“I have a great pattern, I love it! How do I connect the pieces together?”
Karenne’s Heirloom Crochet Lace Dress
Several years ago I created this dress and patterns using French lace as a model. It’s simple, but special. Each of my daughters has worn it on their baptism day. The lace work is all handmade using a variety of edging and insertion patterns.
The elements I borrowed from French lace are the pintucked front and edging, small ribbon accents in the pintucking, and the combining of lace patterns. Any edging pattern can be added to an insertion pattern to create a more sophisticated look. The thread size is 30.
Mary’s French Lace Pattern
This is not an original pattern, but I’m not sure the origins. Mary calls it her “French Lace Pattern”. I love it. It’s beautiful without any large holes, and should wear well.
Hers was completed in size 30 cordonnet thread.
Visual Pattern for MJ Stegeby’s Snowflake Lace
This snowflake lace is just beautiful. MJ Stegeby designed it and wrote the pattern. Thank you Mary Jo!
In order to make the pattern hexagonal rather than circular, there is a small second motif that goes between patterns in each corner. See the photo below:
The pattern is a standard visual pattern. If you have any questions or get stuck, message me in the comments.
This is what the pattern looks all together with a small border. I love it!
Karenne’s Heritage Lace Edging Pattern
I inherited some vintage embroidered pillowcases and decided to dress them up for my daughter’s room. These beautiful designs practically cried for lace to be added to them. Each of the pillowcases ended up with a variation of a pattern I’ve been experimenting with. This is the final version.
Karenne’s Heritage Lace Edging Pattern:
Row 1: Chain the length desired, connect to beginning of chain with sl st, do not turn.
Row 2: Ch 5, dc, *ch2, skip 2 ch from previous row, dc*, repeat across, sl to close row.
Row 3: *(Ch 3, sc in next ch2 sp of previous row)– four times, ch 5, sc in next ch2 space of previous row* repeat across.
Row 4: Sl 4 st to the top of the second ch3 lp of previous row, ch3, sc in next ch3 sp , ch2, tr in ch5 sp of previous row, (ch1, tr) 2 times, ch 2, tr (ch1, tr) 2 more times, all in the same ch5 sp. Ch2, skip next ch3 sp, sc in next ch3 sp* repeat to end of row. Sl to close.
Row 5: Sl 1 to top of ch3 sp of previous row. Ch 6, counts as first tr and ch 3 sp, tr in the same ch3 sp. *Ch4, (sc, ch3, sc) in ch2 sp between tr’s from the previous row. Ch 4, (tr, ch3, tr) in next ch3 sp* repeat around, sl to close.
Row 6: Ch 4, counts as first tr and ch1 sp, [(tr, ch1, tr) ch2, (tr, ch1,) 2x more, tr], in chain 3 sp between tr’s of previous row. *ch2, (sc, ch3, sc in the ch3 loop between sc’s from previous row), ch2, (tr, ch1) 2 times, tr, ch2, (tr, ch1) 2 times, tr in the next ch3 sp between tr’s, repeat from * to end, sl in top of first tr to close.
Row 7: Ch3, counts as first dc and ch1 sp, dc in first ch1 sp between tr’s of previous row. Small “V” made. Dc, ch1, dc in next ch1 sp. Second small “V” made. Tr, ch3, tr in ch2 sp between tr’s of previous row, large “V” made. Place small “V” in each of next two ch1 sp. Sc, ch3, sc in next ch3 sp* repeat to end. Sl in top of first dc to close.
Row 8: Sc, ch3 in each small “V”, (sc, ch3, sc) in the top of each large “V”, (2sc, picot, 2sc) in each ch3 sp around. Slip to close.
Cluny Six Petal Join Technique Pattern
To join two “Little Light of Hope” motifs together, I use the cluny six petal join technique. The join isn’t difficult but it’s rated advanced because it’s tricky to learn where the petals attach unless you’re sitting right next to someone teaching you. I’m going to write the pattern with lots of pictures detailing each step.
The join is made as you’re going around the last row, row 10. This is the pattern without any joining:
Row 10, Irish Edging– (2sc in every sp, p over gap between 4dc, ch1 group ) twice, 2sc in next sp, 1sc in next sp, ch 10, flip work and 2sc in the middle of the 4dc, ch1 group just covered with scs. Flip work again. Cover ch10 with 9sc, p, 9sc. Place one more sc in the ch 1 space before ch10 adventure began. Repeat around, close with sl.
