Thursday, September 4, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Workbasket Magazines

I love all kinds of needlework, and these old magazines make me feel intimately connected to the generations of craftswomen who have gone before. In honor of The Apron Queen, who hosts Vintage Thingie Thursdays, the first booklet has an exquisite crochet apron on the cover. It was published in 1946.


The Workbasket was published between 1935 and 1996. It began as a small business run by a husband and wife team and became very popular. My mom had crates of them (where are they now???). I used to love to sit on the floor in the basement and go through them one by one. The issues published during WWII had lots of patterns for scarves, gloves and socks to make for loved ones serving overseas.



These 1946 editions are mostly filled with decorative objects (oh for the days of a snood!) and seem to be pretty heavy on the crochet patterns, although there are also plenty of tatting and quilting patterns.


How many women made these cute slippers? Probably thousands.

To fill space, there are some household tips, such as "paint your nails twice a day with white iodine to keep them strong." Huh? Really? Who had that kind of time and organization?

Here is one of a set of coasters I made from a pattern in The Workbasket. I used a lot of wild colors, but I think the original designer wouldn't mind if she knew.



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Coming tomorrow: It's awards time! Wear your loveliest evening gown and take a seat. Plenty of swag to be given away.

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Responses to comments from Yesterday: "Spreading Joy"

kawaii crafter, Nancy, Jenn P, noble pig, Amy, and eileen; you're welcome! I thought there were a lot of us out there feeling the same way. Patty, not only do I love that tutorial, I love the picture she used! I definitely have to try this.

23 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Amy said...

Gosh that last picture is SO pretty! I guess during the war years they had to be thrifty by making things like what's in the books :-)

Coloradolady said...

Love the apron pattern. How functional it was, I don't know, but it is really nice. Love this post.

eileen said...

My mom left a huge box of these behind, and I do have them. But I am very impressed with your old black and white ones. These are wonderful. Do you collect them?

What A Card said...

I like the responses to the comments you've received. I'm never sure what to do with comments...I sometimes respond in the comment section, but I doubt anyone goes back to read it. I know I never re-read the comment section of a blog I commented on!

I'm not overly crafty, but those magazines look neat!

Monkey Memories said...

Ooo, I love those slippers! Too cute!

Lidian said...

You are really talented, that is a lovely coaster!

And you know I love that magazine, it is a treasure!

Thanks for sharing them -

magda said...

How fun! I have some of the yarn left over from my grandmother's knitting projects from WWII. She sent things to her husband, who wrote back and told her that the rest of his group would like her to knit things for them, too. Once I figure out how to count and knit at the same time, I may attempt more than a scarf. (Of course, now that we live in Florida, knitted things are not at the top of my wishlist.)

Angie said...

I have lots of those old magazines...lol

noble pig said...

Those are so cool! I swear I look forward to every Vintage Thursday.

ellen b said...

How fun. I like seeing these great old magazines. The coaster you made is wonderful...

Carrie said...

Last week I stopped in to the trhift store and found several Workbasket issues, but the oldest was June 1962. They are still quite interesting, though.

Good N Crazy said...

Hi, HI, HI! I'm soooo baaaack! Was painful and Urban dictionary even had a word for it. I was interneutered for a while there without internet!

And I made a pair of knitted slippers as one of the first things I ever made in 4-H for knitting. (I think a pin cushion was the first thing though).

Vintage Mommy said...

Beautiful doily. I love the colors!

I used to go to Muir Woods all the time when I was a child. Good memories.

Maybe I should check back here when I feel like going crazy. I had twins when my boys were 1 and 2. It sounds like you could sympathize with me. :{

Stephanie said...

I love your coaster you made, very pretty! Neat magazines.

Patty said...

I love that coaster!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Oh, how I also would have loved and would still love to look at those magazines. You are so lucky! Thanks for stopping by my blog also! jane

bejewell said...

Wow, you are SO much craftier than I am.

I suck.

Scary Mommy said...

I love that coaster!!! I'm so jealous that you can do that- looks great!

Anonymous said...

That's such a great pattern book! I really like the colors in the doily too.

Denise said...

I love the "old" crafts. I think it's sad that tatting is almost completely gone. :-( You did a great job with the coaster. I personally have a fun time starting projects, but a hard time finishing them!!

Becca said...

I have a small collection of Workbasket magazines also. I love looking through them and I've picked out several things to make. Love your crocheted piece.

* TONYA * said...

I want to make those slippers, I think they are just adorable.

Jewelgirl said...

The lacey apron is so pretty, I
wouldn't wear it knowing all the hard
work it would take to make it!!
The flower is so pretty, it would look great a little girls knit hat!

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