It’s time for another dose of nostalgia!

Hello everyone!

Today I have some eye candy crochet to share with you and also something very close to my heart, right at the very end πŸ™‚ I apologise in advance about the length of this post but I hope you will find it enjoyable and maybe you will also visit my previous Trip Down Memory Lane post too.

We (my sister and I) are in the process of moving my parents into sheltered accommodation. It is somewhere they can have complete independence in their own apartment without having to worry about gardening, general maintenance, security etc. They can even ask the chef in the complex to make dinner! This is why my quilting has been put on hold and I’ve only managed a few minutes here and there on projects I can pick up and put down. I am absolutely itching to quilt but, at the moment, the move is taking over my life πŸ˜€

I have downed tools for the weekend as I need a break and every muscle in my body is aching! It’s time to whack up the central heating, watch the snow falling outside and get crafting.

My plan today is:

1. Write this post

2. Do some special finishing touches to my blackwork project that I have been stitching along withΒ Claire. I can share the finished project in about two weeks when everyone else is finished πŸ™‚

3. Stitch more of the cross stitch narrow boat. (This might be superseded by putting the binding onto the next quilt in the queue).

Anyway, the house move has meant a lot of sorting and packing and general downsizing which my parents have coped with admirably. The hardest thing for us to cope with has been the decorating of the new flat which my sister and brother-in-law have mostly worked on like Trojans! and all the “stuff” that has been accumulated by my Mum over the years in the current house. Every cupboard has been booby-trapped with an avanche of “stuff”! Would you believe that the only things Mum has discarded in about the last 40 years were her crafting things? All the knitting needles, patterns and wool scraps have gone….given away…about ten years ago 😦 Luckily for me, I did find and old knitting bag which Mum had saved from her sister’s belongings when she died. It had a few patterns and lots of needles inside so I’m so grateful to have those now πŸ˜€

When I was about six years old, Mum and I used to visit a very old relative of her’s. Mum has always called her Aunt Yemmy, or that’s how it sounded anyway and that name has been used by the rest of the family too. I have always thought Yemmy was an unusual name and wondered where it came from (yes, I know I have a strange name too and I don’t know where that came from either). Well, I recently had a look into Mum’s family history and it turns out Yemmy was actually Emily. So for all these years we have been corrupting the name Aunty Emmy into Aunt Yemmy!

Anyway, Aunty Emmy used to crochet. I remember my mum choosing and buying crochet cotton, visiting Aunt Emmy to drop it off and then going back to collect crocheted goodies weeks later. Mum never crocheted.

Here are some of Aunt Emmy’s treasures I found this week at Mum’s. I’ve included some close-ups as some of my readers are so talented at crochet that they will be able to have fun working out the patterns πŸ™‚

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The next examples are incredibly fine and heavy. They are only about 7 inches in diameter.

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Some of these pieces were crocheted in the 1960’s. I remember watching the pansies being crocheted. It was like magic! My sister has another set of these with pink pansies. most of the other pieces would have been made in the 1950’s and earlier. The last two examples are incredibly fine with tiny stitches. They are about 7 inches in diameter each and are much heavier and more slinky, if that makes sense, than the rest. All have been boiled and put through the mangle many times. It is a wonder how they ever survived! I hope you like them πŸ™‚

So, last but not least, something I have been trying to find for years!

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I know, it doesn’t look like much….but I made this when I was 10 years old.

ImageEven in the 60’s I loved purple πŸ˜€

You would not believe how many times I’ve described this piece of embroidery to Mum in the hope that she would still remember it and hopefully have it tucked away somewhere. She has always denied knowledge of it. There were actually also two smaller pieces (you had to make a set of three) but I still haven’t found those. I wanted to include this in my previous post which was really a tribute to my Primary School teacher, Miss Fox, way back in April but I couldn’t find it. If you’d like to read about my wonderful inspirational teacher and see a few more of my very early creations you can do so here. So where was it?? Right under my nose…..clearing out Mam’s spare bedroom….under the mirror on top of a set of drawers…..still being used four decades later πŸ˜€ You have no idea how happy I am to have found it!!!!

Now, I have a question for you all. I believe this technique is called “Huck Embroidery or Weaving” but I hope you will correct me if I’m mistaken. The stitches do not go through to the back of the fabric. They simply weave under the threads which you can see on the close up photo. The white threads are part of the fabric. I only embroidered the purple and green. Does anyone know where I can buy this fabric with the special threads today? I have tried to find it, but not knowing whether this really is huck embroidery or not hasn’t helped. The huck embroidery fabric I’ve found on the internet isn’t like this piece. Maybe you have an old magazine with this pattern in it. Miss Fox allowed me to read her sewing magazines and I have other items I’ve made from them. Some are in the post mentioned above.

