Broomstick Lace Tutorial

This is a very wordy and picture-ey tutorial because it is a pretty involved process, so please bear with me! I’ll break it into four parts: Tips, Starting the Base, Working the First Row of Loops, and Making the First Row of Lace. This is gonna be intense . . . Ready? You can do it, I know you can!


Tips for Broomstick Lace

  1. Be patient with yourself. Broomstick lace has a bit of a steep learning curve because it is so awkward. Take heart! Practice makes perfect, as they say.
  2. Pull your lace loops snugly around whatever lace tool you are using, but not too tight.
  3. If you are a beginner, I suggest using a synthetic or synthetic blend yarn. Anything with a little give and stretch will be easier to work with.
  4. This tutorial shows my way, using this pin. This is not the only correct method. There are many different ways to make broomstick lace, so do what feels right for you. Here are some other methods: video by Crochet Geek, picture tute at Crochet Cabana, picture tutorial at Crochet Spot, picture tutorial at Kootooyoo.
  5. You can make your own pin, like I did, or you can purchase one here. You can also use a broomstick, a ruler, a knitting needle, a pipe, or a turkey baster.
  6. You may want to use a lifeline. You can read about how to do that here.
  7. Inevitably, once in a while you will discover that you are one loop short. That’s okay – just make the correct number of single crochets in your lace loop groups and keep going.

Starting the Base

You can start your first “loop” row right after you make your chain, but I find it is easier to make a more sturdy “base layer” with a row of single crochet. First, you must determine your multiple. Decide how many loops you want for each of your lace groups – it can be any amount. Then, decide how many lace groups you want/how long you want your row to be. Here is the formula for your beginning chain: (number of loops per group× number of lace groups) + 1. For this tutorial, I decided on five loops per grouping and I want four groups. So, my formula looks like this: (5× 4) + 1 = 21. Chain 21, then single crochet in the second chain from the hook, and in each remaining chain to the end. If you are following this example, you will have 20 single crochets for a base (do not remove your hook):

broomstick lace base stitches

Working the First Row of Loops

After you finish your base row of single crochet, pull up a big loop with your hook (through the last stitch you just made). This loop will already be there, you just need to yank it up:

broomstick lace_pulling up first loop

Remove your hook and set it aside for now. Grab your pin or lace tool and insert it through the loop you just made. Pull the ball-end of the yarn to make the loop snug (but not tight!) around the pin:

broomstick lace_inserting the pin

Okay, here’s where everything gets awkward. I’m going to show you what works for me, but you very well might come up with a way that works better for you. Do whatever is most comfortable/makes most sense to you! Weave the yarn through your fingers, as you would normally do for controlling tension, and slide your hand up to meet the pin. Grasp the pin. I am right-handed, so my yarn and pin are in my left hand:

broomstick lace_grasping the pin front

broomstick lace_grasping the pin back

For “loop” rows, always work through the back loops only of the single crochets. You will pull up a loop for each single crochet from the previous row (so for this example, I will have 20 loops at the end). Insert your hook through the back loop of the next single crochet and grab the ball-end yarn that is wrapped through the fingers:

broomstick lace_grabbing a loop

Pull that yarn through – make the loop as big as you want – and at the same time, slide your middle finger down the hook so it is also in the loop:

broomstick lace_pulling up a loop

Next, insert your ring finger into the loop as well. Now you have the hook, your middle finger, and your ring finger all inside the loop:

broomstick lace_inserting ring finger

Spread your ring and middle fingers apart to open up the loop and guide it onto the pin:

broomstick lace_opening the loop

Snuggify the loop around the pin. Most likely, you will have to readjust your hands and yarn a bit now. That’s okay – just get back into position for the next loop. With some practice, all of these steps become more fluid and easy:

broomstick lace_tightening the loop on the pin

Continue making a loop for each of your single crochets until you get to the end (20 loops here):

broomstick lace_first row of loops

Set your hook aside for now, and carefully pull the pin out completely. Here is an in-progress-pin-removal:

broomstick lace_sliding the loops off

Making the First Row of Broomstick Lace

And now, the moment we’ve been waiting for, the first lace group! Grab up your hook again and insert it through the first five loops, pulling them a little taut. Now get your ball-end yarn in working order through the fingers of your left hand:

broomstick lace_starting the first lace row

To start the very first lace group of each row, we’ll need to “lock” it in place with a slip stitch. Grab the ball-end yarn with your hook:

