Anne of Green Gables

The sad notice of the passing of Jonathan Crombie (Gilbert Blythe) the other day brings on a nostalgia of fond memories.

Anne of Green Gables – I loved the books growing up (eons ago), loved the dramatization on TV (has it been 30 years already?).  Interviews about the show revealed the meticulous attention to detail, with authentic reproductions of the clothing and furnishings of the period, making the early part of the last century come to life.
2 (bottom) and 3 (top) stitch
versions of Crazy Stitch

Lots of crochet sightings.  Marilla’s shawl, especially, led me to Crazy Stitch, from Victorian Crochet, published by the Dover Press in 1974.  Such a sensible, versatile stitch, despite the name, no wonder Marilla used it.

That stitch is a staple in my repertoire – for garments, coasters and washcloths, throws, wristers, purses – anything that can be constructed from a square or rectangle.  A great way to use up scrap yarn.  Makes a fabric as open or solid as you want.  Gives very straight edges stitched corner to corner (on the diagonal).  Gives charming scalloped edges stitched in rows.

Scrap yarn throw
Interweave Press bought the rights to the Weldon series and is publishing it, which includes other crafts along with crochet.  The Dover version (ISBN 0 486 22890 8) is a compendium of the crochet patterns from the series (plain and Tunisian/tricot), and is no longer in print.

The older book continues to be a favorite in my library.  One pattern that never fails to bring a smile is the

Gentleman’s Vest
Required, 10 oz. of brown or grey double Berlin wool, and a long wooden tricot needle No. 6.  
Make a chain of 58 stitches, and work in plain tricot for the length of the front of the vest, about 24 inches long will be right.  
Work a second front in the same way.  
Send the two pieces of tricot to a tailor to be made up into a vest.

That is the whole pattern (tricot is what they used to call plain Tunisian or afghan stitch).  Clearly, how a pattern is written tells you a lot about the intended audience.  What a glimpse into another world!