Weaving #2: How to Make Teneriffe Snowflakes


Teneriffe Lace making is what Diane would refer to as "deep craft" a more "intense" craft that relatively few crafters will likely attempt. However, after struggling through the learning curve and actually finding teneriffe to be fun, I set out to create a very simple version of the sweet little circlets and thereby hopefully making it more appealing to a greater number of crafters. I call these "Teneriffe Snowflakes".

Teneriffe #1, #2 and prototype of simplified version

Just so you know - my journey was not without failure and frustration and - yes - that second official teneriffe did send me on a visit to Margarita Ville! But once I "got it", I actually found making teneriffe lace to be fun - satisfying even. And now I can whip out one of these simple Teneriffe Snowflakes in less than half an hour.

The teneriffe at the top of the post is only my fourth - and these above my first three beginning with the very first at the top left. So really - they aren't that hard - especially this simplified version. The technique takes a bit of explaining, but don't let the length of this tutorial throw you off.  

My journey began with my friend Avital pointing me to this PDF  "The Techniques of Teneriffe Lace" written by Alexandra Stillwell. This is the same PDF I linked to in the previous post - Weaving #1: Loomed Flowers. I highly recommend taking advantage of this excellent resource being made available to all of us. Download it if for no other reason than to see a wedding dress made completely of loomed flowers!

I have tried very hard to make this tutorial as short and sweet as possible and still make it understandable and clear. If you have questions, please do let me know. And read through the above linked PDF - especially the process for making basic teneriffe lace - I think you will find it very helpful - especially if you aren't "getting it".


Basically all you will need is fingerling weight yarn (I used Caron baby dazzle aire); tapestry needle; scissors; and a loom.

In another post, I am going to share how to make a teneriffe snowflake on a knitting loom, but for today, I am using a simple loom based upon one described in "The Techniques of Teneriffe Lace".


To construct your own loom, cut a piece of 1" thick foam core 8" x 8". Using a juice glass (or anything handy) draw a circle in the center of the square. Mark the very center of the circle. Divide the circle into 24 or 32 sections. This can be done very accurately using math and a protractor OR you can come pretty close using the eye-ball method.

You will really only need the one circle for marking pin points.

For the loom used while learning teneriffe, I printed a copy of the loom diagram available in the PDF. For this tutorial,  I "enlarged" it slightly by adding an additional inch to the diameter as I found it is much easier working with a little bigger loom. The diameter of the loom is 4" from pin to pin.

Place sequin pins at each of the division points. (It is possible to use regular pins, however, you will need a thicker base if you do.) Do not push the pins all the way into the loom base yet.

Select one pin to be "A" and clearly mark it. The pin directly opposite is to be marked as "B".

Without these two points being clearly marked on the loom, it is quite easy to get lost!!! I learned this the hard way!


Now that we have a loom - we can begin!

Making a teneriffe snowflake requires basically four steps: 1)winding the web, 2)weaving the web center, 3)creating spaces between web sections using knots; 4)creating pointed ends at the webs using another row of knots.

Make the web

1. Pull a length of yarn from the skein - about 8" (do not cut!) and thread the end through the tapestry needle. Run the needle and yarn through the center hole to the back of the loom, remove the needle and tie a big giant knot in the end of the thread. Pull it snug against the back surface from the front of the loom.


2. Pull the yarn from the center hole to the left side of "A". Take the yarn around "A" as shown and draw the yarn across the loom to just right of "B".


3. Carry the yarn around "B" and then take the yarn back across the loom and around the pin just to the right of "A", back across the loom and around the pin to the left of "B". Continue around the entire loom in this manner ending at the pin just to the left of "A". (Just like winding a flower loom!)


4. Holding the yarn at the center with your left thumb so it doesn't unravel, turn the loom so that "B" is now at the "top".

5. Continue to hold the yarn in place and pull a length of yarn from the skein about 60" long (just guess 12" five times) and cut.

(If you are finding this difficult while holding the yarn in place, place a pin somewhere on the loom and wrap the yarn around it several times and push the pin into the loom surface to hold.)

6. Push all pins flush with the loom surface beginning with "A". Pushing in "A" should secure the yarn and prevent it from unravelling.

7. Once all pins are flush with the top surface, thread the tapestry needle and begin the center weave by running the first stitch under "B" as shown above.


Weaving the center

1. Treat each pair of web yarns as one, and weave over the pair just to the left of "B" and then under, over, under, overÂ…. all around the web until you arrive again at "B".

You will find it much easier to follow the over/under pattern if you work near the outside of the web rather than close to the center.  After weaving a few webs, simply pull the yarn toward the center to create a nice circle.

(Note: this first row of weaving may almost disappear depending on the yarn you use.)  


2. When you arrive at "B", carry the needle through the center of the pair of yarns so that it is under the yarn on the right and over the yarn on the left. Then begin weaving just as you were in the previous step.

Splitting the "B" web this way allows you to make a nicely woven center on an "even" number of yarns. 

3. Weave around the web four times total, splitting "B" each time to create the weave pattern.


4. When you have completed four rows of weaving, secure the yarn just to the right of "B" by running it under row three as shown.

