Book Review & Giveaway: Doris Chan’s Crochet Lace Innovations

Hairpin Lace, the Crochet Speciality of the Month for May, 2015 on Underground Crafter

Welcome 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 Doris Chan‘s Crochet Lace Innovations: 20 Dazzling Designs in Broomstick, Hairpin, Tunisian, and Exploded Lace, along with a giveaway sponsored by Potter Craft/The Crown Publishing Group!

This post contains affiliate links.

Book Review

Crochet Lace Innovations by Doris Chan - book review and giveaway on Underground Crafter

Doris Chan is well known for her flirty crochet garments and her focus on lace. Crochet Lace Innovations, first published in 2010, is a pattern book that explores three specialized crochet techniques (broomstick lace, hairpin lace, and Tunisian crochet) along with what Doris calls “exploded lace” (crocheting lace patterns similar to what you would see in thread in yarns with a larger hook for a better drape).

The book opens with an introduction where Doris shares her passion for crochet. This is followed by a How to Use This Book page.

The next 3 sections, Broomstick Lace, Hairpin Lace, and Tunisian Lace, include an overview of the crochet lace technique along with a written and illustrated tutorial and a list of tips for success. The next 3 sections focus on variations of exploded lace: Exploded Motifs, Exploded Doily Lace, and Exploded Lace Trim. The book closes with a section called Garment 101, where Doris shares detailed annotated patterns for Jacket 101 and Skirt 101. Finally, there is a resources section which includes a guide to crochet stitch symbols and abbreviations, and links to yarns, tools, and crochet websites.

  • Skill level: This book is geared towards an intermediate to advanced crocheter. There are 8 easy patterns, 6 intermediate patterns, and 7 experienced patterns.
  • Techniques: There are 3 broomstick lace patterns, 3 hairpin lace patterns, 4 Tunisian crochet patterns, and 11 exploded lace patterns.
  • Project types: There are 8 top patterns (including jackets, vests, sleeved tops, and a poncho), 4 skirt patterns, 4 wraps/stoles/scarves, 2 belts, 1 dress, and 1 collar.

What I like about this book:

  • Doris has a conversational style but isn’t too chatty.
  • The designs are striking and the photos make you want to pick up your hook and start crocheting!
  • There are schematics including for the garments and there are stitch symbols for most patterns in addition to US pattern abbreviations.
  • This book allows you to explore several different crochet techniques while making women’s garments and accessories.

Some challenges about this book:

  • A true beginner to some of the special techniques may find the illustrations difficult to use as a primary learning resource. Luckily, there are many online tutorials for broomstick lace (you can find a roundup here), hairpin lace (a beginner’s roundup here), and Tunisian crochet.
  • There isn’t much discussion about under layering. It would be great if Doris would have shared more ideas about how to layer to wear these designs in real life.
  • Like all mostly pattern books, your enjoyment will be based on how many of the patterns you want to make. Check out the Ravelry source page for the book here to see thumbnails of all designs included in the book.

Overall, I would recommend this book to an intermediate to advanced crocheter (or an adventurous, confident, and patient beginner!) who enjoys crocheted women’s garments and accessories. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Giveaway

So, has this review left you itching for your own copy of Crochet Lace Innovations? To enter, visit the Ravelry source page here and leave a comment letting me know which pattern you would crochet first. This giveaway is open to U.S. readers only. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, June 2, 2015! Please note that only entries in the Rafflecopter widget will be counted, so be sure to log your entries there.

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Full disclosure: A review copy and giveaway copy of Crochet Lace Innovations were provided by Potter Craft/The Crown Publishing Group. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

Clover Hair Pin Lace Tool Review and Giveaway!

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!

This post contains affiliate links.

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.
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).

Craftsy

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.
The top and bottom clips are very stable and keep your loops on the tool when you’re doing hairpin lace on the go. The clip hole anchors your yarn.

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 about it moving around as much.

Crocheting in Circles

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 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!

9.95 sub price

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win one of two Clover Hair Pin Lace Tools, 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! Please note that only entries in the Rafflecopter widget will be counted, so be sure to log your entries there.

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Mini interview with Tammy Hildebrand

Hairpin Lace, the Crochet Speciality of the Month for May, 2015 on Underground Crafter
Welcome 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 mini interview today with Tammy Hildebrand from Hot Lava Crochet. Tammy is a crochet designer, author, teacher, and blogger. She’s also the current Vice President of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA)

This post contains affiliate links.

