For the longest time, I was intimidated by lace patterns. Once I took a leap and tried a few, I was pleasantly surprise by how lace patterns are built with the use of simple stitches.
The definition I found for lace says that it is “a netlike ornamental fabric made of threads by hand or machine.” Crochet builds this netlike fabric with the basic stitches crocheters first learn. In most cases, if you can chain, single crochet and double crochet, you can crochet lace.
Lace patterns are created by placing these stitches in specific places, often skipping chains, sometimes clustering stitches, or even all of these, to build its open work design. You often need at least 2 rows to establish the pattern. The more rows to the pattern repeat, the more intricate the design may be. Some patterns require a little more attention to detail, so depending on the complexity of the pattern, it may be a project to work on when you can give it your full attention.
If you’ve never tried a lace pattern stitch, Lace Trestles is a great place to start. It is made with chains, single crochets, and double crochets. The open spaces are create by skipping stitches, creating little archways throughout. This is an ideal stich for scarves and wraps, and, because of the openness of the stitch, it doesn’t take much yarn to complete (my swatch was made with all of 6 grams of fingering weight yarn). If you have a special skein that doesn’t have much yardage to it, this may be the pattern you’ve been waiting for.
Here’s how to stitch it:
Chain a multiple of 4 + 2.
Row 1: Dc in 10th ch from hook (counts as 1 dc, a ch-3, and 3 skipped chains). *Ch3, Skip 3 chains. Dc in next ch. Repeat from * across. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 2). *Sc in the center ch of the next ch-3 space. Ch 2.** Dc in the next dc. Ch 2. Repeat from * across, ending last repeat at **. Dc in the 4th ch of the turning chain on the previous row. Turn.
Row 3: Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3). *Dc in the next dc. Ch 3. Repeat from * across to last stitch (which is the turning chain on the previous row). Dc in the 3rd ch of the turning ch. Turn.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until piece is desired length. Make sure to end on a row 3 repeat.
Swatch it up!
Even though the pattern is lace, it doesn’t mean that you need to use lace weight yarn. Any weight would be fun to try with this pattern stitch.
I created my sample with fingering weight yarn and an F hook. After swatching this, though, I’ve been inspired to try it with sport and DK weights.
To create a swatch of your own, chain a multiple of 4 plus 1. For my sample, I chained 38 and crocheted 8 repeats of rows 2 and 3. My swatch came out to about 7” wide x 8” high blocked. Blocking is key to helping the lace open up and evening out the lines of the pattern.