Well, we did it again. Yes, we made the mistake of going into our favorite used craft supply store together. It seems we always find a whole lot more stuff when we are together, and this time was not an exception. We found a full stack of vintage craft books, and you know what suckers we are for those. Some of them look pretty innocuous on the outside, but delve deeper and the craziness starts. Let’s begin here:
The cover doesn’t look too bad, and who wouldn’t want to help out a worthy cause by donating a handmade goodie to the local craft bazaar? The lady on the cover sure looks happy to help, but when we look inside:
OK, who decided to crochet a lampshade? I am giving them full marks for some creative crocheting, but as a pattern, it is probably a complete fail. How hard would it be to find the exact same-shaped shade? While we are on this page, what is up with the inflatable pot holder? I see no earthly reason that it is should pop up like a lantern, and yet it does, or so they say. The baby bootie pin cushion is actually pretty cute, and you could make some sweet baby shower favors with that pattern. Now, we come to the crocheted necktie. I think we all need to take a moment and send up a silent prayer for all those poor men who were gifted with one of these. They must have been absolute saints to keep a straight face during the grand opening of the box, and then the poor schmucks actually had to wear it to show their appreciation. Imagine the sidelong looks and smirks they got around the water cooler.
In another book called Crocheted and Knitted Kitchen Crafts, we discover this page:
Come on, I dare you not to at least crack a tiny little smile—they are at least cheerful. Notice the Fiesta wannabe cups and saucers near the top. Not sure about the striped tea cozy, but the flowers on top are fun. Of course, there doesn’t seem to be any way to open the teapot after it is on, but isn’t that a small price to pay for a bloomin’ teapot?
This next one gets full marks for a perky model on the cover. Don’t you just want to grab those knitting needles and crochet hooks, if they make you look that happy. Personally, I think it was a gin and tonic that did it, but that is mama’s little secret:
This was my favorite page in this leaflet:
I honestly tried to hate them, but they pretty much all pushed over into the “so bad they are good” category. It might have something to do with the shade of pink used, and some bang-up photography, but the whole page is pretty cute. That is not to say that they might not come and take you away, if you ever actually tried to make one of these, but hey, no law against browsing.
I actually did like these collars. Update them in more contemporary colors with some cool beads, and hey, they could work. The instructions don’t even look too bad. Don’t forget to wear them with your favorite cashmere sweater, though.
You didn’t even have to go inside for the crazy to start with this next booklet. Considering they recommend these for your bazaar, too, I may be very glad that all of that was before my time. Although I have been to craft fairs where some of this, sadly, might feel right at home. Not dissing the pretty hankies, but that doll nut dish is about as bad as it comes. I do feel that the only things that ever got made from any of these instructions were the hanger covers, considering how many of them we unearth on our adventures.
Have to give you at least a taste of the inside, mostly because I am a fan of the Porky-Dot pincushion at the top of the page. (At least that is what they called it!) The eyeglass holder is a real miss, but what do you do if you are a myopic elephant? I have no idea what those slippers would be good for. Maybe they are just to decorate your feet, as I don’t think they would keep them the least little bit toasty. And hold on—yet another hanger variation. This one with clips for hanging your dainties. At least it was practical, and if all else failed, you shut the closet door and no one was the wiser.
Deb had to pick up this one, as she loved the mid-century look to the items on the cover. Pretty hip for a craft book:
That lamp is awesome!
Also found this doll crochet book, and it is one I didn’t have. (That is pretty rare as I have a LOT!) The front looks fairly safe. Most little girls would be fine dressing their Sweet Sixteen Barbie doll in this:
But once we get inside, we see some doll torture going on:
Cara seems to be wearing an afghan. Poor girl. I don’t know how anyone would drag around that much yarn. Imagine it human-scale. I’ll wait. See, poor thing. Plus, I am stumped at the use of human-scale appliances for props. I guess there was nothing else, so they grabbed whatever was in the storeroom and plopped the dolls on them.
Not content with messing with Babs and her friends, they tried to tell Ken that this was the latest thing in blazers. He got the snickers at the water cooler, too, as well as a rash from that scratchy yarn, but at least he isn’t drowning in it. Poor Barbie has never seen so much red yarn in her life, and it’s all piled up on top of her. At least she won’t freeze to death, but it may mean the end of her career as a fashion icon, if the paparazzi get a load of that.
We also snagged this in a big bag:
We didn’t see the World’s Fair label on it to begin with, and Deb knows I am a huge fan of Barbie patterns, so she let me pay a whole dollar for it! The kit came with several basic pattern pieces in it, and then each “look” had a small picture and the fabric you were supposed to make the outfit from. Some of the views have been made and are missing, and sadly, I am missing a couple of the pattern pieces. If anyone has this, I would adore some copies, so at least the set would be complete. Looking around, it seems to be a pretty rare item, as I couldn’t come up with another example. I never know quite what to do with things like this, but I MUST own them. Hence, the state of my house!
Last, but not least, Deb found this pattern for 21-inch dolls like Cissy, Dollikin, or Sweet Sue Sophisticate:
Those are some fancy duds for the big girls. At that size it might not be too awful to make all those ruffles.
As always, comments welcome, and if for some reason, you really want the instructions for any of these, drop us a line, and we will try to copy them for you. Be aware that once they go into storage, it’s harder for us to find them again, but we can sure try.