I’ve worked in the medical field for over 22 years now and in the 90’s I worked with Natalie in the Cardiopulmonary department. I changed jobs and we both kept on going with life and lost touch with one another. Well, almost a year ago I started working at a local hospital and was pleasantly surprised to see Natalie working at the same hospital.
Since then we’ve made conversations about life, kids and crochet. She dabbles in it from time to time but mainly is a quilter (I won’t hold it against her). The other day I came in and had a note saying that she needed to talk to me, so I called her. She came around the corner with a brown grocery sack (you mean they still have those things?) and said, “I have something for you that I think you are going to love.”
Natalie begins to tell me that she was among her quilting group (at a local business) and this woman walks in with a bag. She said that her mother had recently died and wanted to know if anyone would be interested in taking her crochet books. The owner of the business told the woman no one there crocheted. Natalie then spoke up and told the woman, “I don’t really crochet much but know someone who does and would love those books.” The woman wanted to make sure they would be taken care of and cherished.
I had the biggest grin on my face because I KNEW there were treasures in that bag. I began pulling them out one by one and fell in love. Obviously the owner of the books loved to crochet with thread because there were many books of doilies. These magazines/books are in incredibly great shape for some of them to be as old as they are.
Here is a picture of the Handkerchief Edging by Clark’s O.N.T and J&P Coat’s (now known as Coats and Clark) published in 1949 and cost 10 cents.
I’ve spent a little time looking through these books and have chuckled at the hair styles and what we used to wear. What were we thinking? One thing I have noticed is that the magazines and patterns today are so much easier to read. I truly give the crocheters back in the day credit for being able to decipher the instructions. I’ve had to read and reread some of the instructions to understand the pattern. There really is some great inspiration among those pages with the different types of stitches, and I’m excited to see what I can come up with but hopefully in today’s fashion.
There are so many magazines and books in this spread and I tell you, I’m truly honored to receive such a gift. I can sense by the looks of these books this woman cared about her things, and I bet she made some beautiful crochet from them. I hope she’s looking down on me and thinking she’s glad I’m the one that got them.
I wanted to share a little happiness in my world!
Peggy urban says
When I find a new blog to follow, I love to go back and read old posts to see what has been going on. This is a great story about the crochet book. I learned to crochet almost 50 years ago from my grandmother and have her JP Coats crochet books. I have made wedding gifts of pillow cases with hand embroidered monograms and crochet edgings from those books. Now my daughter crochets better than I do loves to look at them too and get ideas. Keep up the great work you are doing, Kathy!
Kathy Lashley says
Thank you for the comments. I pull those magazines out very frequently just to look in awe of the wonderful work that was created. I’m hoping to one day have the time to work up a pattern!
Your grandmother’s books are a testimony to the influence she had on you. I’m sure she’s smiling down on you for keeping them as a treasure.
Becky Dirlam says
Half way through reading your story, my eyes were stinging. you are One lucky lady. Those are the type of books I learned to read patterns with. It is also part of the reason I have so much difficulty writing a pattern for today’s crocheter. The styles all circle back, and you will be able to use most of what you find. I cannot wait to see how you will put it to work.
Thanks Becky. I’m truly excited to see all the different stitches and can’t wait to sit down and try them out!
She will love it, that you use her books. Yes, those old books are full of inspirations. I can’t read the directions, but I crochet from the picture. Please, if you could resurrect some of those cool designs- that would be so terrific. Put them online, so all the work of our ancestors will not be lost. These old patterns are NOTHING like our fly-by-night fast crochet patterns. Those Mamas crocheting back than were REAL artists, they just didn’t know it, since they were motivated by love to make their homes pretty. Be blessed!
I’ll certainly try! You have a great night and I always love hearing from you!