Old-School Lace, New-School Yarn

What do you do when the power goes out and all of life's modern conveniences are temporarily taken away? Grab a friend and crochet--no electricity required! That's what we did when heavy winds knocked out our power a couple of weeks ago. What a great time to learn something new.

The teacher was Sharon, a friend of The Animator's Wife's, and the subject was broomstick lace. She had learned it from one of her friends back in the 70s. As we sat there, crocheting in the dimly lit basement, I couldn't help but think of the pioneering women who had invented broomstick lace. What creative minds they had! And they probably worked under similar conditions as we were that afternoon.

For anyone who doesn't know what broomstick lace is, it's a type of crochet lace created on a large (25 mm) knitting needle, called a broomstick lace pin. When it first came into existence, it was created on an actual broomstick; hence the name "broomstick" lace. I was amazed at how fast the lace worked up. In fact, Sharon said it was always her fail-safe when she needed to make a baby blanket in a hurry!

Here is my first attempt from that afternoon:

Broomstick Lace
It was very easy to learn, since knowledge of the chain stitch and single crochet are all that are required. And I love the way the loops on each row twist around to give it a three-dimensional texture. So of course, now The Animator's Wife wants to make Sharon something in broomstick lace to thank her for introducing us to it!

However, when she went to pick out some yarn for her project, she got to wondering. What would happen if she mixed an old-fashioned type lace with one of the new novelty yarns? She just had to try it.

Here's her broomstick lace patch done in a ribbon yarn:

Broomstick Lace Ribbon
Lovely, but maybe just a little bulky. What could she make out of that? So she tried it in a ladder yarn:

Broomstick Lace Ladder
Perfect! I think this would make a wonderful, delicate scarf. This is definitely the one for Sharon's gift. Besides, I can think of better things to do with the ribbon yarn.

Ribbon Yarn