Richard Nixon was the president (for a few more months). The Watergate Seven were indicted on March 1st.
Top 40 hits included:
NYTimes bestselling fiction top 10 includes no books that I’ve read. Number one is Burr by Gore Vidal. Jaws by Peter Benchley shows up mid-month at #3 and climbs to #2 by the end of the month.
On TV, people were watching; Hawaii Five-O, Maude, M*A*S*H, Sanford and Son, All in the Family and Kojack. Here’s Lucy, The Partridge Family and The Dean Martin Show were all cancelled that month and Nova started.
The March 1974 issue of Workbasket Magazine had five crochet patterns; a Boy’s Vest, a Granny Sack, a Girl’s Jacket with Loopstitch Hood and the two you’ll be voting on:
The Pan Holder:
This uses “bedspread crochet cotton” and a size 7 steel hook.
The Alligator Stuffed Toy
The alligator uses worsted weight yarn and is supposed to be 21.5 inches long when done.
Which one should I do for March? Voting is open until Friday and I'll post the winning project next weekend.
The March issue also has a few interesting pictures, some fun ads and two questionable crafts that I'll share later in the month.
Yesterday I pointed to another more recent source for baby booties that had a cowboy boot pattern. It was available through Hoopla and my library so I checked it out and made these yesterday:
This booklet was published in 2015 and was a lot easier to understand than the previous ones. There was no extra heel to work out so these came together very quickly. They turned out to be about 3 inches long and 3 1/2 inches high. Here's a comparison shot with the other two sets:
The biggest pair has a sole that's 6 inches long. The little tennis shoe soles are 3 1/2 inches. (Looks like I need to glue those gold stars on a little more.) I love these little boots and would definitely recommend Sweet Shoes for Wee Ones if you want to make some Rootin' Tootin' Cowboy Boots.
It turned out the be the perfect month to have a baby project. My brother and his wife just had a baby girl - my 13th niece/nephew!
Because those cowboy booties in the February 1980 Workbasket Magazine were so cute, I tried to find a version of them online. I found Big Foot Boutique by the same company that did the original (Annie's Attic). The pattern sizes in this book don’t include infant, instead it has versions for child’s size small to an adult extra large. All patterns are done with two strands of worsted weight yarn held together so I think you could do an infant size with just one strand and smaller hook size. I chose to do the child’s size small for these.
I used Red Heart Super Saver in Gold and Café Latte and an H hook.
I had a couple of problems with the pattern – one was resolved by finding an errata page later.
The sole in the pattern is done in gold but the one on the cover is done in brown. I followed the pattern so the bottoms of the boots are gold instead of brown. This has a correction that I found on Annie’s Attic website. This book has five pages of corrections so keep that in mind if you buy it.
The directions for the heel are odd and I still don’t know if I have it right but it looks ok. It would probably look better if I’d done the sole in brown. People on Ravelry for the old version of the pattern also mentioned that this was an issue for them so at least I wasn’t alone in that.
The last problem I had with this was the loopy chain decoration. It’s cute but not easy to get on evenly. At least for me - other people didn't seem to have a problem with that part.
Again, Ravelry and my Cricut to the rescue. There were a few versions of finished projects on Ravelry for the original baby version that used stars so I cut out some gold stars and use those instead. Cricut makes cutting out perfect felt shapes so easy!
There is another Annie’s pattern that has a cowboy boot pattern for babies that is still in print called Sweet Shoes for Wee Ones. If I’d seen this one first I probably would have bought this one instead. In addition to the cowboy boots it has loafers, snow boots and mock crocs; a total of 15 baby shoe patterns. It is available through my library and Hoopla so I might look at it at least and see if anything looks fast and easy.
Next week I'll have voting for March ready!
These booties were pretty easy and came out very cute.
The pattern asked for red and white 4-ply yarn/ DK weight yarn and I used worsted weight yarn hoping the gauge would be close. Even if it was off a little bit I didn't think it would make much difference. The sole measurement they give for the small size is 3 1/2 inches and here is the sole with the worsted weight yarn.
No problems with changing the yarn weight slightly!
The pattern makes the sole first, then the red tongue of the shoe and then the sides. It's finished with the stockings and little edging on the soles and the shoestrings.
Since those cowboy booties were so cute I looked for a pattern for them. I found an Annie's Attic book called "Big Foot Boutique: Kick Up Your Heels in 8 Pairs of Crochet Slippers" that looked like it had similar patterns. Next week I'll have a toddler's version of the cowboy boot ready to show you!
