Thursday, November 14, 2013

From the heart

My newest project really is one straight from the heart:
 When I was at my grandad's house while visiting England in the summer I saw a doily on the window sill that I remembered seeing when I was little and I asked him if my grandma had made it. He told me she had and went over to a drawer and pulled out another, identical one. He told me to I could have it as a reminder of my grandma.
The original doily had seen better days:
It had lost its shape after years of use, part of it had been ripped and it also had a big tea stain on it.
The first part of this Project was restoration. I started by washing the doily and rubbing at that stain. It didn't want to go to start with but eventually I got it to fade quite a bit.
Then I blocked it. When I block my own work I spin the project first in the washing machine and then really pull at the yarn to get the stitches to open up.
This time I was so scared of ruining it that I carefully dried the doily with a nice, soft towel and then very gently pinned it onto the blocking board hoping for the best.
Here you can see it before, during and after:

Now it is back to its original splendor. Here is my grandma's doily:
After I saw the doily I decided I would love to make one too and keep it with my grandmas.
Here you have my version:
My plan was to try and replicate the pattern counting the stitches and working from the original doily to try and make an identical one. But I decided to have a look online to see if there were any similar patterns anywhere.

I couldn't believe my luck when I clicked on one of the photos and saw it was the same doily and there was a link to the pattern! 
The pattern is called Irish rose doily and is from 1949. It's vintage now and you find the free pattern here.
I used a 1.75mm hook and size 6 anchor crochet thread in white. The thread is quite old. My mom had it in her stash for years and years until I caught a glimpse of it back in August and offered to put it to good use :)
The flowers and leaves are made with size 10 Puppets Eldorado crochet thread
The main doily is made first and that you alternate making roses and leaves and join each on to the doily and previous rose/leaf as you go.
My grandma's doily is bigger in so much as it  has more rounds and more flowers on the edge. Mine has the same number of rounds the original pattern states. I was going to increase it to make the same number of roses but it would have been enormous, so I kept it smaller. 
Now, I LOVE making doilies. I got the doily bug earlier this year and really enjoy looking at patterns, admiring other peoples doilies and making them myself. But, I'm not one for having many doilies out on display.
But I wanted to find a way to enjoy these two every day. I gave it a little thought and came up with what I think is the perfect solution. My yarn stash is out of control. I have it in plastic boxes, a whole set of drawers set aside for stash controlage :) and also two baskets.
They are wicker baskets that have been painted white and have a linen bag inside them. They are perfect for keeping my yarn neat and organised. They are right next to my desk and I use them almost everyday so I decided to use the doilies to decorate them:
This way I am reminded of my grandma each time I look at my yarn basket and I made the baskets a little bit prettier at the same time :)
I used some thread and sewed the doilies to the lids of the baskets so that they won't fall off. 
What do you think of my idea? Have you got any handmade items decorating your home that have a special sentimental value to you?
When I was working on the centre of the doily I thought how pretty the design was. It reminded me of a snowflake.
I'm thinking of making just the centre of the doily, adding some beads and using it as a decoration this Christmas.
Aside from crochet, I've really been enjoying the autumn sights this week. This is my favourite time of year to enjoy nature.
The colours of the leaves I see everywhere are beautiful.
In true autumn style it's been a bit breezy and some pine cones have dropped off trees:
 And the olives are nearly ready for picking:


  1. both the doilies look great! happy to see its nicely restored.yes,I am sentimental about these things,I love making doilies and love to display it.

  2. This is such a beautiful story about your grandparents, and so lovely that you took the time to care for your grandma's doily and you will be using it for such a lovely purpose. Hers and your doily look beautiful! You did an amazing job and should be very proud of this work. You are right, the middle would make a lovely snowflake! xx

  3. What a wonderful tribute to your Grandma. My latest post is about my Grandma too .What a coincidence x

  4. What a special gift! And after you restored it to it's original splendor, even more so! And I love the one you made too. How neat!!!
    xo Kris

  5. They are really beautiful Elizabeth and so delicate looking. I am sure you treasure your Grandma's doily and just think so one in the future will treasure yours too !

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

  6. Fabulous Elisabeth - such beautiful crochet doilies to treasure and see everyday! Love the vintage pattern!
    The snowflake will look great - can't wait to see it!
    Ali x

  7. This is just so lovely. Your doily is a wonderful tribute to your grandmother and I love that you also have the original to treasure.

  8. How lovely that you've been able to restore your Grandma"s doily and then to replicate it with one of your own. They are both very pretty and decorate your baskets perfectly.
    Patricia x

  9. I too love doilies and I don't think you can ever have too many of them. The one from your grandmother is so beautiful and different from traditional doilies and I can't believe that you managed to find the exact same pattern!! It was clearly meant to be, I mean what are the chances right?! I love what you have done and I feel so inspired that I might give this a go in the new year. Beautiful work and your washing baskets are looking really pretty too! xoxo

  10. Beautiful,so romantic!!!

  11. What a beautiful story and history of your Grans doily, your copy is spot on.They both are gourgeous x

  12. That is a lovely heritage story E, thanks for telling us about it. Much skill was needed there to save that pretty doily. JO x

  13. What a great project and straight form the heart! I spent a lot of time this summer with thread crochet and Irish crochet. Yes it is easy to catch the bug! Thanks for sharing with us.

  14. I think your idea is brilliant and I love this whole story. It is so nice you have that beautiful doily, fully restored to remember such an inspirational; woman.

  15. I really enjoyed reading your lovely story Elisabeth; you did a major job on fixing up your Grandma's doily and amazing that you found the original pattern too. They both look very pretty adorning your baskets, a daily reminder of a special person obviously close to your heart! Joy x

  16. That was a beautiful story ! And I found amazing that you were able to find the pattern in internet, isn't it magical ? I bet making the doily was a pretty sentimental journey for you. I love the results and you have put them to good use, your baskets look beautiful ! I am not the person either to display doilies on sofas, etc but I do like to give them a modern twist and ways of display.

  17. That's beautiful Elizabeth and what a great tribute to your grandmother. It's a lovely pattern, so pretty and a brilliant idea to decorate your stash baskets.:)

  18. Hi Elizabeth, Hi, I'm writing here to let you know that I received your message and I want to say thanks for your comment on my fabric flower ,and for being my new follower :)))) I want to let you know that you show up as non-replay blogger in the message you left me. If that's how you prefer to be, is your decision, but if you want to change your status, here I leave you a link to a blog that I follow and who has a good tutorial to correct that situation. What I discovered is that we have to check once a month our status, I've had to change about 5 times or so. Google and blogger make changes, and this last month many bloggers appear as non-reply blogger. Hopefully the link will be useful!
    This is the link:
    Have a nice day.
    Marisa from

  19. Qué bonitos tapetes, son preciosos los dos.
    Has hecho una labor estupenda de restauración y otra aún mejor tejiendo el tuyo como homenaje a tu abuela.
    Me encanta como lucen en las cestas, es una preciosa idea.

  20. They're both so beautiful, you did a brilliant job both with restoring your grandmother's doily and making your own.

  21. la reparacion de los tapetes ha sido perfecta y el que has tejido completo es simplemente precioso!! un besito.maria:)

  22. Bom dia .lindo blog.Uma maravilhosa semana,bjs.

  23. un blog precioso, me encanta!!!! y las agujas de ganchillo antiguas me han fascinado!!!


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