I remember crocheted borders on tea towels, pillow cases, doilies, handkerchiefs, and I don't remember what else, when I was a child visiting my aunts. If I remember correctly, girls used to do this and put the finished articles in their hope chests to be used when they were married. I'm talking about my mother's generation and earlier for the most part (my mother is 93). I remember my mother using doilies that had crochet around round linen centers.
Living in Germany almost 5 years..I had several German girlfriends...and I think the German's have the right idea..A girl was taught to knit in elementary school and every year through High School...When High School ended..those that made the grade went on to the University to study..and those that did not were sent to a trade school...Win/ win.
As a young teen I was blessed to visit there...
Yes, we crocheted edgings on teatowels, hankies, pillow cases and sheets...I did all the above but sheets took the longest.
For me ..it just came naturally lol...I thought everyone did the same...
My Grandma always gave wedding gifts of pillow cases with crocheted edgings. Some also had a crocheted basket sewn on them in which you put the wash cloth and then it was hung on the towel rack. Don't think it was suppose to be used. She always had one in her bathroom. She also crocheted around hankies and crocheted tablecloths and curtains.
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