Monthly Archives: January 2013

Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: Fashion Crochet by Caroline Horne

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This week’s pick: Fashion Crochet by Caroline Horne

Source: Inherited from my grandmother‘s collection

Publication date: 1970

Status: Out of print.  Available online with prices ranging from “reasonable” to “apply for a line of credit.”

Condition: Damaged dust jacket, but otherwise in very good condition

Craft: Crochet

This is an awesome little gem that I found in my grandmother’s home after she passed away.  Although it was first published in 1969, and my version is from 1970, it has more of a ’60s vibe to it.  There’s a note in the beginning saying that the yarn was provided by Coats and Clark for the American edition.  (I’m assuming the previous edition was published in the U.K.)  Most of these yarns no longer exist, but I’m guessing that most were actually threads since steel hooks are used for most of the patterns.

The dust jacket informs potential readers that “Crochet is fun, fascinating and very in-fashion these days.  For it’s a versatile fabric — it can be soft, fragile, openwork weave or just a firm, close one.  Either way,it holds its shape, and lasts.”

In case that isn’t enough to draw you in, in the introduction, Caroline Horne, a self described “teacher of Fashion Crochet,” tells readers

…once you have mastered the art of holding the crochet hook and the few stitches that there are in Fashion Crochet, everything else begins to fall into place.  Soon you will find yourself making attractive chic clothes — a welcome addition to any wardrobe — at a fraction of the price that they would cost in the shops, with the added incentive of being able to have exactly the right color and shape that you want when you want it.  Anyone can do Fashion Crochet and there is no time like the present for embarking on this absorbing, creative and constructive craft which is currently enjoying such a vogue in the world of fashion.

Well said!

I love the fashion illustrations by Yvonne Jones, which give the book a whimsical feeling.

(By the way, the cross hatching on the pants and coat represents crochet.)

I love the pattern names, too.

I assume that in 1969, everyone knew what a “classic teenager’s dress” was.

Caroline provides fairly detailed instructions, and she also offers different color suggestions for most patterns.

I love that the book includes a pattern for stockings.

I can totally imagine someone (who isn’t me) crocheting up a pair of these today!

Like most books from this time period, many patterns are offered in only one size.  Some have maybe 3 sizes.  I think Caroline hopes you’ll be designing your own projects by the end of the book, though.

Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: The Complete Book of Knitting by Barbara Abbey

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This week’s pick: The Complete Book of Knitting by Barbara Abbey

Source: My mom’s collection

Publication date: 1971

Status: Re-released as a Dover book in 2012

Condition: Missing dust jacket, but otherwise in very good condition

Craft: Knitting

I haven’t had the chance to explore this book as much as some of the others since it is a recent acquisition.  My mom gave it to me in December when she was packing up to move.  She thinks she bought it at the Brooklyn Museum‘s shop when she worked there back in the day.

Barbara Abbey seems to have anticipated the internet by providing pages of translations of terms (from British, French, German, Spanish, and Swedish to American).

I can’t wait to use this newfound knowledge to track down international stitch guides!

Barbara also seems to know that there was been a break in the knitting knowledge passed down from our foremothers, and she shares a lot of information on things like taking proper measurements for garments and blocking.

There’s also a substantial stitch guide.

Some of my favorite stitch patterns from The Complete Book of Knitting.

And for all you lefties out there, she even includes a tiny section on how to read patterns and explains how your decreases will slant.

But perhaps my favorite thing about this book is that my mom owned it.  And, like me, she has the tendency to fold up articles and hide them in books.  So I was able to discover this Daily News article reprinted by a (now closed) yarn shop.

Apparently, the New York Yarn Center opened the same month this article was published.

The 1982 article includes a pattern for a knock off Perry Ellis sweater, which cost $180 ($429.43 in 2012 dollars).  A sweater’s worth of cotton yarn cost $10 ($23.86 in 2012 dollars).  Apparently, yarn costs have risen at a rate that is faster than regular inflation, at least according to this Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator.

Today, it would definitely cost you more to knit your own sweater, but then again, you’d be having more fun knitting than you would shopping, so it would be worth it.

My 2013 temperature scarf pattern

Apparently, Honey Nutbrown‘s whole temperature scarf concept has really taken off.  Even Bernat, one of the larger North American yarn companies, has jumped on board with a year long KAL/CAL.

