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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Art Deco Style Shawl Pattern

I'm making a shawl like an early 1930s vintage one that I saw online; and I have no photos to post, so I present this little diagram to show the general conformation of the pattern that I developed for it:

The semi-circular, half-moon shaped body of the shawl with eight spokes is done in a close double-crochet mesh -- chain-1s are made only six times on the second row and once at each of the six V-stitch pattern (1 dc, ch-1, 1 dc) increases on those six central 'spokes'.  An increase is also made at both edges of every row, but without the added ch-1.  The ch-1s in the pattern at the six central increases are what form the pretty shape of the shawl.

After the main body of the shawl is complete, a round of single crochets is made around the entire garment, then a deep ruffle is formed at the lower rounded edge, with three fan-shaped scallops in between each spoke, for a total of 21 scallops, each one comprised of eight rows fanning out and finishing with a more open, lacier seventh row and a final row of dainty picots.

Depending on the gauge, yarns and hook sizes used for the work, this design could be done in either treble or double crochet (my prototype is in double crochet stitch).  Apparently, with a Bulky weight yarn and treble crochets, one would only need to make about 21 rows for the main body of the shawl.  But I wanted a slightly closer mesh, so used double crochet for my wool shawl (size "I" hook, with a light worsted / aran / dk weight mothproof Tapestry yarn).  I'd probably go with a more open mesh for a Summer shawl, and use cotton, silk, or bamboo fibers.

My yarns for this project are Brunswick Needlepoint Tapestry yarn, a hand-dyed 100% virgin wool product made in Pickens, South Carolina; and Bernat Tapestria 100% virgin wool from Uxbridge, Massachusetts.  I don't know whether or not these yarns are still available currently, since I found them in a Thrift shop.

To begin (Row 1):  Chain 3, join to form a circle; then chain 3 and make 8 more dcs in the circle just formed (9 dcs total, counting the beginning ch-3)... turn your work at the end of every row.

Edited Row 2:  Chain 3 (counts as the first dc of the row) * 1 dc in next stitch, ch-1 * repeat across, six times; ending with 1 dc in the next-to-last stitch plus 1 dc in the top of the beginning ch-3 of first row.  (9 dcs total, counting the beginning ch-3).

Now you should have six (ch-1) spaces on that row:  the six central spaces where you will begin forming vertical lines of (dc, ch-1, dc) V-stitch pattern increases.

(You will also work an increase at the beginning and end of every row, by placing 1 dc in between the two 1-dc stitches positioned side-by-side there, and another dc right next to it at the very edge, into the very first and last stitches of each row -- but omitting the ch-1s there, in order to maintain the correctly semi-circular shape.)

NOTE:  For the rest of the main body of the shawl (i.e. not for the scalloped lace edging), you will work the pattern stitches only into the spaces of the previous rows -- not into the stitches as was done in Row 2 (except, as already mentioned above, for the very first and last 1-dcs of each row, which are worked into the very first and last 1-dc stitches of the previous rows).

Row 3:  Chain 3 (always counts as the first dc of every row), 1 dc in first space, * 1 dc, ch-1, 1 dc (increase) in next ch-1 space * repeat six times across that row, ending with 1 dc in between the last two dcs plus 1 dc in the last stitch of the row.  Turn.

(Or alternatively for the last two dcs of every row, you can make them together in the last space of each row -- that's actually how I do it, because it works just as well for shaping and it's a bit faster and easier besides).

Row 4:  Chain 3, 1 dc in first space between stitches of previous row, * 1 dc in next space between stitches of previous row, 1 dc, ch-1, 1 dc (V-stitch pattern increase) in the next ch-1 space of the previous row * repeat six times; end by working 1 dc into each of the next two spaces between stitches of previous row, and then 1 dc into the last stitch of the row.

To complete the main body of the shawl, simply repeat Row 4, making additional 1-dc stitches into the extra spaces between stitches as they naturally form in between the six V-stitch increases of every row.  Most experienced crocheters can understand what I mean, with a little help from the diagram above.

The mesh is formed more closely than most mesh patterns, because you aren't making ch-1s in between every dc (only at the six central spokes, for shaping).  And you aren't working directly into the stitches of the previous rows either, as with typical Filet crochet meshwork (except for the very first and last stitch of every row, of course) -- instead, for this pattern you are working mostly in between the stitches of previous rows.
(This graphic has been edited since first posting; edited 7/26/2013)

My admittedly crude diagram for the first five rows.  The Pink lines indicate proper placement of the ch-1 spaces, otherwise it's all dcs.  I didn't bother trying to show where the ch-3 beginning dcs go, since they're always at the beginning of rows anyway (besides, I'm left-handed so crochet in reverse, and that might be too confusing for everyone concerned).

This pattern produces a fabric that gently ruffles and curves ever-so-slightly toward the front, for a perfectly feminine cape.