You can find Tammy online at the Hot Lava Crochet blog, and on Craftsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Ravelry, and Twitter.  (By the way, May 18 just happens to be Tammy’s birthday, so don’t forget to wish her Happy Birthday on social media!) After reclaiming her health 22 months ago using a nutritional cleanse program after 7 years of illness,Tammy is also a health and wellness coach. You can find her health and wellness Facebook page here

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tammy before here as part of her blog tour for Crochet Wraps Every Which Way, and you can find more details about her background there. Today, we’re all focused on hairpin lace, one of Tammy’s favorite techniques. All images are used with permission and are copyright Tammy Hildebrand unless otherwise noted.

Tammy Hildebrand, wearing her Celebration 2015 Hat, a free crochet pattern.
Tammy Hildebrand, wearing her Celebration 2015 Hat, a free crochet pattern.

Underground Crafter (UC): You have several designs featuring the hairpin lace technique. How did you first learn about hairpin lace? 

Tammy: A number of years ago I attended a Stitches West show to work in the CGOA booth. Jennifer Hansen (Stitch Diva) was giving a demonstration of hairpin lace on the show floor. She is such an amazing teacher and made it so easy that I picked it right up and loved it immediately. 

3 hairpin lace designs from Tammy's book, Crochet Wraps Every Which Way. Left: Irish Jig. Top right: You Are My Sunshine. Bottom right: Shimmering Pearls Wrap.
3 hairpin lace designs from Tammy’s book, Crochet Wraps Every Which Way. Left: Irish Jig. Top right: You Are My Sunshine. Bottom right: Shimmering Pearls Wrap.

UC: What do you enjoy about designing with hairpin lace? 

Tammy: I love how quickly it works up and it is very methodical and relaxing. Plus the end result is beautiful!

Hairpin Lace Vest, free crochet pattern by Tammy Hildebrand. Image (c) Red Heart Yarn.
Hairpin Lace Vest, free crochet pattern by Tammy Hildebrand. Image (c) Red Heart Yarn.

UC: Do you have a preferred loom or other specialty tools for hairpin lace? 

Tammy: I do! Jennifer sells a handcrafted Walnut frame on her site that is the best loom I’ve ever used. It adjusts to more sizes than the typical metal and plastic looms and it is much sturdier. 

Abstract Treasures Shawl, crochet pattern by Tammy Hildebrand for sale on Craftsy.
Abstract Treasures Shawl, crochet pattern by Tammy Hildebrand for sale on Craftsy.

UC: Are there any crochet websites or blogs that you frequent for inspiration or community?

Tammy: Well, obviously Stitch Diva! Ha, Ha. I also love to search for inspiration on Pinterest.

Amelia Broomstick Lace Long Vest, crochet pattern by Tammy Hildebrand for sale on Craftsy.
Amelia Broomstick Lace Long Vest, crochet pattern by Tammy Hildebrand for sale on Craftsy.

UC: Do you have any new or upcoming projects you’d like to share?

Tammy: I will have a design in the upcoming issue of Interweave Crochet that I am rather proud of. It is unlike anything I have ever done before and it was a bit challenging but very rewarding!

Tammy, thank you for sharing your love of hairpin lace with us! We’re looking forward to seeing that upcoming pattern!

If you love these patterns, you may enjoy my Crochet Lace Board on Pinterest.

Follow Underground Crafter’s board Crochet Lace on Pinterest.

May, 2015 Crochet Speciality of the Month: Hairpin Lace

Hairpin Lace, the Crochet Speciality of the Month for May, 2015 on Underground Crafter
Welcome 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.

This post contains affiliate links.

I can’t remember when I first heard about hairpin lace, but my first official introduction to actually trying it was back in 2011-2012 when I was blogging my way through the book, Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters.

Crochet Master Class
Hairpin lace seemed the most daunting of any from the book. I actually tried several tutorials unsuccessfully before finally learning how to make a hairpin lace strip. Once I actually “got it,” I realized that hairpin lace is actually deceptively simple. (Maybe I was overthinking it!)

My very first hairpin lace crochet project from 2012!
My very first completed hairpin lace crochet project, the Hairpin Lace Coaster by Ferosa Harold!

