Throwback crochet…

While I\’ve crocheted for years, I just recently decided to try doilies.  I don\’t think they\’re one of the hottest decorating must-haves, but I have found vintage patterns that can work in my retro ranch.  I used to think doilies were too intricate and complicated to crochet.  Many patterns are beyond my skill level, but there are plenty of easy ones too. Crocheting a doily can be a long-term project with lots of repetition, which appeals to me.  I find them very satisfying to complete.

My love of crocheting began when I watched my mother crochet tiny clothes for my short-haired brunette Barbie Doll. It was like magic.  She sat down with some thread, and hours later, I had a new dress for my doll.  My favorite outfit was a slinky variegated green evening gown.

When I had my daughter, Emma, I bought her a Barbie.  I also bought a wonderful book, Crochet for Barbie Doll by Nicky Epstein. The book had 75 cool outfits to crochet for my daughter’s new doll.  As a youngster, I was obsessed with my Barbies.  I spent days and days with Virginia Novak setting up elaborate houses and surrounds for our dolls.  Then we played with them for what seemed like weeks at a time. Those fond memories made me eager to get started on the new clothes for Emma\’s doll.

As children will throw surprises at you occasionally, my daughter delivered a big one. Emma had no interest in dolls. Stuffed animals like, Fat Cat, Tutter, and Miss Kitty ruled in our household.  She enjoyed looking at the Barbie pattern book, but that’s as far as it went.  I never made clothes for her Barbie.

All was fine, though.  Better than fine, actually. At an early age, Emma thought I could make ANYTHING. I was enlisted to fashion interesting, sometimes unconventional Halloween costumes for her, make clothes and furniture for her stuffed animals, and help with any of her elaborate projects du jour.  I so loved our collaborations.  I continued to crochet…just not Barbie clothes.

My most recent crochet project was a doily for my friend Vicky.  I found a huge box of vintage crochet thread at a garage sale.  The colors were beautiful. The photo shows only about half of my haul. 

For Vicky\’s doily, I chose a throwback pattern with flowers that reminded me of sunflowers.  The yellow crochet cotton I used looked warm and went well with the pattern. 

Pattern info: Filet Runner by Darma Bregoli in Magic Crochet Magazine, April, 1985.

There are great websites these days to find vintage and throwback patterns for doilies, potholders, doll clothes and more.  My favorite is 

While I was mostly self-taught with some help from my Mom and a little old Italian lady, the resources on the web today are amazing.  I find oodles of inspiration and sites to teach me new stitches and techniques.  If you have never tried crochet, now is a great time to start.


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