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 ★

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  1. Barbara says:

    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?

    1. 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 says:

    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!!

    1. I’ll do my best to see if I have it!

    2. Hi Jackie – did it look like this? I haven’t found the pattern, but if this exactly what you’re looking for, I can do some more looking:

  3. Jackie Nally says:

    Yes. This is it.

    1. 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

    1. 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.

      1. The link to the Workbasket page of our site is

        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 says:

    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.

    1. 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!

    2. Taina Payne says:

      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.
    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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

  10. Brad Goben says:

    Hello Mellie, I was wondering if you could help me find a particular recipe for a salt corn starch and water dough? this recipe would be late 80’s or mid 90’s workbasket. My mother gave me the book and I loaned it to a friend and she moved away with my book. That was in 1995 and I’ve searched and searched and cannot find the particular one with the recipe in it. I have even ordered workbskt mags. from different dates with no luck. Now I have these books that I don’t need. If you could help me I would be greatly appreciative and would be glad to pay for your help. Have a blessed day and may God bless you and yours. Thanks again! Nancy Goben

  11. Michelle Nicastro says:

    Hello! I love the old Workbasket magazines! I found part of a pattern from the January 1988 issue that I would love to make for a friend’s baby. The name is Jenny’s Jacket & Hood. It is a crocheted infant zip-back hooded jacket that can be made in 3 sizes. I have page 13 and the picture from that issue, but need the rest of the instructions. Any help you could give me would greatly appreciated.
    Thank you, Michelle Nicastro

  12. Sherry says:

    Work baskets 1970’s magazine and one older I’m cleaning out my mom dresser and found about 80 magazine where can I sell them?

  13. Hi, I have been looking for years for a pattern of a quilted, crocheted, hooded children’s jacket that I made from a WorkBasket magazine in the late 80’s (too many moves & I lost the pattern). In the picture, I believe it was mainly blue, red next to the zipper in front, & a white stripe that separated the blue & red. If you happen to come across it, I’d really appreciate it.
    Thank you, Ronda Luft

  14. Linda Springer says:

    Hello. So excited to see you have The Workbasket magazine! There is an Afghan pattern from the late 79s or 80s I have been looking for. It is three colors and the colors are carried over the top of the rows as they change. It looks like it is in various blocks. If you can help me find this pattern, I would surely appreciate it!

  15. Jeanette says:

    I have been looking for the quilting patterns for a sampler quilt that was published in 1981. Do you happen to have those magazines and could send me scanned copies? or email them.

  16. Dottie Weidman says:

    Hi Millie: I am trying to find some missing pages to one of my Workbaskets that I have. The issue is May, 1970, Number 8, Volume 35. It has a picture of a woman wearing a blue crocheted vest. For some reason I am missing pages 5 – 10. I am thinking this was an issue my mom had had when she was alive & the pages might have come out. The mailing label is gone. The patterns on these pages are a Crochet Vest, Infant Ensemble & Round Crochet Rug. Would it be possible for you to scan these pages for me & email them to me if you have this issue. I also have other issues if you are missing any that I might have that I could scan for you also & email them to you. Just let me know what years you are needing & I will see if I have them. Thank you so much for your help.

  17. Sandra Podach says:

    I am looking for a pattern for crochet slippers/boots. I accidently gave that book away. I want to say that it is in a late 70’s or early 80’s book. By chance do you have it.

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