The cardigan is about a third done and I’ve already made one change. I know that Bree is having just as much fun trying to decipher the “simplified” hippo pattern.
Many issues of Workbasket Magazine have a section called Aunt Ellen’s Craft Corner. The April project from Aunt Ellen was one both my husband and I recognized. They called it Walking Willie; Joel’s family called a gooney bird. I don’t remember what we called it. It’s a basically a puppet made from foam balls, fishing line and other materials.
Here's their version:
This was the one I had in 1976. I think mine came as a kit that we all put together. Plus you get a bonus photo of my adorable sister with a crocheted bunny she got that Easter.
I remember it being a bit of a process to put together and keep the fishing line from getting tangled up.
This week I’m going to give away the pillbox hat. To enter you just need to comment on my blog, Instagram or Facebook post this week and I'll draw a name on Saturday, April 13th. You get one entry for each location so up to three entries per item. Good luck!
The winning pattern is the Cardigan with a Twist!
For the cardigan, the pattern materials are; 6-10 skeins of Bernat Saluki and a J hook. Bernat Saluki is a discontinued 3-ply acrylic yarn that’s about 150 yds per skein. I’m going to use the size 10 version of this pattern so I’ll need 1050 yards. I’m going to use the Bamboo Pop I got at an estate sale that’s a DK weight. I have 4 skeins at 292 yards per skein. One thing I've already noticed about the pattern is that the sizes are not supplemented by measurements so a 1980s size 10 might be different from a 2019 size 10.
Even though the hippo lost, Bree from Bree’s Crochet Boutique has offered to make it. She's made tons of amigurumi so it will be fun to see how this turns out for her. You can see her work here.
This month is the one year anniversary of this blog! To celebrate, I’m going to give away some of the projects that I made over the last year. Here’s a roundup of the patterns I made and the years we spent some time in.
April 2018 – We went back to 1979 and I made a popcorn purse and added a lining in Star Wars fabric. It won an award at the county fair and I ended up selling it.
May 2018 – Off to 1982 where I made a capelet in Lion Brand Jeans yarn. This sits at my desk to keep me warm in the winter.
June 2018 – Just one year back to 1981 to a very odd little bear was the pattern that month. He went charity so a kid could love him.
July 2018 – We went all the way back to 1966. This time I made a Barbecue Mitt that turned into a creature. I gave this one away in a contest.
August 2018 - What would 1978 be without a scared squirrel? Hopefully a kid will love this. It also went to charity.
September 2018 - This time it's 1985 and some super cute leg warmers that went to charity.
October 2018 – 1963 was one Holly Glass Muff without the Holly. I have this around a jelly jar and it holds tools.
November 2018 – 1978 was a semi-traditional scarf with granny squares on the ends. It sold at the annual November sale.
These last four are the ones I still have and will be giving away:
December 2018 – 1980 – The angel
January 2019 – 1981 – A place mat made of motifs
February 2019 -1965 – The pillbox hat
March 2019 – 1955 - The baby’s visor hat
We’ll give away the angel first. To enter you just need to comment on my blog, Instagram or Facebook post this week and I'll draw a name on Saturday, April 6th. You get one entry for each location so up to three entries per item. Good luck!
We’re back in 1981 for the third time since I started this project a year ago. Ronald Regan is president. Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen got married. The space shuttle Columbia was launched for the first time and the Brixton riots began.
In April of 1981 we celebrated Easter at my grandparents’ house with two of my cousins. I think I’m the only one wearing jeans instead of a dress in this photo. I still have the crewel work that’s hanging on the wall behind us.
I distinctly remember hearing Rapture by Blondie in my grandmother’s kitchen because it seemed so out of place. Here are some of the other songs on the top 40 that month.
On the fiction best seller list The Covenant was finally edged out of first place after being there for at least four months. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith moved into first place and stayed there for two weeks.
The non-fiction best seller list has some interesting selections; Never-Say-Diet-Book by Richard Simmons was at the top of the list, All You Need to Know About The IRS was number nine and Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook was number twelve.
