I taught myself with the help of the most fantastic resource in the world - the internet. I found this site the easiest to follow, http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art5429.asp the pictures were very clear and allowed me to see if my picture looked like theirs (which is always a good start!)
I've used a really big paperclip and re-bent it, to turn it into a hairpin lookalike. I put the cellotape at the end just to stop the lacey bit flopping about when it got long ('flopping about' is a technical term).
I'm quite excited by the results, especially this one, which I made with pink cotton, my big Paperclip and a #4.5 crochet hook. After I did the hairpin bit (I had 32 loops on each side) I did a single chain along one edge went a bit further for a tie and turned it into a choker.
I think it is very feminine and quite victorian :-)
I get very excited when I find a way to expand my repertoire! Now I'm trying to think of all of the ways I can incorporate it into what I make, and how to make different hairpins so I can vary the size of the loops and use different yarns. I'm thinking shawls and broom sticks!