This blog post about crochet lace is a guest post from Rachel from Desert Blossom Crafts.
Crochet lace is one of my favorite things to design. It is so versatile, intricate, and just beautiful to look at! In this post, I want to walk you through from the basics of lace, to more advanced techniques like designing. First we will cover some commonly used lace stitches, then how to combine those different stitches to create patterns, and finally, some tips for designing your own lace!
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One of the best things about crochet lace is that it looks so beautiful and intricate. However, the secret is—crochet lace is way easier to make than it looks! Now, granted, there are more difficult types of lace that beginners may not be able to do. But when it comes down to it, there are many types of lace that anyone can make—yes, anyone. Even if you know how to make a chain and a double crochet, you can make lace!
Through this post, I hope you will better understand the basics, and also be able to move on to some more difficult stitches. And if you like this post, be sure to visit the follow up post on my own Blog, where you can apply what you’ve learned here and practice making various swatches. Find it at this link.
Related: Why a Gauge Swatch is Important
COMMONLY USED STITCHES
First, let’s walk through some of the basic types of stitches used to create lacy effects.
Shells are by far the most used in crochet lace. Not only are they beautiful, they are also easy for beginners to learn. They use basic stitches—usually double crochets and chains.
Here is a swatch I made of 3-double crochet shells.These shells are very easy to make—simply work 3 dc in one stitch.
The next shell type of shell is also known as a V stitch.
You can make it simply by working (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in one stitch. Let me just tell you now, you will this shell over and over again in patterns. It is highly versatile, and can be used to shape garments easily. To practice this stitch and make the swatch as shown, be sure to visit the follow up post, 4 Types of Crochet Lace For Beginners.
So far not too scary right? I’ve shown you two shell stitches, and both of them have used only chains and double crochet. Please note that there are MANY different types of shells. These two are easy and commonly used.
The next type of lace stitch I will show you is one of my favorites: twisted stitches. These are made by doing a triple crochet around a skipped stitch. They are a little bit more difficult, but still not terribly hard. For the full tutorial on how to do twisted stitches, click here.
Now that you know some basic lace stitches, lets look at an example of them all together in a stitch pattern! There are tons of ways to combine shells, double crochets, chains, and more to create intricate lacy effects. One of my absolute favorites is pineapple lace.
Pineapples are a classic example of a pattern combining different stitches. It uses chain loops, dc, sc, and sometimes shells. By far one of the most well-known types of crochet lace, there are many variations of this stitch.
Pineapple lace is basically made in this way: you begin with a large shell on the bottom. Then, you work chain spaces over the dc of the shell. With each row following, you gradually decrease the chain spaces until only one is left. The final result actually does resemble a pineapple! Here is a sample swatch I made:
Pineapple lace is a classic type of stitch pattern that will never go out of style. Although it was used in vintage crochet lace, it has a timeless beauty that will continue to inspire new designs in the future. Personally, it is one of my favorite types of lace!
DESIGNING YOUR OWN LACE
If you are completely new to crochet lace, I would definitely recommend that you practice doing lace from a pattern before designing. If that’s you, remember to check out my follow up post to practice making the swatches you saw above.
Once you are familiar with some basic types of lace, however, you can easily dive into designing! First of all—do not freak out. Trust me, designing is actually not as hard as it might seem. It took me years to finally start experimenting with stitches to create new effects. And honestly, I’ve often found that the key to coming up with something new is just starting.
I know that sounds simple, but it actually makes sense if you think about it. A lot of crocheters struggle with coming up with new ideas, and so they never even try to design. However, I would encourage you to start even if you can’t think of a good idea. Once you’ve started, you can experiment with different stitches and try various techniques. I usually come up with my best patterns this way! It takes a lot of ripping out, experimenting, and sometimes starting over. But in the end, it’s totally worth it!
Although I would say that experimentation is one of the best ways to create new designs, I know that can sound a little daunting. I will give you a couple tips that I have learned along the way, some things that have helped me immensely. Remember, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, and I would be happy to help you out!
1. Pick a Stitch to Start With
If you don’t feel quite ready to start experimenting randomly, that’s okay. The first thing that I would suggest is picking a starting point. Start with some sort of stitch you already know how to make, and do a swatch. For example, I might decide to start with twisted stitches.
2. Try Alternating Different Stitches
Let’s say you’ve picked a stitch, started a swatch, and done a few rows. What next? One thing I love to do is alternate with rows of different types of stitches, just to see the different effects it will create. Let me give you an example. Here are some pictures of my Honeycomb Kid’s Cowl (FREE pattern!). When I started this design, it not a cowl, it was not yellow, and it looked nothing like a honeycomb stitch. However, I got to this result by combining different stitches.
3. Be Flexible
The last bit of advice I would give to new designers is to just be flexible and ready to change. When I start designing something, many times it turns out completely different than my original idea. Designing is a process; it takes time. It takes ripping your project out a thousand times until it finally looks right. It’s not always easy, but it is worth it. And once you start, you will probably find that ideas start to come more easily.
If you liked learning about some crochet lace tips, check out the follow up post to learn how to put this information into action! Plus, I have a special offer for you! If you would like a surprise lace pattern in ad-free, PDF form, simply subscribe to my email list by filling out the form here. Specify in the message box that you would like your free pattern, and I will send you one perfect for the beginning level.
I want to thank Janne at Joy of Motion Crochet for letting me do this post for her. I had so much fun writing it! For lots crochet inspiration and FREE patterns, visit my blog at http://www.desertblossomcrafts.com. Happy crocheting!