Learning Bobbin Lace--Plaited Lace Lesson 4

  Free Bobbin Lace Lesson

  © Lorelei Halley 2012 


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   Three Basic Stitches    

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  Plaited Lace Lesson 6 

  Plaited Lace Lesson 7   


This is another lace from LePompe 1562.

LePompe 1562
The new element is learning how to use the same pinhole twice or more.  This is common in Cluny, but less so in Bedfordshire.  In Beds it will mostly be found at the corner.  Double thread picots are also explained.

I enlarged the pattern to 150% of its original size, and used 40/2 weaving linen.  Fresia 40/2 would work, as would Bockens 35/2, DMC Cordonnet #40, or pearl cotton #12.

It requires 12 pairs of bobbins.  They don't need to be wound in pairs.  (Wind 24 singles.)

If you prefer, you can start this with bobbins wound in pairs.  Start at the same point, and follow the method described in lesson 2.


If you have worked through the 1st 3 lessons, you already know how to do everything in this pattern, except for the center pin in the 4 petal flower.


I've used it for this lesson because it contains an element/technique that is found frequently in Cluny.  These patterns were printed from woodcuts, so we have no certainty about how they were supposed to be worked.  Experts may disagree about some elements.  I've chosen a technique that seems to me the simplest solution, and is basic to Cluny.  The element I'm referring to looks like a 4 petal flower. 

The trick is to use the yellow pin more than once--in this case 3 times.

Start the lace in the same manner as in lesson 1, at the apex of the large diamond.  At that point the pink braid will have 12 threads in its 1st segment, as will the purple braid.  Where the red braid starts remove 4 bobbins from the pink braid and use them to make the red braid.  Four more are removed where the green braid starts.  The purple braid loses 4 threads where the orange braid starts, and another 4 where the blue braid starts.

Everything in the lace up to this point is only what you have done before.  Wherever 2 braids/plaits intersect, do a windmill join.  The little loops are picots.  You can work them as knotted picots, as explained in lesson 1.  Below I will also give instructions for double thread picots.

Work all the plaits to the point shown at left.  Make a windmill join with the red and orange plaits.   

Work both of them as far as the yellow pin, and work another windmill join there.  Work the red plait towards the left, and make another windmill join where it crosses the green plait.  Work the red plait as far as its next intersection and drop it.  Work the green plait back towards the yellow pin.  Work a windmill join with it and the orange plait. Like this--Work a Cross, remove the yellow pin and then reset it under the CROSS, in the same pinhole, and close the pin with TWIST CROSS. Work the green plait towards the right, make a windmill join with it and the blue plait.  Work the blue plait back towards the yellow pin.  At the yellow pin work another windmill with the blue plait and the orange plait.  Work CROSS, remove the pin and reset it under the cross, close the pin with TWIST CROSS.  From this point on everything is just repeating what you already know.


In lesson 1 I explained how to make knotted picots.  But there is another way, called double thread picots.  Usually the double thread ones are used in fine thread laces, such as Bedfordshire, Bucks point and other point ground laces, Honiton, and many continental fine thread laces.  In this situation I don't know which kind were being made in the mid 16th century when LePompe was written.  There are some lace makers researching these old laces and trying to document exactly what techniques were used.  This research is ongoing.  My personal feeling is that exact duplication of antique methods is not necessary.  I think the research is valuable, and I certainly want to know what was done then.  If making exact copies pleases you, do that.  If not, do what does please you.  The double thread picots may be easier to understand when you only have diagrams to instruct you.

double thread picots

First twist the pair 3-7 times.  The finer the thread, the more twists you should make.  I used 40/2 linen, so I made 3 twists.  The twists will serve to keep the two threads twisted around each other, giving the appearance of a single thread, instead of rabbit ears.  To make a double thread picot on the left, put the pin under the outer thread, twist the pin point up and over the thread leftwards.  Set the pin.   Take the 2nd bobbin of that pair and make it follow the same path as the 1st thread.  But it will lay on top, not underneath.  In the diagrams I haven't shown the twists, as they are too difficult to draw.

If the picot will be on the right, do the same thing in reverse.  Twist the pair 3-7 times.  Put the pin under the outer thread.  Swing the pin point up and over the thread and towards the right.  Set the pin.  Take the 2nd bobbin and make it follow the same path, but lay it on top of the threads.

double thread picots


Also, there is another way to hang on, if you want to hang on in pairs and only have a tail at the end


The light blue pins are temporary pins.  Hang 2 pairs of bobbins on each temporary pin.  At the top red pin work a windmill join with the top 4 pairs:


temporary pins  

Remove the temporary pins and gently pull the threads down so the loops are snuggled close to the pin.  Work the plait down to the next intersection point.  Do a windmill join with the plait and the 2 pairs from the next light blut pin.  Remove the temporary pin and pull the 4 threads down until they are snug to the plait.

    Le Pompe lace        

You now also know you to make these.  They are from Le Pompe 2nd Book.


Available online at:

---. Venetianische Musterblaetter aus dem XVI Jahrhundert - Le Pompe, Second Book. [Venetian Pattern Sheets of the Sixteenth Century], , 1879, 35 pages. Posted March 17, 2007. SAMPLE PAGE. File size 1.5 MB PDF

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Posted March 25, 2012.    Last edited:   01/19/20