I will add instructions later, for the Scalloped Lace ruffle (haven't gotten that far yet, just wanted to get this much down before I forget -- I'm excited about this pattern, because Art Deco fashion style is one of my many creative passions).  I plan to find (or produce myself) some auxiliary information for this project, hopefully with pictures and diagrams for the basic stitch patterns, too.

Until then:  au revoir, mes amis qui aiment faire du crochet :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Crocheted Toque Hat Pattern

I made a lovely hat, shaped like a toque, but have no picture of it to post here.  However, the shape of it is much like this classy little number:

And mine fits a lot like this one, too.
Anyway, I like the pattern so much that I plan to make more of them in the future, so here it is:
I used two strands of worsted weight wool, for bulk, and a size "K" crochet hook.  It worked up very fast, and I like the earthy-woodsy combination of brown and green wools in mine.  I sparked it up with a lovely shell stitch pattern, too.
Note:  Join every Round w/ slip stitches, but do not turn the work.  Beginning at crown (top center) of hat:
Round 1:  Chain 3, 6 sc in 3rd chain from hook (6 stitches total)
Round 2:  Chain 1, 2 sc in each stitch (increasing to 12 stitches total)
Round 3:  Chain 1,
* 1 sc in first stitch of previous round, 3 dc (shell) in next stitch *
repeat for a total of six 3-dc shells (increasing to 24 stitches)
Round 4:  Chain 3 (counts as first dc of shell)
* make shell of 5 dc in first (sc) stitch of previous row, 1 sc in top center dc of following shell *
repeat for a total of six 5-dc shells (increasing to 36 stitches)
Round 5:  Slip to center of shell from previous row, chain 1,
* 1 sc in top of shell, in next sc st make a shell of 7 dcs this time *
repeat for a total of six 7-dc shells (increasing to 48 stitches)
Round 6:  Chain 3 (counts as 1 dc in top of sc from previous round),
* 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in each of next 5 sts, 1 hdc in next st, 1 dc in sc st of previous round, 1 hdc in next st *
repeat around.  Join in top of ch-3 (the first dc stitch of that round), for a total of 48 sts
Round 7:  Chain 1, 2 sc (increase) in top of same ch-3 stitch that you just joined from the previous round,
* 1 sc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 sc in the 4th st, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 sc in next dc of the previous round, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sts *
repeat around (increasing 12 stitches evenly in the round for a total of 60 stitches)
Round 8:  Chain 1, 1 sc in first st of previous round, skip 1 stitch, 3 dc (shell) in next st, skip 1 stitch,
* 1 sc in next st, skip 1 stitch, 3 dc (shell) in next st, skip 1 st *
repeat around and join to first sc of previous round (fifteen 3-dc shells; 60 stitches total)
Round 9:  Chain 3 (counts as first dc of first shell), make a 5-dc shell in the first sc of previous round, 1 sc in top center of next shell of previous round,
* make a 5-dc shell in next sc st, 1 sc in top center of next shell *
repeat around and join to the top chain of the ch-3 at the beginning of the round (fifteen 5-dc shells; 90 stitches total)
Round 10:  Slip stitch to center of beginning shell of previous round, chain 1, 1 sc in top of that same first shell, make a 7-dc shell in next sc st of previous round,
*1 sc in top center of next shell, make a 7-dc shell in next sc st *
repeat around and join to the first sc of the round (fifteen 7-dc shells; 120 stitches total)
Round 11:  Make a round of 5-dc shells this time (decreasing to 90 stitches)
Round 12:  Make a round of 3-dc shells this time (decreasing to 60 stitches)
Rounds 13-17:  Make 5 more rounds of 3-dc shells (maintaining 60 stitches each round)
Round 18:  1 sc in each stitch, working every 9th & 10th stitch together as one (decreasing 6 stitches evenly around, for a total of 54 stitches)
Rounds 19 & 20:  1 sc in each stitch (54 stitches)
Round 21:  Slip stitch in every sc stitch of previous round (54 stitches); join and finish

