Frivolity,  Regency,  Research


While I was down with the flu, I was finding it very hard to just rest. I am so unused to lying around and doing nothing! So some of the time I did some crochet and I’ve continued to do bits of it during odd moments, like waiting for my daughter to get out of her play rehearsals, etc… It’s an obsession.

I blogged about Regency Crochet a few years ago. At that point I was unable to discover much evidence of ladies crocheting during the Regency, although it was possible. It was around that time that tambour work (embroidery that resembles crochet on fabric) evolved into what the French called “crochet in the air”. Crochet didn’t become popular in England until the time of Victoria. (Check out that old post if you want to see some examples of truly hilarious modern Bad Crochet.)

Anyway, today for fun I tried googling “Regency crochet”.

austentatiouscrochetI found a book called “Austentatious Crochet: 36 Contemporary Designs from the World of Jane Austen”.  Some of the patterns use crochet technique effectively; some I’m not so sure about as they use swathes of single or double crochet (boring!) to do what might be done with ordinary fabrics. For instance, I think I would redo the cover pattern by just adding the crochet embellishments to a knit top.

There’s an example of another pretty item that uses crochet more effectively, Lizzie’s Lace Mantelet, on the Ravelry website.

Sense & Sensibility Patterns has some crochet patterns mostly inspired by periods other than the Regency, but cute, like these Edwardian style earrings designed by Jenny Chancey.


At the Jane Austen Centre website, I found a pattern for crocheted gloves.   Now these look fun to make although I wonder if they would stretch as easily as the pattern claims. I have longish fingers and gloves often feel a smidge small to me. If I do this, I’m going to check them against my hands frequently and add rows if I need to.


The Jane Austen Centre also has a page on the art of tatting. That’s something I would very much like to try sometime. It says it can be addictive and I don’t doubt it would be for me! I have a plain fabric reticule made to go with my Regency gown and it would be fun to decorate it with tatting like the one below.

reticuleAnyone else enjoy handicrafts of any sort, to make or to wear? What should I work on next (besides finishing the mess-in-progress)?


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9 years ago

I am a mad knitter, so I am always making hats, scarfs and such for my family and their friends.

9 years ago
Reply to  Margay

I bet they appreciate it, especially when it’s as cold as it is this winter! I can’t always be making things for myself either. I have crocheted things for charity craft fairs, usually quirky stuff I might not wear or use myself, but it sells well, and for a good cause, so why not?

Beth Elliott
9 years ago

Those crochet and tatting items look delightful. I envy you your skill. I have tried and tried but cannot crochet – only one line a mile long…. so I do ultra-flamboyant metallic embroidery, gilding the lily. So long as everything sparkles, gleams, shines and glows, it’s good.

9 years ago
Reply to  Beth Elliott

Sparkly is always good in my book!

9 years ago

I have done cross-stitch, quilting, knitting, candlewicking (an old colonial stitching art) net darning and tatting. My great aunt was a seamstress by profession and she taught me all of my needle arts. I don’t do any of them much these days as I am trying to craft a writing career so I can get out of Walmart! LOVE that reticule!

9 years ago
Reply to  LouisaCornell

I know about not having much time for crafty stuff; like you I really am focused on the work-in-progress. But what I like about crochet is that it’s easy to work on it in short snippets of time or places where I can’t focus on writing–waiting for my girls to get out of activities, etc…

Wishing you all joy with the writing and getting out of Walmart!

Diane Gaston
9 years ago

I used to crochet. I made an afghan one year when I worked nights in a mental hospital. And I know how to embroider and I can knit, although I never learned how to cast on. I never taught any of these skills to my daughter, though, for which I feel great regret (more so than she feels, though)

9 years ago
Reply to  Diane Gaston

One of my daughters loves to crochet, too, and makes cute and quirky Amigurumis (little crochet or knitted stuffed animals). The other one tried making a doll blanket and somehow managed to lose stitches on every row, so it ended up sort of a trapezoid shape. She hasn’t kept up with it. 🙂

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