops
Experiments with rose grounds
A rose bed
A rose path
A simple spider pattern
Cathedral spiders
A clutter of spiders
Fireworks

A simple rose ground

A simple rose ground design photo
A simple rose ground pattern

Here is a simple rose ground pattern.

There is rose ground and a twisted fan headside.

12 pairs of bobbins.


Scallops and rose cross

Scallops

This develops the above idea. It was designed for someone going to Santiago de Compostela. The symbol of St James is the scallop. There is a pattern for a single scallop here.

The pattern starts with a couple of lines of cloth stitch to make a firm beginning. There are two potential problems at the start. If you want to use colour as in the diagram, then you have to make sure that the right colours start at the right pins. There are two pairs of fawn at the headside, plus four fawn pairs on the other side - two at the footside and two at the start of the triangle. These colours are optional - if you like, you can work this pattern all in one colour, but they do help to colour the scallops and the triangles, and give a fawn edge to the lace, which highlights the rose crosses which are completely white.

The other problem is a bit trickier. The point of the scallop needs to be 'caught' by a pair coming in the other direction. Normally this is caught by the point of the triangle, but there is no triangle at the start. (It begins in this way to avoid having half a scallop, half a triangle, or half a rose cross - you can do that if you prefer.) To 'catch' the first point of the scallop, you need to work half the scallop, then have a pair to pick up the worker pair at the point of the scallop, then work in cloth stitch along the side of the rose ground before ending up at the footside (or possibly the start of the first triangle). Since this pair ends up there, it will need to be fawn.

Similar to the above pattern, there is rose ground and a twisted fan headside. There is also a twisted footside and cloth stitch triangles. .One of the fawn pairs is the worker for each scallop, and the other is the outer edge. You swap these over for each scallop (or even within the scallop to make a neater edge). These colour the scallop and give a fawn edge to the lace. The rose ground should be worked in white (if it isn't, then there's a mistake somewhere!) These white pairs leave the scallop and triangle to do the rose ground, then rejoining them again. There are also four pairs of fawn at the footside. One is the passive pair of the footside. Another pair is passive at the base of the triangle. The other two pairs are the worker pair for the triangle, plus the edge pair. Thetriangle worker pair leaves the triangle to join the footside, where it swaps over with the edge pair. This happens every other row.The passive pair inside the triangle can also swap over with the worker pair between triangles. The fawn pairs (apart from the footside passive pair) use a lot more thread than the white pairs, but this regular swapping over evens out the amount of thread in each fawn pair.

You may feel that this fussing with colour isn't worth it! But it does highlight the shapes. You can always make it all one colour, or chose different colours. You can make the triangles and footside one colour, and the scallops a different colour, if you want.

The imagery is scallops, representing St James, triangles for the mountains, and the rose ground form crosses. The song "Green Grow the Rushes O" crossed my mind while working this. There are twelve scallops ("Tweleve for the tweleve apostles"), eleven crosses ("Eleven for the eleven who went to heaven") ande ten mountains ("Ten for the ten commandments" - these were brought down from a mountain).

14 pairs of bobbins.

AScallops and rose cross

Rose ground experiments

Rose ground

This is conventional rose ground, so you can compare it with the rest. The rose patterns are staggered in a chequer board design, which I have always thought is most attractive. I have given both the simple pricking and a version with all pairs drawn in.

Rose ground
Rose ground

This looks similar, but if you look carefully, the roses are staggered by half a pattern, instead of a whole pattern. This makes the finished lace assymetrical. There are distinct stripes of roses going across the lace. Now, conventional rose ground is hard enough to work. (Did you remember all the cloth stitch and twists going into and out of the pattern?) These non-standard rose grounds are worse, as threads don't come from the direction you expect. Remember to always work the highest rose you can see unworked, as otherwise you pick up the wrong threads, which is most annoying!

Rose ground
Rose ground

This takes the idea one stage further. There are a group of four roses, with a Torchon ground stitch between them. There are two slanted lines of roses, but they seem to be going at different angles! Rather confusing to design, and I had to keep undoing the working to make sure that I hadn't made a mistake. Also, these non-conventional grounds don't seem to have the same rigidity as the original ground. I have tried to reproduce what I did as lines on a pattern, but I can't figure it out! Not recommended, I feel.

Rose ground
Rose ground

Here, each rose is entirely surrounded by Torchon ground stitches. I think this is the most attractive of the non-conventional rose grounds. This pattern is symmetrical (if you work it right!) which makes the lace less wonky and if you have enough room in your pattern to display it, could be striking. There seem to be mini-roses at the corners of the main roses.

Rose ground

All these rose grounds were interesting experiments, but I still think that the conventional pattern is best!


A rose bed

Rosebed pattern

The last rose ground pattern, with a line of Torchon ground surrounding each rose seemed worth developing. Above I suggest that you need some room to display it, but thinking about it, you can have a line of roses as long as they are slanting. Here there are cloth fan headsides on both edges, offset so you have room for just one line of roses in between.

