My great-grandmother, Aggie Esterhuizen, was an amazing lady. I was 11 when she passed away at the age of 92. She was a seamstress who made wedding dresses for all and sundry in Cape Town. My Mom told me she remembers Aggie laying out the huge pieces of white fabric on the floor and cutting the pieces for the wedding dresses without any pattern. I wish I could have seen that!
My few memories of her talent, is the tin of colourful buttons in her room and the white Anchor crochet thread me and my grandmother had to buy for her at OK Bazaars. My only memory of her actually crocheting is me sitting on the floor next to her chair while she crocheted a light yellow blanket with the blanket over her legs. It was just so fascinating to me to see the blanket growing with a slight twist of her wrist and a crochet hook.
I’m absolutely convinced that Aggie influenced my love of crochet without me even knowing it. Just because I can only remember her crocheting one yellow blanket, doesn’t mean my tiny mind didn’t take in more than that, and I love her for that!
Just like she made wedding dresses without a pattern, she also crocheted without a pattern. When I was in Cape Town at the beginning of the year I spotted a beautifully made, intricate doily in the side board of my mom’s dining room. I just had to have it. Mom told me Aggie crocheted it without a pattern using the white Anchor crochet thread from OK Bazaars that I remember so well. I’m not even sorry to say, but I just wouldn’t let that doily go – it just HAD to come back home to me. I wanted that little piece of Aggie as a reminder of her crochet talent that was passed down to me, to be in my home.
More than that, I want to give credit to my great-grandmother and her talents. She passed away before the internet, blogging or Instagram and here I am with access to all these things and a readership from all over the world – I decided I would write out Aggie’s doily pattern and make it available for free on my blog so that all can appreciate Aggie’s talents.
If you’ve been following the blog you would know that John and I recently moved into a new apartment. One of the big luxuries of this new apartment is that I have my very own bathroom. (Technically it’s the “family bathroom”, but we also have an en suite which John uses, so “family” became “Natasja”.) I can decorate my bathroom with as many girly things as I like, which is just fantastic! I love the t-shirt yarn doily style bathroom mats that I’ve been seeing on Pinterest, Ravelry and Facebook groups but I could never make one as it’s too girly for John.
Now that I have my own bathroom and a doilie from my great-grandmother, the obvious answer was to remake Aggie’s doily into a t-shirt yarn bathroom mat!
I love the huge loops around the edges of Aggie’s doily. They look just as good exaggerated with t-shirt yarn.
Aggie, I hope you like my version of your doilie. I didn’t do two rounds of the big loopy bits and I left out the beads. Two round of loops would have made the rug too big and the beads are impractical for a floor rug. From one hooker to another, I’m sure you’ll understand.
Aggie’s doily rug
1 cone white Hoooked Zpagetti
1 cone blue mix Hoooked Zpagetti
12 mm crochet hook
With White chain 4 and join with sl st to first ch to form a ring.
Round 1: 1ch, 6sc in ring – 6 sts
Round 2: 1ch, 2sc in each st – 12 sts
Round 3: 1ch, *2sc, 1sc. Repeat from * to end – 18 sts
Round 4: 1ch, *2sc, 1sc, 1sc. Repeat from * to end – 24 sts. Fasten off White.
Round 5: Join Blue Mix to any sc. 3ch, 2dctog in same sc, skip 1sc, *3ch, 3dctog. Repeat from * to end. Ss to first ch. Fasten off Blue Mix.
Round 6: Join White. 4ch, 1sc in ch space. Repeat to second to last ch space. Ch2, 1dc in ch space.
Round 7: 5ch, 1sc in ch space. Sl st into dc.
Round 8: 5ch, 1hdc in ch space. Repeat to second to last ch space. Ch2, 1dc in ch space. Fasten off White.
Round 9: Join Blue Mix to any ch sp. 3ch (count as dc), 5dc in ch space, 1ch, *6dc in next ch sp, 1ch. Repeat from * to end. Sl st into top of 3ch – 84 dc. Fasten off Blue Mix.
Round 10: Join White. 7ch (count as hdc plus 5ch), *skip 2dc, hdc, 5ch. Repeat from * 25 times. Ch3, hdc into 2nd ch of starting chain.
Round 11: 5ch, hdc into ch space. Repeat 26 times. Ch3, hdc in hdc of previous round.
Round 12: 6ch, hdc in ch5 space. Repeat 26 times. Ch6, sl st into top of hdc. Fasten off White.
Round 13: Join Blue Mix to any ch6 space. 15ch, 1sc into ch space. Repeat 27 times. Sl st into first ch.
Round 14: 1ch, *7sc, 3ch, 7sc in ch space. Repeat from * to end. Fasten off Blue Mix.
Round 15: Join White to ch space. 1ch, *sc, 7ch, sc in ch space. Repeat from * to end. Sl st to first sc.
Round 16: 3ch (count as dc), 5dc in ch space, 1dc in sc, *6dc in ch space, 1dc in sc. Repeat from * to end. Sl st. to top of starting chain. Fasten off.
I don’t think Aggie could in her wildest dreams have imagined her dainty doily would be the inspiration behind a bathroom mat made with cut-offs from t-shirt fabric. “Goeie genugtig my kind!”
She also would never have dreamed of her doily pattern being made available to thousands of people from all around the globe though a thing called a blog 27 years after her death, by a great-granddaughter living in England. “Wat de dôner my kind!”
But Aggie was up for anything and a very talented lady so I recon she would have been the first to grab a 12 mm crochet hook to design an even bigger and better rug. Then she would have started her own blog.
What a very lovely story! I’m very sure Aggie is among and watching over you!
I like to read or to hear such stories. We learn a lot of things from our past, and a lot of things from our great grand mothers or grand mothers. My great grand mother taught me to knit, and I remember this very well, and I am 48 now.
Have a good day
Reblogged this on All Free Crochet And Knitting Patterns and commented:
What a pretty doily rug to crochet!! I love the design!
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story and pattern. A quick question- what do you mean when you write bathroom mat made with cut-offs from t-shirt fabric”.
What yarn have you used to create this wonderful bath mat ?
Hi Susie, the yarn I used is called Hoooked Zpagetti. I’ve added a link to the Hoooked Spagetti website in the pattern.
Beautiful story and I love the modern twist you gave to the humble doily 🙂
Beautiful post today. Thank you. Takes me back many years, and miss my Grandmother. I still remember the OK Bazaars to well. The store we went to in Germiston even had three levels. 🙂 Those were the days. My grandmother was a dressmaker and could also cut anything without patterns and sew them up. I still have some of her crocheted doilies, they are very special to me.
Your bathmat is perfect. 🙂
Coastal Crochet said:
Hello there! Wow, I love the doily rug and what a beautiful story behind it. A thousand times better than any shop bought rug!
Very touching story and lively tribute to your grandmother. It is such a pretty rug. Is this written in British or U,S. crochet terms? Thank you for sharing.