Monday, 1 March 2010

An adventure into vintage crafts - crocheting

So alongside last years adventure into learning and completing an embroidered tablecloth the next adventure and project would have to be learning to properly be able to crochet. You may have noticed when I'm taking photographs of things for my blog as a silent witness under the object often lies a crocheted doily like here;
When my gran died last August, so did the last crocheter of the family. Along with her two sister, they were all greatly gifted in this delicate craft, from making gorgeous table centres to edging on tablecloths and handkerchiefs.

I've made crocheted things in the past [I made a huge blanket when I was about 14ish and still have it on my bed] and I've always been around crocheted things. I've had crocheted doily's on my dressing table since I was little, but I've never really thought anything of them. I was considered strange enough at school for being able to sew and to do anything more would have probably made me even more of a social outcast. I guess the death of my gran and my new found need in using something to protect the backs of my compacts when I have them displayed upon my dressing table made me try and attempt to learn.
While the designs look hard, crocheting is relativity easy to pick up. All you need us a hook [which cost as little as £1.30] some cotton [can be a little hard to find in the shops these days] and learn the basic stitches.

So i've started with doily's; mainly because they are the perfect size for displaying my compacts upon and make good use of the reminder of my gran's cottons and hooks, plus I've inherited all her old crocheting books and patterns, mainly from the 1950s and 1980s.
This one and my first ever attempt [above] in fact came from a 1970s pattern quoted as one ideal for beginners. Luckily they gave you a patterned picture chart to follower rather then the mere worded version. I've definitely caught the bug for it now, while it takes a bit to get your head around the different stitches and just where things are meant to go, your work is produced really fast - which is always a good spur to carrying on and doing more.
There's a tonne of patterns out there, there's even a few magazines on the market and whatever can be knitted you can crochet the same thing - from tops, scarf's, blankets, everything especially for babies. Additionally having a good search on the internet often reveals some interesting vintage finds - I've taken a few off - which offer some pattern from the 1930s onwards mainly orginally published in magazines and pattern books [you just have to take care in differentiating between the American and British terms for the stitching as they are somewhat different at times].
Now i'm having to be patient to wait and see if the correct wool for the scarf above from Crochet Today magazine [an American import which you can find in WHSmiths and is a great publication if you want a contemporary insight into what crocheting can make] will turn up at this side of the ocean. Its a wool, or as the American's term it 'yarn' called Alppa Love by Debbie Stroller who did all the "Stitch and Bitch" knitting books. Either waiting like a very patient girl, finding a possible replacement or asking very nicely for it to be shipped over by a certain special someone :)

But how very snug and warm does that scarf look?!?!


  1. You are clever!
    My attempts have been feeble.
    My mum's always been the crocheter in our family. She found a vintage coat pattern in a 1972 mag I got from a charity shop and is in the process of creating it ready for me to wear at Glasto.

  2. Crochet Today! I just love that.

    Anyway, my attempts at crochet have also been feeble, just like Vicky's above me! You make it sound so easy but I'm all fingers and thumbs. The doilies are so pretty though - maybe it's time to try again? :)

  3. Thank you Vix!

    The coat sounds like its going to be very impressive and very fitting for Glasto!

  4. This is such a nice thing to carry on, crocheting is beautiful.

    I can knit, cross stitch and sew but never tried crochet, you've inspired me though! I want to create pretty things. :)

    X x

  5. Yeah it's definitely worth having a go. Its a lot easier to pick up then I thought it would be, especially if you go by the drawn out charts.

  6. Yes, I've just started to re-learn too, its so much easier than knitting, I've never made it past the 2nd row with knitting.

  7. I'm the same Miss Rayne - i seriously can not get the hang of knitting at all, and my mam who is a great knitter doesn't "get" crocheting. Its so weird how it pans out.

  8. Ah, a gal after my own heart!! I'm just dabbling in crocheting myself...though my ever-expanding vintage 1930s crocheted dress/sweater/purse/suits/hat collection brings me great pleasure, so if I never actually produce something useable, I've got my back up ;)

  9. first attempt?!?!? no way! it's wonderful to see how someone's patience and effort turns into something so beautiful.
    xoxo alison

  10. wow that doily is so pretty! i love that you're following in your gran's footsteps :)

  11. Wow. I would love to learn to crochet and you've inspired me to try it! I always imagined it was really hard but I think its a lovely skill to have :)

  12. Aww thank you all, its weirdly easier then knitting i've found Samantha. :)