Tool School: Hair Pin Lace Tool

By Steve Butler

What is it? 

If you’re looking for something old that is really new again in the world of crochet then hairpin lace is just the ticket.  Historically called “fork work” or more recently “hairpin crochet”, this is one of those truly unique art forms that comes and goes as each new generation of artists discover it… again.  Each of these new generations, however, contribute new and more creative technique.  Though credit for the creation of this technique is generally ascribed to Katherine of Aragon it was certainly very popular in Victorian times.  For those who are into crochet and want fast results, hairpin lace crochet is the perfect technique.  The variety and creativity enabled by the loom belies the ease and speed with which they are accomplished.  Using Clover’s Hairpin Lace Loom and a crochet hook appropriate to the size yarn being used we can create strips of lace that will later be joined together in any number of ways producing various textures and patterns.  How many?  Well, that’s up to you but considering all of the different weights and textures of modern yarns available combined with your own personal creative index and it’s pretty much unlimited.

Hair Pin Lace Tool
Art. No 3104

What does it do?

Hairpin lace is a technique using a crochet hook and a special loom.  Originally a metal U-shaped hairpin may have been used from which the hairpin lace name probably originates.  Clover’s modern loom, however, consists of two parallel metal rods held at the top and bottom by removable connecting bridges.  These parallel bridges also allow us to easily and precisely adjust the width of our lace to create the desired pattern.  The hairpin lace technique is to crochet around these two vertical rods which are set a specific distance apart by the connecting bridges.  Set the width according to the pattern instructions or by your own creative whim.  As you rotate the loom to add loops you crochet them together in the center.  The result is lace strips of a specific creative design that are subsequently joined together to form our finished project.  The dramatic appearance of hairpin lace is unique and easy to identify.

How do I share it?

Hairpin lace is a beautiful variation on crochet.  Combining a crochet hook and Clover’s Hairpin Lace Loom it is extremely easy and versatile way to create lace and openwork designs.  It’s also fun because it works up so fast and produces such amazing results.  Display several different patterns to show the range of possibility.  Classes are always a must.  A single class is all that will be needed though to spark both the enthusiasm and creative fire of your friends.  It will also create the buzz needed to spread the interest.

Click here for downloadable PDF. 


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