Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Lace pattern designing

I’ve decided to continue my series of subversive lace mats with a message. The first one was made in Bedfordshire style lace and had ‘get off me’ worked into the lace. It’s been exhibited in many places and always draws interest so I thought I’d make a series of them which could be shown together. However, this time, as I’ve become interested in Russian tape lace, I’ve decided to use that style for the new mat. I’ve never made that type of lace before so it’s a bit of a leap in the dark and my piece will definitely be in the ‘style’ of Russian lace rather than being a model example!

I’ve found Bridget Cook’s book ‘Russian lace making’ to be very useful and, as you can see from the picture above, I’ve started designing my pattern. The great thing about this type of lace is that if you design the pattern well you can make the entire mat in one go with only a few pairs of bobbins, there is very little tying in and out. I have incorporated what I would call a ninepin edge in part of the design just so I can make it in the Russian style with only two pairs of bobbins! You start working from one edge of the main pattern and work a plait for the lower half of the edging, joining it to the footside as you go, then when you reach the end you turn back and work the top half of the edging, joining into the bottom half as you work until you return to the place you started from – isn’t that clever! That’s the theory anyway, I’ll let you know how it turns out! My main problem at the moment is how to include the text into the central area of the mat and what filling stitch to use. I’m not sure if I can make the text in a continuous line, I may have to work that part as a separate motif and tie into it. It’s definitely a work in progress and I’m learning new things all the time!

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