Tallies (simple pattern)

Tallies picture

Tallies pattern

This pattern (see left) uses 11 pairs (or 22 bobbins). It's an English Midland style lace using tallies. Tallies are thicker bars within the pattern, often in the shape of leaves or petals, made of two pairs of threads. These are not easy to do. However, they are common in English Midland lace, as well as other styles, and this is a simple pattern to practise on before you try something harder.

There is a double twisted footside and a trail headside . Follow the links to see how to do them. The trail headside is rather different to what we have met so far because although it looks (roughly) the same width throughout, there are different numbers of pairs in it at different times. Pairs are added to it, or dropped off, as required by the rest of the pattern.

A tally is made with two pairs of bobbins. Click here for a discussion on how to make it, including where you can go wrong!. Essentially, you use a sible thread (not a pair) to weave back and forth between the other three threads. There are no pins to support this weaving, so it is easy to pull out of shape by mistake, and the number of rows of weaving is enough to make the tally long enough, so it is easy to do too many or too few. Practice is the key, and not worrying about getting it wrong to start with. So use this simple pattern to practise on!

The first tally, which is petal shaped, starts at the headside and works towrds the footside. When you have done enough, put a pin in between the two pairs to anchor it. Then work some more headside, then do the second tally, again from headside to footside. Then, using cloth stitch work the pair from the footside through all four pairs from the two tallies, pin, and work it back again. Now you can do the two tallies going from the footside back to the headside.

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© Jo Edkins 2008