As I was looking for a pattern book I found some VERY VERY old knitting and crochet books. Old as in from the 1930's. I was given these fantastic gems by a friend who knew how much I love history. As you know Fiber Arts has a rich history! Today we'll take a look at Adorables for Baby* So Easy to Make, crochet designs. Some great designs which can be paired with great designs from modern designers. Ready to step into my time machine?
Fiber arts has a history, a meaningful history, especially to those of us who grew up watching our family members knit, crochet, sew, tat, embroider, ect. Historically many gifts were made, many clothes repaired, kept many soldiers warm, and kept many hands busy during some very dark days. Not surprisingly this carries on as I write this blog. Our art is an expression of love and support. Today's pamphlet "Adorables for Baby, So Easy to Make, of Dainty Glossilla Crochelle from the Bernhard Ulmann co., takes us to 1942. A pivotal year in history. Here are a few significant points:
When I look at the books and magazines I have from years gone by I imagine what my relatives would have been doing. Would they have been sitting by the wireless knitting their bit or would they have been sitting in front of the television watching "I Love Lucy"? With those marvelous commercial ditties that you cannot get out of your head! haha! In 1942 everyone was likely gathered around their radio set. Just judging from the shape my copy of "Adorables for baby", I'm guessing it was used a lot! The yarn featured in the book is a 3 ply 100 % rayon named Glossilla Crochelle (they may have been trying too hard to make that sound exotic methinks). I have seen this type of yarn, or what we might consider cord, today in various places and it does look like it might have been a challenge to work with because it is very slippery. Not to take away from the beauty of the projects in this pamphlet at all. They are timeless and many have modern counterparts as we shall see.
The first "set" of patterns is entitled "'Mother's Pet' Carriage Set. Bearing in mind that "fur babies" weren't a thing back then, the word "pet" simply was intended to convey: "denoting a thing that one devotes special attention to or feels particularly strongly about." This According to my google search and is obviously a rather antiquated word. The carriage set or layette is intended to go in the old fashioned pram/baby carriage. You know those things that you could either stroll through the park conveying your baby in OR alternatively use as a boat. They were huge and heavy. I.E. this pram. The pram set pictured below fits infants to 6 months size. These pretty little pieces gave a picture of a time when babies went out with a sense of style. The blanket is 27x31 inches. The beautiful part about this book is that it gives the gauge! So all things being equal I can use these patterns using modern yarns. However, there are plenty of modern pattern designers that have created similar designs with updated terms and yarns. Fast forward to 2018:
The modern day pram/carriage set might be made from these patterns!
There are some fantastic pullover and cardigan sweater designs in this magazine. I especially like them because none seem to be too heavy for an infant to wear. So we will follow suit in our attempt to bring you right up to the present! First there are 5 baby sweater designs from 1942 I'd like to share in pictures. These sweaters are, for the most part, unisex or could easily be unisex. As a rule those living during World War II didn't really have the luxury to make clothes for infants based on gender. (My own parents were born in the 1930's) I love the titles of these patterns!
Photo 1: left to right, The "Button Up Cardigan" (of course), "Smoothy Slip-on", "Cuddly Saque". Center photo: Left to right, "Lacy Saque" and the "Adorabelle Saque". Of course remove the ribbons and use toggles then you have a completely unisex designs. Really priceless. Moving back into the present we have several great designers who have created adorable sweater/cardi/pullover patterns for children.
Sweaters do make a great alternative to heavy coats, especially since the best practice for children is never to place an infant in a carseat in a bulky coat. (I do like toggles!) Nothing heavier than a sweater due to the fact that the carseat straps cannot be tightened down sufficiently to keep the baby in place. This is where your friendly neighborhood, professional, crocheter can come in very handy. Some modern day alternatives:
The Adorables For Baby has one last super cute pattern for me to share with you. Little girls always look so cute dressed up in their little play dresses. The little dress pictured below is a dress sized 2 years (though I think this model looks a little tall for 2 years)
I wanted to showcase a few dresses in this section because Spring is here in the US and Canada. For School, holidays, church, family pictures and other occasions, it's always nice to have a handmade dress available.
I hope you've enjoyed today's blog I always enjoy sharing these little gems with you. Please thank the modern designers who so graciously share their work with us!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.