Great Aunt Annette and her crocheted* doilies

doilies-2-1On my mom’s side of the family, creativity genes are practically catching. Everyone’s got it–or it seems that way. Stitchers, painters, poets, writers, photographers; artists of all kinds and descriptions. You can hardly talk to a one of them without hearing all about their latest artsy endeavours.

On my dad’s side of the family, less so. My grandfather painted (I have one of his paintings hanging in my house); an aunt of mine sews; my Dad likes to do carpentry, and made me a nifty bookcase; and then there’s my great-Aunt Annette, who did everything else. When she passed away several years ago, leaving behind her a tidy stack of completed and uncompleted projects, my family decided that I should inherit them.

There were two lovely embroidered handkerchiefs (which I might include in a future embroidery post) and a box full of crocheted doilies.


These crocheted doilies are works of art. The stitches are tiny and perfect, and the patterns are gorgeous. But still … they’re crocheted doilies. What do you do with a large stack of crocheted doilies?

doilies-5They can’t be thrown out; they’re too perfect. They can’t be given away; I inherited them from family. But equally, they can’t all be displayed, or I would be covering every horizontal surface in my home with crocheted doilies in various sizes. So they remain in the box, which feels very wrong. Surely such beautiful work deserves to be seen and enjoyed.

(My own crochet-lace work remains decidedly more amateur. I’ve crocheted a few thread snowflakes, and they’re all right, but nothing up to my great-aunt’s level.)

I have some ideas. They may or may not involve starch, glue, embroidery floss, beads, and/or cochineal and logwood. First they all need a good washing. And then … mordant, to be followed by Something.


* as some friends and now Kristi in the comments have informed me, at least some of these are actually tatted. I know nothing about tatting except that it uses a complicated looking little shuttle and crochet thread. Sorry for the error!

8 thoughts on “Great Aunt Annette and her crocheted* doilies

  1. Oh, they are beautiful works of art. Frame them and hang them. I have some treasured ones from my grandmother, and the memories swirl around every time I look at them. I even have swatches of mom’s smocking and grandma’s crocheting framed. Too pretty and meaningful to be hidden away in a box for sure.

      1. That last one pictured is almost definitely crocheted, though. I wanted to make some super-delicate crocheted stuff like that, and ordered the tiny-hook set, and HOLY CRAP those things are teeny tiny. Eff that, that’s how the auntie in Rumplestiltskin went blind or something, isn’t it? 🙂

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