The April 1981 Workbasket has five crochet patterns. I ruled out three of them:
This month you will choose between the Happy Hippo and the Cardigan with a Twist:
What do you think? Should I make the Hippo or the Cardigan?
Next week: April is this blog's one year anniversary! Next week I’m going to start giving away some of the things I made over the last year. Check back to see how to win and what I'm giving away!
About the pattern:
This is a very quick pattern to make and is a more open and lacy style hat. It uses what I call a V-stitch and they call a shell stitch (double crochet, chain 1, double crochet) to increase the circle. There are only has 16 rounds before you get to the band and brim. The band is single crochet, chain 1 around and the brim uses single crochet and half-double crochets to get the rounded shape.
How it went:
This was very easy to make. I used some pretty green sock weight yarn with no label from my stash for the hat and white for the pom-poms. I’m pretty sure the green yarn is wool. I think I finished it in two nights so just a few hours before the pom-poms.
The “pompons” were the most difficult thing to make on this. The directions have you use a piece of cardboard and I tried that but couldn’t get it to work right. Then I said, “Fork IT!” and used the fork method to make little pom-pom.
Mollie Makes has an excellent tutorial for little pom-poms if you’re wondering how make them.
Voting on the April pattern will be up!
I love reading these old recipes and occasionally trying them out. I didn’t get to try any of these out this month. I don’t love seafood though I was sort of intrigued by the Shrimp Oriental. They don’t say who the food editor is but the writing style for the food section is fun.
This issue has three sections for recipes; Reader Recipes, Fish and Seafood for Lent and Sauce Adds a Touch.
Back in 1955, Workbasket paid $2 for each recipe published and say this at the beginning of the Reader Recipe section, “ The WORKBASKET pays $2 each for recipes for your family’s favorite dish published in these columns. Address Food Editor, The WORKBASKET, 543 Westport Road, Kansas City 11, Mo. We regret that we cannot publish every recipe and cannot return those not used, nor correspond about them. The decision must be left to our judges.”
These are the three they chose for Reader Recipes:
Fish and Seafood for Lent
The Fish and Seafood for Lent section has an introduction that is almost poetry.
"These ‘Lenten twins’ whether from sea water or fresh offer you endless challenges. They can be served a la natural, but cooked of course, to the delight of family and guests alike. Paired with various sauces and cheese or a staple such as rice or macaroni their versatility begins to unfold like the good spring suit that can be dressed up or down for an occasion.”
The recipes include:
Sauce Adds a Touch
According to Workbasket, “many is the time, too, that a sauce can make the meat! Sauces add that special touch to other dishes too – meats, vegetables and desserts.”
And they shared these sauces:
Do any of these sound like something you'd make now?
The Boy's Visor was the winner!
(Why is it a boy's visor? All kids could wear this - even some adults could rock this hat!)
About the materials:
The pattern asks for one ounce of three-fold yarn and a size 4 steel crochet hook or a size 3 bone crochet hook for a larger size. Plus some contrasting yarn for the pompoms.
From some quick research it seems like fold was used to mean ply so three-fold yarn should be the same as three-ply yarn. Three-ply yarn is usually somewhere in the light fingering range so I’m using a yarn from my stash that looks like light fingering yarn. I got this at our guild de-stash event without a label so I have no idea what it really is or what it’s made out of. It feels like wool and it did burn so it isn’t acrylic.
The suggested size 4 steel hook is a 2 mm hook but what is a size 3 bone hook? I found a conversion chart on Antiquepatternlibrary.org that had ivory and bone hooks included. The chart says it’s probably a 3.25 mm hook.
(Antique pattern library is a great resource if you’re interested in older patterns. They have information on knitting, embroidery, quilting and other crafts including old patterns that have been downloaded. They even have a few older Workbasket Magazines that have been scanned in.)
The size difference between the hooks seems like a lot for a size change so I may have to try a few hooks to get the size I want. There is no gauge in the pattern for either of the hooks.
