Archive for the tag 'crochet'


Friday’s Child: Fancywork 1892

Fancywork 1892At a little antique store in Galesburg, IL I found a pair of crumbling newsprint magazines from the 1890′s. I bought them, of course. And here, for your viewing (and printing) pleasure, is the complete page of Fancywork from the October 15, 1892 Ladies Home Companion. Patterns include crocheted infant booties, square lace shawl, greek key lace trim, a knitted underwear edging and most interesting to me, a crocheted passementerie featuring nailhead and pendant beads, and designed to use as embellishment on skirts and dresses. Please note: Clicking on the small image to the left will take you to the high resolution version, which is sized to print at 300 dpi on a legal-sized sheet.


Saturday’s Child: The Rag Rug

When I was growing up, I loved to visit my Grandma Betty’s house. In fact, it was more than a house; it was the family homestead and included a century-old farmhouse, out buildings, 72 acres of sage brush and sandstone hills, a creek, fossils, artifacts, and when I was quite young, the remains of a permanent mining camp. Part of my visual context for that home was the ubiquitous rag rugs. They were the type purchased for almost nothing at Pamida, woven of mill-ends from garment manufacturing and probably made mostly of polyester blend shirt scraps left over from the 70s. They were a riot of color, and I’d sit at the kitchen table or on the edge of the bathtub and just look at them; they were so interesting.

They can also be quite beautiful, in addition to being easy to create and inexpensive. In their purest form, they’ll be made out of, well, rags; long scraps of fabric left from worn-out garments and housewares. Simple looms are easy to make and easy to buy. The rugs I remember were random, but if you’re like me and gravitate to certain colors, your palette might be more sophisticated just by virtue of the fact that your rags are better-related. Or then, maybe not. Of course, rag rugs don’t have to be woven. Braided rag rugs that are then sewn into circles and ovals with planned gradients are also a popular country-style choice, and rugs crocheted in single crochet are also very traditional. Bathroom rugs knitted of absorbent cotton jersey from worn-out T-shirts are a popular modern choice.

And best of all, you don’t need to make a rug in order to get that riot of color! I’ve been looking at attractive ways to use up yarn scraps, and came across some really beautiful patterns that are reminiscent of rag rugs, but actually wind up as blankets.

Karen Janine from Mittens and Makings created a simple scrap blanket with double-stranded crochet. It’s beautiful and easy and HUGE, and I think it’s amazing.

The Beekeeper’s Quilt from Tiny Owl Knits uses tiny knitted hexagonal pillow motifs to create a quilted blanket out of sock-weight scraps that is just to die for. A more significant undertaking than the granny-style scrap blanket above, but stunning when finished.

Last, but not least, a sort of cross between a rag rug and a string quilt; an afghan from Ulli Stuttgart made of bias-knitted squares. Granted the website isn’t in English, you CAN click to a PDF that has instructions in both English and German. The finished afghan is beautiful.

So there we have it. Bringing the beauty and thrift of rag rugs back into the home, one scrap at a time! Go forth and save.

Untitled I don’t actually make very much for myself. In fact, I believe the only two things I own that were crafted by my own hands are my Bedlam hat and the 2nd version of Ruth, and only because I was given it with my Oma passed away. But lately I’ve been going through a flurry of small projects for other people, in a sort of trade-commissions kind of way. Lots of fun stuff, and more to come.

Among the items so far created have been a LOT of crocheted hats. The owl hat pictured left is based on the Child’s Owl Hat by Elizabeth Trantham at Crochet in Color. I modified it to fit an adult and followed the pattern for the facial features. For the same person I also made an adult-sized Kitty hat based on another child’s pattern by Elizabeth Trantham. The final version of the hat has the nose moved up somewhat. Again I adjusted the pattern to fit an adult, and then I just winged the ovals for eyes and nose, made the ears bigger upon request and winged the bow as well. Both hats used Caron Simply Soft in various colors, although the yellow in the owl hat is Caron Natura because it was the closest thing to bright yellow I could find ANYwhere in Lincoln. A very simply crocheted cowl scarf in Lion Brand Hometown, a big beret in Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted, from a free Garnstudio pattern, a slouchy hat in an unidentified wool tweed, using a pattern by Adriana Veleda, (although mine didn’t turn out very slouchy), plus numerous coasters and hot-cup sleeves round out the recent finished projects. Currently planned are a couple more Garnstudio hats, but knitted this time, and a big-eared bunny hat/scarf.

UntitledIn addition to the kilt hose about which I posted last week, this week I also made a gift for Kit’s violin teacher, Miss Jentry. She had a baby in July; a little girl named Penny, for whom I knitted a little jacket. That’s somehow become my thing. Babies get books and a hand-knit jacket from me. For Penny I chose a vintage cotton by Conshohocken. Its soft and similar to Bernat’s Cottontots in texture, and a lovely purple that is both bright and soft. I chose a modified version of this vintage pattern, which has a round yoke with a sort of knitted popcorn effect. The yarn knitted at gauge on size 9′s, and the resulting fabric is exceptionally soft and flexible. I will give the sweater to Miss Jentry at Kit’s lesson next Wednesday.


Sunday’s Child: Babykins

A Jacket and Bonnet for Babykins is the next little vintage pattern PDF available from I love this little jacket, it’s so pretty. I think I’d like to make one that fit me! I wonder if I could get a me-sized gauge by just changing to a yarn instead of a thread. Hmmm. How heavy would I have to go to make it me-sized, and would it be ucky then? Anyway, if you’d prefer not to do the math, you can still make it for a baby. :D



Friday’s Child: Frenchie

Some time ago I had the good fortune to find (and buy!) 8 issues of Needlecraft Magazine from the 20s and 30s. (OK, in fairness, one of the 8 was a McCalls Needlework and Crafts from 1948.) I’ll be putting together some patterns from these issues in PDF form. We’ll start with a charming little crocheted net beret from the August 1931 issue. The PDF also includes a crocheted net collar / cuff set and a dress yoke. If you have any questions, please let me know. As always, a thorough search of online copyright resources, including the renewal database at Standford and other resources, is performed before publishing any vintage pattern not obviously in the public domain.