Recently I’ve been interested in seeing older patterns from days gone by. At the End of the Road festival I found an old knitting book in the library in the woods with hilarious, awkwardly-posed pictures and I’ve been fascinated since. It’s also quite nice to have that link with the past; knitting isn’t a traditional, handed-down thing in my family and this makes me feel more in line with generations of knitters and crocheters. I’m not sure why that should be important but I like it. I don’t feel much of a link to women in the past sometimes but craft was once a lot more important than it is now and it’s a tenuous sort of connection that I cherish.
There are some fantastic vintage patterns on Ravelry if you know where to look. For example there’s a huge range of patterns from a range of decades in the early 20th Century to be found through looking at the designs by Handicrafter Magazine – I’m fairly sure that link will only work for those who already have an account with Ravelry (if you haven’t already got one you should take this chance to do so).
Tonight I realised that I could find some old patterns and pictures from looking through the Project Gutenberg collection. It’s loads of texts and books that are now in the public domain so there has to be some knitting/crochet texts, right? Right. Not many, not as many as I thought, but I did find this little gem.
Look at the awkward front cover! I’m in heaven already. It was published by the Needlecraft Publishing Company in 1918 and is absolutely full of old-fashioned patterns and hilarious pictures so I’m going to take my time to look through it and giggle. I would love to see these patterns used, too; I have nothing close to the skill yet but one day I shall be crocheting myself a whole bunch of vintage accessories just for the fun.