Welcome to the New Year, New Technique CAL! For this event we will be exploring new crochet techniques each week, with free patterns to practice on. Learn more in the main CAL post, and join in the fun on the CAL Central Crochet Facebook group!
This week’s technique is Bruges lace, and one of the patterns is my Bruges Lace Napkin Ring. If you’ve never done Bruges lace before, this pattern is a wonderful introduction.
(scroll down for video tutorial)
Making the tape
At its most basic, Bruges lace is a “tape” or column of simple stitches, with chain loops sticking out at the start of each row. Here you can see a straight tape where each row is ch 5 to form the loop, and then 3 dc.
As you turn your work back and forth for each row, the loops will alternate on either side of the tape. By adjusting the stitches used, and joining the loops together, you can create lace that curves and twists to make various shapes.
To make the tape curve, use smaller stitches at one end and larger stitches at the other. The tape will curve in the direction of the smaller stitches. Here you see the rows are sc on the inside edge of the curve, hdc for the middle stitch, and dc on the outside edge. Each row still has a loop at the beginning. These loops are joined together in the middle on the inside of the curve.
After the curve, the tape is worked straight again, down the other side. The loops on the inside are joined together as well, creating the lattice like look. To make a joining loop, do not ch 5, instead ch 2, sl st in the loop you want to join to, and ch 2 again. The slip stitch counts as the 3rd ch of the loop, so instead of a ch 5 loop you have a (ch 2, sl st, ch 2) loop.
You now know everything you need to make these napkin rings. Once you get the hang of it, they only take a few minutes to make. Go ahead and make yourself a whole set!
These are just the basics of Bruges lace, and there are more advanced things you can do with it. Here are a few example swatches from a class I took – I never did quite finish the inside of the heart: