Hairpin Wrap/Shawl for a Friend

A long overdue project is closing in to the finishing bath. A year ago I posted about a hairpin lace wrap for a friend. I mentioned it was going slower than I’d anticipated. Between the need to get knitting on the grandkids’ socks for the early Christmas gathering, then the scarves, and spinning – lots of spinning, the wrap fell by the wayside.

Sometimes a person’s way of thinking is convoluted: at the back of my mind was the tiny notion that if I didn’t work on the wrap my friend, Mirth, wouldn’t need it. Denial. The desire to ignore bad.

A number of years ago cancer struck and knocked her off her feet for a bit. Mirth came roaring back full of vitality, love and good cheer after dealing with the dreadful trio: surgery, chemo and radiation. Cancer clawed at her skin but didn’t dampen her joy of life. Over a year ago it attacked her bones. She’s fighting with every molecule of her being and strength of will. Chemo and blood transfusions are a reality but she is optimistic. Frosty mornings, the advent of bone-chilling winter rains and her ongoing struggle have compelled me to take the wrap out of the bag and tackle it with renewed commitment to finish it.

Many people ask about the joining and finishing process for hairpin. As with much in crocheting (hairpin lace is a form of crochet work) there are not set rules.

First off: Beginning the join at the bottom. The trick here is to alternate picking up loops from each subsequent panel (aka strips) as follows:
Panel #1 The hook threaded through the first 2 loops on the right panel, hooked the first 2 loops on the left panel, #2 and pulled through the #1 loops and continue alternating the entire length of the panels. Two panels joined.Panel #2 joined to Panel #3
This time thread the hook through the first 2 loops on the left panel. If you were to always start with the first 2 loops on the right panel you’ll end up with a parallelogram instead of a rectangle or square. In the picture the right panel loops have been pulled through the left loops. Here I’m ready to hook the next 2 loops of the left panel.

This  2×2 join produces a neat “braid” joining the two panels. Go through 2 loops on one panel and hook the 2 opposite loops from the adjacent panel. I like to join each new panel as soon as it’s complete for a couple of reasons:

1) Accumulating a bunch of panels seems like a recipe for disaster.
2) I don’t cut the yarn until the loops are all joined in case I miscounted the last dozen loops can be slipped back on the loom to make more loops.

When the wrap was as wide as needed I did a line of single crochet (sc) up the sides hooking 2 loops per sc with another sc between each group. Since hairpin lace is stretchy I needed to avoid a tight edge so used a crochet hook a couple sizes larger, an I/5mm hook – the Ebony, rather than the G/4mm hook which I used for the panels.

After making enough panels for the width I wasn’t happy with the length. I double crocheted the beginning edge loops at the ends hoping that would add enough extra length.  (This looks messy what with the ends from the tails at each end of every panel but they’ll be crocheted in and all will be tidy.)Still not quite the length needed to cover Mirth’s arms. Now a lace panel  is being added to each crocheted end. It should all smooth and even out with a good bath and blocking. There are a few errors here and there but decided not to take the time to fix them, they are a reflection of the imperfection of a life well lived.Many prayers have gone forth for Mirth during the making of this wrap. I pray that God wraps her in love and peace, and gives her strength.

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Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Great Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing my fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays we try to set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

6 thoughts on “Hairpin Wrap/Shawl for a Friend”

  1. wow! That seems mind boggling. And I was whining about a beaded bag I knit for my sister! yeow!
    I am knuckle deep in grandkid knit items. Starting the 2-year old’s sweater this evening. I have greens, blues, and browns…..now, how to put them together…….
    Happy November!

  2. Wanda, I’m so sorry to hear of your friend’s struggle. I know the wrap you are making her will be a tangible way for her to feel your love, and my prayers are joining with yours for her strength and health.

  3. Good for you, Wanda in picking up the work and renewing your effort. Sometimes the timing just has to be right for a project. I knitted a shawl for a sister-in-law when she found out she had breast cancer. More then once I set the project down, but with determination it did get finshed.
    I am so proud of you and all the work you and Ed have put fourth in your business. I enjoyed reading the article in the “Our Town” paper.
    Take care and hope to run into you sometime.

  4. That is a beautiful piece, and not only because of the handwork, but because of the prayers and love that go into it. I will keep your friend in my thoughts, too.

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