Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You Bet He Is!


The Favourite pattern from Handknits for Men by Beehive for All Occasions, c. 1944.

Of course, he’s our favourite! Why just look at his manly shoulders, his manly chin, and his manly Adam’s apple. Moreover, his hat and tie indicate that he’s gainfully employed, his pipe lets us know that he reads Ernest Hemingway, and his tucked hanky assures us that he doesn’t pick his nose. He’s perfect!

Edward -- that’s what I’ve been calling him, because clearly KMB stands for his employer the Kempen & Co Merchant Bank -- Edward’s golden eyes are looking toward a bright, sparkly future, in which some lucky gal named Bella will get to snuggle in close to his Adonis-like body. She’ll run her fingertips along his perfect, blemish free cheekbones and whisper in his perfect, marble-like ears, “I can’t wait to get you out of this tacky, monogrammed vest.”

And that’s when she’ll learn the terrible truth. His name isn’t Edward Cullen, it’s Kenneth Melvin Herringbone (the Third). This monogrammed vest, with initials large enough even someone with 20/200 eyesight can read them, is the one known as “The Favourite”. Worse still, KMB also stands for kiss my butt. Doubtless, this is what Kenneth will invite Bella to do after she insults the vest handmade by his doting mother.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

The Favourite in Eight Sizes
Because favourites only come in eight sizes.
4 ply BEEHIVE FINGERING, PATONISED.

or

PATWIN 4 ply PATONIZED KNITTING WOOL WITH NYLON.

Bolding and capitalization. In 1940s, yarn choice was a serious business.
For Quantity required, see below. Two No. 11 and two No. 10 Queen Bee Knitting Needles. One Stitch Holder.

FOR THE EMBROIDERY. See desired Chart for colours and design, pages 19, 20 and 32.

Tension: 7 ½ sts. and 10 rows = 1 inch with No. 10 needles.

Check tension–see page 33.

For Washing Instructions– see page 33.
As was embroidering, checking tension and washing.

Normally, I’d give the pattern editor a hard time about all of this gratuitous bolding. But this unnamed soul had just lived through the Depression and World War II, and trauma often results in bizarre and annoying nervous tics.

Fortunately, I’m noble enough to forgive the editor his or her psychological deficiencies.

MEASUREMENTS AND QUANTITY OF WOOL REQUIRED


(A) SIZES 38, 40, 42, 44
Don’t despair, if your favourite is more plus-sized! Part (B) with the other four larger sizes will follow.
The instructions are written for size 38.
Sizes 40, 42, and 44 are written in brackets thus:—( )
Hang on, is the editor implying I have a big mouth? :-p
THE SLEEVELESS PULLOVER WITH “V” NECK
V is for Victory!
FRONT: With No. 11 needles cast on 128 sts. (40—136 sts.) (42—142 sts.) (44—148 sts.).

Work exactly as given for Back of Sleeveless Pullover, see page 13, until work measures 13 ins. from beginning, or desired length ending with purl row.
Jeez, why would they want to hide the instructions on lucky page 13? Oh well, might as well check it out – Jumping Jehosaphat!

Okay, this pattern editor was clearly off his rocker. Look at all the places the numbers barely change or don’t change at all! What was he thinking creating a chart this huge? I mean, sure, you now have the option of adding sleeves to The Favourite, but why would you want to mess with perfection?

Although. . . spies in World War II had all sorts of clever ways of hiding top secret data in ordinary looking documents. Maybe if you read the chart backwards, you’ll uncover the D-Day invasion plans.

To shape armholes: Cast off 4 sts. beginning next 6 rows. (40—Cast off 5 sts. beginning next 4 rows, 4 sts. beginning following 2 rows)
(42—Cast off 5 sts. beginning next 6 rows)
(44—Cast off 6 sts. beginning next 4 rows, 5 sts. beginning following 2 rows)

Dec. 1. st. each end of needle on next and every alternate row to 108 sts. on needle. (40—112 sts.) (42—116 sts.) (44—120 sts.) ending with purl row.
You know, as annoying as it is to insert html codes to ensure that each individual bracket is bolded while the inside content is italicized, at least I have cut and paste technology. I’m pretty sure the unlucky typesetter back in the 1940s arranged for an “unfortunate accident” to befall the pattern editor.
To shape neck: K2tog. K50. K2tog. (40—K2tog. K52. K2tog.) (42—K2tog. K54. K2tog.) (44—K2tog. K56. K2tog.) Turn. Leave remaing 54 sts. (40—56 sts.) (42—58 sts.) (44—60 sts.) on stitch holder.

Continue in Stocking st. dec. 1. st. at armhole edge every alternate row and at same time dec. 1. st. at neck edge every 4th row to 43 sts. on needle. (40—45 sts.) (42—47 sts.) (44—49 sts.)

Keeping armhole edge even, continue dec. 1. st. at neck edge every 4th row as before to 29 sts. on needle. (40—30 sts.) (42—32 sts.) (44—33 sts.)

Continue even until armhole from first shaping measures 9 ins. (40—9 ½ ins.) (42—9 ½ ins.) (44—10 ins.)

To shape shoulder: At armhole cast off 10 sts. every alternate row twice, 9 sts. once. (40—Cast off 10 sts. every alternate row 3 times) (42—Cast off 11 sts. every alternate row twice, 10 sts. once)
(40—Cast off 11 sts. every alternate row 3 times)

With right side of work facing, join wool to sts. left on st. holder and work other side to correspond.
Right now, I’m wishing I could arrange for a baseball bat to have an “unfortunate accident” with the pattern editor’s kneecaps.
BACK: See page 13.

NECKBAND: Work exactly as given for Neckband of (A) Pullover with Sleeves and “V” Neck, see left column. Sew right shoulder seam.
See left column? But that smacks of communism!

Oh, right, Uncle Joe was one of the good guys in WWII. Silly me. Here’s what the lovely lefties had to say:

Sew left shoulder seam. Slip sts. from st. holder at back of neck onto No. 11 needle. With right side of work facing join wool and with No. 11 needles knit these sts. Pick up and knit 56 sts. (40—58 sts.) (42—60 sts.) (44—62 sts.) along left side of neck. Pick up and knit 1. st. at centre front of neck. Pick up and knit 56 sts. (40—58 sts.) (42—60 sts.) (44—62 sts.) along right side of neck.

★ ★1st row: K2. ★P1. K1. Repeat from ★ to last st. K1.
2nd row: ★K1, P1. Repeat from ★ to 5 sts. at centre front of neck. P2tog. K1. P2tog. Rib to end of row.
3rd row:K1. ★K1. P1. Repeat from ★ to 5 sts. at centre front of neck. K2tog. P1. K2tog. Rib to end of row.
Repeat 2nd and 3rd row 3 times. Cast off loosely in ribbing.★ ★
Now, before I return to the annoying pattern already in progress, I need to contemplate these five pointed communist stars. Specifically the double ★ ★’s which have no explanation as yet.

For now, I’m just going to chalk it up to Stalin’s overenthusiastic cult of personality.

ARMBANDS: See page 13.

For Make Up and Embroidery, see page 13.
Then page 13 sends you off to page 32 to do the embroidery. Because why would you want simple and straightforward at this point?

You know what, I don’t care what this vest is called. It is so not my favourite anymore.

I usually encourage stick-to-it-ness, but I don’t blame whoever gave up on the duplicate stitching above. It looks awful.

Oh, and the chart that’s referenced above was hiding out on page 20:

Honestly, when I first saw The Favourite I thought whoever did the monogramming decided to just wing it. I’m disturbed that someone actually planned ahead and wanted the initials to look the way they do.

I’m also reminded of the old WWII joke about Allied soldiers writing home to their moms and aunties, suggesting that if they really want to support the troops, they should knit socks for the other side.

Still, we’re finally done! Right?
(B) Sizes 46, 48, 50 and 52
AUUUUUGGGGGHHHH!
The instructions are written for size 46. Sizes 48, 50 and 52 are written in brackets thus:—( )
In the 1940s, emoticons, like women, applied lipstick with a heavy hand. :-*
FRONT: With No. 11 needles cast on 154 sts. (48—160 sts.) (50—166 sts.) (52—172 sts.).

