Thursday, 10 July 2014

Vintage crochet patterns...

M and I went to a small town near here, which shall remain nameless so that I can call it a bit of a dump! It just happened to be the nearest place to where M's sister lives and we were charged with having to entertain her for a morning. I say that like it's a chore, but in truth it's me that finds it difficult because her speech isn't clear (a learning disability). M however, seems to understand every word.

Anyway, with just five pounds to spend and strict instructions not to allow her to buy any cuddly toys or dolls, we thought we'd introduce her to charity shops. Luckily she likes puzzles and we came home with several. Bearing in mind that I like to have a proper browse myself I left M to do the supervising. It seems he lost the battle over the duplicate design. He told her she already had a cottage one (purchased and popped back to the car) but she insisted she hadn't. Communication barrier or not I like to think I would have won that particular battle if I'd been supervising! M was particularly or should I say spectacularly bored that morning (think Kevin by Harry Enfield) and refused to go back and exchange it so we suggested she donated it to the local horse charity (up the road).

Meanwhile I resisted the temptation to jump up and down or turn cartwheels in Barnado's when I stumbled across a whole pile of vintage crochet patterns. Twenty pence each! I bought the lot! Ella likes the crochet collars would you believe? They look tricky but I plan to have a go.

The His and Hers crochet vests made us laugh, a lot. They look like old fashioned dish cloths! When I'd sobered up I realised that the pattern would make a nice summer top. I've never used 4 ply and I'm not sure how my hands would cope but I could possibly work out the sizing if substituted with DK.

As for the other garments I think they'd need adapting for modern day wear, though I think the blue top would look ok, again, without the shirt! See the collar on that one! In the background is a woven raffia mat, I'm pretty sure we had one of those on our kitchen floor when I was very small.

The sage green waistcoat might work out without adapting, just a change of colour perhaps, and lose the belt!

It's a shame the anenome doily isn't photographed in colour. It reminds me of one my Nan had and Grandad still has, but with pansies I believe. I am most definitely going to make this one. Somehow the sight of the pansy doily is always comforting. My grandparents were so much more consistent than at home. If I went away for a week I'd come home and find Mum had moved all the furniture around! Of course, I do that myself now!

The Pineapple Chair Set looks far too fine and fancy to do the job it was intended for (I'm told this was to keep the chair underneath clean, particularly from hair oil.) The pattern is dated 1961, before I was born. It suggests that you wash the finished item in 'a warm lather of pure soap flakes'. Is that before or after you've cooked a three course meal for your husband and got the house looking spick and span?

Finally, one of my favourites, the raffia handbag! How thrifty they were in the old days! Inside it says that the handle design is 'economical' because it has two rods that can easily be removed and quickly inserted in another bag, so that one handle serves for any number of bags for different occasions. Well, I could certainly crochet one for day use and one for evening use. Those who know me will be falling on the floor laughing right now. I'm not big on handbags but I see this as a crochet challenge!

Excuse me while I go and lather up some pure soap flakes!


  1. the collars are surprisingly back in fashion!

  2. The waistcoat looks very familiar. I'm sure my mother had the same pattern. I'll have to see if it's still around. Looks like you have plenty of knitting to keep you occupied now - after all that housework is done :)

  3. I love the dress in the first picture with the crochet collar and cuffs - the one on the right - I think that would be very fashionable right now!! xx