During my vacation last month I stumbled across a lovely old crochet book that would make a great addition to any vintage crochet library. C'est ce qu'on appelle Crochet Designs from Hungary and is designed by Juliana Ray and Madeleine Bokoli, edited by Jean Kindmon. The book can be located on Amazon using that link and is priced really cheap for the paperback version although the copy I found was a nice hardcover.
Crochet Book Basics
This crochet book was originally published by the authors in 1959. The copy I found is a 1973 version by Dover Publications. It is a crochet book filled with patterns of Hungarian motif-based thread crochet items for the home. The patterns are written for the European crocheter so Americans would have to adapt the patterns to make the designs but that’s often the case with vintage crochet patterns. The book does have a stitch guide with drawings to help you out.
Crochet Washing Instructions
I get a kick out of the fact that older crochet books always include washing instructions. We don’t typically see this today as there are many different laundering options depending upon the type of yarn you select for your item. This one tells us to “wash in the usual way” with a warm later of pure soapflakes.
Crochet Motifs and Variety in Projects
One thing that I think is really fun about this book is that all of the projects are motif-based and include instructions for adapting the project to fit different items. Par exemple, we receive instructions for creating a teacloth but then there are size adaptations to change it into a runner or a trolley cloth. There are instructions for at least one of each of ten different motif-based items (like teacloths) but most have adaptations to become the other things in the book. (Meaning that we also have direction for a runner and a trolley cloth, both using a different motif from the teacloth but with size adaptations to make a couple of the other items.) There are a couple of doily patterns that are not motif-based or adaptable.
Visuals: Some of the Crochet Motifs
Here are three of the different motifs that the book shows (with apologies for the poor picture lighting – I was using my camera phone to take pictures from the book at the library):
So this is the first teacloth pattern in the book. This same motif has instructions to turn the pattern into a runner and trolley cloth.
This motif is one of the runner motifs but it has instructions to make it a teacloth or chairback.
This is a pattern for a luncheon set with instructions to make a trolley cloth or chairback.
What are your thoughts on motif-based thread crochet items for the home? Do you enjoy making them? Have trouble with them?