Work exactly as given for Back of Sleeveless Pullover, see page 13, until work measures 13 ins. from beginning, or desired length ending with purl row.
See scanned picture of page 13 provided above. Or take my word for it and bail out of this pattern now!
To shape armholes: Cast off 4 sts. beginning next 6 rows. (48—Cast off 6 sts. beginning next 2 rows, 5 sts. beginning following 4 rows)
(50—Cast off 6 sts. beginning next 4 rows, 5 sts. beginning following 2 rows)
(52—Cast off 6 sts. beginning next 6 rows)

Dec. 1. st. each end of needle on next and every alternate row to 124 sts. on needle. (48—128 sts.) (50—132 sts.) (52—136 sts.) ending with purl row.
I’m pretty sure the Geneva Conventions forbade forcing prisoners of war to knit this pattern. So, why oh why, did the pattern designer and editor inflict it upon their own people?
To shape neck: K2tog. K58. K2tog. (48—K2tog. K60. K2tog.) (50—K2tog. K62. K2tog.) (52—K2tog. K64. K2tog.) Turn. Leave remaing 62 sts. (48—64 sts.) (50—66 sts.) (52—68 sts.) on stitch holder.

Continue in Stocking st. dec. 1. st. at armhole edge every alternate row and at same time dec. 1. st. at neck edge every 4th row to 50 sts. on needle. (48—50 sts.) (50—51 sts.) (52—51 sts.)

Keeping armhole edge even, continue dec. 1. st. at neck edge every 4th row as before to 33 sts. on needle. (48—34 sts.) (50—34 sts.) (52—35 sts.)

Continue even until armhole from first shaping measures 10 ins. (48—10 ½ ins.) (50—10 ½ ins.) (52—11 ins.)

To shape shoulder: At armhole cast off 11 sts. every alternate row 3 times. (48—Cast off 12 sts. every alternate row once, 11 sts. twice) (50—as 48)
(52—Cast off 12 sts. every alternate row twice, 11 sts. once)

With right side of work facing, join wool to sts. left on st. holder and work other side to correspond.
Unless . . . the designer and pattern editor were Jerry spies! Ah ha, it makes perfect sense!
BACK: See page 13.

NECKBAND: Work exactly as given for Neckband of (B) Pullover with Sleeves and “V” Neck, see left column. Sew right shoulder seam.
Sew left shoulder seam. Slip sts. from st. holder at back of neck onto No. 11 needle. With right side of work facing join wool and with No. 11 needles knit these sts. Pick up and knit 64 sts. (48—66 sts.) (50—66 sts.) (52—68 sts.) along left side of neck. Pick up and knit 1. st. at centre front of neck. Pick up and knit 64 sts. (48—66 sts.) (50—66 sts.) (52—68 sts.) along right side of neck.

Work from ★ ★ to ★ ★ as given for Neckband of (A) Pullover with Sleeves and “V” Neck, see page 3.
Hey, the mystery of the double stars is now solved! Boy, that sounds like the title of a Nancy Drew book.
★ ★1st row: K2. ★P1. K1. Repeat from ★ to last st. K1.
2nd row: ★K1, P1. Repeat from ★ to 5 sts. at centre front of neck. P2tog. K1. P2tog. Rib to end of row.
3rd row:K1. ★K1. P1. Repeat from ★ to 5 sts. at centre front of neck. K2tog. P1. K2tog. Rib to end of row.
Repeat 2nd and 3rd row 3 times. Cast off loosely in ribbing.★ ★
But I’m not going to be distracted from my theory that this knitting pattern was an enemy plot to destroy morale on the home front!
ARMBANDS: See page 13.

For Make up and Embroidery, see page 13.
Actually, see the (A) section above and follow the diabolical path from page 13 to 32 to 20, until you’re too confused to notice that The Favourite is a Nazi spy! I mean, look at him. No red-blooded Brit, Canuck or American would have such clean, manicured nails!

*dragged off hysterically accusing Beehive of being a front for the Axis powers.*

Handmade by Mother sincerely apologizes to the Germans, Russians, British, Americans and Canadians, and anyone else who might have been offended by this blog mentioning the war.

Click here for the printable pattern.


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Monday, September 28, 2009

Warning - Excessive Keenness May Cause Premature Aging


Brunswick Ad from McCall’s Needlework & Crafts, Spring-Summer, 1969

Keen Teens go for match-ups!

And evidently so do...

For even more snark:

 
... their repressed suburban mothers. Thank goodness for Brunswick’s matching yarns and fabrics, otherwise Donna’s lemon yellow cardigan wouldn’t perfectly match her steel-wool-coloured skirt. She says it’s just the thing to wear while obsessive compulsively cleaning house! Donna’s secretly relieved that her husband’s having an affair, so she doesn’t have to bother with that messy sex business anymore.


And their flighty, colour-mad, alcoholic aunts. Barbara’s fun, but also kinda scary. Especially when she starts driving the wrong way down Main Street with her head out the window, screaming at random strangers. But good news, boys, she’s still single!


However the one fellow a keen teen can always count on to “go for a match-up” is fun-loving, young-minded Alfie.

He hangs out at the soda shop all day long, claiming he’s a senior in high school. All the kids know he just turned forty, and that he wears a toupee. Tonight, Alfie will re-read his old yearbooks until he cries himself to sleep. Good news, gals, he’s still single too!

So, let this be a lesson to keen teens everywhere. The pleasure begins at Needlework Departments, Yarn and Fabric Shops everywhere, but unsafe match-ups will only lead to a lifetime of regrets. And really dorky looking clothing.


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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Have a Nice Day!

Little Sunflower purse from Crochet Purse Appeal, 1977

Ah, the smiley face. During the 1970s, this manically cheerful symbol got plastered onto clothing, lamps, cookie jars – essentially anything that didn’t move (or moved too slowly). After a decade of oversaturation, this grinning, yellow symbol appeared doomed to haunt garage sales and Wal-Mart smocks, but the smiley face is back with a vengeance, getting its own official postage stamp, making miraculous appearances on carbs, and being fêted on its very own worldwide holiday.

In 2009, the 11th annual World Smile Day will land on Friday, October 2nd, and the official site encourages everyone to mark the day with smiles and acts of kindness. So, what better way to celebrate than by inflicting – I mean, giving a handmade smiley face purse to some random child. And don’t worry, this lucky tyke won’t be mistaken for a short Wal-Mart employee, because in 2008 Wal-Mart lost their bid to monopolize the Smiley face.

So, get ready to celebrate the liberation of smiley faces everywhere, by making one into a receptacle for pennies and snotty tissues!

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Little Sunflower Purse
Why is this purse a sunflower? Many projects in this pattern book are named after flowers for no apparent reason. Just wait until I get to the African Daisy purse...
Approximate size 7 ½ ” diameter (plus strap)

Materials
62 yds. 3 ply #72 yellow polypropylene (Satin Sheen by Weaveasy, Color Sunray Yellow was used.)
I’m pretty sure Sunray Yellow isn’t the same as Sunset Yellow FCF more infamously known as FD&C Yellow 6. However, to avoid hyperactivity, don’t let your child chew on the purse.
3 ½ yds. 3 ply #72 blk. polypropylene (Satin Sheen by Weaveasy, color Raven was used.)
Alas, Weaveasy is no longer with us. In the 1970s, not only did they make cord for macramé and weaving, they also created a whole series of books of weaving techniques and designs to help you uglify – I mean, beautify your home. On the bright side, no one’s ever going to steal that lamp!

However, polypropylene cords are still easily available. Not only do these cords have a glamorous plastic-like sheen, polypropylene is also highly resistant to solvents and acids. So you can let your daughter carry her junior chemistry set inside her purse without fear.

On the down side, polypropylene will eventually break down chemically in sunlight, so don’t let her take the purse outside.

“K” crochet hook

Sewing needle and black thread

Front

Chain 5, Sunray Yellow join with sl st to form a ring.

Round 1 Chain 3, work 11 dc in ring (chain 3 counts as 12th dc), sl st to top of chain 3.

Round 2 Chain 3, work dc in the same place as sl st, and dc 2 in each dc around (24 sts). Sl st in top of 3rd chain.

Round 3 Chain 3, work dc in same place as sl st, *dc 1 in next st, dc 2 in next st, repeat from * around (36 sts). Sl st to first sc.

