Crochet Tutorial: Fractal Lace

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Meet the Fractal Crochet Lace!

This crochet lace started as an idea of a single stitch that would have been similar to one of my favorite stitches, X-Stitch. It literally popped in my head one night as I was laying down to sleep, so I sat back up and grabbed my iPad to sketch it out.

Once I grabbed yarn the next day to give a go, it technically worked…. I say that it technically worked because it was “scrunched,” meaning that it wasn’t as loose as I was hoping for it to be, and I didn’t want to loose the shape by using a large hook.

After some work, I came up with a combination of double treble crochet and treble crochet stitches that I think you’re going to love!

I can’t take all of the credit for naming this stitch, as a dear friend, Amy, that hangs out with me in Creations by Courtney Community commented how the stitches looked like a fractal. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but as the first design with the Fractal Lace is getting much closer to being revealed, I decided to revisit the name. According the Oxford Dictionary,

noun

  1. a curve or geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. Fractals are useful in modeling structures (such as eroded coastlines or snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth, fluid turbulence, and galaxy formation.

The part of the definition about snowflakes really stood out to me, as it was important to me to create symmetry in the stitches over the two row repeat and maintain the shape. It really does create a repetitive pattern that draws the eye in different directions.

Multiples needed for the stitch

Before I tell you the stitch multiple, I have to get it off of may chest how hard it is to come up with the stitch multiple. *wipes brow

For the Fractal Lace, you will need a multiple of 8+3. My third attempt started with 51 foundation single crochet stitches in a fingering weight yarn… Yep, fingering weight yarn to figure this out (That’s a hint to the design 😉).

You don’t have make so many stitches to practice unless you really love it, and you will.

Techniques and Abbreviations Used:

Before you jump in to practicing the Fractal Lace, take your time to review the abbreviations. I created one to simplify a group of stitches, as I couldn’t find a better name for it. And I really wish there was a way to have an ultimate crochet dictionary that automatically updated with EVERYTHING. I would pay a monthly subscription for it! LOL Be sure to check out the stitch descriptions, picture and video to get you going.

Beg: beginning 

Btw: between

Ch: chain

CSTR: chainless starting treble crochet 

Dtr: double treble crochet

Dtr2tog: double treble 2 together

DTDtog: double treble, treble, double treble together

FO: fasten off

Fsc: foundation single crochet

Prev: previous

Rep: repeat

Sc: single crochet

St(s): stitch(es)

Sk: skip

Tr: treble crochet

YO: yarn over

CSDC: pull up a loop to height of row, holding loop in place and wrap yarn around hook (yarn over), insert hook in first st, YO, pull up a loop, [YO, pull through 2 loops] twice

CSTR: Pull up a loop, wrap around hook twice (counts as YO twice), insert hook in first st, YO, pull up a loop, [YO, pull through 2 loops] 3 times

Dtr2tog: *YO 3 times, insert hook in indicated st, YO, pull up a loop (5 loops on hook), [YO, pull through 2 loops] 3 times**, sk 7 ch, rep from * to **, YO, pull through 3 loops 

DTDtog: *YO 3 times, insert hook in indicated st, YO, pull up a loop (5 loops on hook), [YO, pull through 2 loops] 3 times**, YO 2 times, sk 3 ch, insert hook in next st, YO, pull up a loop (5 loops on hook), [YO, pull through 2 loops] 2 times (3 loops on hook), sk 3 ch, Rep from * to **, YO, pull through 4 loops

Supplies Used:

I grabbed a skein of Red Heart Soft and my navy Furls Odyssey in a size I-9.

You can use any weight yarn with a recommended hook size or larger. This will maintain the drape of the lace. Also, if you want to block it, so it can really shine, definitely grab a natural fiber. Wet blocking should become your best friend.

Written Instructions

Ch 52, turn

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch to end, turn OR 51 fsc

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as tr here and throughout) or CSTR in first st (demonstrated in video), ch 4, DTDtog beg in next st, *ch 7, DTDtog beg in same st as the 3rd leg of the prev DTDtog; rep from * until 9 sts remain, ch 7, DTDtog, ch 4, tr in last st, turn

Row 3: Ch 4, sk 4 ch, (dtr, ch 3, tr, ch 3) in next st; starting in last st used, Dtr2tog (be sure to sk 7 ch btw the legs), *(ch 3, tr, ch 3) in same st as the 2nd leg of the prev Dtr2tog**; starting in the last st used, Dtr2tog; rep from * to ** on last rep and 5 sts remain, dtr in the same st as the 2nd leg of the last Dtr2tog made, sk 4 ch, tr in last st, turn

Repeat Rows 1-2 until same length as width

Now let’s go step-by-step

  1. 51 fsc OR Ch 52, turn; sc in 2nd and each ch, turn

2. CSTR in first st, ch 4

3. Starting in next st, beg the DTDtog; always sk 3 sts btw each leg.

4. *Ch 7, starting in the same st as the 3rd leg of the prev DTDtog, beg the next DTDtog

5. Rep from * until 1 st remains, ch 4, tr in last st turn

6. CSTR or Ch 4, sk 4 sts

7. (dtr, ch 3, tr, ch 3) in next st

8. Starting in the last st used, Dtr2tog (be sure to sk 7 ch btw the legs)

9. *(ch 3, tr, ch 3) in same st as prev Dtr2tog; starting in last used st, Dtr2tog**

10. Rep from * to ** on last Rep & 5 sts remain, dtr in the same st as last Dtr2tog madr

11. Sk 4 ch, tr in last st, turn

12. Rep steps 2-10 until desired length

13. Ch 1, sc in each st, FO

Wanna see that in video?

Tips

Take your time to read the special stitches, and go step-by-step.

The lace looks best after blocked

You may prefer to use a thinner yarn to let the fractal lace pattern shine.

If you use a worsted weight yarn, increase your hook size to maintain drape.

It can help to hold the first loop on the hook and pointing your hook downward at the stitch when making multiple YO. This will help keep the top of the stitch the same size of other stitches.

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The Fractal Crochet Lace is created with a simple 2-row repeat that creates visual interest for the eyes. It's best to practice with natural fibers that can be blocked to really show off the stitch pattern.

Want to talk about yarn goodness, crochet tips, and exclusive weekly deals? Join my Facebook Group, Creations By Courtney Community.

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Use #CreationsByCourtney on social media when sharing your projects.

This tutorial is not to be duplicated or resold, and not to be reproduced commercially. You may use this stitch to create original products for personal use or to sell finished products on Etsy, at farmers markets, and craft fairs, but please credit Creations By Courtney for the tutorial.


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