Saturday, October 16, 2021

American Needlewoman, November 1925, part 2

 This is the other tatting pattern from the November 1925 issue, a doily edging by Marie Haase.  She was also a contributor to Needlecraft and Modern Priscilla magazines.  I suspect she was related to Clara Haase, another designer of that era.

In defense of American Needlewoman, with its small handful of patterns on poor quality paper, you get what you pay for.  In 1925, its yearly subscription was only 25 cents, while Needlecraft was 50 cents, and Modern Priscilla was a whopping 2 dollars.  Modern Priscilla was the oldest, having started in 1887, and had many more pages on much better paper.  Needlecraft had started out as a Vickery & Hill publication, but in April 1914 changed to Needlecraft Publishing Company.  I suspect this was still a division of Vickery & Hill, but as the magazine was improving its content and paper quality to look more like Priscilla, perhaps an attempt to distance itself from all those cheap newsprint magazines.  Oops, I digressed.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

American Needlewoman, November 1925 part 1

I recently obtained a handful of issues of The American Needlewoman, another Vickery & Hill Publishing Company magazine.  I was a bit disappointed as there was far more fiction than there was needlework.  The average issue had an installment of a serial, 3 more short stories, and around 4 pages of needlework, usually one of which having embroidery patterns that had to be ordered separately.  On the other hand, tatting usually made an appearance.

The magazine began around June 1890 as American Woman, and in May 1923 changed its name to The American Needlewoman. In May 1927, it changed again, to The American Homemaker.  I wonder if the name changes were to make it appear useful to the casual observer while the reader could enjoy the romantic stories.

The November 1925 issue had 3 tatting patterns, 2 of them by a Mrs. D. A. Davis.  Note that in this context, beading has nothing to do with beads, and is instead a trimming designed to have a ribbon threaded through it.  As before, I have cropped and pasted to put the parts of the patterns closer together, click to enlarge.  I'm still playing with resizing to find the smallest file size that will still be easy enough to read. 


Saturday, October 02, 2021

Hearth and Home April 1923 - Edging or Collar

The Vickery & Hill Publishing Company of Augusta, Maine produced many inexpensive magazines on poor quality paper beginning in the late 1800's.  One of these was Hearth and Home.  The issue I have has 2 pages of rather nice needlework patterns, 4 fiction stories, and lots and lot of advertisements. 

Here is the  tatting pattern, by Mrs. Anna Knight of Hudson, Michigan.  Originally it was spread across 3 columns on 2 pages, but I have cropped and pasted it into a single image, click to enlarge.

One of the ads was for Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound.  You could also order remedies for almost any ailment, books, dishes, watches, dolls, flower bulbs, a bicycle, or an an automatic revolver.


Saturday, September 25, 2021

A Hanky Pattern from New England Homestead 1926

I've been actively collecting vintage magazines, especially Needlecraft and Modern Priscilla.  Sometimes some other random magazines will be included in a batch I purchase, and sometimes, they will have some patterns in them.

Here is, hopefully, the first in a series of old tatting patterns.  This one is from New England Homestead, February 6, 1926. No designer name is given.  We will have to forgive (or not) the writer of the caption, who thought both edgings were crochet.  The pages are very badly yellowed and I have cleaned up the background of the text, but only lightly touched up the image lest all the detail be lost.  I hope you will be able to click to enlarge, or to print the image so that you can read it.

Meanwhile, Leigh at is in the process of posting online all the tatting patterns from Needlecraft magazine, and will later do Modern Priscilla.  It looks like she has gotten as far as 1919 right now.  This LINK will take you to her Needlecraft bibliography page.


Monday, February 08, 2021

Yay for Ebay!

Here is part of my latest win from Ebay.  With multiple balls of the same color, I can see some large size 80 projects in my future.  Yes, large and size 80 makes an oxymoron, doesn't it.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Tatting Vintage Patterns, and the 9- Square Motif

Ruth Perry has had the wonderful idea to start a Facebook group called "Tatting Vintage Patterns" to study old patterns and maybe recreate them.    I thought it might be just the thing to get me out of a slump.  Then, when I had a lot more to say than I usually put in a FB post, I remembered my sad, neglected blog. See, better already.

The group is starting with this antique hanky, owned by the V & A Museum, image recently posted by the Lace Museum of Sunnyvale, CA.  The antique hanky has a mixture of regular joins and picots tied together, so it's that transitional stage in between antique and modern methods that I really love.

I chose to work on the square motifs.  This seems to have been a popular motif in the 1800's, though the stitch count varies from project to project. Here is another example from a parasol cover owned by the late Mary Konior:

And here is a similar pattern in Mrs. Beeton's Book of Needlecraft:

Here is the version I made: 

This motif has 9 little squares in the center, each made of 4 rings. I made the center section with rings: 6 - 6. The hanky has the little squares tied together at the corner picots.  I started out doing it that way, but it was just too hard.  (Later on, I remembered that in the old days, they would baste down all the bits and then tie the picots together.)  I ended up using regular joins to connect all the outer squares to the center square, but I did not join along the outside, to preserve some of the effect of the tied picots when adding the outer round. You could join them all if you wanted to, or even use split rings to make the entire center as one piece. 

The outer round has rings with bare thread in between, and the bare thread makes joins to attach to the center, and connect the center small squares.  These rings are: 2 [ - 2] 9 times. (A ring of 9 picots with 2 ds in between and on each side.) At the corners, I made a lock join immediately before and after the rings to try to center them over the corners.  When there are 2 rings adjacent without a join to the center, I made a lock join into the last p of the first ring so there wasn't a really long bit of bare thread. When joining to the center, I made the lock join through both picots of the center squares together.  

A bit of blocking would have made this look neater, but I think it's a good try to recreate the original. This has been fun.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Tinkering with Karey's Corona Virus Doily

I've been working on Karey's Coronavirus Doily.  It's a tat-a-long she has been releasing on her blog bit by bit HERE.

For Part 7, she says to use 2 shuttles so you can switch between them when the thread on one gets low.  Two shuttles are also very useful to switch to the shuttle in the best position when moving between the inner and outer sides of the round.  

With equal parts over-thinking the issue of keeping my variegated thread colors in sequence when reloading shuttles, wanting to minimize shuttle winding, and being a trouble-maker in general, I decided to use 1 shuttle and ball thread and make all the single rings as self-closing mock rings.  Where there are 2 rings together, I worked regular rings, thinking that would have less chance of gapsosis.  I figured shoelace ties to move the shuttle into the other position when necessary would not stand out next to the lock stitch chains.   I wound several bobbins before starting, and it worked out right, so I never had to cut the ball thread to reload a shuttle.

Was it a good idea? I don't know.  It saved me the time and effort of winding more bobbins, and that was good.  I wondered if I was getting my SCMRs closed with consistent tension, and they probably aren't as tight as the regular rings.  Is there too much color blip at the base of the SCMRs?  I've already committed a few faults that won't bear up to microscopic examination, but from a few feet away, it looks pretty good.