Round 4 Chain 1, sc in same place as sl st and each dc around (36 sts). Join with sl st to first sc. End.
Wow, only 4 rounds. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out the width of Weaveasy cords, and polypropylene cords come in a wide variety of diameters. All I can say is that 3 mm is definitely too small, but the 97 mm is probably overkill.
Back

Make back same as front.

Eyes for Smiley Face

Make 2. With “K” hook and raven cord, chain 9 sts. End. Form circle and stitch in place on front of purse.

Mouth for Smiley Face

With “K” hook and raven cord, chain 24 sts. End. Stitch in place on front of purse.
If the little girl in question is a Twilight or Buffy fan, add vampire fangs.
Finishing

Holding circles together (wrong sides together) sc around, leaving ⅓ open at top. Do not break cord. Continue (for strap) by chaining 72 sts, sl st to opposite side of purse opening. Sc in each chain toward opposite end of strap. Join.
That’s a pretty thick looking purse strap for just one row of single crochet. What the heck, go ahead and use the 97 mm diameter cord. You never know when a little girl will need a purse strap with 77,564 kg of tensile strength.

ETA: Or, for that matter, a small dog!
Click here for the printable pattern.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Hostess With the Mostess


Rose Bouquet Hostess Set from Coats & Clark’s Hostess Book, 1956

Today’s reading is from the Book of Hostess, year of our Lords, Coats & Clarks, 1956. Gather, ye heathens. . . Ahem, I mean, ye housewives. Gather round the dining room table, and take heed:

"Since the time of the early settlers, when a hostess was liable to find herself dispensing good food and cheer to neighbors from miles around, Americans have been hospitable people."
Verily, hostessing is your patriotic duty!
"Today’s smart hostess, with all her labor saving devices to assist in the preparation of the meal, has more time than her pioneer ancestress to plan the attractive decoration of her party table."
Yea, though 1950s America is the land of milk and honey, you’re stuck in your suburban prefab home with idle hands just itching to do the devil’s work. But your salvation is close at hand. . . .
"Now, for the discriminating homemaker who likes to be different, we present the newest idea in dining-room décor . . . dainty handmade place mats with matching aprons, that we have christened ‘Hostess Sets.’"
So wash down "Mother’s Little Helper" with your morning gin and tonic, paste a big smile on your face, bring out your best chinaware, and take up the holy cause of ensuring your apron matches your dingy pink placemats.

And if the ladies from the Women’s Missionary Society dare ask “did you forget to make matching napkins?” or “why are we eating soup out of cabbages?” just smite the unbelievers with your giant china onion.

After all, you can always use your new placemats to clean up the unholy mess.
For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Rose Bouquet . . . a happy combination of dainty Irish crocheted lace and sheer organdie . . . perfect for a party luncheon.
Because nothing says “happy” like a dismal gray photo. Then again, Ireland was a wee bit more dismal than happy in 1956.
J. & P. COATS BIG BALL BEST SIX CORD MERCERIZED CROCHET, Art. A. 104, Size 30: 10 balls of No. 65 Beauty Pink, or

CLARK’S BIG BALL MERCERIZED CROCHET, Art. B.34, Size 30: 9 balls of No. 65 Beauty Pink.

Milwards Steel Crochet Hook No. 10.

2 yards of pink organdy, 36 inches wide.

Place Mat measures 12 x 18 inches. Each Motif measures 3 inches square.
If you stare at the close up photo long enough, the lace starts to look like it’s slowly sinking into a quicksand of organdy.
PLACE MAT (Make 4) – First Motif . . . Starting at Center, ch 8. Join with sl st to form ring. 1st rnd: Ch 6, dc in ring, (ch 3, dc in ring) 4 times; ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch of ch-6. 2nd rnd: In each sp around make sc, dc, 7 tr, dc and sc (6 petals). 3rd rnd: *Ch 6, sl st through the back of next sc on next petal. Repeat from * around. Join. 4th rnd: In each loop around make sc, dc, 7 tr, dc and sc (6 petals). Join. 5th rnd: Ch 5, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot), * ch 5, make a picot, ch 2, sc in center of next petal (picot loop), make another picot loop having the sc between this and next motif. Repeat from * around. Join (12 picot loops). 6th rnd: Sl st to center of next picot loop, sc in same loop, * make a picot loop, sc in center of next picot loop. Repeat from * around. Join. 7th rnd: Sl st to center of next picot loop, ch 3, 4 dc in same loop, * (ch 7, sc in center of next picot loop) twice; ch 7, 5 dc in next loop. Repeat from * around. Join last ch-7 to 3rd ch of ch-3. 8th rnd: Sc in same place as sl st, sc in next 4 dc, * 7 sc in next 3 loops, sc in next 5 dc. Repeat from * around. Join. 9th rnd: Ch 4, * skip 1 sc, in next sc make (dc, ch 1) twice and dc; (ch 1, skip 1 sc, dc in next sc) 12 times; ch 1. Repeat from * around. Join. 10th rnd: In each sp around make sc, ch 3 and sc. Join and break off.
Obviously the pattern editor has never heard of avoiding large, indigestible blocks of text. Either that, or he really is trying to make housewives crack up under the pressure.
SECOND MOTIF . . . Work as for First Motif until 9 rnds have been completed. 10th rnd: In next sp make sc, ch 3 and sc; sc in next sp, ch 1, sl st in corresponding sp of First Motif, ch 1, sc in same place as last sc on Second Motif, join next 14 ch-3 loops to First Motif as first ch-3 loop was joined. Make 2 more strips like this. Cut a piece of organdy, 12 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches. Roll a hem around all edges. Place strips of motifs on top (see illustration) and sew in place.
Personally, I’m leaning toward the second theory.
APRON . . . Make 4 rows of 7 motifs. Cut a piece of organdy, 19 x 27 inches. Make a 1 3/8-inch hem around 3 sides, mitering corners. Gather top edge to measure 14 inches. With remaining material make waistband and ties and sew in place. Place rows of motifs on top of Apron inside of hems at equal distances apart and sew in place.
Or you could just purchase a plain apron and sew the motifs onto it. Even better, just save yourself the money, forget about all of this hostess sets nonsense, and go to the liquor store.

After all, your friends will appreciate generous servings of 12 year old Irish whiskey far more than a bunch of Irish lace motifs.

Take it from Martha Stewart. Getting soused in a ratty old apron – it’s a good thing.


Click here for the printable pattern.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shake a Leg!


Mesh Crochet Socks and Stockings from "Knitted and Crocheted Boutique", c. 1975

Hemlines are climbing again in the Western world, suggesting that teenage girls are optimistic about our economic future, even if no one else is.

So what are we Canadians to do? We want to show off our great swaths of exposed leg to help boost the economy, but the Canadian winter looms on the horizon.

Why we can crochet up some stockings, of course!

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

“Why is there blood spattered on that page?” asked my 11yo son.

“It's an exclamation mark,” I told him. “A big, red exclamation mark! Celebrating short skirts and economic prosperity!”

I don't think he believed me.

Mesh Crochet Socks and Stockings

SIZES: Small to medium; medium to large size

Materials Required:

AMERICAN THREAD

“DAWN” KNITTING WORSTED or

DAWN “SAYELLE”

3 – 4 oz. skeins for long stocking

2 – 4 oz. skeins for knee socks

Plastic Crochet Hook Size H OR ANY SIZE HOOK WHICH WILL RESULT IN STITCH GAUGE BELOW
Then again, best guess would place this book in the mid-1970s, which was hardly a time of economic prosperity.
GAUGE: 2 meshes = 1 inch, 2 rows = 1 inch

Directions are given for small to medium size. Changes for medium to large in parentheses.

Staring at toe, ch 4, join to form ring, ch 4, dc in ring, * ch 1, dc in ring, repeat form * 7 times, ch 1, join in 3rd st of ch, ch 4 to turn all rounds; (ch 4 at beg of each round counts as ch 1 and 1 dc).
Oil shortages, rising crime, violent social unrest and rampant inflation... Maybe blood spatter on the pattern is appropriate.
2nd ROUND: DC in joining, * ch 1, dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in same dc, repeat from * all around ending ch 1, dc in next dc, ch 1, join in 3rd st of ch, ch 4, turn; (15 dc).

3rd ROUND: Dc in next dc, * ch 1, dc in next dc, repeat from * all around, join.

