February 3, 2017 at 10:59 pm | Posted in English, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Bored with winding bobbins I looked for a challenge and stumbled on the “Binche compact” sampler, designed (assembled from other patterns) by Hildegund Jene for the German lace guild, the DKV. Somebody told me being able to read a color coded diagram would allow me to recreate it. When the pattern arrived it said to require experience with Flanders Paris and Valencienes lace. I only had some experience with Flanders, so I got my challenge. Along the edge it is not the complexity but the larger cloth stitch areas with pairs changing direction without a pin for support that created a real tension problem. I must admit I’m a puller. So I decided to to continue a while longer with the ringed snow flakes (Ulrike’s “Viele gute Grunde” might provide a variation) and  reuse an earlier corner to tie off prematurely.

Now I have another challenge:

Somehow fill in the gaps along the corner in a more or less symmetric way. Where the picots change into a straight edge, there are three additional pairs to get rid of, perhaps I should replace the last outer snowflake. Suggestions and warnings would be welcome.

A consequence of not undoing too much will be one edge with picots and three without. But its a sampler after all, so why not?

binche-hoekUpdate 1:

A first sketch shows it are only two pairs to get rid of. But it is definitely not wining any beauty contest.


Update 2:

Susan Roberts hinted me to remove some more of the original pattern. So a new sheet of transparent paper with removable tape on a new print. It is going better now. But I need to remove more on the bottom right. On the left I could use pairs as threads to make a pair disappear in the spider.


On the right an upside down scan of how the pair was added. Something like that could also be an idea, weave one thread through the ring pair, a half knot with itself makes a double twist and weave it back into the spider to double its sibling. To be continued…

Update 3:

Reread Susan’s message, she thought more “bolletjes” might fit. Indeed they did. The two pairs to get rid of can meet in the spider. Once the puzzle is cracked it looks so simple.


Update 4:

As pairs going up takes seasoned Binche lace makers completely out of their habits and rhythm another version. The smudges show it did not came easily, and I’m still not sure I got everything right.





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  1. Hello Jo!
    I saw your post on Arachne regarding this sampler. If tensioning in the cloth stitch area without using support pins is your only reason for not working the pattern as is, then by all means USE PINS! That is always how I work my Binche cloth areas! I too am a tugger and puller! lol I learned about this tip in one of Ulrike’s books. It may not be “traditional” but who cares? It works for me! After you are done and take out all the pins I use the tip of a pin to nudge out any holes from the pin.
    I will try to describe the placement of the pin. In the diagram for the cloth area there is a little triangular area created when the worker becomes a passive. This is usually when there are two pairs surrounding a pin that come into the cloth area through the outer ring pair and then an inner passive “ring” pair”. Then you are bringing a worker across and it goes through both of these new pairs. Before picking up one of the pairs to become a new worker, place a pin between the 2 new pairs just in front of the pin in the ring that they surround. The pin will be inside the triangular area on the diagram. Then you can pick up the new worker and work it across to the other side. The pin will support the old worker and the other pair now passives that you can tug on. LIkewise, I use support pins at the bottom of the cloth area when removing passives/worker. Again, place the pin in the triangular area. I hope this helps!
    Also, for what it’s worth….. I have found trying to cut and paste different parts of a Binche working diagram to be nearly impossible to get right! I gave up!

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