Craftsy

So, what is hairpin lace anyway?

Hairpin lace is a crochet technique where you form loops with the aid of an object alternatively called a hairpin lace “loom” or “tool” by different manufacturers. Yarn is wrapped around the loom and then secured as a “strip” of loops with single crochet. Once the strip is the desired length, it is removed from the loom and can be joined to other strips or crocheted to the rest of your project.

Hairpin lace got its name because apparently, back in the day, U-shaped hairpins were used as the loom.

Learn to Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick & Bruges Class DVDWhat’s special about hairpin lace?

To make hairpin lace, you only need to know single crochet and have access to a hairpin lace loom, but it creates very complex looking projects. (Basically, you will impress everyone with your hairpin lace!)

Hairpin lace also allows you to make very open work designs.

A Clover hairpin lace loom with active stitches on it.
A Clover Hair Pin Lace Tool with active stitches on it.

To see more examples of hairpin lace, check out my growing Hairpin Lace Crochet Pinterest board!

Follow Underground Crafter’s board Hairpin Lace Crochet on Pinterest.

Free Hairpin Lace Crochet Tutorials for Beginners Roundup

If you’d like to try out hairpin lace, here four free tutorials to get you started!

Give or Get Creativebug this Mothers Day

  • I learned hairpin lace through the Hairpin Lace Coaster pattern and tutorial by Ferosa Harold. The pattern includes a photo tutorial for both righties and lefties. I like this tutorial because the project is small and easy to complete so you can quickly master the technique.
  • My favorite hairpin lace loom is the Clover Hair Pin Lace Tool. (Spoiler alert: I’ll be sharing a giveaway for this great device in a few weeks!). You can watch the Clover video tutorial for using their tool here.
  • Jennifer Hansen is well known for her hairpin lace designs, and here is her video tutorial for making a basic hairpin lace strip.
  • Red Heart Yarns has a hairpin lace video tutorial featuring the Susan Bates Hairpin Lace Loom.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I’ll be back later this month to share more hairpin lace crochet fun, including 3 great giveaways!

Have you tried hairpin lace crochet? If not, do you plan to try it now?

Broomstick Lace Crochet Pattern Roundup

Roundup: 30 broomstick lace crochet patterns, including 20+ free patterns

This post contains affiliate links.

I’m wrapping up this month’s series on broomstick lace with a roundup of over 30 great broomstick lace patterns, including more than 20 free patterns. If you’re new to broomstick lace, don’t forget to check out my roundup of free beginner broomstick lace tutorials here.

All patterns are free unless otherwise noted. All photos are used with permission and are copyright the respective designer unless otherwise noted.

Quadrilateral, a broomstick lace shawl, free crochet pattern and step-by-step photo tutorial by Underground Crafter.
Quadrilateral, a broomstick lace shawl, free crochet pattern and step-by-step photo tutorial by Underground Crafter.

Quadrilateral, a broomstick lace shawl by Marie Segares (me!): I get so many compliments on this shawl whenever I wear it, and I’m sure you will, too! As an added bonus, if you’re new to broomstick lace, it includes a step-by-step photo tutorial.

Glamour Broomstick Lace Jacket, crochet pattern by Glamour 4 You (for sale).
Glamour Broomstick Lace Jacket, crochet pattern by Glamour 4 You (for sale).

Glamour Broomstick Lace Jacket by Glamour 4 You/@Glamour4You: This for sale pattern creates a stunning garment with fabulous button detailing.

Broomstick Lace Capelet, crocet pattern by Rachel Choi/Crochet Spot (for sale).
Broomstick Lace Capelet, crocet pattern by Rachel Choi/Crochet Spot (for sale).

Broomstick Lace Capelet by Rachel Choi/@CrochetSpot: Broomstick lace makes a light and airy capelet. This for sale pattern is crocheted in the round.

Chica Mala, broomstick lace crochet pattern by Tammy Hildebrand published in Crochet Wraps Every Which Way.
Chica Mala, broomstick lace crochet pattern by Tammy Hildebrand published in Crochet Wraps Every Which Way.

Chica Mala Shawl by Tammy Hildebrand/@HotLavaCrochet: This is just one of several stunning shawls using broomstick lace that are included in the Crochet Wraps Every Which Way: 18 Original Patterns in 6 Techniques. You can read my review of the book here and my interview with Tammy here.

