Are you one of many crocheters who is hesitant to work with thinner yarns, like lace and sock yarns or crochet cotton thread? You’re not alone. If you’ve never crocheted lace before, it can be be very daunting. But you shouldn’t give up! With just a few simple trips and tricks, you’ll learn how to crochet lace in no time at all.
One of the main perks of being comfortable crocheting with lace, is being able to make adorable and lightweight pieces that are perfect for warmer weather. The yarns used in lace crochet make wearing crochet in the summer much more pleasurable, and there is a variety of lace crochet stitches you can pick from to create intricate and beautiful projects.
So if you’re ready to start learning how to crochet lace, check out these helpful tips to set yourself up for success. With these four tips, you’ll be ready to play with thinner yarns in no time.
- Choose a comfort hook – Many crocheters worry about hand strain when switching from their preferred hook size for medium weight yarns to smaller circumference hooks for thinner yarns. Today, there are so many comfort hooks to choose from that you don’t need to worry about the transition to thinner yarns. Comfort hooks have a wider circumference at the center of the hook, allowing you to maintain a similar grip regardless of the hook size. Choose a comfort hook with a similar point and throat to your favorite standard hook to make the transition to smaller circumference crochet hooks even easier.
- Choose the right hook size – Keep in mind that many sock and lace weight yarns include recommended needle sizes for knitting, but not all include recommended hook sizes for crochet. To keep your crochet stitches from getting too tight, select a hook two sizes larger than the recommended knitting needle size. For example, if a yarn recommends a US Size 1 (2.25 mm) knitting needle, choose a US Size D (3.25 mm) crochet hook.
- Start with an easy pattern – Since it may take you a little while to get comfortable working with thinner yarns, start with a simple pattern. Choose a stitch you are comfortable with from another project or try one of these easy patterns in lightweight yarns from prior issues: the Beginner’s Triangle Shawl, the Earthen Blocks Shawl, or the Perfect Summer Shawlette.
- Learn how to block – Blocking helps “open up” lacy designs and allows your project to be adjusted after you finish crocheting. Many times, crocheters avoid blocking when working with thicker yarns. With lacy patterns and thinner yarns, the true beauty of your work may not be apparent if you don’t block. Wet block your completed project by washing it according to the yarn care instructions. Gently stretch the project, pinning it into position so that your lacework is more visible, or until the project reaches your desired measurements. Allow it to dry flat. Once the project has dried, it will hold this shape.
- Have patience with yourself – Remember, learning a new skill takes both time and patience. Don’t get frustrated if it takes several practice sessions before you master the art of lace crochet. They say that practice makes perfect for a reason — it’s true! Be kind to yourself and trust the process.
- Take breaks – Like any sport or hobby that requires a physical demand on your body, you need to make sure you take breaks often. We’re not robots. Our bodies need to us to get up, stretch and move around to avoid unnecessary cramping and pain. After your crochet session is over, make sure to perform some light stretches to avoid any future pain. Here are some of our favorite wrist stretches that are particularly useful for crocheters.
With these six simple tips, you’re now ready to get started with lightweight yarns. Now, take a deep breath and give lacy yarns a try! We know you’ll love the results.
When your start to feel more confident in your lace crochet skills, don’t miss our lace crochet stitches round up that features some of our favorite lacy stitches featured in I Like Crochet magazine.