The value of vintage.

Have you ever noticed the massive pile of vintage patterns sitting gathering dust? No? I don’t blame you.

Miles away from the shiny, glossy magazines that we are all buy and love, there’s old, battered prints. You can find them in charity/thrift shops & second hand book shops. Whether they are wilting in a cardboard box, shoved in a corner or organised in a big pile that no one dare touch for fear of it falling, they’re waiting, waiting to be read.

I love rummaging through old patterns. Of course, there’s the giggle factor. I mean, seriously, did people really wear that stuff! But the range is incredible. Every now and then you get one that has scribbles on it, or a row of numbers scored through. It’s like the past saying to you “this patterns good, go ahead and get making!”

I inherited a lot of patterns when my gran passed away. Among the hand & machine knitting there were a some crochet. It seems to be the fortune of the craft, to be in the shadow of knitting. Forever the bridesmaid, never the bride, as my gran would say.

I started knitting before I took to crochet. Once I had a hook in my hand, I never looked back.

Maybe it’s something to do with being left handed, knitting never seemed natural to me,  simply ‘mirroring’ doesn’t work for all us south paws! Some of us knit back to front and backwards (just to be awkward).

But crochet came as easily as breathing. These days it’s just as instinctive. As the years have passed, I’ve found that reading patterns is quite easy for me. I can see the shape forming as I read,  reading charts took a while to master but I’m so glad now that I can!

I hate the idea of a pattern being lost and for quite a while I would bring home ‘strays’. When we got Jax, I quickly realised that bookcases and puppy dogs don’t mix. So once again the patterns were passed to others, perhaps never finding their forever homes.

I know that its unlikely that there’s a pattern in print that’s not online already, but don’t you just sometimes want a ‘hardcopy’ in your hand. To feel the paper, the folds and to perhaps make a few scribbles of your own? Logically, I know we can print off any pattern we have on our computers, but older patterns feel different. I love the feel of the old paper, it’s almost like linen. As for the old books of patterns, I’m forever coming across some wonderful now treasure nestling in the pages.

Perhaps one day, I’ll manage to get all the patterns together for a ‘family’ photo but for now, here’s a pic of my favourite 2.



The book covers loads of different crafts, but has an excellent crochet section, including Irish Crochet, which is high on my TO DO list. The Tunisian pattern was my grans. It’s been laminated, which means she really, really liked it. I made these waistcoats for my girls when they were 4 and 5. They were super cute!


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