This is the pattern for Row 10 with a Triple Cluny Six Petal Join:
Row 10, tr six petal join– (2sc in every sp, p over gap between 4dc, ch1 group) twice, 2sc in next sp, 1sc in next sp, ch 10, flip work and 2sc in the middle of the 4dc, ch1 group just covered with scs. Flip work again. Cover ch10 with 8 sc. Chain 1 for joining picot, 2sc in top of picot of new motif. 1sc across the middle of the two joined picots for strength. 8sc in remainder of ch10 loop. 2sc in each ch1 gap, ch4 picot over dtr of previous row, twice. 2sc in next sp, 1sc in next sp, ch 10, flip work and 2sc in middle of the 4dc, ch1 group just covered with scs. Flip work again. (see picture above for illustration of this step) Cover ch 10 with FOUR sc, begin triple cluny six petal join.
Six petal join– Chain 5, 3tr in top of last sc made keeping last loop of each tr on hook. Slip one loop through all four loops on hook. Beginning cluny cluster made.
For the second petal, find the fourth sc up on the left side of the next ch10 loop of previous motif (telling where to place these petals in words is what makes writing this pattern out difficult… here’s a picture) 5tr in the fourth sc of left side of ch10 loop, keeping the last loop of each tr on hook, draw one loop through all five loops, sc across the top of the petal for stability and to pull the top of the petal even closer together. 2nd cluny petal made.
Third petal placement– the petals are placed in a clockwise fashion in the gap between the two joins already made between motifs. Place third petal in the top of the picot that follows clockwise after petal two. Sc across the top of completed petal.
Fourth petal placement– count four sc up on the previous ch10 loop, place fourth petal in fourth sc up. Sc across the top of petal made.
Fifth petal– place fifth petal four sc up from the base of the second to last ch10 loop on the motif you’re currently working on. Sc across the top to secure.
Sixth petal– place sixth petal in the picot between ch10 loops of the motif you are currently working on. Sc across the top to secure.
Finishing off first petal– sc across the top of the first petal. Slip crochet hook through the tops of all the tr of that petal, sc to secure. Chain five. Slip crochet hook into the sc at the base of petal 1, yarn over, slip crochet hook behind base of petal 1, yarn over again, sc to secure. Flower complete. 4sc in ch10 loop. Picot join to second motif. Triple cluny six petal join complete.
The larger gaps between these motifs calls for a Double Triple Cluny Six Petal Join. This join makes a slightly larger flower to cover the gap.
8sc in ch10 loop to finish loop. 2sc in each ch1 gap, ch4 picot over dtr of previous row, twice. 2sc in next sp, 1sc in next sp, ch 10, flip work and 2sc in middle of the 4dc, ch1 group just covered with scs. Flip work again. Cover ch 10 with FOUR sc, begin Double Triple Cluny Six Petal Join.
First DTR petal– Chain six. Five dtr in sc just made, keeping last loop of each dtr on hook. Yarn over, pull one loop through all five loops. Beginning DTR petal made.
Second DTR petal– Six DTR in fourth sc of ch10 loop of second joining motif. Yarn over, pull one loop through all six loops. Sc across the top of the petal to secure. Second petal made.
Third DTR petal– Going clockwise, place six DTR in fourth sc of next ch10 loop of second joining motif. Yarn over, pull one loop through all six loops. Sc across the top of the petal to secure. Third petal made.
Fourth DTR petal– Going clockwise, place six DTR in fourth sc of next ch10 loop of first joining motif. Yarn over, pull one loop through all six loops. Sc across the top of the petal to secure. Fourth petal made.
Fifth DTR petal– Going clockwise, place six DTR in fourth sc of next ch10 loop of first joining motif. Yarn over, pull one loop through all six loops. Sc across the top of the petal to secure. Fifth petal made.
Sixth DTR petal– Going clockwise, place six DTR in fourth sc of next ch10 loop of the motif you are currently working on. Yarn over, pull one loop through all six loops. Sc across the top of the petal to secure. Sixth petal made.
