Introduction: Irish Crochet Lace Kanzashi Hairpin À La Ascendance of a Bookworm

About: Textile crafter, just learning to solder

I had just taken a lace flower class when the offspring mentioned that the result reminded her of an anime that she was watching called "Ascendance of a Bookworm." She had me at "bookworm" but when I saw the crochet lace kanzashi (hair ornament) in the show, not to mention the importance of the hair ornaments to the plot, I knew I had to make some.

These flowers are a modification of traditional Irish Crochet Lace techniques learned at a workshop taught by Maire Treanor through The Lace Museum.


  • Size 10 crochet cotton OR size 5 perle cotton in white, yellow and blue
  • 1.5mm crochet hook
  • green felt and matching thread or yarn
  • hair stick
  • drinking straw

Step 1: Starting Ring and Petal Base

  • Take a drinking straw (or pencil, or stick approximately 7mm in diameter) and wind your thread around it 3 times. This is your base ring.
  • Slip stitch into the ring
  • Chain 5. This will be your petal base.
  • Slip stitch into the base ring. Repeat for 5 petals.
  • Attach the last petal chain by slip stitching into the first slip stitch.

Step 2: Make a Petal

  • To make a petal, crochet around the petal base chain, not into the the stitches of the chain.
  • When turning the petal, start the next row with a no chain turn, also known as a foundation turning stitch(FTC).
  • Usually, when turning, you chain up to the correct height then crochet into the next stitch. For a single crochet FTC (or half double), simply crochet into the top of the same stitch.
  • Row 1: single crochet (SC), half double crochet (HDC), 3x double crochet (DC), HDC
  • Row 2: turn, HDC FTC, 3x DC, HDC, SC
  • Row 3: turn, SC FTC, HDC, 2x DC into each of the 3 DC, HDC
  • Row 3 continued: to round out the petal, we need 3 more SC. The first can be into the top of the HDC or below that into the post beneath, the second SC will be into the side of the lowest HDC, and the last will be around the petal base chain beside the rest of Row 1.
  • Slip stitch around the post of the petal chain slip stitch ring anchor to finish the petal.
  • Repeat for 5 petals.
  • Cut your thread and weave in the ends.

Step 3: Assemble the Ornament

  • Make 1 white, 3 blue, and 4 yellow flowers
  • I made my white flower slightly bigger by increasing the size of each stitch (HDC, DC, 3x triple crochet (TC), DC, HDC) and 3x TC into each TC in the top row. It makes very little visual difference and might not be intended from the source.

If you do not have a hair stick of the right size, I used a singleton chopstick for my hair stick. An appropriately sized dowel sharpened and then sanded to shape would also work just as well.

  • Cut 2 circles approx 4.5cm or 1.7inches from your green felt.
  • Using thread to match each flower, sew your flowers to the front circle.
  • Using green thread, sew your hair stick to the back circle. I didn't use any glue, but you might feel differently.
  • Using green thread, sew the 2 circles together.
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