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Hairpin Lace
© 2004 Sandra Petit, http://www.crochetcabana.com

Of all the new things I've learned in my life, this has been one of the hardest to catch on to. I tried the instructions I received with my first loom (which was defective, as I could only use two of the holes - the others were too small for the posts). Then I thought - the Internet. You can always find things on the Internet. I did find instructions, but none of them helped me to understand. I could do something, but it didn't look like the pictures said it was supposed to. I knew I was doing something wrong, but couldn't figure out what. Then I saw a different sort of loom at Annie's Attic (bless you, Annie, wherever you are). I also ordered a "how to" manual. To you I suggest, just get the loom. The instructions are the best I've seen, though still not entirely adequate. You may want to enlarge them, however. Once I did that, I found it a little easier.

If you need further instruction, YouTube has many videos on this method.

Here is my first pitiful effort, which I am showing to you so you won't feel so badly if yours doesn't come out as nicely as it might, and if yours DID come out, you can say you did it right the FIRST time. LOL Next to it is my next effort, much improved. Of course, I didn't have these excellent instructions to work by. LOL

Don't try to get fancy if you're just beginning. Just get the basic stitch down. Then you can play with it.

I'm not going to (purposely) show you the wrong steps I took to make the item on the left. I will (hopefully) show you the correct steps to take to make a hairpin lace project that will look like it is supposed to look.

Since I do not have three hands, I will have to get an assist with the pictures. I know you all like pictures. *grin* Thanks for the help, Kate!

First thing to do is to take the top plastic piece off the loom (Fig A), then pull out the middle pin (Fig B).

You will leave the top plastic piece off while you work because it's easier to maneuver the hook back and front. If you WANT to leave it on, you certainly CAN, if you can maneuver the crochet hook through it. Some folks like to get (or cut) a really short hook for this purpose. I actually had a tiny short hook, but the hook part was too small for the yarn I was working with. I used a Clover hook, which is shorter than my other hooks, but still not as short as the little white one I had. I'll try to remember to take a picture of them later.

Okay, now you need to make a slip knot (Fig C), just as you do whenever you begin a crochet project, but you will not slip it onto your crochet hook. You will slip it on the left pin (as it's facing you), with the knot to the inside between the two pins, and the beginning strand in front (Fig D).  Make sure your slip knot loop is not twisted. If you don't know how to make a slip knot, go to my Getting Started tutorials. I have more pics there.

Then you will wrap your yarn around the right pin this way: the yarn is in your left hand, in front of you. Bring it to the right, past the right-side pin and to the back of that pin. (Fig E) Tighten as you will need some tension to work. also, try to keep the knot in the center, between the two pins. This will be one of the hardest things, just as in when you first learned to crochet. You need to develop some method of keeping even tension as you work. (The yarn in my left hand is the yarn from the skein.)

Next you will insert your hook between the two loops that make up your slip knot, from bottom to top. In other words, come from under the loops and go in between the two loops. Then bring your hook behind the yarn you've just wrapped over and grab that yarn with your hook.

Pull the yarn through the space you just entered from, in a downward motion.

Yarn over (just as in regular crochet) by bringing your yarn from the back, over and around the hook. Then pull through the loop on your hook.

Now, hold your hook head down and turn your loom as you would a page in a book- lift the right edge of your loom as you would your page and turn the "book" so the right edge of your page is now on the left side. Some manuals call this clockwise - right to left - pull the right pin towards you, knock it over so the right pin is now the left pin. You will always turn your loom in the same direction. The turn will cause your yarn (the yarn coming from your skein) to wrap around the right pin to the back, giving you a new loop. (Figure 15 shows the loops)

Bring your hook back to the front.

There are two loops on your left pin. You will insert your hook under the front loop, coming from the bottom. The inclination is to grab that back loop which is sitting there, but it is the front loop you go under. So you're going in between the two loops, from bottom to top, just as before.

Yarn over with the new loop and pull that new loop through the same space where you just came through (between the front and back loops, but now you're going down instead of up).

Yarn over again, and pull through all loops to complete a single crochet.

The next part is what I couldn't find a picture of anywhere. Most instructions stop with that single crochet and then show a completed piece and how to end. We're going to go further here.

First you have to face your hook downward and turn your loom clockwise again. You now have a new loop and are ready to make another single crochet.

Insert hook under that front loop (between the front and back loops) coming from the bottom with your hook facing up. (Fig Q)

Yarn over and pull through all loops to complete another single crochet. You will continue in this manner, turning your hook clockwise and making single crochets as above.

You will always go under the top loop and grab your new loop for your yarn over.

If you run out of space on your loom, place the top plastic piece back on the loom and remove the bottom piece. Work off as many loops as you need to and replace the bottom plastic piece and remove the top piece again. Then continue working. When you're done, just pull the end of the yarn through the last loop, just as you would end in regular crochet. You will sew ends in later as well.

This loom had a center piece as well. I don't have the space to go into that here, but the Clover instructions do cover it briefly.

What can you do with the braid that you've made? There are pattern leaflets available. The how-to leaflet I purchased had a number of patterns. I did not find the instructions good enough for me, but I may just be hard to teach. :-) However, it did have some beautiful patterns. I particularly liked the Rosette Doily.

I also found this excellent tutorial on joining at Stitch Diva. Very nice, large pictures. Great job! As I said before, YouTube has good videos and I'm sure other places do too.

If you have any questions, well don't ask me! LOL Join the Yahoo Hairpin Lace Group. There are some vary talented folk there if the photo section is any indication. (I'm only kidding - you can ASK me. I just don't promise I'll have an answer for you on this topic since I'm a beginner just like you.)

Good luck!

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Copyright 1997 - 2016 by Sandra Petit. All rights reserved.

Crochet Cabana created October 1997 (domain name purchased March 2001)
Crochet Cabana’s Crafty Corral begun November 7, 2004.
The Crochet Cabana Blog begun May 2010.
Site update November 18, 2012.