Dwight D. Eisenhower is president.
Billboard Magazine didn’t start publishing the top 100 until the end of 1955 and instead had three other charts; Best Sellers in Stores, Most Played by Jockeys and Most Played in Jukeboxes. “Sincerely” by the McGuire Sisters was the top in all three categories in March of 1955. “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” by Bill Hayes was sneaking up on it by the end of the month. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billboard_Hot_100)
The View From Pompey’s Head by Hamilton Basso was on the top of the list for fiction best sellers. It spent 40 weeks on the best seller list. The best seller for non-fiction was The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vicent Peale. It spent 186 weeks on the best seller list.
Popular TV shows included Father Knows Best, Dragnet, Twenty Questions and The Lone Ranger.
The March 1955 Workbasket's subheading says "Home and Needlecraft for Pleasure and Profit". The earlier years of Workbasket seem more focused on ways to make money instead of home arts.
About the pattern:
The hat is made with 5 motifs that are sewn together into a circle. Then the crown is made along with some border work for the brim. Wire is added and crocheted over to connect the top and the sides.
I used a heavy worsted acrylic yarn so I made sure to check my gauge. The hat still ended up bigger than I thought it would.
How it went:
This was fairly easy to make with just one section in the instructions I didn’t quite understand.
The gauge says that each motif is 4 ¼ inches. On my first try with the recommended H hook it was a little too big so I dropped down a size to a size 7. An H hook is 5 mm and a 7 is 4.5 mm. This worked perfectly.
The crown is just a circle so that was easy to make and again the diameter seemed to be fine at 6 ½ inches.
Then the pattern tells you to make a border with one row in the back loops and another 6 rounds in both loops and then cut the thread. Then, “Finish other edge in the same manner, do not cut yarn at end of last rnd.” Assuming the other edge is the top of the hat, 7 more rounds seemed like a lot and it didn’t look like they’d done that in the photo. My interpretation of this was to do one round in the back loops on the top and then finish according to the rest of the directions by crocheting over the wire and into the crown and the last row finished. Five rounds of the seven rounds on the edge get turned under and sewn down to form the brim. Using the hat wire wasn't difficult at all so there may be more projects with wire in the future.
This was fairly easy but it seems really tall. It would hold a lot of pills though!
Maybe it should be a bowl instead?
Voting on the March pattern will be up!
One of the things I love about the earlier editions of Workbasket Magazine is the pattern service ads. The drawings of the patterns are classic examples of styles for that time frame. The February 1965 edition is no exception to that. They were all 35 cents in this magazine which the internet tells me is equivalent to $2.62. That seems like a pretty good deal for a pattern.
Here are some of ads:
I think my favorite is the Princess Wrap dress with the diamonds from the "Cool and Slimming" page. I probably would have needed this to pull off the silhouette though:
Do you have a favorite from these patterns?
The Pillbox Hat won by a landslide!
About the materials
The pattern asks for these items:
American Thread Company Dawn Knitting Worsted is a 100% wool yarn that was available from about 1934 to 1972. There’s a short history with some old ads for it on Vintage Knit Crochet – Bits of History.
I’m going to use a mix of acrylics; Red Heart Super Saver in Coffee and Frosty Green, Vanna’s Choice in Pink and Premier Everyday in Pine Green. I tried to pull together wool from my stash but I couldn't come up with a good mix of colors.
I’ll use a metal size H hook and I ordered the hat wire and connectors from Rose Mille in Stillwater.
The hat is made with 5 motifs that are sewn together into a circle. Then the crown is made along with some border work. Finally the wire is added and crocheted over. I don’t completely understand the instructions at the moment so I’m hoping it becomes more clear as I start to work it. Wish me luck!
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.