This past week I discovered a number of old photo albums hidden away in boxes. DM recently became interested in organizing some scrapbooks for the kids and grandkids in our family, to remember the old times when they were young as well as a reminder of our family history. Our old ‘uns came from France on the paternal side and from Germany on the maternal side, so we were glad to rediscover photos of them. In sorting through the photos we’ve taken a walk down memory lane. I remember visits to my paternal grandmother in the early ’50s. Her home was full of thread crochet masterpieces she had made (tablecloths, doilies, pillow covers, etc.) On the maternal side, my grandmother knit slippers for us when we were children (amazingly enough I found one photo of her actually knitting a slipper.)
Going through photos of the old ‘uns must have rekindled an interest in vintage needlework so I’ve spent a few evenings browsing through books in my personal library that feature thread crochet projects. One project from the book Better Homes & Gardens “White Crochet” appealed to me: ‘Bless This House’ Filet Crochet Sampler. Since there were balls of crochet cotton and a selection of steel crochet hooks (some passed down to me from my crocheting grandmother) available, I started stitching. It took just under a week to complete this project in size 10 bedspread-weight crochet cotton on a size 4 steel hook. It’s a project my grandmother might have stitched in her day too:
As for my knitting grandmother, she left a legacy of slippers which eventually led to the “My Grandmother’s Slippers” pattern. Even though I was sure this pattern was known to everyone since the beginning of time, I was asked on numerous occasions for written directions to make them so eventually decided to publish a version as I remember it from my grandmother. It is one of the all-time favorite patterns from 288 designs currently available in the DBKN line:
Umpteen pairs of slippers like these have been produced since olden days. In recent years after posting my version of the pattern on Ravelry there have been 253 completed projects posted, attesting to the popularity of this vintage slipper design. Here are a few photos of other pairs I’ve knit:
Another enjoyable experience from this week’s walk down memory lane are seeing old photos of DM and my aunts in smart-looking fashions of the ’40s and ’50s, when they wore dresses, suits, gloves, hats, heels and carried handbags to match. They were quite the fashionistas then! One of my uncles was a professional photographer so we are fortunate to have many images captured on film to document their time in history. Looking at those photos, I see much design inspiration for future projects from studying the outfits of the past. Thank you, dear old ‘uns, for your loving legacy in needlework and through the camera lens!
Granddaughter (me) & great-grandaughter (DD) wearing a thread crochet dress created by my paternal grandmother in 1950
I am grateful for both grandmothers’ needlework heritage and have tried to carry it on through vintage-style projects like these (although they are much smaller and less complicated than the masterpieces of old.) If you’re a lover of vintage projects, you might enjoy some of these project ideas too!