Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mrs. Crawford, Post-Edwardian Bossy Boots?

In Needlecraft Magazine March 1916, Mrs. P. L. Crawford wrote
Probably, in the wide range of crocheted designs, there is no more popular motif than the grape-and-leaf, of which there are many variations.
While this may have been true in 1916, it is not true one hundred years later and I for one think that's a shame.
Shall we bring back the grape-and-leaf for 2016? Oh lets.

Mrs. Crawford offered 2 collars, I am making collar 1. She suggests that by altering the recommended 40 thread to a finer or coarser silk or cotton, the collar may be used as garnitures or trimming all over the place including the waist. She says that using a colour that harmonizes with your gown is "extremely pretty", but that "ecru thread may be substituted with pleasing results."

I'm using white DMC #12 thread and a steel 0.75mm hook. The pattern is using many interesting and amusing techniques.
The medallions are started as a row of half flowers, much like an edging. In fact, I think they would make a lovely edging, ending the pattern at row one.

I've never encountered a motif constructed like these medallions are. They really highlight my doily top tip which is very hard to word.

When double or treble crochets are needed in isolation, or if a cluster is to be worked from a chain alone it is doubly important, when working the first stitch to raise the hook perpendicular to the work to ensure that each yarn over and loop is as high as the previous stitch or loop. It's akin to Lucy Neatby's Happy Stitches in knitting. If a stitch does not have a neighbour standing next to it, it is want to lean over or even flop. In crocheted motifs and doilies, this may make the excess thread pop out the bottom. Very unattractive.

You may need to estimate the height of the first step or stitch, but as long as you yank up your hook with each of the next loops or steps of the stitch, you will have a consistent and convincing look.

The hook perpendicular to the work brings the current stitch (in this case one leg in a cluster) level with both the previous stitches and the chain. The chain is pulled to it's full length to help determine the height of this stitch.

What I enjoyed the most about this pattern was Mrs. Crawford's bossy but charming finishing instructions:

"All joinings were done with needle and fine thread, the writer believing this to be the better method for many reasons."

Delish! Absolutely no justification! She also gives a collar top tip;

'Have a collar-pattern and, after placing the motifs as arranged, or in any preferred way, sew with fine stitches."

Aren't patterns from this era nice in their flexibility (the joinings bit notwithstanding). I like the room these instructions give for personal taste and creativity. I also admire this period's approach to garnitures; instructions seldom assume what you're going to use the pattern, or even the item for. Indeed:

Why Not?


Amelia said...

wow, could i tempt you to share the pattern? i'd love to have a try at that.

morgan said...

The pattern is housed at Prepare to get lost for a few hours!

Anonymous said...

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