:Ronald Reagan was president and I was starting my freshman year of college.
The first Farm Aid was held in Champaign, Illinois. There was a very long list of performers that included; Johnny Cash, Don Henley. B.B. King, Loretta Lynn, Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Van Halen and John Denver.
Oversize earrings and women’s power suits with shoulder pads were in. Esprit was a very popular women’s clothing line. I was not a fashion icon in 1985:
September Top 40 that year included some classics like;
The New York Times bestseller list for the first two weeks of September was Lucky by Jackie Collins. The only book on the Fiction Best Seller list that I’ve read was in the #3 spot; Skeleton Crew by Stephen King. I didn’t do much better on the paperback best sellers. I read the #1 book also by Stephen King/Richard Bachman, Thinner but none of the other 14 listed. Those included books by Louis L’Amour, Danielle Steel, Belva Plain and Jeffrey Archer.
The September 1985 Workbasket Magazine is a big issue. It was their 50th anniversary year and they had nine crochet patterns, nine knitting patterns and three tatting patterns.
Your two choices for September are:
The Bolo Scarf. This calls for Unger Cruise yarn or Clarks Baby Wintuk. These are somewhere around a fingering or sport weight yarn made mostly of acrylic.
Crocheted Leg Warmers. The ultimate in 1980’s fashion. It says they are for size 9-11 but I’m not sure if they mean shoe size (which would be odd since you don’t wear them on your feet) or pant size (also weird since that would be a very short size range and your calf size is usually not related to your pant size). The supply list included 8 oz of 4 ply yarn and an I and K crochet hook.
Let me know which one you think I should make this month!
So far I’m not impressed with the vintage amigurumi patterns. The bear wasn’t great and this squirrel is a bit odd. My mother and grandmother made me these in the early 80s so I know they weren’t all bad.
About the pattern:
It calls for two strands of worsted weight yarn held together and crocheted using an H hook.
This pattern has a lot of parts. Some of these could have been done as one piece with some shaping instead of so much sewing. Making the pieces was pretty easy.
There is an optional item; a plastic walnut. The directions say, “Make holes in plastic with heated ice pick;” because you always have one lying around right? I skipped the nut.
About the materials:
Yarn: I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough of any one color to do this with two strands. I picked the light tan color that did have two partial skeins, Patons Classic Wool, and tried it with the two strands. I could tell that it wouldn’t go well with the stiff yarn. If I’d used a Caron Simply Soft or Knit Picks Brava Worsted it may have worked better with two strands.
Hook: With only one strand I had to use a different hook size. I typically use an E hook/3.5 mm for amigurumi made with worsted weight so I went with that.
How it went:
Overall this didn’t go well. It’s not a complete fail but I wouldn’t pull this pattern out if someone wanted a squirrel.
The things that went well:
I decided that the squirrel should have a white belly instead of being all one color so I worked that into the pattern and I think that part looks pretty good.
The tail used a loop stitch which is pretty cool but the version I used had looser stitches and you can see the stuffing through the tail.
The things that didn’t go well:
Both this pattern and the bear have the head done in two parts and I struggle with the placement of the face part. The photos are pretty dark so it’s hard to see where the face should go and the pattern doesn’t give specific instructions.
The cheeks look like he has tumors on his face.
The legs look strange and I realized I didn’t quite follow the directions for the foot part of the lower legs but I’m not sure that would have made much of a difference.
How it turned out:
I’m going to go with a grade C on this. It looks like a squirrel but a slightly deformed one. Someone, somewhere might love this strange creature.
What I learned:
I’m increasingly skeptical about vintage amigurumi patterns. The crochet world has come a long way from these early attempts and patterns are so much better now. A quick search on Ravelry gave me over fifty options for squirrel patterns and most of them are better than this one.
Next month – it’s the 80’s again, a year where the recently departed, Aretha Franklin had a top 10 hit with Freeway of Love. I’ll have the choices posted next week!
1978 was a funky time and these highlights from Workbasket Magazine are proof.
In the knit patterns there is a men’s knit vest/ideal for any weather! I'm not sure what's going on with his facial expression.
These leather corsages look like they’d be pretty if done well. Too bad they weren’t in color.
We have an ad for these groovy owls.
A great collector’s item! Free with your starter kit to sell Creative Greeting Cards and Boutique items.
These classic plant hangers came as a kit.
And who could resist these great potholders?
Next week I’ll post the finished squirrel. I’ve already made changes to the pattern so I have no idea how it’s going to turn out!
The slippers only had two votes so the toy squirrel was the winning pattern.
About the materials:
The pattern materials are listed as:
I’ll use Red Heart Super Saver in a tan color.
The pattern doesn’t give finished dimensions. It uses two strands of worsted weight yarn together which is like using bulky yarn so I’m going to guess between 8 and 10 inches. I might have a pattern for an acorn so I’ll substitute that for a plastic acorn.
If I run out of the tan yarn I’ll do the tail in a different color and I'll try not to make his eyes quite so sad.
Now for the winner of Barby Q!
Five people commented on the blog and their names went into a drawing for Barby Q. I asked a guest to be the impartial third party and draw the name. Aaron Green is in town to teach an Energy Arts Class.
The winner is Rachel!
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.