4th ROUND: Dc in same space, * ch 1, dc in next dc, repeat from * twice, ch 1 repeat from beg all around ending to correspond; (20 dc).

5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, (9th, 10th) ROUNDS: Work even in meshes.
Wow, who knew mesh stockings could be such a downer?
9th, (11th) ROUND: Dc in next dc, * ch 1, dc in next dc, repeat from * 12 times, ch 4, turn. (This leaves 5 dc free for instep.)

10th-16th (12th through 18th) ROUNDS: Work even on 15 dc.

17th, 18th, (19th, 20th) ROUNDS: Work in meshes working 3 center dc tog, fold heel section tog in last round and join in 3rd st of ch.

19th , (21st) ROUND: Working all around top, dc in next row, * ch 1, dc in next row, repeat from * 7 (9) times, * ch 1, dc in next dc of instep, repeat form last * 4 times, ch 1, dc in same space with turning ch, ch 1, dc in next row, finish opposite side to correspond, ch 1, join in 3rd st of ch, 26 (30) meshes.
I think I'll just focus on the sexiness of mesh stockings instead.
20th, (22nd) ROUND: Dc in next dc, * ch 1, dc in next dc, repeat from * 6 (8) times, work 3 dc tog, * ch 1, dc in next dc, repeat from last * twice, work 3 dc tog, * ch 1, dc in next dc, repeat from last * 7 (9) times, ch 1, join.

KNEE SOCKS ONLY: Work even in meshes for 14 inches or desired length allowing for cuff, cut yarn.

LONG STOCKINGS: Next 24 ROUNDS: Work even.
And I'll also focus on figuring out where in my neighbourhood I can go shopping for a garter belt to hold these sexy, sexy stockings up.
47th ROUND: Dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in same dc, work ch 1, dc meshes in next 17 (21) dc, inc in next dc same as beg, ch 1, dc in next sc.

48th ROUND: Work even on 24 (28) meshes.

49th ROUND: Inc in 3rd dc at beg and in 3rd dc from end, 26 (30) meshes.

50th and 51st ROUNDS: Work even on 26 (30) meshes.

52nd ROUND: Inc in 4th dc from each end 28 (32) meshes.

NEXT 8 ROUNDS: Work even on 28 (32) meshes, cut yarn.

TASSEL FOR KNEE SOCKS: Take 6 strands 10 inches long, fold in half and loop through one mesh. Work a tassel alternating in every other mesh of 1st and 3rd row of meshes; if necessary leaving odd meshes at inside. Trim fringe evenly.
Hmmm... the bridal shop or the sex shop for garters? Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Oh heck, I know which one I'd rather visit!
Click here for the printable pattern.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dinner on the Rocks

Placemat and Glass Jacket Patterns from Table Magic, Book No. 298, 1953

Bob stared at the place setting before him. “What cockamamie thing is this?” he demanded.

“It’s a new placemat,” said Betty, serenely. “I just made it. Doesn’t it look exactly like cobblestones?”

“Who’d want to eat off a bunch of dirty old rocks?” asked Bob.

“Cobblestones,” corrected Betty, much less serenely. “It’s very British and it’ll give this rat hole a bit of class. Just like these lovely matching jackets I made for all our high ball glasses.”

“Hey, why in tarnation is my glass lying there like that? Is that how the British do it, too? Eat off rocks and leave their empty glasses rolling around on the table? Where’s my beer, woman?”

Betty, not for the first time that day, wished she had some real cobblestones to crack open Bob’s thick skull.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Cobblestones

Place Mat measures 16 inches from point to point . . . each motif measures 2 1/4 inches in diameter.

J&P COATS “KNIT-CRO-SHEEN,” Art. A.64: 3 balls of No. 76 Robinette; or

CLARK’S O.N.T MERCERIZED BEADSPREAD COTTON, Art. B.504, colors of your own choice.
So, if you use J&P Coats, then you must use Robinette AKA Blue. But if you use Clark’s, then the sky’s the limit. Pick any colour you like. Pick multiple colours! Go wild!

Evidently, people who crochet with Clark’s are more free spirited than those who use J&P Coats’ thread.

Milwards Steel Crochet Hook No. 7.
Of course if you really want to authentically recreate the pattern, then you should pick a shade of Dismal Gray, identical to the one in the photo.
42 bone rings, 1/2 inch in diameter.
That’s bone, not plastic. This will allow you to horrify your vegetarian friends at dinner by informing them that they’ve been eating off the cotton-swathed corpses of their furry friends.
PLACE MAT – Motif (Makes 37) . . . 1st rnd: Make 18 sc in bone ring. Join to first sc. 2nd rnd: Sc in same place as sl st, * ch 3, skip 2 sc, sc in next sc. Repeat from * around. Join. 3rd rnd: Sl st in first loop, ch 5, 5 d tr in same loop, 6 d tr in each loop around. Join.
A “d tr” is a “double treble”, in which you wrap the yarn three times around the hook instead of twice like in a regular old – boring! – treble crochet.

All I want to know is where is my double double treble crochet? As a proud Canadian, I demand my patterns have double doubles!

4th rnd: Sc in each d tr around. Join and break off.

Place 6 motifs around 1 motif for center, then place 12 motifs around for next rnd and 18 motifs for last rnd. Sew motifs neatly together.
As opposed to sewing them together haphazardly. Or messily. Apparently, you have to be reminded not to do a shoddy job after having spent every spare minute of the past month methodically wrapping thread around rings.
Block to measurements.

GLASS JACKET – Bottom . . . Make 1 motif as before until 4 rnds have been completed. Next rnd: Sc in each sc around. Repeat last rnd until piece measures same as bottom of glass. Break off.

Side Piece . . . Make 3 or 4 motifs as needed and sew together. Sew to bottom.
And you’re done! Now you too can have a dinner table with all the grace and refinement of a London back alley. For extra authenticity be sure to lightly sprinkle with used needles and condoms before calling your guests to the dinner table. It’s the little touches that make all the difference!
Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!


Deep Seas Sweater Pattern from “Guys in Nantuk Ombre”, 1972

Steve said no. He said he had his pride. Steve told his girlfriend Mary that as long as he had a shred of self respect, he’d never wear anything as ugly and effeminate as that sweater.

But then Mary looked him straight in the eye and growled, “Arr, matey! If ye wants me buried treasure, ye’ll don the sweater I made ye!”

Later, when the guys at the bar dubbed him Stevie the Swishy Seadog, he just smiled. Mary had already rewarded his unconditional surrender, until he’d shouted, "Shiver me Timbers!"

Who needs self respect, Steve thought, when there’s pirate booty to be had?

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

DEEP SEAS
Ahoy me hearties, ‘tis Talk Like a Pirate Day! And what better way to celebrate plundering pirate ways than by knitting up a nautically nasty sweater for a loved one?
You Need: Columbia Minerva

NANTUK OMBRE 4-PLY

(3 1/2 oz pull skeins): 6 (7-7-8)

Needles: One pair each “Boye” Sizes 6 & 8

Gauge: 9 sts to 2’’; 6 rows to 1’’
Okay, maybe there are other ways of being more pirate-like.
Back: With Size 6 needles cast on 90 (94-100-104). K1 & P1 in ribbing for 5’’. Change to Size 8 needles and start pat:

Row 1 – Right Size: K2 (4-1-3), * P2, K4, repeat from * across, end P2, K2 (4-1-3)

Row 2: P2 (4-1-3), * K2, P4, repeat from * across, end K2, P2 (4-1-3). Repeat these two rows for pat, working to 18’’, or desired length to underarm.
But who among us hasn’t fantasized about knitting up a silly pirate costume for our man, and then making him walk the gangplank on his knees...

Ahem. Where was I?
Armholes: Bind off 6 at beg of next 2 rows. Dec 1 each side every other row 6 times. Work on the 66 (70-76-80) sts to 9 (9 1/2-9 1/2-10)’’ above underarm.

Shoulders: Bind off 5 (6-7-8) at beg of next 2 rows then 8 at beg of next 4 rows. Sl rem’ing 24 (26-30-32) sts to a holder for neck.
My point is, "Talk Like a Pirate Day" isn’t just a day for the guys to play at being pirates. More women than you think took to the high seas, so embrace your inner pirate, ladies!
Front: Same as back to 3 (3 1/2-3 1/2-4)’’ above underarm, end on right side.

