The Art of Crocheting

What?! There are vintage patterns other than Weldon's?

Katrina King Oct 13, 2021 - 4 min read

The Art of Crocheting Primary Image

Literary inspiration, photo via Shutterstock.

One of the perks of my new position with Long Thread Media is being a first point of contact with the public. One item on my list of duties is to check the mail, both electronically and that of the snail variety. I am the first one to see and handle the contributors’ pieces for the magazine, along with being the one to answer reader questions about various projects. Recently a reader donated a book to our collection.

The Art of Crochet

Wow! This is neat. Photo by author.

The Art of Crocheting was published by the Butterick Publishing Company in 1901. Now when I think of the name Butterick, I think of the huge sewing pattern catalogs that my sister and I would look through at the big-box craft stores while Mom looked at fabric. The ones that came out during this time of the year were always the best because they had the Halloween costume patterns. Offering graded sewing patterns is exactly how the company founded by Ebenezer Butterick in 1867 started out. What I didn’t know is that they also published a magazine called The Delineator that had articles on fashion and fabric. The company also published several handiwork books, including The Art of Crocheting.

The book itself starts out with basic stitches and advances through various motifs, projects for the home, and items to wear. Similar to Weldon’s, there are illustrations, a few photos, and the ever-elusive pattern containing neither of these. While not as prolific as Weldon’s, as there is only the single volume on crochet, I am curious to look at a different style of pattern writing and publishing. The back cover lists other books ranging from child care and the kitchen to various crafts, including one on knitting as well as lace making. It’s time to find my yarn and hooks to play!

The art of crochet in progress

Swatching, a crafter's best friend.

Do you have any interesting vintage publications on your bookshelf? We love hearing stories about your projects and rare gems like this book. You can reach us at [email protected] to share.

Click here for Part 2 of The Art of Crocheting, where Katrina selects a pattern from the book and crochets multiple versions, comparing how instructions were written 100 years ago to the way they're written today. -Editors

Katrina King, the newest member of the Long Thread Media team, has yet to meet a fiber craft she doesn’t like. Along with lace knitting, she also has crochet, weaving, spinning laceweight yarn, and tatting in her tool bag. You can follow her craft adventures at Threaded Dream Studio. When she’s not crafting, she can be found teaching at her local yarn shops, reading epic fantasy novels, and chasing her daughters to various activities in and around Fort Collins, Colorado.