Doily days

Does anyone still use doilies? You know the ones I mean, the little lace mats our grandmothers – and even some of our mothers – put under lamps, knick-knacks and dainty glass bowls to prevent scratches on wood. Or the lace tablecloths on dining room tables? I remember both my grandmother and my mother making doilies, their heads bent over a tiny crochet hook and fine thread, intricate patterns appearing as if by magic. I remember wishing I had the skill to produce such beautiful pieces.

I tried, but couldn’t make my fingers and the cotton work together it until I was in my twenties and my mother pointed out that, as usual, I was trying to run before I could walk. She suggested I try using thick yarn and a big hook like this

instead of trying to wield a hook the size of a darning needle and fine crochet cotton

I persevered, and finally, FINALLY! I did it. I could crochet just like my mother and my grandmother before her. But like everything else, timing is everything! By the time I mastered the techniques, nobody wanted doilies and lace tablecloths. So what do I do with all the doilies I inherited from them, as well as those I made myself?

My sister asked me to make her a doilie, so I made this for her.

But really, how many doilies can a person use?

A free pattern arrives in my mailbox every day, and more times than not, it’s for a doilie of some sort or a lacy tablecloth. Some of the patterns are really pretty, but I wonder how many people save those patterns and actually make them. And what do they do with them once they’re done? Church bazaars? Craft sales? I suspect it would be hard to sell them even there.

Anybody want a doilie?


Doily days — 4 Comments

  1. Your post brought back memories. Believe it or not I’ve seen doilies on a car’s headrests–that was one of the original functions, preventing the grease from men’s hair from staining the less washable upholstery.

  2. I ran across your post while searching for lace tablecloths. I love doilies, and I’m sure there are a lot of people who do. Wait enough time, it will be popular again. The thing we have to do is make sure that the art and skill are not lost. Thanks for sharing.