Introduction: Hairpin Lace Crochet a Cozy Baby Blanket

While roaming through instructables looking for inspiration that hasn't been explained yet, I came across an instructable called "Hairpin lace loom" I wondered about the teaser image since the loom looked like two pins and two rectangular boards.

I started reading, still wondering what hairpin lace loom should mean, but unfortunately I only got an instruction about creating the loom, but not how to use it and what to create with this.

Since I'm not a native speaker, I knew the single words, but I had no clue what it describes and even using wikipedia to translate it to german "Gabelhäkelei" (~fork crocheting) didn't help. I had never heard of it. So I continued looking for it in the world wide web and found some pictures of finished projects and instructions how to hairpin lace crochet. I was curious and I wanted to give it a try and I urgently needed a hairpin lace loom. But it was Saturday night and I didn't have a flip flop spare pair to follow the mentioned instructable.

My first "loom" was very wobbly, build out of 2 triangular cardboard, some foam and 2 bbq skewers, but got me an impression about the technique and my second loom was already working for the longer car drive we did the next Sunday morning.

Let me say it like this: I was hooked. Hooked for a technique that I have never heard about until 18 hours ago…

It is very meditating but you are still able to have a conversation while doing it.

Since I had only 3 ball of wools availabe, I decided to make a smaller one for my baby's day bed. The final size of the blanket is around 50x45cm.

So create your own hairpin lace loom, start crocheting and enjoy your first hairpin crocheting mini blanket.

You can find my first two attempts of looms at the end of this instructable and the second two at the beginning, since both work very fine and depending on your options you could go for the wooden one or the 3D printed one.

Step 1: Material and Tools

You need:

  • 2 double-pointed knitting needles (I used 4mm)
  • 1 crochet hook depending on your wool
  • Wool, I used 3 balls of merino 50g (1.75oz) = 105m (115yds)

For wooden version

  • 240mm rectangular wood stick (I used 23x23mm, but I recommend something like 15x25mm)
  • 2,5mm drill
  • 3,5 mm drill
  • 4 mm drill
  • countersink
  • Drill press or hand held
  • Sandpaper
  • Saw

For 3D printed version

  • 3D printer access
  • attached file
  • TinkerCAD (if you want to adjust the knitting needle size)

For very fast not so durable version

  • 140x60mm Foam core 5mm
  • glue
  • rubber bands

Step 2: Building a Wooden Loom

Depending on your knitting needle size you need to adjust the sizes of your drill bits.

  1. Cut your wooden stick to two 120mm long pieces
  2. Mark the holes every 2 cm with 1 cm distance to the ends of the stick
  3. Mark your drills to the depth you want to drill. You can also set your drill press to the specific depth, but if you use a normal drill you need to mark the drill bit. You need different depth, since we want to create a "conical" hole so that the end of the knitting needle can get jammed into the wood and doesn't move during your crocheting.
  4. The 2,5mm drill bit doesn't need to be marked, since you drill through the wood piece.
  5. Mark the 3,5mm drill bit at 15mm.
  6. Mark the 4mm drill bit at 10mm.
  7. Drill the holes along the marking.
  8. If you want you can clean the edges of the the holes with a countersink.
  9. Sand the edges.

Set in your knitting needles and you're done.

Step 3: Building a 3D Printed Loom

If you have 4mm knitting needles you can just use the .stl file attached and print it 2 times so you have the frame.

If you don't have or don't want to use 4mm knitting needles you can follow the steps and create your own fitting loom frame in TinkerCAD. I recorded my way in TinkerCAD for you, so you can use the video as a guide line.

I'm very new to 3D printing and designing in 3D (and also to desktop recording and video editing :-) ), so there might be better or faster options to create this object, but the following steps worked well for me, so feel free to follow or use it to find your own way :-)

  1. Set snap grid to 0.5mm and add a ruler to your workplane.
  2. Create a cylinder with diameter of 4mm (or your needed size) and height of 15mm.
  3. Create a rectangular box with WxLxH 4x100x15mm
  4. Dublicate 4mm cylinder and align all three shapes that the box is in the middle and hits the cylinder in their diameter.
  5. Dublicate the whole shape and change the diameter and the width from 4 to 7mm ( or your needed size +3mm), then align again.
  6. Combine both groups of shapes separately, change the shape with 4mm to hole setting and align both shape to their middle, then group. Now you have the frame for the needle holder.
  7. Create a big cylinder with 7mm and 15mm height.
  8. Create a cone with base diameter of 2,5mm and top diameter of 4mm and a hight of 10mm
  9. Create a small cylinder with 4mm diameter and 5mm height, crop cylinder with strg+x.
  10. Set a new workplane on top of the cone. Insert small cylinder with strg+v on new workplane.
  11. Align the cone and the small cylinder, then group them and change habit into hole.
  12. Align big cylinder with the hole shape to create a tube with and conical behaviour.
  13. Set the tube to the ruler and dublicate 6 times with a distance of 20mm from middle point of each tube.
  14. Aling the frame with the six tubes and group them.
  15. Export as .stl and you are done with the computer work.

Now you only need to 3D print them in your favorite color :-)

Step 4: How to Hairpin Lace Crochet

You basically create a single chain stitch, set it to the loom and then flip the loom counterclockwise and create the next stitch. So you turn the yarn around the loom and every round will be secured with a crochet stitch. You repeat until you have 100 loops on each side of the loom.

I found out that it is really handy if you pull a guiding yarn through your loops after a few rounds, so your loops can't tangle.

Further on I grouped every 20 loops so I only have to count them once and can be sure that you didn't miss any or have to much loops.

Step 5: Finish the Edges

Use always two loops to chain along the edge.

When you reach the end, grab the tail and secure it with 2 chain stitches.

Please have a look at the images, with pictures it is much easier to understand.

Step 6: Adding Tassels

Take your leftover yarn and wrap it around your open hand to create wool circles.

  1. Cut to create wool pieces with a length of around 13cm (~5in).
  2. Fold in half and pull through the end of one loop line.
  3. Continue until all end knots and inbetweens have a tassel.
  4. Trim with scissors if your wool isn't all the same lenght.

Congratulatulations, you are done :-)

Step 7: Enjoy Your Finished Blanket

It is really cozy and fluffy. I am really happy how it turned out, especially because this whole technique was totally new for me.

I think it is more a light blanket for intermediate cold days when the baby fall asleep in his bed and I would like to cover it. The final size of the blanket is around 50x45cm.

Step 8: First Attempts of Hairpin Lace Looms - Worked, But Not Very Comfortable

The very first "loom" was made out of cardboard, foam, tesafilm and to bbq sticks.

It worked, but it was totally wobbly and uncomfortable.

The next attempt was made out of foam core and it worked, but after 5 or 6 lines it started to become lightly wobbly too. I assume that it wore out and the friction between foam core and needles was not enough anymore. If you would like to create a fast loom, I suggest that you double the layers of foam core.

  1. Cut 8x 12x1,5cm foam core
  2. Glue together 4 pieces, then repeat with the other pieces.
  3. Stick in the needles.
  4. Locate the needles with the rubber bands.
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