Friday, February 15, 2008

String Theory

I know it's not for everybody, but I LOVE crocheting doilies. There is something so amazing to me about picking up a plain ol' ball of string and a little hook and making a perfect, beautiful, delicate snowflake with it. It's magic! I can't help but get philosophical as I watch the snowflake emerge slowly under my hands--it's like I'm taking cosmic randomness and making a crystalline "order" out of it. What was once a ball of cheap-o string is now transformed into a thing of beauty. Hey! Don't laugh. I'm deeper than I look, okay?

Today I vacuumed, mopped and did laundry. So you know what that means--a long forgotten object gets pulled out of the drawer in desperation, finally getting to earn its fifteen minutes of fame in blogland. Today's DBO (desperation blog object) is a doily I made last year. I plucked off the lint and fluffed it up for its shining moment in the spotlight:

Here is my black doily...oh...FIFI!! Get off that doily! Honestly....dogs. They want to lay on anything you're doing. Where was I...oh yeah. My black doily. I enjoyed making it, but working on it was hard on the eyes. It's a very simple pattern and it was easy to work on while watching TV. Sometimes, you can't do that with doilies because they can get very complicated. They're deeper than they look, too.

This is the doily I want to do next:

I think it's called "Waltzing Flowers" or something like that. I just love the way it swirls. But it definitely is NOT a TV doily. Making my flowers waltz will take some concentration. Ah well...another project to get to. Will I live long enough?

I'd also like to do a doily for each holiday! I bought a book from a marvelous crocheter known as "orientalmom" on ebay. She has a website, too. I totally stole these pictures off her ebay listings, I hope she doesn't mind. Here are some of her holiday doilies I'd like to do:

Valentine's Day

St. Patrick's Day



These next few doilies, I will probably never make. I don't think I'm crazy enough. This floral one is adorned with beads and is amazing. Give-you-cavities-amazing, if you know what I mean:

Sweet, eh? Pearly beads and everything. I would cry when my husband set a dirty pot on it, so I won't make this one. I think you need to be single in order to own a doily like this--it's probably written in the instructions somewhere.

These next two doilies are just flat out astounding. Brace yourself: you'll never think of doilies in quite the same way ever again. Here are the swans:

Gah! And the tea party:
Those cups and that teapot are crocheted! Can you believe it? I wonder what the directions read like? Round One: Chain 5, join, make teapot. Round Two: 10 dc in each 2 ch loop, crochet some imaginary friends to come have tea. Round Three: 20 sc in back loop, then speed dial Happy Acres for the men in white coats to come get you.

Back to cleaning for me, then dinner and a few hours with my tiny crochet hook and string. I'm still working on my blue pillowcase edging. I've started over a couple of times, but I think I've got a pattern that's just perfect now. See you tomorrow!

Reminder: sign up for the Happy Hula Hut pattern and fabric giveaway! You have until Tuesday the 19th at midnight. To enter, comment under the February 12th post entitled "A Very Happy Hula Hut Day." Only one comment per person, please!

Oh! And while I'm writing in italics, I want to remind you wonderful, wonderful people who leave comments (thank you so much, I love them) to leave an email address if you would like a response. Some of you ask questions and/or say such lovely things, I'd like to be able to email you back! There are some of you that I would love to answer, but I have no email address for you or your blogger info is blocked. By the way...a "URL" is just your website address or blog address, if you want to leave that instead.


Mom IsAmagpie said...

I don't know what's more astounding your talent, patience, or how relaxed you are with all of it. One day I will make a doily, but for now I'll drool over everyone elses. Unless I figure out the make teapot stitch. If that's as easy as it sounds, I'll have to make 7.

Anonymous said...

I love the doilies! I have collected them for many years.I have one that is similar to the tea pot and cups,except it is daffodils. I love your blog! I am a friend of Happy Zombie Monica and just wanted to say hi! Are you ever on the island where Lost is filming? I would love to come to Hawaii and never leave!I love your scrappy spool quilt- I am going to go checkout more of your blog! Happy sewing!

Mar said...

I have loved doilies since I was little girl and they would cover the arms and back of the sofa at Grandmas house. The holiday doilies are AWESOME. Love holiday stuff anyway, but the St. Patty's and Halloween too darn cute!! Alas that is one craft I cannot do. Hope you will show them as you get them done!

Under the Lychee Tree said...

Lovely handiwork. Mr. Doylely would be proud to have his name associated with such great stringwork!

Anonymous said...

Lovely doilies! I´ve made similar but in white as you´ve made. You are so lucky to live there! We had 17 degrees centigrade (Celsius) below zero outside this morning!

