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Footside without passives

Twisted footsides
Footside without passives next to Torchon ground. See pattern 31.

A footside has passives, either twisted or cloth. These passives strengthen the edge of the lace so it can be sewn, and they stop the lace from twisting. This footside does not have passives, so is it a footside? I will leave that as a philosophical debate, but I place this description with the other footsides, as it is a straight edge to the lace. It does swap the edge pair and the worker pair at each stitch, like a conventional footside.

Pattern for footsides
Footside pattern

Traditionally, the pattern for a footside is a simple line of pinholes down the edge of the lace. I find this rather confusing, so in my patterns, I mark the edge line as well.

This diagram shows each thread as a line. The stitches used in this footside are cloth stitch and twist and twist single pair. The details of each stitch are not shown in detail below - follow the links in the previous sentence if you are not familiar with them.

Twisted footside

Repeat Step Back

Working: You start with two pairs. The right pair is the edge pair and the left pair comes in from the lace.

Both both pairs in cloth stitch and twist. This makes them swap positions. Twist the (new) edge pair an extra time, while the old edge pair returns to the lace.

This has the effect that throughout the footside, pairs come in from the lace, stay at the edge for a bit, then return to the lace.

The extra twist to the (new) edge pair is definitely necessary. Having no passives makes this footside weaker than a conventional footside, and the lace is more apt to twist. An extra twist helps to stop this. You may find it advisable to give more than one extra twist.

Why do a footside like this? It is certainly quicker, and bobbin lace is slow, and it is tempting to cut corners if you can. It takes less bobbins, and some patterns use so many bobbins that reducing the bobbin count even by a single pair helps. But the main reason why I use it is that I sometimes feel that the look of the straight passives at the edge of the lace spoil the look of the lace, so I leave them out. Not always - sometimes the passives help to frame the lace, and of course the passives do make that edge stronger! Remember that you can always leave the passives out, or put them in, as you choose. The result will look different to the original pattern. Perhaps better!