Craft · Crocheting · Vintage

Links to the Past

It’s been a fun few weeks. I’ve been roasting myself alive in the Caribbean with some wonderful folks, cruising around and generally living it up. Despite my original misgivings I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed the weather! Even the humidity didn’t turn me off. Being back in not-so-sunny England isn’t much fun but fortunately I’ve had crafty goodness to distract me.

But first! Even on holiday I can’t forget crochet. What did I see this time? Well! On St. Thomas we took a walk through a few old houses and in one of them I found some absolutely gorgeous crochet blankets:

I have no idea if they’re original from the time but I imagine they are. They’re in beautiful condition and I would love to replicate them. I intend to once I have some time and suitable yarn!

The thought of people over a hundred years ago sitting down to make these sorts of beautiful creations just thrills me. It’s the same reason I love trawling through vintage patterns and researching the origins of crafts. It’s a direct link to the past that has always excited me, in the same way my fascination with etymology (the origins of words) is that it brings the past into the everyday present.

Another link to the past I’ve discovered lately is Dorset Buttons. I am from Dorset, England – I was born here and I’ve lived here most of my life. Though I have no wish to stay here forever, I feel an affinity with the area and to find something so interesting as this has made my day(s).

So what are they? Dorset Buttons are buttons (no way!) originally made from hoops carved from the horns of Dorset Horned Sheep.

They have a lot to spare… (pic from wiki)

By winding and weaving thread through and around the hoop, ornate buttons are easily created. It was a huge industry in Dorset for a long time but the invention of a button-making machine in 1850 destroyed it, leaving this county on the edge of starvation. Read more here if you like but be warned it’s a .pdf, albeit a small one.

To have a little dig around my roots I’m going to have a go at making some Dorset Buttons. I may not hunt down a sheep to use their horns since that’s a little too much effort for me, I’m sure plastic would do! I will update when I’ve given it a go.

See a tutorial on how to do it on Craftstylish. It’s a wonderfully clear tutorial and looks so easy.

Apparently my head is stuck in the past at the moment. At least it’s roomy. There’s hundreds of years of interesting things to root through. That’ll keep me distracted from the grey skies of England for a while!


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