Take a look at this green photo: This is the seed form of the Weightless lace pattern (shown above). It may look more plain, but several choices have already been made that put this and Weightless in the same lace family. For example, which solid and open stitches; whether staggered or stacked. In the photo of the two kinds of white Tunisian mesh, the one on the left is stacked; the other is staggered.
Given a choice of lace or no lace on a wintery day, I’d choose the lace every time, if I don’t have to sacrifice cozy warmth. Embedding wee eyelets here and there in dense (toasty!) solid stitches makes them stand out more. (Maybe it’s a no-brainer for knitters because of how knit stitches work.) Warm eyelet patterns makes me think of knitted classics, even though it’s not rare or difficult to crochet eyelets. I’m most interested in how dainty eyelets help me show others an easy way to understand the building blocks of lace.
When I add simply add a few eyelets to plain Tunisian and Slip Stitch crochet, I can see why eyelets are ubiquitous in knitting: low-riding rows of stitches create the daintiest eyelets. Tunisian and slip stitches can also provide the dense, fine-grained stitches for a subtle solid background that makes teensy eyelets really pop.
Have you ever sprinkled in some li’l eyelets while crocheting rows of a simple, familiar Tunisian stitch? If you try the stitch pattern below, you may get idea sparks for your own variations (i.e. start designing your own custom lace patterns!), or you can try some of my sparks below.
A Little Inspiration: Seed-Form Lace
Seed-Form Tunisian Eyelet Lace (stitch abbreviations & descriptions are listed below in blue)
Ch 17 with a smooth medium weight yarn and a Tunisian crochet hook that is 2 sizes larger than usual for the yarn and that is of any length.
Row 1, Forward Pass (FP): First loop already on your hook counts as the first st of this row and every Tunisian row. Insert hook in the easiest loop of the second ch from hook, yo, pull up a loop and leave on hook, *pull up a loop in the next ch the same way, repeat from * until you have 17 loops on the hook.
Standard Return Pass (RP): Yo and pull through one loop on hook, *yo and pull through two loops on hook, repeat from * until one loop remains on hook.
Row 2, FP: Skip that very first edge stitch, Tss in next st, *Tyo for next st to create eyelet, Tss in each of next 3 sts, repeat from * until 3 sts remain, Tyo for next st, Tss in each of last 2 sts: 17 loops on hook. RP.
Row 3, FP: Skip first (edge) st, Tss in next st, *insert hook in eyelet space made by Tyo, yarn over and pull up loop and leave loop on hook, Tss in each of next 3 sts, repeat from * until 3 sts remain, pull up loop in last eyelet space, Tss in each of last 2 sts: 17 loops on hook. RP.
Row 4, FP: Skip first (edge) st, Tss in each remaining st of row: 17 loops on hook. RP.
Row 5 and beyond: At this point, you could:
- Repeat Row 4 again and then repeat Rows 2 & 3 to get dainty eyelets that are spaced apart in all directions by solid Tss stitches.
- Repeat Row 2 over and over to get columns of eyelets alternated with solid columns of Tss.
- Substitute a different solid stitch for the Tss, for example, Tks (Tunisian Knit Stitch, in which you insert hook all the way from front to back between the vb and back vb of a stitch, yo, pull through and leave loop on hook).
- Repeat Rows 2 − 4, and try changing little things that alter the shape of the eyelet. For example, crochet into one of the strands of the Tyo instead of into the whole space. Or, try a different stitch just before and after each Tyo.
- While repeating an eyelet row (Row 2), try alternating sts: [1 Tss in next st, 1 Tyo in next st] ending with 2 Tss in each of the last 2 sts of row.
- Try a different type of yarn/fiber and/or a different hook size.
When you're done, sc in each vb and fasten off.
This is a new way of understanding myself as a long-term crocheter. Designing lacy crochet for balmy springs and summers comes easily to me, but it’s not just because I live in Florida. I’ve loved fancy lacy-lace all of my life; the more dramatic, the better. As a teenager in Maine I even offered lace repair services to antique dealers when I was a teenager in Maine.
When I first began experimenting with making Tunisian crochet lacy, tiny eyelets didn’t even occur to me! Fun effects with larger eyelets led to the Five Peaks Shawl. As with regular crochet, my natural tendency was to then progress to bigger holes for more drama; that’s how Aero happened. (Rivuline, in a book due out in the spring, has the largest Tunisian holes I’ve ever crocheted, or seen elsewhere!)
ch=chain, FP=Forward Pass, RP=Return Pass, sc=single crochet, sl st=slip stitch, st(s)=stitch(es), vb=vertical bar.
Tss=Tunisian Simple Stitch (insert hook in vertical bar of next st, yo and pull up a loop and leave loop on hook).
Tyo=Tunisian Yarn Over (yarn over and skip the next stitch; the yarn over counts as a stitch, and is worked off of the hook during the Return Pass the same way as the rest of the loops are worked off of the hook).
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