Broomstick Lace

I’ve always liked the look of Broomstick Lace. After looking at the patterns in Doris Chan’s new book, Crochet Lace Innovations, I had to try it. Since I enjoy learning about history, I looked that up too.

Broomstick lace is a historic crochet technique from the 1800s. Traditionally a crochet hook and broomstick was used, hence the name. The modern choice instead of a broomstick is a knitting needle or smooth wooden craft dowel. It is also known as jiffy lace, peacock eye crochet, and Witchcraft Lace. In Sweden, it is called “Lattice Loop.”

“There are no references or examples of it in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London or in the American Museum in Bath. Americans claim broomstick crochet as their own because there is evidence that the early settlers used it as a quick way to make blankets. In America, Canada and Australia, it is still practiced as a traditional craft and is demonstrated in rural life museums. It probably originated in Europe, born out of necessity and used up odds and ends of yarn. Created in this way, it may not have been treasured as heirlooms and therefore the lack of evidence means that the history is mostly conjecture instead of fact.” Sources: Crochet Guild of America and Wikipedia

First I took some leftover yarn and tried out the technique.

Then I took some Colinette Tao silk I had in my stash and worked up this piece that will be a hair band/scarf/belt thing.
I’m using an H hook and a #19 knitting needle. I love how it looks. This kind of technique really makes me stop and consider the process that went into creating this technique in the first place. What made someone decide to take a crochet hook and a broomstick and work this out?