Lace with Zig-zags and Diamonds

There are several patterns in Torchon lace which use zig-zags. They may contrast solid cloth stitch and half stitch, or have multiple zigzags or stripes.

Standard patternsOtherExperiments
Zig-zag pattern
Checkerboard pattern
Narrow zig-zags
Double zigzag
Another double zigzag
Snakes
Double zigzag again
Strips and diamonds
Coloured fans and chevrons
Bookmark
Rose border
Woad pattern
Different diamonds
Contrasting half-stich diamonds
Different diamonds 2

Hearts are a simple kind of zigzag.


Zig-zag lace pattern

Zig-zag Pattern

This is a fairly orthodox Torchon pattern, contrasting the half stitch zig-zag with the cloth stitch behind.

Normally, both half stitch and cloth stitch are treated equally, each being 'Z's fitting into each other, which are meant to look as if they are twisted round each other. I tried this pattern, which places the half stitch above the cloth stitch, and lo and behold, I get hearts again!

There is an open fan, Torchon ground, some spiders to set off the zig-zags and a single twisted footside.

22 pairs of bobbins.

Zig-zag lace photo

Zig-zag lace photo

Checkerboard Pattern

This pattern is simpler. It has cloth diamonds and half stitch diamonds in a checkerboard pattern. You can still imagine them as two continuous strips which intertwine with a spider at the junctions. A Torchon ground sets off the whole pattern, and the usual single twisted footside.

The only tricky part in working it is where the two diamonds touch in the centre. You have to work half one diamond until you get to the touching point. Leave the worker pair of bobbins loose - don't put a pin in. Then work the other diamond right through, picking up the loose pair from the first diamond as a passive (for only one stitch each way) at the touching point. When the second diamond is finished, you go back to finish the first, using the loose pair as workers again. Click here for a description of this.

22 pairs of bobbins.

Checkerboard lace pattern

Double zig zag

Narrow zig-zags

When I was writing my interactive lace designer, I tested it by designing little pieces of lace. I found this pattern so attractive that I decided to work it, and here is the result. The designer makes patterns on the slant for technical reasons.

There are cloth fans and twisted fans as headside, and two very thin cloth stitch bars. Next to the twisted footside, there is one stitch of triangular ground with a couple of stitches of Torchon ground on either side.

One peculiarity of these narrow cloth bars is that they work different amounts of bobbins according to which way they are sloping, and which side the worker bobbins started. I used the same worker bobbins throughout (remember to wind lots of thread for these!). For each zigzag, on the zig (as it were), the workers cross 3 pairs one way and 4 pairs returning. But on the zag, they use 2 pairs one way and 3 pairs returning. You can just see that one slop is narrower than the other. However, it depends where the workers started at the beginning on the pattern, and it so happens that one bar has narrow zigs and wide zags, while the other has wide zigs and narrow zags. I think there would be a subtly different result if one of the workers had started on the other side. If you don't understand any of this, try working the lace, and you'll see what I mean.

16 pairs of bobbins

Double zig zag

Double zigzag

Two zigzags photo

This pattern uses woad dyed thread (also see this pattern). The thread is much thicker than ordinary thread, so I had to enlarge the pattern from what is shown here. Some printers let you enlarge printed pictures at the point of printing them, which was what I used. Even though the pattern was big, you can see that the result has ended up quite tightly woven. It is quite interesting to try different sizes of patterns with different thicknesses of thread and see what the results are.

This pattern has headsides on both edges. These are open fans. There are half stitch and cloth stitch zig-zags with some spiders, and Torchon ground filling in the gaps.

Contrasting zigzags can look like multiple 'Z's rather than two strands wound round each other, which is what they are supposed to look like. The first pattern on this page tried another way, by having one zigzag on top of the other, but the bottom one ends up looking like hearts. So here is another attempt, more successful, I think. The two strands, half stitch and cloth stitch, are wound unevenly. Sometimes there is a big gap between them, room enough for a spider. Sometimes there is a small gap, with only room for one ground stitch.

22 pairs of bobbins.

Two zigzags pattern

Another double zigzag

Double zigzag photo

This is a similar pattern to the previous, but uses more bobbins.

This pattern has cloth footsides on both edges. There are half stitch and cloth stitch zig-zags with some spiders, and rose ground filling in the gaps. The rest is Torchon ground, with some triangular ground for additional interest.

30 pairs of bobbins.

Double zigzag pattern

Snakes pattern

Snakes

This is also a double zigzag, but with a start and end similar to the headside. See more complicated starts. I'm afraid that I've made a bit of a mess of the end! It's quite hard to tie off, since this happens inside the lace rather than at the edge.

This pattern has twisted fans on both edges. There are half stitch and cloth stitch zig-zags with some triangular ground and rose ground filling in the gaps. The zigzags end with diamonds, which make the heads of the snakes.

24 pairs of bobbins.

Snakes photo

Yet another double zigzag

Double zigzag photo

Another similar pattern. I just like these, OK? This uses colours to high-light the fans. I had an idea that these would look a bit like cornflowers, but perhaps not. Quite attractive, anyway.

This pattern has twisted fans on both edges. The edge and the worker pairs are blue, and stay within the fans. The other passive pairs in the fans are green and enter the fans, then leave them to rejoin the rest of the lace.

There are half stitch and cloth stitch zig-zags with some spiders, and double Torchon ground filling in the middle.

