Broomstick Lace – An Old Fashioned Crochet Lace
Broomstick Lace is an old fashioned, traditional, and quick way to make lace. I have also heard it referred to as jiffy lace (probably because its so quick!) and wikipedia says it also goes by peacock eye crochet and lattice lace. Whatever you call it, its one of those cool, funky stitches that many crocheters seem to think is beyond their abilities.
Broomstick Lace is not hard. Its a bit tricky when you are first learning but that is only because you have to find a way to manage:
- the yarn
- a crochet hook
- and a big stick
For my big stick I use a cheap plastic size 35 knitting needle. Its the kind of needle that would be pretty useless for knitting. But it makes a good substitute broomstick.
For the record, I’ve never seen anyone use an actual broomstick (but you certainly could). I’ve seen crocheters uses dowels, the butt end of a Q hook, and even the neck of a wine bottle. Look around your home and I betcha you find something that will work.
FYI, in the video below I’ve got the (substitute) broomstick wedged under one leg and propped up on the other. That’s only so I could demonstrate the technique for the video. Its not how I do it “for real”. When I make broomstick lace, I clamp that big stick between my thighs (yes really), keeping it pointed straight up (yes really) and make pretty, pretty lace with it. My way may not be very dignified but it works! I recommend trying out several ways to anchor your broomstick until you find what works for you.
I hope you give it a try and when you do, remember that its lace. What I mean is, it will look less-than-perfect as it is being made. That is to be expected. All those big loops can get stretched out and crooked. Like all lace, broomstick benefits greatly from blocking.
Some Broomstick Lace Project Ideas
You can chain any number of stitches (a multiple of four or five works best) and make the ubiquitous scarf. Broomstick scarfs are very pretty especially in a self-striping yarn.
The Curry Cuff is a great small project that will get you some practice and you don’t have to commit to making an entire scarf.
If your ready to tackle something bigger, try this Broomstick Lace Stole.
I just have to add that Kim Guzman, one of my favorite crochet designers, has a variation on the traditional broomstick lace. Its pretty spiffy. You can try out her technique with the Friendship Shawl.
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