Designing Lace

What constitutes an original design, how to design, polar graphs and adaptations from straight to polar designs.

Designing lace

I used the outline of a cross stitch design in a book, and drew it up , with an extra leaf & flower, and different lines on the butterfly, and made it in NL.   I count it as an adaptation, Not my design.

I agree with your friend it is your own design, different medium and change to design. The friend says it would now be Own Design, as it is in a totally different medium.  I cannot agree with her. What about copying a design from old lace, or a photo of old lace? This is NOT an adaptation or your own design, it is a copy.

I would have to agree with Liz. It is an adaptation, not a complete “own design”. Own design means just that! Use any part of someone else’s work and it is no longer all yours.

Would the person who designed the cross-stitch recognise her design in your lace? Sounds like a fairly radical adaptation to me! What about: “Original design, inspired by …”

Proficiency workers, don’t read this!   I’m sure it’s not acceptable in Torchon Stage 1 Proficiency.  But …while working my tape lace with its constant use of the turning stitch (cross, twist, twist, cross, pin back 4) when going around tight curves,  an idea occurred to me.

I like trails in Torchon to have an even number of threads in both directions, so when I draw up a pattern, I usually draw it so that the inner pin in the “V” where a trail changes direction is used twice.   But I HATE the two loops that stick out. So if I used the turning stitch each time I had to use the pin, then took it out one or two rows down and retensioned the passives, then there would be no sticking out loops!

When I am designing something original, I start with paper, pencil and rubber – or should I say eraser. I sketch the shape and size, eg. collar, edging motif etc.,I wish to make in lace, then scibble lines to make shapes to fit the area. From this I progress to graph paper or Lace 2000 or both.

When converting an old pricking or taking elements from various prickings, I prefer to work on Lace 2000 now that I am mastering the program. When I have the pricking worked out, I then print out or photocopy an enlarged copy and work out thread movements, even to using different coloured pens, also decide which stitches work best. I have even worked samples in thread to see if the design will work and when it hasn’t have gone back to the master design and altered it. It can take a lot of time and thought before a happy result is achieved but also a lot of fun and satisfaction when a result is achieved.

Has anyone had experience with polar graphs, i.e. drawing up or adapting an existing pattern or designing a new one. I looked at the polar grid on Lace 2000 and put it in the too hard basket, so got some graph paper. This also phased me as to where to start, decided I had to have dots so proceeded to place these onto the 1/4 polar graph and went from there.

Torchon lace patterns are drawn up on ordinary, squared graph paper, where the dots are put on the intersecting lines. Other laces, such as Bucks, also use squared graph paper, but the paper is used in a slightly different way. Polar graph based on the same idea as ordinary graph paper, but the lines create a circle….there are lines in concentric circles one inside the other, and there are also straight lines which go from the outside edge into a central point right in the middle of the circle. So, on polar graph paper, the closer to the middle point of the circle you draw the pattern, the smaller the design will be.

The problem is, that, unlike straight graph paper, all the squares created by the lines are not the same size, nor are they evenly spaced.  The closer to the centre of the circle you get, the smaller the little squares are – and the further out, the bigger.

And there are spots on the polar grid where the grid lines change in an attempt to keep the squares in proportion, the number of squares in a given section change too….all of this makes using polar graph not quite so straight forward as squared paper!

If you want to adapt a straight torchon pattern, start drafting it onto the polar grid on the headside edge NOT from the footside. It is best if you have a fan or a curved shape on the headside. If you want to make lace to go around the yoke of a nighties or blouse, you can use a circular edging but instead of finishing it off, keep going around the circular patter until the footside is the correct length for the yoke. The lace will be ruffled around the edge and if you have luck on your side, the lace will lie flat around the on the yoke. It simply saves you gathering the lace to go around the yoke.

(I’ve fixed the flaw where the four sections meet, Jenny R – I went back to the original template, got rid of the section that was a bit off the grid, flipped the original bit to make a quarter of a circle again, saved it again, changed to polar grid, and saved it again with a new name, then copied it at 90 degrees 3 times).
By the way, to those of you who have my notes, that’s a great help – draw up your one pattern repeat template, save it, then save it with a new name to play about with the polar grid. That way you can always go back to your original template. I’ll add it to my notes.

A lot of patterns for larger fans have two or three concentric arcs joined with square or cucumber tallies (two pins between the tallies on the inner curve, three on the outer). I’ve also seen patterns with a bit more imagination – design features like spiders with two legs on one side and three on the other … I’ve got a lovely set of BIG fan sticks (25cm radius) – have yet to decide on a pattern for it, but I’m accumulating a nice collection of fan patterns for inspiration!

If you look at some of the larger round lace pieces done on polar grid, quite often there is a sewing, what I mean is that there is a break in the pattern, so you don’t have to straddle stitches across the break.

I haven’t done very much on polar, but I think the main difficulty is that point where the grid changes size/shape.   It can be very difficult to choose a stitch which straddles that line – on one side of the line you have one square, on the other, you have two! If you can design something which fits in between two “change of grid” lines, you’ll find it much easier!

Thought I’d let you know how I went with the polar graph. You already know that I did a back flip when I looked at the grid on Lace 2000. I have graph paper that has 1/4 circle of the polar graph on the page. To start with I put dots on the cross lines, but on every second one as on a torchon grid, alternating on each line out from the centre. This done I made copies on the copier and put two together to make a half circle. Now was the fun with a pencil working out a design.

Next problem, how do I put this on the computer?

No “fill with dots” button, so worked out from the paper graph where to go and started putting the dots one by one on the half circle, then transposed the pattern from the paper idea to the computer. This was when I recieved Noelene’s notes.  Checking my design found that it was 1/10 segment of the circle –the penny was dropping  harahhhh  I will have to finish the projects on my pillow to see if the design will work in thread.

The secret of drawing something in Lace 2000 on a polar grid is to draw one pattern repeat on a 45 degree grid first, THEN convert the grid to polar, then “copy all” and copy your pattern repeat right round the circle.   And it’s much easier to draw the design on an ordinary 45 degree grid than trying to dot stuff on the polar grid.