Temperature Scarf, free (conceptual) crochet pattern by Underground Crafter

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I’ve gotten quite a few questions about the stitch pattern I’m using for my crochet version, so I thought I’d share it.  I wanted the number of stitches (38) to match my age this year, so I combined elements of two different stitch patterns I liked in Margaret Hubert‘s The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet.

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Crochet Temperature Scarf

A recipe pattern by Underground Crafter

(conceived by Honey Nutbrown as a knitting project here)

02-easy 50

US terms 504-medium 50

First, choose a group of yarns and assign a set of temperature values to each yarn.  This will vary based on how many yarns you want to use as well as how dramatic annual temperature highs and lows are in your area.  Here’s my chart as an example.

Click to enlarge.

The yarns I’m using, arranged in temperature order, from top left to right and bottom left to right.

Use the same yarn for the foundation chain and Row 1.  For the rest of the project, change colors at the end of every row (or as often as dictated by the change in temperatures) by pulling the new color through the last slip stitch.  (Tip: Don’t fasten off at the end of the row until you know the next day’s temperature.  You may end up using the same yarn again, and you’ll have fewer ends to weave in!)

Abbreviations Used in This Pattern

  • blo – back loop only
  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • ea – each
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • rep – repeat
  • sc – single crochet
  • sk – skip
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • st(s) – stitch(es)

Pattern Instructions

  • Ch 39.
  • Row 1: Turn, sk first ch, sl st in ea of next 2 chs, *ch 2, sk 2 chs, sc in ea of next 2 chs; rep from * across to last 4 sts, ch 2, sk 2 chs, sl st in ea of last 2 chs. (38 sts)
  • Row 2: Turn, ch 1, sl st in blo of ea of first 2 sts, *sc in ea of next 2 skipped chs from foundation ch, ch 2, sk 2 sts; rep from * across to last 4 sts, sc in ea of next 2 skipped chs from foundation ch, sl st in blo of ea of last 2 sts.
  • Row 3: Turn, ch 1, sl st in blo of ea of first 2 sts, *ch 2, sk 2 sts, sc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below; repeat from * across to last 4 sts, ch 2, sk 2 sts, sl st in blo of ea of last 2 sts.
  • Row 4: Turn, ch 1, sl st in blo of ea of first 2 sts, *sc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, ch 2, sk 2 sts; rep from * across to last 4 sts, sc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, sl st in blo of ea of last 2 sts.
  • Rep Rows 3 & 4.

I also changed the stitch length for each season.  Since I live in New York and we start the year in the winter, I used the single crochet to represent the short length of the day.  The length of the stitches will increase as the hours of darkness in the day decreases.

Temperature Scarf, free (conceptual) crochet pattern by Underground Crafter

Spring and Fall hdc stitch pattern variation

  • Row 5: Turn, ch 1, sc in ea of first 2 sts, *ch 2, sk 2 sts, hdc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below; rep from * across to last 4 sts, ch 2, sk 2 sts, sc in ea of last 2 sts.
  • Row 6: Turn, ch 1, sc in ea of first 2 sts, *hdc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, ch 2, sk 2 sts; rep from * across to last 4 sts, hdc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, sc in ea of last 2 sts.
  • Repeat Rows 5 & 6.

Temperature Scarf, free (conceptual) crochet pattern by Underground Crafter

Summer dc stitch pattern variation:

  • Row 7: Turn, ch 2 (counts as hdc), sk first st, hdc in 2nd st, *ch 2, sk 2 sts, dc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below; rep from * across to last 4 sts, ch 2, sk 2 sts, hdc in ea of last 2 sts.
  • Row 8: Turn, ch 2 (counts as hdc), sk first st, hdc in 2nd st, *dc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, ch 2, sk 2 sts; rep from * across to last 4 sts, dc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, hdc in ea of last 2 sts.
  • Repeat Rows 7 & 8.

If you’re working on a temperature scarf, too, I’m looking forward to seeing how all of our projects turn out next year! (Update: You can find my lessons learned, after the scarf was finished, in this post.)

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© 2013, 2014 by Marie Segares (Underground Crafter). This pattern is for personal use only. You may use it to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: http://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2013/01/23/my-2013-temperature-scarf-pattern/. Thanks for supporting indie designers!

For more Works in Progress, visit Tami’s Amis.