Hairpin Lace for the Holidays

I found the hairpin fork in my needlework tools. It’s possible I’ve used it before but I don’t remember doing so. So I decided to test it out.

There are basic directions for making hairpin projects all over the internet. It’s a simple process. You need a hairpin fork, yarn or thread, and a crochet hook. The crochet hook and the number of loops will help determine the length of the piece. The fork has slots for the pins which you use to determine the width of the piece. I started with a size d crochet hook and 3 ply yarn. The fork was set at 4 inches wide.

Try it! It’s the best way to learn. Take your fork and hold it so it is upright in front of you. You’ll have a prong on the right and a prong on the left. You will loop the yarn over the prong opposite the hand that you use. For example, I use my right hand so I looped the yarn over the left prong. The working yarn dangled in the front of the fork and I wrapped it around the right prong to the back and held it loosely with my left hand on the left prong. With my right hand I poked the crochet hook into the loop around the left prong right where the slip knot lay in the middle of the fork and picked up the strand wrapped around the back, pulling it down into the loop. This created a chain stitch. Then I flipped my hook to the other side and turned my fork. I had one loop on each side of my fork with a chain in the middle. My working yarn dangled in front of the hook. I took the yarn, wrapped it around the right side of my fork and around to the back of the left prong, where I held it. Again, I poked my hook through the loop on the left hand side of the fork and drew my working yarn down through it. Then I single crocheted the two loops on the hook off. It was time to turn my hook and fork again. I had 2 loops on the left side and 1 loop on the right side. My fingers were starting to be more nimble. I repeated the last step until I had 30 loops on each side of the fork. Then I tied off the top stitch into a slip stitch. It made a fairly lopsided version of the lace I see in patterns. So I tried again.

This time I made 2 smaller pieces of 10 loops. There are several ways to combine loops. I decided to single crochet around with the two pieces stacked together. I started at the top left end of the two and single crocheted the next 5 loops. Then I crocheted the next set of loops, leaving the last loop of the single crochet on and single crocheted the next loop, leaving the last loop of the single crochet on for the next 2 stitches and then crocheted the 3 loops off together to create a curve effect on the left side. I single crocheted around to the other side and up the first 3 stitches on the right side. I single crocheted, chained 1 for the next 3 set of loops, then returned to single crocheting up to the top. I made a ruffle by *single crochet, double crochet, single crochet in the end of each loop around the top.

What else could I make for the holiday? With a piece made on the fork at inches and a size G crochet hook I made a garland of 60 loops. It’s stretchy and in Christmas yarn of red, green and white it will decorate my cubicle nicely. I didn’t do anything with the edges, and didn’t have to.

For quick holiday gifts you could make a bracelet, necklace, collar, cuffs, or a scarf. I still dream of some of the fancy items – doilies, edgings and such. But I am happy to find a new way of working with yarn. I won’t forget my regular crochet, knitting or looming. But hairpin lace is a new and exciting find for me. I’m glad I found it in time for the holidays!

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