This is how I do it - it may sound a little complicated when written down however with practice the movement soon smooths into a fluid repetitive action although it may seem a little strange to start! A long braid of crochet forms on the pin and when no more stitches will fit on, it is a case of gently taking the crochet off the top of the pin, pulling the braid free and then replacing the top three or four loops on each side to keep working. This is the reason why Hairpin Looms are easier to work with when making long braids!
I hold the fork with the open end upwards and the 'u' at the bottom. This allows for the crochet hook to move smoothly as you work - however I have seen instructions holding the fork the other way, so if this works best for you then this is fine!
|1/ Start by making a long slip knot. Put over the left prong of your pin, fork or loom (referred to as fork from now on).|
|2/ Wrap the yarn so it goes from the front to the back of the fork round the right hand prong. The yarn is now at the back of the fork and hold the yarn in your left hand.|
|3/ Putting the hook through the two loops at the left of the fork, catch the yarn and draw it back through the loop.|
|4/ Keep the stitch on the hook - however turn the hook so it is upright and then turn the fork from right to left and the yarn will loop around the fork (this sounds a lot more complicated than really is - you are simply turning the fork and moving the hook in such a way that it doesn't catch!).|
|5/ Make a chain stitch and then insert the hook between the top two loops on the left and make a single crochet (double crochet uk).|
|6/ Keep turning the work, making a chain stitch followed by a SC. A rhythm will soon form and this will become a smooth action. To fasten off simply draw the cut end of the yarn through the stitch as you would with normal crochet.|
|7/ There are many ways of joining your strips, some people run a row of single crochet up the edge, joining the two strips, or use a more fancy stitch. I prefer to link the edges together as shown in the picture as this forms a less rigid join.|
A really easy but effective scarf using Hairpin Crochet can be found here
If this takes you fancy and you want to have a go then the Boye Hairpin Loom is for sale at Amazon here
The technique can be adapted and varied in many ways - try including two Single Crochets each time to give a more substantial braid - or perhaps include a Double Crochet. There are many different sets of instructions on the internet and for more information about the background to Hairpin Lace and links to free patterns look here.
Do you have a favorite Hairpin Crochet technique or pattern - or have any hints and tips to share? If so why not pop into the forum and let us know!