20 pairs of bobbins.

Double zigzag pattern

Strips and diamonds pattern

Strips and diamonds

This is a simple pattern to demonstrate strips.

This pattern has twisted fans on both edges.

There are half stitch and cloth stitch strips and diamonds with a little Torchon ground at the start and the end.

16 pairs of bobbins.

Strips and diamonds photo

Coloured Fans and Chevrons pattern

Coloured Fans and Chevrons

This is a simple pattern to demonstrate chevrons and how you can colour alternate fans.

This pattern has cloth fans on both edges. The workers are twisted once, twice or three times in the middle of the fans, to spread out the passives a little, and help with the shape of the fans.

There are open diamonds, made of cloth stitch upwards and downwards chevrons and zigzags with one Torchon ground stitch in the middle.

The blue and red pairs are started in the middle, at the top, and are worked across the rest of the pairs to give a stronger start.

18 pairs of bobbins (2 blue, 2 red, rest purple)

Coloured Fans and Chevrons photo

Bookmark photo

Bookmark

This pattern is a sampler of several different lace stitches. It can be easily adapted to show off different stitches instead. It could be used as a bookmark.

The pattern is stated with a point, with false pins. There is a thin zigzag running throughout the pattern. The edges have no footside.

The spaces either side of the zigzag are filled with rose ground, triangular ground, star ground and double Torchon ground. The gaps between the pattern and the edge are filled with ordinary Torchon ground.

12 pairs of bobbins.

Bookmark pattern

Diamonds with rose border

Diamonds with rose border photo

This pattern is simple apart from the border (and that isn't hard).

There are cloth diamonds, slightly offset to make them more interesting, and Torchon ground. The edges are my rose ground border. This is a straight line of rose ground, with some Torchon ground stitches to fill the gaps. I'm not sure if it's a headside or a footside. You can have a passive before the edge if you want, but I left that out here, and it's still strong. I did twist the threads and extra time when they get to the edge, though, to strengthen it.

This edge produces a slightly weird effect of square holes along the edge - quite attractive I think, although I didn't expect it!

I also tried working the diamonds in a different way. Normally you have one pair of workers for the whole diamond. These have to change direction at the end of every row, and this means that you can have problems tightening the lace. An alterative way of working the diamonds is to change the workers in each row. As you bring each pair in, make it the worker for the next row. When reducing the size of the diamond, drop off the worker pair of the previous row, and use the next pair in as the next worker. This technique is the same as the alternate way of working a strip. If you don't understand any of this, don't mind - just do normal diamonds!

20 pairs of bobbins.

Diamonds with rose border pattern

Woad pattern

Woad photo

I designed this pattern to use some thread dyed with woad. It is said that the Ancient British painted themselves with woad before going into battle, so I tried a pattern of stripes and dots which would invoke that idea. Not quite sure if I succeeded! I bought the woad-dyed threads here.

This pattern uses strips and diamonds with Torchon ground. The Torchon ground is twisted twice rather than just once between each stitch. The points of the diamond are left out to make them more like dots. The other original idea is that there is no footside. The edge is merely a simple pair of threads, twisted three times (rather than twice like the rest of the ground). This does make a firm edge, but not necessarily a very straight one.

8 pairs of bobbins.

Woad pattern

Different diamonds

Different diamonds photo

This is a very simple pattern as I wished to experiment with different types of diamonds. The start is perhaps a little tricky. See the diagram on the right. Hang the pairs of bobbins as shown. Half of the bobbins will travel downwards on the right. The other half go across the top of the pattern, and then downwards on the left. Make sure that the pairs going in opposite directions loop round each other, or the two halves will separate at the top when the pins are taken out. The end is finished off in a similar way, with the threads eventually meeting along a similar line, and then knotted together (and I've made a bit of a mess of it - see above, right!)

This pattern has headsides on both edges. These are open fans. In between are different types of diamonds. In order, from left to right, ground half stitch, normal half stitch, Gravenmoer diagonal half stitch, cloth stitch normal, double ground half stitch, ground cloth stitch, double ground cloth stitch, Gravenmoer diagonal half stitch (not done very well!), Gravenmoer diagonal clothstitch.

14 pairs of bobbins.

Start of diamonds lace
Different diamonds pattern

Contrasting half-stich diamonds

Contrasting half-stich diamonds photo

This is also simple. There are just two types of diamond, Gravenmoer diagonal half stitch diamond and normal half stitch diamond. Superficially, they look the same, but look carefully, and you will see the there is a thread going one way for the Gravenmoer, and the other for the ordinary half-stich. Otherwise, there is twisted footside and Torchon ground. The Torchon ground helps to keep the threads coming out of the diamonds straight.

14 pairs of bobbins.

Contrasting half-stich diamonds pattern

Different diamonds 2

Different diamonds photo

The original different diamonds pattern was rather haphazard, so this one does the different diamonds in a more logical order. There is twisted footside and Torchon ground. The Torchon ground helps to keep the threads coming out of the diamonds straight. The diamonds, in order, from the top:

normal half stitch
cloth stitch normal
Gravenmoer diagonal half stitch
Gravenmoer diagonal clothstitch
double ground half stitch
double ground cloth stitch
ground half stitch
ground cloth stitch

17 pairs of bobbins.

Different diamonds pattern

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© Jo Edkins 2002