Monday, August 15, 2011

On My Hook: Antique Corticelli Crochet Edging

Here's what I've had on my hook for the last few days while traveling non-stop:

It is my version of an edging found in Coritcelli's Lessons in Crochet Book 1 from 1916.  The book and many other antique needlework books and pamphlets are available for free at . If you knit, crochet, tat, embroider or just like needlecrafts, this site will have you spending hours ohhing and ahhing. 

I got the idea to try my hand at some of the antique stitches and patterns from Fatima over at Crochetology . Her blog is one of my favorites. She makes the coolest crochet wearables and is committed to taking what seem to be difficult patterns and stitches and making them accessible. Her pattern hacks and jewelry designs inspire me. Hers isn't your Grandma's crochet! I'm hoping to use some of her jewelry techniques to create some one of a kind gifts this Fall.

On her blog, she worked through several of the antique edging and stitches found at the Antique Pattern Library. I was inspired to do the same when I realized that I was going to be spending hours upon hours on planes and needed something small, yet engaging to do. 

I picked Corticelli Edging 318C - mostly because it had a set of directions I thought I understood.  I used Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet Thread size 3 and a 7/1.65 hook. This thread and hook are a bit larger than the original pattern recommended so the size of my stitches are too, but I knew that when I started. 

I didn't count my starting chain, but as I sat on the plane waiting for take off, I chained out a length that would wrap around my wrist, not knowing then what I would make of the edging swatch. When I finished the edging I decided it would be an interesting cuff and doubled it, by crocheting the entire pattern (with the exception of the foundation row of trebles) again under the foundation row. Making the top and bottom mirror one another. Maybe hard to explain, but not complicated, I promise.

You'll notice that my fabric is a lot looser than the original edging. In part this is because of the larger needle and thread, but I also think that it has to do with my hand gauge. I didn't bother to make the stitches tight and even, rather I wanted to produce a flexible fabric. 

The swatch ends with a curve because of how the original pattern repeats. I thought of shortening the last fan to make it square, but then I decided that I really liked the scalloped edge. 

 While I loved the way my doubled edging turned out, I totally FLUBBED the star flower motif I tried to make from the same book. I did the repeats from memory and let's just say, my memory ain't what it used to be! LOL.  I've found that many of the motif patterns are difficult in the older pattern books. There are plenty of crocheters out there who've written about how to understand and simplify the patterns. I should have looked at the picture and went with my eyes instead of my poor pattern comprehension skills!

Note to self (and you too) : Trust What You See!

I haven't yet decided how to complete the doubled edging.

A frilly cuff maybe?
 It isn't my normal style. I'm more urban/modern than Victorian lace (although I do love the antique pave' setting of the engagement ring my awesome hubby picked out for me), but I think that with the right clasp and embellishments, this might work.

There's only one potential problem:

The ends! Because they are so frilly and not a perfect straight edge and because the fabric is really flexible, I'm not sure what sort of clasp would work to keep the edges from folding up like they are doing in the picture above. Suggestions?

I hope this post will encourage you to give the older patterns a try. Go visit Crochetology (I don't know her by the way, I just love her site) and then go make something incredible.

Until next time, which will be sooner than later, I promise ---


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