Neck: Work 25 (26-27-28) and sl them to a holder, work center 16 (18-22-24) and sl them to 2nd holder for neck, work to end. Dec 1 at neck on next row then every other row 3 times more. Work on the 21 (22-23-24) sts to match back armhole.

Shoulder: Bind off 5 (6-7-8) at armhole once then 8 at same edge twice. Starting at opposite neck edge, work other side.
In fact, your inner pirate is second mate to no man! So tell that scurvy seadogof yours, “I've crushed seventeen men's skulls between me thighs!” I guarantee he’ll fall at your feet.
Sleeves: With Size 6 needles, cast on 48 (52-52-56). K1 & P1 in ribbing for 5’’, inc’ing 24 across last row. Change to Size 8 needles and work in pat as for back on the 72 (76-76-80) sts to about 19’’ from start.

Sleeve Cap: Bind off 6 at beg of next 2 rows. Dec 1 each side every row 6 (8-8-10) times then every other row until 24 rem. Bind off 2 at beg of next 4 rows. Bind off. Sew sleeves in place then sew side and sleeve seams.
With any luck, that’ll be passion you’ll see in his eyes, not hysteria. (Although they’re easy for a Pirate Queen to get mixed up.)
Neckband: Sew left shoulder seam. On right side, starting at open shoulder, wide Size 6 needles, pick up and K 96 (100-108-112) around neck, including holders. K1 & P1 in ribbing for 10 rows. K next row for turn then K1 & P1 in ribbing for 10 more rows. Bind off in ribbing. Seam shoulder and neckband. Fold in half and sew to inside.

Belt Tabs: Cast on 18: K1 & P1 for 3’’. Bind off. Sew 2 to back and 2 to front.
Aye, you’ll need an astonishing amount of grog to ignore the extreme lameness of the “Belt Tabs”. But they will make it harder for him to escape your clutches. . . I mean, warm embrace!

So, with a yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum, this is Victoria AKA Mad Morgan Bonney wishin’ ye clear sailing!
My pirate name is:
Mad Morgan Bonney

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network
Yar.

Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Friday, September 18, 2009

DIY –When Bad Patterns Go Good!



I was thrilled to open my mailbox yesterday and find an e-mail from Hind, of Alexandria, Egypt.

Long time readers will remember Hind as the talented creator of a series of Poodle Soap Cozies and Pincushion. She made those poodles more beautiful than I would have ever guessed was possible. And she’s done it again!

But I’ll let Hind speak for herself:

"I send to you today some variations on a certain pattern from your blog archive. I hope you will recognize it, although it is very much hidden under a pile of ribbon and crochet flowers."

Did I recognize it? Not at all! After all, this is the original photo from 1952:



Shudder

Let's look at the rest of Hind's photos, instead:

Hind writes: “It is the amazing, unique, flower-pot cover project. I tried hard to figure it out, following the trial and error method. I don't think that it was a planned project at all, as the crochet squares are incomplete. There should have been a 10th round, for which the 9th round is a chain scallop foundation, exactly as the 7th round is a chain foundation for the 8th.

I don't believe that the lady who has crocheted those pretty squares is the same one who had that bright idea of crumpling them, to force them to take the shape of the rounded pots, without much success, as the photo shows.”

Hind successfully transformed this pattern from badly-fitting flower pot diapers to an elegant pillow and set of doilies that you could display with pride anywhere. Amazing!

 

Hind has a theory about the origins of this pattern:

“My idea is that the staff of editors of that book were facing a financial problem which forced them to hurry up and print the issue they had not finished. They had some empty pages which had to be filled at once so they grabbed anything they found and came out with that strange idea on the spur of the moment.

One of them tried to figure out the pattern and write it down, in a haste trying her best to ‘stretch’ the written instructions. Meanwhile an artist was painting the picture in the frame, while one or two colleagues were busy sewing, tying, and trying to fit the crochet lace on the pots. They even forgot to put a plate under each pot to protect the polished table-top from water and scratches. They took one photo, sent the book to the printer, and hoped that nobody would be so foolish to try to make that unbelievable thing.”

Hind’s theory sounds completely plausible to me!

 

She further explains:

“My work is an attempt to use that pattern, in the way it was meant to be. I first made the small set of three doilies. I joined the squares on the 6th round. The rounds 7, 8, 9, 10 form the border. I made the pillow cover the same way, using thin Acrylic yarn, while all the doilies are made of unbleached cotton thread.”



“The square doily is the closest attempt to recreate the original pattern, as the missing 10th round suggests that the squares were meant to be joined by picots, to keep a certain distance between the individual motifs. I kept the border simple, because I did not want to distract the eyes from the main pattern. I hope that I have done justice to the unknown designer, whose work was so badly treated in the past.”

Kudos to you, Hind, for finding beauty in a very unexpected place!

Read more!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Be Ashamed. Be Very Ashamed.

Mantilla pattern from Gay Teen Ideas, Book No. 213, 1944

“Eye-eye appeal,” huh? I wonder if I have eye-eye appeal. Let’s see what “Gay Teen Ideas” has to say about that:

Here’s Looking at You...

Whatever nature dished out to you in the way of looks, once you’re old enough to think about them, you, and nobody but you, is responsible for the Result. You can start out with a pretty sweet chassis and end up, thanks to poor diet, no exercise and slovenly grooming, in the droopy dept. On the other hand you can begin with a skimpy beauty capital and...
With the assistance of a few sub-prime loans and a heck of a lot of plastic surgery...
...turn yourself into an honest-to-goodness self-made Cutie.
At least until the bottom falls out of the market and the breast implant bubble bursts.
Just don’t expect a fairy godmother to come around with a magic wand and do it for you. You’ll have to do it all by your sweet determined little self and what’s more, keep at it as regular as eating.
Except that you’ve given up eating, which has the dual benefit of saving money and making you more svelte. It’s a win-win!
Let’s start with that prize possession, P-O-I-S-E. It’s one part being sure of yourself and that comes from good grooming – omit pins in the hem, thank you, snow-white collar, shining, clean brushed hair, a lovely, clean, fragrant smell (deodorant dept. please note!). The other part is knowing how to stand and walk. Most people haven’t learned the simple art of holding their spines straight, and they develop torsos that look like the bumps.
That’s right. You know that girl in your class with an S-shaped spine and a back brace? It’s all her fault. She never bothered to learn how to hold her spine straight, or tried to develop P-O-I-S-E. Next time you see her, be sure to tell her.
Try this for size. Stand ten inches away from wall, knees slightly bent, arms at side. Lean back against wall and settle the small of your back smack against it. Now poo-osh the back of your neck against the wall, keeping chin in and down. Make sure there’s no daylight between the small of your back and wall. Now slowly raise your arms straight over your head to wall and bring ‘em back to your sides without budging that back. Repeat ten times, A.M. and P.M.
Just ignore your parents when they mutter about obsessive-compulsive behavior. They just don’t understand how important it is to be P-E-R-F-E-C-T.
Please remember that health equals beauty. Anyone can tell by looking at you if you’re a lots-of-green-salad, plenty-of-fruit-milk-and-eggs gal or the fancy-desert-and-candy type. If your waistline doesn’t give you away, your skin will.
Yes, everyone can tell just by looking at you. And everyone is looking at you. They’re all judging you, too!
Want to glow all over and make other people glow at the sight of you?
Become a vampire that sparkles in the daylight?
Want all the nice happy things of life to come your way naturally?
That’s right baby-doll, only pretty people get nice, happy things. So put that Geometry book down and start exercising right now!
Want to make it easy for people to like you?
Because God knows, it ain’t easy now.
Remember it doesn’t happen unless you make it happen. And remember it can happen!
And if it doesn’t happen, it’s because you haven’t tried hard enough.
What are you waiting for?
A hug?

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

After having read the exhortation above, you’re now in exactly the right frame of mind to crochet up something to hide your hideousness.
Materials: CHADWICK’S RED HEART WOOL FLOSS, (2 ply), 4 balls (1 oz. balls) of Baby Pink.

Bone Crochet Hook No. 8.

Starting at short end, make a chain 16 inches long. 1st row: In 7th ch from hook make 2 tr, ch 3 and 2 tr, * skip 5 ch, in next ch make 2 tr, ch 3 and 2 tr (a shell made). Repeat from * across until there are 10 shells in all, ending with skip 2 ch, tr in next ch. Ch 4, turn. Cut off remaining chain. 2nd row: * In nex ch-3 sp make 2 tr, ch 3 and 2 tr. Repeat from * across, ending with a tr in top of turning chain. Ch 4, turn. Repeat the 2nd row until piece measures 36 inches in all. Do not break off.

