Richard Nixon was the President and the Watergate scandal was heating up though it would be another year before he resigned. Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown.
The Top 40 Songs included:
Best seller list top 15 Fiction included
Some popular movies in June 1973
The June 1973 issue of Workbasket Magazine has five patterns; Dress with Butterfly Sleeves (cover photo), Multi-Shaded Bag, Lacy Shawl, Shell and Jiffy Lace Baby Set..
You’ll choose between the Dress with Butterfly Sleeves and the Jiffy Lace Baby Set.
Both the baby set and the dress are done with six ounces of sport weight yarn. I have plenty of sport weight yarn but I don’t have six ounces of any one color so which ever one you choose will be done in at least two colors.
The baby set is done with a technique called jiffy lace (also known as broomstick lace). I learned how to do this at one of our last in-person crochet guild meetings. The catch with this pattern is that it calls for size 50 knitting needle and I have a size 35. If I do this one it will probably end up being a doll size instead of a 6 month baby size.
I kind of wanted to make the bag but I don’t have any yarn that would really hold its shape and not stretch like the Spinnerin Yarn Company’s Mardi Gras yarn that’s suggested. They describe it as straw like and it’s made out of polypropylene. I could search for it but I’m to do patterns with the yarn I have on hand.
So, your June choices this month are the little girl’s dress or the baby/doll set. Which one should I make?
The carnation was done a little differently than I expected and I kind of liked it.
I used blue and green pearl cotton thread in a size 5 and a B hook like I planned. Starting off with round 1 is where the interesting bit happened. This is a variation on a foundation row that I've never done: “Rnd 1: Ch 3, dc in third ch from hook, * 2 more dc into same st, 1 dc into base of last dc, repeat from * until there are 45 stitches; join with a sl st.”
This version of a foundation stitch makes it into a stepped circle. Here are what the first six double crochets look like. I circled the part where you're double crocheting into the base of the previous double crochet
Round 2 puts two triple crochets in each double crochet to get the hyperbolic look and round 3 is picot stitches to make a “lacy edge”
The base is a green crocheted tube with loops of chains at the top that get pulled through the center and sewn in.
The most difficult part was getting the floral wire in it. The directions say, “fastening wire in center of flower”. If I’d used smaller wire it would have been easier to hide it but the floral wire made it a little sturdier. I used some jewelry pliers to get it in and kind of sewed around it to hide it. The stem wire is covered by wrapping the thread around it and I secured it with some hot glue. (See the big bump at the bottom of the stem? That's clumsy gluing.)
The flower was pretty easy and fast to make so I thought I’d try making the pin cushion. In retrospect, I’m kind of glad the carnation won. I would have had to the pin cushion in a much bigger thread weight than the pattern suggested and it would have been more like a pin throw pillow than a pin cushion.
The pattern asks for “a medium weight crochet thread about like size 30”. I have a small amount of thread that is definitely smaller than size 10 but I’m not sure what size it really is. It was wrapped around a size 10 spool that I think I got from my mother-in-law (hi Alma!) but could be from somewhere else. I didn’t have enough to finish the final round and that’s ok because I didn’t really understand the edging row.
This isn’t blocked and it’s missing a row but it’s already 5 inches long. I used the hook size that was suggested which is about 1.30 mm.
Next week we start voting on June. It’s 1973 and there are some adorable options for kids.
In the early days of The Workbasket it was called “The Workbasket Home and Needlecraft For Pleasure and Profit” and had a section called Aunt Ellen’s Club Notes. These clubs got together and made crafts, sold recipe books, etc. The May 1949 issue devoted 4 pages to the club notes. There are suggestions for roll call, programs, recreational hour and a recipe for social hour.
The roll call suggestion was what I think of as an ice breaker along with introductions. There were two suggestions in these notes; “Name a family heirloom and tell something about it”, “Give a new household hint that you have recently learned.”
The program suggestion was a pretty detailed full page about how and why to do book reviews.
The recreational hour suggestions included two activities. The first is related to Mother’s Day and has members make a list of famous mothers. Whoever gets the most should get a spring bouquet. The second activity is called, “Thread the Needle”. This amusing game is described as a game for people with good eyesight. After dividing the members into two teams, the two teams line up and everyone is given a needle. The first person in line is given a strand of thread. The first team to get the thread through all of the needles on their team wins.
For social hour they suggest ice cream, banana cake and coffee and give a recipe for the banana cake. My husband and I made the cake on Friday night and here’s how that went.
