Lace Wedding Garters

Bride garters make attractive presents. They need a ribbon, either running along an edge (see this footside) or down the middle.

Symmetrical
One sided
Narrow
Fairly narrow
Roses and triangles
Flowers

Symmetrical wedding garter with hearts

Wedding garter with hearts photo

This garter has the ribbon in the middle.

The hearts are in cloth stitch. There is Torchon Ground with gaps. The headside is alternate twisted fan headside (although a very small one) and something based on a French fan although the workers come from the heart rather than from the edge. The workers for both fans are highlighted in dark green, so you can see what's happening. The French fan requires the workers to be twisted round the same pin three times, at the base of the fan. This isn't as hard as it seems; just get the right pin, take the pair of threads and loop them over, then tug tight.

The ribbon part is based on the complex footside, although I have used a single twisted pair of passives rather than two cloth stitch pairs. Alternate stitches are worked as a Winkie pin footside). The rest are worked across the passives and twisted four times. Then the pairs from each side are worked together as cloth stitch and twist, pin, then cloth stitch and twist again, and return back across the passives. You thread the ribbon above and below these stitches.

22 pairs of bobbins, unless you want to have more passives in the footside next to the ribbon.

You could make a garter from any simple edging by doubling it and having the ribbon in the middle, in the same way as this example.

Wedding garter with hearts pattern

One-sided wedding garter with hearts

Wedding garter with hearts pattern

This garter has the ribbon closer to one edge. This gives more room for the pattern and uses less bobbins. It's worked in two shades of blue so it can follow the saying that a bride should wear "Something old, someting new, something borrowed, something blue." If you prefer, you could use white, perhaps with a blue or other coloured edge, or all white if you wish. The colour of the ribbon is up to you as well. This was my only ribbon of the right width!

The hearts are in half stitch. This means that you can use a bigger scale pattern. Cloth stitch needs to be quite closely worked else it can look sparse. Half stitch is more forgiving, although of course it does mess up your pairs of bobbins! There is Torchon Ground with a single rose ground between the hearts. This adds a little interest to the Torchon ground, but you can leave it out if you prefer.

The ribbon part is the complex footside, although I have used a single twisted pair of passives (marked yellow) rather than two cloth stitch pairs. The headside uses part of the same design, which I have described as a ribbon headside. This is really tiny fans, but every stitch is cloth stitch and twist rather than cloth stitch or half stitch. The worker and the outer passive are dark blue, on both sides of the lace (these are marked in two shades of green on the pattern).

Wedding garter start


Wedding garter end
The start and end of this garter is more elaborate than usual. Since the pattern and photo need to fit on a computer screen, then this makes the garter far too short! But I'm sure than you can work out how to extend it. The start of the garter (see left) has bobbins hung from pins marked with red dots- one dot per pair of bobbins. You start at the cluster of 4 pairs of bobbins at the pin marked 'S'. Make sure that the pairs are looped round each other so they don't spring apart when the lace is finished. These first four pairs of bobbins have dark blue threads, if you are following my colour scheme. Then you work two pairs of bobbins in one direction, and two in the opposite direction. The righthand pair are worked down the right edge of the lace. The left pair are worked along the top of the lace at first. You might need to turn the pillow so the bobbins hand downwards properly. Add more bobbins, usually two pairs at a time, at the pins where shown. Make sure that these two pairs are looped round each other in each case. Once you have worked the top, then turn the pillow to the normal direection, and all the bobbins should be in the right place and direction. You finish off the lace in a similar way, but you tie off the threads at the dots. If there are two pairs, then tie one thread from one pair to one thread of the other pair, to join the two pairs, and make sure that they go round the pin. Finish at 'F'.

If you think this is all too tricky, then you can start and finish the garter off any way you chose.

19 pairs of bobbins, unless you want to have more passives in the footside next to the ribbon.

Wedding garter with hearts photo

Narrow wedding garter with hearts

Wedding garter with hearts photo

One problem with wedding garters is that they need to be quite long. Making lace is always slow, so I thought that I'd try designing a very narrow wedding garter which would be a lot faster to work. I also wanted to try using a bit more colour, especially to have the hearts red.

The hearts headside is described here. They are alternate cloth stitch and half stitch. The simple ribbon headside (on the other side of the ribbon) is described here. The ribbon is threaded through simple Torchon gaps. These are narrow, so there is only room for a narrow ribbon. The rest of the stitches are Torchon Ground.

