The Application of Hairpin Work to Various Uses - Wide Scope and Adaptability of the Work - How to Join the Gimp - Edgings and Finishings in Crochet - Beads as a Decorative Effect

Most people familiar with the use of the crochet hook will see manifold possibilities in the strips of hairpin work known as "gimp." These can be used as an insertion for underlinen, or as an edging for a duchesse set.

Worked in macrame thread, strips united together make a substantial Dorothy or marketing bag. Joined into a broad strip, they make serviceable curtain bands; while in fine crochet cotton, a dainty d'oyley of lacey appearance results from combining ordinary crochet work with hairpin work, as shown in one of the illustrations.

As an edging, the gimp may be applied to numbers of articles, embroidered or crocheted. Even pretty openwork shawls can be done in wool by arranging the strips diagonally, and fascinators can easily be made, their border loops being threaded with ribbon. Then there are table-centres, toilet-covers, towel-ends, and, indeed, too many articles to enumerate here.

As to the methods of joining the strips, there is first the simple one of linking the loops with a crochet hook by a series of slip-stitches. Place the pieces of gimp, which should be of equal length, edge to edge over the left fingers, the end loops held between the thumb and forefinger. Their being of different width does not, of course, matter. Draw the first right loop through the first left loop with the hook; then the left loop through the loop on the hook, then the right loop, and continue slipstitching alternate right and left loops through the last loop on the hook till the two strips are united. To secure the end loop on the hook so that the work does not come undone when the hook is withdrawn, tie the thread through it securely. In Fig. I the hook is shown about to draw the loop on the right through the loop on the hook.

This method of joining is most suitable when the loops are long, and the thread rather fine. On the other hand, short loops of macrame thread are awkwardly joined in this fashion, and are better treated in one of the alternative ways here described.

A favourite method of joining two pieces

Needlework of gimp is by a crochet chain, exemplified in Fig. 2, where a narrow gimp is joined on either side to wide strips. The loops show to advantage when two or three chain intervene between the drawn-in loops. When several chain intervene the work acquires an openwork appearance.

Sometimes, with pleasing results, the joining thread - wool or twine - may be coloured to harmonise with the rest of the work; and the joining may be effected by working a treble or a double crochet into the opposing loops to be joined. A pretty case for a comb - bag or needlework - bag might be made with a white thread, and the gimp joined with pink or blue with a treble stitch.

By the introduction of a fancy braid, such as antimacassar braid, a lacy edging for underlinen can be produced. Care is necessary in such a combination to see that the crochet cotton corresponds with the braid in coarseness. In making up the hairpin gimp, the worker will find out the advisability of keeping it flat, and, therefore, of winding it as it is made; for when it twists and gets out of shape it is tiresome to join.

Fig. I. Joining two strips of gimp by linking the loops with a crochet hook by a series of slipstitches

Fig. I. Joining two strips of gimp by linking the loops with a crochet hook by a series of slipstitches

A number of beads may be passed on to the thread before beginning the hairpin work, and as the loops are formed on the fork, one bead placed in position on each to form a beaded fringe along one side, when the work is withdrawn from the fork.

Fig. 2. Narrow gimp joined on either side to wide strips by a crochet chain

Fig. 2. Narrow gimp joined on either side to wide strips by a crochet chain

Another fringe is made by leaving one row of loops unjoined, and crocheting a heading along the other row of loops. To anyone familiar with crochet patterns, numerous adaptations will quickly occur to mind. For instance, hairpin crochet can be strengthened by crocheting over the loops in double or treble stitch. In this way a strong insertion can be made, and when the double treble or the tree pattern with its solid centres is used, a most substantial trimming is the result.

Fig. 3. A pretty fernlike insertion in hairpin work, which would be suitable for use on underlinen

Fig. 3. A pretty fernlike insertion in hairpin work, which would be suitable for use on underlinen

Fig. 3 shows a pretty fernlike insertion, obtained by working a treble stitch under the hairpin loop instead of into it, and then working chains along both edges and drawing in the loops by crossing successive pairs over the two following, so that they are worked into the chain first.

Fig. 4. Two examples of edgings, one in openwork style and the other a pointed design

Fig. 4. Two examples of edgings, one in openwork style and the other a pointed design

In the fourth example two different edgings are worked along the gimp, one on either side. The pointed one is worked as follows.

Pointed Edging

1st row . 1 double crochet into loop, 2 chain, and repeat. 2nd row :* 1 treble into 1st hole, 1 double treble, 3 chain, 1 single crochet into 1st chain to form a picot, 1 double treble, 1 treble, all into 1st hole, 1 double crochet into 2nd hole. Repeat from *.

Openwork Edging

The openwork edging shown on the other side is made in the following way:

1st row: 1 single crochet through 2 loops, 4 chain, and repeat. 2nd row: * 1 treble into 1st hole, 3 chain, 1 treble into same hole. Repeat from *.

As with most crochet-work, picots such as those shown in Fig. 4 or Fig. 2 make an attractive finish or edging, particularly when worked in crochet cotton.

It is noticeable that any thread suitable for crochet-work may be utilised for hairpin gimp; thus the favourite gold and silver threads are appropriate for making fine gimp intended for a crochet-bag purse or for a dress trimming. A very different purpose may be served by thick wool; for, crocheted in one of the close stitches described in the first article (page 4439), the strips of gimp can be joined together to make an acceptable baby-carriage cover or a couvre-pied.

But perhaps the daintiest and most pleasing effects in hairpin work are secured with very fine thread, and in imitation of lace. One of the distinct merits of the work is undoubtedly the rapidity with which successful results are achieved.