Hair Pin Lace Tool Review and Giveaway with the Underground Crafter

Hairpin Lace, the Crochet Speciality of the Month for May, 2015 on Underground CrafterWelcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.

As part of this month’s focus on hairpin lace, I’m sharing a review of my favorite hairpin lace loom along with a giveaway sponsored by Clover USA!

Read on for your chance to win one of two Clover Hair Pin Lace Tools!

Clover Hair Pin Lace Tool in the package. Image (c) Clover.

I reached out to the nice folks at Clover because I really love their Hair Pin Lace Tool (also known as a hairpin lace loom).

The tool comes with 3 pins, though I’ve only ever used 2. I love the sturdy construction of the clips, and the clip holes, which allow you to anchor the tail of your yarn.

The top clip is very stable and keeps your loops on the tool when you're doing hairpin lace on the go. The whole.

Although the tool is a bit pricier than other looms (it retails at $17), it is definitely worth the price.

The top and bottom clips are sturdy and can help keep your loops from sliding off when you put down your project.

The clip hole is a great anchor for the yarn tail so that when you start your hairpin lace project, you don’t have to worry about it moving around as much.

Another great feature is the eyelet at the bottom of the pins. You can thread another color of yarn through that eyelet, and when you are crocheting a long hairpin lace strip, the other color of yarn can serve as a stitch holder. This will help to prevent your strips from twisting when it’s off the loom.

There is also a small guide included in the package, which provides basic illustrated instructions for using the loom to create hairpin lace with 2 or 3 pins, as well as how to combine strips. The guide is available in English, French, Spanish, and German.

If you’re new to hairpin lace, why not pick up a Clover Hair Pin Lace Tool (Art No. 3104) and check out my roundup of free tutorials here? It’s actually pretty fun once you get started, and you can create some stunning projects!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win one of two Clover Hair Pin Lace Tools (Art No. 3104) , courtesy of Clover USA. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, May 26, 2015!

Use the Rafflecopter entry on the Underground Crafters blog:

Enter Giveaway Here!

Tool School with Steve Butler, Jumbo Amour Crochet Hooks

Jumbo Amour

What is it? -There was a time when almost all of the gals and some of us guys grew up learning how to crochet from our moms or grandmothers.  It was a necessary skill that seemed to play out as life became more fast-paced.  All of a sudden it was more economical to  purchase finished goods than to buy materials and devote the time required to complete a project. Times have changed and creativity is making a comeback. Crochet now goes to places where grandma never imagined.  And what takes us there?  Technology takes us there.  New materials and an unending selection of resources.  Manufactures now produce yarns in every shade of the rainbow and in unlimited styles and textures.  Add to that the creative influence of internet resources and the possibilities are boundless.   Bulky yarns are in.  So is combining yarns.  But heavier yarns require larger crochet hooks.  To accommodate these new techniques Clover has developed a line of new Jumbo Amour Crochet Hooks.  Afghans, scarves, hats are all fast, easy and creatively you.
 What does it do? – Jumbo Amour Crochet Hooks are not just the XL of crochet hooks.  Clover has gone the extra mile in research and development to ensure that the Jumbo Amour Crochet Hooks will contribute to your crochet creativity well into the future.

  • The handles are soft and ergonomically designed to provide hours of comfortable, stress free manipulation.  The hooks are also very light so your stitches are smooth and fast.
  • The plastic hooks are seam free so your delicate yarns will never snag.  Your fine materials will slide smoothly and easily over the surface.
  • The neck between the handle and the taper to the hook is extended to allow you to pick up multiple loops, all with consistent diameter.  Your project lies flat and you get the shape you intended.  The hook design works for you, not against you.
  • Jumbo Amour Crochet Hooks are available in 5 sizes to meet your every need – 6.5 mm, 7 mm, 8 mm, 9 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm, and 15 mm.

Watch Tool School here!!!

Need inspiration? Visit our website under “Project Sheets” to get free projects!!!


Mini Beading Loom Woven Ring by Carol Porter


We’ve had a lot of fun learning what can be done on this mighty little loom.  One evening my son Jon and I were talking about how to create a ring on the loom.  Here is how we figured out how to make the ring.

We needed the warp to be stretchy, but realized the weft could be done with the regular 100% polyester thread.  A great bead design and we were ready to weave!

Beading 1


Mini Bead Weaving Loom  Clover Art No.

0.5 mm clear stretchy cord

100% polyester thread gray

Beads 11/0 cylinder (see Bead Placement Chart for colors)


Bead Placement Chart


  1. The number of beads in this design is 8 so we will need 9 warps.
  2. String 9 warps on the loom (follow package instructions for warping).

Beading 2

3.Tie the weft thread on the leftmost warp. Pass the beading needle under the warp.

Beading 3

4. Use the darning needle to hold the warps up. Pick up the entire first row of the bead pattern and position one bead between each warp.  Remove the darning needle and push the warps toward the loom back.  Pass the eye of the needle through the beads on top of the warp.

Beading 4

5.Continue weaving the design until the piece measures 2”.

6.Tie the weft thread off on the leftmost warp.

Beading 5

7. Remove the piece from the loom.

Beading 6

8. Hide the warp threads by following the package instructions.

Note:  Since the warp threads are stretchy they are slightly harder to pull.  Just make sure you hold the body of the piece flat as you pull.

Beading 7

There should be only four threads left to hide when you finish pulling,… the beginning and ending wefts and two long warps.

Beading 8

9. Hide the weft threads as directed.

10. I use the warp threads to join the piece into a circle for the ring. Thread the stretchy cord in to a beading needle, then run it through the first bead on one side and pick up the second bead on the opposite end (this makes a ladder stitch).

11. When you get to the end of the seam hide the warp thread as normal.

12. Pick up the last warp thread and make the ladder stitch again going back the other way. Hide the warp thread.

You have just made a seamless join and are ready to try on the ring!

Beading 10Beading 11

Note: This ring can be made smaller by reducing the number of rows and by pulling a little tighter on the warps as you are closing the rows off.  Puckering may happen, but that’s normal…it will stretch out for a proper fit.

Are you looking for more Mini Beading Loom inspiration? Visit our website here, under project sheets and get a Mini Beading Loom Accessories project sheet for free!!

Beading loom PS Cover

Takumi Tuesday: Sea Breeze Bag Hack!


You know that old adage, “It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind?” Well, the same thing holds true for knitters (and crocheters!) We can find a project pattern we like, but then decide to adjust the finished size, the yarn type, or as in the case with today’s Sea Breeze Bag hack, completely change the gauge. With the help of a little math, the will to swatch, and by swapping out embellishments you’ll find that accessory patterns (which translate easier than garments, because fit isn’t as important) can often be used as a basic outline for your own interpretation of a project. This makes a few, core patterns and yarns  in your personal library interchangeable resulting in a plethora of finished product possibilities! Let me explain.

Starting with a great pattern, like this bag designed by Bernat’s Svetlana Avrakh, examine the existing pattern for suggested materials. This bag required a worsted-weight cotton, and size 8 (5 mm) needles. I love the look of the original bag, but am really digging the “big knits” trend right now, and thought that the drop stitch pattern of the project would lend itself well to the rope-y look of a bulkier yarn. I also wanted my bag to be a bit larger than originally written (I have 3 kids, so on a trip to the pool our towels alone would fill-up the smaller version.) I decided on the approximate width I wanted (22″/55 cm), worked up a swatch in bulky yarn and, using my Takumi Bamboo needles, figured out how many stitches per inch/cm are achieved. I multiplied that number (which happened to be 2 sts per inch/5 cm ) by my desired measurement (22″/55 cm), and came up with an approximate, cast-on number (44 sts.) Lastly, I double-checked for repeats in the pattern, and noticed that the decreases at the end require multiples of 5. I rounded up to accommodate that, and came up with my actual cast-on amount (45 sts.)


