Custard-y Hairpin Goodness

I finished my hairpin shawl for the Hairpin-Along-Athon on Ravelry. I used Patons Misty in Custard, which is a lovely shade of yellow.

I thought it might be scratchy when I finished it, but after washing and blocking it, it’s actually very soft, fluffy, and smells slightly of coconut.

The most tedious part of this project was adding the edging, which sounded plain on paper but turned out ok in the end. The most nerve-racking was washing it ready to block. I’ve never blocked mohair before, and as it sat in the sink, looking like a drowned rat (albeit yellow), my heart sank. So many hours wasted! I was careful not to agitate the water too much, kept the temperature lukewarm, and just worked a little bit of hair conditioner through it with my fingers.

When I fished the drowned rat out, I squeezed it gently in a towel and allowed it to air dry on a bath towel. It’s much longer than I anticipated – about one and a quarter times my height, which is a little bit long, but it will make a good thick scarf, if I can wear it. It *is* yellow.


Here it is, being elegantly modeled by my slightly overgrown hedge. The picture really doesn’t do it justice.


7 Amazing Hairpin Lace Projects

If you are anything like me, when you reach the end of a crochet project you start wondering what you will make next, search your stash and look for patterns (as if we don’t have enough already!)

I fancy a bit of a change, and as the warmer weather gets here I wondered if I should do some more hairpin lace (also referred to as Maltese lace and hairpin crochet). The long loops make a fabulous fabric which drapes easily, especially when worked in a natural yarn like bamboo or cotton.

These are some of the best hairpin crochet designs I’ve seen, and I hope they will inspire you to try this technique.

  • Hairpin Cardi Wrap by Stitch Diva
    I made this a few years ago, and it became my favourite cardi for a while and the shape of this waterfall or cascading style cardigan is still fashionable. Use a yarn with drape for best effect. I was still learning, and chose a red bog-standard acrylic. It was wearable, but it wasn’t as great as it could have been. The pattern includes a knit version.
  • Bustle Skirt by Stitch Diva
    Steampunk crochet! I think this might be my next project. My wardrobe is largely based around jeans though, so I’m not sure what I could wear it with. Perhaps I could make it and just look at it every day?
  • Uncommon Wristlets by Stitch Diva
    These fingerless gloves are unusual. There are two lengths: wristlets (ending below the elbow) and opera (ends at the top of the arm). Again, there is a cabled knitted version available, which look much warmer, rather than the lacy hairpin lace.
  • Lei Necklaces by Artisan Threads
    These necklaces would be great for a beginner to learn hairpin lace, as they are basically one long strip. Once you can make a strip, you can join them in various ways to produce more advanced designs.
  • Haarukkapitsihuivi shawl from Novita
    I’m not really a shawl person, but this is a really lovely hairpin lace shawl. This pattern is written in Finnish, but some people seem to have had success by running it through translation software, such as Babelfish or Google Translate.
  • Hat and Scarf available from crochic
    A cosy looking hat and scarf set which is denser looking than the usual hairpin lace.
  • Wire Earrings
    This is walking on the wild side – obscure crochet technique with wire. 🙂 These look fun to make as a gift, or could be altered to use as a pendant.

First published at CarryYarnStitching


Welcome to Happy Makes Art

Caroline has been teaching crochet and knitting since 2011, under the name Carry Yarn Stitching. This is rewarding work, but now it’s time for a new chapter.

Happy Makes is relevant for everyone – we can all improve our lives through being creative, and you don’t need to be an artist or be able to draw a straight line.

We aim to:

  • Share knowledge and preserve techniques
  • Celebrate the beauty and fun in everyday items and activities
  • Create, Experiment and Play, and encourage others to do the same
  • Improve our lives and help others to improve theirs through living creatively
  • Challenge the perceived gaps between craft, art and science; revel in their differences and similarities

my stall


Knitted Body

news-knitters-banner [121557]

Welcome to the Knitted Body Project

This project is run by the University of Central Lancashire and is funded by the Physiological Society.The aim is to create a knitted body which can be taken into schools and used in the Royal Institution Young Scientists’ Centre, to help teach biology and healthy living to children under 7 years old.

After talking to UCLan’s Dr Liz Granger, we decided to create something to play with, which the children can really interact with, so I designed organs with extra functions – a squeaky heart, a ‘thinking cap’ brain, and an intestinal system table tennis balls can be pushed through.

The volunteers who are knitting organs are a lively bunch and there’s plenty of fun. The youngest knitter is 7 year old, having made a piece of ‘skin’ for the outside, and is now in charge of pompoms alveoli  for the lungs.

If you would like to knit your own organs, please get in touch. We will be releasing patterns here shortly. They are very easy to follow and would be perfect for a school craft group to work on together.

knitted body banner 2

Follow #KnitBod on Twitter and Instagram

Sessions run at In the City, St George’s Shopping Centre, Preston

Mondays 1330 – 1530 and Thursdays 1300 – 1500 until 9th June 2016. No charge, just pop in.


Articles about the project

Lancashire Evening Post Tues 3rd May 2016

Radio Lancashire May 2016