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Or first cousins perhaps. There is a Doilie-along over at Ravelry for the Doilie Heads group, and I decided to join because I’ve never knit a doily before. I’m happy to say it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be! Here are my results. First, the crochet version (although I did it second).


And the details:

Thread: Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet (size 10) in Victory Red. The colour’s much richer in real life, not the washed-out version of my camera. I’ve never felt constrained to use only white for doilies, I don’t know why. It seems limiting somehow, my skills, resources and abilities are limited enough already without adding colour restrictions to the constraints. Here is my Ravelry page for the project.

I quite liked the feel of the thread, although it isn’t shiny like the Anchor and Red Heart we get here, it’s soft. Slightly fuzzy though, and might not stand up to rough use (will pill).

Hook: Pony handled steel hook 1.75mm

Pattern: Antlia from Patrizia Pisani (CrochetPatty of Patty’s Filet and Crocheting Page). She has lovely patterns, I don’t know why I haven’t done more of them. Although I suspect I might have done the odd one before my blogging days. Alas, no photographic evidence exists. I wrote too soon. There is one other project I have evidence of. I think I made it while we were living in Bombay, so it’s at least 4 years old. I might have given it away too.

Time: Two days

Size: 12″

Extra #1 Compared to the knit version, this isn’t as elegant and delicate as I’d like, but then I suppose that’s what you get with size 10 thread. Makes the point that with the same fibre, knit is always finer (unless you want to make holey and too-loose crochet). Quick and easy, though. Badly blocked as usual.

#2 There is what appears to be one error in the instructions. Replace the ‘dc’ in the final row with ‘sc’ and it works.

#3 No specific picot version is given in the pattern, so I did a ch 3, slip st in first ch.

Now for the knit version.


Thread: Same as above. I wanted to make the material same, to emphasise the difference between the two techniques. Point made, I think.

Someone suggested I should use wool, but the thread gave me some familiarity. I do have some laceweight wool, but it terrifies me.

Needles: Unknown metal US 1/2.25mm needles (my only set of 5 given to me by Heide). I was afraid I didn’t have the right size of needles for this project, and would have much preferred using a circular, perhaps, but I found these worked quite nicely for me. Although perhaps I was wrong to apply my crochet logic (use the size that minimises gaping), but should have instead gone up a size or two. Might have made the knitting lacier. Don’t know if I’d have liked it, though. This one, I’m quite happy with.

The beginning was quite fiddly. I wasn’t sure I hadn’t twisted the stitches, not in joining, but in knitting the rounds. In such fine thread, it’s difficult to make out what you’ve done or which side you’re on. On the group the advice (after I’d finished) was to use a pillow to support the needles until you stabilise. Might try that the next time. Yes, I do hope there will be a next time! Knitting lace with yarn is frightening, but not so much with thread. Itty-bitty thread, I’m used to.

Pattern: Flacon from Here is my Ravelry project page.

Time: Two days

Size: 8″

Extra #1 Finished with crochet loops, and I wasn’t too sure I was doing the binding off (between the knit and the crochet rounds) correctly, but it doesn’t look odd. The pattern doesn’t specify how you insert your needle when you are crocheting three knit stitches together, so I just did what was convenient. I suppose I could have looked it up, but I wanted to finish. 🙂

#2 The knit fabric doesn’t give much opportunity for hiding ends, unlike crochet. I had to think a bit for this.

#3 I broke a personal barrier with this one!

#4 The knit band was unusual for me because unlike in a crochet doily where you have to increase the number of stitches each round to prevent puckering, these 6 rounds had the same number of stitches throughout. Apparently because of the height of knit stitches is much less than that of crochet ones.

After a long self-imposed gap, I got tempted again by one of Kathy’s designs and begged to be allowed to test for her. I used some ‘silk’ thread and a Pony handled hook to produce this:

Gypsy Queen

Here are the details:

Yarn: ‘Silk’ on cones, about #10 or so, I think. I used two separate cones to make this, starting the new cone at the beginning of the second half, because what was left on the first wouldn’t have been enough and I didn’t want to have ends to weave in. Ironically, both cones had knots in them so I had ends to weave anyway. Even after the edging, I have thread left over on the cones. Sigh. Not a colour I’d choose for clothing, but then I felt the need to break out. Here is my Ravelry page for the project (not that it’ll tell you much more).

Hook: Pony handled 1.00mm

Pattern: Gypsy Queen (Ravelry link) by Katchkan

Time: About two weeks

Size: 19″ x 30″ (too big for our coffee table width-wise). Might have to give it away.

