Thursday, May 27, 2010

See You in September...



Handmade by Mother will be on summer hiatus for the months of June, July and August 2010. It’s not because I need a vacation from blogging (okay, maybe I do), but due to all the travelling I’ll be doing this summer. In fact, some of the more exotic, isolated locales I’ll be visiting won’t have access to the interwebs.

You guessed it – I’m going to Northern Ontario! I’ll bet you a shiny nickel that you’re totally jealous. After all, I’m going to be abducted by aliens on the Canadian Shield, and then gaze with wonder at wild animals in their natural habitat.


I promise I’ll be back, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, on September 7th, with more tacky vintage patterns and tasteless modern snark. I know I’m taking a terrible risk of losing all of you to a summer love, but I’ve got a top-secret game plan to ensure that I’ll see you when the summer’s through...

For the complete top secret game plan:


POODLEFEST 2010 BEGINS SEPTEMBER 7th!



Be there or be square!



Read more!

Happy Blogiversary!

Peter Pan collar from “Fluffy Ruffles”, 1951

Poor Sandy. All year, she was a good girl. She obeyed her parents, thought of others before herself, was only seen and never heard.

And this was the thanks she got on her birthday. A cupcake instead of a birthday cake. One lousy candle instead of seven (with one more to grow on). And a hand-me-down velveteen dress that used to belong to her odious big sister, Jane.

“Don’t sulk, Sandy,” Mother scolded. “I crocheted that Peter Pan collar so the dress would be like new. It’s what my mother did when I was growing up. I thought a good girl like you would understand.”

Sandy understood, all right. Unlike her mother, she understood that the privations of the Great Depression and the War Years were over. What’s more, she understood that doing the whole good girl routine from becoming a Brownie to becoming a housewife was for saps. Mom and Jane could go ahead and be patsies, but Sandy wouldn’t be conned anymore.

And when she grew up, she’d never wear Peter Pan collars again!


For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Peter Pan

MATERIALS:

Clark’s O.N.T. Best Six Cord Mercerized Crochet, Art. B.4, Size 50: 2 balls of White . . . Milwards Steel Crochet Hook No. 12.

Starting at inner edge of collar, ch 203 to measure 12 inches.

1st row: Sc in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), ch 5, skip 3 ch, sc in next ch, * ch 1, picot, ch 5, skip 3 ch, sc in next ch. Repeat from * across. Turn.
Hang on, since when do you make a picot by single crocheting in a chain? Where’s the slip stitching? I was raised to believe you can’t make a picot without slip stitching!
2nd to 11th rows incl: Sl st to center of first loop, sc in same loop, * ch 1, picot, ch 5, sc in next loop. Repeat from * across. Turn. Break off at end of 11th row.
It’s bad enough Sandy got a fake birthday cake and gift, but she also got a fake picot?
EDGING . . . 1st row: Attach thread to end of first row on collar, sc in same place, * ch 5, sc in next loop. Repeat from * across to opposite end of first row. Ch 1, turn.

2nd row: Cut 6 strands of thread slightly longer than outer edge of collar. Working over these strands, make 6 sc in each sp. Cut off remaining strands. Ch 1, turn.

3rd row: * Picot, ch 5, skip 4 sc, sc in next sc, ch 1. Repeat from * across, ending with sc in last sc. Ch 5, turn.
Yeah, you keep telling yourself that your daughter won’t notice it’s not a real picot. One day, she’ll be surfing the interwebs and discover it’s a FAKE!
4th row: * Sc in next loop, ch 5. Repeat from * across. Ch 1, turn.

5th row: Repeat 2nd row.

6th row: * Picot, ch 5, skip 2 sc, sc in next sc, ch 1. Repeat from * across, ending with sc in last sc. Ch 1, turn.
Your daughter will never trust you again. Next thing you know, she won’t listen to your warning not to mix Pop Rocks and Coca Cola and when her stomach explodes, it’ll be all your fault!
7th and 8th rows: * Picot, ch 5, sc in next loop, ch 1. Repeat from * across. Ch 1, turn. Break off at end of 8th row. Attach thread to inner edge of collar and sc closely across. Break off.

Starch lightly and press.
Because everybody knows what will happen if you don’t starch lightly...

But what is absolutely, 100% true is how much fun Handmade by Mother has been over the past year. I’m grateful to every single DIYer, commenter, linker, and reader for supporting this labour of sick and twisted love. I look forward to a future filled with frightful knits and crochets.

Click here for the printable pattern.


Read more!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sew Easy!

Flower Duet from McCall’s Needlework and Crafts, Spring-Summer 1970

Your local theatre is holding auditions for Godspell, and you’re desperate for your chance to belt out Day by Day somewhere other than in the shower. But last year you lost the part of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ, Superstar to Shelley, who’s not even an alto! Rumour has it that she’s sleeping with the director Mike. So, how can you guarantee that this time, you’re the one singing songs of love to the big J.C.?

Why, this genuine 1970s sexy shift is sure to turn Mike’s head! If only to stare in wonderment at a dress that can simultaneously make any woman look flat-chested and lumpy in the chassis.

Just don’t forget your chunky jewelry, preferably made from the bones of some endangered animal, for a truly authentic feel. Plus, you can use it to knock out Shelley, and then you can tie her up with your matching daisy scarf. It’s not what Jesus would do, but he never had to deal with the cutthroat business that is musical theatre today.



For the complete pattern (and more snark!):


FLOWER DUET
The last time I checked a duet, even a flowery one, involved two people or musical instruments. Does this mean that somewhere out there is a matching men’s outfit?


Flower-striped shift with its own scarf alternates bands of chain stitch “daisies,” narrow rows of chain loops. Easy to crochet of Red Heart Wintuk Sport Yarn. In 8-14.
Hmm... I’m suspicious of any garment this large that claims to be “easy to crochet”, especially when it’s made of sport weight yarn. That’s a heck of a lot of teeny tiny stitches. So if it really is easy to crochet, odds are it’s going to be desperately tedious to crochet.

On the other hand, all those colourful “daisies”might just be enough to keep you from wanting to poke your eyes out with your crochet hooks, just to relieve the sheer boredom. Think of it as flower power, man.
SIZES: Directions for small size (8-10). Changes for medium size (12-14) and large size (16-18) are in parentheses.
Blocked Bust Size: 35’’ (38 ½’’-42’’).
For body measurements, see page 28.

And if your body measurements don’t all conveniently fall down one column – if you have, say, a Size 12 Bust and Size 16 Hips – then don’t even think about making this pattern.

Clearly, you don’t deserve pretty clothes. It’s nothing but sackcloth for you!
MATERIALS: Coats & Clark’s “Red Heart” Wintuk Sport Yarn, 2 (3-3) 2 oz. skeins Baby Aqua (A), 1 skein each of Grape (B), Bottle Green (C), Violet (D), Apple Green (E), Camel (F) and Royal Blue (G). Crochet hook size E. (Or English size 11.) Button. Yarn needle.

GAUGE: 4 ch-lps = 3 ½’’; 11 ch-lp rows = 2’’; each complete motif = 1 ¾’’ square. See page 24.
Take my word for it, page 24 is spectacularly unhelpful. Unless you feel like being hectored about the importance of gauge, while staring at a grainy picture of a stocking stitch square.

You do?

Well if that’s your bag, I won’t judge. You can find a scan of “YOU MUST BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE” over in the Happy Kwanzaa post.
COMPLETE MOTIF: Beg at center ch 5. Join with a sl st to form ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, * sc in ring, ch 9, sc in ring (corner lp made), ch 7, repeat from * 3 times. Join with a sl st in first sc – 8 lps. End off.

HALF MOTIF: Beg at center, ch 5. Join with a sl st to form ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in ring, * ch 7, sc in ring, ch 9, sc in ring, repeat from * once, ch 7 sc in ring – 5 lps. End off.

DRESS: BACK: Make 17 (18-20) complete motifs with A, 8 (9-10) complete motifs with B, C, D, E, F, and G. Make 2 half motifs with F (G-C) and D. Working from right to left, motifs are joined in following sequence:
Row 1 (lower edge): Complete Motifs: * B, E, D, A, F, G, C, A, repeat from * until 11 (12-13) complete motifs are joined. (See First Motif Band, below, for how to join.)
Spontaneity is not allowed! Each Motif MUST be joined in the proper colour sequence.
Row 2: Half motif D, then complete motif A, F, G, C, A, repeat from * on row 1 until 9 (10-11) complete motifs are joined, end half motif F (G-C).
Row 3: Complete Motifs: G, C, A, then repeat from * on row 1 until 9 (10-11) motifs are joined.
Row 4: Complete Motifs: A, then work from * on row 1 until 9 (10-11) motifs are joined.
Row 5: Complete Motifs: E, D, A, F, G, C, A, then work from * on row 1 until 9 (10-11) motifs are joined.
Row 6: Repeat row 2.
Row 7: Complete Motif: C, A, then work from * on row 1 until 7 (8-9) motifs are joined.
First Motif Band (lower band): From right side, arrange motifs in color sequence as on row 1. With large-eyed needle and matching colors, sew center of a ch-7 lp on first motif to center of a ch-7 lp on 2nd motif. End off. * Sk 3 lps on last motif joined, sew center of next ch-7 lp to center of a ch-7 lp on next motif. End off. Repeat from * until 11 (12-13) motifs are joined.
Wait, after making a total of 69 (76-84) Motifs, we now have to sew them all together? Individually?

