Thanks to the wonderful people who choose to support Crochet Concupiscence through Patreon, I’ve reached my next milestone and am able to bring back the monthly posts in my exploration of 50 Years of Vintage Crochet History. Here is our look at 1944 crochet!

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Wartime Crochet

As we saw in the last couple of posts, World War II brought its own unique type of crochet. Women were crocheting for the war effort, for the soldiers overseas, and for mending things at home where they were trying to hold down the fort. This, of course, continued in 1944.

1944 crochet ad

Suzann’s TextileFusion shares an old 1944 newspaper ad for women to come get “interesting” and “essential” work. The job is to assemble radio tubes, which “may save the life of some boy you know who has gone to war”? What skills are needed for the work? “If you can sew, crochet or knit, you can learn to assemble radio tubes.”

Newspaper Crochet Patterns

The newspaper archives for 1944 are rich in articles featuring crochet patterns. In some cases, the full pattern was printed in the newspaper. In other instances, there was information about the design and you had to send away to get the full pattern. Here are three examples, all sourced from the archives of Australian magazines through Elephind.

rag crochet shoes cosy scarf vintage crochet pattern suace bottle crochet cozy

And here is one more, unique because it is actually shown in color in the archives. It comes from the 5/20/44 issue of Australian Women’s Weekly. The pattern says in part, ” In order to achieve the desired effect, the pastel colors were arranged in groups, with darker colors between the groupings. For example, mauve, pink, blue, and green were used, then navy; mauve, pink, blue, green were repeated, then maroon; and so on. In this way all the small scraps of every color were utilized.” Here it is:

vintage 1944 rainbow crochet jacket

Crochet was considered stylish in this time period according to an article by Cherie Nichols in the 5/10/44 issue of Farmer’s Weekly Review. She writes,

“It’s clothes that keep you warm and comfy and cheerful that’s the wanted kind these days. Which accounts for the unprecedented style acclaim given to things knitted or hand crocheted. The big hand-crochet craze now sweeping throughout the fashion realm is staging nothing less than a riot of color and intriguing design, most of it carried out in the picturesque mood that tunes in so gaily with the winter landscape . Whether it be a sweate , a scarf, hood, snood, mittens or a fireside shawl or flower motif trimming the pocket on your dirndl skirt or a handbag or muff, if it be hand-crocheted it has high-fashion rank.”

How to Crochet a Vintage 1944 Hat

Smart Bags: 1944 Crochet Book

1944 crochet hats and bags book

The thread companies continued to produce their own crochet pattern books in 1944, and I happen to have one of these in my collection. It’s the Smart Bags: Crochet Your Own Hats-Bags by Spool Cotton Co. The introduction confirms what Nichols wrote above:

1944 crochet bags book

“Smart hats and bags with that new look, the crocheted look, that’s so fashion-right in the new fashion picture. The country’s going crochet-crazy, and no wonder … it’s easy and it looks so made-to-order smart.”

1944 crochet hats book

This crochet book explains the right way (for the times) to properly line a crochet purse. And I learned about a type of hat I didn’t know about before: the calot (it’s the one at the bottom right in the photo of hats above).

Other 1944 Crochet Books

small fry crochet 1944

Crochet For Small Fry

1944 crochet blouses and dickies

1944 BLOUSES / DICKIES Crochet Patterns … See a little more of this one from Mooshi Handmade

1944 crochet doilies book

Old and New Favorites Doilies

1944 crochet afghans book

All Time Favorite Afghans in Bear Brand and Fleisher Yarns – Knitting and Crochet

crochet rugs 1944

Design and hook your own rugs

how to knit and crochet

KNITTING KNOWLEDGE – Including crochet

Handicrafts Exhibitions

Throughout the newspaper archives for 1944, there are countless articles about various local handicrafts exhibits that always mention crochet among the winning pieces.

crochet award

Age 100 and Still Crocheting

An Australian newspaper article from 4/22/44 shares the story of Mrs. W. Blakney from Hobart who had just turned 100 years old. The woman, who had 23 grandchildren and two dozen great grandchildren, read her bible every day and still enjoyed a little bit of crochet.

What to Charge for Crochet Work?

Many people today who want to do crochet work for an income ask the question, “how much should I charge?” This is not a new question. One 1944 newspaper responding to a reader who asked this wrote:

what to charge for crochet

Bone Crochet Hooks Wanted

bone hooks wanted

As we see from this ad, The Red Cross was seeking vintage crochet hooks made of bone, something already becoming difficult to find in 1944.

Crochet Hook Injury

crochet injury

Over the years there have been many gross crochet hook injuries. In December 1944, The Longreach Leader reported that an ambulance had to treat a women who had a crochet hook in her nose.

1944 Vintage Crochet Patterns

bandeau hat 1944 vintage crochet pattern

Vintage 1944 Balalaika Bandeau Hat crochet pattern sold by MissJuliasPatterns

vintage 1944 crochet shoes pattern

Vintage 1944 crochet pattern for 3 pairs of shoes sold by ickythecat

vintage crochet toy pattern

1944 elephant crochet toy vintage pattern sold by annalaia

1944 vintage crochet handbag

1944 pattern for crocheting your own fabric-lined handbag sold by Winkorama

apron and tea cozy crochet pattern 1944

1944 vintage crochet pattern for pineapple crochet apron and matching tea cozy sold by VintagePatternDesign

vintage 1944 crochet lace gloves pattern

Vintage 1944 lace crochet gloves pattern sold by patternsalacarte

Author

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

2 Comments

  1. Priscilla Volpe Reply

    Kathryn!!!
    Lovely post dear friend!!!
    I love vintages… soooo much!
    Thanks for share with us ♥

    @priscillavolpe

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