Make an Antimascassar with Weldons

Aug 18, 2014

Have you ever found yourself searching for a practical Toilet Tidy or Night Cap Antimacassar? No? Me neither, but I love to read the vintage patterns, peruse the project images, and learn about the popular crochet fashions of the late 1800s. I have crocheted from a few of these antique patterns, and I recommend the adventure for every crocheter.

Toilet Tidy

The patterns are like old cooking recipes. You know, the ones that call for a pinch of salt, a dash of sugar, and flour to consistency, sparse on the detailed instructions but great exercises in the flexibility of crochet stitches. My favorite source for vintage patterns is Weldon's.

Bulgarian Head-Dress

In Weldon's the crochet terms are in the original British English, so an English single crochet is an American slip stitch and so forth. Don't forget this little bit of trivia or your projects will turn out a different size or shape than originally intended. But once you jump in with a hook and yarn, they are quite fun.

While both English and American patterns use the same terminology when referring to crochet stitches, stitch names actually refer to different stitches. So, if a vintage Weldon's pattern tells you to double crochet (dc) across the next row, they are really referring to what modern American patterns would call a single crochet (sc).

An English single crochet (sc) would translate as a slip stitch (sl st) in American patterns. A treble crochet (tr) in a vintage pattern, such as those found in Weldon's, would translate to a double crochet (dc) in current American patterns.

But don't let translation stop you. Where else would you find a pattern for a child's frock, a gentleman's waistcoat, chemise trimmings, a variety of caps and slippers, and so much more? I know several people who would love the period lace shawls and hats. Personally, I am thoroughly fascinated with the stitch patterns. I spent several hours researching Russian crochet after studying Weldon's patterns. Russian crochet, another name for ribbed stitch, is worked through the back loop only. This technique seems to have been a particular favorite during the late 1800s.


Tulip Stitch pattern

Now you can order the the first six volumes of Weldons in one special deluxe edition. Each hard-bound book contains 12 monthly issues of vintage crochet, needlework, and knitting patterns. Order your limited edition copy of Weldon's Practical Needlework: Deluxe Edition today before they are all gone.

Best wishes,

P.S. Share your tips for crocheting from vintage patterns.


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Comments

ammetz wrote
on Aug 18, 2014 3:06 PM

I love the vintage patterns too, and somewhere along the way I learned that Macassar was a kind of hair dressing used by men in the Victorian era. It had an unfortunate tendency to rub off on fine upholstery or hats or collars, so the women combatted this by making anti-macassars to protect the object the men's treated hair was coming into contact with.

ammetz wrote
on Aug 18, 2014 3:06 PM

I love the vintage patterns too, and somewhere along the way I learned that Macassar was a kind of hair dressing used by men in the Victorian era. It had an unfortunate tendency to rub off on fine upholstery or hats or collars, so the women combatted this by making anti-macassars to protect the object the men's treated hair was coming into contact with.

mcrochets wrote
on Aug 19, 2014 1:39 AM

My favorite pattern from Weldon (back when the crochet patterns were published in a single edition from Dover) was for a gentleman's vest:  They gave specific instructions on making 2 rectangles a certain number of stitches wide, then 24 or so inches long.  Then take them to your local tailor and have him make them into a vest.  That was the whole pattern.  There were a number of patterns in 'tricot', which refers to what we call afghan stitch or tunisian.

mcrochets wrote
on Aug 19, 2014 1:39 AM

My favorite pattern from Weldon (back when the crochet patterns were published in a single edition from Dover) was for a gentleman's vest:  They gave specific instructions on making 2 rectangles a certain number of stitches wide, then 24 or so inches long.  Then take them to your local tailor and have him make them into a vest.  That was the whole pattern.  There were a number of patterns in 'tricot', which refers to what we call afghan stitch or tunisian.