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Bobbin lace or oval circular mat

Click here for square mat patterns.

A conventional lace square mat looks like this:

Bobbin lace mat

Click here to see how to do that. The square mat pattern has lines from point to centre for each corner which tell you where to turn the pillow, and also give a good place to start the pattern. If there is no line drawn on the pattern, it is fairly easy to identify such lines for yourself.

It is also possible to have a lace circular mat, or perhaps just a small round:

Bobbin lace circular mat

While this looks like a circle, it is in fact designed like a square mat, with four quarters. There are no corners, because the grid has been distorted to push outwards in the centre of the edges, and inwards at the corners, until it produces a smooth circular edge. You need to identify the corners (which are still there) and the lines from these corners to the centre. The pattern may do that for you, as above (the dark grey lines).

So the lace is begun and finished similar to a square mat or edge. Click here to see how.

The working of this circular mat is also done the same as a square mat. You work a triangular quarter down to one of the corner lines, turn the pillow, then work the next quarter. Click here to see how. The directions of threads is sometimes a little odd, as the diagonal lines (such as the ground, or edges of a diamond or zigzag) are slightly curved, and the edge or footside is definitely curved! Ignore that, concentrate on the stitches that you are working, and things should be fine. As long as you don't make a mistake!

You need to turn the pillow to work this pattern, but as the turns are done at four points, through a right angle, it does not have to be a round pillow (like a cookie pillow), although that would work of course. But you do need to work on the pillow on all four sides.

Here is the same pattern, on a square grid and a circular grid, to see what difference it makes:

Picture of lace     Picture of lace

It is possible to have oval mats. The underlying grid is distorted to make the shape, but they are worked exactly the same as circular mats.

Picture of lace