A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a nearly unused hard-bound copy of The Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework at my local library’s used bookstore. I paid $2, and it’s a massive encyclopedia of needle knowledge. Besides having an entire section on hooked rugs (yeah, copyright 1979; very vintage), it’s also got a chapter devoted to various crochet stitches. One called “lace clusters” caught my eye.
It’s described as “a bubbly texture of thick puffs combined with openwork.” Probably good for a scarf or neck warmer or something like that. Let’s learn how!
Multiple: 6 plus 4 (I started with a chain of 28).
To begin, (dc, ch 2, dc) in 4th ch from hook.
Sk next 2 ch, and make a puff stitch in the next ch. To make the puff, yo and draw up a long loop, like this:
Make sure your loop is nice and long so it provides the required height. Repeat (yo, draw up loop) three more times for a total of 4 reps and 9 loops on your hook.
Yo and draw through all 9 loops on hook. Ch 1 to secure the puff.
Repeat this pattern across the rest of the foundation ch: sk 2 ch, (dc, ch 2, dc) in nxt ch, sk 2 ch, puff in nxt ch. (dc, ch 2, dc) in last ch. Your first row should look like this:
Ch 3 and turn. Make puff in ch-2 sp from previous row.
Next, (dc, ch 2, dc) in top of puff (in the ch-1 sp that you used to secure the puff)
Continue puffing into the ch-2 spaces and (dc, ch 2, dc)-ing into the top of the puffs. Make a puff in the last ch-2 sp, and then dc in the ch-3 from the previous row. Your swatch should now look like this:
Ch 3, turn. [(dc, ch 2, dc) in top of puff, make puff in ch-2 space] repeat across. Dc in ch-3 from previous row. Are you getting the hang of the pattern?
After you’ve worked a few rows, you’ll see it start to come together:
Kind of pretty, huh? I probably should’ve chose a girly pink or cream instead of this grassy green yarn.
Below, I’ve written out the entire pattern for your copy/pasting needs. Hope you enjoy!
Lace Cluster Crochet Stitch
Puff stitch: (Yo, draw up a long loop) 4 times in same ch or st. Yo, draw through all 9 loops on hook. Ch 1 to secure.
Ch multiple of 6, plus 4.
Row 1: (dc, ch 2, dc) in 4th ch from hook. [Sk nxt 2 ch, make puff in nxt ch. Sk nxt 2 ch, (dc, ch 2, dc) in nxt ch] repeat across to last ch. Ch 3, turn.
Row 2: [Make puff in ch-2 sp of prev row. (Dc, ch 2, dc) in top of nxt puff] repeat across. Make last puff, and dc in ch-3 sp from beg of previous row. Ch 3, turn.
Row 3: [(dc, ch 2, dc) in top of puff. Make puff in ch-2 sp of prev row] repeat across. Make last (dc, ch 2, dc) and dc in ch-3 sp of prev row.
Repeat rows 2 and 3.
Oh! And Happy Day 1 of National Crochet Month!