This month I designed a little crochet star ornament especially for my blog readers, inspired by pictures of 1940s aluminum star ornaments. It's the perfect way to add some vintage homemade specialness to your decorations this year.
For these ornaments I used Knit Picks' Curio, size 10 cotton thread. I can't say enough nice things about this thread. It comes in a gorgeous color palette (though limited), it's so soft to work with, and it comes in enormous yardage of 721 yards per ball. That's a huge amount of thread for your money!
The pattern is written out below in standard American terms. But first, here are a few step-by-step photos to guide you through the process.
At first it looks nothing like a star!
Tightening the slip ring gives you 5 loops, like a flower.
After the first few rounds, it's starting to look like a star.
You could stop after Rnd 5. Nothing wrong with that.
But like the icing on the cake, do one more round to emphasize the points and add a bit of trim.
Then the large star is done. You could easily add a chain loop for hanging before you fasten off. I prefer to use the less noticeable ornament hanger inserted through one tip, so omit a chain loop.
You could use this little fella all by himself, but there's more, just to add a little more with color fun.
In another color, make this teeny tiny 2 round star, leaving a long end for sewing, and stack him on top of the large star.
Once he's in position, whipstitch him in place, all around the edge so his points won't curl. Weave in all the rest of the loose ends, and it's done!
You could starch the star if you want it super stiff, but if like me your stitches are tight, the star will hold his shape without starching. To get a perfect shape, mist it with water and pin it to your ironing board to dry, stretching out the points.
-a small amount of both Bluebell - 26273; and White - 26255
size 7/1.65mm steel crochet hook, or size needed to obtain gauge
Not important - use a hook size small enough to get nice tight stitches with your thread.
hdc=half double crochet
sl st=slip stitch
2 1/4 in. at widest point
dc3tog (double crochet three together)=yo, insert hook in same st as ch 2, draw up lp, draw new lp through 2 lps on hook, (yo, insert hook in next st, draw up lp, draw new lp through 2 lps on hook) twice, draw new lp through all 4 lps on hook
Rnd 1: With your main color, make a slip ring, (ch 7, sl st in ring) 5 times. Pull loose end of slip ring to close tightly. 5 lps
Rnd 2: sl st in next 2 chs of first ch 7 lp, ch 1, (sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc, ch 1) in each ch 7 lp around; join with sl st in first sc. 10 sc, 10 hdc, 5 dc
Rnd 3: ch 1, [hdc in next 2 hdc, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next dc, hdc in next 2 hdc, ch 1] around; join with sl st in first hdc. 30 hdc, 5 dc
Rnd 4: ch 1, (hdc in next 3 hdc, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next dc, hdc in next 3 hdc, ch 1] around; join with sl st in first hdc. 40 hdc, 5 dc
Rnd 5: sc in each st around, working (hdc, dc, hdc) in each of the 5 dc; join with sl st in first sc. 45 sc
Rnd 6: sk first st with sl st in it, * sc in next 3 sts, sk next st, in dc work (dc, ch 2, sl st, ch 2, dc, ch 2, sl st, ch 2, dc) sk next st, sc in next 3 sts, sl st in each of next 3 sts; rep from * around; join with last sl st in first sl st. Fasten off.
Rnd 1: Make a slip ring, ch 2, (3 dc, ch 1) 5 times in slip ring, join with sl st to first dc. 15 dc, 5 ch sps
Rnd 2: [ch 2, work dc3tog (see Special Stitches), ch 2, sl st in top of dc3tog, ch 2, sl st in same st as last dc of dc3tog, sl st in ch sp, sl st in next dc] around; join with sl st in first ch; fasten off, leaving a long sewing end. 5 points
Weave in all ends except long sewing end. With needle threaded on long sewing end, sew small star to center of large star. Block or starch if necessary.
I chose blue and white for these ornaments, but you could use endless combinations of red, gold, green, silver, ivory, rose, white...anything that takes your fancy or matches your decor. You could even do random bright colors and use up your odds and ends of thread. You can hang them alone or in coordinating pairs scattered over the tree, or go wild and make a whole bunch and thread them together to make a garland.
So find your crochet hook, turn up some big band Christmas music, and get in the 1940s Christmas mood!
Till next time,
~Kristen - Verity Vintage Studio
Look for my new tutorials posted sometime during the first full week of every month. Hairstyles, crafts, repurposing, project journals, do-it-yourself vintage or alterations, etc.
Springtime and Easter means time for new, shady hats! You can often find lovely ones in antique stores and online, and sometimes in thrift stores if you're lucky. But how handy it is to make your own!
Some time ago I found this rare, beautiful 1940s crochet hat pattern online and knew I had to make it. At once! The original pattern had only one photo and was somewhat difficult to follow - vintage crochet terms are different and much looser than modern crochet - and I ended up changing it some as well, so I thought I would share my version of the pattern with you.
(Want the original instead, vague instructions and out-of-production materials notwithstanding? Check it out in this issue of Hey Doll Vintage Magazine.)
My first trial was mostly a success. Since I didn't have the millinery wire called for I was typically too impatient to wait until I found some, so I used a long, thin metal dress hanger instead and re-bent it into a circle. It didn't quite work. Too small, so the hat ended up a little ruffled and somewhat lumpy. But still quite wearable.
I trimmed it with these gorgeous vintage millinery strawberries from Mary Not Martha.
For my next trial, I found this 12 gauge, easily posable floral wire - floral wire is much easier to find than millinery wire! - to use for the brim. It turned out it really was too posable and bends too easily to be the best choice, so I guess I'll keep looking!
My yarn choice was different as well, and the final version turned out much smoother and quite sturdy.
Not having any photos of the back, I was surprised to find as I worked through the pattern that it had an open crown, which I ended up liking very much. But, at least for my head, the crown the pattern called for was too high and unflattering, so I revamped it a little.
The flexibility of the brim wire may be a disadvantage, but it does allow for easy changes in style!
Size H/8/5mm crochet hook, or size needed to obtain gauge
stitch markers (optional)
12 gauge floral or millinery wire
vintage flowers and/or ribbon for trimming (optional)
With 2 strands, 3 rows of sc=1 in. high. (Stitches will be tight and dense.)
16 in. in diameter; somewhat adjustable head size at the crown.
sl st=slip stitch
Solid section rnds are not joined; use stitch markers to keep track of beginning of rnds if necessary.
Hat - Crown
Holding 2 strands of CA together, ch 40 (ch should measure approx. 13 in. long). Join with sl st in first ch to form a ring. Be careful not to twist.
Rnd 1: ch 1, sc in each ch around; do not join. 40 sc
Rnd 2: sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, (sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc) around; do not join. 60 sc
Rnds 3-4: sc in each sc around. At end of last rnd, join with sl st in first sc and fasten off.
Rnd 5: holding 2 strands of CB together (or you may use 1 strand in order to match the brim better), join in any st, ch 1, (ch 5, sk 2 sc, sl st in next sc) around; join with sl st in first ch. 20 ch lps
Rnd 6: work 5 sc in each ch lp around; join with sl st in first sc. 100 sc
Lower Crown and Brim
Rnd 7: holding 2 strands of CA together, join in the center sc of any 5 sc group, ch 1, (sc in center sc of 5 sc group, ch 3) around; join with sl st in first sc. 20 ch lps
Rnd 8: ch 1, (sc in sc, work 3 sc in ch lp) around; do not join. 80 sc
Rnds 9-10: sc in each sc around; do not join.
Rnd 11: (2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc) around, add 2 more sc in same st as last sc; do not join. 109 sc
Rnds 12-13: sc in each sc around. Join last rnd with sl st in first sc. Fasten off.
It's starting to look like a hat now!
You could actually stop here and wear it as a small 1950s hat on the back of the head.
Rnd 14: with 1 strand of CB, join in any sc; (ch 1, sc) in same st, ch 5, sk next 2 sc, (sc in next sc, ch 5, sk next 2 sc) around; join with sl st in first sc. 36 ch lps
Rnd 15: sl st into next ch lp, ch 1, work 5 sc in each lp around; join with sl st in first sc. 180 sc
Rnd 16: sl st into next 2 chs, (ch 1, sc) in same st, ch 5, (sc in center sc of 5 sc group, ch 5) around; join with sl st in first sc.
Rnd 17: rep Rnd 15.
Rnd 18: rep Rnd 16.
Rnds 19-20: rep Rnds 17-18. Fasten off at end of last rnd.
