I posted some images of filet lace earlier in the week and was asked how the star motifs were made. My answer was that I didn’t know but luckily I’ve found a woman who does – Therese de Dillmont, who has the answer to almost every needlework question in her amazing encyclopaedia. The star she shows us how to make in the book covers 16 squares of net. She tells us to fasten the thread to the centre of the panel then carry it in a diagonal line from left to right, under the far corner of the block and back to the opposite corner of the square, under the corner, and repeat (she repeats it three times).
Once you’ve done that you make the same stitches across the first diagonal to make an X. Then do the same with vertical and horizontal lines over the X to make a plus shape with the threads on top.
Once you’ve formed the basic star shape like this you weave the thread round in a circle over the straight threads and under the diagonals but not through the net and fasten off at the back. It sounds quite straightforward and does give a lovely effect. The example from the encyclopaedia has more rows of threads in it than the one in the top image but the latter was worked commercially so speed and sparing use of thread was probably more important than an ideal technique.