broomstick lace_sl st to start first lace row

Now, pull up the yarn through all five loops:

broomstick lace_securing first lace group

Yarn over:

broomstick lace_start first sl st

. . . And pull it through to finish the locking slip stitch. This slip stitch does not count as a single crochet:

broomstick lace_finishing first sl st

Because our lace groups are five loops deep, we need to make five single crochets into each group. Insert your hook through the “eye” of the lace group:

broomstick lace_starting first sc

Grab the yarn from behind the lace group:

broomstick lace_working first sc

Pull it through:

broomstick lace_finishing first sc

Yarn over:

broomstick lace_finishing first sc 2

. . . And pull the yarn through both loops on your hook to complete the first single crochet:

broomstick lace_end first sc

Continue to make single crochets through the eye of the lace group until you have five single crochets:

broomstick lace_first lace group done

For the rest of the lace groups, you do not have to make a locking slip stitch. Insert your hook through the next five loops, making sure they aren’t twisted, and that they’re all facing the same direction:

broomstick lace_starting 2nd lace group

Yarn over:

broomstick lace_yo for first sc for 2nd lace group

. . . And pull the yarn through:

broomstick lace_start of sc for 2nd lace group

Yarn over again and pull the yarn through both loops on your hook to complete the single crochet:

broomstick lace_end first sc for 2nd lace group

Continue making five single crochets in each group of five loops to the end. You’ll have 20 single crochets and four lace loop groups. Do not remove your hook:

broomstick lace_first lace row done

Pull up a big loop, take up your broomstick lace pin, and start all over again. Repeat to your heart’s content:

broomstick lace_starting row 3

134 thoughts on “Broomstick Lace Tutorial

  1. Whoo hoo! I just had to try this out straight away! Found a very fat wooden knitting needle to use as my ‘broom’ and did two rows! NEAT!! Thank you for taking the time to do this tutorial for us. 😀

  2. Hi!
    I was just checking my Ravelry account and I saw that one of my friends added this to her favorites… it seems to be my lucky day! Your blog is AMAZING!! It is so inspiring!

    All you do is awesome! Especially your crochet work! Until now I have been mostly knitting with two needles and I have done some little crochet projects. One of my goals for this year is to get more into crocheting… and finding your blog has really made me want to learn more!

    I am really looking forward to following your work!

    All the best from Iceland!

    (if you want to take a look at my blog you are more than welcome! http://www.rodprjonar.blogspot.com and I am rodprjonar at Ravelry)

    1. Like I say, this has a bit of a learning curve. It’s not hard, per se, it’s just awkward to hold the pin and hook at the same time. After a bit of practice, you get into a groove and it becomes much more natural 😀

  3. I don’t really crochet, and have trouble following diagrams a lot of the time, but i feel like I could actually do this! Thank you. I’m knitting a baby blanket and have been looking for an idea for edging on it, and this might be perfect

    1. Aw, thanks! If you’re really interested in crochet blanket borders, I highly recommend Edie Eckman’s book, “Around the Corner Crochet Borders” (available at most libraries, I would think). If you try the broomstick edging, I’d love to see it!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. At one time, i knew how to do this, but as time went by and I didn’t do this, I had forgotten how. Thanks for the reminder. This will make an awesome looking shawl for anyone!

  5. The most elementary instructions ever! Thank you so much for sharing this. You are tight I can, I can and I did.

  6. Very nice tutorial! I think I actually understood this one. Thank you. Broomstick lace doesn’t seem so intimidating after seeing this. I can’t wait to try!

    1. i have tried and one side always comes out different than the other one is straight and the other is frilly

    2. I have yet to make a border, but I would try it in the usual way. Just work around a couple of the lace loops on the side when you come to them. When I get some time, maybe I’ll try it out and do a post about it. Keep you posted!

  7. OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!! I have looked at 100 tutorials and videos for broomstick lace and yours is my absolute favorite!!! Thank you SO much!!!!

  8. I found this to be really easy to accomplish with your instructions! Thank you so much for sharing. It’s great to learn a new stitch. I used a 6″ ruler as my tool. I can see where a round pin would be easier. When will you be selling the pins on your Etsy site?

    1. Hi, Brenda! I just sold the last one I had in stock, but I will be making more soon! I’ll post an update — I only have the tools for half of the process at my house, so it’s taking a while to get some more in the shop. I think a ruler is a great idea — definitely better than a broom handle! Talk to you soon!

  9. i have been wanting to try this stitch out but seen too many say its too hard to understand. i set out doing my homework before starting because if i started by someones pattern that i did not like, the pattern would be stuck in my head and i would never master it. i can perfectly recall ever pattern i have done in my past 5+ years of crocheting. i picked yours because you break it all down and with great pictures to help. it was super easy for me to do. i done it once for my first time and it looked so good that i finished it off into a bracelet for my daughters and they LOVE it!. thanks so much for your help and ill be sure to send people your way when wanting to try this stitch out!

  10. Thanks for the tutorial. I saw a pattern I liked but have never done broomstick lace. Always looked so hard. I’m definitely gonna try this real soon. Thanks for all the hard work so people like me can do this.

  11. It is so interesting to see these OLD OLD types of needlework re-appear. I did broomstick lace 30 or 40 yrs ago. Keep waiting for the oldies to show up again. I started crocheting when I was 6 years old. Started working with the very fine crochet thread and crocheted edgings on handkerchiefs. Now I wonder how I could work with that fine yard. But by now I have worked with all weights and types of yarn. Haven’t seen any hairpin lace yet though. Glad to see that these arts are coming back and not lost forever. Your explanation for the broomstick lace was extremely good. Don’t remember how I learned but probably from some magazine. My husband cut an end off a real broom (wood) for me to use. then I bought a plastic round about 10″ long but still preferred the wood. I kept the yarn on the broomstick and took it off in groups. I found It didn’t get as tangled up especially when working on a large project.

    1. That reminds me — I have a hairpin lace project stashed away! It is really fun to try out all the different techniques (if only there were more hours in a day)!

    1. Great job on the tutorial Heidi! Your instructions and photos explain the technique really clearly and your cowl pattern with the buttons is really cute. You’ve reminded me of what a beautiful style of crochet this is and I’m going to make a cowl tonight using your pattern, so thanks for sharing. When I first learned broomstick crochet many(ok, many, many) years ago, I learned it using an actual broom stick(you know, back when they were still made of wood and straw, LOL), which works great if you want to do a big project like an afghan or a shawl. You can get wooden dowels at a lumber yard or home improvement store and they come in all sorts of diameters and can be cut to any length you want. The next time you wear out a broom or brake a shovel-save the handle-recycle and reuse!

  12. i sure like the way you have done yours sooo easy lot better then the way i was doing on broomstick needle thks for sharing >>>diane

  13. This an interesting crochet stitch. I figured it out, but now I need a lace hook instead of my turkey baster!. I have a couple of questions: On my 1st lace stitch, when I pull my stitch thru to begin sc in loops, it does not line up on back side. Is this the way it should look, or am I doing something wrong? And mine sort of puckers at the bottom. What can I do to prevent this?

    1. Both those things happen for me, too. I think the puckering comes from the transition from a tight, uniform stitch (the scs) to a loose, lacy one (the broomstick lace). Blocking can help this, as well as just shiuzing it with your fingers. Or, if you make a border around your work, that helps, too: http://speckless.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/starting-a-border-on-broomstick-lace/

      You can see the puckering in that swatch for the border in that link up there, BTW 😀

  14. I’m just starting to crochet, but your step by step instructions, will make it much easier.

    Thanks

    Mala

  15. I always thought these projects looked intimidating… so with a big *sigh*, I decided to read through your instructions and see if it looked doable for a somewhat new crocheter like me. I’m soooo excited to give this a try now! It’s not even as complicated as some other stitches I’ve already mastered and the results are really impressive. Thanks for sharing! =)

  16. I Loved your tutorial it was very helpful at taking the mystery out of making broomstick lace.
    Thanking you for showing the process step by step and taking something that looks hard to make too very easy!

  17. I can’t wait to try this! Your instructions in the tutorial are so easy to understand. Thanks for taking the time to show each step.

  18. I’m on my way to the raft store now for some new yarn…Going to get started early on everyone’s 2013 Christmas gift!!

  19. Your tutorial was the easiest tutorial I have experienced! I have tried this pattern multiple times and could never get comfortable with the outcome. You explained it very well! I tried it and am on my way to my first broomstick lace project. Thank you so much for being so clear and easy to understand. Cindy from My Yarn Cafe

  20. Are you kidding me, you just made that so much easier to understand. That is the best tutorial I have ever see, so well photographed and worded, thank you so much, I have wanted to know how it was done for ages.
    I am off to have a look at what else you have on your wonderful blog.

