Founder of the International Diploma in Crochet, Pauline Turner, has commented in a newsletter how some of her students are reluctant to experiment with the hairpin method. It is one of the niche techniques which students of IDC Part One are required to learn, along with broomstick lace and Tunisian crochet.
Beyond the basic swatches we have to hand in, we must include two of the above techniques in projects for assessment. Unfortunately, a couple of patterns I liked based on hairpin were above my current abilities. So I went back to my approved samples and, with a bit of imagination, developed a simple garment. It’s a shrug based on a rectangle, with no shaping needed. Ribbed sleeves were added using a technique I learned from the hat (which I still have to re-work) mentioned in A Christmas Carol.. of Sorts. i.e. adding dc ribbing to the garment sideways, attaching consecutive pairs of rows to the main body of work with slip stitch. I was also thinking about adding a trim along the upper edge to make a collar but… “less is more”, as a friend says. We’ll see if my tutor agrees!
Another hairpin item I have come up with is a long pair of mitts; keen-eyed readers may have spotted these in the post Mitts for Monday. These again combine hairpin with ribbing, but the rib is worked along an edge of the hairpin as normal crochet so that it runs vertically when worn, not horizontally.
Overall, I would say that hairpin is a bit of a fiddly technique, but easy to get the hang of, and I think the results are definitely worth it!