I love vintage stuff, so I was pretty excited when I came across a website recently, Vintage Literature Reproductions, where you can purchase vintage books. I bought a couple to see how I liked the format, and I think I’ll be going back for more! I’ve got my eye on this one, with 66 books including crochet and vintage dress patterns!
What’s it Like?
I ordered books on CD and data DVD, but some are also available for instant download. I wasn’t sure what to expect when the product info said the Embroidery disc had 44 vintage books on it. I’ve bought a few ebooks that have multiple volumes in one book, and navigation isn’t always ideal with those. This disc, however, was pretty easy to use. Each book is in a separate pdf.
I like to print out my patterns to take with me, since I like to take crafts along when I travel, so I like how easy it is to print from the pdf. Some of the books are long, and take some time to load all of the pages, but the overall size of everything doesn’t eat up too much space.
I like that it uses simple pdf files instead of something specific that only works with certain software. A pdf means I can load it on my phone or iPad to take it with me.
I saw a neat tutorial recently about how to crochet with beads without having to thread them all on the yarn before you start. I have to try it out!
My great-grandmother crocheted a couple hundred doilies in her lifetime. My family inherited several, and I’ve been feeling inspired to try making one myself. My mom found a book she had bought years ago (for 29 cents!) that had a simple doily pattern that I decided to make. Choose something with a lot of open spaces for your first project–it will go faster that way! This is a good pattern to start with.
Choosing Your Thread and Hook
I bought Coats and Clark size 10 thread and a size 6 hook. Hooks for crocheting with thread are sized differently than hooks for yarn, so don’t use a size 6 yarn hook and expect the desired result. With hooks for crocheting with thread (for lace or doilies) the hooks get larger as the numbers get smaller. A size 6 hook was the largest of this type of hook that I could find at my local craft store. I recommend choosing a light color of thread. I’ve said before that lighter colors make it easier to see your work, which is particularly helpful as you’re just learning a new technique. I chose a variegated pastel thread, because there’s no rule that a doily has to be white!
Thread for lace or doilies is much harder to hold than yarn is, and my tension was sort of hit or miss for the first couple of rounds. But don’t give up! It gets easier as you go! Another thing I noticed is that the thread would often slip off the hook as I would try to draw up a loop. If this happens to you, remember that even if you wrap the thread all the way around the hook, you’ll still only draw up one loop. Also, switching from yarn to thread takes patience.
I didn’t weave in my ends as aggressively as I do for a hat or blanket because this doily will not be worn, stretched, or washed often. I just sort of worked the ends. A yarn needle would have been too large, so I used an embroidery needle. It worked beautifully!
The instructions in the book said to starch and lightly press the doily when it was finished. I don’t have any starch, and all that seemed unnecessary. It was a little curled, but not too bad. I just filled a clean spray bottle with some water and placed the doily on a towel. I spritzed the entire thing lightly and pressed out the curls. Then I worked my way around the border, spritzing a little each time, and reshaping the edging into nice round curves with my fingers. Keep the doily flat and laid out in the right shape until it’s dry and it will keep its shape.
I found some cute patriotic fabric at the craft store that I hope to turn into something for the 4th of July!