Hairpin Lace Part 1 of 4 – The Loom

Hairpin Lace Part 1 of 4 – The Loom

Before you begin any hairpin lace project, you needle the hairpin lace needles, more appropriatiately called the Hairpin Lace Loom. You can either make your own, or purchase one. My mother first learned on a homemade loom my father made for her. I’ve always used the “store bought” version. Both will get the job done.

If you decide to purchase a loom, you can usually find them in the large craft stores or order them on line.

The stores in our area did not sell them so I ordered them through Amazon. These looms are adjustable. There are 4 parts to them; the 2 metal needles and the 2 cross bars.

The cross bars have mulitple holes in them allowing you to create lace strips 1 1/2″ to 4″ wide.

For the afghan I am making I have the loom set at 4″. If you want a denser afghan, you simple move the needles to the holes that give you the desired width.

To make your own you will need 2 pieces of dowel rod 3/8″ – 1/2″ diameter, 4 1/2″ long, a set of #5 or #6 knitting needles at least 12″ long, and 4 rubberbands.

To make, cut 2 pieces of dowel rod 4 1/2″. Using a drill bit the size of the needles, drill holes through the dowel rod. Use the illustration above for hole placement suggestions. MAKE SURE THE DOWEL DOES NOT TURN WHILE DRILLING. All holes must be drilled perpendicular to the same surface or the needles will not lay flat when inserted. Lightly sand the edges and holes so the wood is smooth.

When you insert your needles into the desired holes, the cross bars will begin to loosen and slide down your needles. Simply use rubberbands to secure the cross bars at the top and bottom of the needles.

Given the fact that the purchased looms only cost $4.50, it’s probably not worth the hassel of making your own. Also, the plastic crossbars stay in place without rubberbands. But, if you are in a hurry to get started, and have the materials on hand, this is how my grandparent’s generation made their own Hairpin Lace Looms.

Next time I will show you how to get started and how to make the strips.



Part 1 – The Loom

Part 2 – Crocheting the Strips

Part 3 – Joining the Strips

Part 4 – Finishing the Project
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  1. I am trying to get my own looms in various sizes, since this would be useful in my tatting too

    1. I’ll be interested to see how you use them, too.

  2. Oh, Kimara… you are a tempting enabler! I have heard of hairpin lace but had no idea what the technique was. Yarn, crochet hook, little loom… seems an awful lot like stuff I already do, just in a different way. I’m going to pretend I’m mad at you for sharing this with me, but really, I’m totally excited that you’re blogging this.

  3. I’m sooo excited about this hairpin lace tutorial you’ll be tackling! I’ve seen and admired from afar afghans made this way and even gone as far as to look up instructions at the library. Could never muddle through the explainations in the books very well. Thanks again you totally awesome gals for giving of yourselves so generously!

  4. I will have to look and see if I have those. I had won an item on ebay for punching and it came with a bunch of stuff. I have no idea what half of it was, but assume it was for specialty knitting.


  5. I like this thrifty little thing 🙂 thanks for the little how to 🙂 …. I just don;t know how to make it, though….looks complicated 🙂

    1. It’s not hard at all to make them. I used pieces of scrap wood, about 1/2″ x 3/4″ for the top and bottom (don’t have to worry about them rolling), and drilled through both pieces at the same time so the holes lined up. Got done in less than 5 minutes. The tiny rubber bands work wonderfully and don’t look bad. My grandmother taught me how to make hairpin lace ponchos when I was a little girl and I never knew what beautiful things could be made using the technique. It was super simple to learn, and there are good tutorials on youtube.

  6. Is it possible you can send me the instructions to make the green afghan? I tried to print out your Parts 1 – 4, however, it would not print out the entire parts. I would love to make this. It looks so beautiful. Thank you.

    1. Unfortunately, we do not have the directions in an easy to print out format. Our tutorials are used all over the world, by many non-English speaking readers. They find having lots and lots of photos helps them use our site. As you can well imagine, this takes lots of time. To turn the tutorials into a format making it easy to print would take Michelle and I lots more time… time we just don't have. Maybe someday 🙂

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