Monday, July 8, 2013

Vintage V-Stitch Crocheted Hat

~ Vintage V-Stitch Hat ~
From this Volume 1 issue of McCall's Accessories, originally published in 1970
Years ago, I made several of the hats from this McCall's issue.  They are all wonderful patterns and I prize my tattered copy (with a few pages missing, no less) that I found at a yardsale or thrift store, probably.  I love both of the hats shown in this picture; but the one I made for a friend is the one on the right, and it turned out so cute that I would like to make another one -- for me, lol.  It's very simple, yet different too.
SIZE:  Adjustable
MATERIALS:  Knitting worsted [I recommend 8 ounces or two 4-oz skeins for the hat -- and two strands of yarn are worked together for this project]; Crochet hook size "K"
GAUGE:  7 stitches = 3 inches; 3 rows = 2 inches
CUFF:  With 2 strands of [yarn], chain 69 loosely
Row 1:  (right side) YO [yarn over] hook, draw up a loop to measure 3/4" in 4th chain from hook, skip next chain, draw up a loop in next chain, YO and [draw yarn] through all loops on hook, chain 1 (V-stitch made),
* YO hook, draw up a loop in same chain as last stitch, skip next chain, draw up a loop in next chain, YO and [draw yarn] through all loops on hook, chain 1 (V-stitch made), repeat from * across, end dc in last chain -- 32 V-sts [total].  Turn.
Row 2:  ["wrong", or back, side of fabric]  Chain 3 (counts as dc, ch-1), YO hook, insert hook from back to front in first ch-1 space, draw up a loop, insert hook from back to front in next ch-1 space, draw up a loop, YO and [draw yarn] through all loops on hook, chain 1 (reverse V-stitch made),
* YO hook, insert hook from back to front in same ch-1 space as last stitch, draw up a loop, insert hook from back to front in next space, draw up a loop, YO and [draw yarn] through all loops on hook, chain 1 (reverse V-stitch made), repeat from * across, end dc in 2nd chain of turning chain -- 32 reverse V-sts.  Turn.
Row 3:  Chain 3 (counts as dc, ch-1), YO hook, draw up a loop in first ch-1 space, draw up a loop in next ch-1 space, YO hook and [draw yarn] through all loops on hook, chain 1,
* YO hook, draw up a loop in same ch-1 space as last stitch, draw up a loop in next ch-1 space, YO hook and [draw yarn] through all loops on hook, chain 1, repeat from * across, end dc in 2nd chain of turning chain [-- 32 V-sts].
Rows 4 and 5:  Repeat rows 2 and 3.  End off.  Weave back seam.
CROWN:  From wrong side, join 2 strands of [yarn] in seam [of Cuff just completed], chain 3 (counts as sc, ch-1), * sc in ch-1 space, chain 1, repeat from * around, end sc in last dc -- 32 sc.  Do not turn; mark end of round.
Next Round:  * Chain 1, sc in next ch-1 space, repeat from * around...
Repeat last round until piece measures 10 inches from start.
[NOTE:  Although it says to not turn your work at this point, the instructions don't specify whether or not to join each round, but if one is to repeat the last round exactly, one would assume the need to join those rounds each time around.  I suppose however, that one might prefer to work continuously around without joining -- it would probably look nicer that way, in fact.  Just keep marking the ends of each round as you go, so that you can stop after finishing a full round...]
SHAPE TOP:  Next Round:  * Sc in each of next 3 stitches, skip next stitch, repeat from * around -- 48 sc [sts].
Next Round:  Sc in each sc around.
Next Round:  * Skip next stitch, sc in each of next 2 stitches, repeat from * around -- 32 [sc] sts.
Next Round:  Sc in each sc around.
Next Round:  * Skip next stitch, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around -- 16 [sc] sts...
Repeat last 2 rounds once [more] -- 8 [sc] sts.  End off; draw [or gather, remaining 8] stitches together [at center top of crown].  Fasten [yarn end] securely on wrong side [of fabric]...
Steam-press lightly [I never do that, lol; the only time my knitwear garments ever get blocked, is when they are laundered].  Fold cuff to right side.
Finished!  :D
The thick Cuff of this little hat keeps the ears nice and toasty, and lends it a sort of "up-town" style (imho).

Friday, July 5, 2013

Vintage KNITTED Mushroom Beret Pattern

Now, for the knitted version of the vintage "Mushroom" Beret.  This cover of Ladies' Home Journal, Fall / Winter 1975 shows the actual beret for this pattern which I will reproduce here because I like it so much. 
Instructions for this beret are given on page 99 of this issue of LHJ
One Size Fits All.
MATERIALS:  Worsted weight yarn (in your choice of colors and fibers -- they used Unger's Cozy brand); straight knitting needles, numbers 9 (body of hat) & 8 (for the band); aluminum crochet hook, size "G"; and a "large" plastic ring for the button (no bigger than ~1 inch in diameter)
NOTE:  Beret is worked in Garter St, except for the band.
Starting at the center top [crown], with No. 9 needle[s]... cast on 9 sts.  Knit 1 row.
Increase Row 1:  K 1, (yo, K 1) 8 times [8 increases made]
Row 2:  Knit
Row 3:  (K 2, yo) 8 times, K 1 [8 increases made]
Row 4:  Knit
Row 5:  (K 3, yo) 8 times, K 1 [8 increases made]
Row 6:  Knit
Continue to increase 8 stitches by yo [yarn-over] every other row, having 1 knit stitch more between increases until 16 increase rows in all have been worked -- [totaling] 137 stitches [at that point].
Work even in Garter St until 8" from center [measured along the curve from crown to bottom edge]...
Band:  with No. 8 needles, K 1, * K 2 tog [decreasing]; repeat from * -- 69 sts [at this point]...
Work in K 1 / P 1 ribbing for [a total of 6] rows
Bind off in ribbing [pattern]
FINISHING:  Weave [i.e. sew] back seam... Sc [with size "G" crochet hook] over ["large"] plastic ring until completely covered.  [Size of ring is not given, but I assume it is the type of ring used when making crocheted buttons, so I will leave the choice of size up to you -- I would use one no wider than 1 inch in diameter].  Fasten off, leaving a long strand.  Turn outer edge to inside and weave together [forming the crocheted button].  Sew [the crocheted button you just made] to top [center, or crown] of beret.  DO NOT BLOCK OR PRESS.
As you can see, this is a very simple (although plenty charming) hat pattern.  It is worked in rows with a seam at the back -- not rounds -- so you can make it easily on straight knitting needles... The original instructions provide for color changes which would duplicate the hat shown in the photo above, but I left the color choices and stripe patterns up to you.
I feel very fortunate to have found instructions for my favorite type of beret in both, crocheted and knitted techniques.  I have also recorded the crocheted version here, elsewhere in this blog:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Vintage "Mushroom" Beret CROCHET Pattern

