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?
1947 Mittens done
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.
Crochet Across Time
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).
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.