The place mat is the winner of the January pattern. It had 79% of the vote!
The pattern asks for these materials:
Workbasket describes Bucilla Tempo like this; “Bucilla Tempo is a 3-ply 100% Creslan® Acrylic fibre, machine washable.”
Ravelry says that it’s probably a fingering weight yarn. I’m going to use a mix of Panda Cotton by Crystal Palace Yarns (also discontinued) that’s a blend of bamboo, cotton and nylon along with some Aunt Lydia’s Bamboo Crochet Thread #10 size. #10 size of thread seems close to fingering yarn.
The place mat is made up of 24 two-tone motifs with one color in the middle two rounds and color two in the outer two rounds. That seems pretty straight forward. I'll post an update next week along with some other highlights from the Workbasket Magazine issue.
We’ve moved ahead an entire month! It’s January 1981.
Reagan is now president. The minimum wage went up to 3.35/hour.
January’s Top 40 included some of the same songs from last month and a few others;
The Covenant by James A. Michener was in still in the number one slot for fiction best sellers having held that spot since the beginning of November. The number one spot for non-fiction is held by Carl Sagan with Cosmos.
Hill Street Blues and Dynasty debuted in January 1981.
The Workbasket issue we’ll be choosing from this month had nine crochet patterns for me to choose from!
These are the patterns I narrowed down:
Ultimately, I chose two fairly easy projects for you to choose from:
Coffee Mug Caddy – This looks like a coaster you can attach to your cup. The pattern uses scraps of 4-ply yarn so I’ll try a few different yarns to see what works.
Place Mat/ Table Runner – The place mat uses two colors of a discontinued yarn called Bucilla Tempo. It’s a fingering weight acrylic but I have some Cotton/Bamboo that might work.
Let me know which one you think I should make this month! You’ll have until December 29th to vote.
I skim pattern directions and often don’t read them through completely. I look through the materials list a little more thoroughly and sort of assume that if I’ve seen all the materials being used I’ve caught all the important bits. Sometimes I’m surprised part way through the pattern by a process I didn’t expect. That happened with this pattern.
About the pattern:
The pattern as I understood it on the first read is this:
The pattern starts with the body done in a cone shape. The arms are done as a long rectangle and then twisted to form the arms. A chain is done in the white to go through one arm, the body and then the other arm to attach the arms and the end of the chain folded over to make “hands.” The head is done separately. The hair is done as a single piece and attached to the head. The wings are done with single crochet over wire and then shaped into the wings.
How it went:
I started off with the body and followed the directions and end up with a very wide and short body.
This isn't the best picture to show how short this was but it was almost a flat circle. I pulled all of that out and redid the body with alternating rows without increases to get a shape that looks more like the original photo. I think that the yarn/thread I used is stiffer than the recommended thread so it got bigger faster than it would have if I’d used softer thread.
Version 2 of the body worked out perfect.
Then the surprise – “Dip in white glue, twist out excess”
I looked back at the material list.
It didn’t mention glue.
The directions ask you to soak the body in glue and then shape it over a cone shaped paper cup (which is in the material list). I looked at the angel’s fairly stiff shiny body and decided I was not going to soak it in glue and dim the sparkle. If it didn’t stand on its own I would either make it so it had a hanger or I could stuff the body and make a piece to fit over it on the bottom. Decision made – moving on.
Arms – Directions have you make two gold rectangles and a long chain with the silver and set aside for later assembly.
The hair and the head were easy enough. The head was a pretty basic ball and the hair worked like a wig that was sewn on. I don't love the loop stitch and her hair looks like she just had a long flight through a storm.
The wings were also pretty easy. I had some wire in my jewelry making box and that worked perfectly. I combine two different sparkly white threads to make the wings.
I skipped the collar. It was a crocheted piece with a velvet ribbon threaded through it. I didn’t have a ribbon and I didn’t think it was necessary.
Here's my version that stands just fine without glue:
And the cover version:
Next week I'll have the January voting up!
Workbasket has an ad for a 1908 Sears and Roebuck Catalogue – “sure to become a collector’s item”. It probably is a collector’s item but the 1980 version is also a collector’s item now. I found a 1980 Sears catalog available on Amazon for $74.90
As much fun as it would be to buy it and page through it I didn't think it was worth $75. Instead, I found an easy to peruse HTML version of the 1980 JCPenny catalog here. It was fun to page through the 578 pages. It has toys, clothing, shoes, costumes, bedding, tools, dishes, kitchen items, games, computers, audio equipment, instruments, bikes, sports equipment, books, craft items, chemistry sets, guns, lamps, fireplaces, pretty much everything you could want to buy in 1980.
Here are my highlights with links:
You could buy a 625 watt microwave on sale for 391.95 - $100 off! There are disco balls and lava lamps.
An Atari Home Computer System – the computer was $1080 and the disk drive was $699.95.
There is also an Atari Video Game System – for only $144.95
I think we had a set of pots like this:
The Fisher-Price Toys start on page 415. They have the house, the Action Garage, the Farm, The Fire Station, the Circus Train and the School Bus.
A great section on Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back starts on page 438. What kid didn’t want a radio controlled Jawa Sand Crawler?
There wasn’t just Star Wars; Star Trek has a page of toys, plus there is Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Marvel Super Heroes and ChiPs.
Don’t forget the classics; Lite Brite, Spirograph, Etch-a-Sketch and ThingMaker II Creepy Crawlers are there too.
They did sell Latch Hook Kits and other art sets. Keep paging through after that page and there are string art kits, a Needlework Chest, a tiny pottery kit, candle making kit and Doodle-Loom kits. There is an ad for Doodle-Loom in the Workbasket magazine too:
The clothing was interesting and the expressions on the models faces are fun. This is from the Junior Girls section:
I hope you have fun going back to 1980 via the JC Penny catalog!
Next week I'll have an update on the Angel. I'm about half way done and I think it will be cute when done!
The Angel won by four votes!
The pattern asks for Unger’s Arianne Gold and Silver yarn. Ravelry estimates this discontinued yarn to be sport weight.
At recent estate sale I found some Columbia Minerva Camelot to replace the gold with but I didn’t see any sport weight silver to go with it so my plan is to blend the silver Knit-Cro-Sheen with some perle cotton and see if that will work.
Here is the supply list:
The body, hair and part of the arms are done in gold. The head, collar, wings and hands are done in silver. I may do the head and hands in some other color of sport weight yarn instead of silver - that's the part where gauge will matter the most. The wings are worked over the wire so the gauge won't matter as much for that part. I can either make the collar bigger if the silver thread plus DMC is too small or I can try another color for that too.
Substitutes will need to be found for:
Next week I'll share some of the interesting ads from the 1980 issue and an update on how the Angel is going.
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.