Friday, 2 September 2016

Guest Post: Free Vintage Australian Crochet Patterns

My first guest post (ever!) is courtesy of my lovely and wise sister Rhiannon, who is talented in many crafts as well as being a historian with exceptional knowledge of the past. Her blog, Parlour Duck Crafts, chronicles her embroidery, crochet and sewing projects, as well as experiments with vintage recipes.

While Rhiannon and I were both taught to crochet as children, it is a skill I've let slide. I flatter myself to think that if I brushed up on the basic steps and followed a well-written modern pattern, and took my time, I could probably make something up successfully. Rhiannon, on the other hand, has continued to learn and practise and has become rather a crochet master. She tackles everything from chunky baby blankets to fine lace work, has learned all kinds of specialist crochet types I've never heard of, battles confusing vintage patterns, and can even make things without a pattern, which is a concept I can't even get my head around.

So naturally, when I started thinking snoods, I was frequently relying on her expertise. During my research I came across a number of patterns for crocheted snoods. But I didn't know if they were any good! I didn't want to share links to patterns that were incomplete, confusing, or just the same old snoods you will have already seen. Rhiannon agreed to look them over for me, and the result is this post.

All of these patterns were found via Trove, the database of the National Library of Australia.

Over to Rhiannon.

 

A general point to remember if you are planning to try any of these patterns: they are all from Australian newspapers and therefore use UK terminology.

Snood and collar set


Weekly Times, Dec 6 1944
Why try this one?
A matching collar and snood set isn't something you see often, and a shell pattern for the snood makes an interesting alternative to the more usual mesh patterns.

How are the instructions?
Overall they are clear and don't have too many places that will seem strange to users of more modern patterns. There are a few things (slip stitching to finish off rounds, etc) that aren't specified but are easy enough to recognise that you'd need. The big lack is tension/gauge information. There is a yarn suggestion of "linen thread or two-ply wool" but then we are told to use a crochet hook "to suit" so that doesn't add any information. The collar at least gives a starting length.

Pattern here.


Snood with rosettes


Weekly Times, Aug 6 1947
Why try this one?
It has frilly rosettes. ROSETTES. Although I'm not convinced the instructions as written will give the volume of frilliness shown in the illustration. It is still a charming idea and I'm curious to try it.

How are the instructions?
The snood and the two rosettes are started off around curtain rings. No size is given except "small". No tension/gauge information but we do get some yarn suggestions. Once you've covered the curtain rings the snood is a very basic and easy chain and double crochet mesh and it should be quick to work up. The rosette instructions are clear too. The method given for the elastic is also clear but is fiddly and would take ages.

Pattern here.



Snood cap


The Age, Apr 27 1940
Why try this one?
It looks chic and daring, and solves any "what do I do at the front?" questions. I have a slight suspicion this would look less chic with the twisted cord cap in the "red, yellow, royal, white, emerald, candy-pink and turquoise" listed as the pattern example than the neat black and white illustration, but who knows?

How are the instructions?
The snood itself is a basic chain and treble mesh, which would be easy to get into a groove with as there is no shaping, and the instructions are perfectly clear apart from the almost expected lack of tension/gauge information. This has yarn and hook suggestions. The instructions for the twisted cord cap and the felt or ribbon bow do have size information. The instructions on how to fit cap and snood together seem a bit daunting actually, and I think I'd want a second person there to help.

Pattern here.



Solid snood cap


Weekly Times, Oct 10 1945
Why try this one?
It is unusual in being a solid crochet snood (that seems more common in knit ones). The stitch pattern for the snood part is rather pretty but I confess that the whole thing is not to my taste.

How are the instructions?
This is one where you'd need some crocheting experience, as the cap requires increasing "as necessary" to keep flat initially. While it doesn't have explicit tension/gauge information, it does give an idea of the number of stitches to a certain point in the cap, and the wool and hook suggestions are more precise than in many others. I'd start with the cap part to experiment for gauge, and then move on to the snood.

Pattern here.


Snood with bow


Australian Women's Weekly, Mar 21 1942
Why try this one?
The picture is amazing, (You can understand why advertisers were eager for a weekly paper with the picture quality of the Women's Weekly and helped in its creation.) The large bow looks striking worked in the same mesh as the snood.

How are the instructions?
 The snood itself is a basic chain and double crochet mesh and while the instructions are straightforward, they lack any tension/gauge information apart from yarn and hook suggestions. I think the making up and edging instructions are a bit scanty. The bow is a long strip of mesh and it just says 'sew bow in position as in picture. Do not knot' so... what exactly should I be doing? Just tacking the strip into a loopy bow? (Tanith's note: I would say so, it's commonly done to make ribbon bows.) And surely to achieve the look of the picture the bow should be starched?

Pattern here.



Elastic thread snood


Argus, Jul 11 1944
Why try this one?
Tension information! An unusual elastic edging method and a mesh with a longer chain than usual. But really, helpful tension information.

How are the instructions?
A basic mesh with a long chain, with little shaping so would work up quickly. The edging method (involves twisting outer loops into figure eight shapes and working into the top) is a little fiddly but it can be forgiven for all the time you will save thanks to the incredibly clear and obvious tension information. The very outer row is crocheted in elastic thread which I've seen some people complain about (difficulty maintaining their working tension).

Pattern here.


Basic crochet snood


My artist's impression.
Weekly Times, Dec 23 1942
Why try this one?
Although it has no pretty picture, it is great basic mesh snood pattern with excellent making up instructions that I think will give a nice result with a ribbon bow tied in front.

How are the instructions?
So at this point it shouldn't be a surprise that this has no tension information. It doesn't even have yarn or hook suggestions. What it does have is excellent size information, so you could make a mesh of whatever density you prefer. (Indeed, you could even make a solid crochet snood by making up a different stitch pattern to these size specifications.)  The instructions for how to gather the fullness are useful for any snood, and the finishing method to give a ribbon bow tying in front are very nice.

Pattern here.




Thank you Rhiannon! Such amazing detail and information. I hope you guys found this helpful and I would LOVE to see some of these made up. Not that you should do it just to entertain me, but if you happen to, please let me know.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you and your sister, Rhiannon :) The first three patterns look really interesting and different, especially the one with the snood cap.

    Happy Snoodtember!

    Best wishes,
    Dee

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    1. You are welcome Dee! Good luck if you try any of them and I'd love to hear how they go :)

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  2. These are so brilliant! I want (NEED!!!) a snood cap big time now. What a clever, chic idea!

    Thank you both very much for this terrific guest post ladies, I so enjoyed seeing these stylish crocheted accessory ideas.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

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  3. Vintage patterns can be so hit and miss with their instructions so it is really nice that your sister has done all the hard work here! Love the one with the bow. I think it would need to be starched too.

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    1. As I've discovered myself with the sewing patterns, and I'm sure you know too well from the knitting ones!

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