To emphasise the pattern, I have made sure that the roses are worked in red, while all other threads are green. The top of the pattern shows a line of pin holes with the correct coloured threads coming from them. If you wish to use this, then hang the bobbins from these pins, and when you have worked the line of pins beneath (which actually start the pattern) remove the top row of pins carefully and let the threads drop onto the lower pins.

The fan headsides have all the passives twisted halfway through. You can see that there are less holes round the edge than the other side, with the straight edges and the point. That means that the first row must always be towards the centre of the lace. It also means that you have one worker pair (per edge) for the entire lace, so make sure that there is more thread on those bobbins! Work half the fan, up to and including the pin at the point. Then twist all bobbins in the fan except the worker pair and the pair at the point. Then carry on working the rest of the fan. You could leave this out if you want, but I hoped it would make the fans look a bit more like leaves.

I think this pattern shows off the roseground more than usual, so I like it.

14 pairs of bobbins.

Rosebed photo

A rose path

Rose path pattern

Here is another slant on the previous idea. The rose ground still zigzags, but the rest is Torchon ground, with twisted footside on both edges.

Normally, rose ground and Torchon ground are too similar to mix. But here, that is all there is, so I think you can see the pattern OK.

16 pairs of bobbins.

Rose path photo

A simple spider pattern

A simple spider design photo
A simple spider design pattern

Here is a simple spider pattern.

There are 12 legged spiders and triangles in half stitch, with a Winkie pin footside.

12 pairs of bobbins.


Cathedral spiders lace photo

Cathedral spiders

Cathedral spiders are half-spiders. Either you work the top half of the spider, and put the pin in, or you put the pin in first, and work the bottom half of the spider. The working is described here.

This pattern uses both types. The top two spiders work the top half of the spider, then pin. The bottom two pin first, then work the bottom half of the spider. The spider in the middle is a normal 12 legged spider.

The spiders are surrounded by hearts in cloth stitch and half stitch. The edging is no footside (that is, the pairs swap over, but there are no passives).

The pattern is started and finished off with Torchon ground, as it's a bit awkward to start in the middle of a spider! There is also a line of cloth stitch across all bobbins, right at the start and at the end of the lace, to frame it.

This pattern was supposed to high-light the differences between a normal spider and a cathedral spider. There doesn't seem to be much diffrerence, in fact, although you can see the middle spider's body is bigger (that's the normal spider). The other spiders are hard to tighten, as the pairs come in at one side and go straight across the spider to the other side, rather than wrapping round the pin to return to the same side.

14 pairs of bobbins.

Cathedral spiders lace

A clutter of spiders

Spiders and fan

I tried various experiments with putting spiders next to each other. One looked interesting, so I tried to make a complete edging using it. Not easy! Those pesky multiple spiders don't fit too well into usual Torchon shapes. However with extra Torchon ground where necessary, and cloth stitch triangle to fill in the gaps at the twisted footside, here is the result. The cloth fans are two sizes, with the large fans having some of the passives twisted half way through. I didn't twist all the passive, just the second, third and fourth ones from the edge. You could try leaving these twists out (I did two twists each time), or twisting all the passives, or indeed, doing different types of fan.

I did design this pattern using my interactive lace designer, but it's quite a long pattern before it repeats, so I've rotated it to show here.

Apparently the group term for a collection of spiders is a cluster or clutter. So this lace is definitely a clutter of spiders!

16 pairs of bobbins

Spiders and fan


Fireworks

Fireworks pattern

This is an attempt to make my spider ground with Torchon ground a little more symmetrical. There are twisted fans as headside, and since I thought that I might get bored with all those spiders, I decided to make it coloured. Twisted footside as usual. Remember that when you work the spider and Torchon ground, you should always work the spider highest up the design. If you get them in the wrong order, you might get the wrong spider's leg.

As I said, I used colours for the fan. To start off, I used one colour for the worker pair, and the other for the edge pair, swapping over for each fan, to give apparent alternate colours for the fans. I chose red and yellow, as I think the spiders look a little like sparks, so wanted to give a firework feel (it was the beginning of November, when the British let off their fireworks for Bonfire Night). However, my son pointed out to me that the colours remind him of Fruit Salad penny chews (British sweets or candies) and come to think of it...

Anyway, even swopping the colours over, after 4 fans (from the right) I got bored, so I tried a new type of fan, with the working exactly the same, but doing cloth stitch rather than cloth stitch and twist. There is a red and a yellow version like this. They definitely have a more filled in look. Then I thought, why not change the colour half way through the fan? If you did this in the right way, you might even get butterflies. So the next few fans are attempts at red butterflies. Perhaps, if you screw your eyes up... Or perhaps they're yellow butterflies. The last fan I changed the colour everytime I got to the edge. I'm not even sure whether I used cloth stitch, or cloth stitch and twist by that time! It certainly gives you a few more types of fan to play with, though.

I did design this pattern using my interactive lace designer, but it's quite a long pattern, so I've rotated it to show here.

16 pairs of bobbins

Fireworks picture


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© Jo Edkins 2006