Cathie said...

"It's magic! I can't help but get philosophical as I watch the snowflake emerge slowly under my hands--it's like I'm taking cosmic randomness and making a crystalline "order" out of it. What was once a ball of cheap-o string is now transformed into a thing of beauty."

I do peyote stitch amulet bags and I love the way a pile of teeeensy shards of colored glass (the beads ARE really truly small, lol) turn into a REAL thing right there in my hands... and I also love the way that string turns into a doily in my hands. You're right, it IS magic!

More than that, it's meditative. Somehow when I have a needle or hook in my hands, the world just narrows down to me and the thread... then my mind slows down and everything gets calm. I have even noticed that whenever I have thread working through my hands, the doglet and cats all go to sleep. (Good deal, eh?? I sure appreciate it!)

About Fifi... she may be all over the place, laying on everything--but yanno, at least you won't have to pick white dog fur out of that lovely black doily. Poodles don't shed.

I think the Halloween doily would be stunning in red and white; I like the red for the outside rows because it carries more weight and depth and I think the doily would look more finished. (Imagining the red inside and white outside kinda left me blah.) Wonder what it would look like if you used the colors in your hibiscus bossom from the other day? Stunning, I'll bet!

I know what would happen if I tried to crochet that teapot. Right now I am foregoing my lifelong love of size 20 threads, and even my half-a-lifetime love of size 30 threads, in favor of size 80. It's a challenge.

Now I have to say, in size 80 thread, even plain crochet motifs miniaturize into exquisite loveliness. I also have to say, I had to buy those adhesive finger patches they sell instead of thimbles because the hook (a 14) kept poking me in the finger and it's sharp! Also my eyes cross after a while, and I get a headache from trying to see all those tiny stitches to get the hook into the right place.

So I would have to do that teapot in size 80, and the cups and saucers, too... *slow blink* Um, oh yes, I would have to dye the threads first, because I can only find it in white, and a white-on-white teapot only works if you are doing some kind of textural crochet. So I would have to keep four cats out of all that drying string after I finally got the dye bath right to get the proper shade of green without blotches or fadey places.

Nah... maybe it *would* be better to do the textural thing. It wouldn't take too long to modify the pattern, right? Not too long. I'd certainly have to drop everything else while I figured it out but I could do that, especially if I have enough sticky patches for my finger.

On the other hand, maybe I should just skip right to the next step; will you share the number for Happy Acres now, please? *sheepish grin*

ikkinlala said...

Those last couple of doilies are inpressive, but the ones you made and are planning to make are just as pretty and look much more useful (if a doily can be considered useful).

cinnamongirl93 said...

I would love to learn to crochet. The dollies are so pretty! I can appreciate them all! Just pick one that you adore and go for it.
I liked how you added little FiFi! She almost stole the show!

Sally said...

I, too, would love to learn to crochet. I've tried to teach myself in the past, but either I was not paying attention or the teacher was awful...I just never got the knack! Those doilies are absolutely stunning!

Mary Johnson said...

How fun - these doilies look great but I can just imagine myself trying to make the swan one. I'm in the mood to crochet but I think I'll make a baby afghan. The red baskets look wonderful too.

Donna said...

Chain 5, join, make tea-cup LOL!!!

Mary Anne said...

Holy crochet hook Bat Girl !!!! those are some AMAZING doilies !!!! If you tackle the tea cup one , can I be one of the friends you crochet to come to the tea party?(and while you're at it, crochet me up some English Breakfast Tea and crumpets .....please!)

..... and, by the way, the black doily is pretty amazing.... no need for feelings of inadequacy for not adding a 3 dimentional doo dad to it!

qusic said...

I love doilies too and made a lot in former quiltless days until every spot was covered, they still are, but I wonder what creations are possible, swan lake and tea party...,but where to put a lamp on or the shell collection? so I tend to your black one which would be a perfect background for my paua collection.Have a nice day with some crochet!( I love rhymes)

Opal said...

Even though I don't really *use* doilies, I love making them too. When I was in junior high, I had a couple of leaflets and I made every single doily in each leaflet during a summer. I was obsessed!

Oh, I love that swan doily. It's just amazing.

Anonymous said...

I love what Mary Anne said... "Holy crochet hook Bat Girl !!!!"! AH. MAZE. ING. I've never seen anything like this. Have I said "amazing" yet?

And Fifi looks so happy rolling around in your beautiful black doilie. :o)

The Calico Cat said...

I'm not a crocheter - tension issues, but I love them... I have one that my great grandmother made, that I plan to use on a quilt...