You may prefer to make it all one colour. It has ended up rather gaudy. If you want to keep this colour scheme, then there are two pairs of dark blue thread and one pair of red thread. The rest are pale blue. The pale and dark blue are reasonably easy. The cloth stitch heart must have the red threads as workers; it may be necessary to have a twist to ensure this. The half stitch heart needs a little thought. At the start of the heart, one of the red threads must be a worker, and the other must stay at the outer edge of the heart. At the end of a row, always twist the last pair an extra time to bring the red worker thread back into the right place to be the worker for the next row. (Half stitch only has a single thread as a worker, not a pair). The other problem is at the point of the heart. The dark blue threads enter the heart at this point, and if you're not careful, one of these dark blue threads will enter the heart and spoil the colour pattern. So at the point pin, work the last stitch before the pin, put the pin in, twist the last pair (as usual, to bring the worker thread to the right place). But also twist the last but one pair as well, to bring that annoying dark blue thread to the right place as well. That means that the pale blue thread has changed direction without going round a pin, so I looped it round the pin just put in to secure it. If you find all that too complicated, then you can make the pale and dark blue threads the same colour, and the problem won't arise.

Only 8 pairs of bobbins! This will make it very quick to work. It does, of course, make it very narrow, and the ribbon will have to be narrow as well.

You might be able to spot that I made a mistake in one of the half stitch hearts!

Wedding garter with hearts pattern

Fairly narrow wedding garter with hearts

Fairly narrow wedding garter with hearts photo

Another hearts pattern, not as narrow as the previous, but still quite narrow, so quick to work.

The hearts are in cloth stitch, with red worker pair, to colour the whole heart. The simple ribbon headside is described here. The ribbon is threaded through simple Torchon gaps. These are narrow, so there is only room for a narrow ribbon. The headside is similar, without the gaps. The rest of the stitches are Torchon Ground.

12 pairs of bobbins. The ribbon will have to be narrow.

Fairly narrow wedding garter with hearts pattern

Wedding garter with hearts, roses and triangles

Wedding garter with hearts, roses and triangles photo

This garter was genuinely made for a wedding. It is 52 cms long and 3.5 cms wide, with room for a half cm ribbon. It took 12 hours to work. The main colour was white, with the workers for the edge fans in pale pink. The pattern has several different parts - this made it less boring to work! The hearts and roses seemed suitable for a wedding, and the triangles are suppose to represent Welsh mountains, as the couple live in Wales.

The headside on the hearts side is twisted fan headside (although a very small one) with the worker threads being pale pink. The hearts are in half stitch, which means that you can use a bigger scale pattern without it looking too loose. The hearts are spaced in pairs with Torchon Ground between them. In the larger gaps, there in either rose ground or triangular ground with a few Torchon Ground stitches to fill in. the ribbon side of the garter is similar to the one sided garter above, except it is even simpler. All the stitches are cloth stitch and twist, with the edge pairs being twisted one or more times for the longer gaps. It is similar to a tiny fan, with the worker threads again being in pale pink. The cross-over threads (where the ribbon goes) meet in the middle of the ribbon area with a single cloth stitch and twist stitch, with the pin in the middle (so really, half stitch, pin, half stitch). This means that the pair of threads cross over from the main part of the lace to the ribbon edging for a bit, then return again to the main part of the lace.

15 pairs of bobbins.

Wedding garter with hearts, roses and triangles pattern
Wedding garter with hearts, roses and triangles photo

Wedding garter with flowers - Bucks Point

Wedding garter with flowers photo Wedding garter with flowers photo

This is a Bucks Point pattern.

On the wider side, there are half stitch fans, and between them, Bucks Point passive headside (but with only one passive and no picots!) Then tthere is a line of Bucks Point flowers surrounded by two gimps. I have made the gimps a different colour to the rest of the lace. Then there is Bucks Point ground.

There are two more gimps surrounding the area where the ribbon goes. The ribbon is held in place with a pair of threads on each side being twisted six times each, then meeting at cloth stitch and twist, pin, then another cloth stitch and twist, then twisted 6 times again. These are marked green in the diagram. They stay within the two gimps, and are attached to the rest of the lace with a pair from the net that crosses the gimp, cloth stitch and twist, pin, cloth stitch and twist, and back across the gimp again. There are also pairs from the net that cross the gimp, twist three times, pin, then cross the gimp again. These provide the holes to thread the ribbon. If you want a wider (or narrower) ribbon, then alter the pattern to make the right width, and twist the relevant pairs more times (or less) than six.

On the narrow side, there is a little more Bucks Point ground, then alternate half stitch fans and cloth stitch fans.

19 pairs of bobbins + 4 gimps.

Wedding garter with flowers pattern

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© Jo Edkins 2009