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50 Years of Crochet History: 1932

We’re continuing on with the history series that recently debuted on this blog. Today we’re looking at crochet in the year 1932.

1932 Crochet Style

One of the things I am noticing is different in 1932 than in the previous years I’ve researched so far is that many newspapers started publishing crochet patterns in their pages. We’ll look at a few of those in the “crochet patterns” section below. Because of this, though, we also get to see a broader range of different styles. One pattern (for the cotton crochet top shown in the patterns below) says: “College girls are crocheting during their leisure moments and the vogue is spreading to high school girls and also to their mothers”. This is reflected in a style with a lot of crochet wearables for women and their kids. Crochet blouses and tops start to get very popular at this time, although it is still also common to see patterns that are knit or sewn and just have crochet as edging.

1932 Crochet News

The most awful piece of news that came up in my research was news about a woman who committed suicide with a piece of wire after several unsuccessful suicide attempts including one in which she “stabbed herself under the heart with a crochet needle”. The woman was the mother of a 13-year-old murderer and couldn’t leave with the guilt. Plus, she was the only witness so without her testimony they were considering letting the boy go. What a horrifying way to die.

A slight more upbeat news piece from 1932, and one I found really interesting, was a request for yarn donations for needy families at Christmastime. The article notes that many women bought a lot of yarn so they could knit and crochet at the start of The Depression but with the years dragging on they are no longer so gung ho about it and that yarn (or “wool” as the article actually calls it) is now just sitting there wasting away. The women in these needy families could use it to craft items for their family members.

1932 Crochet Patterns

crochet sweater pattern 1930s vintage

In 1932 the Sasktaoon Star-Phoenix and several other newspapers published a crochet pattern for a pair of “brother and sister sweaters”; the only difference between the boys’ and girls’ version is the placement of the buttons.

vintage 1930s crochet cotton top

The pattern for this cotton crochet blouse was published in several papers including the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

1932 crochet beret

1932 crochet beret pattern

vintage crochet hat and tie

Etsy’s annalaia sells the vintage crochet pattern for this super adorable hat and tie.

crochet bedspreads pattern vintage

Although wearables were popular at this time, people did still crochet for the home. This thread crochet bedspread pattern booklet sold on Etsy by floraandflossies shows and example of that. The brand here is Bucilla and it seems like they put out a lot of pattern booklets at this time.

filet crochet pattern vintage

Another great example is this filet crochet pattern for a milk jug cover, which is sold on Etsy by VintageKnitPatterns. It was published in 1932 in The Weekly Times.

1932 Crochet Books

1932 crochet book

My favorite book found in the research for today’s post is a reproduction of a 1932 book called Fleisher’s Afghan Book. It is described on Amazon as: “A Depression era collection of vividly colorful afghans and throws worked in various afghan stitches, including Tunisian stitch (afghan stitch).”

vintage knit crochet pattern book

ivarose produces reproductions of lots of different crochet books. This is an image from one called Columbia #41 c.1932 Knitted & Crochet Patterns Misses & Women’s Vintage Sweaters Scarfs & Caps.

cotton crochet designs

A book I found that’s not a reproduction was a used Amazon copy of A Complete Collection of Crochet Designs published by Spool Cotton, so it sounds like this one was similar to the pattern books that yarn brands put out now.

I’ll be back next week with crochet history from 1933. How are you liking this series so far?

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Kathryn

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

6 Comments:

  1. I love the series so far. I love ’30s fashions so I will be very interested to see what the next few weeks offer.

    • @undergroundcrafter Yay! I was actually a little bummed last week because I didn’t have time to do the next post in the series so I’m a little excited that today is research day for that!

  2. I’m amazed at the amount of information that you have gathered about crochet. I’m loving the series and will be back for each installment. And I’ll be eagerly awaiting for the ’70s because that is when I learned to crochet.

    • @avidcrocheter Thanks so much! I’m enjoying learning as much as possible about crochet history and passing that on to everyone.

      I’ve done a bunch of posts on specific 1970s crochet designers in my series at http://www.crochetconcupiscence.com/category/crochet-designers/1970s-crochet-designers/. It will be so fun to go even more in depth with that year by year to see the great crochet coming out of that time.

      How did you learn to crochet?!

      • @CrochetBlogger
        I learned at my LYS in Aurora, CO back in the early 70’s. As a southpaw, I had to translate everything in the patterns I used, especially shaping. There weren’t many instructions available for folks like me back then, and the ones that were, weren’t very helpful nor accurate. I’ve tried nearly every fiber art/craft around except knitting and tatting. There were long bouts of needlepoint and cross stitch when I didn’t have readily available yarn shops. I’ve only recently begun to crochet again. The more I do, the more I realize how veratile it is.

  3. Pingback: Vintage Crochet History: Crochet in the 1930s |

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