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Half stitch and cloth stitch bud

A bud is a decorative effect in English Midland lace where a number of pairs meet. Another name is a Bedfordshire spider. See pattern 79.

Pattern for Bud
Bud pattern

One way to think of this design is that it is a conventional diamond, but with unconventional threads coming in and leaving. The legs of this type of spider are mostly proper English Midland legs, or plaits. However, there are some simple twisted pairs as well. Therefore it is extremely important to know which is which! In the traditional pattern (left), the plaits are shown as lines, and the pairs as a cross. I guess this is because the pairs join the bud for a single stitch and then leave it. However, this does not seem obvious to me, so I prefer to draw in the lines, with a thick line for the plait, and a thin line for the twisted pair. I also colour in the 'body' of the bud.

English Midland does not fit within a regular grid (unlike Torchon), so the pinholes in the pattern may be different to above. There may also be more legs coming in and leaving on each side, or the various legs may be plaits or single pairs.

The diagram below avoids the complexities of the individual stitches by showing each plait of threads (using 4 bobbins) as a single thick line, and a twisted pair line (using 2 bobbins) as a single thin line. Where the lines cross, work the pairs in half stitch or cloth stitch, according to the type of spider.

The number below shows the number of pairs actually part of the bud in each row.


Repeat Step Back

Working: First work all the plaits above the bud, down to the framing pins. The pairs which will enter at the side points should be twisted.

The middle plait comes into the top point of the bud. This has two pairs, and these are the starting two pairs of the body. Work them in half stitch or cloth stitch. Pin between them. Choose one pair as the worker pair.

Work the workers across for the second row, picking up both pairs from the plait coming in from that side. Work back again, picking up both pairs from the plait coming in from the other side. The next two rows do not pick any pairs. The passives may need coaxing to fill out the body of the bud. The next row picks up the single twisted pair to make the side point, and similarly (for the next row) on the other side. You have now worked half the body.

The second half is the same in reverse, with one pair discarded on each side immediately, then a couple of rows with none discarded, then 2 pairs go off to make the plait on each side. Finally the two pairs coming out of the bottom pin make the final plait, going straight downwards.