I love to crochet – and I particularly love making thread doilies but I have noticed that there is a bit of a “shock-horror” look if I mention crochet – or even worse the doily! (Never mind the fact that I may actually be making one! Some of my friends cannot handle that I actually wrote a book on it.)
Crochet has made a big comeback in the last few years, and it is fresh and new and exciting. There is lots of colour and innovation in the way stitches and the construction is used.
When it comes to doilies I think there is a vision of old-fashioned fussiness which equates with clutter with doilies draped everywhere.
But they too have been maiking a big comeback – they can be seen used in clothing on the catwalk and the Internet is littered with stories of people making their wedding dresses with joined up doilies. I am never really too sure that is something I could wear, but I do use doilies in my house. I have also noticed that they are being used in many new and innovative ways in modern and trendy homes.
So here are some of the ways I see them being used.
1. On tables, and side tables
Let’s start with the usual – a table with a centrepiece doily – very normal as the picture above shows.
And colour? I was commissioned to design this doily for a magazine – expressly in yellow (I did a lavender verions too). I kept the bright yellow doily and placed it on this small dark wood side table in my living room and it looks fab! (And believe me, I was not convinced about the colour at all but now I love it as it adds just that bit of punctuation to the room.)
If you fancy making this doily the pattern is available from my Ravelry store.
I am seeing lots of colour in doilies now – I only used to use white ones, but I am learning to be that bit braver.
2. Doily Rugs
I remember seeing these rugs in homes in the 1970s, and they are back big time, and if well made are a very serviceable item.
I love this one which is available on Etsy from EvaVillain – very cool. And a great image.
If you are buying one, check what it is made from. You want to be sure it is easy to wash and has suitable wearing qualities for where you want to use it. Also be careful about “slippiness” – you don’t want the rug to be lethal. The stiffer it is the less likely it is to crumple, but it may “walk”.
3. Doily Bowls
Now I am not too sure of this idea – for one main reason. To get the doily to keep its shape you have to use glue to get the final shape – I hate using glue on crochet – it almost always yellows with age, it does peel and if the bowl gets dirty – that’s it for all the work that goes into it. Believe me, I love thread crochet, but it is slow work when you compare it to yarn made items. Some makers use sugar water solution to stiffen the doily. That does wash out, but the bowl is likely to go limp in high humidity. On the plus side they are really pretty and feminine – perhaps for soaps in a cloakroom? So while I doubt their practical use, decoratively they can be very stylish and add just the right accent to a setting.
This is simply made, but very striking lace crochet bowl from Linda Permann and the pattern is free on Ravelry.
Now many people I have spoken to always express worry that the light bulb will burn the doilies – no it won’t if you take some precautions – don’t use a halogen light bulb – they simply get too hot. Really the best is long life, cool lights, but a tungsten bulb will also work. LED based light bulbs will be fine too.
Here is a great examples of taking several doilies and turning them into lamps. I love the patterns of light all over the wall. Beautiful.
5. Wall Art
Simple and easy to do. Either make your own doilies, or collect vintage doilies from charity and thrift shops. Often old doilies are falling apart so you can cut away the broken bits and use them in art. I simply love this huge doily on a canvas. So effective and not difficult to do. I am going to have a go!
I also love the idea of using doilies as dreamcatchers (as seen on this image I found on Pinterest). Clever clever.
I will do a post on how to make some instant wall art soon, but in the meantime I hope you are inspired by this post…. perhaps even pick up a crochet hook and make your own.