Extra #1 No printer in Hyderabad, so I worked entirely from the Mac screen. no probs.

#2 My edges are always wonky in filet, no matter what I do in terms of increasing and decreasing 😦

#3 Happy to be testing again 🙂


And here’s some more orange for you, from our grocery (‘fresh’) rations:

Two-legged carrot

Nosegay, interrupted

This is another case of “I’m out of thread, I’m calling this done”.

To quote verbatim from my Ravelry notes on this project:

“Ran out of yarn at the 16th row, so mine has become an 8-point star instead of a nosegay. No problem. There were what appeared to be errata in the pattern, but I couldn’t figure out if perhaps I wasn’t paying enough attention. Anyway, these are the modifications I made in the later rounds (I forgot to note them down for the earlier ones).

Rnd 11: Sl St in next 4 dc…..skip 10 dc….skip 10 dc, dc in next dc…

Rnd 14: Sl St in next 5 dc….*skip 5 dc, dc in next 2 dc….skip 5 dc, dc in next 11 dc….

Rnd 15: ….*skip 2 dc,….skip 2 dc, dc in next 9 dc….

I only worked 16 rows. The pattern is very dense and at the beginning it said “work in back loop only” so I worked all my stitches in the back loop, which made it doubly tedious.”

I seriously don’t know whether I was sleeping or what, but the first few rows seemed to be quite error-ridden, needing a fair amount of fudging from me. So did the latter rows, as you can see. Also, I ran out of the thread (so what else is new) so I quit at Row 16. Here are the details in the established format.

Thread: Schoeller + Stahl Manuela Häkelgarn No. 20, 1 full ball

Hook: Pony (with handle) 1.0mm

Pattern: Nosegay doily from Celt’s Vintage Crochet, rounds 1-16

Time: Way too long

Size: 15″

Extra As you can see from the picture of the actual doily, the look is totally different. But I’m not complaining. I don’t know how the recipient will react, though.

Pineapple Posy

Remember the packing twine I used for my towel topper a few weeks ago (scroll down)? I had some left over and I badly needed a thingy for a side table (you’ve got to love the Military Engineering Services for the sheer numbers of dinky little tables they provide you with), so in overweening optimism, I started a doily called Pineapple Posy from Pineapple Crochet Designs ed. Rita Weiss. Naturally, the twine ran out, and I ended up with this. It shall remain in this condition forevermore, so in my books, it’s a finished object. At least the pineapples are done!

For my August CAT PAC, a friend sent me lots of blue-themed yarn and the Spring issue of Interweave Crochet, which had the Boteh scarf pattern. I had to start it immediately, so I grabbed the Patons Kroy sock yarn Rosi sent me as a contest prize and set off. The pattern repeat is simple enough, but I had to rip a bit after the second motif, having confused myself with right and wrong sides. Now it is making sense, though, and I’ve made quite some progress. Here it is:

Boteh scarf

Please forgive the blurry pictures, I’ll try and get a better one of the Boteh once it’s done.

I’ve also finished and added a zipper to Jacque‘s pattern that I was testing. Turned out a bit small, but more on that later. Have a hat FO in the wings, also, perhaps tomorrow.

I’ll never understand the fascination of the Larger than Life Bag, though. It’s just some motifs, right? Perhaps I’m missing something.

From Burda Crochet Lace

Well, not really, but it does look a lot like an eye! (Now I shall get lots of LOTR fan visitors.) This is the finished doily whose chart I had a problem with last week. Sorry for the horrible photograph! Specifications:

Thread: Red Heart thread, 50 gm ball, probably size 10 (the big balls don’t have a size written on them). I was stashbusting as usual and thought I had enough, but apparently I didn’t. My favourite local craft store didn’t have the exact shade of pink, so a lighter shade and an interesting twiny thread came home with me. I forayed to another craft store and picked up two 20gm balls of the right shade, but the wrong thickness. Now, these smaller balls have #20 on them, so I know the size, but held together they ended up thicker than my original thread, so I just shrugged and used a single strand. Apparently 20+20≠10 (wowie, I just used WordPress’ new advanced editing to put in that not-equal sign). This has happened to me before and I used a strand of sewing thread held with the size 20 to finish my Crochetville Doily Swap doily in September 2005. Somehow it didn’t occur to me and in any case I didn’t want to do that this time. Why didn’t I remember that simple equation (or un-equation, if you will)?

