Crochet Lace Guide: An Introduction to 7 Types of Crochet Lace | #Crochet #TipsTuesday

Crochet Lace Guide: An Introduction to 7 Types of Crochet Lace by Underground Crafter with links to patterns and tutorials in broomstick lace, Bruges lace, filet crochet, hairpin lace, Irish crochet lace, pineapple stitch lace, and Tunisian crochet lace,A few weeks ago, I shared four tips to keep you crocheting in the heat of summer, and today, I’m adding another: working with crochet lace.

Summer is the perfect time to explore the many varieties of crochet lace. You can make stunning projects and learn new skills at the same time! In this post, I’ll be talking about seven different types of lace and sharing patterns, tutorials, books, and classes to help you get started.

This post contains affiliate links. All pattern images are copyright the respective designer and are used with permission.

Broomstick Lace

Broomstick lace is made using a broomstick handle or large knitting needle and a crochet hook. Get started with my free crochet pattern and tutorial, Quadrilateral: A Broomstick Lace Shawl.

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.

You can take your broomstick lace to the next level in the Craftsy class, Beyond Basic Broomstick Lace, or with Donna Wolfe’s book, Broomstick Lace Crochet: A New Look at a Vintage Stitch with 20 Stylish Designs.

To learn more about broomstick lace, check out these posts:

Bruges Lace

Bruges lace, or Bruges crochet, mimics a style of lacework made famous in the Belgian city of Bruges. Learn Bruges Lace by Ellen Gormley is a great resource, or you can take her online class, Learn to Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick, and Bruges.

You may also enjoy the Bruges Lace Napkin Ring, a free crochet pattern by StitchesNScraps.

Bruges Lace Napkin Ring by StitchesNScrapsFilet Crochet

Filet crochet is a beginner-friendly type of lace using double crochet and chain stitches to form mesh. Filet crochet can be used to create simple or intricate designs. More intricate patterns are usually charted. If you’re new to filet crochet, use Kim Guzman’s tutorials to get started.

Crochet Lace Guide: An Introduction to 7 Types of Crochet Lace by Underground Crafter with links to patterns and tutorials in broomstick lace, Bruges lace, filet crochet, hairpin lace, Irish crochet lace, pineapple stitch lace, and Tunisian crochet lace,Or, try these four free filet crochet patterns! Clockwise from upper left corner:

Hairpin Lace

Hairpin lace is a technique where you create loops using a tool sometimes called a hairpin lace loom. This method takes a bit of getting used to since you have to hold an extra item in your hands, but it’s surprisingly simple once you get started. You can learn more about hairpin lace and find links to four free tutorials for beginners in this post, or in this tutorial by Celeste (Shellie) Dunn on AllFreeCrochet.

My favorite hairpin lace tool is the one made by Clover. I shared a detailed review here.

Hairpin lace1
A project on my Clover Hair Pin Lace Tool.

Irish Crochet Lace

Irish crochet lace was developed in the mid-1800s as an inexpensive alternative to Venetian lacework. It was taught by nuns to women throughout Ireland as a form of economic development.

So, what characterizes Irish crochet lace? Typically, motifs are crocheted and then joined on a mesh or lacy background.

The Mayapple Flower Square is one of my most popular free crochet patterns. The center flower is inspired by the traditional Irish crochet rose.

Mayapple Flower 6" Square, free #crochet pattern by Marie Segares @ucrafterIf you’re new to Irish crochet, my favorite resource is The Go-To Book of Irish Crochet Motifs by Kathryn White. (You can read my review here.)

If you’re ready to try an Irish lace garment, you may enjoy Myra Wood’s Learn Irish Freeform Crochet class on Craftsy.

Pineapple Stitch Lace

The pineapple stitch is a common vintage lace motif with many variations. It’s one of my personal favorite forms of crochet lace. I have several free crochet patterns featuring pineapple stitches including…

Picnic Basket Shawl, free #crochet pattern by Marie Segares in 4 parts with video #tutorial. Available at
Picnic Basket Shawl, a free crochet pattern that includes helpful video tutorials.
500 pix Pineapples for Everyone free pattern
Pineapples for Everyone Shawl, a free crochet pattern with helpful progress photos.
Tweedy Pineapples Scarf, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter
Tweedy Pineapples Scarf, a free crochet pattern.

I guess it isn’t really a form of lace, but rather a stitch pattern variation. But it’s a very fun way of playing with lace stitches!

