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Nine pin headside

nine headside

A nine pin headside is a common English Midland headside. A headside is a non-straight edge of lace. There is other lace to the right. The nine pin is made of plaits. These are often called legs, braids or brides. This type of leg should not be confused with the leg of a spider. See pattern 80.

There are two reasons given for the name. If you look at the pattern below, you will see that it uses 9 pins. But this is the pattern for a unit and a half of the headside. The bit that repeats only uses 6 pins. An alternative explanation is that nine-pins is a skittles game, with 9 skittles set on a diagonal square. A nine pin headside sticks up like skittles. Quite frankly, I'm not convinced by either of those explanations!

nine pattern
Pattern representation of a nine pin headside

Patterns draw lines to show where the plaits go, because the directions are vital, and quite complex. Indicating picots is more of a problem. Traditional patterns leave them out - so either look at the photo of the lace, or assume that any plait meeting a pin which is not a join must be a picot!

This diagram avoids the complexities of the individual stitches by showing each plait of threads (using 4 bobbins) as a single line.

Bobbin lace nine pin

Repeat Step Back

Working: Remember that a thick line above is a plait, with 2 pairs, or 4 bobbins. Where one line crosses another, you should work it in a lazy join. Where a plait meets a pin by itself, work it in a picot. Where a plait meets a pair from the rest of the lace, work them in a join - 2 pair + 1 pair.

nine plaits

The plaits move in a specific direction, and once you figure it out, it helps you work the pattern. The diagram above shows this. There is one plait (pink) which makes the points, and joins the rest of the lace (grey). The other plait (green) travels in a straight line parallel to the direction of the lace, almost like a passive in the footside.

Alternative headside

This is not strictly speaking a nine pin heading, but it is so similar that it isn't worth doing an extra page for. There are only two picots per unit rather than three, which makes a flat top to the headside. Here the units are crossing over, because of the shape of the trail. This happens with more conventional nine pin heading as well.

nine headside