Hook: Started off with the plain Pony 1.75mm and when in the middle of the project I received the handle ones from Jaishree, I swapped for one of those. These Pony hooks with handles look identical to the Profi hooks, except they aren’t gold-tipped and obviously aren’t made in Germany. They are light and I think I might exclusively work with these for all my thread projects, unless of course I need a size they aren’t available in. I shall do a separate post showing off all the hooks she sent. Why don’t the company behind the Profis have a website? Maybe they do in German, but not, it appears, in English. You’d think at least Western companies would be well-established online.

Pattern: From Burda Handicraft Series Vol 1 No 3, Crochet Lace, E 227. Lovely patterns, lovely photography, and all patterns are charted, of course. Despite the hype about Magic Crochet, I find some of their photos are really sloppy. Although well-lit, the doilies look unblocked and even unfinished sometimes. There should be a difference between how I, an amateur, present my work and how a magazine showcases its designs.

Time: About a week, not including delays for thread emergencies and chart puzzling.

Size: About 33.5″ long and 19″ wide. Bigger than the specified size, since I used a larger hook.

Extra: #1 This is for my mom, whose birthday is coming up later this month.

#2 This is a pattern I’d love to redo, which makes it a very rare thing indeed (other than winging-it stuff like funfur bags for visiting small girls). And use the right size hook this time. And avoid the booboos I made in this one.

#3 That part of the chart I didn’t understand taught me a new technique, that of turning in the middle of the row to end up with loops that look as though they’re hanging in the air. Nice challenge, even if I didn’t solve it myself.


On the book front, I finished Martha Grimes’ Lamorna Wink. Good read. I’ve now gone back to Pico Iyer (Falling off the Map). I find he doesn’t particularly make me want to visit any of the places he’s written about, but perhaps that holds true for most of the travelogues I read. Perhaps that is why I read them, to savour the experience without the effort.

One of my commentors asked me for the instructions for the block and offset shell pattern I used in my blue blanket. It is from the Harmony Guides. What’s the legality or otherwise of posting the stitch instructions on the net? It isn’t a pattern, but a stitch pattern.

And here for the curious, are the front and back covers of the Southmaid booklet I made my last doily from.


As you can see, the Berka shells doily is on the back cover (framed). The one at the bottom is a larger version, which I didn’t make since I wasn’t confident I had the time to finish it and get it framed.

No one has yet told me what a Berka shell is! Is Berka a name?

There’s another wedding coming up this week, so I made another doily and got it framed. This is it before framing (and after impaling blocking).

Berka Shells doily

It’s been framed against an off-white background and with a dark brown frame. Maybe I will take pictures later. Some of the specs:

Thread: Red Heart 100% mercerised cotton from Madura Coats. Size 20, I should think. The balls give amazing yardage.
Hook: Nameless 1.75 mm steel, probably Pony (could be Tulip also)

Pattern: Berka Shell doily from Southmaid Timeless Doilies to Crochet. (Someone will please explain what a berka shell is.)

Time: A day or so.

Size: Forgot to measure it before framing. I might measure it before wrapping it.

Extra: #1 Quick and easy.

#2 I used Pony Pearlised pins to block this and found they didn’t rust! Yay! Normally when I leave my doilies to dry overnight, I find the pins have rusted. Of course these could just be slow rusters, but maybe not. I shall have to buy lots more of them. This was only a small doily, so I didn’t need too many.

#3 I seem to have found my thread mojo again. Actually I was planning to make a couple more to frame as gifts for the husband’s hospital/mess, but he told me they aren’t classy enough. Ah well. That’s put me in my place, proper, it ‘as.

Not a party, sorry. Just this Trish Kristoffersen doily that I made to give a neighbour. She’s going to visit her sister in the US and I offered to make something for her to take. She asked for “something to put on the table”. I think this qualifies, don’t you?

Diamond landscape doily

Here are the specs:

Thread: DMC Baroque size 10. White.

Hook: 1.5 mm Tulip steel

Pattern: Diamond Landscape by Trish Kristoffersen, from Southmaid Masterpiece Doilies, Book 1411.

Time: A day.

Size: 13.3″ across from picot to picot.

Extra: #1 I used the thread weight recommended and the hook size recommended. Wow. At least it wasn’t the same thread brand.