Peacock Lace Beanie, broomstick lace crochet pattern by Crystalized Designs (for sale).
Peacock Lace Beanie, broomstick lace crochet pattern by Crystalized Designs (for sale).

Peacock Lace Beanie by Crystalized Designs/@CrystalizedForU: This for sale hat pattern includes instructions for making a slouchy version, too. If you love Crystal’s designs but want to try a free pattern first, check out her Broomstick Lace Scarf. You can read more about Crystal and her love of broomstick lace in this interview.

Broomstick Offset Shawlette by Michelle Arellano/@daintyloopsThis for sale pattern for a triangular broomstick lace shawl with fringe is very fashion forward!

Ocean Vista Dress by Andrea Graciarena/@AGmode: This stunning dress uses Tunisian crochet and broomstick lace!

Watercolour Whisper Pullover, broomstick lace crochet pattern by Angela Best (for sale).
Watercolour Whisper Pullover, broomstick lace crochet pattern by Angela Best (for sale).

Watercolour Whisper Pullover by Angela Best: This for sale airy pullover pattern has delightful broomstick lace details on the collar and sleeves!

Broomstick Lace Clutch by Julie Oparka/@RedBerryCrochet: This pattern originally appeared in Crochet-opedia: The Only Crochet Reference You’ll Ever Need.

Cozy Crimson Hat and Neckwarmer by DROPS Design/@Garnstudio: This slouchy hat and cozy cowl make a great set!

Take your broomstick lace to the next level with Craftsy’s Beyond Basic Broomstick Lace Class!

Broomstick Lace Crochet Shell by Doris Chan / @dorisjchan on @LionBrandYarn: This delicate tank would be a great summer project!

Ember Scarf Heidi Nieling
Ember Scarf, a broomstick lace crochet pattern by Heidi Nieling (for sale).

Ember Scarf by Heidi Nieling / @Speckless: I love the unique shape of this tassled broomstick lace scarf (for sale).

Baby in Bloom Sweater, free broomstick lace crochet pattern by Tamara Kelly.
Baby in Bloom Sweater, free broomstick lace crochet pattern by Tamara Kelly.

Baby in Bloom Sweater by Tamara Kelly / @mooglyblog: This adorable pattern is available in 3 sizes (0-3 months, 6-9 months, and 12 months) and includes a link to a video tutorial. There’s also a matching Baby in Bloom Bonnet pattern! You can find my interview with Tamara here.

Broomstick Lace Infinity Scarf, free crochet pattern and video tutorial by B.hooked Crochet.
Broomstick Lace Infinity Scarf, free crochet pattern and video tutorial by B.hooked Crochet.

Broomstick Lace Infinity Scarf by B.hooked Crochet / @BHookedCrochet: This simple scarf pattern is a great introduction to broomstick lace and it includes a video tutorial.

Broomstick Lace Wrap, free crochet pattern by Rhelena from CrochetN'Crafts.
Broomstick Lace Wrap, free crochet pattern by Rhelena from CrochetN’Crafts.

Broomstick Lace Wrap by Rhelena from CrochetN’Crafts / @crochetncrafts: This lovely wrap includes a beautiful edging. You can find my interview with Rhelena here.

Horn of the Moon, crochet pattern featuring broomstick lace by Jennifer Raymond (for sale).
Horn of the Moon, crochet pattern featuring broomstick lace by Jennifer Raymond (for sale).

Horn of the Moon by Jennifer Raymond / @tinkingturtle: This for sale shawl pattern features broomstick lace and it’s also a one-skein project! You can read my interview with Jennifer here.

Hugs and Kisses Hat Scarf Set by Visch. Published in I Like Crochet. Image (c) I Like Crochet.
Hugs and Kisses Hat Scarf Set by Susan Visch. Published in I Like Crochet. Image (c) I Like Crochet.

Hugs and Kisses Hat and Scarf Set by Susan Visch: This lovely set is available for sale in the December, 2014 issue of I Like Crochet digital magazine. @ILikeCrochet

Helen Mittens Tanja Osswald
Helen Mittens, broomstick lace and slip stitch crochet pattern by Tanja Osswald (for sale).

