decorating with crochet

Retro Crochet

Decorating with Crochet
Halliday
1975

There are some lovely decorating tips in this book for all of you looking for a “retro” look for your home. Particularly fetching is the wall hanging of a grandfather clock and the homage to macrame wall hanging on the last picture below.

As a mediocre to poor knitter/crocheter, I can appreciate the skill set, but I just cringe at these projects. It is a waste of yarn. I am also old enough to remember 1970s decor, so I can also tell you that this would have been awful in the 1970s. (At least in my opinion.)

afghans cover image

Craft yourself an Afghan just like Grandma

Afghans
Traditional and Modern
Bray
1977

I was prepared for a very 1970s vibe for this relic of a craft book. I wasn’t disappointed with a few crafts that looked like it came from a grandma’s couch. However, I was surprised that a few were actually quite good. There were some very plain but nicely detailed afghans that would have made nice throws for a couch in this century. The bad news is that the projects were crowded out with the examples below. (Warning! A clown afghan is one of the examples!)

Free Stuff for Quilters cover

Free Stuff for Quilters

Free Stuff for Quilters on the Internet
Heim and Hansen
1998

Submitter: I found this book this morning while weeding our craft section. To be fair, in 1998 it was probably a boon to quilters looking to get free patterns and connect with other quilters across the country. But, it’s an  awful library book now because 1998 was the Stone Age equivalent of the Internet compared to today. Helpful tips in the book how to use one of the starter discs from AOL to get started with internet service, and how to set up Explorer on your computer. Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember all of this, so I got flash backs of trying to dial into the internet and the horrible screeching sounds accompanying the attempt. I didn’t try the links, but I’m guessing many or most of them do not work. About the only information relevant to today are the Internet safety tips, which still ring true today. I see that there was a 2nd edition published in 1999, but I doubt the information on the Internet had significantly improved in a year’s time. I honestly don’t have an explanation as to why this was on the shelf. I have weeded in that area before, but never ran across it before. It’s leaving our shelves today.

Holly: Isn’t it weird how things just pop up out of nowhere sometimes? It’s probably been checked out to someone for like ten years and they finally decided to return it. Gee, thanks, patron.

Illustrated Patchwork Crochet

Retro Granny Squares

Illustrated Patchwork Crochet
Contemporary Granny Squares for Clothing and Home Decorating
Scharf
1976

In the land of crochet styles, nothing says 1970s like a granny square. This had a lot of influence in many of the “fashion” of the time. (I personally sported a sweater vest of granny squares in junior high.) There have been some nice modern takes since this book was published. So we will use the word “contemporary” loosely in this instance.

Aside from the very obvious 1970s vibe, this particular book was in good shape (aside from some yellowing). I have seen better and more modern takes on the granny square, but if it is still getting checked out, doesn’t smell like feet, and works in your library, then by all means hang on to this one. Granny squares will always be part of the crochet universe since they are great for newbies. Stick to baby blankets, because babies don’t care.

101 costumes cover

Costumes Gone Wrong

101 Costumes for All Ages, All Occasions
Cummings
1970

This book sure looks old and the illustrations are awful. I just want to cringe at “instant Oriental” as well as some culturally insensitive assumptions. Yikes.  It certainly needs to move on from a public library collection.

This isn’t really for a serious costumer or theater person and it also seems a bit much for the basic Halloween costume or even school play. Is there a real need for an “Instant Napoleon”?

magnificent macrame cover

Not so Magnificent

Magnificent Macrame
Solvit
1979

Another macrame book for your consideration. I dislike this one for being ridiculously oversized and square. (I really dislike oversize books.) If macrame is your thing, than I suppose this isn’t too bad. The crafts seem to be mostly wall hangings. (Ugh!) There is also that earthy 1970s brown, harvest gold, and avocado green theme throughout the book. I think it is time to admit that maybe 1970s decor wasn’t that great. (In case you need more evidence: this book on home decor, or this one, and especially this one by Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Wit Knits cover

Wit Knits

Wit Knits: Lively And Original Hand Knitting Designs
Hostler and Brandreth
1985

Submitter: While weeding out the craft section I came across this absolutely dated yet lovely gem. John Iman modeling of sweaters? Is the public still being served by this book? Probably not – but it will do well on the sale cart.

Holly: This. Is. Amazing. And by “amazing,” I mean “awful.”

Mary: This is beyond precious. I have never seen so many people happy about wearing sweaters.

macrame cover

No! Knot Again!

Macrame
Bogen
1974

Time to take another ride in the way back machine to the early 1970s for some more groovy macrame. There are some nice choices in accessories for both home and to wear. Note the collar necklace. I am trying to think of an occasion that would call for such a necklace, but I am fresh out of ideas. Maybe you should pair it with the “skirt” featured in the next picture. (I think it goes without saying that you will need some kind of legging under the skirt.)

In the final picture there is a “vest” to wear, which I thought was a tote bag. Of course I have to wonder what one would wear underneath. Next to the vest there is some kind of costume. Maybe it is for a Halloween party where you are dressed up as a macrame wall hanging.