Finishing off first DTR petal– sc across the top of the first petal. Slip crochet hook through the tops of all the dtr of that petal, sc to secure. Chain sic. Slip crochet hook into the sc at the base of petal 1, yarn over, slip crochet hook behind base of petal 1, yarn over again, sc to secure. Flower complete. 4sc in ch10 loop. Picot join to third motif. Double Triple Cluny Six Petal Join complete.
The TR and DTR six petal joins alternate. If I were to continue joining this motif to the lace fabric, I would join next with the smaller TR six petal join, followed by a DTR six petal join and finally a TR six petal join. Depending on how many motifs you are joining, you may or may not have this many petal joins to make. As you get more practice, you’ll be able to see which flower goes where in the pattern.
For additional help, my dear husband helped me film one of the cluny joins in progress:
American vs. European Crochet Terms
In an online world where eBay, Amazon, and Pinterest have made finding unique crochet lace patterns so much easier, it’s important to realize, not all patterns speak the same language.
I first came up against this issue when I was making a beautiful rose motif in an old 1920 magazine reprint from the Lacis Museum of Lace. It was a beautiful Irish lace piece. I was in love! But no matter how many times I started, for the life of me, my rose and the “Rose of Sharon” did not match! That was when I learned a very important lesson. American patterns are different from European patterns. It’s not a hard difference to learn, but they are different.
What are the differences between American and European Crochet?
|American Crochet Terms||UK Crochet Terms|
|Single crochet||Double crochet|
|Half double crochet||Half treble crochet|
|Double crochet||Treble crochet|
|Treble crochet||Double treble crochet|
|Double treble crochet||Triple treble crochet|
Many modern patterns will specify which type of pattern they are using. Books will have a stitch guide in the front or back as a reference detailing exactly what each of their standard stitches is meant to look like. However, as a rule of thumb if you’re using 1920 or earlier lace patterns or Irish lace patterns, take special note.
If you’re still in doubt with an ambiguous, gorgeous, must-have pattern, this is the biggest tip– European patterns do not use sc. If the pattern calls for single crochet, you know it’s an American style crochet pattern.
“Use Your Best, and You’ll Always Have Your Best Left”
When I married, my mother-in-law made me a sheet set with beautiful handmade lace edgings and inserts across the sheets and pillowcases. We’ve been married 21 years, and this year, I had to finally concede that the lace wasn’t going to last another year.
For those who might say, “What? You USED real handmade lace pillowcases?” Yes they are heirlooms, and Yes. I did.
My mother-in-law told me her philosophy was given to her by her grandmother– “Use your best, and always have your best left!” She didn’t put all those hours into them to just sit in a box waiting for a moth or age spot to mar them. She wanted them used! or she’d take them back and use them herself.
And she would too.
So, yes. I did.
And now they’re too far gone to use any more. The thread wore out fairly evenly with few repairs over the years. Once they decided to go, they really went. There were little holes all through it. I’ve saved a section of the best for posterity— but it’s not much. However! These beautiful lace gifts gave us 21 marvelous years of love and memories, and it was worth it. I learned a lot from Mary about how to keep lace nice, and she’s right. Use it or lose it. Cotton wants to be used, and washed or it turns horribly yellow and loses its beauty.
Mary is currently making altar cloths, and loving it, so it’s my turn. I had my husband choose a new pattern, and we’ll see how this one holds up for the next 20-odd years or so.
Freeform Crochet Irish Rose
Irish lace is a wonderful dance between dense thread and open space. I’ve been working on my Irish rose designs. I’m really pleased with how this rose, leaf, and flower set is coming. The center has traditional Irish crochet padding cord to make the dense centers more pronounced.
The clones knots in the netting are wonderful examples of this contrast and how pleasing it is to our eyes. I’ve also been experimenting with putting roll stitches in patterns where you don’t normally see them. I like their unusual look, and the roll stitch is another stitch, like the clones knot, that is a high density stitch perfect for unique antique-style laces.
The Sister’s Lace project has been in the works for over two years. In all, 20 sisters participated in making this lace. We started with a group of ladies who had never crocheted before, and ended up with an altar cloth. The pattern is simple, but beautiful.
We met once a week for two years. Several of our ladies made it through, start to finish, and are now completely equipped with skills to make their own altar cloths.
See more on this project here: Crochet Class– Granny Squares to Altar Cloths