Despite a last minute surge in voting for the elephant, the booties won with 74% of the votes.
These have multiple sections for each part of the bootie and seem pretty detailed. I don’t have any immediate concerns with the pattern.
The Materials – the pattern suggests that you use:
I think 4-ply yarn is the equivalent of DK or #3 yarn and 3-ply baby yarn is #2 weight/fingering. I’m going to use acrylic worsted weight yarn instead of DK and DK instead of fingering. After reading through the pattern I’ve discovered that I’ll also need a size D hook to make the shoestrings.
There is a gauge so I’ll see if what I make matches it but since these aren’t being made for a specific baby I’m not too worried about being exact.
The gauge is 4 sc = 1-inch and the small sole measurement is 3.5 inches.
These adorable booties are going to be pretty quick to make so I’ll have the finished ones up next weekend. The following weekend you get a bonus bootie. I found a similar set of patterns by Annie’s Attic that includes the cowboy boots and I’ll make those for the February 15th weekend. They're in a booklet called Big Foot Boutique. These are more children and adult sizes instead of baby sizes so the boots will be a little bigger than the tennis shoes.
Jimmy Carter was president.
Top songs on the radio included:
Best Sellers on the fiction list were:
Non-fiction best sellers were
"Galactica 1980" was on TV and I was not impressed.
You could go to the movies and see The Fog (I did see this in the theater in Amery, Wisconsin) or Mad Max.
Workbasket Magazine’s February 1980 issue had four crochet patterns; a reversible crib blanket, a set that included a scarf, cap, gloves and legwarmers and your two choices for this month:
Tennis Shoe Booties
I was a little sad that the pattern for the Cowboy boots were not included in issue – you’d have to send away to Annie’s Attic to get it and as far as I can tell, it’s no longer available. It’s made with worsted weight yarn and F hook for the small size.
Elephant in Crochet
Yes, another odd little toy from Workbasket Magazine. I’m not sure if it quite looks like an elephant but I’m willing to try it if it wins.
Which one should I make? Baby tennis shoes or an elephant?
I had a few problems with the pattern but once those were resolved this turned out to be a fairly easy mitten pattern.
The pattern suggested that you use a No. 00 steel hook and worsted weight yarn in a dark color. I’d planned on using some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in a worsted weight. They helpfully provided a gauge. “With a No. 00 steel hook the gauge is 7 sc (single crochet) equal 2 inches.” Size 00 hooks seem to come in a variety of mm sizes. Boye has one that’s 3.5mm. Susan Bates has one that’s 2.7mm. The Craft Yarn Council says it’s 3.5 mm.
When I make amigurumi I usually use worsted weight and a 3.5mm hook to get a tighter stitch and keep the stuffing in. It was entirely possible that they wanted a tight stitch on the mittens to keep the wind from blowing in.
I have a steel hook labeled 00 and it seemed like it was more on the 2.7mm end so I decided to start by making a gauge test with that one.
Test number 1: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and a size 00 hook was 12 single crochet per inch.
Test number 2: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and a size 3.5mm hook (E) was 11 single crochet per inch.
Test number 3: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and a size 4mm hook (G) was 9 single crochet per inch. Getting closer but now the fabric was starting to look more loose than I thought mittens should be. Time to switch to a heavier yarn.
Test number 4: Berroco Vintage Chunky and a size 5mm hook (H) was 7 single crochet per inch! Finally!
So, they suggested a size 3.5mm hook with worsted yarn and I got the right gauge with a 5mm hook and chunky yarn. That's a pretty big difference. Maybe 00 hooks were different in 1947 or maybe they had better control over their gauge. If I'd used their suggestion I would have had toddler mittens.
Here’s a photo of the difference in yarn and hooks.
Now that that part was figured out I could start making the mittens.
For this part, the directions are pretty good. They’re made by doing the back first and then the palm and thumb all in one piece and then stitched together after you do the embroidery. There were separate directions for left and right mittens. This went quickly and the sizing was good when it was held up to the embroidery pattern.
Now for the embroidery.
Here are the directions, “To transfer the design, place a piece of semi-transparent paper, like thin typing paper, over the design shown on the chart and trace the pattern…Make pin pricks quite close together along the lines of the design. Lay mittens on a flat surface with right side up. Pin the perforated pattern in place…Gently pat the perforated pattern with a powder puff which is filled with a SMALL amount of powder. Remove the pattern carefully; the design should show clearly on the mitten back.” That seems like a lot of messy work.