The crocheted Mushroom beret looks very similar in shape to this knitted one from an earlier issue of LHJ.  I also love this knitted pattern, and have included it in a subsequent post here, on this blog:
However, my favorite crocheted Mushroom Beret pattern is actually from this issue of Ladies' Home Journal Needle & Craft (Fall / Winter 1978 -- Vol. 9, No. 1):
The actual crocheted Mushroom Beret is shown on page 80 (I don't have a picture of it for here, yet), and the pattern is found on page 110...  On page 80, they called it a "Mushroom Beret"; while in the instructions they merely referred to it as the "Crocheted Beret"...
SIZE:  One size fits all.
MATERIALS:  Stanley Berroco "Zoom Zoom", Color No. 2777 -- 4 skeins.  No. "J" hook OR SIZE YOU REQUIRE TO OBTAIN GAUGE.
**Note:  They used a Bulky weight yarn for this project.  Berroco no longer carries that brand, but they still make fine yarns and have a great website online:
GAUGE:  5 dcs [double crochets] = 1 inch
NOTES:  Ch-3 at beginning of each round counts as 1 dc.  Join with slip stitch at end of each round.  If circle becomes too full, work 1 round even between increase rounds.
TO INCREASE:  Work 2 stitches in one stitch.
TO DECREASE:  Yarn over... insert hook into next stitch... draw up a loop... yarn over... draw up a loop in [following] stitch... (5 loops on hook [at this point])... yarn over... draw through 3 loops... yarn over and draw through remaining loops -- 2 dc's have [thus] been worked as 1 dc.
Beginning at crown, chain 4, join with slip stitch to form a ring.
Round 1:  Chain 3, work 7 dcs in ring ((8 dcs total, counting the ch-3))... Now join the round with a slip stitch.
**Note:  Do not turn your work, just keep going in the same direction.
Round 2:  Ch 3, 1 dc in first st [i.e. increase there, at the beginning of the round], work 2 dc in each st around [i.e. increase on each stitch] ((16 dcs total now))... Join the round.
Round 3:  Ch 3, 1 dc in first st [i.e. increase there, at the beginning of the round], * work 1 dc in next st, work 2 dc in following st [i.e. increase on every other stitch]... repeat from * (24 dcs total)... Join.
Continue to work in this manner, having one more stitch between increases on each round... until circle measures 14 inches across [diameter.  In other words, measuring along the curve from the crown to the edge of the hat, it should measure about 7 inches at the point where you will cease making increases].
**Note:  This means that you will only be adding a total of 8 stitches per row of increases.  Also, when you measure your work across the diameter -- do not flatten the piece out; instead, measure it across -- along the curve -- from edge to edge while maintaining the hat in its natural shape.  This is why it is called the "Mushroom" Beret:  the shape will naturally mushroom outward in a sort of spherical fashion as it grows larger.  This is much different from the typically flatter shapes of most classic berets.
Also, I took the liberty of changing the wording on Round 3, to make it more comprehensible for me.  Just always remember the important fact that the initial ch-3 counts as a dc, and follow the general principle of adding 8 stitches evenly on each increase round, and you shouldn't go wrong...
First Decrease Round:  Ch 3, * 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, dec over next 2 sts... repeat from * around... Join.
Second Decrease Round:  Ch 3, * 1 dc in next st, dec over next 2 sts... repeat from * around... Join.
Now try on the Beret and if necessary, work a "Second Decrease Round" once more.
**Note:  Since you can't really predict how many stitches will finally be on the round when you get ready to start decreasing, it is quite possible that there will be an odd (or extra) one or two stitches at the end of at least some of the Decrease Rounds.  In other words, the decreases will most likely not be spaced perfectly evenly every round.  That's okay... it shouldn't make much difference, certainly not enough to be noticeable or detrimental -- since that is exactly the spot that you will most likely prefer to wear at the back of your head, anyway.
Next Two Rounds:  Ch 1, work 1 sc in each st around... Join.
If more depth is desired, work 1 or 2 more rows of sc... Join and fasten off.  [Another place to add depth to the hat if needed, would be by adding a few of the afore-mentioned, optional 'no-increase' rounds in between the Increase Rounds above.]
Tie Cord:  Make a chain to measure 40 inches [about 200 chains].  Work 1 row of sc [or, just slip stitch them] across the chain and then fasten off.  Fold cord in half and at center of chain, make a knot 2 inches down to allow for a loop.  Sew center of knot to center of crown.
**Note:  I omitted the "Tie Cord", since I wanted a simpler, more practical type of Beret.  This sort of pattern works very well with a showy, soft yarn, such as a Mohair fiber, a Slubbed yarn, some combination of specialty yarns, etc.; because most of the beauty of the hat will result from the choice of fiber, rather than from the very basic stitch pattern itself.
Also it is worthwhile to point out that the finished hat should probably measure at least 18 inches in diameter (measured along the curve, of course), depending on your head size.  I need a minimum of 9" to a maximum of perhaps 11" (for a slouchier fit) from crown to lower edge, in my berets.  Around 11 inches is actually a more suitable radial measurement for the shape of the Mushroom beret, since it fits kind of like a bubble on the head.
That would make the total diameter around >18 to 22 inches total, depending on how much you allow the shape to balloon outward as you work -- and also depending on how you prefer to wear your berets (I like for mine to easily cover my ears and thick hair).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vintage Hand Knit Bodice Pattern

