Bucks fans (simple pattern)

Bucks fans picture

Bucks fans pattern

This pattern (see left) uses 9 pairs (or 18 bobbins). The previous beginner patterns have been Torchon, but this is Bucks Point. This is a little harder to to tighten the threads correctly. Torchon threads can be tightened easily as they tend to run from pin to pin, and can be tugged as hard as you like (unless the pin comes out!) Bucks Point ground is a bit trickier. However, when it's done well, it has little hexagons in it and looks more delicate and attractive than the right angles of Torchon. The lace is also worked on a different grid to Torchon, which means that the lines of pinholes are at different angles to each other, at 60 degrees rather than at right angles.

Since they aren't many bobbins in this pattern, I've just hung the bobbins and got on with it. The pattern shows how many pairs to hand on which pin. The fan is rather like half a diamond. This means that you need to have all threads ready on the right before you start working the fan. This means working some Bucks Point ground to start with. This is half stitch, twist both pairs twice and pin. See the description of Bucks Point ground for more details.

There is a cloth footside. Footsides have one or more passive pairs which stay in a straight line going downwards. Cloth footsides have at least two passive pairs, and the worker threads are worked through them in cloth stitch. Click here for more details. Cloth footsides are traditional in Bucks Point. If you want, you could use the same pattern with a twisted footside. It will need one less pair of bobbins, but the edge will look different.

The right-hand side of the fan is exactly like the diamond; you pick up one pair of threads on every other row until you have the maximum, then you drop a pair on every other row. The left-hand side is a gentle curve in the pattern. This doesn't happen naturally with the threads, as the left-hand threads would hang straight downwards quite happily if you pull them too hard. You can encourage the curve. A good way to do this is to keep the bobbins definitely to the left of the pattern. So for the first half of the fan, when you tighten them, you are pulling them away from the straight line towards the curve. Then for the second-half of the curve, don't tug them too hard (or they'll straighten up).

You can see that the edge of the fans have little loops where the pins are. You can have bigger loops by twisting the threads more at the edge pins. I've twisted the worker pair only once, but you could do it up to three times if you want, or have no twists at all. How many times you twist threads is up to you. It produces a different effect, but this can be quite subtle.

I have given a close-up of the lace so you can see where the threads go. However, close-ups always make lace look ugly, so here is a photo closer to the real size. The Bucks Point grid should be small to produce a neater, more tightly worked net. In fact traditional Bucks Point bobbins are not spangled (with beads on) so they don't catch on each other. But it is possible to work Bucks Point with spangled bobbins.

Bucks fans picture

This is Bucks Point because of the Bucks Point ground, and the hexagonal grid. However, there are also Torchon fans which work in exactly the same way on the Torchon grid. Click here for more details.

Bucks Point is not really my type of lace as I'm a bit clumsy, and it seems to end up loop-sided whenever I do it. Torchon patterns suit me better, with a pin to tighten against! There are a couple of patterns inspired by Bucks Point here, but if you decide that you like Bucks Point, I suggest that you buy a book on it.

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© Jo Edkins 2008