I thought this was a crochet pattern! If I wanted to sew a 1970s daisy dress, I would. I already have the vintage material handy.

Okay, so technically that’s vintage daisy wallpaper. So what? Are you saying you’re too good for a wallpaper dress?
First Chain Loop Band: Row 1: Working along upper edge of joined motifs, from right side, sk 2 lps preceding joined lp on first motif, join A to 3rd lp from joining (corner lp), sc in same lp, (ch 3, sc in next lp on same motif) twice, * sc in next free corner lp on next motif, (ch 3, sc in next lp on same motif) twice. Repeat from * across – 22 (24-26) ch-3 lps. Ch 1, turn.
Row 2: Sc in first sc, * ch 3, sc in next sc, ch 3, sc in each of next 2 sc, repeat from * across, end (ch 3, sc in next sc) twice. Ch 1, turn.
Row 3: Repeat row 2. End off. Turn.
Row 4: Join B in first sc, sc in same sc, * ch 3, sc in next sc, ch 3, sc in each of next 2 sc, repeat from * across, end (ch 3, sc in next sc) twice. End off. Turn.
Row 5: With A, repeat row 4.
Row 6: With C, repeat row 4.
Row 7: Join A in first sc, sc in same sc, ch 1, sc in next sc (dec made), * ch 3, sc in each of next 2 sc, ch 3, sc in next sc, repeat from * across, end ch 1, sc in last sc (dec made). Ch 1, turn.
Row 8: Sc in each of first 2 sc, * ch 3, sc in each of next 2 sc, ch 3, sc in next sc, repeat fromo * across, end ch 3, sc in each of last 2 sc – 20 (22-24) ch-lps. Ch 1, turn.
Row 9: Sk first sc, sc in next sc, work in pat across, end ch 3, sk next sc, sc in last sc. End off.
So, when exactly does the “easy-to-crochet” part of this pattern begin?
2nd Motif Band: From right side, arrange motifs in color sequence as on row 2. Sk first 2 ch-lps on half D motif, sew next ch-7 lp to a ch-7 lp of next motif. End off. Continue to join motifs same as for first motif band until 9 ½’’ (10 ½’’-11 ½’’) motifs have been joined; sk 3 lps on last motif, sew next ch-lp to 3rd lp on F (G-C) half motif. Place 2nd motif band along top edge of last row of last Chain Loop Band, having motifs directly above motifs of previous Motif Band. With A (joining 1 lp to each sc), sew the 2 lps along lower edge of first half motif to first 2 sc on Chain Loop Band. Continue to sew 3 free lps of each motif to each corresponding sc on Chain Loop Band; sew 2 lps of last half motif to each of last 2 sc.
2nd Chain Loop Band: Row 1: Working along upper edge of last motif band, from right side, join A to first lp on half motif, sc in same lp, ch 3, sc in next lp on half motif, * sc in next corner lp on next motif, (ch 3, sc in next lp on same motif) twice. Repeat from * across, end last repeat ch 3, sc in last lp on last half motif – 20 (22-24) ch-lps. Ch 1, turn.
Rows 2-9: Repeat rows 2-9 of First Chain Loop Band, ending 18 (20-22) ch-lps on last row.
On the plus side, I’m definitely not bored!
3rd Motif Band: Working same as for First Motif Band, work in color sequence as for row 3. Sew 3 free lps of each motif to corresponding sc on last row of last Chain Loop Band.
3rd Chain Loop Band: Work same as rows 1-6 for First Chain Loop Band. End off. Turn.
Row 7: With A, work same as row 4. Do not end off. Ch 1, turn.
Rows 8 and 9: Repeat row 2. End off.
4th Motif Band: Repeat 3rd Motif Band, working color sequence row 4.
4th Chain Loop Band: Repeat 3rd Chain Loop Band.
5th Motif Band: Repeat 3rd Motif Band, working color sequence row 5.
5th Chain Loop Band: Work same as rows 1-4 on First Chain Loop Band. End off. Turn.
Row 5: Join A in first st, (sc, ch 1, sc) in same sc (inc made), ch 3, sc in next sc, work in pat across, end (sc, ch 1, sc) in last sc (inc made). End off. Turn.
Row 6: Join C in first sc, sc in same sc, ch 3, sc in next sc, work in pat across to within last 2 sc, end sc in next sc, ch 3, sc in last sc – 20 (22-24) ch-lps. End; turn.
Row 7: Join A in first sc, sc in same sc, ch 3, 2 sc in next sc, ch 3, sc in next sc, work in pat across to within last 2 sc, end 2 sc in next sc, ch 3, sc in last sc. Ch 1, turn.
Rows 8 and 9: Sc in first sc, * ch 3, sc in next 2 sc, ch 3, sc in next sc, repeat from * across. End off.
If this dress isn’t working out for you, there are always other – easier – options for achieving that vintage knitwear look.

Just look at Cate Blanchett – she’s cleverly stolen the blanket off her Nana’s rocking chair and has transformed it into the very height of fashion.


6th Motif Band: Repeat 2nd Motif Band, working color sequence row 6.
6th Chain Loop Band: Work same as rows 1-3 on 2nd Chain Loop Band. End off. Turn.
Shape Armhole: Row 1: Sk first 2 ch-lps on last row, join B in next sc, sc in same sc, * ch 3, sc in each of next 2 sc, ch 3, sc in next sc, repeat form * to within last 2 ch-lps – 16 (18-20) ch-lps. End; turn.
Row 2: Join A to center ch of first ch-lp, sc in same ch, ch 1, sc in each of next 2 sc, work in pat to within last ch-lp, ch 1, sc in center ch of last lp. End off. Turn.
Row 3: Join C in first sc, sc in same sc, sc in each of next 2 sc, work in pat across, end sc in each of last 3 sc – 14 (16-18) ch-lps. End off. Turn.
Row 4: Sk first 2 sc, join A in next sc, sc in same sc, work in pat to within 1 ch-lp of end, end ch-3, sc in next sc. Ch 1, turn.
Rows 5 and 6: Repeat row 2 of First Chain Loop Band. End off.
7th Motif Band: Repeat Third Motif Band, working color sequence row 7.
In the spirit of recycling, you could also make your new dress out of some rope you happened to find lying around in the garden shed.


Top Chain Loop Band: With 14 (16-18) ch-lps, work rows 1-3 as for first Chain Loop Band. End off. Turn.
Divide for Back Opening: Row 1: Join B in first sc, sc in same sc, work in pat until 7 (8-9) ch-lps are completed. End off, turn each row.
Row 2: Join A in first sc, sc in same sc, work in pat across. * Repeat last row, working 1 row each of C, A, B, A, repeat from * until armhole measures 5’’ (6’’-6 ½’’) above first row of armhole shaping, end arm side.
Shape Neck: Work across 5 (5-6) ch lps. Turn.
Row 2: Join next color in center ch of first ch-lp, ch 1, sc in next sc, finish row. Turn.
Row 3: Join next color in first sc, work in pat to within last ch-3 lp, ch-3, sk next sc, sc in last sc – 4 (4-5) ch-lps.
Rows 4 and 5: Repeat rows 2 and 3 – 3 (3-4) ch-lps. Keeping color sequence as established, work even until piece measures 6 ½’’ (7 ½’’-8’’) above first row of armhole shaping. End off. Join B in same st as last sc of first row of back opening. Work same as for first side of back opening, reversing shaping.
Lower Edge Chain Loop Band: Working along lower edge of First Motif Band, work same as rows 1-4 on First Chain Loop Band.
Rows 5-7: Work same as rows 5-7 on 5th Chain Loop Band – 24 (26-28) chain loops. Working in same color sequence as Top Chain Loop Band, work even until piece measures 24 ½’’ (25 ½’’-26 ½’’) from underarm, or 1 ½’’ less than desired dress length, end with a B or C row. With A, work 3 rows even. End off. Dress will be blocked 1’’ longer.
Side Edging: Row 1: From right side, join A to end st at left armhole edge. Working down side edge, * sc in end st of each row to next motif band, ch 3, sc in ring on half motif or in free lp on a complete motif, ch 3, sc in end st of next ch-lp row, repeat from * across side edge, end sc in end st of each row along Lower Edge Chain Loop Band. Ch 1, turn.
Row 2: Sc in each sc and in each ch across. End off. Beg at lower edge, work same edging on other side edge.
And that, my dears, is the end of the Back of the dress. Guess what? You get to do it all over again for the Front!

