Crown (simple pattern)
This pattern (see left) uses 9 pairs (or 18 bobbins). You may be feeling bored with lace patterns with straight edges, and want to try something frillier, so here you are. This is really a headside, but it's been connected to a footside to make a complete bit of lace. It's an English Maltese headside, using legs or plaits. English Maltese doesn't have a net or ground, but uses these thick lines to join up the pattern. This type of lace is called guipure. Here, the plaits are interwoven in an attractive pattern.
There are four starting pins. Hang 2 pairs on three of these pins and 3 pairs on one, as shown in the pattern on the left. There is a normal footside. At the second pin, work the right-hand pair through the other 2 pairs with cloth stitch. This then becomes part of the footside. Take the other 2 pairs, and work them in half stitch over and over again, without any pins. You will see that they make a thick plait (compared to the width of one thread). You need to work out how many half stitches are needed to get to the next pinhole. I used 4 for the lace above, but it depends on the thickness of the thread and the size of the pattern. Click here for a description of this stitch, which I call a plait.
These two plaited pairs should now reach the next starting pin, with two more pairs on it. You join these legs with a lazy join, or windmill. This is essentially a cloth stitch, but done with pairs of bobbins instead of single bobbins. Click here for a description of a lazy join. It involves putting a pin in. Once you have done this, you can remove the starter pin, and gently tug the threads downwards to rest on the new pin.
Now you have 2 pairs going off to your left, and two pairs going downwards. I suggest that you take the left pairs first. Work them as a plait until they reach the last starting pin, and join the last 2 pairs of bobbins in the same way as before. You now have all bobbins worked into the lace and can start working the lace properly. The inside of the lace is mostly plaits, with laze joins where they cross. Follow the lines on the pattern. I've made the different plaits different colours, so you can see where the threads go.
When a plait gets to the footside, make sure that the footside has been worked enough to meet it. You will see that every other inside pin of the footside doesn't meet anything. Just twist the pair of threads once, put the pin in, and work the pair back into the footside. Once the footside is worked enough to meet the plait, work the left-hand pair of bobbins from the footside across the 4 threads of the plait in cloth stitch, put the pin in, then work it back again, still in cloth stitch. This pair will then be read to enter the footside again, and the other 4 threads can continue the plait.
The remaining flourish of this patterns are the picots. These are tiny loops along the edge of the lace. You can see in the pattern that there are tiny pinholes to the side of the plait rather than within it. Picots are not structural to the lace, but they add to the frilly effect. Click here for a description of how to work a picot.
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