A little more than a year ago, a group of ladies in my area started taking crochet lessons from me, with the goal that they eventually wanted to make an altar cloth. Most of these women had never crocheted before, or had just a few basics down, but not enough to follow a pattern.
We started with yarn. There are four basic stitches in crochet. “If you learn these four stitches, you can make almost anything!” I told them. There are of course, fancier stitches, but most everything you make is a combination of chain, single crochet, double crochet or triple crochet. There’s also a slip, that hardly counts as a stitch at all. That’s it. Four stitches.
The first pattern we tried was a traditional granny square:
We made a lot of granny squares, and put them together in afghans. Some of the ladies got a little more creative with their granny squares, but the basic idea was the same. Squares. A basic granny square requires a chain stitch and a double crochet. That’s it. Not too hard.
After our granny square afghans were completed, we started a new project with one size smaller yarn, and a modified granny square. We discovered a need for NICU baby blankets to help preemie babies at the hospital. This time, armed with baby yarn, we were making baby blanket granny squares. Almost the same pattern, just a little smaller.
We met at the park and made NICU baby blankets all summer. When we were confident with that size thread… we started a new project. Size ten thread lace squares:
The lace thread was a larger jump than going from yarn to baby yarn had been, but with a little practice, many of us are getting it. We decided to start an altar cloth.
It’s a work in progress! So far, seven sisters are participating in the making of this lace. We’re calling it the “Sister’s Lace”. Each square is only six rows, not very much different than a granny square. This is great practice for an altar cloth. If you are looking for a pattern that is simple and elegant, this is a good one to try.
The secret is, if you can make granny squares, and have the will to practice, you can make lace.