So, I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. Let’s see if my wonderful virtual friends can solve this mystery for me πŸ™‚

I’m off to start the 2nd item on my list now!

Have a wonderful weekend πŸ™‚

Avis x

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48 Comments

  1. Judy Galligan

     /  February 23, 2013

    Wow you post certaintly took me down memory lane. The huck towel, we called it Swedish
    Embroidery, I think you might find something similar at JoAnn’s. Maybe Mary Maxium’s
    It seems I have seen it there. Herikener,s ( sp) also may have it….I Have a couple crochet
    Pcs.exactly the same pattern as your. I still like crocheted doilies. Thank You for your post
    I was able to recall some neat memories and experiences

    Reply
    • Hi Judy, welcome to my blog. My main hobby is quilting but anything with a needle and thread or yarn entertain’s me πŸ˜€ It’s fantastic that you also have the same patterns as my Mum. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were passed down through families too just by showing each other how to make them. I will take a look at the sites you have mentioned for the huck embroidery fabric. I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to comment. Stay tuned πŸ™‚ Avis x

      Reply
  2. I live in Sweden, I remember my Grandmother made a very close to your pattern with purple pansies! I think my mother still has one left. Must ask her about that next time!

    Reply
    • Hi Yvonne, welcome to my blog. I suspect the pansies pattern was in a magazine. If you can find your Grandmother’s crochet that would be brilliant! I’ll look out for it on your blog πŸ™‚ Avis x

      Reply
  3. Wow, what a glorious find!! Clearly Aunt Emmy was a wiz with a crochet needle.

    Hope your parent’s move goes ok. My grandparents went into a fantastic bungalow with a warden and never looked back. Their social life improved and they loved the simplicity of having got rid of lots of ‘stuff’

    Reply
    • Well, we realised they weren’t coping and Mum admitted she was struggling but it wasn’t all plain sailing. The idea horrified my Dad. I told him he could have a look and then say β€œNo” and we wouldn’t mention it again. When he saw what was available, he wanted to move in straight away. So, it’s all systems go πŸ™‚ He is so excited!
      I wish I’d grown up to know my Aunt. She was a very old lady when I used to go to see her with Mum. She could have taught me a lot πŸ™‚ Avis x

      Reply
  4. lisasff

     /  February 23, 2013

    wow. beautiful. You were very talented with needles from an early age! how lovely to have a mentor like that! I’m amazed with the beauty of your work and Aunt Emmy’s. I was just saying to my husband that I’d love to be able to make a crocheted dresser topper like that for my daughters, but I’m not there yet. His mom is! she does this stuff in her sleep πŸ˜€

    Reply
    • You have a great teacher in your Mother-in-Law too πŸ™‚ It is amazing how all of the old crafts are coming back into fashion again. We had to learn how to sew and embroider at school (even the boys :lol:) and there was so much crafting going on at home in those days that it was almost expected that we would follow suit. I longed for shop bought clothes and was so happy when my sister started work and bought me things from fashion stores πŸ˜€ Avis x

      Reply
  5. Lovely items! Your post brought back memories of browsing the Herkemer (sp?) catalog and dreaming of crocheting a table cloth, a bed spread, and fabric for a tailored suit. I dreamed big as a child. In actuality, I probably made edgings on a couple of handkerchiefs. It also brought back a funny memory. My young daughter wanted to get junk mail in her name so I put the Herkemer catalog in her name. Soon after that she got her AARP membership card (she was in junior high school at the time). The way mailing lists get shared and sold, we often thought there might be an ageist connection that linked the old crafts with old people.

    Reply
    • I hope getting the catalogue helped your daughter to get into crafting πŸ˜‰ I used to send for catalogues when I was in school so I could look at all the lovely things I was never going to get….but now with the internet, shopping and browsing is so much easier. Avis x

      Reply
  6. When I was young I made a lot of crochete pieces. Seeing your auntΒ΄s crochet made me remember those. I think I through them all away. Today we recieve a lot of crochete pieces at the secondhandstore and no-one wants to buy them. They are not very popular now a-days. ItΒ΄s so sad I think.
    Gun, Sweden

    Reply
    • My mum still uses all of these pieces because they save her furniture from being scratched by ornaments πŸ™‚ She almost didn’t allow me to bring them home to take photos πŸ™‚ I like them a lot and appreciate the hours of work that went into making them. Avis x

      Reply
  7. It’s so nice you got some of the crocheted items. I can’t tell you how many I’ve see at garage sales and antiques shows and it makes me a little sad because there’s no way to find out who made them. Yours are lovely, but the fact that you know who made them (and remember some of them being made) makes them extra-special.

