coarse threads diagramCoarse threads – what, when and how

Coarse threads are used in the Devon laces to add definition to the design. Although performing a similar function to a gimp in other laces, the technique is different as it forms part of the braid or block of stitching.
 
It is a useful technique which can be adapted for use in indeterminate laces, for example the metallic thread used in the leaves for the current lace challenge. The thickness of the coarse thread depends on the main thread in use, but it must always be thick enough (and where applicable bright enough) to define the design.
 
The following instructions show the Honiton method of starting at a point and how to lay in the coarse thread.
Note: A Honiton braid has an edge (footside) on both sides.
 
Place the first pair round the pin, take the second pair and hang round the pin laying the left hand bobbin to the left, and the right hand bobbin between those already on the pillow. The third and fourth pairs are placed in the same manner, as shown in the diagram. The remaining two pairs are laid to the right and centre of those already on the pillow. This method of hanging the bobbins ensures that they are all interlinked once the work is taken off of the pillow.
 
Twist all pairs twice slide the coarse thread under the downrights (passives) and lay it to the back of the pillow (over the edge pairs).
 
Take the two left hand pairs and work a whole (cloth) stitch and twist both pairs three times, right over left. Leaving the left hand pair take the right hand pair through the three pairs to its right (whole/cloth stitch) and twist 3 times, place a pin under this pair and into the highest available hole on the right. Gently tension all the threads as they will slip around a little at this point. Next work a whole stitch and three twists with the final pair.
 
Bring the coarse threads forward to lie outside of the downrights (passives) but inside the pin you have just put in. Looking at your lace from left to right you should have
 
1 edge pair
1 coarse thread
3 pairs of downrights (passives)
1 coarse thread
2 edge pairs
 
From here onward each coarse thread is paired with its neighbour, so effectively you will have 4 pairs of downrights (passives). Continue to work your lace in either whole (cloth) or half stitch, remembering that an edge stitch is made on each side and that the first and last stitch of each row must always be in whole stitch to keep the coarse threads in place. 
 
 
Jane Wright