I’m about finished with the “frame” for the baby blanket, but in trying to do some cleaning up in my office (aka the dining room with no table) I found this set of sampler pages that came from eBay years ago. There’s no date and no name, but some crocheter decades ago (maybe 100 years!) copied them from someone else’s work or possibly one of the scarce pattern books of that time. I can’t speak for other crocheters, but the old books and the old work pull at me in a way no modern work could. Modern is not bad, but it doesn’t tell me a story the way these pieces do. That could be because back in the 1960s my grandmother gave me a 1915 Royal Society crochet leaflet with her notes in it from when she crocheted the yokes to a couple of nightgowns for her sister-in-law, my great-aunt Argent who married in 1916. It never even occurred to me that there were avid crocheters and pattern books back then; my grandmother probably was more of a seamstress than a crocheter anyway.
As you can see, they are tacked to solid color fabric. What you can’t see is that only 1/2 the fabric is used for the samples, and the other 1/2 doesn’t have anything on it. They seem to be like large pages of a fabric book, so maybe the plan was to eventually sew them together for a sampler album which would have pages larger than standard book pages. The fabric has been stamped with what looks like tapework patterns (Battenburg?) on one fabric and large flower patterns on the other. Waste not, want not! The thread is at least size 30, if not smaller, and many of the designs were crocheted onto commercial insertion laces. Note the piece at the center bottom of the bottom left photo; that is tiny, tiny rick-rack that in arranged in circles and crocheted together!
I wish these were my grandmother’s work. But I can still pretend.