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Siri Kirpal
07-20-2015, 06:03 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I could use some expert advice on crochet. I've seen in done (my mother once crocheted a bedspread), but I've only done it for about 5 minutes total myself.

Situation: An important character crochets as a sideline. Mostly she makes doilies that are worn on top of the head underneath a woman's turban. (Yep, she's a Sikh.) The doilies need to be completely flat and fairly thin, with a moderately dense but simple pattern, probably a leaf or star design. Probably 8 inch diameter. No changes in color.

Questions:

1. How fast could an expert crochet such an item? Would 10-15 minutes be about right?
2. What size thread and what size hook would she use?
3. The hooks are probably inherited from her grandmother (born in 1893). What would the hooks be made out of?
4. I'd like her to be counting stitches when the phone rings. What would be a likely stitch count for a leaf or star pattern?
5. Anything else you'd like to say, I'd like to hear.

Thanks so much.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

MaryMumsy
07-20-2015, 07:40 AM
I've been crocheting extensively for around 50 years. For an 8 inch doily type item, figure more like 10-15 hours. If the pattern is one she had done many times, maybe only 5-10 hours. Most likely use size 10 cotton thread. It's about the size of the lead in a number 2 pencil. I would suggest white. Easily washed, because the head is going to sweat under the turban. For the hook, it would be metal. The ones I use are steel, but I don't know what kind of metal would have been used in your time period. Size of the hook is probably going to be around a 4 (1.25 mm). The number of stitches is difficult. For a round doily you start in the middle with not very many stitches. But each time you complete a round, you add more stitches in the next round. That's what keeps it flat instead of forming a bowl shape.

Hope that helps.

MM

SWest
07-20-2015, 04:15 PM
I've done this kind of work. What Mary said.

1 - For a decorative pattern she knows very well? Three to five pieces would be the max she could crank out at top speed over an entire 16-hour day, I'd think. If she makes them as a hobby, then one a day would be more like it.

4 - The repetitive, fluid knotting movements-plus-counting used in crochet is very like meditation: mitigating a great deal of the mental attention required. If she knows the pattern "by heart", she could actually follow a television show or conversation easily while working the rounds and petals. A telephone ringing would not likely break her concentration...unless, perhaps, if she were expecting some kind of emotionally-charged news and she put the work down in haste. Then she might have to back the piece up (by simply unraveling the loose "knots") to a point where she could pick up her rhythm again. It's a very forgiving medium (unlike, say, counted thread stitching which is a bear to undo and redo).

This is a video you can skip around in to see some of the technique:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsWNlASj1Q4

Lil
07-20-2015, 04:47 PM
What Mary said. Definitely hours, not minutes. The smaller the hook and the finer the thread, the longer it will take. My grandmother's crochet hooks—the fine ones—were steel, and I think they dated to close to your period.

Siri Kirpal
07-20-2015, 09:45 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Thank you, Ladies, for all those lovely details! Yes, the doily would be white. I've only seen them in white or ivory, but usually white.

I remember it took my mother years to crochet a bedspread, but that's a much, much bigger project...and she only worked on it every now and then, not every day, or even every week. So, thank you all for that clarification about time. I'm glad I asked!

Glad to get all the other details too.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Siri Kirpal
07-20-2015, 09:54 PM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Oh, and thanks for the video. The pattern is similar to what I envisioned, so I'll use it's count numbers for the scene.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

cornflake
07-20-2015, 10:07 PM
Not for nothing but I don't think people count stitches so much while crocheting - I think that's knitting?

Siri Kirpal
07-21-2015, 02:47 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Got the idea of counting from a video on the topic, so... But I agree, it's more an item in knitting, not that I do either.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

WeaselFire
07-21-2015, 04:21 PM
By the way, there are several YouTube channels on crochet work as well as about 30 billion blogs on techniques. Plus a couple dozen cozy mysteries with crocheting characters, many on my wife's Kindle. :)

Jeff

Siri Kirpal
07-21-2015, 11:00 PM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Thanks, Weasel. I've been watching YouTube videos. Didn't think about blogs, but it stands to reason they'd be there.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

vagough
07-23-2015, 05:01 AM
Late to the party, as usual! :)

Have been crocheting since my grand mom taught me how when I was 10. (That's a long time, though I won't reveal how old I am now!)

