Baby Sweater - 1971
I've had this 1971 Brunswick Strictly Crochet booklet for years and hadn't made anything from it yet. I saw this adorable baby sweater and thought it would be perfect for the Dakota County Fair.
The pattern asks for 4 ounces of Brunswick Windrush and a size 6 or G hook. They give a gauge of 1 pattern repeat = 1 1/4 inches and each row would be 3/4 inch tall. I had some Lion Brand Jeans Color yarn that I know works up super soft so I used that. I only had 3.5 ounces of it so I decided to do the smallest size. I realized pretty quickly that my gauge was smaller than the pattern said it should be but I didn't worry too much about it because I'm not sizing this to a specific baby.
The pattern was easy to read and arranged in lines for each section instead of the paragraph version you often see in vintage patterns. While I don't love making tassels the sweater looks cuter with them. I did have yarn left over so I could have gone up a hook size or made one of the larger sizes but this is fine.
One more fair project done!
I'm taking a break from neck projects to work on some of my Dakota County Fair projects and other projects that I want to make. Many of the fair projects are vintage patterns so I'll share those as I finish them.
Here are some of the ones I have planned.
After the fair is over I'll do a few more neck projects. I found some cute bibs and collars along with some scarves that will be fun to make.
In the meantime, here are some very colorful projects from The Woman's Day Book of Designer Crochet by Jacqueline Henderson published in 1980.
These hats are awesome if I'd had this book last year I definitely would have made at least one.
Can't leave out the swimwear!
I'm not saying I'll make one of these neckpieces for sure but if I can decide what to substitute for rattail one might make it to the list.
A Jabot - 1971
I bought "The Family Crochet Book", published in 1971, from ThriftBooks and found a few options for things that go around your neck. There was a short jabot, a long jabot or the collars.
I attempted the scalloped collar on the left above but something was missing in the directions so I gave up. I could have figured it out from the photo but it just didn't seem worth it. I didn't love the flower collar so I decided on the long jabot. But what is a jabot and how do you wear it? Various sources on the internet tell me it's generally a decorative lace panel that's pinned at the neck or attached to a collar. It's still worn in courts of law in various places and it's a part of formal Scottish evening wear.
The pattern asks for a size 4 hook and 2 ounces of Fontein Crepe which as far as I could tell was a 100% wool, fingering weight yarn. I had some smaller balls of fingering weight wool that was gifted to me so I pulled out one of those. They have a chart for hook sizes and that said a size 4 was the same as an H hook.
The pattern does give a "tension" or what we would call a gauge and it tells you what the finished size should be. I was fine on the gauge with the hook size so I started.
This was a lot like making a doily but with only four rounds it went pretty fast. I ended up aggressively blocking it and ended up with something that was 8 by 17 inches instead of 5 by 12 inches they said the finished project should be.
The next trick was trying to figure out how to wear it. There were no photos in the book of anyone wearing one and there was no collar that would go around your neck. I thought about trying a pin but most of mine were pretty thick and I didn't want to put big holes in my shirt. I ended up going with one of the polymer clay shawl magnets I made but even that was a challenge to get in the right spot. It's kind of cute but I'm not sure I'd wear it on a regular basis.
Is the pattern easy to understand? Yes 1.0
If there is a gauge, could I match it? Yes 1.0
Does it look like the photo? Sort of. I over blocked it but even before that it didn't have the ripple. .5
Would someone wear this? Maybe? .5
Did I enjoy making it? I did! It was fast and something I hadn't tried before. 1.0
That gives it a 4.0 out of 5.0.
In Fashions - The Flame Scarf
Remember this booklet from last year? I made this hat from it.
This week I made the scarf that goes with the Flame Hat (the one on the right).
The materials required for the hat are "Dawn" Knitting Worsted yarn in Flame, Fisherman, Antique Gold and Black. I used Premier Everyday Worsted Yarn in Really Red, Cream, Black and some other gold yarn I had in the scrap basket. They give a gauge of 3 solid meshed and 2 open meshes as 2 inches with a J hook and I got pretty close to that. The approximate finished size of the scarf is 6 inches by 94 inches. That's a long scarf!
