You were wondering where to measure the distance between pinholes on a circular/
quarter circle pattern. If the pattern is well designed (and is Torchon), the “vertical” distance between pinholes in about the middle of the pricking should be the same as the “horizontal” distance between pinholes measured along a radial line, so if you want to measure “vertically”, measure in the middle of the pattern. However, it’s much easier to just measure along a radial (straight) line, since for Torchon the answer should be the same.

I use the same or a slightly thicker thread when working a circular grid. It’s probably better for the footside features to be a little bit crowded than for the headside to be too open, since the visual impact of a circular edging is usually formed by the outer part.

From Lace Express 1/04 patterns number 15 and 16 – The pattern is a torchon quarter circle and trying to work out the thread size from the 12wpc between footsides makes me think it must be the straight side footside that I measure as that is 4mm between dots and the outer footside is 6mm between dots and the inner footside is 2mm between dots.

Using all the info you gave me when I was looking at grids -( isn’t it weird the way you investigate one thing and find a use for it shortly after? ) I am assuming the side footside is the one to count? In which case I need to go back to school and actually *listen* to
the math teacher 🙂

Going back to thread notes that Noelene gave me – 4mm = 25-35 wpc thread.

That now opens out my thread choice to include Finca 30 (27wpc) 40  (29wpc) 50 (34wpc); gutermann quilting thread (28wpc); DMC Broder Machine 30 (32wpc) – all of which I have.

I think I understand grids. I’m trying to get my head around what you said and I have a visual memory (I always think in pictures not words)

If you use a 2mm grid and use it straight, the separation between pins will be 4mm (I wish I could draw it) because the lines of pins going down the page use every second line. The thread goes back and forth

When you use a diagonal, I think you use every crossed grid line, hence closer together, and you can use a finer thread

Brenda’s book is near to useless when it comes to connecting with grids. I’ve just bought a book from Jo Scowcroft that addresses this problem, called ‘Thread and Pricking: A Partneship’, it cost me $54 plus postage. Not cheap but excellent.

BUT there is a problem that I’ve spent the last few days playing with. There is no correlation between the two books when it comes to thread sizes. (there is a general approximation, but I couldn’t work out a formula which would take me from one method to the other)Yet there is an internal consistency. The Paternoster book looks at wraps per cm, BUT it depends on how tightly you wrap the thread and this affects the number of wraps per cm (I tried this using the same thread but wrapped under different tensions). The Thread and Pricking book approaches the problem more scientifically and uses a consistent approach to what she has measured. She provides a table for type of lace, thread size and grid size. This little table is excellent and may solve your problem.

Mean time, If you could let me know what the actual distance between 2 pins on the footside is (take your measurement over 11 pin dots and divide this by 10). I’ll try to work out which thread you should be using

Last night in the darkest hours I was trying to get my head around grids and as it was the middle of the night, I emailed Arachne (who should be awake at that hour) rather than Gumlace (who should be asleep) for guidance. This morning it occurred to me that *maybe* I am not alone in my ignorance so I have brought this to Gumlace

I did a piece of lace that was printed out at 1/10 inch diagonal and used a thread that was too thick for it. (Finca 30 where I would usually use Gutermann Quilting Cotton) I printed out the same pricking using two different grids (1/10 inch straight and 1/10 inch diagonal) and compared them – this confused me as the straight pricking was larger than the diagonal when I expected it to be the other way around.

Now to my way of thinking – and all those who are good at maths, please stop cringing! If I had a sheet of graph paper in front of me straight on the desk and put a dot in every crossing of the grid – that would be straight as the dots all line up ‘straight’.  Therefore my logic had it that if I put the dots down ‘diagonally’ every second crossing, that would  be diagonally/

That was my mistake.

Here is what I wrote to Arachne
I am confused about grids Using a sheet of graph paper, if the dots are placed at every crossing, that is called straight? and if the dots are placed diagonally (every second crossing) that is called diagonal? In which case a pattern made on the diagonal would be twice as large as the same pattern on the straight? If I used 2mm graph paper, diagonally that would give me a footside of 4mm and suit threads such as DMC Broder 40, Maderia Tanne 30 or even Finca 30 ? If I used 2mm graph paper, straight that would give me a footside of 2mm and suit much finer threads such as DMC Broder Maching 50 and Finca 80? I am trying to get my head around threads, grids and torchon. I have Brenda paternosters book as guidance but…

The 4 replies I got include
You can use the sheet of graph paper turned through 45 degrees so that the squares look like diamond shapes and put a dot at every crossing. This will still give you 45 degrees and diagonal.
If you are using regular squared graph paper to design torchon the usual practice is to put a dot on every other intersection so that you get the diamond effect.
If you place your straight line dots at every crossing, then your diagonal ones go into every centre of every square *and* at every crossing
“Straight” refers to using the graph paper the right way up, with lines which make the little squares going horizontally and vertically on the page.
“Diagonal” refers to turning that *same* graph paper so that the little squares are standing on one point.
The reason?  It used to be very difficult to get a variety of sized graph papers, and someone, don’t know who, worked out that for lacemaking purposes, you could use a couple of different sized graph papers to get a wider variety of sizes by using the graph paper in these two different ways.   Chapter 7 in Rosemary’s book shows exactly what I’m talking about – and the resulting sizes you can achieve – and she also points out that by using every second, or every third square, more varieties of size can be achieved.  (Remember, all of this was pre-computer programmes!)
If you print the same pattern out on Lace 2000 using the same size grid, but do one straight and one diagonal, you’ll start to see the comparison too.   For instance, 2mm square results in a bigger pattern than 2mm diagonal…..they’ve both used a 2mm “graph paper” but one is used straight, or the normal way, and the other simulates turning the graph paper slightly.

