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Tag Archives: crochet

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)?


Hello, everyone. I actually have a regular post, which I’d planned to do before my husband suffered a stroke in January. But first, since I know many of you are kind enough to be interested, I’ll give a brief update.About a week ago, we celebrated Rich’s return from the rehab center with a banner and an ice cream cake. He is strong enough now that I can care for him safely at home, and he is rising to all the challenges of moving about in a real world environment. He’s managed the 14 steps up to our 2nd floor and though it tires him, it’s good therapy. Until he is able to travel more easily, Rich will get physical and occupational therapy from a home care agency. I’m in the process of arranging for a good speech therapist to come to our home (I can’t seem to light a fire under the one from the agency) but hope to have that problem resolved soon.

I am really enjoying taking an increased role in Rich’s recovery, though it does leave little time for anything else. Writing feels like a terribly distant dream at this point. However there are small miracles to celebrate. I never thought I’d be so excited by a man just wiggling his big toe! LOL

Now to my post. Last December, I started crocheting a scarf for a friend, similar to one she’d admired in a store. After Rich had the stroke, I continued to crochet in hospital waiting rooms, by his bedside while he was sleeping, etc… Keeping my hands busy helped me stay calm during a chaotic and scary time.

Earlier, I’d wondered if Regency ladies crocheted, so I did some research into it. I found some interesting information in the “History of Crochet” by Ruthie Marks.

Although sources differ, some believe crochet originated with tambour work, a form of embroidery that uses a hook to create patterns on a background fabric. Originated in the East but reached Europe around 1860. Sometime around 1800 tambour work evolved into what the French called “crochet in the air”.

So crochet would have been a relatively new craft for a Regency lady. I’ve found little to suggest it was widely popular until Queen Victoria began to crochet. She made eight scarves for selected British soldiers during the South African war.

During the Victorian and Edwardian periods, crochet grew in popularity, reaching heights of virtuosity demonstrated in this example of crochet lace from Clones, Ireland.

Since then, crochet has evolved in various directions from the ugly

to the weird

to the downright eyeball-searing.
These images come from What Not to Crochet, a blog I check out when I’m in desperate need of a good laugh.
No wonder crochet has gotten something of a bad name. Yet there are some artisans out there creating beautiful designs, such as Sophie Digard, several of whose designs are pictured below. Though I no longer have time to crochet, someday it would be fun to attempt something as intricate and lovely. But by then I should be back to WRITING.

Anyone else enjoy crochet? Is there something special you reach for when you need to center yourself? Sites you visit for a good laugh?


P.S. A friend just tipped me off about a post at Dear Author announcing a new release from Laura Kinsale! Hurray!
Posted in Regency, Research | Tagged | 20 Replies
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