This instructable takes you through the steps to make a classic crocheted mini doily. Because the doily is squared in the final round, it makes for a good building block for bigger projects!
I made my doilies all one color, but you can easily switch out any colors you'd like (a photo included above).
Step 1: Supply List
Crochet thread in white and red (I've linked Joann's for reference, though I like to go to my local distributor)
Cardboard and nails (for blocking)
1.5mm crochet hook
Step 2: Slipknot, Chain, Round 1
A slipknot begins the story of many a crocheted doily - and this one's no exception.
If you don't yet know New Stitch A Day, here is a helpful tutorial for a slipknot that takes you to their resourceful site!
Chain four after your slipknot, then, to make a foundational circle, slip stitch into the first chain.
To create a more even round and avoid a slight lump on your first stitch, slip stitch into the middle of the circle.
Since you can't double crochet when you begin a round, you have to "fake" a double crochet by chaining two. So: chain two.
Then chain one.
To complete your round, you will now double crochet and chain eleven times, for a total of twelve "pillars."
Always end the round with a slip stitch into the first double crochet.
Step 3: Round 2
The second round begins with two slip stitches: into the first chain, then into the first chain space.
Chain three to make a fake post, then double crochet into the same chain space. Then chain one.
Repeat: two double crochet in one chain space, followed by a chain.
As you can see above, you again end the round by slip stitching into the first chain.
Step 4: Completing the Square
Once you have your foundation, the pattern kicks off pretty quickly!
As usual, begin by slip stitching into the first chain, then into the following chain space to avoid any unevenness.
Chain three for your "fake" double crochet, then (unlike the two double crochets total you had in the last round) make two more double crochets for a total of three double crochets in the same chain space. Then chain one.
Double crochet three times in the following chain space, then chain one. Repeat until you reach your "fake" double crochet, into which you will slip stitch.
Final round: squaring the circle
Slip stitch twice: into the first chain, then into the chain space.
Make a fake double crochet by chaining three, then double crochet once into the same chain space.
Now chain one.
Make two double crochets in the same chain space (totaling four double crochets in one chain space). Then chain one.
(A) In the next chain space, repeat above steps (two double crochets + chain one + two double crochets).
Now prepare to do a treble crochet. Here is a helpful link.
(B) In the next chain space, to make your corner, you will make: two treble crochets, chain two, two treble crochets, chain one.
Then: repeat (A) in the next chain space; repeat (A) in the next chain space; repeat (B) in the next chain space; and so on.
You end with: a slip stitch into the first post. And you have squared your circle!
Step 5: The Wonders of Blocking
The effect of blocking is a sight to behold. I included a photo above of the doily before and after blocking.
Although it's helpful to have blocking mats, for as small a project as this, you can make your own using cardboard. I cut out 5-6 equally sized square pieces of cardboard and stacked them together. Using long nails, I pierced the cardboard on four corners. You want the nails to be about 1/3 inch bigger than the unblocked size of the doily so that the doily will be stretched.
Then simply stretch the doily onto the nails at the four corners - and, well, forget about it!
In an hour, you will already see a difference.
Step 6: From Pocket Size to Full Size
Although you can keep the doily pocket-size and use it as decoration or a coaster or simply let it be, you can also use the doilies as building blocks to a bigger project.
I'm currently working on a rectangular tablecloth (that I hope to, one day, complete) by sewing the doilies together. I'm sure there is a faster way to connect them, and comments are much appreciated! I decided to add a bit of red on the first few rounds between the doilies. I also plan on changing the needle size for some of the rounds to vary the size of the doilies.
Thanks for checking out this Instructable! Crochet on!