Joining Hairpin Lace

I've crocheted with steel hooks, aluminum hooks, wood hooks, and long Tunisian hooks into the edge of fabric and around metals bangles. But did you know you can crochet with a loom? I look forward to the in-depth technique articles and accompanying projects in each new issue of Interweave Crochet. The Spring 2012 issue was no exception, with its detailed exploration of crochet hairpin lace. Interweave Crochet's Assistant Editor Sharon Zientara joins us to look at this fascinating technique. – Toni

Lattice Tank by Natasha Robarge  

Hairpin lace is a technique that uses a simple loom and a crochet hook to make a series of loops into a long lace strip. During the Victorian era, this lacemaking technique was very popular with women who couldn't afford the more expensive bobbin lace. 

  Abracadabra Bag by Teresa Alvarez

In the Spring 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet, we explore different ways to use the technique of hairpin lace crochet. If you're new to hairpin, there is the Abracadabra Bag by Teresa Alvarez (at right) and the Yin Tank by Beth Nielsen. For the more experienced (or the very brave), the issue features two garments made entirely in hairpin crochet, the Enigma Tunic by hairpin diva Jen Hansen and the Lattice Tank by Natasha Robarge (at left). 

Do you find your interest piqued by this beautiful, intricate technique? With just a few basic skills, you will be ready to tackle all the hairpin garments in the Spring issue and, perhaps, create some designs of your own.  For some basics on hairpin crochet, try Kristin Omdahl's simple shawl pattern, which includes helpful illustrations to get you started making the basic strip. Once you have mastered the strip-making technique, here are a couple of simple methods to add a decorative edge your strips. 

Single Crochet Edge

This simple, easy to master technique leaves a clean edge on a hairpin strip. You can use the same yarn in a different color to add some pizzazz to an accessory or garment.

Attach yarn by inserting hook from front to back through the first loop in the hairpin strip. Make a slip stitch.
Insert the hook through the same loop as the join, yarn over and pull a loop, yarn over and draw through two loops. This makes your first single crochet. Repeat this step through each hairpin loop to the end of the strip. Voila! A simple and beautiful decorative edge.

Cable Edge

The cable edge is a little trickier, but requires no extra yarn. If your joins aren't quite even, a little blocking with steam or water will even them right out.

Insert your hook from front to back through the first two loops of the strip.


Draw the second loop up through the first loop on the strip.


Repeat the second step to the end of the strip. Fasten off using the loose yarn end at the edge of the strip and weave in the ends.

Enjoy experimenting with all the hairpin lace methods and pick up the Spring 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet for more tips and tricks!

Happy crocheting,




I will definitely be adding hairpin lace to my list of new crochet techniques to learn this year. Subscribe to Interweave Crochet today and learn more about hairpin lace, Tunisian crochet, and more innovative techniques.

Best wishes,

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