Only one addressed my remark about using Brenda P’s book but it did help me understand grid differences in a thread light

The number of wraps that Brenda uses to determine the correct thread weight is based on the space between the footside (straight-line) dots. So, on 2mm grid, your space is 4mm. For Torchon, she recommends that there are 12 wraps between those dots. That means that you need a thread which has 30 wraps per cm (10mm). That’s threads like Bockens linen 100/2, Brok 36/3, Mettler Silk Finish 50/3, DMC Cordonnet 80. Madeira Tanne 30 has 29 wraps per cm, so would work too. If you want to use Finca, however, you’d have to use 40 — that’s the one which has 29 wraps, same as Tanne 30. Finca 30 has 27 wraps per cm –3 fewer than the optimum 30 — and might be a tad too “congested”.
For Finca 80 — 43 wraps per cm — your footside dots would have to be spaced closer together; 2.8mm apart (43:12=3.58; 10:3.58= 2.8). You could, probably, get away with graph paper with 1/8 *inch* squares, placing foootside dots on every crossing and the ground dots in the centre of every square.

I still have confusion but at least it is less than last night ::)  I hope that my sending this to Gumlace may help someone else to understand grids

In Chapter 7 of Rosemary’s book, (as mentioned in one of the replies below) Rosemary has shown a table of different size grids, and various ways of using them.  For instance, she shows the difference in size of the mesh if you use 2mm graph paper square, or diagonal, or using every line intersection in a diagonal row, or every second line intersection – the tables cover two pages.   Beside each option she’s shown suggested thread sizes.

However, those thread suggestions do cover quite a varying number of thread sizes for the same grid.

The size of thread was one of the hardest things for me to come to terms with when I took up lacemaking.  Being a knitter, I was so used to the pattern warning me that if I didn’t use the exact thread, and achieve the exact tension nominated, my pattern would fail, and I had a great deal of difficulty in overcoming years of that particular brain-wash.

In choosing the correct thread for a particular size grid in lacemaking, personal taste comes into the decision, as well as the type of lace being made, and the purpose for which it is intended.  Some lacemakers like their cloth (or whole) stitch areas to look very dense, with the parallel threads close together – others like those same areas to have enough space to drive a truck through!!   I regularly see one lacemaker who, in my opinion, uses threads which are far too thick for the size of grid, but the fact that she keeps doing it leads me to assume that she *likes* her lace that way!

So, thread choice is a combination of what others think is suitable for that size grid, and what *you* think looks nice!   And, particularly in Torchon, I find that, depending on stitch choice (particularly which ground is used) I sometimes have to use a different thread, even though I might always print the pattern out at the same size.

I’m glad you brought this to gumlace, Jenny – I suspect there are lots of people out there who’ll find this an interesting discussion!!

I ultimately solved my problem by measuring the distances between the pins and working from the pricking size to the threads I had. For those of you newbies, if you measure the distance between the pin holes on the footside (ie along a straight part of the pricking), that equals 2 lines on a grid of graph paper. This will give you the size of graph paper used and then you can work backwards to the threads that use that separation (some of the old Lacemakers had this information and Rosemary has it in her beginners book on Torchon).

It was of course a little frustrating at first using the Paternoster book only to discover that the threads in the book didn’t match up with what was recommended in my ancient patterns and then neither matched with the threads I had. In the end I discovered that the thread in La guipure du Puy ‘soie no 100/3)or coton egyptien casse no 40’ are almost equivalent to DMC retors no60 (this thread hasn’t been made for years!!!!!). It has turned out to be better than the original silk I had wound. The cotton is one shade lighter than the nightie the lace is destined to decorate.

The other problem I had was with the Maincoff and Marriage book (original was from 1908) that required Barbour No 80 which when compared to the threads in Paternoster would have been far too fine, I discovered my linen 50 (forgot the brand, maybe BOUC as there is an elk head on the crest. I bought a huge amount 28 years ago when I started lacemaking) did the trick and works a treat, I’m making the wide Russian tape lace edge from that book.

Again word of warning to newbies when you buy thread and the brand is on the outside cover keep it with the thread, either stuff it inside the core on which the thread is wound or place it in a small bag with the thread. It will save a lot of angst in the long run.

A sectional mat is one where the work is started on a diagonal line, and the mat is worked in sections round in a circle – the finish is joined to the beginning line.  Imagine a pie cut into slices, with one “slice of pie” being worked first, then the one next to it, and so on round the circle.

A regular mat is one where the work is started at the top of the shape, and proceeds straight down to the bottom of the shape.   Extra pairs are hung on as the shape widens, then removed as the shape narrows again.   (Even a circle has this widening/narrowing effect if you really look at it.)   There is no join in a regular mat.   A regular mat requires a lot more bobbins to work than a sectional one, because at some stage, however briefly, you need to have enough bobbins on the pillow to cover the widest part of the design.

A word of warning to anyone contemplating Bucks Stage 1 – the requirements do ask for a *hexagonal* sectional mat, and a *hexagonal* regular mat.    Make sure that you do find a hexagonal shape for these requirements – there is at least one assessor who is a bit pedantic and would reject a round mat as being unsatisfactory, even though round mats can also be worked in exactly the same way.