Design: Laura Ingalls Wilder

The popular television series "Little House on the Prairie" and the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder have made her a household name in America. But most people don't realize that in addition to being a writer, Laura was a wife and mother, cook, seamstress and accomplished crocheter. She spent many hours stitching beautiful pieces for her home. The doily featured here is a reproduction of a crocheted piece that Laura Ingalls Wilder crocheted while at Rocky Ridge Farm, where the Little House books were written.* The original is on display at the Laura Ingalls Wilder-Rose Wilder Lane Historic Homes and Museum in Mansfield, MO 65704. If you'd like to visit, contact them at 417/924-3626. Or you can visit their web site, *Permission to reproduce the piece was granted by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association, Mansfield, Missouri. The piece was reproduced by Belinda Carter. SUPPLIES Two 500 yd. balls size 30 White crochet thread* Size 10 crochet hook *Coats & Clark Big Ball 100% cotton crochet thread was used in the sample project. For more information, see the Source Guide in the June/July 2003 issue of Crafts. INSTRUCTIONS Finished size: 18" x 30" Gauge: 9 meshes and 10 rows = 2" View printable version of Laura Ingalls Wilder Doily chart. HOW TO WORK THE CHART (doily only) Filet crochet is a traditional crochet technique that combines blocks of stitches with open spaces to make a design. The design can be a simple repeated pattern or a complicated picture. This design is worked from a chart containing filled-in and empty squares and rectangles and a few other symbols. Groups of stitches that make a particular design element, like a solid block or a picot edge, are considered one unit, and are represented on the chart by one symbol. The key explains what stitches each symbol represents. After creating the base chain, work the chart beginning at the bottom right. Work the chart from the bottom to the top. Turn the piece over and work in the opposite direction when beginning a new row. Read right side rows from right to left and wrong side rows from left to right. When working the chart, it may be necessary to work certain sections in a pattern, or to add or subtract empty squares, called mesh, from the sides. Here are some patterns you may need to use, and how to work them:

BEG OPEN MESH = ch 5 (first 3 ch counts as dc) skip next 2 sts, dc in next st INC MESH AT BEG OF ROW = ch 3 for each mesh to be added, plus 5 extra ch at the end, dc in 9th st or ch from hook (first open mesh of row made) INC MESH AT END OF ROW = ch 2, trtr in small st as last dc (first inc mesh made), then work *ch 2, trtr in 2 side strands at center of last trtr made, repeat from * for each additional mesh to be added. DEC AT BEG OF ROW = sl st in each st or ch across to position indicated on pattern DEC AT END OF ROW = leave remainder of row unworked, turn. STITCH THE DOILY PATTERN: Beg at bottom edge of chart, ch 318, dc in 9th ch from hook (bottom right open mesh of pattern completed). Work 103 more open meshes across; turn - row 1 completed. Continue following chart for remainder of rows. Work even numbered rows from left to right. Work odd numbered rows from right to left. BORDER: Work dc in each st, 2 dc in each ch 2 sp, 6 dc in each of the eight corner sp, 2 dc in end of each row, 4 dc in each inc sp and dec sp at beg and end of rows, at the same time, work picots as indicated on pattern. Fasten off.