    My room-mate has an interest in Swedish Weaving (that’s what she calls it, but I’ve also heard it referred to as Huck.) I was able to get her some charts and supplies at Nordic Needle (www.nordicneedle.com.) I’ve seen Monk’s cloth at some JoAnn’s, but no charts, and I know you can use regular embroidery floss or even knitting yarn.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for all the information. I agree it is so sad that some items aren’t really valued any more. I could never give up homemade items that my family have made, not that many have actually survived Mum’s mangle! It is beginning to look like the weaving originated in Sweden as a couple of comments have now mentioned that. I’ve bought from Nordic Needle before so I’ll take another look there. My version in the photo was made using very thick cotton thread. My teacher had lots of lovely colours on cones. Her classroom was every bit as good as a sweet shop in my eyes πŸ˜€ Avis x

      Reply
  8. Hi Avis! Your post almost distracted me from what I was intending to do. πŸ™‚ But I did a little research anyway. Your piece isn’t done on huck cloth – which can be replaced by monk’s cloth or even Aida for Swedish weaving/hucking, but all three are different. In German the fabric you used is called ‘Gerstenkorn’ (barleycorn), I haven’t found out the English name yet. ‘Gerstenkornstoff’ is available from a range of German internet shops. But don’t get mislead because the fabric that’s called ‘barleycorn/barlycorn’ in English is quite a different one. Hope you can find what you need.
    Your project reminded me of something that was very popular after the war in Germany. People made pillow covers from bought cloth meant for sweeping the floor with. It looked similar but came in a dirty grey colour. Then they used knitting wool to make the patterns. I remember my granny had one in dark orange.
    If you’ve got the chance, keep all the crocheted works. They’re worth it. – Hope your parents will enjoy their new home. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Oh thank you so much for taking the time to do research for me πŸ™‚ I would never have found this on my own! I looked at Monk’s cloth the last time I tried to find this fabric and dismissed it as it is different from mine. I’ll try to get through my language barrier and concentrate on finding Gerstenkornstoff πŸ™‚
      All of the crochet is to be returned to Mum on Monday. I think she has it electronically tagged πŸ˜‰ It has only been allowed out of her sight for photographing. Thanks again! Avis x

      Reply
  9. Hi Avis! This was a special post filled with treasuries! I hope the moving goes well and I’m so happy to see you have found these amazing crafts! All those crochet pieces are so beautiful and I love the piece you have made. How great many of your friends here had info for that technic. We used to do that also when young – hand towels and project bags (for knitting etc). We used more simple fabric – I think the one you mentioned. I hope you find this exact fabric because it looks really beautiful. I think you can use threads of your choise.
    Have a lovely weekend and great new week! x Teje

    Reply
    • Hi Teje, I’m amazed at how all of our friends in the cyber world can be so helpful πŸ™‚ My white fabric was given to me by Miss Fox when she taught me how to sew on it. I have never seen anything like it since then. I’m now beginning to think she may have travelled around Europe and bought the fabric while she was away. So many mysteries πŸ™‚
      I will be very busy again with my parents next week but we are definitely getting there. We are doing things slowly so they don’t get stressed about everything. Thank you for your kind wishes and have a great week too πŸ˜€ Avis x

      Reply
  10. claire93

     /  February 23, 2013

    it’s lovely to see the crochet done by your Aunt Emily, and just goes to show that quality hand-crafts really do stand the test of time. Looks like you’ve got everyone searching the internet for huck fabric lol . . . I hope you find what you’re looking for and maybe you can stitch up the 2 smaller pieces to go with your first mat.

    Reply
    • Oh I’m still searching for them Claire. I suspect the mangle or the washing machine ate them! Time will tell πŸ™‚ Maybe I should check under other ornaments. They are probably staring me in the face πŸ˜€ Avis x

      Reply
    • Just trying to zoom in. I’ve found a site in the UK with the same fabric as the one you found. I’m not sure the threads to weave under are the same as mine but we are definitely on the scent! Avis x
      BTW The blackwork is finished. I’ll send you a pic tonight or tomorrow πŸ˜€

      Reply
  11. Long, or Lengthy? Certainly NOT! Every detail is worth posting, and the post is of much interest. The skills put into these work of art are all highly recommended, and is truly a Blessing. The crocheted dollies look like Lace that’s how how much craftsmanship was put into the making. Great Memorabila, Keepsake, Talent, and definitely a Gift. As for the fabric, and threads you might want to try Amazon online, EBay, Search Engine, or even Google it. http://projectsbyMtetar.wordpress.com

    Reply
  12. Wow, treasure! I remember making something similar at school as your huck/Swedish embroidery but the cloth we used was red and the threads that we wove under were white (so it was sort of checked). Not much help that though! I also had an Aunty Nid… Aunt Enid, so I knew exactly where Yemmy came from!

