I just finished the Alençon bee that Carolyn Wetzel designed for Piecework Magazine. Since I didn't have the recommended thread sizes I used an 80 weight cotton sewing thread for most of it, and a 40 weight shaded cotton thread for the outlines, both for the cord and the buttonhole stitch over them.

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Comment by Tania Tkachenko on November 20, 2014 at 3:09pm

Thank you!

Comment by Teri Dow on November 20, 2014 at 12:29pm
Thank you Loretta. I rather like the thread you have used on the ground. It's compliments the design and adds a fragility which is so very appropriate.
Comment by Loretta Holzberger on November 20, 2014 at 11:35am

This was my first piece of Alençon type lace.  The ground was worked in a thread that was too fine for the size of the mesh.  The design was one Carolyn Wetzel did for Piecework Magazine.  I didn't have the thread sizes she recommended, so used what I had available.  I think this is why you see little triangles in the corners of the mesh.  If it had been heavier thread, the overcasting 3 times on each return would have filled in better.  Having studied Alençon pieces more since then, I see that when this type of ground is worked, it turns out with very strong horizontal lines where the whipped return is made.  The ground looks more like bricks stacked than hexagons. In pieces with two different grounds, it is the smaller one.  The hexagon looking ground in Alençon is achieved by laying diagonal lines across the area in both directions, then securing them up/down horizontally creating the hex, then whipping all sides. 

The entire piece is worked on the pattern.  The ground is only worked where it shows, the bee and border are worked in their spaces.  The outline work is done last, covering the joining areas between design and ground. 

Comment by Teri Dow on November 20, 2014 at 4:12am
Hi Loretta, I've also a couple of questions for you regarding the construction - Was the ground work done first and the bee worked onto the ground, or was the bee worked on a separate piece and added later? If the bee was worked onto the ground, how did you achieve it without any distorting of the ground? Thanks in advance. Kind regards.
Comment by Tania Tkachenko on November 20, 2014 at 3:18am

Dear Loretta, thank you for sharing your work and your comments. It makes my way to Alencon much easier ))) The bee is really impressive. Could you, please, comment - are those triangles on the ground net typical for Alencon? I tried hexagons and I have no triangles, just hexagons. It depends on the way I twist the stitch. What do you think? Are those triangles a must for the classic Alencon?

Comment by Loretta Holzberger on December 19, 2011 at 8:58pm

Thanks Carolyn.  I have been learning to loosen up on the whipped return.  Take a look at the ruler insert I have posted more recently.

Comment by Carolyn Wetzel on December 19, 2011 at 6:34pm


Beautiful work! I love what you did with the border, especially with the picots. I think if you loosen up the whipped return on the net, it will keep its hexagonal shape better. Your cordonnet is nice and smooth. Please let me know if there were any parts of the instructions in the article that were unclear so I can improve future projects. 

Comment by Keddie Preston on August 29, 2011 at 12:19am
This is so pretty, Loretta!
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on August 22, 2011 at 10:37pm

This is beautifully worked -- I saw the actual piece in class about 10 days ago.

Congratulations, Loretta. And yes, I have now read All of the Piecework magazine, and see where you got the pattern!

Comment by Carmelina Andrade on August 9, 2011 at 12:29am
Precious work, Loretta. I love each detail. The little legs are so pretty. And the net! An hexagonal motive as correspond a bee. Beautiful design.

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