~ High Bodice ~
Being quite disappointed with the quality and fit of modern ready-made bras, which really seem to be more like torture devices than clothing ('innovation' isn't always a "good thing", in my humble opinion)... I decided to look into more comfortable, and decidedly more feminine alternatives.  I wondered what women wore back then, before the Age of rubber, elastic, spandex, foam, polyester... yes, even before the Era of corsetry.
I found the typical corset to be terribly disgusting, not only because they're as uncomfortable as any modern bra, but also because of the tragic slaughter of Whales required to provide the boning for them.
In their day, corsets were extremely popular, making many fortunes for ambitious entrepreneurs playing on women's vanity and competition for male attention.  This c1888 advertisement was for Lewis Schiele & Co., of New York.  They offered 150 styles of corsets... But alas, I don't care for them.
I've found several better options however:  1) home-made bras (like bikini tops, etc.)... 2) vintage halter top patterns that I could sew to fit myself... 3) the Mary Phelps-Jacob patented pattern, maybe (since I'm so fond of 1920s style fashions)... 4) and most intriguing of all for me -- old-fashioned bodices.
Historically, Bodices are close-fitting tops, usually made of comfy materials like silk, velvet, or cotton muslin.  In those days, a "bodice" was not just an important component of a larger garment.  Most of the vintage ones were rather fancy, because they were designed to wear over a chemise, slip, or blouse; and they were frequently constructed with matching skirts, mantles or jackets, etc., to make complete ensembles.  I have found many absolutely gorgeous specimens by browsing through museums online, and I hope to have the opportunity soon, to make my own versions. 
But some of them were more simply made and intended for wearing underneath blouses, like bras.  One rarely finds examples of knitted bodices, like this one from an old book of hand-copied patterns which were somehow miraculously preserved for posterity:

I suppose that knitted Bodices could be quite comfortable (after all, most modern bras and other underwear are usually created from finely knit fabrics).  And a hand-knitted one should be of better quality than anything mass-produced.  They may be made to fit perfectly, and without all the horrible hardware used in store-bought ones; yet like any knit fabric, this type of Bodice should have great ease and comfort.  One might even find a way to substitute any fine jersey -- such as t-shirt material -- and simply cut the pieces out and sew up the seams, thereby sparing oneself a lot of time, expense, and effort.
If done just right, knitted bodices ought to provide enough support for smaller bosoms at least.  In Winter, they could be made of cashmere ;) ... And some of them might even be designed well enough to wear in plain view, for Summer.  Come to think of it, knit Bodices with matching Bikini bottoms might make terrific swimwear, too!  Everything depends on the actual quality of the fabric itself, along with the fit.
Anyway, I like the idea and would like to experiment with some designs.  And when I stumbled across this unusual one, I thought it worthwhile to bring it out of the Library and into the sewing room.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Knit Beret Pattern

My favorite type of Winter hat is the Beret; and it is so nice to have one that fits comfortably, is soft and warm, and quick to make.  My camera is packed away at the moment, so I must add photos later; but I wanted to go ahead and record this simple pattern right away...

Super Bulky weight yarn, or a combination of yarns to achieve that weight

Size 15 knitting needles (one pair 16" circular and a set of five double-pointed ones)

I sized mine to fit comfortably over my big head and thick hair, which I usually wear down in the Winter.  The ribbed band of the Beret should measure about 24-25 inches when stretched moderately...