  21. Thank you for sharing your talent. I have been crocheting since I was 8 and always wanted to try something a little different and this looks so easy to do. I will definately give this a shot. Thanks again ~ Donna

  22. BEST tutorial EVER!! I’ve tried doing this sooo many times before, & now, after your tutorial, I can FINALLY do it! Now I can start your Infinity and Beyond Lace Scarf–thank you so much! 🙂

  23. Thank you so very much for the picture instructions. Also, including the addition of making a row of single crocheting to pull stitches from in the beginning of project was so very helpful. I have wanted to learn this stitch for years. Now that I am almost 60 years old I’m learning and can share with our crocheting group at our senior activity center. Majority of the ladies are in their 70s and 80s. We are having so much fun refreshing our skills in this and other crafts as well.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. Linda, thank you so much for your message! This really touched my heart and made my day. Keep up the good work — you are amazing!

    1. Yes — I have seen triangle shawls on the web that are made with broomstick lace. I would do a search for “how to decrease broomstick lace” and also take a peek at Ravelry for some ideas!

  24. Beautifully and patiently explained, with pictures for each step. It was very easy to follow and very helpful. Thank you!

  25. I have literally read through three broomstick lace patterns and sobbed because they didn’t explain the transition from the first five to the second well. I tried and tried and couldn’t. Thank you so much for pictures and well described actions!!! I look forward to finally getting this right!!!

    1. I don’t have money to purchase a video camera. I often don’t do tutorials all in one sitting because I have a full time job and I don’t have time to do that.

    1. The right side is the side that faces you as you work through the top loops of the broomstick lace! Depending on the pattern, you might always have the right side facing you (because broomstick lace is worked back and forth without turning), or you might have some rows of different stitches between broomstick lace rows. Then, you would be turning your work.

  26. I have been making a baby blanket it is ready to finish. What is the best way to finish it? The blanket is the broomstick lace style.
    Thanks. Rachel

  27. I am just learning to crochet and looked at the picture and thought no way! Your pictures and explanations made it easy to follow and I am proud to say it worked.. Thanks for making it seem easy!

  28. Hi, does the single crochet that joins the five loop groups count as one of the five single crochets into that group?

  29. I love this tutorial!!! I have been wanting to learn broomstick lace for awhile but haven’t had the time to teach myself until now. Thank you for making the learning part easy…now I can’t put it down 🙂

  30. Thanks for an easy to follow tutorial. I found the hardest part was keeping all the loops the same way round. I did two rows on a thick rolling pin then two on a wooden spoon handle. I was over the moon with the results. Thanks.

  31. Oh my gosh, My Grandmother also made broomstick lace….and her name was Grace. I loved see this…

  32. Your tutorial was exactly what I needed. I am making a broomstick lace afghan. The pattern instructions weren’t detailed enough., so I’m so glad I found your example. Its comung along beautifully. Thanks so much for posting this!!!

  33. Thank you! I just got a lovely cashmere lace yarn that I want to use for a scarf for my mother. I was scratching my head all night trying to figure out broomstick lace for it. Finally I found your tutorial and I’m flying through practicing it 🙂 I don’t have any large hooks/needles or dowels on hand, but I’m using a credit card and it’s working nicely. Again, THANK YOU 🙂

  34. Yay, I’ve just learnt broomstick lace crochet! I used a very long fat knitting needle and tucked it in between my arm and me as i just couldn’t hold it and my hook!!
    But it’s working for me, I’m delighted with myself!!!
    Fiddly, yes! Easy, very much so!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    1. Yay! I know some people hold the pin/needle between their knees. You can also try something shorter, like a paper tube, credit card, or the pin I sell in my Etsy shop! Happy trails!

  35. I have tried, tried and tired for a few years now to do this stitch, until I finally gave up.. I just saw another pattern for this stitch. Then in one of her pattern stitch sentence, she said , you can find tutorial stitch here.. I clicked and you came up.. I read got mine supplies came back and BINGO I DID IT… I could never understand others.. You made it so clear and so easy…. THANK YOU… You just really will never know how good I feel that I can do this now….
    Alma

Comments are closed.