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Needles & Doilies


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Hello All,

I have been thinking about crocheting doilies, although they look VERY intimidating, I love doilies. I have made a few with regular size yarn and needle (4.0mm or 5.0mm)

I would greatly appreciate any info you would like to share about doilies. I'm not sure where to start and have some questions that maybe someone could answer for me: What types and size of needles I should get? There's SOOOO much information on the internet about crochet needles... WOW!   Since I don't have a specific pattern chosen, I'm thinking it's probably a good idea to get a "set" of needles; then again, someone who crochets doilies all the time may suggest 1 or 2 sizes or maybe 5 size are a must...that's what I don't know. 

Everything I've read (on the internet) says Steel needles??? I have several larger size needles that are all metal straight needles, but I'm a "tight" crocheter and the skinny metal needles hurt my fingers so I bought a set of needles with the rubber handles, and a few with wooden handles, etc... I like them, however, the metal part, of the needle shaft, seems to be too short for me because my stitches are always bumping into the rubber handle. And on the positive side, they don't hurt my fingers.

Then there's the question of yarn. I know yarn  will depend on the project but what type of yarn is good to begin working with, i.e., cotton, acrylic, silky, stretchy, etc...

Thank you for any suggestion!!


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Hi!  I'm a doily-head!  I find them fun and interesting because the pattern changes all the time (usually), and, well thread is cheap...

I use regular steel hooks, but also bought an ergonomic set of 'Boye' hooks, that have a G or H size handle and interchangeable 'heads' that screw on (well they are held in place with a nut that screws on).  Before that, with my traditional steel hooks, I wrapped some rubber bands around them and shoved a pencil-grip thingy over the rubber bands, that works pretty well and is comfortable - I am not a youngster, and have a bit of arthritis now, so comfort is important...  

But, 99% of the time I use #10 thread (which is the most common in the stores, and in modern doily patterns) and a US #7 steel hook, so you might get by with a hook that size, or maybe a 6 (bigger) if you crochet tightly - for US steel hooks, the larger the size, the smaller the hook.  While I like the interchangeable set, I'm really not getting my money's worth--really I'd recommend a regular skinny steel hook and go the pencil grip and rubber band route, you can adjust the grip where you want it.

I can't imagine not using cotton 'doily' thread, because I always block them with a little bit of spray starch - not stiff, just so they hold their shape so you can see the design.  "Stretchy" just doesn't compute to me for doilies, maybe if you were making a lacy top...I always block my doilies, I have a 'blocking board' which is 20x30", they have thin ones at the $ store, mine is about .5" thick and I think 20"x30".  I make polar graph templates depending on the # of points and cover them with plastic wrap and re-use them, some cover multiple points (12/6, 16/8 for example, and either of them also cover 4...).

Stitches bumping into the rubber handle...don't know what to say there.  If they are tapered hooks, you want to form the stitch past the throat to use the shaft, but maybe your habit is just to scoot the stitches farther up the shaft than you need to.  It might depend on your grip, I hold my hooks like a pencil, some hold their hooks overhand like a dinner knife.

What doily patterns have drawn your eye?



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My stack of thread doilies is several feet high (really), so I feel qualified to give some advice.   Almost all of my artworks are made with size 30 thread with a size 13 Susan Bates hook.  The Bates hooks are no longer made in size 13.  I work tightly because I like the look of the final result.

One thing you should realize is that the materials list for a doily pattern is a suggestion, what the designer used to make the doily.   The important thing is to use the thread you think will give the result you want.  Choose the color, quality, and size of thread that you like.  (Start with light colors).  The hook should match the thread size.   Most of the patterns I see seem to pair size 10 thread with a 7 hook, size 20 with 9, size 30 with 11.  Note that these are Bates hook sizes, the Boye sizes are not the same.  Also different hook brands have differently shaped hooks, so pay attention to the brands of your hooks.

In my opinion, the laciest doilies require thread and thread really needs a steel hook.  Keep trying to find a fitting hook.  Have you tried the foam hook handle covers?

I don't want to discourage your ambition; seeing a doily take shape and the design reveal itself row-by-row is so satisfying.   


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