Saturday, May 30, 2009


Someone asked the question on one of my stitching groups, "Can anyone tell me how to fasten off neatly when you are stitching over-one on higher-count fabrics? I'm working on some 36 count linen with a single ply of silk floss, and my needle (a size 28) simply will not go through the back of the stitches to fasten off - at least not without distorting the stitches quite badly!" My reply straightway was, The Dololly.

What is a Dololly, you ask? In the South, 'Dololly' is slang for a thing you can't really describe by known terms, the same as 'thingamajig,' 'doohickey,' the really descriptive 'whachamacallit,' or the ever popular, 'You know...'.

But in stitchers' terms, it is a wonderful little two-piece tool to help hide away the ends of threads. On the back side of your work, slide the threader-type piece (bottom of three)through the stitches, take the hook piece to grab the 'tail' of thread through the threader, then pull the threader out of the stitches; Voila!

The actual needle threader that came with my set is pictured in the center above. For those really small stitches - like the ones asked about - you could use the threader since it is tiny.

I hadn't thought of it in a long time, but at Camp Stitchaway I made a mistake while learning hardanger stitches and was trying to fix it. Angel came to my rescue with her Dololly and fixed my mistake. As soon as I got home I went in search of mine, and now it is in my stitching toolkit, again!! While trying to find some evidence of the Dololly's existence, I found that someone else had this dilemma here.
Below is the set I got about five years ago. At the time I wasn't really doing much cross stitch, but a lot of embroidery on Crazy Quilts. Always being a fiber miser, this was just the ticket. It was an eBay item, and I even asked the seller if she sold the pieces separately, but she didn't. Am I ever glad now!! It came with the Dololly, a needle threader, the stitch pins, and the fob that I use for scissors. What a bargain! Someone just told me the last Dololly they saw on the rack in a LNS was $32.

I checked with my LNS yesterday, and she reiterated what's mentioned here. They are no longer in production. She did tell me that she has ordered a similar product to see if it is up to par, but had not received it yet. I think she called it a 'tail tucker' or something similar, but I can't find it.



  1. They have "star detailers" now - about $5 and you can still get them in various places.

  2. Your needle threader would also work for putting beads onto yarn...but those "doohickeys" that are used to floss teeth with also work! (And look very similar?) Isn't it funny how we re-find useful stuff? Thank goodness.

  3. Great description of a Dololly. I have a Star Detailor and its great!

  4. I've never seen or heard of them before but really cool! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Hi Charlene,
    I asked the quesiton, LOL! Sadly, my 'bee' fibre-hider doesn't do the trick; it buckles as I try to push it under the stitches. :-( Looking at yours, mine has a more rounded end and I think this is the problem; pity they don't still make these!
    Love your blog!! Good colour for the ASAW sal grid, too! :-)

  6. Charlene,
    I saw you had the Dololly set, that I made and thank-you for the nice review. I have had a battle with cancer and was not able to do much for quite a while. I am now well, and so far so good. I have a few sets that I will put on ebay. I hate to have to raise my price some, but the beads have doubled in price, and even the findings are more. I will try to keep the prices down. I have joined the followers on your site, and will try to keep in touch.

  7. I had the same set in gold and I wish I still had it. Probably do but it must be packed away in a box from a move. I'm still finding stuff 6 months later.


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