The first time I saw broomstick lace, I had no idea that I could achieve it with a crochet hook. It looks like a magical stitch that can only come from some funky loom. Nope! All it takes is yarn, a crochet hook and a dowel.
Grab a dowel — or knitting needle, or broomstick…
Broomstick crochet gets its name from 19th century crocheters who used a broom handle to crochet the lace. Using a broom handle isn’t necessary, though. I used a size 35 knitting needle. You could also use a dowel, a Q-sized crochet hook, or any other similar round object. Experiment with different sizes. Remember that the circumference of whatever you use will determine how large your lace pattern is. (You’ll see why in a minute!)
How to crochet the broomstick lace
For this sample, I chain stitched 21 so that I would have 5 loops in each set, but you can play around and see what the lace looks like with different numbers of loops. (The extra chain is for the turning chain.)
Ch 21. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each chain across. This will be your foundation for crocheting the lace. You should have 20 sc.
When you reach the end of the first row, pull up on the loop and slide it onto your dowel. If you’re using a dowel that’s tapered at the end like my knitting needle, be sure to push the loop all the way back to the fullest part of the dowel.
Pull up a loop from each sc in the row and slide it onto the dowel. Here’s how:
Insert your hook into the next sc. Yo, pull up a loop. Slide the loop onto the dowel. Repeat across the row until you have 20 loops on the dowel.
Slide all the loops off the dowel. What you have will look like this:
Insert your hook through the first 5 loops.
Yarn over and pull through all 5 loops. Ch 1 for your turning chain.
See the middle of the 5 loop group? It sort of looks like the eye of a tornado.
Crochet 5 sc into the middle of all 5 loops. (Here, the number of sc depends on the number of loops. So if you clustered the loops in groups of 3, you’d crochet 3 sc.)
You made your first group! Insert your hook through the next 5 loops.
Pull the loop through and sc 5. (Remember that the chain is only done for the first group of loops in the row, as it’s the turning chain.)
Continue across the row until all the loops are grouped.
Notice that the sc you made in each loop formed the base for the next row. Use those sc as a base to begin another lace row, pulling up the loops in each sc and placing them on the dowel just as you did before.
Continue until you’ve reached the desired number of rows.
Once you’re comfortable with the broomstick lace technique, play around with different dowel sizes and numbers of loops. You can also use broomstick lace to create garments and accessories.