Workbasket Magazine

Workbasket Magazine

This week, a good friend of mine stopped by to say that she was cleaning out some of her crafting things and came upon a huge collection of Workbasket magazines – sprawling all the way back from the 50s to the mid 90s.  This was the first time I had heard of Workbasket, but I knew it was right up my alley when she started to explain it to me: crochet patterns, knitting patterns, recipes, craft ideas… it’s like everything I love rolled into one, with a vintage twist on top.  

Workbasket Magazine

As if it couldn’t get any better than that, she showed up at my door a few days later and said that she had found a bunch of duplicates, and was wondering if I would want to take them off her hands.  Would I!  While these duplicates weren’t the old 50s ones, they were late 70s and early 80s, and I have to keep reminding myself that those years really were quite a while ago.  (Let’s not go into how quickly those years have flown by though, right?)

Workbasket Magazine
I have had such a great time looking through these magazines, sticky-noting pages with interesting patterns and recipes, getting ideas and inspiration all over the place, and chuckling at the fashions that were once so stylish.  I’m pretty sure that my entire weekend will be spent combing through each and every one of these magazines… and then heading over to hear house to page through the collection she has as well.  

Workbasket Magazine

Workbasket Magazine

The collection of Workbasket patterns on Ravelry seems woefully low, but I do hope to be adding to this pattern collection as I make my way through the magazines.  There are some quite lovely patterns (and some sillier ones as well).  But I’m so glad again that we have the resources and technology to share and keep these patterns alive.  

And now, I’m off to read!
Happy Friday to you all.

~Mellie ★

17 Comments

  1. Barbara

    I saw on the Internet a woman searches for workbasket patterns and charges $1 for each . Do you ha very a listing for the patterns?

    • Do you mean she charges for them? I received mine as a gift, and I didn’t plan on selling them at this point. Were you looking to purchase the magazines, or a looking for a particular pattern?

  2. Jackie Nally

    Is there any way you could help me out by getting me a copy of a pattern that was printed sometime in the late 80s for a Grandma and Grandma throw? They had a stuffed head and hands on the corners to wrap around you. I’ve searched everywhere I can think for it. I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!!

  3. Jackie Nally

    Yes. This is it.

    • One step closer! I’ll try to find the pattern next.

  4. The Antique Pattern Library is a project of New Media Arts, Inc, a charity registered in the USA. The aim of the project is to make old craft / needlework resources available for free noncommercial use, for everybody who is interested.

    We just received a donation of Workbaskets, around 1945 to 1985. By permission of the current copyright holder we are able to scan and publish them all, strictly for noncommercial purposes, and making the original scans available to their archive.

    If there is anybody out there with a Workbasket from before 1945, who wants to share it with the world, or sell it to me for a reasonable price, let me know? If you can scan it, that’d be preferable to shipping the magazine. I can’t pay top price because I have to fund all acquisitions from my private purse, which is small after my early pension.

    Later (past 1985) magazines are welcome too, but we expect them to be more widely available and I’ll put up a list of missing issues, as soon as we have an overview of the collection.

    If you donate scans or magazines, we’ll mention you as donor, and provide a backlink to your site.

    Thank you and best wishes,

    Sytske Wijnsma

    Library Director of the Antique Pattern Library, a project of New Media Arts Inc

    • This is wonderful – If you have a direct link, I will be happy to add to to the blog post to point people in the right direction.

      • The link to the Workbasket page of our site is http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/workbasket.htm

        The ones marked DONE (and dark red background) have been published.
        It looks like we will have every single issue of Workbasket, either as scan of as physical magazine, with the possible exception of the last two years. My old mother of 94 does much of the scanning, but editing is slow – however, once a magazine is scanned and someone expresses a preference for that issue, it’s possible to put it on top of the stack to-be-edited.

        Also, we may get a number of the hot-iron patterns belonging to those numbers. No guarantee on completeness of those, alas.

        Best wishes,
        Sytske Wijnsma
        Library Director of the Antique Pattern Library, a project of New Media Arts Inc

  5. Sue Oldham

    Millie, I am looking for a pattern published in December, 1971 Workbasket magazine called Owl Snowsuit. I am willing to pay for a copy of the pattern and the postage. I read in you blog about your friend bringing you all those years of workbasket and I am hoping the one I need is in there. I want to make this for my new great great niece. Thank you for your help.

    • I will pull out my Workbasket magazines and see which ones I have. If it’s in there, I will definitely get back to you!

    • Taina Payne

      I actually have this particular edition of the Workbasket and can scan it for you if you are still looking. Just let me know.

  6. I’ve dedicated one page to the Workbasket publications, with room for all of them. Currently we have only one published :-( and five have been scanned, but my aim is to eventually get all of them on this page. http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/workbasket.htm
    While I am webmaster of this site, I’ll make sure the link will either be active or redirect to a new place. (We may at one time add a signature and then the link will start with https:// but that’s not on the planning yet.)
    Should you personally have a strong preference for a single Workbasket issue to be published, I can probably put it on top of the stack. No guarantees, though, and the entire shipment is currently in New York, and will not be here for a few weeks at least. There are already people scanning them, in the USA, so I cannot fully predict which issues will appear first.
    Thank you!
    Best wishes,
    Sytske Wijnsma

  7. Jean Clough

    Millie,
    I’ve been looking for YEARS for a crochet pattern my friend had in one of these publications. I’m not sure if it’s Workbasket, but I’m fairly sure it was on the cover. It’s an afghan, I believe called “Grandmother’s Fan”. It’s done with squares with a fan inside.
    There are quite a few patterns for this, but this particular one eludes me!
    If you have a minute and can see if it’s in one of your Workbaskets, I’d appreciate it.
    Jean Clough

  8. Rebecca Bartholomew

    I would be willing to pay for a pattern if you would be willing to look.
    My grandma made a baby blanket for me before I was born. My mother made the same blanket for all her granddaughters when they were born. I am expecting my first grand baby and would like to follow in this tradition only my mother is unable to find the pattern.
    I know it was in a Workbasket book 1976 or earlier (my grandma had many books). The blanket was called something along the line of… baby baptism throw. The body of the blanket is a shell pattern and there is a ruffled boarder that has satin around it.

  9. Barbara Affonce

    Hello Mellie, I am a great grandmother and recently retired. Now, I wish to revive my interest and hobby in crocheting Doilies made of cotton, and need some patterns. Can you help me?
    Thank you, Barbara Affonce

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