Classic Crochet Openwork
Pineapple stitches are just one type of crochet lace in Jennifer Hansen’s Classic Crochet Openwork class on Craftsy. The class also covers filet crochet, Irish and Bruges lace, hairpin lace, and Solomon’s knot.

Tunisian Crochet Lace

While some people associate Tunisian crochet with a bulkier fabric, it can actually be used to make beautiful lace. If you’re new to Tunisian crochet, it’s a method using a specialized crochet hook with a stopper on the end because loops are left on the hook for the first part, or “forward” pass, of each row. These loops are then worked off in the second part, or “return pass” of each row.

Kim Guzman has done a lot of work to popularize Tunisian crochet lace. You can take her online Tunisian Cables & Lace class, and sometimes find her wonderful (but out-of-print) book, Learn to Do Tunisian Lace Stitches, used on Amazon. Although it isn’t lace-specific, you can find many lacy stitches in her Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide, too.

What’s your favorite form of crochet lace?



Interview with Tanis Galik, intermeshing crochet designer

Underground Crafter's Crochet Specialty of the Month: January 2015 intermeshing crochet


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.

Tanis Galik is probably the crochet designer most associated with contemporary intermeshing crochet, so I’m thrilled to share an interview with her today as part of my January focus on this crochet technique. I first was introduced to Tanis’s work through her book, Interlocking Crochet, which I reviewed here (along with 20+ other crochet stitch guides). 

You can find Tanis online on her website, Interlocking Crochet, on Pinterest, YouTube, and Ravelry (as tanisgalik, in the Interlocking Crochet group, and on her designer page). She has a wide collection of video tutorials on the intermeshing technique if you are excited to dive in! You can find links to her 3 starter videos in this roundup of 4 free online resources to learn intermeshing.

Interview with intermeshing crochet designer Tanis Galik on Underground Crafter
Tanis Galik.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?

Tanis: My paternal grandmother taught me. It seems there is a long line of crocheters on my father’s side of the family. (My father remembered his grandmother crocheting all the time.) Of course, back then it was mostly doilies my grandmother made. Her house was covered with them. Each had tiny colorful fruits incorporated into the doily. They also had delicate ruffled edges starched with sugar water to make the ruffles stand up. The most amazing thing (which I did not realize until much later) was the yarn she used. It was like fine thread. How did she see it? Or work with that tiny metal hook? Unfortunately, I never thought to ask for a doily.
I stopped crocheting; however, in high school crochet fashions started becoming popular so I picked up a pattern and began re-teaching myself. I think grandma’s training and my family “crochet gene” helped me to pick it up easily. Once I started, I never stopped.

Interview with intermeshing crochet designer Tanis Galik on Underground Crafter
Watermelon Parfait Baby Blanket by Tanis Galik. Published in Crochet! Image (c) Annie’s.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Tanis: I’ve often taken a crochet pattern and adjusted it for my preference or taken a basic crochet stitch pattern and used it for something else so I guess that was the beginning. However, it was really learning the basic Interlocking or intermeshing crochet technique that started me designing and submitting to publishers.

Interview with intermeshing crochet designer Tanis Galik on Underground Crafter
Diamond Baby Blanket, free intermeshing crochet pattern by Tanis Galik.

UC: Since your book, Interlocking Crochet: 80 Original Stitch Patterns Plus Techniques and Projects, was published, you’ve been strongly associated with that technique (also known as intermeshing crochet). How did you begin working with this method and what do you enjoy about designing with it?

Tanis: Several decades ago I took a CGOA class from Sylvia Cosh and James Walters. They had been crochet innovators for decades when I met them. At the time they were just beginning to experiment with intermeshing crochet. I learned the basics and a few designs. They said they were going to publish a book. I went home and experimented myself, continuing to come up with various designs. I waited for a book to be published. When the Internet became popular, I searched for a book and never found one. I decided even though I had never been published, I had better try so this technique could be shared with others before it was lost.

I enjoy coming up with new designs, especially those that have a different pattern and dominate color on each side. I used to go to baby showers and watch the seasoned crocheters turn the blanket (usually with three or four panels of double-sided designs) over and over again, trying to figure out how I had done it.

Interview with intermeshing crochet designer Tanis Galik on Underground Crafter
Irish Blossoms Baby Blanket by Tanis Galik. Published in Crochet World. Image (c) Annie’s.

UC: What are your favorite projects to design?

Tanis: I tend to do accessories – scarves, hats, bags, ponchos and comforting items – baby blankets, afghans, lap throws, dog mats. Since I donate most of my crochet to charities, these items are the ones they usually want.

UC: What are your favorite crochet books (besides yours, of course) in your collection?

Tanis:  Needless to say, I have a large library of crochet books since I have been collecting them for decades.

I tend to like books that have a large selection of crochet stitch designs, including granny squares. Many of them are older books from England that have 200 – 300 stitch patterns. These give me ideas of some different stitches to use in my designs.

I’m beginning to collect Tunisian Crochet books and Irish Crochet books since I want to work more with both of these techniques.

I’m also the first to buy any “new” crochet technique book for my library. I love looking at and trying these different crochet approaches.

3-in-1 Double Crochet Woven Scarf, free crochet pattern by Tanis Galik.
3-in-1 Double Crochet Woven Scarf, free crochet pattern by Tanis Galik.

UC: Do you have any crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Tanis:  I do have a place on Pinterest and Ravelry. I’m one of the moderators on a Ravelry group called Interlocking Crochet.

Interlocking Crochet Reversible Placemat, free crochet pattern by Tanis Galik. Published in Knit and Crochet Now! Season 5. Image (c) Annie's.
Interlocking Crochet Reversible Placemat, free intermeshing crochet pattern by Tanis Galik. Published in Knit and Crochet Now! Season 5. Image (c) Annie’s.

UC: What are some recent designs you’re excited about?

Tanis: I was very happy to have two projects included on Knit & Crochet Now! Season 5. One of them was an Interlocking Crochet placemat. This month (January 2015) I have Irish Blossoms Baby Blanket in the current Crochet World magazine.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story with us, Tanis!

Interview with Aoibhe Ni Shuilleabhain

I’m delighted to share an interview with Aoibhe Ni today.  She’s a crochet designer from Ireland who has done some lovely Tunisian crochet designs.  You can find Aoibhe Ni online on her website,  her blog,Twitter, YouTube, and Ravelry (as flick, in her fan group, and on her designer page).  Photographs are by Half a Dream Away and are used with Aoibhe’s Ni’s permission.

 This post contains affiliate links.

Aoibhe Ni’s Beyond the Sea Hat

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting and Tunisian crocheting?
Aoibhe Ni: I started crocheting when I was 12 or so. My Mam taught me how to make granny-square blankets out of scraps. It took a few years for me to really get into it, but when I did, I started to look for as much information as I could on the craft. At the time, we had no internet at all, so I had to resort to the library in Dublin city centre, and the small selection of Irish Crochet Lace books they had.

Needless to say, it was a huge leap from knowing how to treble crochet, to getting the hang of pattern reading, making lace doilies, and free-form Irish Crochet lace, but along the way I had a lot of fun.

Aoibhe Ni’s Strips of Bacon

UC: What inspired you to start designing?
Aoibhe Ni: I always designed, mostly due to a lack of pattern resources out in the “wilds” of Co. Meath farming land. Most of what I produced early on was useless for the purposes intended. I designed a bag, once, using treble crochets, and decided I didn’t need to line it. Half-way into town, I discovered I had lost half the bag’s contents. A cheap lesson well-learnt, I will tell you!  (UC comment: I think we’ve all had similar “a ha” moments with our early designs!)

Aoibhe Ni’s Guinevere

UC: Much of your design work uses Tunisian crochet. What appeals to you about this technique?
Aoibhe Ni: Both the versatility and the restrictions appeal, actually.

I find, in many ways, traditional crochet is too open for me to gather much inspiration. I find that a few, well-placed restrictions make all the difference with a design. They help focus my thoughts, help me invent new ways around any hurdles I encounter, turning them into advantages along the way. I’d much rather paint a picture with three colours than with a whole palette, and that’s what Tunisian gives me, with its straight lines, and fairly uniform stitch-height.

Within that, I get to play and invent and experiment. What you see in the finished pieces is only a fraction of the things I have tried out along the way.

Aoibhe Ni’s Anansi

UC: Your work is primarily self-published. Can you talk about your decision to focus on self-publishing rather than on designing for other publishers?
Aoibhe Ni: I have worked with a few magazines, and intend to keep collaborating with a range of people in the coming years, but it’s true, I do, primarily self-publish.

In the beginning it was out of necessity. With a market full of rookie designers, getting noticed can be difficult. The only way to prove myself, I found, was to self-publish and hope for the best. If I was good enough, and lucky enough, I’d get noticed.

Now, I do it because I am an impatient designer. I like getting ideas out there as fast as possible, letting people see what I’m doing, get a design to crocheters lickety split. When you work with a publisher, that process can take months, or years. I understand the need for the delay, but I’m not a fan of the waiting time.  (UC comment: The waiting time is tough, I agree – especially when you have a design you are very excited about.)

Aoibhe Ni’s Argo


UC: Tell us about your Legendary Shawls collection and your inspiration for developing it.
Aoibhe Ni: My inspiration came directly from some of my close, knitting friends. We’d often meet up, and I’d spend half the Stitch’n’Bitch session pining over their gorgeous knitted lace. “It’s easy”, they’d insist, “You just have to knit”. Now, while I DO knit, and I respect it greatly, my first love has always been crochet, so whenever they’d explain how to make a lacey section, or a create a nupp, I’d imagine it on a crochet hook and try to understand from that perspective. One morning I woke up and had a genuine “Eureka!” moment, and the techniques I have created for Legendary Shawls were born.

I use well-known knitted lace techniques, turn them on their heads and create unique, crochet fabric. I’m pleased that the technique also opens up a wide range of hand-dyed yarns for the crocheter who hates colour-pooling as the technique also helps reduce that problem a lot.


UC: Your patterns use both U.S. and U.K. crochet terminology. What do you see as the advantages and challenges of offering patterns this way?

Aoibhe Ni: I think, because crochet is a relatively young craft, certainly when compared to knitting and weaving anyway, that we haven’t found a common ground with our terminology just yet. As a result, I think it’s absolutely necessary to provide a pattern that is easy and enjoyable for everyone to read at their leisure. I believe there is nothing worse than paying good money for a pattern, and then having to struggle, so I do all I can to avoid that for my customers, and make my patterns as clear, enjoyable and regional as I can. I even have my free shawl pattern, Pax, translated into French!

I write first in UK terminology, because that is what comes more naturally to me having learnt those terms as I grew up, but I have little difficulty now, after some experience, translating back and forth at will. I think many beginners see the difference in terms as a huge stumbling block, but with more designers providing patterns in both UK and US, I think this issue will become less of a problem in the future.

And who knows, maybe some day we’ll all agree to a common set of terms and all this will be consigned to the history books!

UC: What are your favorite crochet books in your collection?

Aoibhe Ni: I actually have very few, would you believe? As I mentioned, I grew up with few crochet resources to hand, and no local book or wool shops to help me out, so most of my finished pieces early on were out of my head, and that early practise has stayed with me. I do love The Technique of Irish Crochet Lace by Ena Maidens, and I can’t recommend Crochet for Babies and Toddlers by Betty Barnden enough for beginners looking to branch out a little. It is the book I always went back to when friends and relations announced a new arrival.

There are some absolutely amazing books out there full of beautiful crochet that I would love to have time to work my way through, but designing is a full-time job, so I have no time left to enjoy anything created by my peers. Maybe some day!

Aoibhe Ni’s Snapdragon Shawl

UC: Do you have any crafty websites or blogs you frequent for inspiration or community that you would like to share?
Aoibhe Ni: When I teach my regular beginner’s classes around Dublin, I get asked this a lot, and I always suggest people check out PlanetJune for patterns and Attic24 for inspiration. I’d love to have a cup of tea with either woman. I imagine it’d be a very up-lifting experience.

Beyond that I use music a lot, and I get great inspiration from my Ravelry Group.  The members have come up with some wonderful adaptations so far, and seeing my own patterns in different colours and fibres can really spark off an idea. I love their creativity.

Aoibhe Ni’s You Spin Me Right ‘Round Rockband Drumkit Cozy

UC: What’s your next project?
Aoibhe Ni: My next project will focus on ladieswear. Provisionally called “Legendary Ladies,” I plan to do a small but interesting collection of tops, with a wide range in size. Blouses, t-shirts, shawl-necks, mini-dresses, who knows, yet, but it will surely be a fun year of creating, so watch this space!  (UC comment: This sounds like a lot of fun – I’ll be looking out for the collection!)

Thank you Aoibhe Ni for stopping by!

Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: The Harmony Guide to 100’s More Crochet Stitches

This week’s pick:The Harmony Guide to 100’s More Crochet Stitches (Harmony guides)

Source: Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles online store

Publication date: 1992

Status: Out of print.  Available online with prices ranging from “reasonable” to “apply for a line of credit.”

