Thursday, August 9, 2012

Crochet Lace Masquerade Mask

I sat down to create a lace mask for Vicky’s Masquerade Wedding Reception. I started with my original pattern for the Crochet Lace Mask, and I decided I wanted a slightly different shape for this one. I aimed for a delicate pattern that had a pretty detail at the top center. I also intend to wear it with a stick-handle as opposed to a ribbon, though the pictures show it being held on with a piece of black elastic. I hope you enjoy it.

Lace Masquerade Mask

The below pattern is my original. Please let me know if there are any errors. Feel free to use it for charity, personal, and theatrical use. Please do not sell for profit.

ADVANCED PATTERN. Not advised if you don’t have some experience with crochet lace.
Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton (Sz 10 – Black)
Hook: 1.5mm
Additional supplies:  
about 12” of 20 gauge wire
pair of needle nose pliers
wire cutters
Needle and matching thread
1” wide ribbon (approximately 1yard) OR Decorative stick-handle OR 12-16" Matching Elastic
Small swatch of matching fabric, ribbon, or swatch of crochet made with your yarn.

Abreviations (US):  Sl st = slip stitch; Ch = chain; Sc = single crochet; Dc = double crochet; RS = Right Side; WS = Wrong side

Begin by cutting the length of wire in half. Take each half of the wire and fold in over on itself to make a loop. Twist the loop shut to make an oval approximately 1”x 2”. The twisted end will be the inside corner of the eye of the mask.

Each of the eyes is crocheted separately, however the pattern is the same for both.

Eye Pattern:

Round 1: Sc loosely around the wire, beginning at the inside corner (twisted section) and working around. This took me 70 sc, but depending on your stitch size, you may have to add more to make sure that the wire is completely hidden. Sl st in 1st sc to join.

Round 2: Ch2. 1dc in each sc for 33 st. *2dc in the next sc, then 1dc in the following sc* Repeat * to * one more time. Then finish the round with 1 dc in each sc until you are back at the twist. Ch 1 and sl st in the 2nd ch of the ch2 that you started with to join.

Round 3: Ch3. Skip the first sts of the rnd and dc into the following st. *ch1, skip next st, dc in following st* repeat from * to * until you are at the outside of the eye (opposite the twist). ch 1, dc in next st. Then repeat *to * twice. Again, ch 1 and dc in the following sts. Resume the * to * pattern until you’re back at the twist. 4dc into the ch 1 sp from the previous round to jump over the twist, and join with a sl st to the 2nd ch of the ch2 that began the round.

Round 4: Ch1. Sc in each dc and in each ch 1 sp around. If your work is curling up, use 2sc in each ch 1 space when you get to the outside of the eye area. When you get to the 4dc sts that are over the twist, simple sc into each one and then sl st to join the round. Fasten off leaving a 5” tail.

Ignore the Bobby Pins.
Once you have made both eyes, use the excess wire to bind the two eye pieces together. Leave enough space so that the flat spot made from the 4dc’s in Rnd 3 will touch when the eye piece are laid next to each other.  Use the long tails left from binding off to sew 4-8 stitches together at the center between the eyes.

Outside Edge:

Once your eyes have been joined, decide which is the top and which is the bottom. At the bottom center of the nose (with RS facing), join your thread as close as possible to where your line of sewing stitches ends. now the “fun” begins. Please read this all carefully before you begin! (and use the chart to help you!!!)

You’re going to make arches around the edge of the mask. The first/last arch of the round are slightly smaller than the rest so that there is room for them in the space between the two eyes.  You’re also going to vary the use of normal and short arches to fudge it so that you make it all the way around regardless of how many sts you actually have at this point.  I tried putting an arch at the top of the nose and I wasn’t happy with it, so read below for how to “fudge it”. I know it sounds crazy, but it was the look I wanted.
For ALL ARCHES, the finishing sc of the previous arch is also the beginning of the next arch.
First/Last Arch Arch: skip 2 sts, (dc, ch1) 3 times plus one additional dc into following st (for a total of 4 dcs with ch 1’s in between) skip 2 sts and sc into the following st.
Normal Arch: Ch 1, skip 3 sts, (dc, ch1) 4 times into following st, skip 3 sts and sc into following st.
Short Arch: Ch 1, skip 2 sts, (dc, ch1) 4 times into following st, skip 2 sts and sc into following st. (these short arches are best used around the outside of the eyes to help prevent your work from curling excessively).
“Fudging it” Over the top of the nose:
At the end of your last completed arch, sc down the “V” to where you sewed the eye pieces together. Count your sts. Continue to sc up the opposite side of the “V” (onto the other eye piece) for an equal number of sts. Ch 1, and TURN.
Over those sc sts, working back towards the last completed arch, sc2tog, dc2tog, trc2tog, dc2tog, sc2tog. Then sl st to the sc that completed the last arch.  (Depending on how many sts you sc’d, you’ll add more or less of the “2tog” sts, but always make sure you have an ODD number)
After you’re back at the last completed arch, turn, and add an arch over the “2tog” sts from the previous round, and ending with a sc on the first unworked st of the opposite eye piece from where you started.  You may now continue adding arches as you did to the opposite side. Fasten off at the end of the row.

