Thursday 15 January 2009

Vintage Thingies 13 - old handicraft books

This week I'm participating again in Vintage Thingies Thursday, hosted by Suzanne. For some reason Mr. Linky is not working so there is - at the moment at least - not a list of links to the participating blogs, but in the comments you will find their addresses. Let's hope the link list can be fixed soon.

Last week I saw here pictures from a Swedish book and I thought I had the book. Well, my mother probably has it, but I have many other old handicraft books. The first one is about bobbin lace making. I have inherited the lace cushion and bobbins from my great aunt Saima, the loveliest os spare grandmothers anyone can imagine. My daughter Kaija has just recently posted some pictures of her. I have learned the basics of bobbin lace making, but never finished anything useful - yet.

Here you can see her handwriting. The date is 1st of November 1928.

These are some patterns from that book. I have read somewhere that bobbin lace making came to Finland with sailors who on their travels had learned this skill. Rauma on the western coast is famous for the lace. Sorry the link is in Finnish only.

The second book I'm showing today is about traditional Finnish embroidery. The book is published in 1950, but the material is based on the author's trips to Eastern Carelia in 1938 and 1939, before the war.

The following two pictures refused to turn, so you may need to tilt your head a little to see the birds. These embroideries were traditionally sewn with double running stitches, using red thread.

The cloth pictured here is called käspaikka , a towel. With all the embroidery and the lace it was not just any towel but also something to be given as a gift.

The book had a few coloured pictures as well, and this little table cloth or cushion cover was my favourite.

That is all for this week, I have more pictures and more books for Thursdays to come.
I had the most welcome comment on my last post. My dear "sister" Linda from Tucson, Arizona, had received my Christmas card with a note telling about this blog, and she popped in to say hi. Linda spent a summer in my family in 1964 as an exchange student. I was so young that I had not started learning English at school yet, but I could communicate with her on some level, with the help of my elder sisters and brothers. I kept in touch with her on and off over the years. When she was living in Switzerland, we corresponded in German, and later I learned English so we switched to that. In the sixties my family had three times a summer student, and one girl staying the whole school year, but Linda is the only one still remembering us. It feels good to know that we could make her feel welcome and safe, being all alone on the other side of the world. It was easy to like her from the first day she arrived. She travelled back to USA with my real sister Maija, who was going there for a year as an exchange student in another family.


  1. I love this story about Linda. It is almost too hard for me to believe though, that there was a point in time where you did know know english!
    I did read Kaija's post about her Great Aunt Saima. What an enchanting person.. her hair was amazing. And that you actually have her bobbins and a cushion she made is priceless.

  2. I love your vintage needlework books. And a wonderful story about Linda, your exchange student. We had a Japanese boy stay with us one summer, and kept in touch with him for years. But we have lost contact now. One daughter was an exchange student in Germany for a summer. I think it's a great idea to foster world peace.

  3. I think that book is just beautiful. I am a lover of books, but especially old books, and vintage craft books are the best!

  4. Love these. I love how these older books are so careful to show the details. Very nice post.

    Mr. Linky was down...not my error..LOL. I linked you in for this week.

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Wow! lots of detail. Great books.

  6. Great story and thanks for sharing. Bobbin lace making was what I was thinking of too when I visited the post on Irish curtain lace.

  7. mmm...old books are the best and old handicraft craft books are just amazing!

  8. That's awesome that your mom gave you these books, and beautiful that you kept in touch with your friend.

  9. What an interesting post. The bobbin lace looks like what we always called tatting. It was done with thread on a bobbin. I tried learning how to do it but never could get it. I think it is so pretty. So interesting to read about your friend in Tucson. That is about 100 miles from where I live.

  10. love those books and how great that you still have them..great story about you and Linda..hugs and smiles Gloria

  11. The designs in these books make me want to slow down, to think creatively heirloom, to work for the sake of making my hands happy. Thank you. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  12. Those are lovely old books with gorgeous patterns :)

  13. Such beautiful needlework in your lovely books. I think cross-stitch, needlework, lace-making, etc., is such a lovely thing to do. I would like to learn tatting and lace-making, myself. I only do cross-stitching and embroidery now. You have such a lovely blog. Thank you for sharing!

  14. So many information today and also beautiful pictures! These books are a real treasure! I'll be looking for the next posts!


Thank you for coming by! Kiitos käynnistä, voit kommentoida myös suomeksi