Donna's Writings


21st Century Doilies? WTF?

Yeah, I use doilies in my house. I do. I have doilies my grandmother made, some that I’ve found at antique shops, and some that have just appeared as if magically, with no indication of how they got here. 

My decor is simply called “Shit I like” and so I can combine things of any style and period in a way that pleases me and my family. After all, who else matters when it comes to making your house comfortable?

But I know a lot of people don’t think doilies have a place in the modern home. And that can make sense. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to knit them! As you may have seen in Stories In Stitches 2, Ava made shawls from two of Anna Marie Jensen’s doily patterns. By changing the yarn, needles, and some other details, the transition was simple.

You can also make other useful household items from doily patterns. Here are some ideas:

Washcloths or hand-towels. These are great for your guest room, as well as for shower and wedding gifts. And, ahem, why not make a couple for yourself. You deserve pampering too. The Lina doily is perfect for this purpose. Just choose an absorbent, non-mercerized cotton yarn, or maybe even something that’s a little fuzzy. Worked on large needles, the pattern would still show beautifully.


 Doilies are also good candidates for placemats. Circular or rectangular patterns can both be used, depending on the shape of your table and plates and your style preferences. I am planning to make a set of Sophia placemats using sport-weight linen yarn.


Centerpieces. Yes, maybe you wouldn’t call it a doily, but the same piece would be beautiful on a dining room table beneath a vase of fresh flowers, or on a cherished piece of wooden furniture beneath an heirloom piece of artwork or a treasured family photo. If you don’t think this fits in your day to day decor, perhaps you’d prefer to make a special piece to put out with your holiday decorations. The Queen’s Lace would be perfect for this.

Queen's Lace

What other ideas do you have?

For these doily patterns and more, see Stories In Stitches 2!

Stories In Stitches 2
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Knitting, Old Blogs
  1. Donna

    Cool, thanks for the link!

  2. I had this on my computer – here is her link – . It is a half circle doily rug knit using a king size sheet cut into strips. They can also be knit or crocheted with rope from Home Depot or Lowes or welt cording or upholstery piping from Joanns or places like

  3. donna

    OH, yes, I saw an awesome doily rug on pinterest the other day. It was crochet but it would work with knitting too. And even a blanket if you use super bulky, soft yarn on large enough needles to get a looser gauge!

  4. Using yarn to turn it into a shawl or using heavy yarn or cording to turn it into a rug – eg Hemlock Ring Shawl, the doily reinterpreted by brooklyn tweed & the rainey sisters. I’ve seen rugs, both crochet & knit, using doily patterns, but don’t have their sites memorized.

  5. donna

    I couldn’t agree more!

  6. I love doilies. They are great under lamps or other things on display. I think they add interest and character. My aunt’s mother was an avid doily crocheter and she had a number of ther doilies starched, mounted and framed. They are stunning

  7. Donna

    Sue, how awesome! what a great award and the opportunity to work with EZ!

  8. Doilys are the true knitters art to me, I have the lovely to look at pile, about 20 yrs ago at TKGA I won The Subversive Housewife Award for my Red doily.
    I’m an old student of EZs

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