Which means you’d better get started making another 69 (76-84) Motifs. And sewing them together individually.

That’d better not be crying I hear. Remember, this is an “easy to crochet” project!
FRONT: Work same as back until end of 7th Motif Band.
Top Chain Loop Band: With 14 (16-18) ch-lps, work rows 1-3 as for First Chain Loop Band. * Working in pat as established, work 1 row each of B, A, C, A, repeat from * until armhole is 4 ½’’ (5 ½’’-6’’) above first row of arm shaping.
Shape Neck: Keeping to color sequence as established, work across 5 (5-6) ch-lps. End off. Turn.
Row 2: Join next color in center ch of first ch-lp, ch 1, sc in next sc, finish row. End off. Turn. Complete as for first side of back neck shaping. Sk next 4 (6-6) free ch-lps on last long row, join needed color in next sc, work same as for first side, reversing shaping.
Lower Edge Chain Loop Band: Work same as for back.
Side Edging:From right side, join A to end st at right armhole edge. Work same as for Back. Work same edging on other side edge.

FINISHING: Block pieces (see page 27), stretching dress 1’’ in length. Weave side and shoulder seams.
No, I am not transcribing page 27 for you. If you don’t know how to block, google it!

Although you may want to be more specific in your choice of search terms.
Neck Edge: Row 1: From right side, beg at top of back opening, with A, sc around neck edge, easing in slightly. Ch 1, turn.
Rows 2-4: Sc in each sc around. Ch 1, turn. At end of row 4, ch 5 for button lp, sk last 3 rows made, sl st in end st of next row on back opening. End off.
Armhole Edge: Rnd 1: From right side, beg at side seam, with A, * sc evenly to next motif, ch 3, sc in next free lp, ch 3, sc in end st of next ch-lp row. Repeat from * once, sc along remainder of armhole edge, keeping work flat. Join with a sl st to first st. Ch 2, turn each rnd.
Rnd 2: Sc in each sc and in each ch.
Rnds 3 and 4: Sc in each sc. End.
Actually, this is not the end. And I don’t mean the lining that wasn’t mentioned in the pattern, but which will be necessary to sew into this dress to make it conform to local decency bylaws. No, I mean there’s another 80 Motifs just waiting to be made and then painstakingly sewn together.

Yay!
STOLE: Following directions for Complete Motif make 20 A motifs, 10 motifs each of B, C, D, E, F and G – 80 motifs.
First Motif Band: From right side, arrange motifs in color sequence same as for row 1 on back of dress. Join same as for First Motif Band on back until 40 motifs are joined.
First Chain Loop Band: Work same as rows 1-6 on First Chain Loop Band on back, then join A and repeat rows 3-6 once; join A and work 3 rows. End off.
2nd Motif Band: Working same as for First Motif Band, beg with a D motif, work in color sequence as for First Motif Band until 40 motifs are joined. Sew 3 free lps of each motif to corresponding sc on last row of Chain Loop Band.
Edging: From right side, work rows 1-3 same as First Chain Loop Band on each long side of stole.
End Edge: With A, sc in end st at short edge. Working across edge, (sc in end st of each row to motif band, ch 3, sc in free lp on motif, ch 3) twice, sc in end st of each row to end. End off. Work same edge on other end.

FINISHING: Block. Cut 6 15’’ strands of yarn for each fringe. Knot on ends.
And there you go, all done! Wasn’t that easy to make?

Now, repeat after me...


Click here for the printable pattern.


Read more!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Phentex Wants to Break your Little Girl’s Heart

“Pretty Little Miss” Dress Style No. 6959, 1969

During the 1960s, the little Miss Phentex pageant was held every Victoria Day here in Canada. Above is the winner for 1969, Vicki Regina, whose shrewd mother had insisted her daughter wear gloves. When all the other girls in the competition touched the scratchy surface of their Phentex dresses without the same protection, they burst into hysterics over their hemorrhaging hands. As the last little girl standing, Vicki won the dubious prize of becoming Phentex’s corporate shill for a year. Oh, and a Phentex clad Barbie that she could only play with if she took a decontamination shower immediately afterward.

But, Victoria, you say, little Vicki seems perfectly happy with her Barbie doll in its matching Phentex dress. True, crystalline polypropylene polymer yarn violates the laws of nature and humankind, but couldn’t you admit that this time it’s a victimless crime?

Absolutely NOT! Because Little Miss Phentex wasn’t the real victim here. No, the true casualties were every other Canadian girl of the time period who loved Barbies and turquoise and white dresses.


Victim #2532 above, along with her peers, begged her mother to make this matching daughter and dolly pattern. I was These little girls were too young and innocent to know of Phentex’s deadly reputation. Of course, their new Phentex dresses eventually attempted to strangle them with the front trim bow and feed on their cooling bodies, but that wasn’t the real heartbreaker. This was:

Note:— You will find the instructions for the doll’s dress in our Knit Knack book at your favourite store soon.

That’s right, the Barbie doll pattern is not included! And the above note was tucked underneath the last bit of instruction on how to make the dress. Leaving thousands of sobbing little girls wearing a bloodthirsty Phentex dress, and clutching a naked Barbie.

Fortunately, a class action lawsuit launched by the harried mothers successfully shut down the Little Miss Phentex pageant the following year. So, now Canadian girls from sea to sea to sea can celebrate a Phentex-free, LOL-full Victoria Day.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

MATERIALS:— Phentex Ruban, 2 skeins blue and one skein white; one metal crochet hook No. 10 white and bleu material for lining; one dome fastener.
Ruban is French for ribbon, while Phentex Ruban is French for you’re going to pay more for this Phentex yarn, but it’s still going to leave welts. Bleu is French for our blue is better than yours, na-na-na-na-na. And dome fastener is the Canadian name for what Americans call a press stud. Which as far as I know are just snaps, and not sexy journalist breeding stock.
SIZE:— Directions are given for one size only – size 4.
If you want instructions on any other size, you have to “send the sum of one dollar ($1.00)” directly to Phentex Inc. So now, your so-called twenty cent (.20¢) pattern will cost one dollar and seventy cents ($1.70) to get the right size dress and the fifty cent (.50¢) Barbie pattern.

Sure, the above scam sounds penny ante, but remember this is 1969 dollars. For $1.70 you could have bought just under five gallons of gas or seventeen 10 oz. bottles of Pepsi! So, not only did Phentex break your daughter’s heart, it also ruined your Victoria Day Picnic.
TENSION:— 7 d.c. to one inch in width and 5 rows to two inches in depth, worked with a No. 10, worked with a No. 10 metal crochet hook, or any size that will give the correct tension.
Yes, you read correctly, that’s two inches in depth not length. In the 1960s, Phentex was sold by the fathom.
MEASUREMENTS:— Length from shoulder, 19 ins. Chest measurement, 24 ins.

If only this diagram emphasized that the back had the same width as well as lengths (AKA depths), Little Miss Phentex’s dress wouldn’t have been marred by such uneven shoulders.
PATTERN STITCHES:— S.c. insert hook into next st. yarn over hook and pull thro’ loop; yarn over hook and pull thro’ the two loops on hook.

D.c. yarn over hook, insert into next ch and pull thro’ loop. (3 loops now on hook), yarn over hook and pull thro’ 2 loops, yarn over hook and pull thro’ remaining 2 loops.

YOKE FRONT:— Using the white ruban, ch. 73.
I’m resisting the temptation to tell a yoke.
1st ROW:— 1 d.c. in 4th ch. From hook, then 1 d.c. in every ch. to end. (70 d.c. in row)

2nd ROW:— 2 ch. to turn, 1 d.c. in each d.c. of previous row. Rep. the 2nd row 12 times more – 13 rows in all.

14th ROW:— 2 ch. to turn, work next 27 d.c., turn.

15th ROW:— 2 ch. to turn, skip next d.c., then 1 d.c. in each st. to end. (26 d.c.).
After all, it might be funny now, but in a couple of years time it could be in very poor taste.
Continue to dec. one st. at the neck edge on the next 3 rows, when 23 d.c. will remain. Fasten off. Leave 16 sts. For neckline. Join the ruban to the 17th st. and work to correspond to other side.

RIGHT BACK YOKE:— Using white ruban, ch. 41.

1st ROW:— 1 d.c. in 4th ch. from hook, then 1 d.c. in every ch. to end. (38 d.c.)

NEXT ROW:— 2 ch. to turn, 1 d.c. in each d.c. of previous row. Rep. the 2nd row 12 times more – (13 rows in all).

Now work as from the 14th row of front.