EDGING . . . Ch 4 and, working around all outer edges, make a shell in each st and in each sp. Join with a sl st in top st of ch-4. Break off.
Now go and press the small of your back against the wall, you hunchbacked creature, you!

Or you could just make your sweet, determined self a jelly roll instead. It’s included in “Gay Teen Ideas,” so you know it’s going to give you eye-eye appeal:
This is the ticket to any beaux’s heart. It’s a jelly roll-your-own and absolutely melts in your mouth. One egg white and 4 tablespoons of jelly – grape, currant or what have you – get whipped together with an egg-beater until stiff. With this spread 18 graham crackers. Form into a roll.
Good luck rolling those graham crackers!
Cover top and sides of roll with jelly fluff and pop into refrigerator. Leave severely alone for 5 hrs. To serve, cut crosswise.

P.S. All to the good – it’s not fattening!

And here I am, throwing myself out the window in despair after discovering that not only don’t graham crackers roll, but that I’ve also completely wrecked my diet by serving “non-fattening” jelly-rolls with scrambled eggs and chicken livers.

However, if you haven’t given up on your goal of becoming a self-made Cutie, here’s some more well-meaning, hectoring advice to live by!



Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How're You Doin' Toots?

Brightener-Upper Vest from Gay Teen Ideas, Book No. 213, 1944

Who can resist a fashion party game for the 1940’s CosmoGirl? For that matter, who can resist a 1940s pattern book that includes advice, quizzes and recipes for Gay Teens?

Here’s the Quiz, without a single, sequined word changed:

See how good you are at scrambling accessories. You get 7 points for each correct answer. A score of 63 is passing, 77 or over shows you’re practically psychic when it comes to fashion. The answers – and no fair peeking – are upside down on the opposite page.

1. What’s white all over, sprinkled with sequins and as warm as the admiration it’s bound to provoke?

2. Identify a South American neighbor who’s very much at home on North American lapels.

3. Which two, made for each other, make sparkling companions when you take them on a date?

4. When is it perfectly legal to pass yourself off as something you’re really not?

5. If you have a twenty-two inch waist and want to call attention to it, what do you do?

6. To what other two uses can you easily put the crocheted pompon shown (opposite) on a shoe?

7. What’s not really a hat but goes to your head anyhow?

8. What’s one of the most successful methods ever discovered for giving an old blouse a new interest in life?

9. What would your best friend like for her new compact?

10. When wouldn’t your mother object to your “going steady” with a French sailor?

11. What’s got strings on it and goes everywhere you do like Mary’s little lamb?

12. What adds drama to a dull neckline and is a smart piece of “show business”?

13. When is a beanie STOP LOOK news?

14. How many of these accessories could you personally use? How many would you like to make?
Click on image to see it larger.

I failed to get a passing grade! Sob!

Try it yourself, and let me know how you did. Remember, it’s not enough to know which square holds the answer; you also need to know what it’s called or why it’s special. Anyone caught cheating will be sent to the Eastern Front.

P. S. If any of these accessories strike you as a “must have,” let me know. I may be able to feature it in another post.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

A young diarist writes “Wore the new vest. I finished it last night. Midge was delirious about it!” Based on the evidence in these pictures, I’m thinking Midge isn’t the delirious one.
Brightener-Upper . . . flower blooming vest, sweet, sunny, all-seasonable.

Materials: CHADWICK’S RED HEART KNITTING WORSTED, 8 balls (1 oz. balls) for Size 12; 9 balls for Size 14; 10 balls for Size 16.

Bone Crochet Hook No. 7.

18 decorative hooks.

4 yards of Redy-Cut Felt Braid.

1 package of Redy-Cut Felt Appliqué No. 102.
Don’t you love the way the girls are both peering at the boy’s hand. Is it just me, or do their expressions suggest he’s just pulled a particularly unattractive toad out of his pocket?
BLOCKING MEASUREMENTS:

SIZES: 12, 14, 16

Bust: 31’’, 33’’, 35’’

Waist: 25’’, 27’’, 29’’
The quiz above suggested a 22 inch waist was ideal, but evidently the designer of this vest was willing to give girls a little more breathing room.
Length from top of shoulder: 17 1/2’’, 18 1/2’’, 19 1/2’’

Side Seam: 6 1/2’’, 7 1/2’’, 7 1/2’’

Width at back between armholes: 12 1/2’’, 13 3/4’’, 15’’

Depth of armhole: 11’’, 11’’, 12’’
Who says pressure to conform to an ideal body type is a modern phenomenon?
GAUGE: 1 shell makes 1 1/4 inches; 2 rows makes 1 inch.

SIZES: 12, 14, 16
The sizes are repeated here just in case your teenaged brain has already forgotten them. Probably because that sailor you’ve been going steady with just sauntered past.
BACK . . . Starting at bottom, chain 42 sts (42 sts, 50 sts) to measure 13’’ (13’’, 15 1/2’’).

1st row: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, * skip next ch, in following ch make (dc, ch 1) twice and dc (a shell made); skip next ch, sc in following ch. Repeat from * across. There are on row 10 shells (10 shells, 12 shells). Ch 4, turn.

2nd row: Dc in 1st sc (half a shell made), * sc in center dc of next shell, make a shell in next sc. Repeat from * across, ending with dc in last sc, ch 1, dc in same sc (half a shell made). Ch 1, turn.

3rd row: Sc in 1st dc, * shell in next sc, sc in center dc of next shell. Repeat from * across, ending with shell in last sc, sc in 3rd st of turning chain. Ch 4, turn.

4th row: In 1st sc make dc, ch 1 and dc, * sc in center dc of next shell, shell in next sc. Repeat from * across. There are on row 11 shells (11 shells, 13 shells). Ch 4, turn.
Of course Freddy is still the champ! He’s a ducky shincracker who called you a dilly instead of “some of Hitler’s work, no doubt”.
5th row: Dc in 1st dc, sc in next dc, * shell in next sc, sc in center dc of next shell. Repeat from * across, ending with dc in 3rd st of turning chain, ch 1, dc in same place as last dc. Ch 1, turn.

6th, 7th and 8th rows: Repeat 3rd, 4th and 5th rows. Now repeat 3rd and 2nd rows alternately over these 12 shells (12 shells, 14 shells) until, ending with the 3rd row, piece measures 6 1/2’’ (7 1/2’’, 7 1/2’’). Ch 1, turn.

To Shape Armholes: 1st row: Sl st in 1st sc, sl st in next dc, ch 1, sc in center dc of same shell. Ch 1, turn.

2nd row: Repeat last row once more. There remain on row 10 shells (10 shells, 12 shells). Work straight in pattern until piece measures from 1st row of armhole shaping 11’’ (11’’, 12’’). Break off.
Besides, during WWII, what red-blooded teenaged girl wasn’t khaki whacky?
RIGHT FRONT . . . Starting at bottom, chain 22 sts (26 sts, 26 sts) to measure 6 1/2’’ (8’’, 8’’).

1st, 2nd and 3rd rows: Work 1st, 2nd and 3rd rows of Back. There are on row 5 shells (6 shells, 6 shells). Ch 4, turn.

4th row: In 1st sc make dc, ch 1 and dc (this is side edge, the front edge is kept straight), work in pattern across. Ch 1, turn.

5th row: Sc in 1st dc, work in pattern across, ending with sc in center dc of last shell, dc in 3rd st of turning chain, ch 1, dc in same place as last dc. Ch 1, turn.

6th row: Repeat 3rd row.

7th row: Sc in 1st dc, work in pattern across, ending with a shell in last sc. Ch 4, turn.
Now I know why these girls are delirious over this vest. It’s the massive amounts of coffee they had to imbibe in order to stay focused on this crochet project. Well, the coffee or the cocaine.
8th row: Dc in 1st dc, sc in center dc of next shell, work in pattern across. Ch 1, turn. Work straight in pattern over these 6 shells (7 shells, 7 shells) until, ending at side edge, piece measures 6 1/2’’ (7 1/2’’, 7 1/2’’). Ch 1, turn.