About the pattern:
The beginning of the hat is a basic circle done with double crochets and chain stitches. If this is as easy as it sounds I might try to make an extra one in a different size.
Next week I’ll share some of the interesting recipes in this issue. There’s one from a reader in Minnesota for Mountain Dew!
Dwight D. Eisenhower is president.
Billboard Magazine didn’t start publishing the top 100 until the end of 1955 and instead had three other charts; Best Sellers in Stores, Most Played by Jockeys and Most Played in Jukeboxes. “Sincerely” by the McGuire Sisters was the top in all three categories in March of 1955. “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” by Bill Hayes was sneaking up on it by the end of the month. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billboard_Hot_100)
The View From Pompey’s Head by Hamilton Basso was on the top of the list for fiction best sellers. It spent 40 weeks on the best seller list. The best seller for non-fiction was The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vicent Peale. It spent 186 weeks on the best seller list.
Popular TV shows included Father Knows Best, Dragnet, Twenty Questions and The Lone Ranger.
The March 1955 Workbasket's subheading says "Home and Needlecraft for Pleasure and Profit". The earlier years of Workbasket seem more focused on ways to make money instead of home arts.
About the pattern:
The hat is made with 5 motifs that are sewn together into a circle. Then the crown is made along with some border work for the brim. Wire is added and crocheted over to connect the top and the sides.
I used a heavy worsted acrylic yarn so I made sure to check my gauge. The hat still ended up bigger than I thought it would.
How it went:
This was fairly easy to make with just one section in the instructions I didn’t quite understand.
The gauge says that each motif is 4 ¼ inches. On my first try with the recommended H hook it was a little too big so I dropped down a size to a size 7. An H hook is 5 mm and a 7 is 4.5 mm. This worked perfectly.
The crown is just a circle so that was easy to make and again the diameter seemed to be fine at 6 ½ inches.
Then the pattern tells you to make a border with one row in the back loops and another 6 rounds in both loops and then cut the thread. Then, “Finish other edge in the same manner, do not cut yarn at end of last rnd.” Assuming the other edge is the top of the hat, 7 more rounds seemed like a lot and it didn’t look like they’d done that in the photo. My interpretation of this was to do one round in the back loops on the top and then finish according to the rest of the directions by crocheting over the wire and into the crown and the last row finished. Five rounds of the seven rounds on the edge get turned under and sewn down to form the brim. Using the hat wire wasn't difficult at all so there may be more projects with wire in the future.
This was fairly easy but it seems really tall. It would hold a lot of pills though!
Maybe it should be a bowl instead?
Voting on the March pattern will be up!
One of the things I love about the earlier editions of Workbasket Magazine is the pattern service ads. The drawings of the patterns are classic examples of styles for that time frame. The February 1965 edition is no exception to that. They were all 35 cents in this magazine which the internet tells me is equivalent to $2.62. That seems like a pretty good deal for a pattern.
Here are some of ads:
I think my favorite is the Princess Wrap dress with the diamonds from the "Cool and Slimming" page. I probably would have needed this to pull off the silhouette though:
Do you have a favorite from these patterns?
The Pillbox Hat won by a landslide!
About the materials
The pattern asks for these items:
American Thread Company Dawn Knitting Worsted is a 100% wool yarn that was available from about 1934 to 1972. There’s a short history with some old ads for it on Vintage Knit Crochet – Bits of History.
I’m going to use a mix of acrylics; Red Heart Super Saver in Coffee and Frosty Green, Vanna’s Choice in Pink and Premier Everyday in Pine Green. I tried to pull together wool from my stash but I couldn't come up with a good mix of colors.
I’ll use a metal size H hook and I ordered the hat wire and connectors from Rose Mille in Stillwater.
The hat is made with 5 motifs that are sewn together into a circle. Then the crown is made along with some border work. Finally the wire is added and crocheted over. I don’t completely understand the instructions at the moment so I’m hoping it becomes more clear as I start to work it. Wish me luck!
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.