About Weldon's Practical Needlework

From Interweave Press:

About 1885, Weldon’s began publishing a series of fourteen-page monthly newsletters, available by subscription, each title featuring patterns and instructions for projects using a single technique.

About 1888, the company began to publish Weldon’s Practical Needlework, each volume of which consisted of twelve issues (one year) of several newsletters bound together with a cloth cover.

Each volume contains hundreds of projects, illustrations, information on little-known techniques, glimpses of fashion as it was at the turn of the twentieth century, and brief histories of needlework. Other techniques treated include making objects from crinkled paper, tatting, netting, beading, patchwork, crewelwork, appliqué, cross-stitch, canvaswork, ivory embroidery, torchon lace, and much more.

From 1999 through 2005, Interweave published facsimiles of the first twelve volumes of Weldon’s Practical Needlework.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Conquering the Crochet Monster

I've been a knitter for almost 50 years.  And have never been able to master the art of crochet.  I don't know if it is because I'm left-handed, but crochet has always baffled me.  And I've avoided many projects because they included a bit of crocheting.

I could see this was going to be a problem with my Year of Weldon's, as many of the lovely knitting patterns are edged with crochet.  Including this week's project, "The Barrister's Wig".

Having completed the knitting on the 'wig', I pondered trying to figure out how to work a knitted picot type edging around the edges.  Then decided to grit my teeth and give crocheting another try.  I went to my Vintage Knits inventory and pulled out "Learn to Crochet" by Coats & Clark's, a venerable "how to" book from 1946.  This little book has taught generations of beginners how to crochet, so I figured it could teach me too.  And it has "instructions for the left handed".

And I learned!  I can execute a chain, single crochet and double crochet!  Okay, my progress is pretty slow, but I picked up speed and confidence as I worked around the edges of the wig.  I ended up with a respectable lacy border for my new Victorian hood.

The Barrister's Wig is blocking right now, I should have pictures up in a day or so.  It's kind of silly looking, as many Victorian head coverings tend to be to our modern eyes.  But I have to admit, it's light and warm, and I may even wear it out in public once.  I tried to bribe Pia with a dollar to wear it to church, but she wouldn't bite :-)

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