Rnd 21: join 1 strand of CA in center sc of any 5 sc group, (ch 1, sc) in same st, (ch 3, sc in center of next 5 sc group, ch 4, sc in center of next 5 sc group) around; instead of last sc, join with sl st in first sc.
Rnd 22: rep Rnd 15.
Bend wire into a loop, wrapping the 2 ends securely together for a few inches to make a circle. Hold wire against Rnd 22.
Rnd 23: Working over wire, sc in each sc around; join with sl st in first sc.
Rnds 24-25: sc over Rnd 23 and wire again (the 3 rnds of sc will effectively conceal the wire). Join last rnd with sl st in first sc and fasten off.
Cut a length of CA, weave through sc of Rnd 9, tighten slightly and tie ends on the wrong side of hat to define brim. This may be adjusted to help fit head size. Weave in all ends on the underside, mist with water and shape hat; let it dry on a hat form or inverted bowl.
Trim as desired with vintage flowers and ribbon. (The original photo seems to show it with a ribbon around the crown and tied in the back with the ends dangling down to the shoulder blades.)
(I happened to have a yard of 4 in. taffeta ribbon that matched the blue yarn exactly!)
That's it! All finished. Now you can style it any way you like.
With the bow in the back, bend the front down for a more dramatic picture hat style...
...or leave it with a plain round brim for the cartwheel look on the back of the head especially worn by teens and young women during the summer months in the 1940s and '50s, as shown in the original pattern photo...
...or tug it a bit to make it more of an oval shape, bending it slightly and wearing it tilted with the bow on the side front, for more of a late 1930s look. Lots of possibilities!
The last round is tedious, awkwardly working over the wire, but I think it's worth it. Fun to make and wear for spring! And the best part is you can make as many as you want in any color needed in your summer hat wardrobe.
Till next month!
Kristen - Verity Vintage Studio
Look for a new tutorial posted during the first full week of every month...How-tos for hairstyles, crafts, vintage, repurposing, etc.
I was so happy to see my vest design in the upcoming spring issue of Crochet! Magazine. It was inspired by the 1940s suspender-style vest and jumpers so popular during the late '30s and WWII. Was it a surprise that the editor named it Vintage Kristen Vest? That's me!
I flatter myself that it would even work for a 1940s costume with the right hairstyle, skirt and blouse, and accessories. Any vintage-loving crocheters can get the pattern in the spring 2015 issue - read about where and when to get it on my other blog.
As promised, here is the pattern for the 1940s style brooch I designed to wear with the Traveling Dress. Easy and quick, not only did it add the right touch of cream to tie together the look, it also filled in the V neckline for me.
I used a seashell button to match the dress, but so many options are available with a variety of buttons to get your own special look or matching touch - ideal to showcase a fragile heirloom or vintage button you don't want to launder.
Besides, crochet was very popular in the 1940s for accessories and garments, so it is perfectly authentic for costume wear. And cute to wear everyday.
1940s Style Double-Ruffle Brooch
(c) 2014 Kristen Stoltzfus
approx. 10 yds size 10 cotton thread in cream color
size 7/1.65mm steel crochet hook, or size needed to obtain gauge
1 in. pin back
first 2 rnds= 1 ½ in. across
3 in. across
All rnds are worked RS facing.
Ch 6, join with sl st in first ch to form ring.
Rnd 1: ch 3 (does not count as first tr), (tr, ch 1) 23 times in ring; join with sl st to first tr. 23 tr, 23 ch sps
Rnd 2: sl st into first ch 1 sp, (ch 1, sc) in same sp, (ch 7, sc in next ch sp) around, ch 3, dc in first sc to form last lp. 23 ch lps
Rnd 3: (ch 1, sc) in same st, (ch 6, sc in next ch lp) around, ch 3, dc in first sc to form last lp.
Rnd 4: rep Rnd 3
Rnd 5: (ch 1, sc) in same st, (ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, ch 3, sc in next ch lp) around; join with sl st in first sc and fasten off.
Leaving long end for sewing, rep Rnds 1-3 of Bottom Layer
Rnd 4: rep Rnd 5 of Bottom Layer.
With needle threaded on long sewing end, center and sew top layer to bottom layer, sewing button to the top and pin back to the underside. Covering button, spray starch thoroughly and pin bottom layer to dry, lifting top layer and scrunching it so it ruffles a little and doesn't lie flat against the bottom layer. Let dry.