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!
This week I’m sharing some interesting ads from the March 1974 issue. There are 21 full or half page ads in this issue and they break down into a few different categories; crafts (11), plants (5) and other (5).
Let’s start with the plants.
There’s usually a section in Workbasket called “Garden” so it’s not surprising that there a lot of ads for plants. They are usually full page and full color ads, and one is usually the back cover. This month is no exception with the gladiola ad on the back.
Here are the rest:
We have roses, shade trees, strawberries and a stock sale in very tiny print.
There are ads for embroidery patterns, afghan kits, rug kits, cake decorating and more.
There were three half page ads in the crafting category; a quilt pattern, Jiffy lace, and my favorite; Pre-cut patterns! My least favorite part of sewing is cutting the pieces out.
There were just two black and white full page craft ads. One for a dress form and one for embroidery patterns.
The rest of the craft ads were either full or two page color ads in all of their glorious 70s colors. Herrschner's Afghan kit, Phentex punch needle rugs, American Thread and Ferry-Morse stitchery kits. - edited to add Ferry-Morse is a seed company that still exists.
My favorites are these two; Wilton Cakes and the LeeWards beaded decorations.
The colors of the cakes are just so 1970s; lime green and orange. I remember making beaded Christmas decorations kind of the ones in the LeeWards ad with my mom and sister.
And the last category - Other.
For half page ads we have stockings, wigs and laxatives:
And the badly names Ayds is a full page ad:
And Rubbermaid Girls! I guess Rubbermaid wanted to get in on the Tupperware trend. They've since abandoned the party sales business strategy and chosen to compete by having their products everywhere else.
Do you have a favorite ad in this issue?
There were two projects in the March 1974 issue of Workbasket Magazine that I found questionable. It doesn't mean that these might turn out perfectly fine when done but, well...you be the judge.
First up: A Jump Rope. Made out of bread bags.
At first this seems like an excellent recycling project but it seems like it might be too light-weight or just not swing that well. And then you add in the masking tape ends and a fringe cut from other wrappers and you what seems like a messy rope.
The other "interesting" project is called Creative Containers.
This has you simmering eggshells in a dye and then rinsing and drying them. Then you attach them to your vase or pencil holder or clip holder. Don't forget the razor blade to cut a bottle to make a vase! I love their suggested color choices; cocoa brown, gold, kelly green and tangerine.
Next week I'll have some fun ads from the March 1974 issue. Here's a preview with an ad for some rugs that I think are pretty cool.
The alligator won with 78% of the vote. Taking advice from comments; we will name him Abner and hopefully he’ll hang from the ceiling of a mad scientist’s work room.
The pattern suggests that you use:
Abner should be 21.5 inches long when he’s done. The head and body are one long piece then the four legs are done and sewn on and then the rest of the details are added.
The embroidery is done with a “fly stitch” and we’re given these instructions:
That should be interesting (she says in the most Minnesota way possible).
Next Week: Questionable Crafts from March 1974 – what were those crazy crafters making besides alligators?
Richard Nixon was the president (for a few more months). The Watergate Seven were indicted on March 1st.
Top 40 hits included:
NYTimes bestselling fiction top 10 includes no books that I’ve read. Number one is Burr by Gore Vidal. Jaws by Peter Benchley shows up mid-month at #3 and climbs to #2 by the end of the month.
On TV, people were watching; Hawaii Five-O, Maude, M*A*S*H, Sanford and Son, All in the Family and Kojack. Here’s Lucy, The Partridge Family and The Dean Martin Show were all cancelled that month and Nova started.
The March 1974 issue of Workbasket Magazine had five crochet patterns; a Boy’s Vest, a Granny Sack, a Girl’s Jacket with Loopstitch Hood and the two you’ll be voting on:
The Pan Holder:
This uses “bedspread crochet cotton” and a size 7 steel hook.
The Alligator Stuffed Toy
The alligator uses worsted weight yarn and is supposed to be 21.5 inches long when done.
Which one should I do for March? Voting is open until Friday and I'll post the winning project next weekend.
The March issue also has a few interesting pictures, some fun ads and two questionable crafts that I'll share later in the month.
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.