This weekend I learnt broomstick lace. I saw a photo of a broomstick cuff on Ravely but the pattern just says “work 3 groups of 5 stitches of broomstick lace for the length of your wrist.” which wasn’t quite the level of detail I was hoping for!
As with the crocodile stitch I’d been putting off learning this stitch because it looked quite complicated and there seemed to be a lack of left-handed written instructions, and again once I got my head around it it was actually quite easy. The most useful instructions I found were detailed written instructions from dayliliescreative.com – as usual though the instructions are for the right-handed majority so I’ve created a photo tutorial here for all the lefties out there to even things up a little.
I think completing this pattern with a fluffy or highly textured yarn would be a bit of a waste – you need a nice smooth yarn that will show up all the stitches. Select your yarn (you don’t need very much for this small project – the finished bracelet with buttons weighs less than 10g) and a suitably sized hook – here I’ve used bamboo cotton and a 4mm hook. You also need something thicker – the broomstick from the name of the stitch. A thick knitting needle would be perfect because of the tapered point for sliding stitches on and off but I don’t knit so I used a 15mm crochet hook instead. The thicker your “broomstick” the longer the lacy clusters will be.
Step 1. Chain 15 and pick up your “broomstick”.
Step 2. Pull out the loop on the hook and place it over the broomstick. Using your hook work your way down the chain, pulling a loop of yarn through each chain and without twisting it placing it around the broomstick.
Step 4. Turn the broomstick around so the length of working yarn is at the top. Insert your hook under the first 5 loops on the broomstick as shown below. Yarn over the hook and pull under all 5 loops. Yarn over again and through the single loop on the hook. This is a slip stitch completed just once at the start of every row.
Step 6. Push this group of 5 loops off the end of your broomstick.
Oh dear – it doesn’t look very lacy and swishy like all those lovely photos you’ve seen does it? Not to worry – pick up the work and hold it vertically so the starting chain is in one hand and the row of stitches you’ve just completed in the other.
Pull these rows apart to reveal the lovely loopy broomstick stitches. There’s no need to be gentle – the work should be quite solid and able to withstand some tugging. This is where using smooth yarn gives another advantage as straightening it up is much easier. If it’s being stubborn then pull on individual loops to even them up – again don’t worry about being rough – you can always pull them back – nothing will unravel.
Step 9. pull out the working loop and put it around the broomstick as you did in step 2. Just like step 2 work your way down the row of stitches pulling loops through the work and putting them on the broomstick.
Step 10. Repeat steps 4 to 8 to complete this next row.
Continue repeating this process and after a few rows your work should look something like this:
You could add another row or two and simply slip stitch the work into a ring for a loose bracelet but I preferred it to be snug and actually think the buttons look good and will probably wear them facing out. If you want buttons then sew 3 onto the front side of the starting chain end. The loops of your last row will act as button holes.