Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's Prom Night!

Lacy Stole Pattern from McCall's Needlework, Fall-Winter, 1952-53

“You look radiant!” said her mother.

Ruthie didn’t feel radiant. She felt itchy. “What’s this made of?” she demanded, picking the shawl off her shoulders with two fingers. “You promised me a new silk stole for the prom!”

“Rayon taffeta ribbon is much more practical than silly old silk,” her mother said, in a soothing tone.

Tears welled up in Ruthie’s eyes. She didn’t want practical. She’d planned on brushing up against Frank as he affixed her corsage, the sensuality of her silk shawl against his skin promising that if he was very good, she’d left him get to third base tonight.

But instead her mother had presented her with this rayon, latticework eyesore that would probably get snagged on her date’s admittedly hairy hands.

“And I don’t care what your father says, sunshine yellow is very chic this season.”

“Makes her look like she’s got jaundice,” came the pronouncement from behind the evening paper.

Ruthie burst into tears. “Frank won’t want to be seen with me! It’ll be the worst night of my life!”

“Nonsense! I’m sure some of your girl chums will be there, you can always have fun with them if Frank turns into a cold fish.”

Ruthie narrowed her eyes suspiciously at her benignly smiling mother. Was this some kind of diabolical maternal plot to have her die an old maid?

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Lacy Ribbon Stole

Size: Aprox 22’’ wide, 2 1/2 yds. Long

Materials: Nomotta Ruban d’Art, 6 spools. Plastic crochet hook, No. 6.

If you look very closely at the lower right hand corner, you can see the hideous yellow ribbon Ruthie's mother used to make her stole.
Note: Work loosely and hold ribbon flat for best results.

Ch 2, s c in 2nd ch from hook.

Row 1: * Draw up a 1/2’’ lp on hook and make a ch to complete lp, ch 1, repeat from * until 42 lps have been made. End row ch 1. Turn.

Row 2: Sk 3 lps, s c in next ch-1, * draw up a 1/2’’ lp and make a ch to complete lp, ch 1, draw up a 1/2’’ lp and make a ch to complete lp, ch 1, sk 1 ch, s c in next ch of previous row, repeat from * across; 20 large holes.

Row 3: The lps in this and following rows are made the same as lps in previous rows and will be referred to as lp.
The “lps” in this and following rows being entirely different creatures from the 1/2’’ lps mentioned earlier. These lps presumably include not just the original lp, but also a ch 1, and additionally they might even include a “sk 2 ch, and a s c in next ch of previous row.” Or not.
To start row make 1 lp, ch 1, 1 lp, ch1, 1 lp, ch 1, sc in next ch 1 of previous row, * 1 lp, ch 1, 1 lp, ch 1, s c in next ch-1 (between 2 lps), repeat from * to end of row.

Rows 4 to 100: Repeat row 3. Scarf should be almost 2 1/2 yards long.
And if it isn’t, then you just keep right on until it is. There’s no crying in crochet!
Blocking and Pressing:

Block stole full length and width. Pin down on padded surface. Lay a damp cloth over stole and steam with a hot iron. No damp cloth is necessary if steam iron is used.
Because anyone who was anybody had an electric iron by the early fifities -- but one with a steam attachment, now that was exciting new technology!

Picture courtesy of Meeker's Patented Antiques.

Leave stole blocked until dry. Block and press before making loops at end.

Loops at Ends:

Finish the two short ends with sc lps in each ch st. To make lp st, wind ribbon over first two fingers, insert hook into st, draw ribbon through, pulling ribbon from under finger, drop lp from finger, letting it fall to right side of work and complete s c.
Yeah, like that’s not going to snag on absolutely everything, until it completely unravels at the most inopportune moment.

Ruthie was right! Her mother was determined to make her daughter’s prom an unmitigated disaster, thereby keeping Ruthie virginal – and living at home – for the rest of her life.

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. Please keep posting these. It's wonderful! Best laughs I've had in many years. My beloved but annoying mother knitted, crocheted and sewed items I dreaded being forced to wear. I'm lucky she never discovered a sale on that horid rayon ribbon or I'd have ended up with one of these!


  2. Okay, I think we had that iron and I used it... I remember the cord. And the iron being HEAVY. The dial was gone and we could't use steam and after a while had to use a towel over what we were ironing. My mom got it when she married and never bought a new one.

  3. Hi Diane! I'm glad to know that I'm helping you overcome your childhood trauma with laughter. There will definitely be more maternal acts of passive aggression children to come!

    Hi to you too, Debbi! I can sympathize completely with your over parents who don't see the need to upgrade - ever. My parents were very upset when the phone company finally succeeded in prying their beloved rotary phone out of their hands. Of course, I do have fond memories of playing with that phone, but I'm sure you didn't play with your mom's iron. Ouch!

  4. Hey! I actually think the stole is pretty so thanks for sharing the pattern. I wish I had solid color ribbon though, what I have is Lion Brand Incredible...

  5. I'm more than willing to be proven wrong!

    If you crochet up the stole, please do take pictures and e-mail them to me. I'd love to see what you do with it!

    And actually, multi-coloured ribbon might make for an interesting overall effect.