Gauge:  3 stitches = about 1" and 4 rows = about 1"

Pattern is a simple Stockinette stitch (after you finish the initial ribbing, you will then knit throughout)

Round 1 - Cast on 54 on the circular needles and join, placing a marker at the end of the row

Rounds 2 thru 5 - Work in Knit-1 / Purl-1 Rib pattern (four rows total)

Round 6 - Knit

Round 7 - Increase 6 stitches evenly throughout the row... placing an increase stitch on every 9th stitch, you will end up with 60 stitches total

Round 8 - Knit

Round 9 - Increase 12 stitches evenly throughout the row... placing an increase stitch on every 5th stitch, you will end up with 72 stitches total

Round 10 - Knit

Round 11 - Increase 12 stitches again, evenly throughout the row... placing an increase stitch on every 6th stitch, you will end up with 84 stitches total

Round 12 - Knit

Round 13 - Increase 6 stitches again, evenly throughout the row... placing an increase stitch on every 14th stitch, you will end up with 90 stitches total
Rounds 14 thru 19 - Knit (six rows total)

[This is the place to add rows if you need a hat with more depth dimension.  I have sized it to measure at least 9 inches from the crown to the edge of the Beret, but it's okay if it ends up being slightly longer than that.]

Round 20 - Decrease 6 stitches evenly throughout the row... working every 14th & 15th stitch together, you will end up with 84 stitches total
Round 21 - Knit

Round 22 - Decrease 12 stitches evenly throughout the row... working every 6th & 7th stitch together, you will end up with 72 stitches total

Round 23 - Knit

Round 24 - Decrease 12 stitches again, evenly throughout the row... working every 5th & 6th stitch together, you will end up with 60 stitches total

Round 25 - Knit

Round 26 - Decrease 6 stitches again, evenly throughout the row... working every 9th & 10th stitch together, you will end up with 54 stitches total

Round 27 - Knit
Now switching to the double-pointed needles:

Round 28 - Decrease 27 stitches evenly throughout the row... working every two stitches together, you will end up with 27 stitches total

Round 29 - Knit

Round 30 - Decrease 9 stitches evenly throughout the row... working every 2nd & 3rd stitch together, you will end up with 18 stitches

Round 31 - Knit

Round 32 - Decrease 6 stitches evenly throughout the row... working every 2nd & 3rd stitch together, you will end up with 12 stitches

Round 33 - Knit

Round 34 - Decrease 6 stitches again evenly throughout the row... working every two stitches together, you will end up with 6 stitches

Round 35 - Knit

Round 36 - Bind off all six remaining stitches, and draw the thread(s) through all of them to gather up the hole; then knot the thread(s) and weave in the end(s).

Voila!!  Finis.

