Fran’s Creative Corner, Lace, Part II

Oh boy! Reading through the needlecraft magazines from the 1900s I found one from 1908 … wow! There is so much history in these magazines I feel very fortunate to have them and be able to look through these treasures whenever I wish. I do fear I may have permanent damage to the eyes, though! Maybe with a few days rest the vision will return to normal.

The lace work throughout the magazines captured my heart as crocheted lace is my favorite to make. Hairpin lace, referred to as Maltese Lace in the magazines, was very popular. I remember making this lace in the 1960s and ‘7os, mostly for afghans and baby things.

I gathered all the articles on Hairpin (Maltese) lace and started reading the instructions for each pattern. I found, as I have felt all along, that the lace strip ( referred to as a “gimp”) is easy to make. It’s interesting in and of itself but the beauty of this lace form comes when you start to work the “gimp”. This is where the delicate beauty starts to come out.

Clover's Patchwork Scissors are a must-have for needleworkers.

My first attempts to follow the directions. I used a #10 crochet thread by Handy Hands (Lizbeth) along with a size 4 Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hook and, of course, the Clover Hairpin Lace Tool.

I have tried several of the patterns and have to admit that the woman working this lace during the ’20s MUST have been able to read instructions much better than I. There are different ways to crochet the loops and make medallions and  all produce lace with a delicate beauty of times past … times when women took the time and effort involved in caring for these handmade items since they couldn’t run down to the store and buy some ready-made lace.

Not having a great deal of time to spend on projects I made a book mark.  It was quick and I think turned out nicely.  I would love to master some lace edgings for pillowcases and sheets when I have more time.




Hairpin Lace Tool

# 4 Soft Touch Crochet Hook

# 10 crochet cotton, Brown ( Lizbeth by Handy Hands)

# 10 Crochet cotton, Cream ( Lizbeth by Handy Hands)


Working hairpin lace, following the directions with the Hairpin Lace Maker, work 120 loops on each side of bars. Once made, work as follows:

1.   Holding strip with loops facing up, insert hook into 4 loops, make 8 single crochet (sc) in the center.

Step 2

a.   Repeat to end of row.

2.   Place hook in center of hairpin lace braid and work 10 double crochet (dc). See photo.

3.   Pick up 4 loops and work 8 sc in center.

a.   Repeat to end of row working 10 dc in center of braid, slip stitch in beginning of first 8 sc.  Tie off.

4.   Pin and lightly steam.

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