Some comments about the lace patterns on this website

This website has many simple bobbin lace patterns. They are indexed here, by category. There is also a picture index to the patterns here.

Who can use these patterns?
How can I download these patterns?
What size pattern for what size thread?
How do I make the pattern bigger or smaller?

Who can use these patterns?

I have put these patterns on the web for use, for free, by anyone who makes bobbin lace. I hope you enjoy using them! You can print them out, including further copies to pass onto your friends if you want to.

Any lace group can use these patterns, or the photos (or even the text if you wish) for the use of your groups, including putting them in your newsletters.

Anyone teaching bobbin lace may copy any part of my website for the use of your students, if you think it might be useful.

I'm not sure who else would be interested in the patterns! If you are, for some reason, and it is for your own use, or for an educational use, then go ahead and use them.

How can I download these patterns?

Find the pattern that you want. If you have a Windows computer, then right-click on it (using the right button of the mouse rather than the left button). That will give you a mini-menu with various options such as print, or copy, or save.

Or you can print the whole page. Click on 'File' (top left of screen) then Print. 'Print Preview' lets you work out which (printed) page you want, which might save some print! Some of the webpages are rather long, I'm afraid.

You can also 'screen capture'. In Windows, the key on the keyboard saying PrtScn will copy whatever is on your screen into the clipboard. So do this to a screen with the required pattern, then go into a program such as a word processor, and click on Paste.

Apple computers, and other systems, have their own way of doing similar things.

What size pattern for what size thread?

A particular pattern has a particular size, which can be found by looking at how far the pinholes are apart. The thicknesses of threads vary. A thicker thread will require a bigger pattern, and obviously, a thinner thread, a smaller pattern. How do you know how big to make the pattern?

I have been asked this several times, and I'm afraid that I cannot answer it very well! Patterns in books print the patterns already, and give precise instructions to the thickness of thread. Unfortunately, these thickness descriptions never seem to match the type of thread that I buy! Presumably different companies have different descriptions, and anyway, some types of thread I buy are very cheap, or non-standard material, and don't mention a thickness. So I have always had to guess myself. Also printing patterns off seems to vary quite a lot, according to the printer and for all I know, the operating system and the computer. So I do not give thread thicknesses, or guarantee that the pattern will print out the right size!

So what can you do? I suggest that you trying working a pattern of a particular size, with the thread you have. Then see if it's too loose or too tight. There is a wide range that is acceptable, but you might prefer a particular effect. When you get it right, mark on the pattern which thickness of thread you used. Perhaps you could tape a sample of the thread onto the used pattern. Next time, you have that as an example for you to follow.

Eventually you will be able to check a pattern by eye to see if the size is suitable. I must confess that I still sometimes print out a pattern more than once to get the size I want!

Generally speaking, if you are making an important piece of lace, for example, for a gift, then I suggest that you work a small part of the pattern first. This will make sure that the thread width and pattern size is right, plus that the colour scheme (if you are using one) does work. I also find that I make mistakes on a new pattern at first, and this first attempt gets all the mistakes out of the way! Then you can work it properly with confidence.

To see how thick thread is, a quick way is to roll it between your fingers to feel if it is thin or thick. A more accurate way is to wind the thread round something like a pencil, making sure each circuit lies by the side of the previous circuit. Then you can count the number of windings per inch (or centimetre).

How do I make the pattern bigger or smaller?

When you print the pattern out, some printers allow you to change the size of the picture.

If you can saved the picture as a file, then you can open it in a program like Paint (in Windows) or you can paste it into a word processor file. Then you should be able to change the size.

If all this is too technical, then Xerox machines allow copies to be changed in size as well. That costs money, of course...

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© Jo Edkins 2013