Fans (simple pattern)

Fans pattern

So far, the patterns have had footsides on both sides. That is the straight edge which is usually sewn onto something. The other edge is more ornamental, and is called a headside. There are many different types of headsides. This pattern (see left) shows you how to do one of the simplest - the fan. The pattern uses 8 pairs (or 16 bobbins).

This lace is started in a different way to the previous ones. Rather than hanging the bobbins from pins inside the pattern straight away, you hang them from pins above the pattern. Start working the top pink fan in cloth stitch. The first row is done with just 2 pairs of bobbins, then put the pin between them. The left pair is the worker pair, so work that back again for the next row across the other pair, and a new pair coming in from the right. Put the pin to the left of the worker pair. Now do a row back to the edge of the lace (which won't involve any new bobbins) and put a pin to the right of the worker pair. You can twist the worker pair once or twice or not at all. All these produce slightly different effects, and it doesn't matter which you do, but carry on doing the same for the rest of the fan. Work backwards and forwards picking up an extra pair of bobbins every other row from the right, until you have all the bobbins that the fan needs. Now a pair of bobbins is dropped off from the right at every other row. By the time that you have finished the fan, you should be left with 2 pairs of bobbins. If there are more or less then you have made a mistake! Click here for more on the cloth fan.

Once any pair of bobbins has been introduced, you can remove the original pin that it was hanging from, and tug the threads gently to get rid of the loops. The point of these extra pins is that if you hand them from the edge pins of the fan, you then need to put the pin in again so the worker can go round it - not very easy if a pair of bobbins are hanging from it! There is more about this technique here.

Once you have finished the first cloth stitch fan, you can start on the first green fan. This is worked in the same way, except it uses half stitch, and the new bobbins are taken in from the left, then dropped off on the left, as the edge is on the right. Once this fan is complete, you carry on to the next cloth fan, and so on.

Half stitch fans really have to be done all the same way, but there are variations on cloth fans. If you look at the right, the top fan has the worker bobbins twisted once at the edge, the second fan has them twisted twice, and the bottom fan (number 8) hasn't twisted them at all. You can see that more twists introduces a bigger loop at the egde. Either you like this or you don't, so you can decide which to do. The rest of the fans have used twists to produce patterns within the fan. Fan 3 works half the fan, then every passive pair is twisted (that is, every pair of threads in the fan except the worker pair). Then the second half of the fan is worked. You can twist them twice if you want a more emphatic blank area. Fan 4 twists the worker pair just before they work through the edge passive pair. This separates the edge passives from the rest of the fan. Fan 5 has twisted all the passives about a third through the fan, and two thirds through, to produce two blank areas. Fan 6 has twisted the worker pair two pairs from the edge (rather than just the edge pair like fan 4). Fan 7 has done similar, but only in the middle of the fan, to produce a hole in the middle rather than a blank line.

Fans picture

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© Jo Edkins 2010