When I taught my Beginning Bruges Lace class at the CGOA Conference in 2010, I had no idea that one of my students would go on to design so much in Bruges Lace. But she did! That student is Ellen Gormley. She not only has had many Bruges Lace designs published, but she’s also come out with a new crochet book/leaflet called “Learn Bruges Lace”, published by Annie’s. You can see and purchase this book at http://www.anniescatalog.com/detail.html?prod_id=90152.
Ellen has done a great job with this book. It includes step-by-step instructions for 10 stitch patterns in Bruges Lace to learn this crochet technique. Once you’ve learned the technique, you’ll want to make some (or all) of the 8 Bruges Lace patterns in the book, which Ellen has designed: 3 hats, 2 scarves, a blanket, a bracelet and a cowl. Each pattern (and each beginning stitch pattern) includes written instructions, as well as a symbol chart. If you haven’t learned to read crochet symbol charts, you’ll really want to learn. Crochet symbols are a visual representation of the project, showing all the crochet stitches worked in the project in symbol form. Here is an example of crochet symbols:
Once you learn to read crochet symbols, you’ll never be the same! You can make many more crochet projects from patterns which are only written in crochet symbols, such as in Magic Crochet and Decorative Crochet magazines, along with Japanese and Russian crochet magazines, such as Duplet. I’ll be teaching a class at the CGOA Conference next week in Reno on Crochet Symbols. If you’re in the area, there is still room for a few more students in this class! You can read about the CGOA Conference and all the classes being offered here: http://www.knitandcrochetshow.com/fall-special-events.asp?i2s3. There are a lot of great classes to choose from, both crochet and knitting!
Back to Ellen’s book! If you’ve never tried Bruges Lace, it’s easy (and fun) to do once you know how. You can use crochet thread or yarn, whichever you prefer. Ellen’s book is easy to understand, laid out well and has great stitch patterns, as well as projects. My two favorite projects in this book are the Spiral Cowl and the Dune Throw. Here are photos of those two projects:
Bruges Lace uses regular crochet stitches, such as chain, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet and sometimes treble crochet. It’s just the way the stitches are laid out that makes it Bruges Lace! If you’d never heard of Bruges Lace before, it is a lace technique which originated in Belgium. The “real” Bruges Lace is made with many tiny wooden bobbins that are filled with thread and crossed over each other to create intricate lace. Here is a photo of the bobbins that are used for the “real” Bruges Lace:
Doesn’t that look confusing and difficult? There are master lace makers in Belgium, as well as other parts of the world. They put us to shame here in the US! I love lacy things, so I might learn to do bobbin lace someday, but not for a while. There are many more crochet projects that I’d like to design first!
Crocheted Bruges Lace is much easier to make than this “real” bobbin lace! All you need is a crochet hook and some yarn or crochet thread. You can combine Bruges Lace with crochet motifs in the same project, too. You can use one color of yarn/thread or multiple colors in different sections of the lace.
Here are a few photos of some crochet Bruges Lace that I’ve designed:
This is a tablecloth that I designed with colorful center flower motifs which are done in regular crochet (not Bruges Lace). Only the white around the edges of each motif is done in Bruges Lace. This tablecloth was published in Crochet World magazine’s Spring 2011 special issue called “The Joy of Thread”. It was actually on the front cover, too. The tablecloth is made with size 10 cotton crochet thread. You can see all of the projects in this magazine here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/crochet-world-magazine-spring-2011.
This Bruges Lace Wrap that I designed is a free pattern on the Naturally Caron website. It is made with Naturally Caron Spa yarn. This yarn drapes beautifully and the wrap is very soft! You can download this free pattern here: http://www.naturallycaron.com/projects/vail_mountain/vail_mountain_1.html.
In conclusion, please check out Ellen Gormley’s new book, “Learn Bruges Lace” on the Annie’s website or at your local craft store to learn this crochet technique. You’ll be delighted with the Bruges Lace projects you’ll be able to create with your knowledge of this fascinating crochet teachnique!