Letters and Numbers
Letters are made of lines, some slanting but a lot are horizontal or vertical (straight across or up and down). Lace designs like slanting, but don't like vertical or horizontal lines!
Tape lace gives you a lot more freedom, but this website is about strip lace. Strip lace has a limit to how wide you can make it, as well. All this makes letters a challenge!
Here, I have the letters out of 'pixels' which are small diamonds. In the example, I have used half stitch diamonds, but you could use cloth stitch diamonds instead.
I give an example of using these letters here, spelling out the name Ruth. Apart from the (large number of) half stitch diamonds, the strip starts with some rose ground. The rest is Torchon ground, with a simple twisted footside on each side.
You might have two comments for this. First, this is only 4 letters. What about the rest? Don't worry, I have given the design for the rest of the alphabet below!
Next, why are the letters going downwards rather than across? The reason for this is that letters are quite complicated shapes, and making them out of diamonds ends up with a wide design. Letters are taller than they are wide, so writing them downwards like this does mean that they take up less room, and so use less bobbins. This strip uses 20 pairs, and in fact, the letters only take 14 pairs. The rest are the edge of the pattern.
However, this does mean that the letters end up very narrow. Some of the letters are perhaps not very good! So I have always given a second version where the letters are the 'proper' way up. This allows the letters to be variable width, so the trickier letters can have more room. This version requires 26 pairs, of which 22 pairs are used for the letters.
The patterns below look as if they are complete lines. In fact, every letter is a separate picture, and can be downloaded separately (right click on picture for Windows). I hope this will make it easier to draw up your own designs. I you want the whole alphabet, I suggest printing the whole webpage.
A heart might be used for a romantic design!
Designs for numbers are given as well.
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