Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I was surprised to see all these crocheted doilies at one of the recent Christmas crafts fairs. I didn't think anyone did this kind of handwork anymore, and they were very reasonably priced. Did I buy any? Well, no. I happen to have more of these (in these same patterns) than I will ever have any use for.

I remember some of them draped on the tops of the easy chairs at my grandparents' house. And under vases on the mantle. I rarely use them myself, but they remind me of my mother's stories of going to San Francisco every Christmas, where her Danish grandparents lived and my grandmother grew up. Christmas Eve was the time for the main festivities, and smatterings of the old language were sprinkled in the conversations of the elders, surrounded by dark wood floors and oriental carpets and pipesmoke. Souvenirs of the sea captain's travels to every continent were displayed here and there. Woven paper hearts and real candles were on the tree. Is it possible to inherit memories?

I'll be away from my computer soon, making more memories with Mom.


Laurie Allee said...

Like the snowflakes in poems. Or dreams.

Babzy.B said...

happy chritmas evening :)

Anonymous said...

Your description sounds like my grandmothers home minus the maritime adventures. I also have my share of doilies.

Amy at Woza Books said...

How I wish I had more time for textile crafts! These are beautiful. I'm working on a quilt for my son for his graduation from high school. So labor intensive. So satisfying.

Arctic Dakini said...

I grew up with doilies - hand made by aunts & great aunts in Finland - around the house. I still have a couple. Seems none of us in my generation have kept up the art *tho I do knit & crochet regular things)

Petrea Burchard said...

I believe we inherit a certain kind of memory. I like the concept. I think our minds can reach far back into time and comprehend things we may not be able to articulate.

I sure would like to sit down and have a face to face conversation with you some day.

Merry Christmas, blogsister.

Pat said...

Crocheting is alive and well and sold on streets in Belgrade! Nice to see someone's still doing it over there.

USelaine said...

Laurie - Lovely!

Babzy - I hope yours was happy as well.

Curly - I'm so sorry to hear of your suffering, but glad you are here with us to celebrate around the City Daily Photo Blogs. Thank you for your greetings.

PA - I feel guilty for not having more out, but they require an additional dusting step, and I don't need any excuses to avoid housework.

Amy - That sounds wonderful! He'll be able to treasure that for years and years.

Arctic Dreamer - Doilies don't seem to wear out, so I suppose only one generation doing them will last a while.

Miss H - It looks so painstakingly complicated to me! The symmetry must take quite a bit of practice, and long hours of time. And thank you.

P - Merry Christmas to you as well. I've listened to my mother's stories, and pored over pictures and clippings, so that I seem to be able to fill the gaps in myself. I think that's why I enjoyed genealogy for quite a while. (We will, blogsister.)

Bibi - When I was in Hungary, I was delighted by all the beautiful handcrafts I saw. Farmhouse museums had now-vanishing "tiszta szoba" displays, literally "clean room", with the floral painted cabinetry and furnishings, and a bed overflowing with red-embroidered white linens. It was the pride of any good household, for receiving guests.

Thank you all! I've only just gotten back and seated at my computer after the holiday.

Susan C said...

These doilies sure bring back a lot of memories of my grandmother's house. Every square inch was covered in doilies. She and her best friend Beatrice spent hours crocheting that popular pineapple pattern.

I mastered the chain, but never managed to progress any farther.