Make the first knot ring


Note about the circle lines. Ignore them! They appear as part of the diagram I used but are not of use in this tutorial. If you wish to use them as a knot guide, by all means do so, but they are not necessary when making this simple version.

1. Bring the yarn up along the right side of "B" and anchor it with an "anchor knot". This knot is a little different than "the knot" you will use for the rest of the knots in the circle. I made the "anchor knot" up because I personally like the way it anchors the yarn as it travels from the weaving section to the knot ring.

If you position the yarn and needle exactly as shown, you should have no problem making the "anchor knot".

2. Once you have completed this part of the knot, pull the yarn tightÂ…


,,, and you have your first knot!

And here are a couple little trick to make your knot pulling easier!

Once the knot is made and you are ready to pull the yarn through - turn your loom upside down to pull!  This little trick will prevent the yarn from catching on the loom pins.

You will notice as you work around the circle that your yarn will begin to twist up on iteslf.  To un-twist, hold the loom upside down and let the yarn dangle freely.  It will un-twist.  (Just like we un-twist floss while working embroidery.)



3. Continue making knots around the entire web using "the knot" shown above. Study the photo carefully and mimic the positions of the needle and yarn. Also study the diagram below of "the knot".

Teneriffe knot diagram

I found an excellent drawing of "the knot" in this PDF of a very old publication "Teneriffe Lace Design and Instructions" - the drawing is very clear and was very helpful to me while learning "the knot".

"Getting" this knot is probably the hardest part of this whole process, but once it is learned, you will be whipping them in quickly!


The text that accompanies the diagram suggests pulling "the knot" tight by pulling slightly toward the previous knot. And that actually works beautifully!


But sometimes, you will still have a little more yarn between knots than needed, It is very easy to slip the needle into the knot and pull up the excess while pulling gently on the yarn with your left hand.

4. When you reach "B" again, make another knot right on top of the first (anchor) knot. Now you are ready for the second knot ring!

Making second knot ring


In this second knot ring, we will be splitting the pairs of web yarns and joining them into new pairs. The result will be those cute little points all around the outside edge of the teneriffe!

1. Carry the yarn up to a position about half way between the pins and the first knot ring. 

2. Make an "anchor knot" (just like we did at the beginning of row one) per the photo above. But in this case, two web yarns are to be joined - the left yarn of the "B" pair and the right yarn of the pair just to the left of the "B" pair.


3. Pull the anchor knot tight. Don't worry too much about it's appearance at this point - if it doesn't look right it probably is right!!! The next knot will pull it into the position you are expecting.


4. Make "the knot" over the next two yarns to the left as shown. With each knot, you will be spitting the pairs and tying two yarns together.


After making several of "the knots", you will see the pretty pattern emerge.


5. When you again arrive at "B", make "the knot" over the first (anchor) knot to complete the snowflake!

6. Cut the yarn within 1/4" of the last knot.


To release the teneriffe snowflake, remove the pins from the loom. (If you want to use the loom again, you can slightly raise the pins but leave them in place and then use a needle or crochet hook to lift the yarn off the pins.

Once all the pins have been removed, carefully lift the teneriffe and clip the yarn at the center. It is secure so you can clip it close to the weaving.

You may wish to use a bit of fabric glue on each of the final knots in the knot rings.

I am thinking it might be fun to stiffen these a bit so they will hold their shape if hung in a window or on a tree. I am familiar with Stiffy and Fabric Mod Podge, BUT I am thinking a spray product would be best - especially to preserve the fuzziness.

 Can anyone recommend something that would do the trick?

These are beautiful - they

These are beautiful - they remind me of handmade doilies. I had never heard of this technique before - it does look like a fairly complicated craft, but with great results.

Pam, These are really

Pam, These are really beautiful. I've been wanting to learn how to do Teneriffe Lace. Not only do I appreciate your thorough tutorial, but also the link to the wonderful Teneriffe technique e-book. After a brief look I think I'll do your tutorial first. It appears a bit clearer than the book. After I do yours maybe I can tackle the book. As far as a stiffener, I can't think of anything that would not take away the fuzziness of your wool yarn. Anything that I can think of would glue the fibers down.

Thank you TerriSue.  Let me

Thank you TerriSue.  Let me know how the tutorial works out for you.  I cut it from 45 images to 20 and am hoping to have remained clear.

I am trying to think of something that will stiffen yet preserve the fuzzy nature of the yarn too.  They actually hold themselves quite well so I may just leave them.

Oooo I love these! You know

Oooo I love these! You know how much adore snowflakes. The whole time I was reading I was also thinking fabric stiffener would be perfect for these.

hi, pam! the snowflake is so

hi, pam!
the snowflake is so beautiful!!! Thank you for explaining the process, I want to try to make one, but.... next winter! Now we have very hot temperatures here in Italy and working with wool is not a pleasure, eh eh! :)

To stiffen it... my aunt uses natural solutions, like water+sugar or water+cornstarch, to stiffen her crocheted snowflakes. she soaks them with this solution and lay flat to dry (sometimes with the help of pins).
I'm not an expert, but probably you can find something on line.