Last night I picked up a sampler I started nearly 2 years ago. It has been nearly that long since I last worked on it. It was supposed to be a sampler of gros point stitches.  So I was devoured by an urgency to discover just exactly which stitches are typical of Venetian gros point needle lace. (These urges come over me at unpredictable moments. Why???)

Anyway, I went to my books to try and nail it down. I have

     Lovesey & Barley on VENETIAN GROS POINT,

     Barley's NEEDLELACE,

     Earnshaw's NEEDLELACE. Earnshaw doesn't cover gros point. Scratch that one. 

     Retournac SYMPOSIUM on Gros Point has 4 pdf files on stitches

Barley's list is shorter.

corded Brussels with veins and diamonds

double Brussels

pea stitch (variant 3)

gros point diamonds worked in Brussels st

small diamonds = 4 hole bud

9 hole diamond (See this for Lenore English's sample of gros point diamonds, 9 hole diamond and 4 hole bud in corded Brussels st)

veins in corded Brussels worked as a row of point d'Espagne or twisted buttonhole

Lovesey/Barley list

group A - I think I know what she means

single Brussels

corded Brussels

double buttonhole as filling

treble buttonhole as filling

4 hole bud, worked in corded Brussels

Gros point Diamonds Gaze Quadrille (no idea what this is) made in plain buttonhole, not corded

petit point de Venise = 1 buttonhole with 1 more worked under it

point de Venise = 2 buttonhole with 1 more worked under the pair of stitches

treble stitch = 1 buttonhole with 3 more worked over it (like this, but 3 worked on the stitch, not 1)

pea stitch variant 3    Barley's book also shows this one.

loop picot

Venetian picot

bullion bars


leaves are nearly always in corded or close bh stitches

group B - I don't know what this is

point de Venise a reseau, spaced evenly, used in later period laces, still used in Burano (I have no idea what this is.)

point de Venise & its variations, used for fillings

Quadrille festoon (is this French for 4 hole bud in detached buttonhole stitch?)

group C - she has diagrams, complicated

belle point de Venise cinq point = 1 buttonhole with 5 more worked on the loop before it

cinq point ground

point de Sorrento

belle point de Venise

Burano fillings

old Burano ground

belle and reseau


I'm going to add some diagrams when I get around to drawing them.  My next step after that will be to search through our photographs of gros point from members' collections to see what stitches occur in those. Go to my new webpage where I have added diagrams and more information. 

I would welcome comments and discussion.  If anyone wants to join in the search, I would be ecstatic.  How frequently do group C occur?  Does anyone disagree?  Are there books in other languages, especially Italian, which describe the stitches of gros point and might suggest other stitches?

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How to approach  a piece of Gros Point  - was an analytical review of a piece of old G.P lace. by a French Museum (I think)  was available in 2009 - or was copied, printed and sent to me that year, by a very kind lady!  I don't know if it is still available.  It had photos and comments about each section of the lace - the brides/bars, padded cordonnet, Holes/ports, Decorative fillings, , etc. with photos.

They show a twisted stitch  and variations - being 1 stitch and a gap, or 2 stitches, etc corded or not,- single stitch, 2 together, corded or not, whipped cord sometimes, -"variations with 3 loops  (we call triple Brussels,) then Point Mignon - which I have never heard of, but seems to be a row of twisted stitches, then  a row of groups of 3 or 4 stitches. these 2 rows repeated seems to for holes - much like Pea St. variation 3.

Much of the old G.P. lace seems to use very few stitches - corded Brussels, and G.P. diamonds in various forms, with veins and holes - 4 or 9 hole diamonds - seems to be the usual, but the Raised work gives it its "look".  they did not do many embellishments, either, as far as I can see, - mainly Venetian picots!

But - the raised work is usually beautifully worked Crescents - wide in the centre and tapering off to points at either end.  Some poorer quality work has "worms" - same thickness all along, but the good stuff has crescents.

I will be interested in other people's opinions. I love this lace, and love making it.  Thank you, Lorelei, for starting this thread.

I have just now looked through our album of antique gros point laces, to see if I could distinguish some stitches. I did not see any double or treble Brussels, meaning no plain buttonhole in groups of 2 or 3. The stitches that do occur in groups of 2 or 3, as fillings, are all twisted buttohnole stitches. Our collection of laces is not as large as all the gros point that still exists, so there may be a whole bunch out there that show different stitches from what we can see here.  But I wonder if Lovesey meant "double buttonhole" and "treble buttonhole" to be twisted stitches or plain stitches. I simply don't know.

I did find the gros point diamonds kind of stitch array in both twisted buttonhole stitches, and in plain corded Brussels.

Also the fillings that looked like pea stitch were worked in twisted stitches.

Liz, I have seen that Retournac pdf file you refer to, and it is listed on the opening page of this group under RESOURCES. The decorations on the cordonnet are the primary focus, but I find some of them a little scary to start. Sounds silly, I know. I'm doing the sampler so I can get some experience with the filling stitches, to improve my twisted stitches especially. But I am also working sections of point de Venise and petit point de Venise, even though I didn't see any of these among our examples.

If anyone knows of an antique gros point which contains petit point de Venise or point de Venise stitches, please let us know. If you see a book illustration with the stitch, please tell us what book, and what page. (Don't post the photo from the book.)

Yes, I have noticed that they used a twisted stitch a lot.

What do you call Petit point de Venise? - I only know Petit Point in Tapestry!!! 

Here we go again - "a rose by any other name..!!!" :)  Still, that is what makes it all so interesting - different names for the same stitch, often due to the area it comes from.

The rings are not hard to do - work to the Other end of the ring, so you can go back to the beginning of the ring. Make 3 passes - back, forward, and back again, - then stitch over the bundle, working picots as you go if you require them.  Use a pin to hold the bundle out, and I use a sewing or lace cotton thread to hold out the Venetian picots so there is very little hole at the end.  One stitch though the end of the picot, and then just 2 or 3 over the whole bundle back to the ring, or cordonette.  I find by the time I have worked the stitch through the end, I have pulled it all out too long, so I never tighten that end stitch until I have shortened the picot to the length I want, then I tighten it, and then work the other stitches down the shank. then gently remove the fine holding thread.  the finer the thread - the smaller the little hole on the end of a picot!!  Honiton thread is good - but needs a new length after only a few picots! It does not last very long!!  I usually use a 50 or 80 cotton thread.

according to Lovesey, petit point de Venise 

Point de Venise 


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