What to Expect When Trying Crochet Lace for Beginners

Anyone can Crochet Lace

When I first began to crochet, I really wanted to make lace. I love the elegant airiness and lightweight intricacy of handmade lace. However, as a beginning crocheter, I put it off as something to attempt when I got "good enough". I regret that decision now! So many years lost to miles of double-crochet scarves when I could have been making lace all along!

Lace, as it turns out, is not all that complicated. It uses the same stitches we're used to, it just balances them with open space, creating a light, delicate fabric. So don't allow the stitch patterns to intimidate you! In fact, we've got this free collection of lace patterns that are perfect for anyone wanting to give it a try. If the skinny yarn puts you off, try using a slightly heavier one. Any weight of yarn can make lace, and lace made with fingering or DK weight yarns is light enough to achieve the diaphanous effect lace-adventurers crave.

I love lace so much, I couldn't resist this opportunity to work up a sample for you all! I picked a project that would appeal to beginners and long-time lace addicts alike. My thoughts immediately turned to Kimberly McAlindin's Moss Fern Wrap, from the Fall 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet. The pattern calls for a laceweight mohair blend yarn and a 4 mm hook, but I chose a fingering weight sock yarn and a 3.5 mm hook. This alteration will make my lace a little more solid, making up for the fact that I don't have the fuzzy mohair to fill in any of the openness of the lace. I also began with significantly fewer stitches, since the heavier yarn would make my stitches bigger, and I wanted a smaller shawl altogether. Once I had my adjustments in mind, it was just chains, single crochets, and double crochets. You know how to do those!

Kimberly McAlindindin's Moss Fern Wrap, Interweave Crochet Fall 2009

Here's my lace right now. You may notice it looks a bit scrunched. That is because it isn't finished yet and still awaits the final step of lace making: blocking. The picture of it stretched gives a better idea of what it will look like when it's blocked. See my blog at CrochetMe.com next week for my adventures in blocking this shawl! I will also link to Marcy's blocking extravaganza with her laceweight version of the Moss Fern Wrap (we're big fans of this shawl around here). We used two different methods of blocking.

Sarah's Moss Fern Wrap, in progress

Marcy's Moss Fern Wrap, unblocked

So, whether you've been crocheting a week or a lifetime, you're ready to crochet lace! Check out the patterns at the bottom of the page for some places to get started. I'll be there too, hook in hand!

Until next time,

 Sarah Read

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