The detailed crochet
patterns we now enjoy are a fairly new development. The patterns for
many vintage crocheted items, if they can be found, provide only a list
of stitches and sparse instructions. Picking up one of these patterns
and using a hook and ball of thread or skein of yarn to create a
finished amigurumi cat, lace motif, cap, or teddy bear filet edging (see
below) is like following a treasure map.
|A pair of intricately crocheted vintage socks. Maker, place of origin, and date unknown.
an archeologist with a treasure map, you have to use your unique
language skills-because not everyone can read Sl st over pc, working
over pc and in blo, sc in 1st 3 hdc-to decipher the next step of the
journey. And when you finally reach the end of the pattern, holding the
finished piece feels a bit like finding treasure.
Patterns for some fantastic vintage crochet items have been lost or never existed. Sarah Read, Interweave Crochet's
project editor, was immediately taken by a pair of crocheted socks that
were given to a friend. The socks arrived without a backstory or
pattern, but Sarah was determined to create her own socks with their own
story. And along the way, she created a pattern to share with us in the
brand-new Crochet Traditions. Here is Sarah to tell us a little bit about the experience:
Crochet the Amazing
Technicolor Tapestry Sock
||Sarah Reads re-creation of the vintage socks
now and then I enjoy a bit of creative madness, and the Amazing
Technicolor Tapestry Socks project should hold me over a couple months. I
spent 6 months (with a few breaks here and there) trying to piece
together the pattern for these socks, counting stitches (lots of
stitches), drawing charts, and crocheting way past my bedtime.
in my favorite chair with my magnifier and light, I tried to puzzle out
the mysterious origins of these socks. No one knows where they came
from, or who made them, or when they were made. Their shape and colors
suggest eastern European influence, but the colorwork and stitch
techniques look Finnish. In any case, I can attest to the labor of love
that the original pair must have been. The originals were almost
certainly not worked from a pattern, and I wonder what the images on
them signified to the maker or the wearer. They look well cared for, but
worn, and I wonder what special occasions warranted the wearing of
these special socks-a festival of some kind or only for weddings?
|Vintage Teddy-Bear Lace crocheted in two sizes
any case, I only managed to make one sock. I haven't given up on making
its match someday. For now, it hangs on my studio wall, quietly
preaching the beautiful intricacy of vintage sock patterns and the
merits of cowls made with bulky wool.
your crochet hook, yarn, thread, and exploration tools and create your
own treasure with the vintage and vintage-inspired patterns as well as
great stories about early crocheters. Order your copy of Crochet Traditions today!
P.S. Do you have tips for crocheting with vintage patterns? Share them in the comments.