PRO TIP #1: Takumi Bamboo Interchangeable Circular Needles & Case make experimenting with different weights of yarn, quick and easy!

From there all of my adjustments were purely aesthetic. I wanted the color of the lining to be visible from both the inside and outside of the bag, so I doubled it (see below.) I also love metallics, so opted for silver vinyl straps instead of twisted yarn. That’s really it. Just have fun, and know that just because instructions are written, that doesn’t mean they are done so in stone. Play a little. You may make some mistakes along the way, but you’ll probably learn something and might even discover a design feature that’s truly and uniquely YOU. Now, let’s get knitting!

Bag Hack Instructions

Approx 300 yds. durable, super bulky yarn (I used, Bernat Softee Chunky)
Size U.S. 11 (8mm), Takumi Bamboo Circular Needles (The cord helps hold the weight of the bulkier yarn!)
Super Jumbo Tapestry Needle
2, 32″/81.5 cm pieces, vinyl strapping
Sewing machine & coordinating thread
1 yd fabric
Sewing needle
Straight pins
Craft paper & pen


Approx 22.5″/57 cm wide

Back and Front (make alike):
With MC, cast on 45 sts .
Knit 5 rows.

Proceed in Drop St Pat as follows:

1st-6th Rows: Knit.

7th row: *K1, wrapping yarn around needle 3 times. Rep from * to end of row. 8th row: *Knit, dropping extra loops. Rep from * to end of row.

These 8 rows form Drop St Pat. Cont in pat until work from beg measures approx 19” [48 cm], ending on a 7th row.

Next row: (Dec row). *[K5tog, dropping extra loops of each st], 6 times. –15 sts rem.

Cast off.

*NOTE: I found it was easier to sl the k sts to the RH needle, drop any wrapped sts off the LH needle, then k5tog (through the back loop) on the RH needle. Whatever gets the job done for you, though is great!


PRO TIP #2: Wonder Clips work great for holding knit pieces together while you do seam work!

Using a tapestry needle and yarn, sew sides and bottom of Front and Back together.

Make lining (optional):

  • Trace around bag onto craft paper, adding about a 1/2″/1 cm allowance; cut out.
  • Cut 4, bag shapes out of fabric.


  • With RS facing, and using approx 1/2″/1 cm seam allowance, seam together sides and bottom. Repeat for remaining two pieces.
  • With RS facing, pin together and sew tops of both lining pieces together, leaving an opening for turning.
  • Clip curved edges with scissors; press seams.
  • Turn linings RS out, so one is inside the other; top seam around perimeter of lining, closing turning gap.
  • Hand sew lining to bag.

Machine sew handle ends to top knit rows of Front bag, 5 1/2″/14 cm in from side seams. Repeat for Back piece.


You’re done! Now you have a bulky, go-to bag for all of your summer needs!

Can’t get enough of bag knitting? Join me in June for THREE, Yarnspirations‘ beach bag knit-alongs. Keep your eyes peeled on Facebook for details to come!

Happy, #TakumiTuesday!

Yarn Arts Ambassador, Clover

Flex ‘n Bodkins Project Sheet with Nancy Zieman

Cover Bodkin_Cover

Enjoy this free project sheet featuring Nancy Zieman’s new Bodkins, items will be available for purchase the beginning of June.

Want to print the project sheet? No problem download it here, under project sheets.

Nancy created this project sheet to show you the many uses of her new bodkins. You can see them in action at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis at Clover’s booth # 2301!!!


My excitement has been building as I’ve awaited the launch of Clover’s new bodkin tools. The wait is now over! I’m pleased to introduce to you the Flex ‘n Glide Bodkin, the Clip ‘n Glide Bodkin, and the Elastic Lock Set! Three useful new sewing notions that work well independently or together.

Flex ‘n Glide Bodkin

The Flex ‘n Glide Bodkin is a long flexible bodkin featuring an elongated “eye” with grippers. The elongated eye accommodates ribbons and trims up to 1-1/2″ wide. The “grippers” hold trims and elastic in place while pulling through the casing. The handy length and flexibility allow for a smooth passage—even along curves.


