Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Closet Femme (Who would want a doily?)

I finished my doily last night and let me just say that doing crochet for the first time to cast off was NOT fun. I will not be taking up that particular craft in the near future. You can see the doily here blocked last night. I washed it in Soak, then pinned it out as you can see. I did not use starch or sizing and when I went to un-pin the doily it was not really holding shape well so I steam-blocked it. The doily now looks as if it is holding up pretty well but it still does not have that crisp look which I would like. I have this fear that putting in starch will degrade the threads or attract bugs. I brought it this morning for my good friend, Louise to look at. She does a lot of hand work and her sister used to make extravagant and beautiful doily's. Only a few of those survived and she attributes it to the use of starch. So I asked her what else I could do. Maybe you all know about this technique but I'd never heard of it. Most likely because I've never made a doily before. She said I could "wax" it. You take an ironing board, cover it with cloth to protect it, and either sandwich the doily between wax paper or else use wax paper only on the back of the doily, cover that with additional press cloth and then use the heat of the iron to lightly touch the doily as to melt the wax. You are not to press hard you understand. You are not trying to iron the work, just melt the wax. She says women used to also wax their veils on those small hats to keep the veils stiff and off their faces. I was going to give that a try with this doily but when I got to work this morning, one of the women I work with, someone I would never have guessed was a "closet femme", admired it and so off it went with her. I will be making a second one with a slightly different color center for Louise in the same pattern. Maybe then I can try the "wax" trick. Still working on Boundary Water edge but at least something is finished. It's so small, I can't count it to start a new project. Once Boundary Waters is done I will start "Heere Be Dragone" in black. Yes, I said black since it's for my niece Jessie and she is a young teen and so is "goth lite"rather than a true heavy metal goth. Got to go knit now. Good evening and Good knitting!