Stitch of the Week: Lace Clusters

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.

LaceCluster11

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).

LaceCluster1

To begin, (dc, ch 2, dc) in 4th ch from hook.

LaceCluster2

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:

LaceCluster3

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.

LaceCluster4

Yo and draw through all 9 loops on hook. Ch 1 to secure the puff.

LaceCluster5

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:

LaceCluster6

Ch 3 and turn. Make puff in ch-2 sp from previous row.

LaceCluster7

Next, (dc, ch 2, dc) in top of puff (in the ch-1 sp that you used to secure the puff)

LaceCluster8

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:

LaceCluster9

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?

LaceCluster10

After you’ve worked a few rows, you’ll see it start to come together:

LaceCluster12

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!

LaceCluster14

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!

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