Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back to Doilywood

I saw this doily while cruising through an old knitting and crochet book that belongs to my mother. I did not think I had seen this before, but it turns out that I already had it.

This doily appears in two places that I know about: Hand Crochet by Royal Society #3, Lace and Doilies and Danish Lace Treasures by Gloria Penning. The latter has errors in rounds 43, 62, 63 and 65, at least compared to the former. I also understand that it appears in Kunststrick/Knitted Lace by Sonja Esbensen and Anna Rasmussen, but I do not have that book.

This doily has a bit of everything: some fagoting, some large holes, a section with patterning on every round and an unusual bind-off. Perhaps not the most attractive doily ever designed but certainly interesting to knit.

I knit it with Flora thread, size 50, on US0 (2.0mm) needles. Finished size is about 10.75 inches diameter.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Old Style

While clearing out a box of old sewing supplies, I found this lovely package of sewing needles.

Based on some superficial Internet research, it appears the packet was produced in Germany before World War I; some suggest it dates from the Spanish-American War (1898). When folded, it is about 4.75 inches wide and 2.5 inches high.

And it appears to have most, if not all, of its needles.

Was this an advertising or promotional item? Sold or given away? If it is from the Spanish-American War era, was it intended to encourage support for the war or to celebrate a victory? Or was the Iowa the focus? How does the German-made Iowa needle book relate to other similar military-themed Army and Navy Needle Books? And why military-themed needle books at all? Sadly, I have more questions than answers.

Nevertheless, it is still a beautiful little piece of sewing history and military history.

Monday, March 08, 2010


The first time I saw this (thanks, Pat!), I knew I had to knit it. It is Damson by Ysolda Teague.

  • Yarn: Pagewood Farm Yukon in Really Red; merino superwash, bamboo, nylon; 450 yards. I did not have enough yarn to finish as written, so I did a crochet bind off instead.
  • Needles: US5
  • Finished size: 15 inches back neck length
I am working on a second Damson. I expect to have enough yarn to bind off as the pattern specifies, and maybe even add beads.