Monday, February 14, 2011

Touching the Past


Due to an abundance of coal, oil and other minerals in the area, Gillette, WY is booming town. Because housing is so tight, workers, today, often live in campers and families live in motel rooms. It was no different 38 years ago when I was assigned to complete eight weeks of student teaching in Gillette. I knew housing would be a problem, so I contacted the church to see if someone in the congregation would be willing to rent a bedroom for eight weeks. Mrs. Cannon, an elderly woman, graciously invited me to live in her home.

Mrs. Cannon was an accomplished knitter, and knitted doilies (the first I had ever seen) were displayed everywhere in her home. It wasn't long before she gave me the confidence to start one of my own. When I didn't have school obligations, Mrs. Cannon and I would knit together in the evenings. She was so proud when I finished my first doily (pictured above). It was my first experience with double-point and circular needles and even knitting lace.

I vowed to knit another doily, but for one reason or another, it didn't happen. Over the years I searched for knitted doily patterns and even downloaded several patterns I found online, but they became "someday" projects and never materialized. You can find some beautiful lace doily patterns here or shawl patterns like this beauty. Note the additional pages listed to the right of those pictured.

Someday, I hope to make this Spiral doily or this gorgeous Heirloom doily.


Last year, when I saw this book in Hobby Lobby, I decided I had to knit one of the easy patterns by the end of the year. I think Mrs. Cannon would approve of my efforts.

I've made great progress since this photo was taken, and now the edging is beginning to intimidate me. You see, I don't crochet and all of the projects in this book have a crochet bind-off. Since I am inept with a crochet hook, I am searching for an edge that can be knit.

8 comments:

  1. YOU DID A GREAT JOB ON YOUR DOILY. I LOVE IT! I'M SO GLAD YOU MADE ANOTHER ONE AND I'M SURE YOU WILL FIGURE OUT THE EDGING. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

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  2. I had no idea that you could knit these. It thought they could only be crocheted. Great job! Wish we were closer and I would help you crochet that edge:)

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  3. I'm not a crocheter either, so I understand your intimidation, but don't give up on the crocheted bind-off before you at least try it. I'm sure you can figure it out.

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  4. Send it to your sister in Fargo to be crochet. She would do it for you. I have never got the tension right with thread. Yarn ok but not thread. Looks great. Should I put one on my Christmas order. lol

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  5. I wish I live closer...I'd help you with the bind off...but I really think you can do it: check this video out
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efRaicXpT_8

    The woman in the video says the results is the same as the regular knit bind off. Not sure what the patterns says, but I really think you can do it. Give it a try and if you run into problems let me know and I'll try to help you long distance :) Good luck!!

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  6. You did great..I am sure your friend would be thrilled! Great story..I enjoyed it! :)

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  7. That's a very interesting story. I have never knitted a doily but want to someday. You would be surprised how easy crochet is and for finishing it makes a very elegant look. Maybe someone could teach you how. You wouldn't regret it.

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