This is a super simple pattern. The only difficulty is keeping track of what color they want you to use when. It's all in paragraph form with several repeats which made it a little hard to track. I ended up writing down the colors row by row. Once I did that this was super fast to make. I was a little worried about not having enough yarn so I skipped the middle repeat. There were a lot of ends to sew in when it was done but overall it was fast and easy.
The score for this is 4.75. I'm knocking it down a little for the slightly hard to read color order. This is a great pattern for beginners. Even if they mess up the middle part of the color order it wouldn't matter that much. It's the same stitch but it goes fast enough to not be boring.
There were a few things I could have made from the Good Housekeeping magazine I shared last week, but the lighter holder was something I'd never seen a pattern for before and I had some unknown gold metallic yarn that seemed like it would work for this. How could I resist?
According to the pattern, the materials needed for this are Bucilla Brocade yarn and a Boye crochet hook size 3 (and a lighter).
The pattern gives a gauge of 6 single crochet stitches to 1 inch and that's what the unknown gold yarn gave me with the size 3 hook.
Honestly, this is just a tube with a fancy strap and tassel. This yarn wasn't easy to work with but once I got a few rounds started it went ok. The yarn is stiff in some places and didn't bend around the hook very easily. This went quickly though and I had a lighter holder in a little over an hour. I don't really have a need for a lighter holder but it was still fun to make. I'm sure you could use this for other things like a vape pen which I also don't need.
Joel and I were trying to decide why you would just carry a lighter around your neck without anything else. A party where you plan on just lighting everyone's cigarettes but don't need your own?
Is the pattern easy to understand? Yes. 1.0
If there is a gauge, could I match it? Yes. 1.0
Does it look like the photo? Yes. 1.0
Would someone wear this? Maybe? You could use this for other things but what do you really need to have hanging around your neck that wouldn't go into a purse or a pocket? I'm marking it down a little for that. 0.25
Did I enjoy making it? Yes. 1.0
That gives it 4.25!
Good Housekeeping Fall Winter 19??
Can you guess what year this magazine is from based on the ad on the back of the magazine?
This Good Housekeeping Needlecraft magazine is full of fun patterns that fit right into the era it's from. It has patterns for knitting, crochet, embroidery, quilting, sewing and more. I'm going to highlight some of the knitting and crochet patterns.
I couldn't resist these two knitted sweaters. The first one is called The Windowpane Pullover and the description says the one "dot" is functional because it serves as a button. The second one is The Bold Patterned Coat and it looks super cozy.
Next up is the Gilded Pullover (also knitted) This entire outfit looks like it could be worn today and there is one tiny detail on it that's easy to miss. There's a little pocket at the waist!
The Glitter & Glow outfits are both crocheted. The suit is done in a velour yarn and the shawl has a silver metallic yarn mixed with the blue yarn.
The Laced Camisole (below, left side) is described as "crocheted in an exciting color combination." I think it might be better in something other than pink. Maybe some rainbow stripes? The Victorian Shawl (same photo), "is trimmed all around with a deep, glorious fringe". The Multistriped Tabard on the left is kind of fun for the 70s but looks a little messy.
The sweaters, the scarf and the eye-glass case (in blue on the right) below are knitted. The tiny purses are crocheted. I thought about doing one of the purses since they have them hanging around the neck but they're both completely open at the top which seems like it would be less useful for a purse.
These kids sweaters are all knit except the gold one with crewel embroidered flowers.
The vest in the photo on the left below is crocheted and then embroidered with cross-stitches. The tweed coverup on the right is also crocheted and it gives instructions on how to get the look they have below.