To Shape Armhole and Front Edge: 1st row: (Side edge) Sl st in 1st sc, sl st in next dc, ch 1, sc in center dc of same shell. Work in pattern across, ending with sc in center dc of next to the last shell. Ch 1, turn.

2nd row: Repeat 1st row of armhole shaping of Back. There remain on row 3 shells (4 shells, 4 shells). Ch 4 to turn on Sizes 12 and 16. Ch 1 to turn on Size 14.

On Size 14 only: Repeat 1st row of armhole shaping of Back once more.

There remain on row 3 shells (3 shells, 4 shells).

On all sizes work straight in pattern until piece measures from 1st row of armhole shaping 11’’ (11’’, 12’’). Break off.

LEFT FRONT . . . Work exactly the same as Right Front.
And now for the fun part! Hours and hours of sewing and blocking. Better make sure you have enough coke on hand to get you through the night.
Sew underarms and shoulder seams. With right side facing work a row of sc evenly around armholes. Then work sl st in each sc around. Finish entire outer edge in same way. With matching thread, sew felt braid along entire outer edge and along edges of armholes. Apply felt appliqués as illustrated, or to suit individual taste. Sew hooks evenly apart along front edges. Make a tight chain 1 1/2 yards long and lace front edges together. Make a knot at both ends of chain.

Wait just one darn minute! Do you mean to tell me this is the only guidance I get? That I’m supposed to simply “wing it” when it comes to appliquéing the front of this vest?

I protest! I demand –

Oh, look, a poodle!


Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pink Ladies on Parade

“Coke Jackets” pattern from Gay Teen Ideas, Book No. 213, 1944

Oh my, my! Where do I start? With the Gay Teen jokes? The Cocaine jokes? Or shall I speculate on what those tiny Satanic dancing glyphs are planning for those coked-up Gay Teens?

How about I let the pattern booklet speak for itself. Warning: Cool 1940s teen lingo dead ahead:

“Listen, something pretty pulsating is going on. The coke crowd’s going to town with its very own knitting and crocheting Teen Fashions smooth and super with plenty of paprika to make those beaux’ eyes blink. One swift look-see inside is enough to make any girl with an oz. of get-up-and-go in her veins take to her needles.”

Right, it’s definitely Coke jokes today. With a side of Heroin.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

When housewives in grass skirts and spaghetti piled on their heads begin playing the French horn in your ear, you’ve done too much coke.
COKE JACKETS

Materials: J. & P. COATS KNIT-CRO-SHEEN, 1 ball of Yellow

J. & P. COATS or CLARK’S O.N.T. PEARL COTTON, size 5, 1 ball of Spanish Red.

Steel Crochet Hook No. 3.

The above amount of material will make 2 bottle jackets.
One for you and your best friend. Apparently, your second best friend will have to fend for herself.
Divide thread into 2 equal parts and use double thread throughout.
Make sure you’ve got two actual threads, and aren’t just seeing double. While you’re at it, check whether you’re sharing your coke with two friends or just one.
BOTTOM . . . Work same as bottom of No. 2190 on page 31 until piece is same diameter as bottom of bottle.
You know, these instructions aren’t very long, and it wouldn’t have been difficult to include them here. Obviously, the editor doesn’t have an ounce of get-up-and-go in their veins.

Good thing for you, I’m pretty pulsating right now:
Starting at center of bottom, ch 2. 1st rnd: 7 sc in 2nd ch from hook. 2nd rnd: 2 sc in each sc around. 3rd rnd: * Sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc (an inc). Repeat from * around. 4th rnd: Sc in each sc around, increasing as necessary to keep work flat. Repeat last round until piece is same diameter as bottom of glass, having number of sts on rnd divisible by 3.

Then work sl st in each sc around. Break off.
Members of the Coke crowd were renowned for their ability to divide accurately. They were especially good with grams and ounces.
SIDE . . . Ch 22 to measure 3 inches. 1st row: Sc in 4th ch from hook, * ch 1, skip 1 ch, sc in next ch. Repeat from * across. Ch 3, turn. 2nd row: Sc in 1st ch-1 sp, * ch 1, sc in next sp. Repeat from * across, ending with ch 1, sc in sp formed by turning chain. Ch 3, turn. Repeat 2nd row until piece fits around bottle. Break off.

Hang on... did any of you see that?
CORD FOR LETTERING . . . Cut 3 strands of Pearl Cotton each 1 1/2 yards long. Twist these strands tightly, then double the twisted strands and give them a second twist in the opposite direction. Knot free ends. Wrote “Coke” on a piece of thin paper. Pin this paper in place on Side.
Wait, just “Side”? No wrong side or right side, or even inside or outside? How will I know which Side they mean?
Following the writing, sew Cord through the paper onto Side. Pull end of Cord through to wrong side and fasten securely.
Perhaps Side, like Reality, is relative. Yeah. It’s all defined by our consciousness, man. Whoa... look at the walls. I think they’re breathing!
Sew short ends of Side together. Pin one end of Side to outer edge of Bottom. Sew Side in place catching only 1 loop o each sc on Bottom. Attach thread in top edge, work sc evenly around. Join with sl st in 1st sc. Break off.

Ack! My hallucinations are rioting!

Seriously, I’ve got to lay off the banana yellow Knit-Cro-Sheen
Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Speaking of Austin Powers, the Fifth Grade Musical...

Bolero and Pants Set from Playground Capers, Pattern Book B3, c. 1975

It was a joke. A joke!

I didn’t mean little girls should actually start impersonating Mike Myers.


Because that’s just wrong!

Unless they’re competing in the West Virginia Walk of Fame, as seen on Toddlers & Tiaras, because it’ll win you the Grand Supreme! Not that I’ve ever watched that show. Really. I don’t even have it set on my DVR to record every Wednesday at 10 p.m. on TLC.

Because that would be wrong.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

BOLERO

MATERIALS: 3 – 2 oz balls BOUQUET 4 ply KNITTING WORSTED WOOL or BOUQUET 3 ply SPORTS YARN.

1 only #2 PERFECTO 5’’ plastic crochet hook.

SIZES: Small/Medium/Large

Fit chest up to: 24’’/28’’/32’’

Directions given for small size, other sizes in brackets.

TENSION: 2 1/2’’ over one shell using No 2 hook for all sizes.

To make: Work in on one piece to armholes. Ch 87 (95, 103).

Row 1: 1 tr in 6th ch from hook, * sk 3, ch 1, shell in next ch; sk 3 ch, 1 tr in next ch. Rep from * to end of row ending with 2 tr. Ch 4, turn – 10 (11, 12) shell patterns in row.
That’s right – just “shell”. You know what that means, right?

No?

Okay, neither do I. I mean, I know what a shell is, but there’s so many different kinds!

However, this might work: *sk 3, ch 1, (2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr) in next ch – one shell made, sk 3 ch, 1 tr in next ch. (Although I’m a tad suspicious of that “ch 1” just sitting in there – what’s it for?)

And then when you start on the next row, make sure you make the new shells in the center ch 2 spaces of the old shells.

Let me know if this works!
Rows 2 and 3: Work 2 rows even in shell pattern as first row.

RIGHT FRONT

Row 4: Work shell over shell twice, then 1 tr in next tr, ch 4, turn.

Row 5: Shell in ch 2 sp, 1 tr in tr, (1 tr, ch 2, 1 tr) in next ch 2 sp, 2 tr in edge. Ch 4, turn.

Row 6: 1 tr in next tr, 1 tr in ch 2 sp, 1 tr in next tr, 1 shell in ch 2 sp, 1 tr in turning ch, ch 4, turn.

Row 7: 1 shell in next ch 2 sp, 1 tr in next tr, sk 1 tr, 2 tr in edge, ch 4, turn.

Row 8: 1 tr in next tr, 1 shell in ch 2 sp, 1 tr in turning ch. Fasten off – 8 rows.
Of course, if your child wins the Grand Supreme because of my crochet instructions, I want a percentage of the loot. And the tiara!
BACK

Sk 1 shell at underarm and work across 4 (5, 6) shell patterns at back for 5 rows. Fasten off.

LEFT FRONT

Sk 1 shell at underarm and work decreases at front edge to correspond to other front.

To finish: Join at shoulder seams and work 1 row of 6 dc shells around back neck, front and lower edges and armholes.

