Oh dear! I hadn’t realised that I haven’t blogged in ages! It’s a good thing most of my online friends see me around on Ravelry and the mailing lists, else someone might have been worried. No? Which raises the valid question, what good is this blog? What purpose does it serve (aside of occupying cyberspace)?

Luckily for you, it is not a question I am not going to answer in this post. Instead, I’m going to smother you in a flutter of doilies (what is the collective noun for doilies?).

Here’s #1, Kaleidoscope and its specs.
Kaleidoscope Doily

Thread: One strand each of a plain yellow-orange and an ombre, both in size 30, of Coats Mercer.

Hook: My current favourite size, 1.00mm Pony (the grey handle)

Pattern: Kaleidoscope doily by Julie Bolduc from JPF Crochet Club (it’s a free pattern). Here’s the Ravelry page for it, and my project page. I’d made it before, in a pale blue baby yarn and found it cupping, which I thought might be a gauge problem. I really enjoy the different patterns created with filet and net stitches.

Time: Overnight

Size: 9″ across

Extra #1 As I said, it’s a pattern I made before, but I had the inexplicable urge to make it again, perhaps to see how my skills have progressed since the last time I made it. At least my tastes haven’t changed in the patterns I like.

Moving on, here’s doily #2.
Crystal Fan doily

Thread: One of my thread finds in Hyderabad, Jyoti thread. This is size 20-ish and liable to fade. It’s locally made but what impressed me is that the wrapper has washing instructions and a pattern for an edging on the reverse! That’s the first time I’ve seen something like that on an Indian product for sale in India. The fading is disappointing, though. To work with, the thread is quite good. It didn’t chafe my fingers or leave colour on my hands. The next time I spotted it, I picked up cream and pale pink and white, since these are less likely to be dramatically affected. I saw some skeins which had faded just from being on the shelves.

Hook: 1.25mm Pony (the blue handle)

Pattern: Crystal Fan Doily by Linda Mershon from The Ultimate Doily Book by ASN, #1185. Here’s the Ravelry page for it, and my project page. I was attracted by the unusual shape. Blocking it was a bit tough, but then I’m finishing-challenged in any case. The beads were my own touch, in a desperate ploy to escape the picot curse :p Actually I picked up beads as well in Hyderabad and was in a “bead-y” phase.

Time: 4 days. We had a lot of power cuts while I was in Hyderabad and there was little else to do until I got a new battery for my laptop which replaced the one which kept dying after 30 minutes.

Size: 15.5″ across

Extra #1 Hmm. I  liked the shape.

#2 Oh, and now I have this one and a few other doilies on my dining table, sandwiched between the protective plastic cover and the cloth underneath. The husband thinks I’ve gone overboard, but I’m basking in my own brilliance at thinking of the idea, and so have added variously-coloured motifs as well to the melange.

This one’s gone far, far away to live…
Bruges lace doily

Well, not that far, actually, just about 4 hours away by train. It’s gone to live with Jaishree who drew the short straw and landed me as a partner in a swap. This is the first time I’m showing a Bruges lace crochet piece on this blog, but let’s follow the established pattern, shall we?

Thread: Red ombre rayon (sold as “silk” or “art silk”) just under one cone.

Hook: 1.25mm Pony (the blue handle), which seems to be usurping the place of favourite.

Pattern: Nameless square Bruges lace sample from a German book I have in the English translation, called simply Crochet. Published by Verlag für die Frau in the erstwhile East Germany. I bought the book along with a companion book on knitting/crochet at a book sale in JNU sometime in 1997 or so. Most of the patterns are charted, with some rudimentary written instructions. This book was actually how I learnt symbol crochet, teaching myself. I’ve made other pieces from this, I shall save them for later, since I don’t have too many details on any of them. Somehow I’ve never had the confusion over US/Rest of the World terminology, perhaps because I intermingled patterns from both sources willy-nilly. Also, at that point, I was not aware I had to be afraid of symbols…alas, perhaps I should have been introduced to socks as well at that vulnerable juncture.

I chose this pattern for two reasons. One, I wanted to give Jaishree a doily which she wouldn’t have in her formidable library (or photographic memory). As you can imagine, that was a challenge, because she appears to have almost every pattern ever published in the Western hemisphere (only half-kidding…). I knew she didn’t have this book, though, so that narrowed my choices between one of the patterns here or in a Finnish book I have.

The other reason for choosing this doily was that I wanted to make an entire piece of Bruges lace (well, the crochet imitation, at any rate). I’d tried it a few years ago and there’s evidence of it at my parents’ house, but that used a granny centre, so it wasn’t wholly Bruges crochet. Now that technique is something I can cross off my list. Whew.

You only use double (UK treble) crochet and chains, besides longer length stitches for the “spiders” at the centres and turns. Good fun, though you need to keep close track of where to turn. Here’s my Ravelry page.

Time: 4 days. I had to do it quick, because I’d almost forgotten that I had to swap it! Luckily Jaishree reminded me so I only waited till I got back to Cochin and could access the book again.

Size: 12″ across

Extra #1 I think I’ve said it all up there. This would be my debunking doily, I think, as a fellow crocheter has now seen it close-up and while she wouldn’t be rude enough to tell me what she thinks of my skills and finishing, I can well imagine!

Leaving you a-flutter…