I tried to find a better way to do this but with dark yarn this really seemed like the best way. I don’t have a powder puff or powder though so I bought some quilter’s chalk. I printed out the pattern on paper, poked a lot of holes in it, placed it on a mitten and rubbed the chalk into the holes. I carefully removed the pattern and got this:
I tried to embroider and even started at the bottom thinking that would keep my hands from rubbing it off but it still came off faster than I could embroider and embroidery on yarn wasn’t that easy. It didn’t look very good so I took it all out. I tried again thinking I could free hand the pattern but the chain stitch still looked terrible on these and I just gave up. I sewed them together and added the edging and called it done.
They’re still cute without the embellishment.
Recently I was going through old photos to digitize and came across this photo. One of my sisters is a photographer and loves using film. This is an excellent example of how film goes across the ages.
This is my grandmother crocheting.
I’m not sure what year it is but based on the photo of my aunt in the background it must be after 1960. Both my mother and my grandmother crocheted. They tried to teach me but I didn’t really learn until I was in my early 40s. As much as I remember my grandmother crocheting you’d think there would be more photos but this is the only one I’ve ever seen of her or my mother with a hook in her hand.
My grandmother made me clothes for Barbie and small rugs and blankets for my doll house. My mom made stuffed animals for both of her daughters. Like this pig and cat:
My main use for these as a teenager was to hold all of my stick pins!
This summer while visiting one of my aunts, my cousin gave me this pattern that she found when she was going through old patterns and I knew it looked familiar. It's from Woman's Day, March 27, 1978.
Today I found this adorable photo of my sister holding the duck made from that pattern!
Next month I'll have the mittens finished. I have a lot to say about that pattern so stay tuned!
I finally finished the bed jacket/shrug!
This is a modified rectangle done in a ripple stitch. It’s a rectangle with the sleeve ends done a little smaller. I wasn't completely sure how to increase and decrease the ripples so I kind of winged it and used the photo to count the ripples and sort of made it work. Definitely not something I’d enter in the county fair but it looks ok.
Their version was in pink and white worsted weight wool. I used MadelineTosh DK (100% Wool) in Opaline and Berroco Vintage DK (40% Wool, 60% Manufactured Fibers) in Smoke with the suggested J (6.0 mm) hook. I was a little concerned that the slightly lighter weight yarn would change the sizing even though this had no size listed. Before it was blocked the gauge was a little off but once it was blocked it was right on.
The pattern wants you to do a double loop stitch around the edging and not only do I not like doing that fiddly stitch, I didn’t really like the way it looked and thought those little loops brushing at my neck would annoy me. Instead I did a row of single crochet, a row of half double crochet and then mimicked the pattern in the cuffs with two rows of back loop only single crochet.
I’m not sure if I’ll wear this or not. I don't think it looks that great from the front (maybe that's why they took the photo from the back).
The mittens ended up with 68% of the vote.
The directions look fairly detailed and there are separate instructions for the left and right mittens. An entire paragraph is devoted to the gauge for the mittens which are described as “medium size which should fit most persons.” They go on to say that once you understand how these are made you should be able to adjust the size by altering the directions or the gauge.
There is a pattern included for the embroidery and they explain how to transfer the design by tracing it thin typing paper and then making pin pricks along the lines. Then you pin it to the mittens and pat with a powder puff and small amount of powder.
After the embroidery a ruffle is added to the edge.
The Materials – the pattern suggests that you use:
I think I have a 00 steel hook but at 2.7 mm that seems a little small to use with worsted weight yarn so I’ll have to check the gauge to be sure it will work and since they give a nice detailed gauge it seems a shame not to test it.
For the yarn, I’ll be using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Blackberry for the mittens. I bought it at an estate sale a year or so ago. I’ll either use crewel thread or Teksrena wool yarn for the embroidery. Teksrena yarn is from Lithuania and was given to me by a friend from work. I have a lot of different colors but not the specific colors suggested by the pattern.
I have mixed color sequins but not 42 gold ones. If I have enough of the mixed color sequins I’ll use those instead.
I’ll have an update on the November Bed Jacket. I might have it finished by then!
I'm from Minnesota and have been crocheting since 2003. I inherited a box full of Workbasket Magazines from my mother-in-law and became obsessed with the vintage patterns. I'm a member of Crochet Twin Cities, the local Crochet Guild.