This week's hat is from a flyer I bought at Vintage Knits; "Bucilla's easy-to-crochet Bonnets and Bags".
When I got it I realized all of the patterns except one use a specific type of fiber to make them. It was something I'd never heard of called StrawTex. StrawTex is 100% viscose rayon, a fiber made from wood pulp. I managed to find some StrawTex and HiStraw (I'll use that for next week's hat) on eBay at about $1 per skein and it included the perfect color to make the purple sun hat on the bottom right of the cover. While some of the other hats would have used less Strawtex, I wasn't sure that some of those beanie type hats would be more than just decorative.
The pattern asked for eight skeins of StrawTex and each skein is only 24 yards. I had six of the lighter purple and added a darker purple and navy skein to get up to eight. It said to use an H hook or the hook to get the specified gauge. I used a G hook.
This starts out by using a plastic ring at the top and while I was skeptical at first it was much easier to do that than try other methods with this type of fiber. The rest of the pattern was very simple and I was surprised that this fiber wasn't that hard to work with. I've used polypropylene fiber from Spinnerin before and that was sticky and hard to work with but this wasn't that sticky. My hands did get tired faster than if it was yarn though. I used the navy where the cord trim would go and used the darker purple on the very last rows to give it an ombre effect. I did not have enough StrawTex to do the cord trim so I did that in cotton instead. It's hard to see in the photos because it's much smaller than their version but it works to make the hat a little tighter.
The finished hat had a very ruffly brim that I didn't love and since this was a natural fiber I thought it might block. The fiber label said it was washable in lukewarm water so it shouldn't damage it at least. I wet just the brim and the StrawTex got very soft and I was able to pin it in the brim width I wanted. This is not a hat you should wear in the rain though. You would have a soggy mess on your hands...or head.
I'm giving this a 5 out of 5 stars. The pattern was simple and I used a fiber that was new to me. Next week I'll have another hat using the same type of fiber from a different leaflet.
I tried to take a photo with Tayla for the hat. This is how that went:
While I enjoy making vintage patterns I definitely don't want our country to go back to the 60s or 70s. I've been donating to Just the Pill for a few years and I believe in their mission to provide reproductive health care to to people who live in rural areas and to areas that are on the borders of the states it operates in. They use mobile clinics to reach these areas and provide the services. If you would like to learn more about them go to justthepill.com.
This week's hat was such a failure that I rewound the yarn after the second attempt and gave up. The hat is a vintage pattern for a Yellow Picture Hat and Bag and can be found here along with many other vintage patterns.
This pattern asks for rug yarn and size F hook. Rug yarn can be anything from worsted weight to super bulky. Since this used an F hook I thought it would be on the lighter side but after trying with two different weights and even a different hook I realized it must be something on the heavy side and I didn't have yarn that work. Plus I have a lot of really fun patterns waiting so I didn't want to try a third time. My photo shows the heavier worsted weight yarn using a G hook.
Instead of dwelling on that failed hat lets look at some fun crochet fashion from the summer of 1973. These are from a magazine that I hadn't even heard of but found at Vintage Knits. The magazine has knitting, crochet and one tapestry pattern.
Let's start out with what they say is a wedding dress and hat. They describe this as, "a "trad/mod" dress in a super openwork pattern; just the thing for a summer bride and can be sued as an afternoon dress later on." The shoes are definitely 1970s!
Next we have some sun dresses and swimsuit cover ups. These are all things I wouldn't be surprised to see at the beach now.
I love the chevron pattern of the first swimsuit here and am amused by the strategic flower placement on the second suit.
I love this maxi dress and it comes with a pattern for a shell stitch bottom. The description says, "Long dresses are becoming more and more popular; this one with it's open-work pattern and striped borders can be worn as a hostess dress or for an evening out."
And last, we have two vests that look like they'd fit right in today.
Do you have a favorite from this magazine?
Next week I'm working with Strawtex for a hat!
This is the only Workbasket hat pattern I have for June. I was surprised there weren't some sun hats or other options but there turned out to not be that many hats in June magazines. This was one of the few I found in my pattern stash and it's a baby hat.
This pattern uses 2 ounces of 3-ply baby yarn and a size F hook. I used Bernat Softee Baby yarn which is one of my least favorite baby yarns. It has a shine that I don't love and feels a little plasticky before you wash it. It's ok after washing but it doesn't feel nice on my hands as I use it. There was no gauge given so I hoped it would come out relatively baby sized.
It starts with making a medallion for the back of the head and then goes to rows for the sides and top. Add a tie and it's done. Seems pretty simple.
The pattern had a portion that was written in a way I haven't seen before.
"Rnd 7: Dc around.
Rnd 8; 10: Sc around.
Rnd 9: Sl st in first 6 sts, ch 2, dc around to within 6 sts from end, ch 1, turn."
A little unusual to have 8 and 10 together but I understand it right up until we get to the end of round 10. I think there's a mistake in the editing and round 9 shouldn't have the "turn". The pattern hasn't had turns until the rows so it seems odd to do it after round 9. Round 10 has no instructions to turn but that seems like the logical place to turn your work since we're changing to rows.
Row 1 of the top starts out saying "2 dc in same st as chain 2", yet there was no chain 2 at the end of round 10.
This probably should have read:
Round 7: Dc around, join to first dc, ch 1
Round 8: Sc around, join to first sc, ch 2
Round 9: Sl st in first 6 sts, ch 2, dc around to within 6 sts from end, ch 1
Round 10: Sc around, join to first sc, ch 2, turn
That's what I did and I think it worked out ok. Here's the finished hat and it looks like it would fit a small baby. I don't like doing poms so I skipped that part.
Next week it's a pattern from the Columbia Minerva "Teach Yourself to Crochet" again.
I bought a bunch of patterns from Vintage Knits so I'll have some really fun stuff to share for the last week in June and the first weeks in July. Vintage Knits is closing down and having an awesome sale so if you like to have the original vintage patterns, magazines or books now is the time to head over there and get some.
Here's a photo of about a fourth of the patterns and magazines I bought!
There aren't a lot of hat patterns in the magazines for June so I'm breaking some of my self-imposed rules, This week's pattern is earrings (technically worn on your head) from the 1990 (a few years past the year I was considering "vintage") issue of Crochet World Winter Special. Specifically, the rainbow earrings.
The pattern is rated as "easy" in the magazine. It asks for Knit-Cro-Sheen (a size 10 crochet thread), a size 10 steel crochet hook and a set of earring wires, posts or clip ons. I still have some jewelry making supplies and plenty of earring hooks. I also have a lot of thread and it turned out that I had the perfect color combo for these.
I used a 1.25mm hook for these and there was no gauge given. That shouldn't be an issue since they're earrings and fit is a personal choice.
These were a little fiddly with the thread and the tiny hook so I don't think it's super easy to do. I only did 8 rows of the pattern because I wanted to use 7 colors. The rows have stitch counts after them which is nice except when they're wrong and one row was wrong. Both row 3 and 4 had the same stitch count. Row 4 had increases and no decreases so that would be impossible. Aside from that issue this was fairly easy and the results are adorable. I'll give this pattern a 4 out 5.
Here are my 1990 Rainbow earrings:
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.