Section 1: The ‘S’ — Head, Neck and Tail

Number of pairs

17 pairs: 12 white, 5 gold


Start at the tip of the beak with 3 white pairs (workers) and 2 gold pairs (passives). Add two more gold passives and the central white passive, and work in cloth stitch to the thick black line marking the beginning of the head. On that row, add 3 white and 1 gold pair on the left side of the central white passive, and 4 white pairs on the right side.

Work the head in half stitch. The original 4 gold pairs form interlocking gimps next to the footsides (‘Practical Skills in Bobbin Lace’, Section VIII.6a–d, p. 164); the added 5th gold pair moves towards the eye as a twisted cordonnet (ibid, Section VIII.5, p. 163).

Make a gold tally for the eye and continue the half stitch over it (as in ibid, Section V.12c–d, p. 107). Reintroduce the gold pair into the head for one row and, at the same time, add one white pair to replace it. Lay back the gold pair to be finished off later. Continue the head in half stitch to the next thick line.

Neck and tail

The sample uses the Basketweave braid (‘Milanese Lace’, p. 27). This is a very tightly woven braid and the usual method of gaining on the pin (‘blind’ pin as in ibid, p. 145) makes it look very ‘congested’ on the inner curve. The method used here is illustrated in the accompanying diagram. Note that for greater clarity the gold interlocking gimps have not been included in the diagram.


To stress the ‘S’ aspect of the braid, make it in cloth stitch, with gold weavers. To stress the swan aspect, remove the gold gimps on the wing side as soon as the connection with the wing outline (see Section 2) is reached.