#2 This was my third attempt after I tried an oval doily (the one on the cover) and another round one from the same booklet. The oval doily was ruffling. I kept at it to see if it would straighten out after a few rounds, but it didn’t, so I frogged it. The round doily had a bit of slip stitching to the required stitch, which I tried to do differently (join with ch, dc instead of ch 3), and then I got confused with what I’d done and where I was supposed to end up. Plus the thing was cupping slightly. I think I make my chains too tight. That would explain why the oval doily ruffled (because it starts with a base chain, obviously).

And here’s the salsa. With red capsicum, tomato and spring onions. Now I have to make something to eat it with.


Just about a year ago, I made a hexagonish doormat/rug that was more pie-like than anything else. I remained unhappy with it, but being the lazy sloth I am, I’ve been using it folded. Finally last week I got up enough energy to frog it and remake it. Originally, a wise person suggested if I made it with one section less, it might be more semi-circular, and I was planning to follow that advice. However, trying to modify the pattern was too much for the state of mind I was in, so I simply made an sc hexagon using the same yarn, but a smaller hook. It looks much better now, even if it’s a half-hexagon rather than a semi-circle.


Yarn: Frogged from the previous avatar of the rug, hence the same yarn, probably RH SS, in a dusty rose and an aran fleck. Dusty and fleck are good for floors, don’t you think?!

Hook: I think a P hook. It’s grey plastic and a friend brought it for me from the US along with a blue Q. She couldn’t think what I’d do with such a gigantic hook. :p

Pattern: Followed the directions for the semicircle from this Crochet Me pattern. I cannot even create a simple shape without having my hand held.

Time: About 4 hours. Began it at home, but took it to the radio studio and finished most of it in between announcements.

Size: 16″ x 37″ (Shouldn’t it have been something like 16″ x 32″ for perfect symmetry?)

Extra: #1 I’m now loving it. The P hook wasn’t as bad as my memory of the Q hook was, but perhaps this was because I was careful to use the knife-hold almost throughout, only switching to pen-hold when I forgot.

#2 I have a rubber mat under it so that it doesn’t slip and slide.

#3 I’m thrilled I shall be able to wash this thing.

#4 Yay for redux!


The Sunday Philosophy Club

On a bookish note, I finished my Alexander McCall Smith, The Sunday Philosophy Club, an Isabel Dalhousie mystery, the first time I read one. You must understand that reading the Scotland-based books of McCall Smith is more for the language and literary moments than the actual mystery. So it will be a slow read, as this was, being my bedtime read for the past few days. However tired I am, I feel unable to sleep without reading at least a few pages of something. I resort to re-reading old favourites if I cannot find something new. This leads to clashes with the husband, who cannot sleep with the light on. Now he’s got an eyeshade from the hospital, so everyone’s happy. 🙂


I brought back from Hyderabad the copy of Anne Fadiman‘s Ex Libris that I had given my sister for a gift. It’s a wonderful book and I can’t recommend it enough to Readers. There’s a lot to agree with and to spark one’s own memories. She writes of how her family is a family of Readers and so apparently is her husband. The chapters are actually different columns she wrote. One of them is on difficult words, and coincidentally, I was reading a Reginald Hill which had several sesquipedalians. I shall have to reread that one (or at least skim it) and then I shall hold a mini-quiz on this blog. Someone (sorry, my brain forgot) said she likes to show a picture of what she’s reading, so you know what to look for. I seem to find, however, that most of my books have different covers which are not easily available to show. This might mean that showing the cover doesn’t really help someone not in this country. And some day someone is going to sit me down and explain why books have to have different titles and covers in the United States than they have everywhere else in the world.

Some day, also, I shall figure out how to make the text in my posts flow around the pictures so we do not have a school project type of post to read.


Wipe your feet as you leave, please.

I tested this pattern for Katchkan. Stash busted the thread. It really feels good to bust your stash. From a distance:

Katchkan's Summer's PromiseAnd close up:

Katchkan's Summer's Promise close upPictures are clickable.

One of my friends says she cannot see my photos when they are Flickred because her net server blocks the site. Does this happen to anyone else?

Here are the details of the project:

Thread: Size 20 Anchor in Green, Size 20, some odd size held together with sewing thread and unmercerised thread about size 20 in White. (I did say I was busting stash!)

Hook: Tulip 1.5 mm steel (one of my favourite sizes/hooks)

Pattern: Katchkan‘s Summer’s Promise (tested)
Time: Over 2 weeks
Size: 22.5″ from picot to picot.

Kathy is an amazing designer and I always learn something from each of her patterns. She’s also wonderfully fast and seems to whip up these patterns overnight. Currently she’s working on a skirt and top. Wow.

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