Outline Row 1 - Placement of Different Arches

Try your mask on, and mark one spot on each eye where you want the mask to begin to expand. This point should be between 2 arches on their shared sc st.Because of the shape I wanted, I chose a point directly below the outside corner of my actual eye. Join your thread on the Left eye (as worn) with the RS facing.
Ch 3, *(dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) into the top center ch 1 st of the next arch. Ch 2, dc into the next sc.* Ch 2 and repeat from * to * until you’re back at the “Fudge” spot on the bridge of the nose. Here, I chose to omit the final ch 2 of the arch, and instead I just did a dc into the sc of the prev rnd.  Into the arch at the bridge of the nose I did (ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1) and then a dc into the next sc of the prev rnd. Without a ch2, I moved into the pattern to continue the arches. After the last arch of this rnd, ch 3 and sl st to join to the sc of the prev rnd.

Ch 1, (sc, hdc) into the ch 3 space that ended the last row. *(Dc, ch1) into each dc, ch 1, dc, ch1, and dc of the arch made in the prev row dc2tog over the ch2,dc,ch2 between arches, and ch 1* repeat * to * until you’re back at the beginning of the rnd. You may have to fudge a few sts around the bridge of the nose.

ROW 4 - Customizeable
Sc into each dc and ch 1 sp, sc2tog over each dc2tog done in the prev row. Add a small picot (ch 3, sc in same st) between sc sts or a large picot (ch 5, sc in same st) as desired. If you would like to add loops for ribbon (ch 15, sc into same st), I advise doing those in this round, placed over a dc2tog.

Center Picots:
Ch 2, dc into center st of arch, ch 2, sc into next dc st. Ch 1, turn.
Ch 1, 3sc into ch 2 sp, (sc, ch3, sl st, ch 5, sl st, ch 3, sl st) into center dc, 3 sc into ch 2 sp, sl st  to next st, turn.
sl st into the 3 sc’s of the prev row, (sc, ch2, sc) into the small picot, (2sc, ch3, 2sc) into the large picot, (sc, ch2, sc) into the next small picot, and sl st into each of the next 4 sts.
Resume row 4 pattern as before. Fasten off at the end.

Once you’ve finished, I advise using Fray-Check on all of your knots. Weave in all of your ends.
Block, Iron, and Starch your mask! Take time to pin out all of the picots on your piece, if you’re impatient like me, believe me it is WORTH IT to take your time.
Sew on ribbons or glue on a decorative stick-handle as desired. You may want to use a scrap of ribbon, fabric, or crochet swatch to sew on the inside and cover the exposed wires. You can also add glitter, beads, rhinestones, and any other fabulous accessories you so desire! (I didn’t know exactly what I was making when I started, otherwise I would have worked beads into the pattern)

Yarn Note: I’ve completely fallen in love with Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton. The size 10 is easy enough to work with, and because it is 100% cotton, it looks lovely after just blocking it. I highly recommend it for lace projects that need to maintain their shape. Much better than whatever I used on the last mask.


Project Update: The mask looked great at the wedding! I ended up leaving it on the elastic, and it was comfortable/easy to wear with it on my face or on top of my head the whole night. I never even had to think about "Where did I leave my mask?"! So here's a picture of me in my mask and the BEAUTIFUL bride in hers!

To answer some questions from the comments (and in-person): The mask without elastic weighs just over 1 oz, so not very much thread was used. The mask took me about 10 hours total, including the time it took for me to work out the pattern, make pattern notations, block, starch, and sew the elastic. I made the mask on a day off from work, and did the blocking/etc over the next few days. I prefer the Sz 10 thread because it is easier to work with and more sturdy in the end, however sz 30 would look nice too (though would require more pattern modification).


  1. What fun! I just know that there will come a day when I will have the perfect occasion for this lovely mask. Thank you!

  2. Loooove it!!! You're going to look great at the wedding! :)

  3. That is stunning! I really hope to get the time to make one soon!

  4. In the directions, you said size 10 cotton and in the last note you said size 30. Which should I use?

  5. Wow it's really beautiful...did it take long to make? I don't want to start something that will take too long...I'm terrible at not being patient and not finishing things :-)

  6. Lol, I just ran across this looking for a technique for the mask I intend to make for Vicki's reception as well. I'll have to track you down and admire in person! :D

  7. Hi, the mask is lovely! i hope to be as amazing with yarm someday. i came by to let you know i chose you to receive the liebster blog award. visit my post for the rules and so you can forward the award to other bloggers.
    thanks for all you share
    lily bean

  8. I apologize about the confusion, either size will work, however size 10 is easier to work with. The mask took me just over 7 hours to complete. The eye sections went quickly, since I've done several masks that way and I've gotten faster at it, however I frogged the nose section a number of times to get the look of it right and to be able to create a somewhat functional pattern. I'd guess 10 hours total once you include blocking and sewing on the elastic.

