Hold the mesh with your right hand, tightening both the thread and the foundation loop. Grasp the mesh with your left hand and you hold it just as you hold your pen with the right hand for writing. Thus holding the mesh, with palm of the hand towards you, bring it beneath the thread to meet the knot that joins the thread and the foundation-loop. Then bring the thread with your right hand tightly round the mesh - the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers of left hand. (The needle is held between' the thumb and the first and second fingers of right hand.) Bring the thread back between first and second fingers of left hand and in under the thumb, which should hold it securely in place on the mesh, first loop. Then lay the thread in a large semicircle across the foundation-loop and behind your right hand. Holding the needle by the one end. thread the other (upper) end from the left through the first loop, underneath the mesh but above the three fingers of left hand, through the foundation-loop (from underneath upwards). The upper point of the needle should finally rest on the large semicircle where that crosses the foundation-loop. Let go the lower point of the needle and grasp the upper one, d raw the thread through, catch the loop (second loop) with your fourth finger, then release the thread from between the thumb and the mesh, retract second and third fingers from 1st loop, while tightening it with the right hand. When the 1st loop is quite tightened round the mesh only, the fourth finger should be withdrawn from the 2nd loop; tightening the thread with your right hand will secure the knot. It is important that the mesh should be held in place the whole time just beneath the connecting knot and at a right angle with the foundation-loop. Also never let the little finger release its hold on the 2nd loop until the second and third fingers have released their hold on the 1st loop and that loop is tightened round the mesh. Otherwise the netting will be uneven. The illustrations show the correct positions.
The beginner should practise on an "oblique" piece of netting. Make a row of, say, 20 loops on a foundation-loop, which should be about 4 to 6 inches long, looped at both ends and pinned at either end on to a heavy cushion. Then draw the mesh out, unpin, and turn your foundation-loop, bring the mesh just to meet the row of loops and make your 2nd row each loop to the one just above it, always worki n g from the left to the right, unpin, draw the mesh out again, and so on. The knack of making an even mesh is easily acquired in half to one hour.
Two Edgings netted obliquely.
Many pretty edgings for tray-cloths, etc., can be made on the oblique by using different sizes of mesh, joining 2 or more loops of the last row with 1 loop of the row in making, or vice versa. By adding separately-made wheels we come very near the Armenian lace, which is also made by loops and knots. The elaborateness of the design depends, of course, on the ingenuity and proficiency of the worker. A netted d'oily-edging is also an oblique netting. The foundation-loop should be round, and it should be turned to the left continually; instead of working backwards and forwards as in a piece of obliquely-netted lace, the foundation-loop should be tightened into the required circumference as soon as the 1st row of loops is made, the last loop thus being made to meet the 1st one. Then the netting is done round and round. The more variety in the size of mesh and the greater amount of "fans," contrived by means of joining several loops of the previous row into one knot, or branching off a number of loops from one single loop of the previous row, the prettier will the general effect be.
A D'oily showing different sizes of mesh.
The Lower Edging has separately netted wheels.
A Netted Edging and a Darned Net Edging.
This should be done over a very fine mesh; a flat bone one. one-eighth of an inch, is easier to manipulate, otherwise a fine knitting needle will serve the purpose. Begin by making 2 loops into the foundation-loop, turn, then make 2 loops in the last loop of every row, thus increasing by 1 loop until the requisite width is attained. It will be seen that all netting is done obliquely, a square being commenced at one of the corners. Also that the outsides of the netting is everywhere strengthened by an additional loop. Thus one should always count 2 loops extra.
Now when you have the 2 loops more than the desired width, 1 row should be netted without increasing. Then join the last 2 loops of every row, thus decreasing the number of loops by 1. When, at last, there are only 2 loops left, the mesh should be withdrawn before the final knot is secured. If the increasing, the straight row, and the decreasing have been done as directed, the finished piece of netting when stretched out is the straight square ready for embroidery.
Begin as for square netting. When the width is attained, and 1 row is netted without increasing, increase every other row and decrease every other (begin by increasing.) When the length is reached, decrease as for the square piece. Knots.
Except when the thread breaks accidentally, all the knots should be at the edge. When the thread on the needle is not long enough to last the next row through, it should be cut off to within an inch; the needle should be refilled, and the new thread joined on by means of a sailor knot (never a "granny-knot" !) quite close to the last knot made by the netting. Knots within the netted square itself are very ugly and should be avoided.
Net being darned in a frame.
The net should be tacked into a wire-frame, each corner first firmly secured in place, then the sides opposite each other, two at the time, so that then-is evenly stretched.
The stitch mostly used is the darning-stitch, point toile. When consisting of only 2 threads in the warp and 2 in the weft, the lace is called "Filet Antique." Do as much of the warp as can be done of the pattern before beginning the weft. Only one "fastening" is allowed, the newthread being joined to the old one by a sailor-knot. When beginning at a new spot follow round the edges of the darning, twining or "oversewing" round the thread of the netting, when that can be followed; if not, take the nearest way to the point where darning should recommence in the same manner.
The same kind of. thread can be used for darning filet lace as for netting the foundation, or Barbour's Irish Silk Floss Embroidery Thread. About Meshes.
For the sake of clearness, the word "mesh" has only been used for the implement so-called. The netting is often called mesh, and so are the loops. An even piece of netting is, for instance, called "even mesh,"and a certain number of loops is termed so many "meshes." This is quite correct, but somewhat bewildering in a set of directions.
The worker will sometimes find that the meshes are not always true, but very often a lead-pencil or a coarse steel knitting-needle will give a more perfect circle (when a round mesh is used). This, however, the worker will soon find out for herself.