Sunday, November 25, 2007

Anthropologie-inspired capelet

Anthropologie has to be my favourite I-can't-afford-it-but-aren't-they-pretty window shopping store. (Well, browser-window shopping mostly, since I moved back to Canada). So when I came across the pattern for a crochet Anthropologie-inspired capelet on Craftster, I had to make it.

Unlike the poncho, this is something I will definitely wear, can't wait to wear in fact. It's not too bulky to fit under a winter jacket, and cute enough to keep on inside. I've got a dress it will go nicely over, and it's just warm enough to keep my shoulders snug without stifling me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Round the capelet

I made this following Teva Durham's free pattern for a vintage style capelet (though I'd call it a poncho). Big hook, thick plush yarn, very quick to make up.

I haven't decided yet if this is something I'll actually wear out where people can see me. It's too open to provide much protection on a cool day, too thick to look other than peculiar on a warmer one or indoors.

Earrings in beads and wire

In between working on crochet projects, I've found time to make myself a pair of earrings:

I made them by stringing size 15 silver seed beads and crystals on wire, then twisting it into shape - I was trying for an abstract floral shape. They've quickly become my favourite earrings, delicate but noticeable.

This next is a slightly more gaudy pair I made a few months ago:

They're just traditional granny squares, crocheted in silver-coloured wire, gauge 30. I'm fond of them, even if they did inspire a coworker to ask if I could make him something similar for Christmas tree ornaments.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories by Susanna Clarke

A collection of stories by the author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell,, which I have sitting on a shelf somewhere but haven't read much of. These stories are set (more or less) in the same world (an alternate England, with magic) in various time periods mostly preceding that book.

I think I liked the fictional "introduction", a scholarly note describing the volume as a sourcebook for the academic study of magic, more than any of the actual stories.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Vintage Crochet

Since making my Asphyxiation, I've become hooked on vintage crochet. On looking at it, at least... such beautiful lacy thready things, so much patience required to make!

Crochet at
Quite a bit of vintage material including a number of filet charts. I like the Roaring 20's patterns, especially the bird and rose filet sweaters, as well as the rose tam. I'm planning to make the tam and at least one of the sweaters. This site is especially helpful because the patterns have been rewritten to use modern terms, unlike those on many of the others.

Antique Pattern Library
A site devoted to scans of out-of-copyright pattern books, knitting and various kinds of lace as well as crochet, mostly from before 1922. Especially good for filet patterns and edgings. Too much to stuff to pick out only a few, but I particularly like the Corticelli series of books.

Celt's Vintage Crochet
Patterns mainly dating from the 1920s to the 1960s. Good collection of doilies, pineapple squares, filet and edgings as well as some wearables.

Vintage Stitch-O-Rama (where old patterns go to die a slow, painful death)
Knitting and crochet stockings, camisole yokes, undies etc., along with oddities like the Chicken Bone Necklace

Free Vintage Crochet
A couple of cute bulky sweaters, along with a number of hat and bag patterns, doll clothes etc. New patterns added often.

A Good Yarn
Has some vintage patterns including Fleisher's Knitting and Crocheting Manual from 1922. I particularly like the Delmar Sweater.

The Information on Making the Irish Crocheted Lace
Poor English, useful diagrams for various Irish crochet motifs.
A few cushions etc, and a scan of the Nufashond Rick Rack Book from 1916.

Yarn Lover's Room
Assorted patterns of uncertain date and source, mostly for babies and home. Nice: ballet slippers, shawls.

A few odds and ends under Free Patterns, including two lacy tank tops.

Soft Memories
A commercial vintage pattern site with a few free patterns, including this lovely Draped Bed Jacket.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


This is Severina's Asphyxiation Choker, made of venetian crochet motifs in black thread. I made it to wear to work on Hallowe'en, and did - with a black dress.

I'm planning on using the same pattern to make a hairband, in off-white thread.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tweedy cloche, or the quest for flapperdom - with pattern

The Roaring 20's are one of my favourite fashion eras - I wear my own hair in a classic bob cut, and I like the insouciant smirk that often shows up in flapper-girl pictures.

So I wanted my own 20's style flapper hat, but most of the crochet flapper hat patterns I could find online didn't have the distinctive bell shape of the classic cloche. So I improvised my own pattern, and I am really happy with the result. (Well, with version three and somewhat with two. Version one I'm not posting about.)

This one is my favourite. I made it with two strands of yarn held together, one of Lion Brand wool in grey and one of Paton's Decor in pale aubergine. I really like the vintage, pink-grey heathered effect these yarns gave me. The ribbon's off an old top or something - the colour just happened to match.

This next is an earlier version, in Paton's Decor Aubergine and Red Heart black.

I've written out the basic pattern - it's pretty simple. If anyone makes this and has any problems, please let me know.

Use two strands of worsted weight yarn held together and a 6.0mm (J) hook.
Gauge: first two rounds in dc creates a circle about 2.5" (6 cm) in diameter. I crochet fairly tightly, so some people might go down a hook size to get this.

For the first six rows, I followed Yarncat's Basic Crown instructions.

For the grey hat, I did row 7 as dc each stitch around, as I have a rather small head. The other one I made a little larger: dc in 5 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch, repeat around.

Unless your head is small and your hair flat, I suggest the latter.

Row 8 - 11: dc in each stitch around.

Row 12: dc in 9 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch, repeat around

Row 13: dc in each stitch around

Row 14: dc in next 3 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch, repeat around

Row 15: sc around. (I did this with two strands of one colour to give a nice edge.)