Like many of the patterns in the magazines this one assumes you know things about baking or have a relative who can explain things to you. I know some things – other things…well…I won’t win any baking awards. When I bake, I bake quick breads, muffins, bars or something along those lines. I rarely bake an actual cake so this was sort of a process.
Step One – assemble ingredients:
Cake: Sugar, butter, eggs, sweet milk, baking powder, salt, walnuts, bananas, soda, vanilla
Filling: Butter, egg white, powdered sugar
We had all of those things except sweet milk. I wondered if sweet milk was different than regular milk but the internets tell me that it’s normal whole milk instead of buttermilk. We used almond milk.
Step Two – make the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar. I pulled out the hand mixer and blended the butter and sugar until it was creamy.
Add beaten eggs. I added them and mixed them in.
Sift flour several times. I skipped this step.
Add salt and baking powder to flour. Added that and whisked the flour, salt and baking powder together.
Add milk and flour alternately. Added some milk, mixed it in, added some flour, mixed it in – repeated until it was all mixed in.
Then vanilla, nut meats and bananas (that were mashed and have a tsp of soda added). Mixed all that in in one at a time.
Bake in layer cake pans at 325 -350 degree oven for 20 minutes. I do not have layer cake pans. I have 5 different muffin tins, some pie tins and a round silicone pan. After rummaging around in the cupboard I decided to use the round silicone pan and one Corelle pie pan. I buttered them. Filled the silicone one (it’s a lot taller than the pie pan) and the pie pan. Put them in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes. They were very much not done. It took 30 minutes for the silicone one and 25 for the pie pan. The silicone one came right out of the pan and while it looked a little brown on the bottom, it held together pretty well. It think that in a normal layer cake pan there would have been less in this pan so 25 minutes probably would have been fine. The pie pan didn’t come out as well.
Step Three – make the filling:
Here’s where things went wrong. I don’t make frosting. I don’t really like it so my frosting is usually a sprinkle of powdered sugar or the traditional way of frosting brownies; a bag of chocolate chips melted on top. I’m sure that there is a process to this that is assumed – maybe you beat it longer or there’s an order to adding the ingredients.
The filling is 1 tablespoon of butter (melted), 1 egg white (beaten), 1 ½ cups powdered sugar. Mix together, if too stiff, add milk or cream.
It was too stiff so I added a little vanilla. It was less stiff but still not like filling or frosting. More like sticky glue. I added some almond milk…Oops!! I added too much almond milk. At this point the hand blender had been running on high for at least 10 minutes but it was way too runny. Joel came to help. We consulted the internet and decided to add cocoa powder in attempt to get it to thicken. A half cup of cocoa powder and a little bit of corn starch and 10 minutes later it was still runny. I declared it a drizzle. I managed to get the pie pan portion on top of the other cake round, drizzled the chocolate on top and called it done.
It’s actually a pretty tasty cake. Like a light and fluffy banana bread. The chocolate drizzle was also a nice addition.
Next week I'll have the carnation ready and a portion of the other pattern to show you.
It was close but in the end, the Carnation pattern won by three votes.
This calls for:
This looks pretty easy but I’ve thought that before and run into problems (see the mini-planter). If it turns out to be very easy I’ll either make a few or make the pin cushion. At this point the biggest question I have on this pattern is the hook size. In modern terms a size 3 is 3.25mm hook. Or do they mean size 3 steel hook? That’s a 2.1 mm. I don’t have one of those so I think I’ll start with a B hook. It’s closer to the steel hook size at 2.25mm.
Next week I'll tell you about Aunt Ellen's Club Notes from the May 1949 issue and maybe make the recipe for their "social hour". It's Banana Cake!
Harry S Truman was president.
Israel is admitted to the U.N.
Death of a Salesman won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Point of No Return by John P. Marquand was bestselling fiction book in the US.
The number one song on the Billboards singles chart was “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend)” by Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra.
Workbasket Magazine was titled “The Workbasket Home and Needlecraft for Pleasure and Profit” and the annual subscription rate was $1.50.
It had no table of contents then but is primarily crochet patterns; Crochet Lace for your Petticoat, Birthday Tablecloth (on the cover), Petal Star Doily, Embroidered Band on a Crocheted Apron, a Crochet Edging, a Carnation, Rick Rack Dish Mat and a Pineapple Pincushion.