Clip ‘n Glide Bodkin

The Clip ‘n Glide Bodkin is my new go-to bodkin for casings that are 3/4″ and larger. The clip provides a firm hold on elastic, ribbon, trims, and cording, for pulling through casings with ease. The exceptional flexibility ensures a smooth passage along straight and curvy areas.


Elastic Lock Set

The Elastic Lock Set includes the Elastic Lock and Flexible Bodkin. The Elastic Lock firmly holds elastic or trim ends and prevents the end from slipping into the casing. The Elastic Lock is also ideal for securing multiple rows of elastic. The flexible bodkin features a 1″ eye with grippers.



Super-Quick Circle Skirt

Here’s a super-quick circle skirt project to showcase just one of the many uses of Clover’s new Clip ‘n Glide Bodkin and Elastic Lock.


For this project, we’ve selected McCall’s pattern M6994 and a textured knit fabric.


  • Stitch front and back, right sides together, at side seams using your serger or your conventional sewing machine set for a wobble stitch. A wobble stitch is a narrow zigzag (.5 width and 2.5 length) stitch. This ever-so-slight zigzag provides a little stretch in the seam while looking like a straight seam from the right side.


  • Pin waistband sections, right sides together.


  • Stitch sides with a wobble stitch, leaving a 1-1/2″ opening at one side.


  • Press seams open.


  • Fold waistband, wrong sides together, and pin or baste.


  • Pin waistband to skirt, right sides together, and stitch.


  • Insert one end of the elastic into Clover’s Clip ‘n Glide Bodkin.Clip the Elastic Lock to the opposite end of the elastic.


  • Pull elastic through the casing using the pointed end of the bodkin.


Note from Nancy: Create a bulk-free elastic seam by zigzagging elastic ends to a swatch of firmly woven fabric. Cut away extra fabric.


  • Hem skirt using your favorite method. Or for a more casual look, no hem is needed if the fabric is a knit. If you’ve serged the seams, be sure to pull the serger tails into the seam and add a drop of seam sealant. 


Thank you Nancy for this great project sheet!!!

Sewing and Quilting Items for Spring!!!

See what’s new for Spring!!!  Clover is excited to introduce items in the sewing and quilting category. Come see these items in action at booth # 2301 at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis on May 15-17, 2015. We look forward to seeing you there!!


Flex ‘n Glide Bodkins Art No. 9581 
The Flex n Glide Bodkins by Nancy Zieman are long, flexible bodkins that will swiftly pull elastic or ribbons through casing. Two available in each package.
Clip ‘n Glide Bodkins Art No. 9582 
The Clip n Glide Bodkin by Nancy Zieman is along flexible bodkin that allows sewers/crafters to easily pull elastic through casing. The clip keeps a firm hold on elastic ends.
Elastic Lock Set Art No. 9583
The Elastic Lock Set by Nancy Zieman keeps elastic ends from slipping into the casing while easily gliding the beginning of the elastic through the casing.

6-in-1 Stick ‘n Stitch Guide Art No. 9584
The 6-in-1 Stick ‘n Stitch Guide by nancy Zieman is a two-piece interlocking guide with ideal shapes and edges for perfect stitching. It features a reusable and re-positionable adhesive guide on the underside for easy adjustment. Perfect for straight stitching strips, and curve stitching.

Jumbo Wonder Clips (12pc.) Art No. 3186
Great holding capacity for many crafts.
Guide scale located on the base of
Wonder Clip for ease of measurement.
Iron Shine Cleaning Pen Art No. 7810
Clover’s Iron Shine Cleaning Pen from the Press Perfect line by Joan Hawley is innovative across the board. The pen style applicator, scrubby tip and water-soluble cleaning fluid are a new approach to easily maintaining a clean iron with no mess or harsh fumes. The Iron Shine allows controlling what is cleaned; the user can see what they are doing, clean the whole iron or spot clean, safely work with the iron off. It’s safe for metal or coated sole plates and good for multiple cleanings.