    Reply
    • πŸ˜† I wonder how many other Aunties there are out there who just answer to whatever the children say πŸ˜€ I’ve seen the cloth you used with the checks. I’m tempted towards waffle weave and have emailed a supplier with a photo. Fingers crossed πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  13. heathergarcia81

     /  February 24, 2013

    Those pieces are BEAUTIFUL! And, congratulations on your “re-find”. πŸ˜€

    Reply
  14. 1marylou

     /  February 24, 2013

    A history left by stitches. You have found a wonderful treasure of stitches.

    Reply
  15. I used to be a primary school teacher here in Australia. The fabric was called huckaback and you can get it at Spotlight stores in Australia. Not much help to you where you are. πŸ™‚
    Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for this. The huckaback fabric I’ve seen so far doesn’t seem to have single raised threads in both directions which make squares. I’ve found fabric with single threads in one direction and double threads but none exactly the same as mine. The search continues for now but I might have to settle for a different version in the end πŸ™‚ Avis x

      Reply
  16. witchylin

     /  February 25, 2013

    Avis, What a wonderful find and such treasures. When I was at school we did a very similar embroidery on waffle fabric. It was made into hand towels. Pretty useless for drying as they got soaking wet the first time they were used. The fabric we used was waffle. I thought it such a wonderful name. We did our embroidery with fine wool. I do hope you can find every thing and make some more lovely pieces. Your talent certainly showed from being very young. Thought your post was very interesting, it is so nice to see and read about other peoples treasures.

    Reply
    • Hi Lin, Thank you for your lovely comment πŸ™‚ Well, I’ve now found another set of three with pink pansies! I emailed a company in Harrogate who have the waffle weave. They will send a sample when I send them a stamped addressed envelope so when I get a minute, I’ll do that. Been sorting out the glassware today. Lovely tiny little glasses and very old. Never seen the light of day for years let alone a drink πŸ˜€ Avis x

      Reply
      • I love a trip down memory lane – even when it is others memories. I also have a pansy doiley made by my best friends Grfandma, I cherish it, as it is so skillfully crocheted, and one day I may tackle one. As for helping to pack up and downsize your parents lifetime collection, I can relate to that one also. My mum made the decision to go into a independent living & if needed care facility so the transition went smoothly. Everyone helped out even the grand children stopping in and helping to sort and sharing Nana’s stories of the items being selected to stay, donate or toss. I remember her comments and excitment after my nephew helped sort her dress makers patterns, yes not a task many young men would tackle, but he loved his Nana dearly and as they were precious to her, he keenly and lovingly assisted. He even commented that the wedding dress patterns may come in handy as he had finally found the love of his life. What a wonderful moment for Nana and Grandson to share – acknowledging love blooming. So enjoy your trip down memory lane. I do always. xx Debbierose πŸ™‚

        Reply
        • I’d love to try to follow more crochet patterns. The pansies are very realistic. I’ve now found another pink set πŸ™‚ Mum is finding it all rather amusing that she has accumulated so much. I must admit, it has made me think that I need to go through my own things when I’m finished this move. Whether I’ll have any energy left for that remains to be seen. It must have been lovely for all the generations in your family to share the sorting. We’ve found some photographs of Mum’s relatives which have been stored for many decades. One of the first things we need to do when they settle in their new place is to catalogue who is who for future generations. I’d heard stories about many of these relatives but the stories really come to life when you can see who they were. Avis x

          Reply
  17. Avis I love Aunty Yemmy’s crochet! I love the lacy look of them. I hope this move goes well for all. It must be difficult. On the other hand I think I would feel a little like a good ol pirate searching for treasures! I love old things and the walks down memory lane. Thanks for sharing.
    ~ Carol

    Reply
    • Yes, we’re searching for treasures but there aren’t too many. I have found yet another cable needle today. You can never have too many cable needles πŸ˜‰ Mum is getting quite excited to see her newly decorated apartment now πŸ˜€ Spring is on it’s way so it is a lovely time for them to move into their new place. Avis x

      Reply

I really enjoy reading your comments. Have a lovely day :-)

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