Other projects included a Knitted Bonnet with a Wired Brim, a Flag Quilt, and a Tatted Table Runner.
This month you’ll choose between the Carnation and the Pineapple Pincushion. I wanted to make the Rick Rack Dish Mat an option but I don’t have enough rick rack to do one.
Voting for the Carnation vs Pin Cushion will be up until midnight Friday.
I’ll be honest; this pattern took a few tries to get right.
I pulled together some scraps of worsted weight yarn to start.
The pattern is only 9 rows and four of those rows are all the same so it’s a pretty simple pattern. You start out with the base done as a circle, move on the body and then the hanging straps. Feel free to play along below:
Row 1: 8 sc in ring, join with sl st to first sc, ch 1
Row 2: *2 sc in same st as sl st, sc in next st, repeat from the * around, join with sl st, ch 1
Row 3: Repeat row 2, join with sl st, ch 3”
Then you move on the granny square like section.
“Row 4: Dc in same st (as sl st, ch 3), ch 1, sk 2, 2 dc in next st, ch 1. Repeat around ending ch 1, join with sl st to top of ch 3.
Row 5: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in ch 1 sp, *ch 1 sk 2 dc, 2 dc in ch 1 sp. Repeat from * around end with ch 1, join in top of ch 3.
Rows 6, 7 and 8: Repeat row 5, join, ch 1.
Row 9: Sc in same sp as sl st, sc in each st around, join with sl st to first sc.”
At this point you should have a small basket like thing. It’s kind of skinny but maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Let’s move on to the straps.
“Row 10: Ch 30 (place marker in the 30th st), continue to ch 29 more sts, sk 4, sc to row 9 and connect ch to the 5th sc with sl st. *Sl st in next 4 sts, ch 30 (place marker in the 30th st), continue to ch 29 sts, sk 4 sc on row 9, connect ch to 5th sc with sl st. Repeat from * once more, fasten off. “
Wait! Repeat? I’m out of space to do another repeat!
I’ll try again – maybe I missed something.
Same result. There must be a problem with the pattern.
This is a small plant hanger but it doesn't look like the photo.
Here’s where including the stitch count at the end of each row in the instructions would have been really helpful. After a little math to figure out how many stitches I needed to be able to do the third strap, I was left with two options. Either the base is missing a row or there should have been an increase somewhere in the row 4-9. The base was the easiest to resolve so I added an additional round to the base.
Row 1 = 8sc
Row 2 = 12sc
Row 3 = 18 sc
Row 3B = 27 sc
Row 4 – 10 as above
and it worked!
To finish, “Cut a strand 3 inches long and pull through all 3 marked sts, tie a regular knot, lay the pieces of yarn together and make a loose slip knot, leaving an opening to hang on hook (hanger made).”
Add a tassel to the bottom and you have a mini-hanging planter. This is about 14 inches from the point where the tops are tied together to the bottom of the tassel. The cup I put inside is 3.5 inches across.
Next week I'll have May voting ready!
Do we really know what day or month it is anymore? I took a brief trip to July 1966 to bring you the toilet paper cover I promised last week.
I used Red Heart Classic yarn that looked vintage in pink, blue and white. The green is Red Heart Super Saver. I used the suggested size hook; a J.
The pattern starts out with the motif that’s used in all three pieces of the ensemble. It was a fun motif to make and the green had an interesting cluster pattern.
Once the motif was done, the white was started and worked under the green into the last pink row. I wasn’t sure it was going to fit our big rolls of toilet paper but it actually fit pretty well.
Next week I’ll have the mini-planter (and it really is mini) finished. There was a problem with the way the pattern was written so I have a failed planter to go along with what I think the pattern was meant to be.
Just for fun, here's one of my favorite photos in the April 1980 issue. I wonder what's in that notebook?
Even though the bunny had a last minute surge the Mini-Hanging Planter was the winning pattern.
I have no idea how big this is going to be but there are not very many rows so it probably will be pretty tiny. The picture in the magazine has nothing that gives an idea of scale.
It uses worsted weight scraps so I'll be using these scraps:
This may go fast since it's so small so I'm adding an additional project this month. I'm pulling the July 1966 issue that we did back in 2018. That month the vote was a placemat vs the BBQ Mitt. There was a third pattern in that issue though. I couldn't find the JonJon pattern online but I knew I had a toilet paper cover in one of the Workbasket Issues and here it is.
I wonder if that will fit the supersized rolls we have now?
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!
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.