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Finding Free Patterns Irish Crochet Lace

Updated on June 19, 2013
CROCHETED SUNFLOWER by Jprescott  DESCRIPTIONDetail of sunflower made from crochet on the front of a tank top
CROCHETED SUNFLOWER by Jprescott DESCRIPTIONDetail of sunflower made from crochet on the front of a tank top | Source

Free Irish lace crochet Patterns

Irish crochet is a beautiful crochet lace, typically embellished with textured shamrocks, flowers and leaves, and picot mesh usually worked in fine thread or cotton. It sounds very intricate, but is easier than it sounds although novice crocheters might want to gain some experience before trying the more complicated and ornate Irish crochet patterns. You can use Irish crochet techniques to make lace or to make embellishments to brighten up plain crochet items, for example, an Irish rose or shamrock lifts a plain hat from the ordinary to a fashion statement.

The style today called Irish crochet, probably has Belgian origins. Catholic nuns gave this skill to Irish women during the potato famine, so that women had a saleable skill at this dreadful time. There was a ready market for Irish crochet lace in London and Queen Victoria famously patronized Irish lace makers at that time. Irish women incorporated their own motifs into the original patterns and Irish crochet lace slowly evolved its own distinctive style.

Traditionally, in Irish crochet, you crochet the motifs first and then fill between them with picot mesh, although many modern patterns instruct you to crochet in the piece. To make a simple garment, a sleeveless jacket for example, in the traditional method, you use medium interfacing in the appropriate shape, perhaps using a simple dressmaker’s pattern as a template, and tack your motifs to the interfacing. Then you use yarn to crochet the picot mesh to fill the spaces between the motifs, joining the mesh to the motif edges using USA single crochet, (UK double crochet) or a slipstitch as you go. The mesh may seem irregular but this is normal and adds to the lace’s beauty. Block the work and then remove the interfacing and join any seams. Then crochet a suitable edging to the garment.

There are several excellent video tutorials in Irish crochet available on the internet. One tutorial has written pattern, photographs and a video tutorial and will help you make a beginners’ Irish crochet fashion scarf. The ‘Roses are Red Scarf is the right accessory to add a colour splash to a plain dark winter coat.

However, you do not have to crochet a whole garment in Irish crochet. Its motifs make lovely decorations for plain garments. A leaf or shamrock on a plainly crocheted cardigan makes it unique and special.

There are some delightful free Irish crochet patterns on the internet. Crochet Pattern Central CPC has many links to free crochet patterns. You will find both flower patterns and doily patterns on CPC. The Irish rose doily (PDF) is very traditional Irish crochet. The Irish dreams, Irish crochet and a touch of the Irish doilies are more subtle but nonetheless very pretty. Any three-dimensional flower on the flowers page could feature in an Irish crochet pattern.

The Lion Brand yarn website has three free Irish crochet patterns. The two delicate Irish crochet shawls and beautiful textured rose scarf would make stunning and useful additions to any wardrobe.

Irish crochet motifs need not be floral, even if you want a rooster. Ravelry’s selection of pattern links and free Irish crochet patterns, with thumbnail photographs amply illustrates Irish crochet’s versatility. Ravelry has more than 150 free patterns and pattern links Here you will find throws, bedspreads, shawls, doilies, motifs, jackets, Afghan squares, and much more. The stunningly attractive Irish Waves Sweater would make heads turn.

Irish crochet has been popular since the nineteenth century for very good reason, because it is very attractive. Irish crochet is beautiful, stylish and interesting to crochet. Whether you want a lace collar to make a plain sweater or dress look a million dollars, a lace bedspread for your bedroom, a lacy jacket, or a beautiful rose to decorate a plain hat, make it in Irish crochet.


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  • Mercia Collins profile image

    Mercia Collins 4 years ago from United Kingdom

    Thank-you Audrey for your comment. Irish Lace is just so clever and interesting to crochet and to admire.

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

    Really beautiful!!

  • cmendijar77 profile image

    cmendijar77 5 years ago from philippines

    I am so glad you enjoyed it TToombs. There are some very beautiful Irish lace patterns, I love the raised ones with flowers and shamrocks.

  • Mercia Collins profile image

    Mercia Collins 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    I am so glad you enjoyed it TToombs. There are some very beautiful Irish lace patterns, I love the raised ones with flowers and shamrocks.

  • TToombs08 profile image

    Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

    Beautiful! I always wondered about the doilies in my grandmother's house. They looked just like the one you have pictured. Her family was from Ireland and came to New York during the famine. Voted up and everything. :) Nicely done.