Carnival lace mask

Lace by Design

Featured Designer

Jane Atkinson


Lace designer - Jane Atkinson

I first met Jane when she came to Bristol to give a workshop to our lace group.

Jane has been living on the Dorset coast for many years. The landscape which she has come to know so well is a strong force behind many of her beautiful lace designs.
Jane has published two books. ‘Pattern Design for Torchon Lace’ and ‘Contemporary Lace for You’, this latter book has been described as a designer's handbook for creative people, it truly is. Jane has also travelled extensively giving workshops and studying other countries' lace.

Creating the Work


Here is an example of a pattern with which I intended to kill ‘four birds with one stone’.

An invitation to teach in Australia led to the exploration of a local mineral; one to teach in Spain inspired me to try out the thread available from a local weaver; one to supply patterns for Lace Express gave the project a deadline; and one to exhibit at Vamberk International Lace Festival, Czech Republic, gave the impetus to create a display of lace made to complement clothing in my wardrobe.

  • 1) Original

    A slab of Tiger Eye from Australia offered inspirational shapes. Since it did not scan well, it was photographed in the sun.

  • 2) Acetate

    The photo was traced on acetate, and the acetate enlarged on the photocopier.

  • 3) Pencil

    A pencil-tracing of part of a large-scale version was shaded to capture the diagonal ‘trails’ and thought was given to a diagonal repeat.

  • 4) Repeat

    Pattern repeats in my book show square, rectangular and diamond-shaped tessellations, but this example steps the pattern down diagonally.

  • 5) Gridded

    The grid which offered enough detail proved to be 7mm, and the main work needed was to blend the joins between ‘a’ and ‘d’ so the pattern would flow seamlessly.  There proved to be endless variations on vertical repeats; this pattern is hugely versatile.

  • 6) Pattern A diagram

    The commercial pattern that results (for publication shortly in Lace Express) utilises a/b and c/d alternating vertically as Pattern A and Pattern B.  This is pattern A, published on 10mm grid.

  • 7) Pattern B diagram

    This is the diagram for Pattern B. A selvedge/footside has been drawn into the edges, so the pattern no longer repeats sideways, in order to fit the page of the magazine.

  • 8) Scarf on model

    The colours were chosen to fit with a Gudrun Sjoden outfit, and the yarns are mostly linen and linen blends from Spain, available from Ana Castro Barja,, in Ourense.

  • 9) Scarf

    As a textile, the pattern takes on a life of its own as the colours and threads weave their way through.

  • 10) Play

    Many other variations are possible - here the second repeat of the complete pattern has been reversed. The scarf shown alongside has been made on a larger grid with thicker yarns, to go with a different outfit. However the final use may well be a screen, possibly monochrome to allow the emphasis to fall on different stitches.