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Throwback Thursday: Mrs. Gaugain’s crochet doily number 8

Mrs. Gaugain's Crochet Doily number 8
Mrs. Gaugain's Crochet Doily number 8Mrs. Gaugain/Archive.org/Public Domain

It’s time for throwback Thursdays. This is a pattern from the book Mrs. Gaugain’s Crochet D’Oyley Book, published in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1846. You will notice that the terms are not the same as they are today. The pattern is exactly as written in the book, including the spelling of doily as d’oyley. This is doily pattern number 8. Mrs. Gaugain says to use boar-head cotton number 10 and an 18 gauge hook. I get using number 10 cotton, but good luck with the hook. She does not talk about hook sizes in her book.

I love reading old patterns and housekeeping magazines. It gives me a connection to the past. Perhaps my great-great grandmother read this book and made some of these doilies. Crochet spans the decades. It is fun to see how far we have come. If you are interested in reading the entire book, it is available on Amazon for a fee, or you can get it free through Archive.org. Both places only offer eBook versions. There is no print edition available.

The one change I made to the pattern is for rounds 15 and 16. In her instructions she says to use rounds 17 and 18 from d’oyley number 7. I added this information in, and now rows 15 and 16 have actual instructions. Where there are really ambiguous instructions, I have added my comments as to what I think Mrs. Gaugain meant. My comments are in italics for clarity.

Special Stitches:

Here are the special stitches that Mrs. Gaugain describes in the back of her book. I included them here because they are mentioned in the pattern.

Double Tambour Stitch.—Having the last loop you have worked on the needle, insert the needle in the first loop mentioned in the receipt, and catch the thread from behind, and draw it through the loop. You have now two loops on your needle; again draw the thread through the two loops. This done, you have accomplished one stitch.

Not sure what she means here. It could be single crochet in U.S. terms or you end up with four loops on your hook. It could be two single crochet together.

Single Open Crochet Stitch.—Having a loop on your needle, throw on a stitch on your needle, which is done by simply catching the thread round the hook, (or needle ;) then insert your hook into the stitch, as named in the receipt; draw the thread through to the front, You have now three loops on your needle, throw on another loop on your needle; draw it through the two first loops on the needle. You have now two loops remaining on your needle; throw on a loop on your needle, and draw it through the two remaining loops. Having done so, you have accomplished one single open stitch.

This is double crochet in modern U.S. terms and single crochet in U.K. terms.

Two Successive Single Open Crochet Stitches—are worked in the same way as described for single open crochet stitch; the second stitch being worked in the stitch succeeding the one the first was worked in. All numbers of successive single open crochet stitches are worked in the same way.

1st Round, Cast on 6 stitches, and join them to form the round.

I believe she means chain six stitches and join to form a round. A slip stitch is most likely used to join.

2nd Round, 3 chain stitches, 3 single open crochet stitches round the chain loop, 5 chain stitches, + 4 single open crochet stitches round the chain loop,

5 chain stitches. Repeat from mark + 3 more times.

3rd Round, 4 single crochet stitches, commencing on third chain stitch of former round, they are worked over the 4 single open crochet stitches of former round, 3 chain stitches, 5 single open crochet stitches round the chain loop of former round, 8 chain stitches, + 6 single open crochet stitches round the next chain loop, 8 chain stitches. Repeat from mark +.

4th Round, 1 single crochet stitch in third chain stitch of former round, rest of round double tambour stitch; let out during the round. You should have about 73 stitches in all to work the next round.

5th Round, 1 single crochet stitch, in single crochet stitch of former round, 3 chain stitches, 5 single open crochet stitches, 6 chain stitches, + pass 3 stitches of former round, 6 single open crochet stitches, 6 chain stitches. Repeat from mark +.

6th Round, 2 single crochet stitches, commencing on third chain stitch of former round, 3 chain stitches, 6 single open crochet stitches, 7 chain stitches, + pass 5 stitches of former round, 7 single open crochet stitches, 7 chain stitches. Repeat from mark +.

7th Round, 3 single crochet stitches, commencing on third chain stitch of former round, 3 chain stitches, 6 single open crochet stitches, 8 chain stitches, + pass 7 stitches of former round, 7 single open crochet stitches, 8 chain stitches. Repeat from mark +.

8th Round, 1 single crochet stitch in third chain stitch of former round, 3 chain stitches, 4 single open crochet stitches, 9 chain stitches, pass 8 stitches of former round, + 7 single open crochet stitches, 9 chain stitches, pass 8 stitches of former round. Repeat from mark +. Observe to finish the round with 2 single open crochet stitches.

9th Round, 2 single crochet stitches, commencing on third chain stitch of former round, 3 chain stitches, + 1 single open crochet stitch, 11 chain stitches, pass 9 stitches of former round, 6 single open crochet stitches. Repeat from mark + . Observe to finish the round with 5 single open crochet stitches

10th Round, 1 single crochet stitch in third chain stitch of former round, rest of round double tambour stitch; let out twice during the round.

11th Round, 1 single crochet stitch in first double tambour stitch of former round, 3 chain stitches, 6 single open crochet stitches, 3 chain stitches, + pass 1 stitch of former round, 7 single open crochet stitches, 3 chain stitches. Repeat from mark +.

12th Round, 2 single crochet stitches, commencing on third chain stitch of former round, 3 chain stitches, 4 single open crochet stitches, 5 chain stitches, + then work 5 single open crochet stitches ; 5 chain stitches. Repeat from mark +. These 5 single open crochet stitches should be worked exactly in the centre of the 7 open crochet stitches of former round.

13th Round, 2 single crochet stitches, commencing on third chain stitch of former round, 3 chain stitches, 2 single open crochet stitches, 9 chain stitches, + 3 single open crochet stitches, (work them exactly in the centre of the 5 single open crochet stitches of former round.) 9 chain stitches. Repeat from mark +.

14th Round, 1 single crochet stitch in third chain stitch of former round, rest of round double tambour stitch.

15th Round, 1 single crochet stitch in first stitch of former round, 1 double tambour stitch in the next stitch, 4 chain stitches, then 1 single open crochet

stitch into the same stitch that you have just worked the double tambour stitch into, then 2 chain stitches ; + pass 3 stitches of former round, 1 single open crochet stitch, 1 chain stitch, 1 single open crochet stitch into the same stitch, then 2 chain stitches. Repeat from mark + all round.

16th Round, 1 single crochet stitch in third chain stitch of former round, rest of round double tambour stitch.

Lynda Altman is a professional crafter and writer. She started crocheting as a young child. She crochets, quilts, sews, and creates beaded jewelry. Lynda loves vintage stitching samplers and enjoys counted cross stitch. You can find her work for sale on Etsy. She writes a crochet blog called The Granny Squared. You can contact her at the above link or on Twitter @fusgeyer.