Condition: Very good

Craft(s): Crochet and Tunisian crochet

I previously reviewed this book as part of a compilation of over 20 crochet stitch guides here.  But there are a few things that make it stand out for me.

There’s a nice section on Irish crochet, which seems to be coming back into popularity.  There is an intro and slightly over a page of illustrated instructions for padding threads, working into base stitches, and making Clones knots.  There are also 7 patterns for stitches worked flat, 7 small motif patterns, 11 larger motif patterns, and a curlicue pattern.

All of the patterns in the book, including the Tunisian crochet patterns, are both written and charted.  This is the earliest English language book in my collection that uses international stitch symbols.  (You can see the Tunisian crochet bobble symbol in the description above.)

The book shows its age primarily through the photographs.  Apparently, it used to be fashionable to photograph stitches against black backgrounds.  Today, white seems to be more popular.

I’ve been spoiled by my vintage Harmony Guides.  I now expect all stitch guides to start with illustrated sections on all the techniques used in the books.  This book starts with 7 pages of introduction and then leads into six types of patterns: All-over Patterns, Filet Crochet, Motifs, Irish Style Crochet, Edgings and Trimmings, and Afghan (Tunisian Crochet).  Every section, except for the All-over Patterns and the Edgings and Trimmings, also includes about a page of illustrated instructions.

They don’t make ’em like they used to!


Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Year one finale in Bruges lace

This post contains affiliate links.

This post is part of my Year of ProjectsCrochet Master Class series. You can read the other posts in this series here.

I am having great fun with Bruges lace, which I’m learning from the master herself, Tatyana Mirer, in a three-week class at Knit-A-Way.  I’m the only person in the class at the moment, and it is a fabulous experience to spend the time with such an amazing teacher and designer.  Last week, I mentioned that I had bought a skein of Lamb’s Pride Worsted at the shop for the class, and it was more or less a disaster.  The yarn is actually quite nice, but it is really just not a good fit with Bruges lace swatches!

My Bruges lace square in Victorian Pink (which looked lavender to me when I bought it).

After the first class, I decided to use some Galler Yarns Parisian Cotton that I have on hand from some designs I have done for them.  I don’t use crochet cotton thread that often, but it is absolutely perfect for Bruges lace.  It was also just about the only yarn I cared to touch during the two days last week which were well over 95 degrees and extremely humid!

I should mention that I haven’t blocked any of these swatches.

A Bruges lace circle.


A Bruges lace curve.
A Bruges lace oval. I had a lot of fun with this one.
The first part of a Bruges lace wave.
A Bruges lace square in progress. I lost my trusty 00 crochet hook on the subway shortly thereafter :(.

My favorite technique was adding an insert to the Bruges lace square.  I see a lot of interesting possibilities for granny squares.

Bruges lace motifs are join-as-you-go, so I could avoid at least some of the yarn ends…

On Thursday, I’ll have the last class.  Tatyana will be showing me some tubular techniques, and I’ll also be starting the Sparkling Wave Scarf from The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet.  I plan to make it as a holiday gift for my friend, OB, as part of my Holiday Stashdown Challenge.

I’m surprised that it has been almost a year since I joined in on the Year of Projects through the Come Blog-A-long group on Ravelry.  Even though I had been planning to work my way through Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters anyway, I had a wonderful time joining in with other crafty bloggers along the way!  Next Sunday, I’ll share my plans for year 2 of the Year of Projects (which I’m still formulating in my head).  You might want to join in, too!

This year, I had a chance to try out many techniques from Crochet Master Class that I had never used before, like hairpin lacesingle crochet entrelacpainted crochetfreeform, and Bruges lace.  I experimented a lot more with techniques I had used before, like woven crochetTunisian crochetfilet crochetdouble-ended crochetIrish crochet, and the bullion stitch.  I so wanted to be like Minding My Own Stitches, a YOP blogger who faithfully completed every project in one book.  Alas, I found that I wasn’t inspired to work with some of the techniques from the book.  And there are other techniques that I didn’t cover that I definitely want to return to, like overlay crochet and tapestry crochet.

I’m very grateful to harleagh from When Did I Become a Knitter for hatching up the idea of blogging through a book, and, of course, to Rita Weiss and the late Jean Leinhauser for compiling a collection that really inspired me to push myself creatively and to further develop my crochet techniques.  I look forward to more exploration in the next year!