Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vintage Crochet for your Home - A book review

The cover of the book.

From the  Coats & Clark Company  2010

Coats & Clark are celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Red Heart Yarn line this year by releasing this new book. The book has an interesting concept. It takes vintage patterns designed and published by the company from 1920-1959 and redesigns them for the modern crocheters. The patterns are written using modern terms and crocheted using readily available yarns from the Red Heart line in modern fresh colors. The book fully takes advantage of the resurgence of interest in the mid-century modern aesthetic and the rising trend of vintage modern styling. Crafters are very interested in vintage patterns but are often put off on using the patterns because of the way they are written the lack of charts and the difficulty in finding or even understanding the yarn weights in older patterns. This book takes a nice selection of vintage patterns for the home and transforms them into fresh and modern patterns with a vintage flair.

Love these mitered clothes and the hooks
The book consists of four main chapters with over 30 patterns, a brief history of the company and a how to crochet basics information section. The patterns are broken into three sections Beginner (1 pattern), Easy (24 patterns) and Intermediate (5 patterns) so the patterns are attainable for nearly everyone. The patterns are well written and have a good layout and all the patterns include colored charts which make it easy to follow along when working the projects. The book is filled with great colored photos of all the projects and in some cases has the original photos from the pattern along side the new redesigned project.

Chapter 1 Kitchen Aids consists of dishcloths, potholders, and shopping bags. I love the mitered dishcloths and think they would be adorable in any kitchen or as a house warming gift. Retro dishcloths are so hot right now and these cloths have a 50ish vibe that would be great in any style kitchen. I know that the mitered dishcloth is a mini trend on Ravelry and this will let crocheters in on the trend. The color combinations are endless and this pattern makes good use of variegated cottons which can become overwhelming in a full project. The potholders and the shopping bags are also very nice all are small projects that would make great gifts.

Covered bottle caps the variations are endless.
Chapter 2 Entertaining Tables has a selection of placemats, doilies, and a hot pad. The placemats are lovely but I am fascinated by the Pineapple Hot Plate mat. This pattern takes metal bottle caps crochets them into a cover and then the covered caps are sewn into the shape of a pineapple which is then used as a hot pad. How clever is that? The pattern is interesting but what I love how the technique can be applied to other projects. I am imagining plastic water bottle caps sewn into circles for table runners, rugs, and coasters. It really is a clever idea and I can see it being used as an eco friendly project repurposing all kinds of lids and caps and different kinds of yarns.

Chapter 3 Bed & Bath Décor has rugs, edgings and an appliqué. What is it with crochet books that they always add some type of crochet edging? I think they are a bit fussy on bath towels but could be nice on other things. I guess I just am not the decorative towel kinda gal! I love the water lily appliqués but see them on other things than towels. I think they would look cool on a bag or a rug. The rugs are nice. I like the circular rug which uses a puff stitch. I can see how the choice of yarn and colors could suit this rug to any décor from modern to traditional.

Love the pillows and the styling
Chapter 4 Cozy Rooms is the longest chapter with them most patterns. It has the afghan patterns (with matching pillows) this section has the best styling of afghans I have seen in a while. I love the mid century feel of the styling. I guess Coats has had over 75 years of experience making afghans look appealing. I also like the modern and vintage photos which show you how modern color choices and yarns can reinvent a classic design. My favorite is the Checkmate Afghan & Pillow. It is a nice take on the buffalo plaid trend that is very popular right now. It has a 50’s bachelor vibe which is also popular right now. My college age son would love this afghan for his dorm. I like the use of a solid and a variegated yarn. It makes it look more complex than it really is. I also like the Tweedy Square pattern. It uses 2 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver which makes it economical as a housewarming gift. With the color choices and the variety of buttons you can find the pillow has endless variations.

Overall I like the book. The styling is lovely, the color photos well done and the variety of patterns is nice for a home book. I like the fact that the patterns are things people would want to use in their house no magnets or cozies (ok just one cup cozy but it matches the placemat and it’s actually more of a coaster with a lip) I like it when vintage doesn’t pander to kitsch, not that I don’t love kitsch. The only thing I didn’t like about the book is that some of the styling on the placemats obscured the project. Not a major problem since the instructions and charts are clear and some projects have multiple photos. Oh wouldn’t it be nice if Coats did a vintage home knitting book as a companion? Check out this book and of course decide for yourself I personally found it to be a nice well done book with great patterns and an interesting premise.

Vintage Crochet For Your Home: Best-Loved Patterns for Afghans, Rugs and More for sale on


  1. That looks amazing! I'll have to look for it the next time I'm yarn-shopping!

  2. Anonymous11:27 AM

    Hi, blog hopping and checking out many today stumbled across yours, love the magazine. I crochet little brown bunnies and love everything about yarn. Love your blog.

    Have a wonderful day.

  3. Love the pineapple! I have a few bottle cap projects, also. Stop by and check them out, HERE.

  4. have to agree - that pineapple is such fun. well done.

  5. i love the pineapple!!!

  6. Love the pineapple =). Really cool.

  7. The red and Grey pillows are giving a stylish look to the chairs

  8. Anonymous2:39 PM

    Hey guys!

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  9. Anonymous2:11 AM

    Wonderful collections and presentation too!

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  10. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Very beautiful blog!!
    You have great collection.
    I can decorate my sweet home using all these things.

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  11. I'm in love with the pineapple mat - I can definitely think of some spin-off projects.

    And I agree, it would be fun to see a knitting version of this book!

  12. it seems like a very nice book i would love to read it

  13. Wow! Very impressive collection of crochet! Hopefully this thing works out for me. I actually haven’t worked on it too much but now that I’m trying and was inspired by this, I hope I can..


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