I am a native Oregonian and currently reside in Aloha which is 13 miles west of Portland. When I was a little girl I use to watch my mother crochet and knit. I have dabbled in just about every craft but my favorite hand crafts are knitting, crochet, tatting and art rubber stamping!
The above picture (my logo) is my first pair of knitting needles, size 8, and the Learn How Book that my mom bought me.
I am a native Oregonian and currently reside in Beaverton, which is 10 miles west of Portland. When I was a little girl I use to watch my mom crochet and knit. She would occasionally pull out her Workbasket magazines to get some inspiration. I remember looking through them and I even traced some of the embroidery patterns to color in. When I was around 8, I asked my mom to teach me how to knit. She thought I was too young and said that I should wait until I was older. I decided I would teach myself and went out to my dad's workshop and found a pair of 'knitting needles' which were actually large galvanized gutter nails and some string. My mom walked in on me one day while I was attempting to knit. She asked me what I was doing and I told her that since she didn't want to teach me I was going to teach myself. She knew at that point I was serious. We went to Sprouse-Reitz and she bought me a pair of size 8 needles (which I still have) and some yarn. Thus began my love of hand crafts. Trial and error, my mom kept telling me to loosen up or I would bend the knitting needles. A lot of practice developed me into an accomplished knitter. My first project which I completed and also still have is a knitted afghan. There were 4 blocks, each with a different pattern and five colors of yarn. When I finished the afghan I had honed my skills of following a pattern and developed an even tension.
The next hand craft my mom taught me was embroidery. At Christmas when I was around 12 my mom presented me with a dresser scarf, an embroidery hoop, needles and embroidery thread. It was wonderful surprise. I finished that scarf and many more.
When I was about 16 my mom mentioned that she thought I might like to try crochet. I asked her if it was harder than knitting and she said it was easier because it was one continuous loop. I took to crochet in an instant making a shoulder shawl as my first project. I loved all the delicate doilies my mom had made but I didn't decide to try my hand at making one until after my mom had died. I struggled with the instructions, trying to understand what they were trying to tell me. Finally I got it and I have made many doilies. A couple have won ribbons at our county fair.
My mom also owned many 10¢ books and one of them was the Learn How To Book by Coats and Clarks. I had learned knitting, embroidery and crochet. The final thing in that book was tatting. My mom had not learned how to tat and her advice was to find someone who did. When I was 30 I found out my step-mom's mother, Agnes, knew how. I sat down with Agnes one day and she showed me how to tat. If I could give any want-to-be Tatter out there advice it would be to practice. Once you have practiced, practice some more. Agnes showed me the basics but because she wasn't near enough to ask questions I basically learned from trial and lots of error. Finally after about 10 years of making tons of rings I decided to try making a doily. I entered the doily in our county fair and I won first place! I have went so far as to teach tatting at our local JoAnn Fabrics store.
I started my own subscription to Workbasket Magazine in 1976. When my mom died in 1977, I combined her collection with mine. Around 1988 I noticed my collection had grown substantially. I began to make note of ones I was missing and started to look for them at garage sales and flea markets. Would I ever be able to find all of them? What did the first issue look like? Were there ladies out there who had collections too?
With the coming of the Internet my dreams came true. I began to buy issues from eBay. Buying groups at a time just to get one issue left me with multiple duplicates. By selling them on eBay I made a few cents but eBay made the majority of the profit. Thus the concept and creation of my web page in 1997. I posted the issues I was looking for and ones that I wanted to sell. Occasionally I would get an email for someone asking for a pattern. This was not something I had even considered and as the requests came in, if I knew the year and could find the pattern, I was happy to oblige and send them a copy. I only charged for the cost of the copy and postage. When the pattern was only one page, I scanned the pattern in and sent it as a pdf file in an email.
In 2001 my email pattern requests picked up substantially but I didn't know why. One email mentioned that she had seen my web site address in a newspaper. She was nice enough to send me the article. I was so surprised to see my little web site mentioned (See article below)!
In 2004 I received an email from a lady by the name of Kay. She said she had a few issues she wanted to sell. She only wanted 75¢ for each of them. I had to read her email about five times to make sure I understood her right. One of the issues was Volume 1 Number 1! I wrote her back to ask her if she had made a mistake on the price. She said no and because she was going to be taking a trip to Seattle would be going through my town. When she brought the issues to me, my hands trembled as I opened the bag. There, on top, in almost pristine condition was the very first issue of Workbasket Magazine. The cover in color no less! I asked her again if she was sure on the price and she said yes as she knew the issue was in good hands. Thank you again Kay for making a dream come true!
My very first web site through AOL was published in several newspapers across the country in October 2001 thanks to Linda Cobb the "Queen of Clean" And in response to the lady that wrote in wanting the crocheted Sailor suit. I did find that pattern! It is in the June/July 1980 issue. E-mail me if you are interested in obtaining the pattern.
If you are looking for a long lost pattern chances are I have it but it would help greatly if you knew the approximate year your project was published, a detailed description and if it was crocheted, knitted, tatted, etc. I'll do my best to find it! Most of the time I will send a PDF file of the pattern to your email.