Discovering Vintage Crochet

Jun 9, 2011

Vintage crochet patterns fascinate me. There isn't a great deal of written history about crochet, but I love to read the amazing personal stories and tales passed down through families, and see the few items that have survived both time and use. My favorite method of learning about the history of crochet is through the historic patterns, and my favorite source for vintage patterns is Weldon's.

Weldon's patterns look a bit like old cooking recipes. You know, the ones that call for a pinch of salt, a dash of sugar, and flour to consistency, 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. But once you jump in with a hook and yarn, they are quite simple. 

 

And 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. 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.

As I study the patterns popular among crocheters who came before me and work the same stitches that were worked by fellow crocheters over a century ago, I feel a special connection. Despite our time and cultural differences, we still both find meaning in the beauty and elegance of crochet and are constantly trying to improve our crochet skills and learn new techniques. 

If you have been looking for vintage crochet pattern or just want to learn more about crochet in the late 1800s, download Weldon's Practical Crochet. Then share with us your thoughts on crocheting from the same patterns used by crocheters over a hundred years ago. 

Best wishes,


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Comments

Char55 wrote
on Jun 9, 2011 5:19 PM

I found directions and picture a couple of days ago for the "tulip" stitch (bottom picture on the right in your blog) on this website along with several others:

www.momsloveofcrochet.com/AfghanSquares-Tulip.html

It's a great site with free patterns.

pat p. wrote
on Jun 13, 2011 12:41 AM

I am also fascinated by vintage crochet, well, any of the vintage needlearts. I am always amazed that with all that it took just to get a garment or a houseware to completion that they would take the time to add those things that made it more beautiful.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         .

pattyb1 wrote
on Jun 14, 2011 11:15 AM

I found some doilys at an antique store nearby, they weren't dated, but I think I may go back and pick up some that appeal to me anyway.

pat p. wrote
on Jun 27, 2011 8:23 AM

When I learned to crochet 40 years ago my grandma taught me with "vintage" patterns. She just considered them tested and true! I inherited all of grandmas patterns and supplies and over the years have added to them considerably. It is always fun to watch the styles and themes change and to see what basically stays the same. It is always an honor and a priveledge to share a kinship with our foremothers as I work on a pattern from the late 30's, knowing that how I will be using the finished article-as applique incorporated into a contemporary wall quilt made with Batik fabrics- probably never occurred to the original maker! Ther is a certain peace that comes with knowing we all are literally joined with thread! I wonder what of today will pass the test of time to be enjoyed as "vintage"        Pat.P.

Char55 wrote
on Jul 6, 2011 5:03 PM

For anyone who loves vintage crochet....You have GOT to see the video of this wonderful little old lady who started a crocheted bedspread 67 years ago and finally finished it to give to her daughter. She is soooo sweet! According to the video, she says it took 3 to 3-1/4 hours to make each 6 inch motif (doily). The bedspread contains rows of 30 x 31 (930). It took about 1 hour to crochet each doily into the bedspread...that's a LOT of time and love to put into a bedspread!

www.youtube.com/watch