  9. Thank you for responding! I don't like working with thread but I will because I want to make this. The size 10 would be my choice if the other option was a 30. I have friends who do the Ren Faires - if I were physically able I'd love to go to just one but I can't. I think this would be a hit with the Faire goers. I found a 'Maiden's Glory' headband with flowers and leaves that I am working on and I think your mask would be the crowning glory, so to speak. I'm going to run it by my DIL and get her opinion.

  10. I'm guessing that I can't learn to crochet this weekend! Any chance you'd be willing to rent this mask out?


    1. This mask is in high demand this time of year! I wish I could though! :)

    2. I am so thankful you posted this pattern. I made one in black today and added some simple beadwork. it's stunning! I couldn't post a pic but you can find it here:
      Thanks again!

  11. Beautiful pattern, and I am very excited to give it a try for my Halloween costume. Not sure what I am, but I will have crocheted fingerless mittens, a babydoll style dress wirh bleeding eyeballs, skulls and hearts, a big pink and black bow, and this mask. hehe

  12. Beautiful Pattern, I have a party to attend in December and this will save me having to buy one. Was even thinking of adding some feathers and may be some jewels to it.

  13. It's fantastic!!! I have to try make me one!

  14. I love this pattern! and I'm going to cover the eye openings, so it will be a sleep mask. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

  15. I appreciate all the time and effort you put into this awesome pattern. Thank you so much for sharing. As a tatter who has made one and spent a lot of hours with the design, I look forward to making this one. Thank you, again.

  16. You said you use Fray-Check. Does it leave a white residue? I find it does when I used it on red or burgundy threads. Thank you for your reply in advance.

    1. I rarely use enough that it leaves a residue, so I haven't had any issues on that front. It does sometimes make a hard spot in the material, which I don't like. However, I prefer that to having a piece come completely undone.

  17. Thanks so much for this! I just finished making a beautiful emerald green one for a project at school, thanks again for your gorgeous work.

  18. Åh please help me!! How do i start? How do i make the stitches in the cirkel? Im quite new at this and cant make out how to do it..

    1. This is a bit tough for a beginner! Instead of working into a base chain like usual, you're working through the wire loop as if it were one giant stitch.

  19. Ooooh! I am planning a Cirque du Bebe baby shower for the fall and it would be so fun to make a few of these for me and my guests! I don't know if I'd have time to make them for everyone... maybe just the hostesses. But it is gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing! And charting! I <3 charts.

  20. Excelente! Gran trabajo, muy detallado, tiene en cuenta distintas posibilidades a partir de la medida de la cara de cada uno, o del grosor del hilo. Y muy buen gusto también. Yo intenté hacerlo dándole una forma diferente al alambre, con algunas curvas adicionales y quedó maravilloso. Muchas gracias. Laura, de Argentina.

  21. Amazing! Thanks so much for taking the time to write down the pattern and share it for free. My mask is almost finished! I discovered, what I think is an error, in row 2. I have repeated row 2 and 3 a couple of times to get it right but eventually decided to leave it like this and move on.

    I'm talking about arch row 2. The sentence ends with ''.* Ch 2. '' And then to repeat from * to *. Which would mean the ch 2 is done only once, before repeating the pattern from * to *.

    However, in arch row 3 it's stated to sc2tog the ch2's. If I've followed the pattern correctly I am left with one ch2 space and then the space between the last and the first dc of the next arch. I hope you understand what I mean. Also the chart indicates that there should be two ch2 spaces to chrochet into in round 4. If this is correct, I believe the pattern should state as below:

    Ch 3, *(dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) into the top center ch 1 st of the next arch. Ch 2, dc into the next sc. Ch 2 * repeat from * to * until you’re back at the “Fudge” spot

    I hope this helps. Thanks again! I'm really happy with the end result of my mask!

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. what does it mean by opposite the twist in row 3 of the eye pattern?

  24. good afternoon and thank u for the amazing pattern.I have an equiry is the wire important?I mean can I make it without it?

  25. Thank you so much for this pattern! I took it and adapted it to a wire frame I made so I could attach the mask to my glasses. It's perfect!

    1. Oh also, before I made my adapted glasses version I made one following the pattern exactly, and I had a suggestion. If instead of making two separate eyes with the wire you made a figure 8 it might be easier. I had a lot of trouble trying to attach the two separate loops of wire together and I finally gave up and it is only held together by being sewed in the middle.

  26. How can I print this pattern ? I belong to Ravelry but don't see it as a PDF. It is a beautiful masque.

  27. where do i start the arch im so lost

  28. Thanks so much for this pattern. I made it for my work Masquerade Christmas party and I was really happy with the results. There was a fair bit of undoing/redoing on my part, and a couple of places where the pattern didn't quite match what I thought it should, but I got there in the end. To be fair, I'd never crocheted anything like this before. Sorry I can't post a photo

  29. What a neat and precise article. The use of words is commendable.