Hairpin Lace

Hairpin Lace

When my mother was a young woman sitting around her Uncle Henry’s kitchen table, he taught her how to make hairpin lace. Every time I think of my great uncle, with his short, stubby aging fingers, handling a crochet hook, and patiently teaching his young protege, I smile. I would love to know how he learned, but alas, I never will. But even now, I love being able to trace this technique back to Uncle Henry, and have a true sense of the creative legacy we can impart on younger generations.

It has been a quarter century since my mom or I have used hairpin lace to make anything. Recently she decided to make each of her grandchildren afghans. While trying to decide on a pattern to use, I remembered this all but forgotten technique. My mom use to use 2 long knitting needles, pushed through 2 spacers my father had cut for her. We could not find these anywhere, so I purchased her a new set. And just because I was so excited to rediscover this technique, I got a set of hairpin lace needles (sometimes called a hairpin lace loom) for Michelle and myself. The pictures above are the start of an afghan I’m making for our home… although our 5 pound Yorkie, George, seems to have claimed it already!

This morning I’m heading over to mom’s to have a cup of coffee, deliver the needles, and help refresh her memory of how to craft with them. I reminded her of how easy and fast it is to make hairpin lace, and she is anxious to get started. I’m having so much fun and think it is a technique that many of our readers would enjoy learning. With hairpin lace needles, you can create very thin, dainty lace to thick and warm lace great for afghans. So, if you are interested in learning a new technique, one that requires nothing more than being able to single crochet, you are in for a treat. By the end of the week, you may be starting your own hairpin lace project… and you can look heavenly and thank Uncle Henry! 



  1. The creativity that abounds in your home and family is just amazing! Thank you for sharing this craft..first time I’ve seen it!

  2. That is so cool! I have never seen that! I have heard of bobbin lace but this is new. I look forward to seeing your finished afghan if you can convince George to get out of the photograph for a minute 🙂 xx

  3. I lurve this afghan – this is gorgeous! WOuld love to lay hands on this pattern….

    1. Sandra, I have to say I agree with you that this is a nice afghan! I am also enjoying seeing the one you are making on your blog. I have only seen hairpin lace done with crochet thread so far so this is neat to see it done with yarn!

  4. I have my needles ready…any chance you’ll have left-handed instructions as well?

    1. Yikes… I’ve never thought about it. I’ve already taken pictures, but I haven’t written up the instructions yet. When I do, I’ll stumble through left handed and see if I can’t make notes of changes. No guarantees I’ll do a great job… but I’ll try 🙂

  5. I’m super excited about this!!!
    I can crochet and I enjoy it from time to time, but this is one technique I’ve never really thought to try. however it looks beautiful and I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s done 🙂

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