Christmas is not too far away! Are you crafty and wondering what to make for that beloved Auntie or other relation? Fear not! There’s still time to crochet a Victorian-style gift for a family member who appreciates handmade things.
During the Victorian era, a dutiful upper-middle-class woman’s leisure time would have been occupied in making decorative items to wear and to decorate their homes.
Working for financial gain was out of the question for a well-off married Victorian woman – it would have reflected poorly on her husband. Furthermore, the woman of the house would have servants to clean and cook for the family, so she would have turned her attention to other activities such as socializing by paying morning calls, doing charity work, and hobbies.
There were plenty of ladies journals and magazines containing helpful instructions for making any number of things: Beadwork, painting on glass or china, decoupage, scrapbooking, and all forms of needlework including knitting, tatting, petit point and crocheting.
These hobbies are still popular among many people, myself included. Here are some wonderful online resources of vintage patterns (both Victorian and Victorian-style) for avid crocheters:
http://www.antiquecrochetpatterns.com/ a collection of rare and hard to find 1920’s (and earlier) needlework books containing patterns for beautiful creations from times past.
http://crochetatplay.com/freevintagecrochet.html Free, public-domain content. Old patterns, but not necessarily only Victorian. Has patterns for afghans, pin cushions, lace jabots, fascinators and more.
http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/catalog.htm A very lovely collection. Includes patterns for crochet, tatting, beading, Hardanger embroidery, and other crafts.
http://freevintagecrochet.com/ More nice scanned-in crochet resources.
http://www.victorian-embroidery-and-crafts.com/free_victorian_crochet_pattern.html Instructions for a lacy crocheted border. Very pretty.
http://www.victoriancrochet.com/freepatterns.tpl Two patterns for making Irish lace jabots. A jabot is a decorative frill that is worn at the collar of a blouse.
http://www.crochetmemories.com/ Heritage crochet patterns and traditional style doilies, pillows, afghans, and more.
http://designingvashti.com/blog/two-free-victorian-crochet-pattern-books-love/ A blogger mentions two crochet pattern books from the 1890s which she cherishes.
http://www.victorianvoices.net/crafts/knitting.shtml Crocheting and darning patterns from the Victorian era as well as knitting.
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