How to Join Motifs and Add Fill-in Lace

Here’s the run-down for how to join motifs and add fill-in lace for the fabric yo-yo motif. You can also use these techniques as a guide for joining all sorts of other motifs!

crochet fill in lace


These motifs are joined with the join-as-you-go method, which you can review here.

Because these motifs are delicate and lacy, I use a slip stitch join to decrease bulk. All joins are executed in round 5 and are joined to the “partner” motif through the center of a ch-7 loop (not the center stitch). Joining through a chain stitch this tiny can get too fiddly for my liking, and joining around the loop allows more flexibility when blocking.

When you are ready to make a join, rather than just making a ch-7 loop in your “working” motif, make: ch 3, then slip stitch join to the “partner” motif, ch 3, slip stitch in top center dc of next fan. This all sounds very simple — and it is — but it does take some concentration and planning to join motifs correctly!

Two-to-Two Join (no unworked loops)

For a two-to-two join with no unworked loops, just think of your motif as a hexagon, rather than a circle. There are twelve loops per motif, so each “hexagon” side will be two loops.

join motifs hexagon

As you can see above, motifs can be arranged in a more linear fashion (green), or in a circular pattern (orange, and below).

two-to-two with no empty loop (like joining hexagons)

This option takes a bit more planning ahead than the two-to-two with an unworked loop. However, this option feels “sturdier,” as it has less open spaces.

Two-to-Two Join (with an unworked loop)

join motifs square

For this arrangement, it helps to think of your motifs as squares. Each square side will consist of two loops, and you will leave the square’s “corners” as unworked loops.

join motifs squares

You can see that this arrangement leaves quite a bit more space around the motifs. You may like this, or you may want to fill in the blanks with some fill-in lace! The fill-in lace for this motif is really just a tiny little flower that will have half its petals joined to the four open loops between the yo-yo motifs. Joining spots for the fill-in lace are shown above with orange dots.

Here is what this project looks like without fill-in lace . . .

crochet motif with a fabric yo-yo center

. . . and here’s how it looks after adding the fill-in lace:

join motifs

Which do you like better: with or without? I think I prefer with, and if you do too, here is how to make it!

Fill-in Lace

Use your #5 steel crochet hook and 10 weight thread. When making Round 1, work over your beginning thread tail so you don’t have to weave it in later!

Ch 5. Join to first ch with a sl st to make a circle.

Round 1: Ch 1. Make 8 sc in circle. Join to first sc with a sl st. (8 sc)

Round 2: *(Ch 2, sl st join to yo-yo motif, ch 2, sl st in next sc of working motif. Ch 5, sl st in next sc of working motif). Repeat from * around. Cut thread and finish off. (8 ch-5 loops, with every-other ch-5 loop joined to a ch-7 loop of yo-yo motif)

And that’s all! If you really want to go nuts, you could make another round of sc or dc into the little petals for a more dimensional flower look. I wasn’t in a nuts-going mood, so I just wove in all my little thread ends and carefully pressed the crochet with a wet towel and steam iron. Ah, so good to be done!

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