PS - My own knitted beret pattern produces something which looks similar to this borrowed photo.  Like my own design, this too is a very basic beret in stockinette stitch using bulky weight yarn, with 1/1 ribbing.  Anyway, here is the link to the actual pattern for the one shown here:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gypsy Vest Crochet Pattern

~~~ My own interpretation of the classic Gypsy Vest ~~~
I altered the photo to try to represent the solid band of fabric which I chose to make for the Bust area of the vest.  I also prefer to lace mine like a corset, all the way from the bottom to the top of the solid part of the Bodice (where nice, natural 'buttonholes' conveniently form along the center edges, when the finishing is done).
Many variations may be done with this basic style.  Different types of lace patterns may be used, and different solid fabric patterns may also be employed for it.  On some garments, one might prefer to attach the Laces to the vest and tie it in one spot as shown here.
I used Sugar 'n' Cream cotton yarn for Summer; any soft, worsted weight woolen yarn would be ideal for Autumn or Spring.  Other choices might include silk or bamboo fibers.
This is a link to the original vintage pattern which was my inspiration.  My vest, although similar, is really not the same.  Also, I'm pretty sure the original pattern has some serious typos in it (including calling for a size K crochet hook for worsted weight yarn, when it obviously should have said size H instead).  The original also did not include a diagram, which I have provided here.
Bodice Back diagram.  Arrow points to Center Back of garment.
S = Single crochet
D = Double crochet
T = Treble crochet
NOTE:  Depending on where you are in the row when shaping the Armhole and Neck edges (whether at the beginning or end), you may opt for a chain of the appropriate length to fit; or alternatively, with whichever decrease crochet stitch technique is suitable to fit the desired shape.
Bodice Front diagram (reverse for other side).  Arrow points to Center Front of garment.  In future garments, I might try filling in the two largest gaps at the necklines (both found on the rows of 'solid squares' in the Mesh Lace pattern), with (1 sc, [1 hdc ~ or ~ 1 dc, depending on fit], ch-1).  I didn't show that in this diagram, because that is not how I actually finished my prototype vest.
Overlapping lines in the diagrams indicate where stitches are placed into the top of the chains (or tc stitches, as the case may be) on the previous rows.  Whether to make those diagonals with chains or tc (or perhaps dtc, if necessary) stitches just depends on where you happen to be in the work.
If I should decide to use the filler stitches in those places, that would make necessary to use the decrease crochet stitch technique on the corresponding opposite locations of the garment.  Likewise, when not filling those places in, it is not necessary to use the decrease stitches, but only to place a regular stitch of the appropriate height in those same locations.
(Fortunately, that decision needs only to be made for the Front Bodice of the pattern, right there at the neckline.  And the choice all depends on how it looks either way, when finished.  I didn't use the filled-in techniques on my prototype, leaving it more open there... and I don't believe that doing so was at all detrimental to the overall appearance of my vest.  However, I would be interested in trying the more filled-in, structured option on the neckline next time, just for comparison.  If I should like that better, I would then edit the diagram for the Front Bodice, in order to reflect my preference.  Until then, it stands as is.)
  • To begin, the lace pattern is worked from the bottom edge of the garment upwards, on 117 (129) chains (not counting the one on the hook).  Work the first treble crochet in the 9th chain from hook and work across, beginning with the open mesh squares (* 1 tc, ch 2, sk 2 sts *).  The foundation row (Row 1) should have 37 (41) open squares.
  • Chain 4 at the beginning of each closed-mesh row; chain 5 at the beginning of each open-mesh row.
  • The fabric should measure approximately 36" (40") across, using a size H crochet hook and worsted weight yarn... GAUGE:  3 stitches = 1 inch  /  1 row of treble crochet = 1 inch.
  • Row 2 is made with  * 2 tc in each ch-2 space, ch 1 * ... (Row 2 is a closed-mesh row.)

  • Row 3 is another row of open-mesh squares, like the foundation row (Row 1).

  • Repeat Rows 2 and 3 for the lace pattern.  Work a total of about 17 rows evenly in the lace pattern, with the final row always being a "Row 3" (open-mesh row); or until desired length to underarm.
  • Now begin making the solid band of fabric at the Bust:  First, sc next row, decreasing 15 stitches evenly across.  Decreases are made in this row, by working only one sc in the squares, instead of the usual two sts per square.  This will be done at the following numbered squares for each of the two different sizes:
  • Small / Med -- Squares numbered  1,  2,  5,  8,  11,  14,  17,  19,  21,  24,  27,  30,  33,  36,  37
  • Large -- Squares numbered  1,  3,  6,  9,  12,  15,  18,  21,  24,  27,  30,  33,  36,  39,  41
  • The chart diagrams above are for the smaller size; the larger size has the same shaping on the edges of the Bodice, but will have a total of four extra meshes in the lace pattern.
  • (NOTE:  The larger size will also possibly require an extra two rows of vertical length through the top of the Bodice, with necessary shaping worked in... I didn't make a diagram for the larger size, since everything depends on the actual size and shape of the person wearing the garment.  And for taller women, a longer Skirt may be needed for the vest too.)
  • After completing the decreases in the first row of sc, work a wide band of solid fabric across the Bust of the Bodice with alternating rows of dc and sc (five or six rows of each for the smaller size; six or more for the larger size, to fit).
  • After working the solid part of the fabric (and always ending with a final row of sc), divide the work for the upper Back Bodice and for the two upper Front sides of the Bodice.  Follow the diagrams for shaping, using suitable chains or decreasing stitches at the edges as needed for fitting and ease.  Begin with the Front left and right sides, reversing the diagram for symmetry.  Always start working on the "right"-side of the garment.  Doing so will require adjustments in the shaping techniques for the two Fronts, depending on where you are in the process.
  • After completing the two Fronts (left and right), leave 3 stitches free at each underarm and begin working the Back also on the "right"-side of the garment.
