Thursday, May 1, 2014

TBT: American Home Crafts Magazine

On a recent thrift excursion I found a few issues of an old magazine called American Home Crafts. I had never heard of it before (have you?), and the cover designs left a little to be desired. But the lovely photos inside made me forget I was looking at inspirational ideas over 30 years old! Here are some highlights.

Left to right: Fall/Winter 1974, Spring/Summer 1976, and Fall/Winter 1977

Above and below: Advertisement for Mattel's Knit Magic (look at Barbie holding the yarn!)

Awesome, unique geometric batik

Creating folkloric fashions, with embroidery motifs from Romania

Portuguese-inspired tapestry patterns

Impressionistic knitting

Bold and bright needlepoint designs from orange crate labels

Amazing needlepoint floral rug (I so want to do this!)

Knitted apple afghan--how contemporary is this?!

Definitely proof that with style and trends, what goes around comes around...or that some things just never go out of style!


Ceri said...

What a great find!

penny candy handmade said...

Yes! I love finding old magazines from the '70s and '80s (crafts, women's interest, fashion, teen, gossip, etc.). I especially like how they are a great record of how trends repeat themselves.

Marylinn Kelly said...

It is probably my favorite how-to magazine of all time. I had every issue and the same with its companion publication, name not remembered at the moment. What a treat to see this and you shared the needlework by my friend Lynne Perrella which is what got me looking for any available copies this afternoon. Thank you.

penny candy handmade said...

Thanks for checking out the post, Marylinn! Lynne's feature was my favorite in all of the four issues I found, since they combine typography and old packaging with needlepoint, three things I love! I am so happy you both tracked this down. I still have the issue and am happy to send it to her!

Lynne Perrella said...

This has been such fun, today, to be reunited with the article I did so long ago for American Home Crafts. The text indicates that I "duplicated" the labels, but actually the designs were created after I had studied endless examples of typical orange crate labels, and then came up with my own hybrids, using type faces, color blocking and images that seemed kindred to the originals. But -- no matter! -- I was quite happy at the time to be published in one of my all time favorite magazines. I will be thrilled to get the copy of the magazine, will copy my pages, and return it to you. You have the gift of sharing with others, so I know you will keep the happiness going. Lynne Perrella

Raksha said...

I'm a brand-new follower of this blog, as of a few minutes ago. I found it because I was doing a search on "American Home Crafts." Way back in the early 1970s, American Home Crafts was my favorite needlework magazine, along with its sister publication Ladies' Home Journal Needle & Craft. I'm looking for a specific issue of either magazine, but as I recall the pattern I'm looking for would most likely have been published in American Home Crafts. I'm trying to track down is a specific crochet pattern from one of the issues published between 1970 and 1972.

The pattern is for a crochet curtain worked in size 10 bedspread cotton. I remember that the text accompanying the photo of the curtain began with the words, "Intricately lovely curtain seems destined to become an heirloom." The curtain was worked in ecru thread, in a filet variation worked in the round and featuring popcorn stitch diamonds and spiderwebs. It was a fairly challenging pattern, but not out of the question for someone who even then had been doing crochet most of her life. I fell in love with that design at first sight, and it was only a matter of time before I found the perfect excuse to use it.

When I learned that I was pregnant with my first child, I decided to make him or her (him, as it turned out) a baby blanket using that pattern. Using sport yarn (Bucilla Lustersheen) instead of bedspread cotton and omitting the last few rounds of each square, I made a blanket consisting of four large squares (18-20") joined together, with a few rounds added to the whole thing for the border.

I worked on this blanket while I was pregnant, but didn't quite get it finished in time. When our son Dylan was born a month early in June 1973, I was still working on the border. I finished it as soon as I could, and the first baby pictures my husband took of Dylan showed him wrapped in that blanket. Our son loved that blanket, and kept it on his bed throughout his childhood and adolescence, until it had pretty much disintegrated.

I am now expecting my first grandchild by Dylan's younger sister Rebecca, who was born in 1978. I would love to make a replica of that blanket for my grandson or granddaughter (it's too soon to know yet).

Any help you or anyone reading this blog can give me in tracking down this pattern or the actual magazine would be much appreciated!

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