LEFT BACK YOKE:— Work to correspond with Right Back Yoke, reversing all shapings.
Instructions on how to do a single crochet are provided, but when it comes to reversing shapings, you’re on your own, noob!
Place the yoke pieces on the white material and cut allowing for turnings.

SKIRT FRONT:— Using blue ruban, ch. 6, now working along lower edge of front yoke, work 1 s.c. in each of the 70 d.c., and finish with 6 ch.

1st PATTERN ROW:— 3 ch. to turn, 4 d.c. in 5th ch. from hook, * skip 2 sts., 1 d.c. in next st., skip 2 sts., 4 d.c. in next st. Rep. from * finishing, skip 2 sts., 1 d.c. in last st.

2nd and 3rd ROWS:— 3 ch. to turn, work 1 d.c. over each single d.c. of previous row, and 4 d.c. into the centre of the groups of 4 d.c. of previous row.

4th – 12th ROWS:— 3 ch. to turn. * Work 1 d.c. over each single d.c. of previous row. 4 d.c. into the centre of the 1st group of 4 d.c. and 6 d.c. in the next group. Rep. from * to end of row.
And no, they weren’t running out of space. There’s a ten centimeters by nine centimeters space (that’s 4 inches by 3 ¼ inches for Yankee Doodle Dandies) at the end of the pattern that only contains these words:

do not press

no
dry cleaning


I can only assume that the prominence given to these instructions was the result of a class action lawsuit resulting from a pressed, dry cleaned Phentex outfit caused the Cuyahoga River to catch fire.
13th – 16th ROWS:— As previous rows, working 6 d.c. into the “groups”.

17th – 24th ROWS:— As previous rows, alternating the “groups” of 6 d.c. with 8 d.c.

25th – 33rd ROWS:— As previous rows, working 8 d.c. into the “groups”. Fasten off.

SKIRT BACK:— Overlap the right and left yoke back for 4 d.c. Now work as for front.

FINISHING:— Pin the pieces out to the measurements and cover with a damp cloth. Holding a steam iron about 2 ins. Above the pieces, pass lightly over, allowing only the steam to pass thro’ the cloth. Leave pinned out to dry.
Finishing AKA Enhanced Interrogation Techniques because you don’t ever want Phentex to think you’re soft on terrorism.
Cut the lining for the skirt from the blue material. Join the shoulder and skirt seams. Make up the lining separately, place inside dress, turn under edges and sl. st. around neck and armholes.
Hang on, are you telling me that in 1969 a woman who’d never crocheted before would be able to slip stitch a lining in place? Whereas, when I started crocheting, I found self-striping yarn challenging?

Clearly, baby boomer noobs were far more skilled than those of Generation X.
Using blue ruban, work one row of single crochet around neck and back opening, also around armholes. Now work a picot edge as follows:— NEXT ROW:— * 1 s.c. in s.c. of previous row, 3 ch. and sl.st. into top of previous s.c. 1 s.c. into each of next 2 s.c. Rep. from * around. Fasten back neck with a dome fastener. Fasten lower edge of armholes, with two 6-ch. bars, half an inch apart.

FRONT TRIM BOW:— With white ruban, ch. 8.

1st ROW:— 2 d.c. in 6th ch. from hook, skip 1 ch., 1 d.c. in last ch.

2nd ROW:— 2 ch. to turn 2 d.c. into the centre of the 2 d.c. of previous row, skip next st., 1 d.c. into turning ch. of previous row. Rep. the 2nd row until the work measures 30 ins. From the beginning. Fasten off. Press lightly, form into a bow and attach to centre front of dress.
At least, I can feel more skilled than the generations Y and Z, who’ve known nothing but the metric system and the microwave. They’ll be bamboozled by these strange ins. and steam iron references.

But whatever you do, kids, don’t microwave Phentex!

Click here for the printable pattern.


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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Psycho Butterflies

Butterfly hat and gloves from “Butterflies in Crochet”, 1951.

To the excitement of film enthusiasts everywhere a long-lost film of Hitchcock’s has recently been unearthed. Twelve years before Hitchcock filmed his horror masterpiece The Birds, he had directed a strikingly similar film...

The Butterflies!

Regrettably, the film was quickly relegated to obscurity by an audience unwilling to accept that butterflies could be deadly killers. This may have been due to Hitchcock’s inability to find skilled Butterfly Wranglers, and his subsequent decision to rely on crocheted butterflies instead. The film’s climatic scene of the beautiful blonde heroine stranded on top of the Lincoln Memorial was universally panned by critics due to a lack of convincing special effects and an overabundance of cotton butterflies pelted at the starlet by the film crew.

Today, however, Hitchcock is seen as a prophetic visionary, vainly attempting to warn people about the real life menace of killer butterflies. To help raise awareness of this little recognized threat to our place in the food chain, you can now crochet Hitchcockian butterflies for your hat and gloves. Remember, just because it’s the apocalypse, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress like a lady.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

BUTTERFLIES in crochet...

All sizes and shapes of brilliant butterflies in a blaze of colors – a gay note of surprising beauty to glamorize your wardrobe and dramatize your home.
Oh yes, Hitchcock definitely enjoyed using gay notes to glamorize and dramatize his films.
To change the size of a butterfly, use any J. & P. Coats or Clark’s O.N.T. Thread other than the one specified; consult chart for size of hook to use with each thread.


Hat and Gloves S-36

MATERIALS:

J. & P. Coats or Clark’s O.N.T. Best Six Cord Mercerized Crochet, Size 30:

SMALL BALL:
J. & P. COATS – 3 balls of White or Ecru, or 4 balls of any color, or
CLARK’S O.N.T. – 4 balls of White or Ecru, or 6 balls of any color, or

BIG BALL:
J. & P. COATS – 2 balls of White or Ecru, or 3 balls of any color.
The real horror of this pattern is just how many choices we’re given. White or Ecru? Balls of any colour? I can’t take the stress!
Milwards Steel Crochet Hook No. 10.

A black velvet cloche.

GLOVES

Sizes: Small (Medium, Large)

LEFT GLOVE – Little Finger . . . Starting at tip, ch 4. 1st rnd: Make 11 (12, 13) dc in 4th ch from hook. Join with sl st to top of starting chain. 2nd rnd: Ch 4, * dc in next dc, ch 1. Repeat from * around. Join last ch-1 to 3rd ch of ch-4. 3rd rnd: Sl st in next sp, ch 4, * dc in next sp, ch 1. Repeat from * around. Join. Repeat 3rd rnd until 12 (13, 14) rnds are completed. Join and break off.

RING FINGER . . . Starting at tip, ch 4. 1st rnd: Make 12 (13, 14) dc in 4th ch from hook. Join. Work as for Little Finger until 14 (15, 16) rnds are completed. Break off.
Film critics have long speculated on Hitchcock’s use of only white butterflies. While Mr. A. McGuffin of the New York Times asserted that Hitch’s use of white symbolically represented death, the truth is much simpler. Professional Film Crocheter Mrs. Danvers wrote in her journal at the time, “If we buy all the thread in white, we don’t have to worry about how many of balls of this or that we need. And seriously, who in their right mind would crochet an Ecru butterfly?”

However, Hitchcock must not have been impressed with the final results, based on his lavish use of crows in The Birds.


MIDDLE FINGER . . . Starting at tip, ch 4. 1st rnd: Make 13 (14, 15) dc in 4th ch from hook. Join. Work as for Little Finger until 16 (17, 18) rnds are completed. Break off.

INDEX FINGER . . . Work exactly as for Ring Finger.

THUMB . . . Starting at tip, ch 4. 1st rnd: Make 16 (17, 18) dc in 4th ch from hook. Join. Work as for Little Finger until 12 (13, 14) rnds are completed. Break off.

Joining of Fingers: Sew the Ring Finger, the Middle Finger and the Index Finger together at base, joining a dc to a sp on following finger and leaving the same amount of sps free on both sides of joining.

PALM AND BACK . . . 1st rnd: Attach thread to first free sp on inside edge of Index Finger and work in sp pattern across each finger; now continue working in pattern across Back and join to first sp. There should be 40 (43, 46) sps. 2nd rnd: Work in pattern around. Join. Now sew Little Finger as for other fingers. There should be 52 (56, 60) sps. Work in pattern for 5 (6, 7) more rnds. Sew thumb in place and continue to work in sp pattern over Thumb sps. Next rnd: Mark the 2 sps directly above joining of Thumb on both sides of glove. Work in pattern to within the 2 marked sps, ch 1, holding back on hook the last loop of each dc, make dc in each of next 2 sps, thread over and draw through all loops on hook (1 sp decreased). Complete rnd, decreasing 1 sp over next 2 marked sps (this starts thumb gore). Now work in pattern for 2 more rnds, decreasing 1 sp directly over each previous decrease made. Next rnd: Makr the 2 sps directly between Thumb decreases and the 2 sps on outer edge of Little Finger side of glove. Continue to work in pattern, decreasing 1 sp over each dec and over the marked sps as before. Continue to work in pattern, making decreases over the 4 established points until 9 rnds are completed from first dec rnd. Break off. Now shape lower edge as follows: 1st row: Mark the center sp of last rnd st back of glove. Attach thread to 7th sp to the left of marked sp, ch 4 and work in pattern to within 6 sps preceding marked sp. Turn. 2nd row: Sl st in next sp, ch 4, * dc in next sp, ch 1. Repeat from * across, ending with dc in last sp. Turn. Repeat 2nd row 3 (4, 5) more times.

EDGING . . . * 2 sc in next sp, ch 3, sc in 3rd ch from hook (picot made). Repeat from * around entire lower edge. Join and break off.
If you are not as sensible as Mrs. Danvers, and would prefer to make your butterflies more terrifyingly realistic, then the cover of this pattern book provides you with all the source material you’ll need.

As you can see below, several varieties of butterflies are massing in the sky, just prior to their attack on small, helpless school children.


BUTTERFLY – Large Wing (Make 2) . . . Starting at center, ch 13. 1st row: Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each of next 7 ch, half dc in next ch, in next ch make sc, ch 3 and sc. Now, working across opposite side of starting chain, make half dc in next ch, dc in each remaining chain across. Ch 3, turn. 2nd row: Skip first dc, dc in each st to ch-3 loop at tip, in ch-3 loop make 3 dc, ch 3 and 3 dc; dc in each remaining st across and in top of turning chain. Ch 1, turn. 3rd row: Sc in each dc across, making 2 sc, ch 3 and 2 sc in sp at tip. Ch 4, turn. 4th row: * Skip 1 sc, dc in next sc, ch 1. Repeat from * across, making dc, ch 1, dc, ch 3, dc, ch 1 and dc in loop at tip. Ch 1, turn. 5th row: 2 sc in each sp across, making 2 sc, ch 3 and 2 sc in sp at tip. Ch 5, turn. 6th row: * Skip 1 sc, dc in next sc, ch 2. Repeat from * across, making dc, ch 2, dc, ch 3, dc, ch 2 and dc in loop at tip. Ch 1, turn. 7th row: 3 sc in each sp across, making 3 sc, ch 3 and 3 sc in sp at tip. Ch 5, turn. 8th row: Repeat 6th row. 9th row: * Make 3 sc in next sp, ch 3, sc in 3rd ch from hook (picot made). Repeat from * across, ending with 3 sc in last sp. Break off.

SMALL WING (Make 2) . . . Work as for Large Wing until 6 rows are completed. 7th row: Repeat 9th row of Large Wing.
Just inside the front cover, you will find a helpful identification guide, which will undoubtedly prove very useful when the butterflies are sucking out all your blood with their needle sharp proboscises.

Please note, however, that the “Timeloea Maculata-formosana” has a spelling error. It should be “Timelaea”which roughly translates as TIME TO DIE, HUMAN SCUM! Also, Formosa refers to the island of Formosa, more commonly known these days as Taiwan, not to the province in Argentina.

It’s important not to make any careless mistakes in butterfly identification. Your life is on the line!
BODY . . . Starting at one end, ch 11. 1st row: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. Ch 1, turn. Hereafter pick up back loop only of each sc. 2nd row: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 7 sc, work off last 2 sc as 1 sc. Ch 1, turn. 3rd row: Work off first 2 sc as 1 sc, sc in next 7 sc, 2 sc in last sc. Ch 1, turn. Repeat 2nd and 3rd rows alternately until piece measures 3 inches. Break off.

ANTENNAE . . . Ch 50, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. Break off.

Shirr the straight ends of Wings tightly. Place the shirred end of one large wing over the shirred end of small wing as in illustration and sew in place. Sew two remaining wings together the same way. Sew the shirred edges of the 2 pairs of wings together at center. Sew the two long ends of body together, stuffing with several strands of thread and making sure to keep one end of body pointed. Sew body in place over joined wings, having pointed end of body even with bottom edge of small wings. Roll and sew ends of Antennae to form small knobs. Double this piece and sew in place under upper part of body.

Starch lightly and press. Sew Butterfly in place on back of glove.

RIGHT GLOVE . . . Make another Glove the same way, reversing it to fit Right Hand.

HAT . . . Make 4 Butterflies as before and sew 2 to each side of hat.
And if you are feeling inspired, feel free to make several more butterflies and attach them to the rest of your outfit. But be careful about going outside. The Butterflies, just like The Birds, want to be close to you!




Click here for the printable pattern.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home Sweet Hell

“Picture Window” from Fluffy Ruffles, 1951

Thanks to your idiot husband – he would have to dabble in the Black Arts – your home has been sucked into a Hell Dimension. Now, there’s an impenetrable grey fog surrounding your domicile, and the unrelenting drabness is getting a mite depressing.

What’s a housewife to do?

Well, I’ll tell you what you can’t do! You can’t let these minor setbacks in life drag you down. You have to march forward cheerfully, with a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and emphatically fey décor throughout your home.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to make fluffy ruffles...like your life depended on it!

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

I don’t recommend making these out of black and white thread, even if it does match the colour of the hell-dimension outside your window. Your hexed home needs colour!

Plus, if you crochet them in Ghoulish Green and Ogre Ochre, your ruffles will match the leering demon visages that occasionally appear in your windows.
MATERIALS:

Clark’s Big Ball Mercerized Crochet, Art. B.34, Size 20, 18 Balls of No. 49 Chartreuse and 3 balls of No. 123-A Flamingo . . . Milwards Steel Crochet Hook No. 9.
On the other hand, resist using clashing colours like Flamingo and Chartreuse. After all, you’re just trying to brighten the place up, not drive your family to flee into the soothing monotony of the demon-fog.
WINDOW RUFFLE . . . Starting at center with Chartreuse, make a chain slightly longer than length desired. 1st row: Dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 13 ch, * ch 5, dc in next 13 ch, * ch 5, dc in next 15 ch. Repeat from * across until row measures length desired. Cut off remaining chain. Turn. 2nd row: Sl st in first 2 dc, ch 3, dc in next 12 dc, * ch 5, in next loop make tr, ch 5 and tr; ch 5, skip 1 dc, dc in next 13 dc. Repeat from * across. Turn. 3rd row: Sl st in first 2 dc, dc in next 10 dc, * ch 5, tr in next sp, ch 5, in next sp make tr, ch 5 and tr; ch 5, tr in next sp, ch 5, skip 1 dc, dc in next 11 dc. Repeat from * across. Turn. 4th row: Sl st in first 2 dc, ch 3, dc in next 8 dc, * (ch 5, tr in next sp) twice; ch 5, in next sp make (tr, ch 5) 5 times; (tr in next sp, ch 5) twice; skip 1 dc, dc in next 9 dc. Repeat from * across. Turn. 5th row: Sl st in first 2 dc, ch 3, dc in next 6 dc, * (ch 5, in next sp make tr, ch 5 and tr) 10 times; ch 5, skip 1 dc, dc in next 7 dc. Repeat from * across. Turn. 6th row: Sl st in first 2 dc, ch 3, dc in next 4 dc, * (ch 5, tr in next sp) 21 times; ch 5, skip next dc, dc in next 5 dc. Repeat from * across. Break off. 8th row: Attach Flamingo to first dc on first row, sc in same place, * (ch 4, sc in end dc of next row) 6 times; ch 4, skip next dc, sc in next dc, (ch 4, sc in end dc of next row) 7 times; sc in first end dc of next point. Repeat from * across. Break off. 9th row: Attach Flamingo to first sp on Ruffle, in same sp make sc, ch 5 and sc; (ch 5, in next sp make sc, ch 5 and sc) 19 times; * ch 2, sl st in eighth ch-5 loop made at beginning of Ruffle, ch 2, sc in next sp (first Ruffle joined), ch 5, sc in same sp, (ch 5, in next sp make sc, ch 5 and sc) 3 times; (ch 5, in next sp make sc, ch 5 and sc) 7 times;...
No, you’re not seeing things. The instructions really do read:

“(ch 5, in next sp make sc, ch 5 and sc) 3 times;
(ch 5, in next sp make sc, ch 5 and sc) 7 times;”

Why couldn’t the pattern designer have just written 10 times and be done with it? Maybe she was a crocheting demon!


...ch 2, sl st in corresponding loop on first joined Ruffle, ch 2, sc in next sp, ch 5, sc in same sp, (ch 5, in next sp make sc, ch 5 and sc) 8 times. Repeat from * across, joining all Ruffles the same way. Attach Chartreuse to opposite side of starting chain and complete as before.

FLOWER POT RUFFLE . . . Starting at center with Charteuse make a chain slightly longer than circumference around center of flower pot. 1st row: Work as for Window Ruffle until row measures length desired, having 1 group of dc’s more than circumference of flower pot. Cut off remaining chain and complete as for Window Ruffle.

Starch lightly and press.
Now ignore your family’s demands to know why you’ve spent the last several weeks crocheting ruffles when you could have been helping them search for an escape from this Hell Dimension.

They’re just Philistines, who don’t appreciate the critical importance of handmade home décor to family morale.

Oh well, at least you can always count on dear little Fluffy’s unconditional love.


Click here for the printable pattern.


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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning!

Kitchen Set place mat, glass jacket, and stool pillow from Kitchen Crochet, 1954

Were you heartbroken when Starbucks’ new 128 oz Plenta size turned out to be an April Fools joke? Is pouring Jolt cola over your bowl of corn flakes making you a tad jittery? Have you begun injecting Red Bull between your toes because drinking it no longer gives you wiiiings?

If you answered yes to any of the above, it’s definitely time to listen to your busybody Doctor and curb your caffeine habit.

But Victoria, you cry, how will I be able to wake up in the morning without freebasing four shots of espresso? Why, just decorate your kitchen like the photograph above, and the swirling shades of eye-bleeding red and terrorist-alert yellow will instantly jump-start your neurons. Caffeine Industry Insiders have hidden the existence of the “Speed-Cro-Sheen” Substitute for decades, but thanks to the crack team of investigative reporters at Handmade by Mother, you can now have your high without hitting the hard stuff.

Side effects of the Speed-Cro-Sheen Substitute may include high blood pressure, shaky spleen syndrome and avian appendages.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):


Kitchen Set . . . . . . . S-488
Kitchen Set is too bland a name for this potent pattern. Possible alternatives include Kinetic Kitchen, Psychedelic Sunrise, or Red Touch Yellow, Kill a Fellow.

COATS & CLARK’S O.N.T. “SPEED-CRO-SHEEN” MERCERIZED COTTON, Art. C.44: 8 balls of No. 126 Spanish Red and 6 balls of No. 10-A Canary Yellow.
Also, Spanish Red and Canary Yellow are much too mellow names for shades that can scrape eyeballs at twenty paces. I bet their gang aliases are Radioactive Red and L.S.D. Lemon.
Milwards Steel Crochet Hook No. 2/0 (double zero).

2 pads, 12 inches in diameter, 1 ¼ inches deep. 4 button molds, 1 ¼ inches in diameter.

GAUGE: 6 sc make 1 inch; 5 rnds make 1 inch.


Place Mat measures 15 inches in diameter.

PLACE MAT (Make 2) . . .
Stop kidding yourself, you’ll only need to make one place mat. Once your one night stand lays eyes on your nuclear powered breakfast nook, he’ll suddenly remember an early morning meeting.
Starting at center with Canary Yellow, ch. 6. Join with sl st to form ring.

1st rnd: Sc in ring, insert hook in ring and draw loop through, drop Yellow, pick up Spanish Red and draw through both loops on hook, thus changing color –always change color in this manner–* working over unused color make 2 sc in ring, changing color on 2nd sc. Repeat from * 4 more times, having 3 groups of each color (12 sc), ending with 2 Red sc. Change color. Join.

2nd rnd: 2 sc in same place as sl st (1 sc increased), 2 sc in next sc, changing color as before, * 2 sc in each of next 2 sc, changing color as before. Repeat from * around. Join (24 sc).
I don’t care if you are making pancakes, he’s already half-way to Albuquerque!
3rd rnd: 2 sc in same place as sl st, * sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, change color, 2 sc in next sc. Repeat from * around. Join (36 sc). Continue to work in pattern, making Yellow sc’s over Yellow sc’s and Red sc’s over Red sc’s and increasing 2 sc in each group on next rnd and 1 sc in each group on following rnd. Repeat last 2 rnds until piece measures 15 inches in diameter. Join and break off.


GLASS JACKET (Make 2)—Bottom . . .
Most 1950s household patterns assume that you’ll need at least four of everything: one each for you, your husband and Wally and the Beaver. However, Coats & Clark’s knew that kitchens like these led to divorce, runaways, and cancelled sitcoms.
Starting at center with Spanish Red, ch. 2. 1st rnd: 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook. 2nd rnd: 2 sc in each sc around. Now sc in each sc, increasing 6 sc evenly on each rnd until piece measures same as bottom of glass. Sl st in next sc.
However, you’re instructed to make two glass jackets, because, abandoned and broke, you’ll soon be a two-fisted drinker.

SIDE PIECE . . . Mark off last rnd into 6 equal parts.

1st rnd: Picking up back loop of each sc with Red, sc in each sc across first group, attach Yellow and, working over Red. * sc in each sc across next group, change color. Repeat from * around, ending with Yellow sc. Join.

2nd rnd: Sc in each sc to within last sc of group, * change color, sc in each sc to within last sc of group. Repeat from * around. Join. Work as for 2nd rnd until 12 rnds have been completed. Break off.


STOOL PILLOW (Make 2) . . . Work as for Place Mat until piece measures 12 inches in diameter. Join and break off. Make another piece the same way.
I’m beginning to suspect that this pattern is actually a bar set in disguise. Coats & Clark’s must have called it a kitchen set and tossed in the place mats to mislead the Powerful Crochet Censors of the time.
GUSSET . . . With Spanish Red, ch 8.

1st row: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. Ch 1, turn.
Quite clever really, as bar patrons would drink more to dull the pain of the pitilessly perky décor.
2nd row: Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn. Repeat 2nd row until piece is long enough to reach around pillow. Break off. Sew narrow ends together. Sew one side of pillow to gusset. Insert pad and sew other side of pillow in place.
Pillow? Pad? Neither of these was listed as a necessary material for making this pattern!

After loudly insisting you must use “SPEED-CRO-SHEEN” and Milwards Steel hooks, it wouldn’t have hurt to add a note: By the way, you’ll need to roll a drunk for his pillow.
BUTTON (Make 4) . . . Starting at center with Spanish Red, ch. 2.

1st rnd: 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook.

2nd rnd:Sc in each sc around, increasing 6 sc evenly around. Repeat 2nd rnd until piece is same as button mold. Dec 6 sc evenly on each of the next 2nd rnds. Insert button mold and continue decreasing until all sc’s have been worked off. Break off. Sew a button to each side of pillow at center.
And now you’re ready to renovate your kitchen and turn it into the KNIT-CRO-SHEEN SALOON!

Side effects of opening a Knit-Cro-Sheen Saloon may include delirium tremens doldrums, barfly barfing, and the irresistible urge to shimmy your stuff on the bar top.



Click here for the printable pattern.


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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What? It’s May already?

Daffodil Hanger from Quick Tricks in Crochet, 1950

Unfortunately, I missed Daffodil Month. However, it’s still Spring in the Great White North, and that means daffodils are blooming cheerily everywhere.

Except in your closet.

That’s right, I looked inside your closet. And do you know what I found? Not a single solitary daffodil. And no, your jaunty jonquil sweater doesn’t count. So, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to cruelly celebrate the return of sunshine by dancing among the daffodils, while your hardworking closet languishes in wintery darkness?

Of course not! Because you’re going to get out your crochet hook and start making daffodil hanger covers. Sure, the daffies will make hanging your blouses difficult, but that’s a small price to pay to ensure your closet is a springtime sanctuary.

Besides, it’s easier than overhauling your entire wardrobe.


For the complete pattern (and more snark):

Daffodil Hanger FV-397

MATERIALS:

Clark’s “Anchor” Pearl Cotton, Size 5: 2 balls of No. 406 Nile Green, or
Clark’s “Anchor” Cronita, 1 ball of No. 26 Nile Green, and J. & P. Coats Best Six Cord Mercer-Crochet, Small Ball (Blue Label), Size 30: 1 ball of No. 513 Dk. Yellow.
Milward’s “Ship” Brand Steel Crochet Hook Nos. 7 and 10.
½ yard of green satin ribbon 1 inch wide. A wooden dress hanger.
A.K.A. coat hanger, clothes hanger, or just plain hanger!

However, “dress hanger” sounds more feminine, which is appropriate, considering most men would balk at having beribboned daffodils dangling from their hangers.

Well, most men.
COVER . . . Starting at narrow edge with Nile Green and No. 7 hook, ch 12. 1st row: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, * ch 2, skip 1 ch, sc in next ch. Repeat from * across. Ch 3, turn. 2nd row: Dc in first sc, * sc in next sp, 3 dc in next sc (shell made). Repeat from * across, ending with sc in last sp. Ch 3, turn. 3rd row: * Sc in center of next shell, ch 3. Repeat from * across, ending with sc in top of turning chain. Ch 3, turn. Repeat 2nd and 3rd rows until piece is length of hanger. Break off. Slip center over hook of hanger and sew securely in place. Wind thread tightly around hook and sew ends securely in place.
To be fair, the daffodil man above is raising money for the Irish Cancer Society, so we mustn’t mock him.

Because cancer is no laughing matter. Except when it’s the best defense!
DAFFODIL (Make 2) . . . Starting at base of Daffodil, with Dk. Yellow and No. 10 hook, ch 5. Join with sl st to form ring. 1st rnd: Ch 4, 11 tr in ring. Sl st in top of ch-4. 2nd rnd: Ch 4, tr in same place as sl st, * tr in next 2 tr, 2 tr in next tr (1 tr increased). Repeat from * around. Join. 3rd rnd: Sc in same place as sl st, sc in each tr around. 4th rnd: Sc in each sc around. 5th to 15th rnds incl: Sc in each sc around, increasing 2 sc evenly in each rnd, being careful that increases do not fall over each other. 16th rnd: Ch 4, tr in each sc around. Join. 17th and 18th rnds: Ch 4, tr in each st around, increasing 3 tr evenly around. Join. 19th rnd: Sc in same place as sl st, * ch 5, sc in next tr. Repeat from * around. Sl st in first sc. Break off.

PETAL (Make 6) . . . Starting at base of petal, ch 8. Join with sl st to form ring.
And according to one young survivor, cancer can sometimes be awesome (except for the acne!).
FIRST PETAL . . . 1st row: Ch 4, 4 tr in ring. Ch 4, turn. 2nd row: Tr in first tr, tr in next 3 tr, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Ch 4, turn. 3rd and 4th rows: Tr in first tr, tr in each tr across, 2 tr in top of turning ch. Ch 4, turn. 5th row: Skip first tr, tr in each tr and in top of turning chain. Ch 4, turn. 6th row: Skip first tr, holding back on hook the last loop of each tr make tr in next 2 tr, thread over and draw through all loops on hook (a joint tr made), tr in next 4 tr; holding back on hook the last loop of each tr make tr in next tr and tr in top of turning chain and complete joint tr as before. Ch 4, turn. 7th row: Skip first tr, holding back on hook the last loop of each tr make tr in next tr and in each following tr, tr in top of turning chain, thread over and draw through all loops on hook. Break off.

SECOND PETAL . . . Attach thread to ring, ch 4, 4 tr in ring, ch 4, turn and complete as for First Petal. Make 4 more petals in this manner.
Crocheting daffodil hanger covers is definitely one of the more tasteful things you can do to show your support for cancer research.

Although, if subtle isn’t your strong suit, this very special pattern is available for purchase here. Feel free to take your new pillow along to yard sales, marathon runs, and while door-to-door canvassing.
Attach thread at base of petal, 2 sc in sp, 3 sc in next sp, in next sp make 2 sc and 3 half dc; 5 dc in next sp, 7 dc in next sp, in next sp make 3 half dc and 2 sc, 4 dc in top sp. Work along side to correspond. Continue in this manner all around outer edges of all petals.

STAMENS . . . Starting at base with Dk. Yellow, ch 9, * thread over, insert hook in 3rd ch from hook and draw loop through, (thread over, insert hook in same place and draw loop through) twice; thread over and draw through all loops on hook, ch 5, sl st in first ch made, ch 8. Repeat from * once more, thread over, insert hook in 3rd ch from hook and draw loop through, (thread over, insert hook in same place and draw loop through) twice; thread over and draw through all loops on hook, ch 5, sl st in first ch made. Break off.

Insert Flower through ring of petals and sew in place. Sew stamens in place. Starch flowers lightly and press. Tie ribbon into bow around hook of hanger. Sew Daffodils to ends of ribbon.
And now your closet is ready for spring, and you’re ready to donate your time and money to the fight against cancer.

No one will mind if you’re one month late... or five months early!


Click here for the printable pattern.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Knitted Bed Jackets from “Gifts, Knitted and Crocheted”, 1946

I’m very worried about this new mother. Sure, she seems happy, and normally I’m very much in favor of lounging around in bed in pajamas. But this woman is smiling ecstatically at a six-month sized bed jacket – and there’s no six month old child anywhere to be seen!

Is she really a mother? Or is her baby just a figment of her imagination?

The truth is this wannabe mom is a victim of 1940s patriarchy. This poor woman was raised to believe her only value was in her ability to procreate, but she has no man or turkey baster to call her own! So, it’s no surprise that her mind has finally snapped under the pressure. Tomorrow she’ll be taking her empty stroller down to the park, where she will steal the first baby she sees and take it home to clothe in fussy hand-knits.

Thankfully, today she’s content to lay in bed, admiring her imaginary offspring.

“Isn’t she just the best behaved baby you ever saw? Why, she never cries!”

For the complete pattern (and more maternal snark!):

Knitted Bed Jacket
No. 4801
6 Months Size

Before you begin, ask yourself these important questions first. Are you expecting a baby? Or are you making this pattern for someone who is?

If you answer no to both, you need to immediately march up to a man and demand that he do his manly duty by procreating with you and/or your friend. Once this important initial step is completed, only then can you safely begin knitting frou-frou matching mom and baby bed jackets, confident that soon you will experience the blissful happiness that only motherhood can bring.


Materials Required – AMERICAN THREAD COMPANY “DAWN” INFANT’S WOOL, ARTICLE W5

2 – 1 oz. Balls White.

1 – 1 oz. Ball Blue or Pink.

1 Pair each Bone Knitting Needles No. 2 and No. 6.

Bone Crochet Hook No. 2.

1 ½ yds. Ribbon.

Back of Yoke. With White on No. 2 needles cast on 66 sts and k 1 row, p 1 row, k 1 row, p 1 row, k 1 row, p 1 row.
Otherwise known as six rows of stockinette stitch. But remember, it’s important to be very, very clear when writing instructions for new mothers or moms-to-be.

Otherwise they might snap and run amok.
Pick up Blue and k 4 rows. Repeat these 10 rows for pattern. Work even until there are 4 White and 4 Blue stripes.

Next Row. With White work across 20 sts, bind off next 26 sts for back of neck and continue work on last 20 sts. Work 5 more rows even, then cast on 16 sts at neck edge. Attach Blue and continue in pattern until there are 8 blue and 9 White stripes from beginning, bind off. Attach White at neck edge and working across the 20 shoulder sts. p 1 row, k 1 row, p 1 row, k 1 row, cast on 16 sts for other half of neck front, p 1 row, attach Blue and work same as opposite front, bind off.

On right side of work with Blue pick up and k 80 sts across the back, then k 3 more rows, break Blue.

Attach White, change to No. 6 needles and start open work pattern, k 1, * yarn over twice, k 1, repeat from * across row.

2nd Row. K 1, * drop the 2 yarn overs from needle without knitting them, k 1, repeat from * across row.
What’s that? You don’t believe new mothers are prone to suddenly losing their minds?

Clearly you have no idea just how much stress mothers were under in the 1940s.

And we modern mothers complain about the pressure to produce a perfect little genius. So what if we go broke purchasing all the necessary Baby Einstein products and enrolling them in pre-pre-school science class? At least we don’t have to cope with glowing, radioactive super-babies, shooting planes, trains and automobiles out of their giant floating heads!
3rd and 4th Rows. K across row. Repeat these 4 rows 8 more times, then k 4 rows, bind off loosely.

Right Front. With Blue and using No. 2 needles on right side of work pick up and k 44 sts across row, k 3 more rows even, break Blue.

Attach White, change to No. 6 needles, and work open work pattern same as back, then k 4 rows even, bind off loosely.

Work other front in same manner.

Sleeves. With Blue on No. 2 needles cast on 28 sts and k 4 rows.

Attach White, k 1 row, p 1 row, k 1 row, p 1 row.

With Blue, k 4 rows, fasten yarn and continue sleeve with White. With same needles k 1, * yarn over twice, k 1 and leave on left needle, yarn over twice, k in back of same st and slip off needle, (this is an increase) yarn over twice, k 1, repeat from * across row, do not increase in last st. Change to No. 6 needles and continue open work pattern same as jacket without any more increases until sleeve measures about 7 inches completing a pattern, bind off. Sew underarm seams. Sew sleeve seams and sew sleeves in position.

With White, work a row of s c up right side of yoke, around neck and down opposite side of front yoke, break yarn.

Attach yarn at neck and work a row of double knot sts around neck as follows:

* Draw up a ¼ inch loop on hook, yarn over and pull through ch, s c in single loop of st, draw up ¼ inch loop on hook, yarn over and pull through ch, s c in single loop of st (double knot st) skip 1 st, s c in next st. work a double knot st, s c in next s c, repeat from * around neck, break yarn. Work a row of double knot sts around cuffs of sleeves in same manner. Finish with ribbon bows as illustrated.

What’s more, mothers were literally slaves to every whim of their giant Post-War Boomer babies.
Knitted Bed Jacket
No. 4802
Small, Medium and Large Sizes


Materials Required – AMERICAN THREAD COMPANY “DAWN” INFANT’S WOOL, Article W5.

1 oz. Balls.

Small Size – 8 Balls of any Pastel Shade and 1 Ball White.

Medium Size – 9 Balls of any Pastel Shade and 1 Ball White.

Large Size – 10 Balls of any Pastel Shade and 2 Balls White.

1 Pair Bone Knitting Needles No. 2.

1 Pair Bone Knitting Needles No. 6.

Bone Crochet Hook No. 2

1 ½ yds. Ribbon.

Gauge. Yoke – 7 sts = 1 inch.

Directions are given for Small size. Medium and Large sizes are given in brackets.

Back of Yoke. With Color on No. 2 needles cast on 94 sts (100 – 106) and k 1 row, p 1 row, k 1 row, p 1 row, k 1 row, p 1 row. Pick up White and k 4 rows. Repeat these 10 rows for yoke pattern. Work even until there are 5 Colored (5-6) and 5 White (5-6) stripes.

Next Row. Work across 30 sts, (32 – 34) bind off next 34 sts (36 – 38) for back of neck and continue pattern on last 30 sts (32 – 34) for shoulder. Work 1 stripe in Color, 1 in White and 1 in Color. With Color cast on 18 sts (22 – 26) at neck edge. Attach White and continue in pattern until there are as many stripes in front as in back, bind off and work other side to correspond.
So, one can hardly blame the 1940s mother for wanting to run screaming from the house. Or parking her child unattended in a pram outside the supermarket, in the optimistic hope that a childless woman might come along and steal him away.


On right front with No. 2 needles and White yarn, on right side of work, pick up 60 sts (63 – 66) and k 3 rows, break yarn. Attach Color, change to No. 6 needles and start open work pattern.

1st Row. K 1, * yarn over twice, k 1, repeat from * across row.

2nd Row. K 1, * drop the 2 yarn overs from needle without knitting them, k 1, repeat from * across row.

3rd and 4th Rows. K across row. Repeat these 4 rows for pattern. Work 1 more pattern. At the end of the 4th row of last pattern, cast on 7 sts for underarm and continue pattern until work measures about 11 inches (12 – 13) from underarm completing a pattern. K 4 more rows and bind off loosely. Work left front to correspond.

Back. With No. 2 needles and White yarn, on right side of work, pick up 120 sts (126 – 132) and k 3 rows, break yarn. Attach Color and work 6 rows of pattern.

Next 2 rows cast on 7 sts at the beginning of each row and continue pattern until back measures the same as the front finishing with K 4 rows.
Thank goodness, Dr. Spock appeared in 1946 to give harried mothers much needed guidance.

Oh no, he’s being devoured by a rabid pack of babies!

Oh, the humanity!
Sleeves. With White and No. 2 needles, cast on 40 sts (44 – 50) and k 4 rows. With Color, k 1 row, p 1 row, k 1 row, p 1 row. With White, k 4 rows, fasten White and continue sleeve with Color. With No. 2 needles k 1, * yarn over twice, k 1 and leave st on left needle, yarn over twice, k in back of same st and slip st off needle (this is an increase), yarn over twice, k 1, repeat from * across row. Do not increase in last st. Change to No. 6 needles and continue open work pattern (without anymore increases) until there are 20 patterns (21 – 23) or sleeve is desired length to underarm. Work 2 rows of next pattern.

Next 2 rows bind of 7 sts at the beginning of each row. Continue pattern, decreasing 1 st at the beginning of every 3rd and 4th row of pattern until 28 sts remain. Bind off remaining sts 2 at a time.
So, be kind to your mother, today. She survived raising you!


Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tiptoe through the Tulips . . .

Tulip Time Hostess Set from Coats & Clark’s Hostess Book, 1956

Here’s a housewife who really knows how to celebrate springtime! Veronica’s invited over the entire Bridge Club and she’s going to treat them to an afternoon tea to remember. Everyone gets six chilled shrimp, two lime wedges, and exactly one table spoon of Marinara sauce.

The Marinara sauce is what gives the spread a soupçon of European sophistication. And the grapes perfectly match the placemats!

Yes, Veronica’s going to show them all that she won’t be upstaged by some ticky-tacky Rose Bouquet Hostess Set. Who does Betty think she is, anyway? Why, those boring squares of lace she made don’t even look like real roses! Unlike the Tulip Time Hostess Set which features instantly recognizable pink moths – er, tulips!

Lots and lots of tulips. Each individually crocheted and sewn in place over hours and hours.

Veronica shudders and lights a tea candle. Crocheting one hundred tulips will be worth it, she tells herself. Thanks to her tons of tulips, her party will be a legend on Wisteria Lane.

She’s absolutely correct. Though the legendary status had more to do with the discovery that very afternoon that Veronica and Betty were twin sisters separated at birth, and that they were both married to the same man, a red-headed cad.

However, everyone else agreed it was the best Wisteria Lane Bridge Club party ever.

For the complete pattern (and more snark):


Tulip Time . . . S-900

J. & P. COATS BIG BALL BEST SIX CORD MERCERIZED CROCHET, Art. A.104, Size 30: 9 balls of No. 15-A Shaded Dk. Pinks; or

CLARK’S BIG BALL MERCERIZED CROCHET, Art. B.34, Size 30: 8 balls of No. 15-A Shaded Dk. Pinks.
Yes, Coats has one big ball. Clark has another big ball. Put them together and they’ve got...

Lots of yarn, of course!
COATS & CLARK’S O.N.T. SIX STRAND EMBROIDERY FLOSS, Art. C.11, 5 skeins of No. 48-A Dk. Hunter’s Green.

Milwards Steel Crochet Hook No. 10.

2 yards of green linen, 36 inches wide.

Place Mat measures 16 inches in diameter.

PLACE MAT (Make 4) – Tulip – Center Petal . . . Starting at Center, ch 16. 1st row: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, half dc in next ch, dc in next ch, tr in next 9 ch, dc in next ch, half dc in next ch, 3 sc in last chain. Work is now done in rounds. 1st rnd: Make a sc in each ch of starting chain, 3 sc in side of end sc, sc in each remaining st across. Join. 2nd rnd: Ch 3, 3 dc in next sc, * dc in next 2 sc, 2 dc in next sc. Repeat from * around, making 3 dc in center sc of 3-sc group. 3rd rnd: Ch 3, dc in next dc, 5 sc in next dc, * dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc. Repeat from * around, making 5 dc in center dc of next 3-dc group. Join and break off.
There’s absolutely nothing amusing about Coats and Clark’s Big Balls.

Crocheting is serious business!
SIDE PETAL (Make 2) . . . Starting at center, ch 22. 1st row: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, half dc in next ch, dc in next ch, tr in next 15 ch, dc in next ch, half dc in next ch, 3 sc in last ch. Work is now done in rounds. 1st rnd: Work as for first rnd of Center Petal. 2nd rnd: Work as for 2nd rnd of Center Petal to within last 12 sc at end of rnd, half dc in next sc, sc in next sc, sl st in next sc (inner edge of Petal). Break off.

This is your final warning, ladies. I will not tolerate any more of this suggestive humour.

Although, this gentleman is welcome to tiptoe through my tulips any day.
Sew 2 Side Petals to Center Petal to form Tulip. Starch Tulips and pull into shape. Cut a circle of linen 16 inches in diameter. Roll a narrow hem. Draw a circle 3 inches in from edge. Using 3 strands of Embroidery Floss, embroider chain sts along the outline of the circle. Divide this circle in 22 equal parts and mark with pins. Draw a stem from each pin mark toward outer edge and embroider in chain sts. Sew a Tulip to each stem.
Stop tittering! I wasn’t suggesting anything sleazy. I was simply inviting him to Ottawa. Tomorrow’s the first day of the annual Tulip festival, and everyone is invited to tiptoe through our tulips . . . well, sort of.

To quote the Ottawa Information Guide: “Enjoy tiptoeing through the tulips (actually, please don't tiptoe through them – it is just an expression)! But do enjoy the colours, the sounds and the fresh spring air!”

How very Canadian of us to invite strangers to our capital, and then politely inform them that they aren’t allowed to engage in the very activity they came here to do!
APRON . . . Cut a semi-circle 15 x 31 inches. Roll a narrow hem around curved edge. Draw a line 3 inches in from edge, leaving top edge free. Divide this ... into 25 equal parts and complete as for ... Gather top edge to measure 15 inches. W ... ing material make waistband and ties and ...
Sadly, a corner was ripped off of this pattern. Possibly by Betty in a last ditch effort to prevent Veronica from upstaging her. But I’m sure the missing parts will be easy to fill in.

For example, “... make waistband and ties and then use them to restrain your guests in their chairs as you force them to endlessly ooh and ahh over your dozens and dozens of crocheted pink tulips.”

See? Easy as tiptoeing through tulips!



Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!