I wanted to comment about the doily underneath the pitcher of peonies in a photo I posted two days ago because several people have contacted me about it. I knitted it using the Star Tidy pattern from Knitting Counterpanes by Mary Walker Phillips, published in January of 1989.
I have a set of three doilies/cloths in different sizes and though I had owned the book for a while, I didn’t knit the Star Tidy pieces until 2004. I began by following the directions as published. The piece, as published, was intended for a counterpane and as such had accompanying directions for other pieces necessary to complete the bed cover.
When I fished the small piece, I liked it so much that I added a ruffled border to finish off the edge. The octagonal shape is apparent, but less so with the ruffle.
Having completed the first piece via the pattern, I saw that it would be easy enough to make a larger cloth by continuing the increases until I had star points as wide as I wanted and then follow the directions for decreasing down to the star points. I added the same type of knitted border to match the smaller cloth. The medium-sized cloth looked like the older sister of the little doily I had finished earlier and I liked them both.
I like to give myself knitting lessons/challenges and I try to think of fun ways to do that, so I set about increasing the star points even further to make a cloth to cover my table . . or most of it because I really prefer to see the wood. Thus came about the largest of the three Star Tidy cloths that I made.
I used worsted cotton, so the cloths are not dainty lace work, but I don’t have a pad for my table and the cloths add protection from marring and heat. I sometimes use the two smaller cloths as trivets.
I use all three cloths, but I use them sparingly. I try to use them in ways that will have memories attached to them, because the real purpose for knitting the trilogy is to give them to my granddaughter. I want the knitting gifts to come with memory gifts attached to them so the smaller doilies will have garden flower memories for her and the largest cloth will have Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner memories to go with it.
Although I am GN’s legal guardian, I wanted to leave behind some needlework legacies because of how much I have appreciated the few pieces I have from my grandmothers . . . and those pieces are all the more special because of the stories that go with them . . . woven, knitted, crocheted, tatted, or braided into the fabric of my life.
I think that if GN found an old doily that had no memory attached to it. she might be inclined to donate it to a thrift shop. But if she could stumble upon the medium Star Tidy cloth and tell herself “This goes on the table in June with a pitcher of peonies and later in the summer with a bigger pitcher of hydrangea blossoms” then she will be remembering some happy times.
I have been working on other happy knitted legacy stories too, but those can be told another time.
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