Saturday, February 28, 2015

Miss Pearl's Broomstick Lace

I have been working on this crochet blanket for what seems like an eternity. Actually, I started working on it during the 2014 ice storm in NC that left us without power for a few days. But, as the weather warmed up, I stopped working on this project as it was just too hot. Then as the weather started to cool, I started working on it again. I have finally finished this lovely blanket and they kids are fighting over it. Even though it is a lace pattern, it is really warm.

I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful neighbor (Miss Pearl) who is 90 years old. She still lives on her own and drives. I love all the time I get to spend with her. During the time of no power, Miss Pearl taught me this pattern. It was such a surreal experience. Almost as if we had traveled back in time. Of course, Miss Pearl lived without power for many years. It wasn't until 1951 that she had power to her house. Crazy, right? The things I have learned while working on this project have been incredible. The stories she has told...

Anyways, onto the pattern. This is a fairly good size blanket. I am doing it as a scrap blanket - using up lots of odds and ends of yarn. I don't know how much yarn this blanket required - lots. Most of this blanket used partial skeins of all types of yarns. The best I can say is several thousand yards of worsted weight yarn.

You will need a HUGE knitting needle (mine is size 35) or a broomstick handle. Something that is about an inch in diameter and 12-18 inches in length. This will be used to set the size of the 'lace'. Exact size is not important, it will just make the loops bigger or smaller. I will call this the 'point' as that is what Miss Pearl calls it.

Read through all the instructions before you start. There are some notes at the bottom that will help working the entire project. These pictures are all from mid project. The first row of lace will help set everything in motion. Once you have that first row of lace complete, then you can simply work from the previous rows, doing your best to stick to the pattern.

Let's get started!

1. Chain 300 (you may want to use markers along the way so you don't lose count).
2. Single crochet in each loop on the 'return'.
3. Put Loops on the Point: insert hook into first sc, yarn over, pull up loop, put loop onto the point. Repeat in the top of each stitch (and no, I don't count. Just keep going until you can't go anymore). Your point will be full and tightly packed.

4. Do not turn your work. Going back, in the first 2 loops, sc 5 times. The first sc is a little different -your hook is already 'inserted' through the 2 loops. yarn over, pull up loop, yarn over and pull through the one loop on the hook. All other sc will be normal. Since the first sc of each row is really a partial stitch, it makes pulling up the big loops of the lace slightly tricky. the very last loop to pull up will be in the funky stitch. You will see when you do it. Feel free to ask if you run into any problems.

5. In the next 3 loops, single crochet 3 times.
6. In the next 3 loops, single crochet 3 times.

7. In the next 3 loops, single crochet 3 times.
8. In the next 9 loops, single crochet 3 times. (notice, 3 of the loops are from a 3-3 set, 3 are from a 9-3 set and 3 loops are from another 3-3 set.)

9. In the next 3 loops, single crochet 3 times.
10. In the next 3 loops, single crochet 3 times.

11. In the next 3 loops, single crochet 3 times.
12. In the next 3 loops, single crochet 9 times.

13. Repeat steps 5-12 until you get to the end. You should have 2 loops at the very end, single crochet 5 times in these 2 loops.
14. Now you need to put loops on your point again. You simply repeat steps 3 through 13 until you put as many rows on your project as you want.

I wanted to keep my color changes at the ends of rows, as opposed to mid row. But that is entirely up to you. Of course, that means I now have a bunch of little scraps left over. To be a truly scrappy blanket I would simply change as my yarn ran out.

Sometimes, my counts get off. I have no idea why - apparently I don't pay quite enough attention as I am doing this. But this is a very forgiving pattern in which you can hide the mistakes. Make sure the top and bottom of your zig zags line up. Sometimes I do this by using just 2 loops instead of 3 or 7 instead of 9. Just depends on how badly I messed up. Don't worry, no one will notice.

Let me know if you have any questions. It is really a very easy pattern in which you don't have to do a lot of thinking. The best type of pattern as far as I am concerned.

Happy crocheting!


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