Vintage craft books

Vintage craft books are great. Although, it is really difficult to find a website that will pin down the definite age of a ‘vintage’ book. I have settled on this definition which says that over 25 years old [clothing] can be considered vintage….if there’s a better one for books, I’d love to read about it, so please post about it in the comments!

I have quite a few, on different subjects. After having a big clean up, I rearranged the bookshelf back into some categories;

Vintage books

Left to right; Misc, Illustations, Needlework, Soft Furnishings, Paper, Macrame and Tatting, Spinning and various fibre books, oh my goodness, so many things to make and do.

And I found a lot of things that I wanted to look at right away to begin making the coolest things ever. I put them aside and this weekend I have been having a leisurely browse through codes;

The Rosetta Stone for this is printed in the front of the book, phew.

The Rosetta Stone for this is printed in the front of the book, phew.

Another interesting feature is the small ways in which our culture has changed.

Doily with a cigarette garnish; apparently, that worked in 1972.

Doily with a cigarette garnish; apparently, that worked in 1972.

Mostly, there’s a lot of experimentation, unravelling, reading and re-reading, and wondering aloud to myself. It’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but I find it both challenging and relaxing.

I’d like to share some of the brightest gems I have found through my last few days of reading and researching, as well as some of the attempts made in duplicating the things that I’ve found.

Australian Book of Crochet c. 1972

Australian Book of Crochet c. 1972

I’m really glad that where ever I found this one, I snapped it up. There’s only two colour photos in this book, and while the pattern for the cover photo is eye-catching, the colour choice….isn’t. Can anyone that lived through the 1970’s in Australia please explain why mustards, browns and khakis, were so popular? That’s pretty much the colour range I have throughout the ‘craft’ section of my ‘library’, and you know what? They’re really gross to look at!

The introduction paragraph still sounds quite contemporary too;

Australian Book of Crochet c. 1972 - still relevant today.

Australian Book of Crochet c. 1972 – still relevant today.

Some of the ideas behind that patterns are not, but I think I could make a convincing argument towards a current resurgence in interest towards things like apron-making (someone who could do it better would be Emily Howes, who also seems to think so, and is writing her PhD on it at the Sydney University of Technology). Or is it just my circle of friends? Did a ‘make do with what you have’ attitude spring from the mental belt-tightening media articles and dire warnings of the dangers of consumption that were common in 2008? Was there a rise of the DIY hero that has become fashionable in the last few years through super popular reality shows such as Masterchef and The Block?

Australian Book of Crochet c. 1972 - still relevant today. Sometimes.

Australian Book of Crochet c. 1972 – still relevant today. Sometimes.

At the end of the day though, I just like knots, string and counting so don’t really watch reality TV shows unless they fall under the categories of Wierd, Total and Utter Garbage, Noticably Biased or Intelligence-Insultingly Obvious Staged Drek*. I don’t know really know where this interest in textiles, traditional skills and time-consuming labour has surged from. I’m just glad that it means people are interested in the things I do and make and talk about and we can hang out and talk about them.

Vintage instructions for crocheted apron - finished piece.

Vintage instructions for crocheted apron – finished piece.

I also got a box of craft cards for $2 several years ago. They are a gold mine of quick ideas on sturdy fold out cards less than the size of an envelope.

Crocheted toy - Terrifying Dolly

Crocheted toy – Terrifying Dolly

Felted toys - Gnomes

Felted toys – Gnomes

Felted toys - Little animals

Felted toys – Little animals

Felted toys - Little People

Felted toys – Little People

Felted toys - Pincushions

Felted toys – Pincushions

Crocheted flowers: Daffodil and pansies picture

Crocheted flowers: Daffodil and pansies picture

 

Vintage craft kits and books: Colourful and strange.

Vintage craft kits and books: Colourful and strange.

 

As a bonus, they can be unintentionally funny;

Felted toys - Dragon

Felted toys – Dragon

Her sad face alone for this picture is priceless, but then I noticed that she wasn’t afraid to tell you how she was really feeling during this photograph session:

Vintage craft cards - whoops no photoshop

Vintage craft cards – whoops no photoshop

 

I will be posting what I’ve actually come up with, the wins and losses, over the next few days.

 

 

 

*Like Paranormal Witness, Gigolos and American Colony: Meet the Hutterites.

About kellymarietheartist

I am an artist who, up until recently, was living and exhibiting within Toowoomba and the greater Granite Belt district. I have since packed up and left Australia, and am currently living and working in England. My work engages the craft involved in handmaking within a contemporary art context. I am drawn to the physicality of repetitive textile processes, and this is transcribed though the tactile quality of my forms. In particular, processes such as crochet, sewing and rug making serve as a proxy for growth within my personal environment. Many of my works imitate situations in nature, and they form organically as I create each individual piece, each addition both a continuation and re-enforcement of its predecessors. I enjoy using recycled materials for many of my works. Using crochet and other textile techniques to do this is an important part of my work as it celebrates a tradition of craft that has historically been relegated to 'women's work', with all the negative connotations that entails.
This entry was posted in Crafternoons, Experiments, How-to, Inspiration, Research, Vintage Books and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Vintage craft books

  1. Melita Chambers says:

    I have a few books I would like to donate to your collection..

  2. Pingback: Vintage craft book kids | kellymariemcewan

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