These bags and other decorative items are also very 1970s. The purses on the left side are all crocheted. The wall hanging that crosses the two photos is macramé and then gold chains are added. Most of the items on the right were sewn or glued. The one crocheted item on that page is the silver lighter holder in the lower right corner.
And last are these two pages. The photo on the left is showing a bunch of things they have patterns for including sewn potholders and cross-stitched canning lids. There are only three crocheted items in the photo. One is the pickled watermelon rind. The others are the motifs/doilies on the apron that say "Biscuit" and "Bread". When I first looked at that I assumed the word on the apron was her name and was a little surprised it was Biscuit. (Should I make that doily for the Horn family dog?)
The picture on the right also has some motifs and edging to add to tops that you sew. They give the Simplicity pattern name for the tops but you could add these to ready made tops too.
Did you figure out what year(s) this magazine is from?
This week I'm sharing my attempt at the Princess Loretta Scarf. The flyer has a colorized photo in addition to the black and white one and that helped make the stitches easier to see.
The materials needed for this pattern are:
The instructions say that the scarf should turn out to be 52 inches long and gave these instructions; "A chain of 79 stitches will make a scarf about 9 inches wide. This is a good width." That's a gauge of 8.6 stitches per inch.
I went up a hook size but I don't think that the fingering weight yarn is much bigger than pearl cotton so I wasn't too worried and just assumed that it would be close. It was not close. I ended up with a chain of 53 to get a width of just over 9 inches. That's more like 6 stitches per inch. Still, this is a scarf so it shouldn't matter that much and I really didn't want to find a lace weight yarn to do a 52 x 9 inch scarf.
Rows 1 -19 are just single crochet stitches across. Row 20 is a star stitch and they give very specific instructions on how to make the stitch. Row 21 is single crochet again and you repeat those rows once. Then you do a bunch more single crochet and then repeat the star stitch part again until the scarf measures 28 inches. Here's what that looks like:
Not long after this I realized the my stitches were much shorter gauge than what the picture looked like and this was going to take longer than I anticipated. I wasn't enjoying doing this stitch pattern with this particular yarn and decided it just wasn't worth the yarn and time to finish it.
Here's the scoring:
Is the pattern easy to understand? Yes 1.0
If there is a gauge, could I match it? No 0
Does it look like photo? For the part I finished, I think it was close 0.5
Would someone wear it? Because this was a DNF I'm giving it a 0
Did I enjoy making it? No 0
Total score is 1.5
Next week I have fun photos from a magazine I picked up at a sale. Based on the ad on the back cover can you guess the year it's from?
This week I'm sharing photos from Corticelli Lessons in Crochet, Book 1. It was published in 1916 and is available to download at the Antique Pattern Library.
This booklet has about 35 patterns for everything from baskets to bags, and slippers to scarves along with stitch instructions and, of course, advertisements for their silk and cotton threads. Four of the patterns were knitted but everything else was crocheted.
There are at least 14 edgings and a couple of motifs, four different baskets and curtains. Most of the rest of the patterns are for wearables like these two slipper patterns.
There are five hat patterns. Several are more decorative like the Princess Dorothea Picture Hat but at least two were more practical like the Russian Skating Cap.
The sweaters and jackets look warm and cozy.
There are a few more unusual patterns for things like a girdle (available in both a knitted and crocheted version) and a spencer.
There are only two scarf patterns. One is titled Princess Loretta Crocheted Scarf and the other is called Gentleman's Crocheted Scarf or Muffler. After reading both patterns they use the same two stitches in a pattern that is very similar. The men's version is a little wider and the women's version has a fringe. I'm going to give the women's version a try and give you an update next week.
I'll leave you with the last page of the booklet because who can resist a kitten?
This week's pattern is from the Crochet Designs reprinted from Victorian and Edwardian sources that I featured last week. It is reprinted from "Needlecraft Practical Journal, Vol 6, No. 79, published in 1909.
