Sometimes people ask me if I ever fail with crocheting patterns. They think because I’m so prolific with finished projects I must never have to take them out. The answer is I fail, often.
My failure on recently published patterns:
Sometimes I fail over and over. I have a beautiful shawl kit I got at a conference but I can’t get past the third row. Somehow, I miscount in one of the first two rows every single time. It’s not the fault of the pattern writer because I can work backwards and see exactly where I made the mistake but I keep making one every time. That pattern has been put away for now. This one needs a hard reset – I may try a different yarn to see if that can help me get past my mistakes.
I made my sister a cool skull top. I thought the gauge was fine and since the pattern didn’t have a version small enough for her I even adjusted for that. Or so I thought. After getting the front and back done I realized it was too big for me and she’s a few sizes smaller than I am. I had to take apart the entire project and start over. I ended up going down a yarn size and a hook size and it ended up much better. Plus the original color was gray and the wine color of this is gorgeous. In this case, it was partly a pattern gauge problem and partly a resizing problem so I had to work out the math on this one and retry it.
My failure on vintage patterns:
My most recent failures involve two vintage hats. A friend was having a 50th birthday party with a 1950s theme. I had a dress I bought at a vintage shop and wanted to make a pillbox hat for the party. I had the perfect pattern:
Or so I thought. My first attempt on this gave me a very short hat. I thought that would be easy to remedy so I added some rows. Then it got wider than would work on my head. Ugh. I ripped it all out and decided to try a different pattern:
I manged to finish this one, including putting the hat wire in and then I tried to block it. I ended up with a Frisbee. I cut out the wire and tossed the rest of it in the garbage. I wore my hair up with no hat.
Do you ever fail with crafts? How do you deal with that?
I was going to tell you about how I failed to make a vintage hat this week but the dress is finished so I’m going to share that with you instead. Next week I’ll share the two hats I tried to make and failed.
This dress was one of the easiest patterns I’ve done from Workbasket Magazine. The directions were clear and it came together very quickly. It was easy to remember the pattern in the round and portable so I could work on it on the bus or while watching a show. The top is done in rows and the bottom is done in rounds. The back has buttons but just uses the natural holes in the stitches for the button holes so no extra button holes to add to the dress. It’s timeless and sweet; perfect for a small child.
I used three colors of Knit Picks Brava Worsted; Canary, Grass and Hunter. I made no changes in the pattern other than the colors. I added orange buttons on the back for another spot of color. I love how this turned out!
The dress was the winner with 60% of the votes.
Workbasket Magazine usually specifies a yarn and just gives you a hook or needle size but this time they’re giving the brand name of the hook and giving yarn weight instead of the brand. I thought this was unusual and checked all of the knitting and crochet patterns in this issue to see if they were all like that. Only one knitting pattern in this issue doesn’t follow that standard – it goes back to the more common brand name yarn and generic needle size.
I’ll use Knit Picks Brava Worsted in whatever colors I have in my stash. I don’t have 12 ounces of any one color so this will be done in at least two colors.
This works the bodice in rows and then the skirt in rounds. It’s finished by sewing up the sides of the bodice and the shoulders and adding buttons to the back. It also has a hat which isn’t shown the photo! This is also one of the first times I’ve seen a credit for the designer. This was designed by Susan L. Kraus. Susan still has a website and designs on Ravelry.
Next week I’ll share some of the craft fails I had last weekend!
Jimmy Carter is president. We were still heading to the movie theater to see “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” that had been released in May. Bestselling fiction included Falconer by John Cheever and The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. I remember The Thorn Birds getting passed around school and town but I don’t remember the Falconer. The non-Fiction bestseller was Your Erroneous Zones by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.
The Walt Disney Movie “Rescuers” is released, Wonder Woman was on ABC that summer and the first Apple II went on sale.
Top 40 hits were:
· “Dreams” – Fleetwood Mac
· “Got to Give it up” – Marvin Gaye
· “Feels Like the First Time” – Foreigner
· “Lucille” – Kenny Rogers
· “Jet Airliner” – The Steve Miller Band
· “Heard it in a Love Song” – Marshall Tucker Band
· “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” – Andy Gibb
· “When I Need You” – Leo Sayer
· “Knowing Me, Knowing You” – ABBA
Workbasket Magazine says sunbonnets are back in for mother and daughter and they had five crochet patterns. This outfit on the cover isn't one of them but it is a great photo of 1977 hair and makeup.
Patterns in this month’s issue include a child’s Vest, a flower motif doily, a hairpin lace stole, a girls dress and a one skein hat.
This month you’ll choose between the One Skein Hat and the Girl's Crochet Dress. Both use worsted weight yarn.
Which one would you like to see made?
This crocheted bag with fringe is one of my favorite patterns so far.
About the pattern:
The bag worked mostly in the round and alternates sections of single crochet and puff stitches. It uses double crochet near the top for the drawstring.
How it went:
This worked up really fast and it’s adorable. There was one abbreviation in the pattern that I’ve never seen before. They used “O” for yarn over when describing how to do the puff stitch. “Ch 2 (count as part of puff st), (O, draw up lp in same sc as last st) twice, O and pull lp through all lps on hook, ch 1 to close puff).
It asked for worsted weight yarn and I used Bernat Home Dec which is a little heavier but still used the J hook they recommended. My gauge was a little bigger than theirs but since it’s a bag sizing isn’t an issue.
I also made a couple of changes as I went along. Since I was using a heavier yarn I didn’t think I needed a double crochet in the drawstring round so I dropped that to a half double crochet and that worked perfectly. Their drawstrings are a row of chains and then a row of single crochet. I like the way slip stitches into a chain look better than the single crochets so I did that instead.
