This month I had to choose an issue that had patterns that I have yarn for already. Going to the store after a pattern was chosen isn’t really an option so we ended up with a few small projects from April 1980.
Jimmy Carter was the president. US, France and USSR all were still performing nuclear tests. The Iran hostage crisis was happening and Post-it notes were introduced.
The Top 40 Songs included:
Best seller list top 15 Fiction included
Non Fiction included these rousing tomes:
The list gets more interesting towards the bottom half of the top 15 with:
The April 1980 issue of Workbasket Magazine has three patterns; Crochet Trim for Easter Eggs, Quick as a Bunny and Mini-Hanging Planter. You’ll choose between the bunny and the planter because I don’t have Styrofoam eggs and glass headed pins.
The bunny is made out of worsted yarn, felt scraps, glue and stuffing.
The planter description says, “Here is a design for all of the 4 ply worsted yarn or rug yarn scraps in the house.” It doesn’t say how big the mini planter is or how much yarn aside from “all the…scraps in the house.”
I tried to find a version of this to make because I hear toilet paper concealers are back in style:
The two dolls, Jon-Jon and Janie are the toilet paper covers. Little Stinker is made to cover an air-freshener can. Tommy Turtle is hiding an extra bar of soap. If anyone finds me a free version of this I will make something from it!
But for now, should I make the bunny or the planter?
The alligator was pretty easy to crochet but turned out a little odd.
For yarn, I used Red Heart Super Saver in Frosted Green. I used black and purple felt for his eyes instead of blue. Black felt for his claws (they suggested green) and red for his tongue. I used the suggested rick rack for teeth and embroidery floss for the scales.
The crocheting part of this pattern is fine. It does assume you can do the math on increases and doesn’t give you specifics for each row. That’s fine for me; I’ve done enough that I don’t need to know how to increase and decrease to get to a specific stitch count. For some reason his tail looks a little stubby. It’s possible I missed a row or two there.
Stuffing and assembly was a little harder. Assembly directions for the legs say, “Sew legs to sides of body with claws pointing forward”. I have them on a little crooked. And after stuffing, the head looks more like a dolphin than an alligator.
I have a Cricut Maker so cutting the felt parts out was super easy. Add a little hot glue and all of those parts were on pretty quickly. Then there’s the embroidery. This wasn’t hard, it was just a little tedious. I wasn’t sure I had enough of any one color so I made a design decision and gave him an ombre look with the scales.
I think he sort of looks like a lopsided cross between an alligator and a dolphin.
Here's a close up of his eyes, teeth and claws.
Edit: My sister thought it would be good to have something for a size comparison. Abner is 24 inches long from the tip of his snout to the end of his stubby tail. Here's a cat for size comparison.
Next week I'll have the April voting ready!
This week I’m sharing some interesting ads from the March 1974 issue. There are 21 full or half page ads in this issue and they break down into a few different categories; crafts (11), plants (5) and other (5).
Let’s start with the plants.
There’s usually a section in Workbasket called “Garden” so it’s not surprising that there a lot of ads for plants. They are usually full page and full color ads, and one is usually the back cover. This month is no exception with the gladiola ad on the back.
Here are the rest:
We have roses, shade trees, strawberries and a stock sale in very tiny print.
There are ads for embroidery patterns, afghan kits, rug kits, cake decorating and more.
There were three half page ads in the crafting category; a quilt pattern, Jiffy lace, and my favorite; Pre-cut patterns! My least favorite part of sewing is cutting the pieces out.
There were just two black and white full page craft ads. One for a dress form and one for embroidery patterns.
The rest of the craft ads were either full or two page color ads in all of their glorious 70s colors. Herrschner's Afghan kit, Phentex punch needle rugs, American Thread and Ferry-Morse stitchery kits. - edited to add Ferry-Morse is a seed company that still exists.
My favorites are these two; Wilton Cakes and the LeeWards beaded decorations.
The colors of the cakes are just so 1970s; lime green and orange. I remember making beaded Christmas decorations kind of the ones in the LeeWards ad with my mom and sister.
And the last category - Other.
For half page ads we have stockings, wigs and laxatives:
And the badly names Ayds is a full page ad:
And Rubbermaid Girls! I guess Rubbermaid wanted to get in on the Tupperware trend. They've since abandoned the party sales business strategy and chosen to compete by having their products everywhere else.
Do you have a favorite ad in this issue?
There were two projects in the March 1974 issue of Workbasket Magazine that I found questionable. It doesn't mean that these might turn out perfectly fine when done but, well...you be the judge.
First up: A Jump Rope. Made out of bread bags.
At first this seems like an excellent recycling project but it seems like it might be too light-weight or just not swing that well. And then you add in the masking tape ends and a fringe cut from other wrappers and you what seems like a messy rope.
The other "interesting" project is called Creative Containers.
This has you simmering eggshells in a dye and then rinsing and drying them. Then you attach them to your vase or pencil holder or clip holder. Don't forget the razor blade to cut a bottle to make a vase! I love their suggested color choices; cocoa brown, gold, kelly green and tangerine.
Next week I'll have some fun ads from the March 1974 issue. Here's a preview with an ad for some rugs that I think are pretty cool.
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.