  • After completing the Back, sew or slip-stitch the shoulder seams; then run a row of sc around the entire edge of the Vest, including around each armhole, easing as needed to make it look neat and flat.  Generally, you'll need to work 2 sc in each space along the bottom edge of the garment, and 3 sc along the Front Center edges.  Work extra stitches around the lower corners and take in on the concave curves (i.e. at armholes).  Take extra care around the neckline to obtain a neat appearance there.
  • Weave in all loose threads.
  • Make a Lace (or Ties if you prefer) for the Front of the Bodice, by chaining at least 120 (more or less, as you wish), then slip stitch in each chain across and finish off by weaving in the loose yarn at the end.  120 chains will make a single Lace just long enough to lace up five 'buttonholes' at each side of the Front (like a corset), and will make a small, neat bow for it too.
My Gypsy Vest easily slips over the head for wearing, after first being laced up and tied with a bow.

Here are a few links for graphing paper and other design tools for crochet / knitwear:

Designer Graph Paper

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Postage Stamp Shrink Top Vest, Vintage Granny Square Crochet Pattern

Vintage 1970's Granny Square "Shrink Top" Vest

Postage Stamp Shrink

Small 6-8 (Large 10-12)

Materials:  Sport weight yarns

(in photograph above:  Color A = White, Color B = Navy Blue, Color C = Red)

Crochet hook Size 4.5mm (5 mm) [G (H)]

Gauge on Size 4.5mm [G]:  4 dc = 1"; 2 rows = 1"

Gauge on Size 5mm [H]:  7 dc = 2"


Row 1:  With Size G (H) hook and Color A – ch 2, work 10 sc in 2nd ch from hook.  Join with sl st to first sc.

Row 2:  Draw up a loop on hook to measure 1", * in next sc work [yo, draw up a loop] 3 times, ch 1, repeat from * around, join with sl st to top of first st:  10 bean sts, sl st in space.

Row 3:  Ch 3, work 2 dc in same space for ½ corner, ch 1, 3 dc in next space for top of square, ch 1; in next space work 3 dc, ch 2 & 3 dc for corner; [ch 1, 3 dc in next space] twice for side of square; ch 1, in next space work 3 dc, ch 2 & 3 dc for corner; ch 1, 3 dc in next space for bottom of square, ch 1, work corner in next space, [ch 1, 3 dc in next space] twice for other side, ch 1, 3 dc in same space as first group, ch 2, join to top of ch-3, fasten off.

Row 4:  With loop of Color B on hook, work 3 dc for ½ corner in any corner of previous row, ch 1, work 3 dc & ch 1 in each space with 3 dc, ch 2 & 3 dc in each of the 3 corners, end ch 1, 3 dc in same corner as first ½ corner, ch 2, join to first dc, fasten off.

Rows 5 through 7:  Working 1 row each of Colors C, B & A, repeat Row 4:  top edge has 5 dc groups between corners and sides have 6 groups between.

Row 8:  With loop of Color B on hook – work 3 dc for ½ corner in right hand corner of top edge, repeat Row 4, do not fasten off.

Row 9:  Ch 3, 2 dc in same corner, * 1 dc in each dc of each group & 1 dc between groups to next corner space, 3 dc, ch 2 & 3 dc in corner, ch 1, * [3 dc & ch 1] 8 times, corner in next corner, repeat from * to * once, work to end, join, do not fasten off.


Row 1:  Ch 3, work 1 dc in each of next 8 dc on top edge, ch 3, turn.

Rows 2 through 7:  1 dc in each dc; work off last 2 loops of last dc on Row 7 with Color A.

Rows 8 & 9:  With Color A – repeat Row 2, fasten.  Join yarn in 9th dc from other side, ch 3, work to correspond to other strap.


Row 1:  On right side join Color C in 3rd dc of 2nd dc group below top left corner, ch 3 for first dc, 1 dc in each dc of each group & 1 dc between groups, end with 1 dc in next corner space, ch 3, turn.

Row 2:  1 dc in each st to last st, work off last 2 loops of last dc with Color A, ch 3, turn.

Row 3:  With Color A – work 1 dc in each dc, work off last st with Color B.  With Color B – work 1 more row, fasten off.  Starting in lower right corner, work other side the same.


Row 1:  On right side, join Color B in side of first Color B row, ch 3 for first dc, 1 more dc in same row, 2 dc in each of next 3 rows, 1 dc in each dc across, 2 dc in each row to end, work off last dc with Color A, ch 3, turn.

Rows 2 & 3:  Work 1 dc in each dc; work off last 2 loops of last dc of Row 3 with Color B.  Work 2 more rows of Color B and 2 rows of Color C.  Fasten off.


Work same as front.  Seam shoulders & sides.  On right side with Color C – crochet 1 row of sc around lower edge.  Join, fasten off.  On right side with Color A – crochet 1 row of sc around armholes and neck.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Antique Japanese Decorated Silk


House by the Sea

Turning Leaves

Black and Gold Abstract on Peach background

Tea House by a Brook



Birds in Flight and Floral patterns

White Wildflowers

Blue Wildflowers



Windswept Cedar

Lily Pads

Distant Mountains and Plants

Flock of Birds

Water Lilies in Bloom

Pine Branches and Bluebells

Chrysanthemums Under Snow


Cranes Seeking Shelter Under a Bridge in the Rain, and Birds in a Clear Sky

Scattered Twigs and Blossoms with Pollen


Sea Shells and Ink Wells

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

More Books

My shelves are overflowing, and I haven't yet found a way to draw an adequate salary while reading them all.  My future intent is to reorganize these links.  My habit is to gather first, then organize, mainly due to time restraints (I fear that if I spend too much time organizing them, I'll miss out on something important, lol).
Practical equality and Legal equality are two separate concepts.
The truth is that the Human species is divided into both races and subspecies.
Beautiful frontispiece, interesting history.
Interesting illustrations of life in Japan.
Art is a Science, I've always maintained, lol.
Look for the pdf format.
Women and children are / were treated like property by the Hindus, Muslims, even the Buddhists of India.
Mayo stirred up controversy with her book, naturally.
Use the pdf format.  This is interesting, if one wants to understand from where so many of these Hybrids are getting their philosophical ideas.  The author of this book claims to be a direct descendant of Mohammed (and as much as that one fornicated, I'm sure that there are probably millions by now).  This work is a "re-evaluation" of the Hindu Bhagavad Gita.  It seems that the Pagan Hindu religion is the source for much of contemporary religious dogma.
I like the cover on this one, lol.
Charming illustrations

Another example of typical psychotic Hybrid mindset.
Found a lot of weird stuff under the heading, "Mother India".
Rules for Chess
Probably a worthwhile read, for strategy.
Checkers used to be a very serious adult game.
Early 20th century ideas about child psychology, education, parenting (mostly by the State) and discipline.
Whoever posted these books on archive is an insane illiterate idiot.