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How do I prevent this from happening?

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This is ruffling (there are 2 ways a thing in the round won't lie flat, cupping and ruffling; the cures are different).  

There is precise ratio between circumference and diameter that needs to happen so it doesn't cup or ruffle.  Ruffling can happen if you make short stitches* (I have this problem), and can USUALLY be fixed with blocking. I think this can be blocked out without ripping and re-doing.  Let us know if you need help with blocking advice ;)

*other cures for ruffling, which happens when the circumference is too big for the diameter: reduce the number of stitches, make a round without increasing (works with some patterns, would be hard to fit into this pattern I think), make taller stitches.

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That's a lovely doily.  Perhaps if you steam block it, it may flatten out and salvage all your hard work.  Try it.

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Thanx

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