Many types of lace are designed on a grid.

Brenda Paternoster shows some special effects.

Samples and generators

By lacemakers or guild


Jo Edkins Lace School

Steph String's program
  • Free for personal use. Dots with variable angles.

PlotADot now available as £5.00 booklets at the lace guild
  • Used to have files for CorelDraw and other software. Also instructions describing how to use CorelDraw to convert a scanned picture or clipart into a Honiton lace design (£12.00).

Inkscape + Extensions
  • Inkscape is a free, multipurpose, multiplatform scalable vector drawing tool. Veronika Irvine and Jo Pol have developed extensions for Inkscape that support drawing rectangular and polar grids with dots and variable angles.

General purpose

Incompetech
  • Create your own PDF pages.

EasyGrapher Specialty

Graph Paper Printer
  • US $20,- after a free trial period of 7 days.
  • Dots, diamonds, music paper and fantasy patterns.

Merged gridsgrids-merged.png

Intro

Several general drawing applications are on the market that allow to generate grids. The advantage over the generators above is further drawing and distorting possibilities. However, the grid function might be limited to rectangular grids. You can rotate the image for the common 45° angle, you would just have to deal with lost corners. You then can re-size the image in one direction for other angles, but then the dots are also re-sized. Subsequently remove individual dots for a hexagonal grid is a tedious job. Luckily many grids can be dissected into rectangular grids as the colored dots in the diagram show. Merge these grids to generate the desired image.

Cheat sheets

horizontal →
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
The space between the grid lines
determines the angle of the desired grid.
When merging, the second grid
has an offset half of the spacing.
↓ vertical
1
45°
63°
72°
76°
79°
81°
82°
83°
84°
grids-spacing.png
grids-offsets.png
2
27°
45°
56°
63°
68°
72°
74°
76°
77°
3
18°
34°
45°
53°
59°
63°
67°
69°
72°
4
14°
27°
37°
45°
51°
56°
60°
63°
66°
5
11°
22°
31°
39°
45°
50°
54°
58°
61°
6

18°
27°
34°
40°
45°
49°
53°
56°
7

16°
23°
30°
36°
41°
45°
49°
52°
8

14°
21°
27°
32°
37°
41°
45°
48°
9

13°
18°
24°
29°
34°
38°
42°
45°
The highlighted values in the table show how to find the required spacing. You can multiply all values with the same amount, or find more accurate values with this calculator. Drawing applications may also provide a grid to snap to, use the smallest offset values for that purpose.
Examples
30°
hexagons

gimp-grid-30.png
gimp-grid-hex1.png
gimp-grid-hex2.png
spacing
7.1 / 4.1
70 / 120
70 / 80
offsets
0 / 0
3.55 / 2.05
0 / 0
35 / 20
35 / 60
0 / 80
0 / 0
35 / 20
35 / 60
tile
InkScape-grid30.png
InkScape-grid-hex1.png
InkScape-hex2.png
grid cells per tile
2x2
6x4
4x4

Tutorials

Similar functionality may be available in other software. The applications are selected for different characteristics and their general availability: free, Unix, Windows, Mac.

gimp


Characteristics:
  • Pixel oriented.
  • Renders grid intersections independent of grid lines.
  • version 2.8.2
The steps to take:
  • Create a new image (or layer) with the advanced option "fill with: transparency".
  • From the menu: filter - render - pattern - grid.
  • From the menu: filter - reshow grid (the first time not available)
Remarks:
  • The default measurement units are pixels but you can choose inches or millimeters.
  • The left two columns are chained by default. Unchain them for different values per column.
  • The intersection column determines the shape and size of the dots: • + #
screenshots for an angle of 30°
gimp-grid.png
click on the image to zoom in

InkScape

Out of the box, Inkscape provides limited support for drawing grids as described below. However, it is possible to extend the functionality in Inkscape using "extensions". If you are interested in using the Inkscape drawing capabilities but would like to take advantage of the grid drawing tools developed by lacemakers Veronika Irvine and Jo Pol, go to Inkscape + Extensions.

Characteristics
  • Scalable vector oriented.
  • Renders lines or dots
  • version 0.48
InkscapeGrids.png

Inkscape can draw grid lines in the background of your drawing. Unlike the extensions mentioned above, these grid will not appear in the printed version of the document.

The steps to take:
  • As shown by the screenshot on the right
    • Open Document Properties dialog from the top File -> Document Properties menu.
    • Create a single rectangular grid for the document by clicking on the New button.
    • Enable snapping.
    • Note: The "Show dots instead of lines" option will place a dot at the intersection of each line. The dots will produce a square lattice, not a diamond lattice. The dots will not appear in the printed version.
  • To create a printable grid of dots:
    • Create base tiles (a tutorial that assumes some basic skills) some specific notes:
      • For a 45 degree grid, the base tile should usually span 2x2 grid cells.
        For hexagonal grids and other grid angles, see cheat sheet.
      • Make the tile almost transparent.
      • The clones should span the desired pattern size.
    • Add dots to the base tile.
      • Switch off 'snap to grid' to draw a tiny circle.
      • Make the color of the dot solid.
      • Switch 'snap to grid' back on.
      • Duplicate the dot, position one in the center of the base tile, the other at a corner.
    • Make the tile background fully transparent.
Remarks:
  • The default measurement units are pixels but you can choose inches or millimeters.
  • Resizing the drawing also re-sizes the dots. Counteract the effect by changing the outline of the dots.
  • Two edges of the cloned tiles won't have dots, but otherwise you would have dots on top of one another.
    No visual difference but it might slow down rendering the document.