The pattern says it's intended to be worked in Briggs' crochet silk or Silver Shield crochet thread. A quick check of their yarn comparison chart tells me that they consider that a "fine weight" and give us these examples for "modern yarns and threads":
The entire project is worked in back loop only to get that ribbed look and it's done entirely in chains and what they call double crochet (aka single crochet US terminology). This is made in two pieces that are, "neatly joined at centre of neckband".
This wasn't a difficult project until I got to the fringe. Here are the instructions for the fringe, "The fringe should be crocheted on over a piece of card about 2 inches deep. Cut the edges and divide the strands at the top by clustering into groups, and knotting with a needle and thread as for drawn thread work." I ended up just making the fringe over a 4 inch card and just attaching them every few stitches and then doing the clustering part. I don't think it's quite what they had in mind but it worked.
Since my last dyeing experiment went pretty well I thought I'd give it another try and just make this one a solid green since the off-white was kind of boring. This time it didn't go quite as well. There's some variation in the final dyed fabric that you can see below.
Overall this went pretty well. Let's add up the score:
That gives it a score of 3.75
Next week I'll be showing you some patterns from a 1916 Corticelli Silk Mills booklet and the week after that I'll have the results of one of the patterns from the booklet.
I've had this booklet for years and while I haven't made anything from it yet, it has been a good resource for how to think through the older patterns. The booklet was printed in 1990 by the Knitting and Crochet Guild of London and compiled by Gertrude Kuehl. Not only does it have patterns from 1855 to 1917 it also has a two page introduction written by Gertrude on past terminology and pattern writing styles.
More specific terminology started to be used in the mid-19th century when patterns were beginning to be published and that led the way for more standardized terminology in crochet. It's still far from being completely standardized and one of the things I had to figure out when reading patterns in this booklet was whether the instructions were in UK or US terminology.
Gertrude says that patterns from that era were either very detailed or just gave you a stitch pattern and let you figure out how to do the rest. She goes on to remind us that the patterns that we would consider lacking in details were more "open-ended" to the Victorian crocheters since they were probably used to making their own sewing patterns. The use of what they called "tension square" (what we would call a swatch) were used to help provide calculations for figuring out measurements, how much yarn they would need as well as whether the yarn was suitable for the project. She says, "For those of us who have been spoon-fed on detailed printed instructions, this may seem like a giant leap into the unknown, but in fact it holds the potential for greater adaptability of design to an individual's needs and opens up each pattern to the use of a wide range of yarns and threads."
Let's leap into the unknown!
This booklet has a two very helpful charts; one for hook comparisons to guide you through to modern US hook sizes and another for yarn comparisons for the fibers that are used in the booklet's patterns.
I'm going to share a selection of the patterns instead of all of them just to give you an idea of what's included in this booklet.
The first pattern in the booklet is this "Wrap for Lady, With Hood". This has very detailed instructions and they are written without row breaks so it's a little difficult to read. It also gives you the yardage of fabric you need to line the wrap.
There were several patterns for tops including this Wool Jacket. The directions seemed pretty detailed but there is no information on how big this would turn out. Going with the idea of using this as a guide would work pretty well though. You could easily add or subtract rows with their construction method.
There were three collar patterns in the booklet. This is the first. The others include a Rose one that looks like Irish crochet and one done with metallic thread. This pattern, like many others, give a close up of the stitch pattern. That's almost as good as a chart.
There were several flowers intended to be decorative but this was the only one that was a sachet. The sachet packet goes in the base of the flower.
This bag is one of two in the booklet. They recommend using macramé twine and lining it with silk.
There were also hats, gloves, belts, slippers and a few smaller projects like these buttons and a narcissus flower.
The last two I'm sharing this week are a single Dahlia and the Crochet Yoke for a Lady's Nightdress. The yoke seems to have pretty detailed directions but it's also one that would allow you to make that leap. You could easily continue the pattern down for a longer top. It's worked in strips so it can be worked to fit and the thread changed up.
Next week I'll have a finished project from this booklet to share with you. Another leap into the unknown!
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.