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There are hundreds of beautiful doily diagrams on the internet, but how do you know what hook size and thread combination to use to make them when they aren't listed? Is it just trial and error?

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I am sure someone else will be here, but depending on the size you want.  I have made them with size 10 thread and size 7 hook, that I think is the normal size thread and hook.

 

I have taken a doily and used ww and G hook to make it more of a table cover or afghan.

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Thank you Tampa Doll! I have tried a variety with that hook thread combination, but they often become wavy like there are too many stitches. I wonder if my tension is off. 

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That could be, I have not made any doilies in a while, but if I remember, sometimes after I was and pin them to dry, they see to shrink back into shape.

 

Hopefully one of our doily experts can add to this.

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I agree that a size 7 steel hook (which is usually about 1.65mm)  is the standard size for size 10 thread, and is what I usually use.  But everybody is a little different so if that doesn't work for you, experiment with a bigger or smaller hook.

 

Also I have found that the Bates and Boye hooks that are being made now do not run true to size, so you could be using a hook that really is not the size it is marked as. I think the ones being made now are marked India, and before that would have been Mexico.  they just don't have as good quality control apparently.   The old Bates/Boye hooks esp if marked USA are much more true to size.  If buying new hooks I would seek out Japanese brands like Clover or Tulip, or the European brand Addi.  They are more expensive but worth it.  

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Thank you magiccrochetfan! I was using a Bates and Boye hook and just switched to some bamboo handled hooks from eKnittingNeedles. Not sure I totally trust their sizing, but I think now with some trial and error I can determine which hook works best for me.  I have one 5mm Clover hook and it is by far my favorite. I think I will eventually switch over to their hooks entirely. 

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I am totally in love with Clover Amour Hooks. They now have steel hooks available for thread and I'm gathering them one by one as I find them. Pricey but, true to size and very comfortable for old hands- really young and old alike. Otherwise, I use my older steel hooks made in the USA or my Tulip brand.

As far as gauge/tension if none are given, I always test a few rows to see how my tension/ gauge is, then, adjust hooks up or down accordingly until I'm satisfied with how the stitches are turning out.

Here's just one of many lists on the Net recommending Hook to Thread size.

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