Finish all ends.
Well, that was not as easy as the Fringed Vest and Headband. On the other hand, assuming I guessed correctly with regards to the shell pat, it shouldn’t be too hard.

Of course, that might be assuming a lot.

Oh, and we’ve still got to make the pants!
PANTS

MATERIALS: 9 – 2 oz balls BOUQUET 4 ply KNITTING WORSTED WOOL or BOUQUET 3 ply SPORTS YARN.

1 only #2 PERFECTO 5’’ plastic crochet hook.

SIZES & TENSION: As Pattern E:
AKA the Bolero
To make: Start at waist – ch 88 (96, 104) – Join in a circle taking care not to twist chain.

Round 1: Ch 3 – 1 dc in each ch – 88 (96, 104) dc in ring.

Round 2: Work 1 row in shell pat as given for skirt – 11 (12, 13) shells in round.
Skirt? There’s a skirt?

Well, what do you know! Here’s what the Skirt pat looks like:

“Round 2: Ch 4 *sk 3 dc, (2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr) in next dc shell made; sk 3 dc, 1 tr in next dc – repeat from * to end of round, joining last shell to ch 4.”

Which means that I guessed right with regards to the type of shell required. But it still doesn’t solve the mystery of that extra ch 1 space in the Bolero pattern.

I think it might even be... gasp, a typo!

Boy, I hope you haven’t already tried to make the Bolero.
Work 4 more rounds even.

To divide for the legs: Ch 12 (16, 12).
Yeah... legs. Utterly see-through, lacy pant legs that will force the child to wear thick, wooly tights if she doesn’t want to flash the entire school.

These tights will then ride down between her thighs and bunch in the toes of her boots, and all the tugging in the world won’t make it any better. Or less itchy.

Traumatized by growing up in the seventies? Not me!
Small: Join to ch 2 sp of the 6th shell in round – 1/2 way. This divides round into two equal parts.

Next round: Ch 4, 1 tr, ch 2, 2 tr in the ch 2 sp where ch 12 was joined; sk 3 ch, 1 tr in next ch; sk 3 ch, 1 shell in next ch, sk 3 ch, 1 tr in the beg of chain, then complete the round in shell pattern – 7 shells in round for leg.

Medium: Join ch 16 to tr after 6th ch in round. This divides round into 2 equal parts.

Next round: Ch 4, sk 3 ch, 1 shell in next ch, sk 3 ch, 1 tr in next ch, sk 3 ch, 1 shell in next ch, sk 3 ch, 1 tr in the beg of the ch; then complete round in shell pattern – 8 shells in round for leg.

Large: Join ch 12 to ch 2 sp of the 7th shell in round – 1/2 way. This divides the round in 2 equal parts.

Next round: Ch 4, 1 tr ch 2, 2 tr in the ch 2 sp where ch 12 was joined; sk 3 ch, 1 tr in next ch; sk 3 ch, 1 shell in next ch, sk 3 ch, 1 tr in the beg of the chain; then complete the found in shell pattern – 8 shells in round for leg.

Now work on theses 7 (8, 8) shells for 10 (11, 12) more rows.

To make flare bottom: Next round: Ch 4 (2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr) in ch 2 sp, (1 tr, ch 2, 1 tr) in tr of last row – continue in pat for 3 (4, 4) more shells – (1 tr, ch 2, 1 tr) in next tr, then complete round.
Flare bottoms! Wow, that brings back memories of my absolutely, favorite outfit when I was in kindergarten. It was a red velour jumpsuit that looked just like this:


But without the cleavage.
Next round: Ch 4, (2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr) in ch 2 sp, 1 tr in next tr (2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr) in ch 2 sp, 1 tr in next tr – 1 shell inc. Continue around in shell pat to next inc st then increase 1 shell in same manner – complete round 9 (10, 10) shells in round.

Work 4 (5, 6) rows even in shell pat.
Of course the best thing about that jumpsuit was that I didn’t have to wear wooly tights under it.
Finish edge by making 6 dc in ch 2 sp, sc in tr – rep around for scallop edge.

Work other leg to correspond.

To finish: Make a 60’’ chain of double yarn and thread through dc round.
And if I looked like an escapee from a tiny tot ABBA tribute band, so much the better!

I’d still dress like that, if I could get away with it.

Waterloo! Couldn't escape if I wanted to!
Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Attack of the Tiny Purple People Eater!

Fringed Vest and Headband Pattern from Playground Capers, Pattern Book B3, c. 1975

Sure, she looks sweet and innocent, but that’s not a little girl, that’s a shape shifting alien. Every single one of those fringes is actually a tentacle. And she’s just waiting for a chance to grab you in her deadly acrylic embrace, and suck every ounce of life right out of you, just like the salt creature tried to do to Captain Kirk in The Man Trap.

You buying any of this?

No?

Fine, but if you do send your daughter to school in this outfit, it had better be because she’s trying out for the fifth grade production of Austin Powers: The Musical.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

FRINGED VEST and HEADBAND

MATERIALS: 3 – 2 oz balls BOUQUET 4 ply RADIANT SPUN Knitting Worsted.
Or any worsted weight acrylic you want. Don’t let the giant capitalized letters intimidate you.
SIZES: Small/Medium/Large

Fit chest up to: 24’’/28’’/32’’

TENSION per inch: 4 pat/3 1/2 pat/3 pat

Perfecto crochet hook: No. 4/No. 3/No. 2

To make: Starting at bottom edge ch 96.

Row 1: Make sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 1 * skip 1 ch, sc in next ch, ch 1 – rep from * with sc in last ch. Ch 1, turn – 48 sc in row.

Row 2: * Skip first sc, sc over ch, ch 1, skip next sc, sc over ch, ch 1 – rep from * to end of row making last sc in edge of row – (48 sc) ch 1 and turn.
I'm guessing that “sc over ch” means “sc in ch 1 space”. Who needs clarity in patterns, anyway? It’s little puzzles like this that make crocheting so exciting!
Rep 2nd row 5 times more (7 rows in all).

RIGHT FRONT

Row 8: Keeping in pattern, work 11 sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 9: Work in pattern for 10 sc, omit ch 1 between 10th and 11th sc, making 11th sc in edge as usual, ch 1, turn.

Row 10: Skip first 2 sc and make sc in next ch sp. Work across row in pattern – 10 sc. Continue dec in this manner at edge until 4 sc left and 23 rows have been completed for front. Fasten off.

BACK

Skip 3 sc at underarm – work 16 rows in pattern for back on 22 sc. Fasten off.

LEFT FRONT

Skip 3 sc at underarm and work to correspond with right front. Fasten off. Sew shoulder seams.

To finish: Work sc around armholes, neck and front edges. Knot 3 – 24’’ strands doubles through each st along botton edge. Knot 3 – 8’’ strands doubled in each st of the 10th row from top across fronts and back. Make 36’’ ch of double yarn, and knot 2 strands doubled through each end for tassel. Lace up front.
I have to admit, this is a delightfully simple pattern. Sure, my kids would rather die than wear it to school, but as soon as the Global Warming Rebound Ice Age begins, I am totally crocheting these fringed vests up for everyone I know.

I figure human popsicles can’t afford to be picky.

HEADBAND

Ch 200.

Row 1: Make sc in 2nd ch from hook, * ch 1, skip 1 ch, sc in next ch – rep from * across row ending with sc in last ch, turn.

Row 2: Ch 1, skip 1st sc, 1 sc in ch space, * ch 1, skip sc, 1 sc in ch sp rep from * across row, making last sc in edge of work. Turn.
Hey, wait just one darn minute! Now the author is using “1 sc in ch space” instead of “sc over ch”? I’m willing to let a little inconsistency slide between one pattern and the next, but inside the same pattern? That’s too much!

Unless... “Sc over ch” actually meant “make a long sc in the row directly below the ch 1 sp”? Whoops. Well, if that’s what the designer intended, she should have said so! It’s totally not my fault for having you led you astray. Right?
Rep last row 3 times more or until work is desired width. Fasten off.

To finish: Cut yarn 18’’ long and knot 2 strands doubled at end of each row.
Either way, it’s not like making long stitches instead of ch 1 spaces would make this vest any warmer.

Yep, the Ice Age has arrived, and your children are freezing. But at least you can laugh at their purple fringes.

Humor is so important during times of crisis.
Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!