I found a few matching beads in my stash and added a fringe. I didn’t add the last bead trim that they put across the bottom of the bag. With the multi –color yarn and the fringe I didn’t think the extra beads would add much to the finished project.
After I finished the bag I started working on a 1950s style pillbox hat for an upcoming party. So far I've taken it out once and redone it. I'm now considering either starting over and making more changes or trying a completely different hat. I'll give an update on that when it's finished!
The Pinners Conference was May 8-9 in Minnesota this year and it was my first year going. There was a huge variety of classes and booths and it was tons of fun. I bought the VIP ticket which got me into the Thursday night party and unlimited classes on both Friday and Saturday.
The VIP party came with a swag bag that had jewelry, a macramé kit, washi tape, a t-shirt, coupons for the vendors and so much more. They also had great door prizes and there were about 8 vendors that had free make and takes.
There were hour long classes on painting, stamped charm bracelets, signs, hand lettering, wall hangings, bath bombs, cooking, wood block printing, calligraphy, organizing, journaling and lots of sewing classes.
I took classes on soap making, wire wrapped jewelry, hair styling, macramé, leather jewelry and string art.
If you weren’t interested in taking a class, at least half of the booths offered make and takes for a small fee or even free. Goody Beads had lots of different make and takes for $5-$10. Michaels had free pom poms to make.
I made a coaster for $5 on this beautiful refurbished vintage sewing machine. I didn't care that much about the coaster. I just wanted to use the machine!
I made this tile for free at the Pebeo booth. It uses paint that’s meant for glass making.
This clock was made at the Build Bar booth for $15
This make and take was free for VIP ticket holders:
Overall this was a great event. There were a few things that could have been improved.
I'd definitely do this again and with the VIP ticket. It was definitely worth it for me.
The Crochet Bag with Fringe was the winner with 70% of the vote.
I’m going to use Bernat Maker Home Dec in Nautical Variegated. This is a heavier weight than worsted but I think this style of yarn will a good bag.
They list the gauge for this project as 7 single equals 2 inches and my gauge with the Home Dec and a J hook is 6 single crochet to 2 inches. My bag will turn out a little bigger than theirs. If this turns out well I might do a second one in Scheepjes Catona. The Catona is a sport weight so it should make a smaller bag.
The pattern starts out with a chain and uses that as the base to crochet around. It uses single crochet, double crochet and puff stitches then adds drawstrings, fringe and a bead trim.
Over this weekend I went to the Pinner’s Conference with a friend (Hi Rachel!). Next week I’ll share some of the things we made.
This month I’m using one of the issues I just bought at the Textile Center’s Annual Garage Sale. It’s May 1973. Nixon is president and the Watergate hearings were televised. Skylab is launched. The Sears tower is completed in Chicago.
Top 40 music is full of catchy tunes:
I’ve only read one of the books on the bestselling fiction list - Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. Once is Not Enough by Jacqueline Susann was the bestselling fiction book in May
The non-Fiction bestseller was Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution by Dr. Robert Atkins (I read this about 20 years ago). I’m O.K. – You’re O.K. by Thomas A Harris MD and All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot were also on the list. I don’t think I’ve read either of those.
The May 1973 issue of Workbasket Magazine has six crochet patterns and the model on this cover is amazing. Gorgeous frosted hair and a lovely vest/shell. I’m not sure what she’s doing with the knight from the chessboard though. Patterns in this month’s issue include the women’s shell shown on the cover, an infant’s afghan, a bag with fringe, a long skirt in shell stitch, a girl’s cape and a man’s vest.
This month you’ll choose between the the Bag with Fringe and the Shell from the Cover:
Which one should I make?
This is one of the bigger things I’ve made from these magazines and I think it turned out well. I was concerned about the size being off but after blocking the sizing was fine.
About the pattern:
This pattern uses a crossed double crochet stitch that I really like the look of. It makes the pieces in a way that reminds me of cutting fabric for a top. You make these separate pieces; the back, the left front, the right front and the two sleeves as a flat piece. The finishing instructions are: “Sew shoulder seams. Set in sleeves. Sew underarm and sleeve seams.”
This pattern assumes you have some garment construction experience.
How it went:
I didn’t have a lot of problems with this pattern but I did change a few things. It starts each piece with a chain row and that felt a little flimsy when I worked the crossed double crochet stitch into it. I took that out and did a single crochet foundation row instead and I think that made it a little easier to work into.
After I sewed in the sleeves and tried it on I realized that the sleeves were way too long so I took a chance and make a small cut on each of them and unraveled that row to take out 3 inches on each of them. Then I made a row of single crochets into the open loops to finish the sleeves. It worked pretty well but after blocking they’re still too long. I could have taken out another 3 inches on each side. If I made this again I’d measure my arm from the shoulder to just below my elbow and make them ¾ length sleeves.
Here's their photo and mine:
Next week I'll have the May choices ready!
I’m almost done with the cardigan and definitely doesn’t fit me. The last weekend in April I’ll be visiting some family so maybe I’ll be able to talk one of them into modeling it.
I did make this little bunny from the April 1981 issue:
It was very easy. It’s just a circle with some ears and a face embroidered on.
I also went to the Textile Center Garage sale on Saturday and was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t much yarn left. Then my friend who was shopping with me found an entire box of Workbasket Magazines. I bought the whole box and it turned out that about half were duplicates of each other or duplicates of issues I already had. I still filled out some missing 1970s though and there were a few older issues too.
This week I’m giving away the placemat.
Post on any of my Instagram posts this week or this blog to win!
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.