Helen Mittens by Tanja Osswald: This lovely for sale pattern combines broomstick lace and slip stitch crochet to create a lovely pair of mitts!

Spring Lace Infinity Scarf, broomstick lace crochet pattern by Tamara Kelly published in I Like Crochet. Image (c) I Like Crochet.
Spring Lace Infinity Scarf, broomstick lace crochet pattern by Tamara Kelly published in I Like Crochet. Image (c) I Like Crochet.

Spring Lace Infinity Scarf by Tamara Kelly / @mooglyblog: This light as a feather infinity scarf is a perfect spring accessory. It’s available for sale in the Spring, 2015 issue of I Like Crochet digital magazine.  @ILikeCrochet

Lavender Touch Cardigan by Drops Design / @Garnstudio: This cozy cardigan keeps you warm and includes front pockets. If you prefer a closed front, check out the Lavender Touch, a broomstick lace and crochet pullover.

Kim Guzman has several broomstick lace patterns, and has also popularized drop stitch crochet, a variation on broomstick lace. You can learn more about it in this video tutorial or in her book, Learn Drop Stitch Crochet. I previously interviewed Kim here.

Some of my favorite free broomstick lace patterns by Kim include:

  • Rosaline Kimono Tunic, a beautiful, lacy, oversized tunic, is meant to be worn over a swim suit or tank in the summer. This uses the drop stitch crochet variation.
Rosaline Kimono Tunic, free drop stitch crochet pattern by Kim Guzman.
Rosaline Kimono Tunic, free drop stitch crochet pattern by Kim Guzman.
Broomstick Lace Summer Romper, free crochet pattern by Kim Guzman.
Broomstick Lace Summer Romper, free crochet pattern by Kim Guzman.
  • Spring Shawl, where the broomstick lace eyelets create a stunning look when worked horizontally.
Spring Shawl, free broomstick lace crochet pattern by Kim Guzman.
Spring Shawl, free broomstick lace crochet pattern by Kim Guzman.
  • Friendship Shawl, a dramatic triangular shawl that also includes detailed border.
Friendship Shawl, free broomstick lace crochet pattern by Kim Guzman. Image (c) Caron International Yarns.
Friendship Shawl, free broomstick lace crochet pattern by Kim Guzman. Image (c) Caron International Yarns.

Kati Donahue is another designer who really enjoys broomstick lace! She has recently developed several broomstick lace video tutorials, as well, which you can find here on her YouTube channel.

Some of my favorite broomstick lace patterns from Kati’s collection are:

Broomstick Lace Fingerless Gloves, crochet pattern by Kati Donahue (for sale).
Broomstick Lace Fingerless Gloves, crochet pattern by Kati Donahue (for sale).
Broomstick Lace Ornament, free crochet pattern by Kati Donahue.
Broomstick Lace Ornament, free crochet pattern by Kati Donahue.
Unforgettable Broomstick Lace Shawl, free crochet pattern by Kati Donahue.
Unforgettable Broomstick Lace Shawl, free crochet pattern by Kati Donahue.
  • Marie Louise Poncho, a pattern sized for children with instructions on customizing to an adult size.
Marie Louise Poncho, free crochet pattern by Kati Donahue.
Marie Louise Poncho, free crochet pattern by Kati Donahue.
Jessica's Broomstick Lace Hat, crochet pattern by Kati Donahue (for sale).
Jessica’s Broomstick Lace Hat, crochet pattern by Kati Donahue (for sale).

Crochet Kitten is another designer that has several patterns featuring broomstick lace. (She also has a great tutorial series, the Beginner’s Guide to Broomstick Lace.) My favorites from her broomstick lace collection are:

Broomstick Lace Travel Hook Clutch Crochet Kitten
Broomstick Lace Travel Hook Clutch, free crochet pattern by Crochet Kitten.
Pin-Up Mamas Hair Wrap Crochet Kitten
Pin-Up Mama’s Hair Wrap, free broomstick lace crochet pattern by Crochet Kitten.
Boho Broomstick Lace Hat
Boho Broomstick Lace Hat, free crochet pattern by Crochet Kitten.

If you enjoyed this broomstick lace pattern roundup, you may like my Crochet Pattern Roundups Pinterest board!

Follow Underground Crafter’s board Crochet Pattern Roundups on Pinterest.