I’ve recently become obsessed with crocheting doilies. Specifically doilies designed by Grace Fearon of Emilyandthe Handmade Designs. These doilies have so much incredible texture. They’re so fun to make and really hard to put down.
First, I made Evelyn:
Evelyn is 16 inches in diameter from point to point. This was a Crochet-Along (CAL) that several members of the Emilyandthe Facebook group participated in. Grace released the pattern in 5 parts over 15 days. It was so much fun to compare progress with other people and see their color choices.
Next, I made Francisco.
Francisco is about 17 inches in diameter from point to point. Too big for my little table to hold it all! I feel like I blocked it a little bit too aggressively, so I may reblock it to a smaller diameter at some point in the future.
My mom bought me the pattern for Francisco. Thanks, Mom!
Finally, I chose a free pattern of Grace’s for a small doily, just because I needed to make one more. This is Elise.
Elise was such a fun and fast project. It took me about 2 days from start to finish.
Besides the texture, construction and beauty of the doilies, another thing I love about Grace’s designs is that the most of the names are significant. Some names are just ones she liked, others have deep personal meaning for her.
- Evelyn was named for the unborn baby of a friend of Grace’s. The baby has a fatal genetic condition called NKH. In the doily, I see angels spreading their wings in the middle section.
- Francisco was named for a friend of Grace’s family, who has Parkinsons disease and who has no family nearby to help care for him. Grace’s husband takes care of him on a regular basis and they discovered he has very little income. The proceeds from the purchase of this pattern go directly to Francisco’s care. This is the only doily with a masculine name.
- Elise was named in honor of one of Genevieve Jurgensen’s two young girls who passed away in 1980. (The other daughter is Mathilde and there is a doily named for her, too.) The girls were killed in a drunk driving accident. Grace read Jurgensen’s memoir and named these doilies after the girls.
I’ve been so enamored with these doilies. I’ve been poring over the designs trying to decide which to make next. My sweet husband encouraged me to go ahead and buy one of the Emilyandthe Handmade books, rather than buying the patterns individually. I did, and Volume 3 is here with me. Now I just must decide which of the 7 patterns to make next! My favorites of those are Naomi and Marion… although Ruth and Hazel are pretty, too!
More than once I’ve asked myself (and I’ve been asked), “What am I going to do with all these doilies?” and the answer is… I don’t know yet. With two little boys, four cats and a dog, there’s no safe flat surface to display anything in this house. I do have space for one at work and I will probably take one there. Mom has suggested that I frame them, and that’s certainly a good idea, especially if I want to display them here at home. I think a shadowbox frame would do best for most of these with so much texture, rather than pressing them flat under glass. Who knows, maybe my entire family will get doilies for Christmas, then they can decide what to do with them! I just enjoy making them and will keep on with it for as long as the enjoyment lasts (or until I make them all!)
If you have followed me for a while, you know that I usually always have a pair of socks on the needles. Socks are a really great travel project for a number of reasons.
1. They’re small. They don’t take up much room in a carry-on, or in the car and they (typically) aren’t heavy.
2. They’re repetitive. Especially if you’re doing a plain stockinette sock, but even if you’re doing a simple pattern, it’s easily memorized and you can see what you need to do next by looking at the work you’ve done before.
3. They impress people. I get compliments every time.
4. They pass the time enjoyably and you get a pair of socks out of it!
My latest pair have been going for a little while. I started them in March, and as usual, they’ve mostly lived in the car. Even on short trips around town, a couple rounds helps get the whole project finished, so it was great when I got to the heels on both socks in time for my latest out-of-town flight.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Durham, North Carolina for a training class. The flight was short, just over an hour, but I always get to the airport in plenty of time to get through security, just in case there’s an issue. This leaves me sitting at the gate for a good amount of time, usually an hour or more. With the waiting time and the flight time, I had a chance to work on the heel of one of them.
When we landed, I had just finished the first heel. I felt so great! I made a heel, with all the distractions of the airport and the plane, and it looked great!! I was ready to get going on the other heel that night and get me some new socks!
When I got to the hotel that evening, I tried on my new sock. Whoops. It was about an inch too long.
It’s sometimes difficult to tell where to start the heel when you’re doing toe-up socks. There are different techniques for making heels and they are all different lengths, so I’ve learned. The last heel technique I tried started at (what I think is) the navicular bone of the foot. (The little bony knot in front of and below your ankle.) So, I knit the socks, trying them on occasionally, until they fit nicely up to that spot. Then I started increasing for the heel gusset.
I was tempted to just go on, finish the socks and give them to someone with a larger foot than mine. However, these are MY socks. And besides that, the only sock-worthy people in my life who have larger feet than mine are my husband, my brother and my dad. I don’t think any of them would wear socks in these colors.
So, I ripped more than two hours worth of work out. Not only did I have to rip out the heel, but more than half an inch of the instep, too. I felt a little defeated, but a) I want socks that fit me the right way, b) I would get more practice with this heel technique and c) it’s all just knitting, anyway. I knit one heel the next night and in the airport/flight time on the way home, I finished the other.
Now, I can continue knitting on up the leg of the sock.
They’re still not quite right. I like my socks to fit tight, especially in the foot. These fit the width of my foot pretty well, but they are still just a little bit too long. Even though the yarn is superwash and won’t felt up to baby sock size, they will still shrink in the wash a tiny bit. I’m just not sure if they will shrink enough. So, these are sitting in time out for a little while while I decide whether to rip back a little further and get even more practice with the heels. If I did rip out, I would take it about a half inch shorter. Tight socks slip down and off the foot faster than looser socks, though, so if I make them too tight, they won’t stay on. I really want these socks to feel fabulous.
It’s a tough decision. I think I’ll let it sit for a little while longer.