Anyway, the counting comes in with the baseline/foundation chain or circle. If it's a doily, then you might, say, chain 8 stitches, then join for a circle and start crocheting around from there. For bigger stitches (triple-crochet) or to create an eyelet-type connection, then you'd count however many stitches the instructions describe. Last winter, I made several infinity scarves for family and friends. Believe me, I was having to do a lot of counting for those (until I finally wised up and got knitting markers to loop into my stitches).

Good luck, Siri!



Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Got the idea of counting from a video on the topic, so... But I agree, it's more an item in knitting, not that I do either.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Orianna2000
07-30-2015, 10:21 PM
I'm not an expert crocheter by any means, and when I do crochet, it's usually things like scarves, or doll-sized hats, scarves, and shawls, never anything as complex as a doily. My mother does really amazing doilies and fine-thread work, but I never got into that, mainly because I have arthritis in my fingers, so doing a lot of crocheting, especially with certain types of yarn, is painful. My late grandmother was definitely an expert crocheter. She made bedspreads out of thread, as well as doilies, doll clothes, baby clothes--all kinds of things.

For what it's worth, I totally agree that a doily of that size would take several hours to complete.

As for counting, the only time I count is if I'm supposed to chain a certain number, like for the initial foundation chain, or for making a loop or picot, or for an open-weave kind of stitch. Also, at the end of the row, you're supposed to have a certain number of stitches so it will turn out the right size and shape. So when I reach the end of the row, I'll stop and do a quick count across, just to be sure I didn't skip any stitches or accidentally crochet twice in the same stitch, thereby creating an extra stitch.

I don't know about centuries past, but today, there are two basic types of crochet hooks, steel and aluminum. (In the old days, they also had some out of bone or ivory, I believe. I have a set I inherited from my grandmother that are either ivory or some kind of early plastic, it's hard to tell.) The steel hooks are much smaller than the aluminum kind, and they use a different sizing system. Aluminum hooks start at size B (the smallest) and go up through the alphabet, but they usually also have the size in millimeters, too. Steel hooks use numbers, in addition to the millimeters. (I'm allergic to steel, so that's another reason I haven't gotten into crocheting with fine yarn or thread.)

FIY, they now make crochet hooks that have ergonomic handles! The handles are a soft plastic or hard rubber, not sure which, and they're shaped to fit your hand better. I bought one recently to see if it would make it easier for me to crochet doll things . . . and wow! It's so comfortable to hold! It reduces strain and makes crocheting a lot more enjoyable. I'm saving up to buy the complete set. (They're surprisingly expensive!) I found a set of steel hooks with the handles, too, which might open up the possibility of me crocheting with the really fine threads.

Also, just as a fun fact, when I was going through my grandmother's crochet hooks, after she died, I found one that was impossibly tiny. The hook was almost too small to see with the naked eye! I've never seen thread that fine, so I don't know what you'd use it for. I can't imagine trying to crochet with something so tiny, but apparently my grandmother did!

MaryMumsy
07-30-2015, 10:42 PM
Orianna, I have one of those teeny tiny hooks also. They are for crocheting with what we would consider sewing thread. For making lace. I also have some of the ones that are either bone or early plastic. At one point I knew what to look for to determine if they were bone, but I've slept since then and don't remember now.

MM

Orianna2000
07-31-2015, 03:08 AM
Orianna, I have one of those teeny tiny hooks also. They are for crocheting with what we would consider sewing thread. For making lace. I also have some of the ones that are either bone or early plastic. At one point I knew what to look for to determine if they were bone, but I've slept since then and don't remember now.

Ha! I know what you mean. My memory is bad, too. It makes sense that the teeny crochet hook is for making lace. It must be some VERY fine lace, though! Goodness. I could do some research to determine whether the set of crochet hooks is bone/ivory or plastic, but I'm not sure where I stuck them, so I can't examine them right now.

Siri Kirpal
08-01-2015, 12:17 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"-a Sikh greeting)

Thanks, Orianna and vagough and likewise Mary Mumsy, for the further info.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal