Summertime is a great time for Hairpin Lace

Above: Carolyn Hanson assembles Klimt.

Have you tried Hairpin Lace? Summer is an excellent time to work it AND to wear it.  To make hairpin lace, you just crochet hairpin lace strips on a loom and then you crochet the strips together. We've got free, online tutorials as well as free hairpin lace patterns to get you started, as well as more comprehensive designs and a limited-edition book published on the technique. 

I was blown away recently by Carolyn Hanson's beautiful interpretation of Klimt  (passionknitpm on Ravelry). Her colors are amazing and it's so cool how that circular motif at the lower right of the photo above looks like a starburst when using a hand-dyed yarn. Klimt is not the first design I would tackle if I were new to hairpin lace (I think that the Convertible Wrap or even Lotus are great beginning projects) - but that doesn't mean that Klimt is as advanced as it looks.  Hairpin lace looks so delicate and complicated, but the truth is that it is no where near as complicated as it looks.  And once you begin to feel comfortable with a hairpin lace loom in your hands, making strips is very, very simple to do.

The real artistry of the technique comes from how the hairpin strips are joined together, and the bulk of a typical hairpin lace pattern consists of the instructions required to join the loops of one strip to the loops of another strip.  There are a million ways to join strips together, and the fun of designing a hairpin lace garment is in figuring out new fresh ways to join strips. Again - this looks hard to do but it really isn't, and your finished project will likely get tons of compliments. The results are so distinctive and just don't look like anything else out there. (Although this season, I've been surprised by how much hairpin lace I'm seeing in the stores - it's knitted hairpin lace done on a knitting machine, but same idea and almost identical result.)

Another reason why now might be just the time to learn Hairpin?  Don't miss Stacey Trock's recent Fresh Stitches podcast in which she talks about her experience learning hairpin lace - she's making my Hairpin Lace Skirt.  She's also hosting a giveaway for my Hairpin Lace book - comment on her blog post by July 25th for a chance to win!