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.
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?)
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.
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.
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?
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!!
I’ll do my best to see if I have it!
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:
Yes. This is it.
One step closer! I’ll try to find the pattern next.
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,
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.
Library Director of the Antique Pattern Library, a project of New Media Arts Inc
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!
I actually have this particular edition of the Workbasket and can scan it for you if you are still looking. Just let me know.
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.
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.
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.
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
I used to have a subscription to Workbasket from 70’s through to 80’s. I’m looking for a crochet pattern of a neck warmer, not sure if that is what it is called, but it had a high neck with, I think, 3 buttons to close the neck. And a long, rounded yoke, that covered the top part of your chest and back and went out to my shoulders. I can’t remember if it was called a collar or a dickie. I’m thinking it was either double crochet with a chain or two in between, to make small open block stitches.
It was really warm and I wore it under coats in the winter. It kind of was like a Victorian pattern and I’d made it from a soft pink yarn.
If you come across it while perusing your issues, please let me know.
My mom used to get this and I did also. I hated that it went out of business. I would desperately love to have a couple of recipes she used to make out of it. Chocolate Oatmeal Cake, and I know you took the oats and put boiling water on them and let them set and cool while you got the rest of the ingredients ready. It was rich and delicious, and didn’t really need any frosting. The other was a Tomato Soup Cake and it tasted like a Spice Cake. I’m not sure but she used to make a delicious soft Pumpkin Cookie every Christmas, and I bet she got the recipe from this same wonderful little magazine. If anybody has them, I would love to have them to share with my grandkids!
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
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
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?
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
I’m obviously way behind on my comments and uploads, but I will look!
I have Workbasket Magazines from Oct 1947- Oct 1951 and Mar 1986-Jan 1989. Not every year is complete but mostly. I also have about a dozen of smaller Workbaskets that are only identified by Volume, sometimes a month, and a number. Some will have a number in parenthesis like (2-908). I don’t know what year these were published but they look like they are from the late 40’s era.
I would like to find a home for these vs my trashing them. If anyone is interested please email me.
Ooh, the Antique Pattern Library is interested, especially in those 1986-1989! Please contact us via info at newmediaarts.org? We’ll reimburse shipping costs!
As to the earlier ones, the first eleven years of issues have now been published. If you look at antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/workbasket.htm it gives an overview of all covers in that period and you will probably be able to recognize your earlier ones. 2-908 is February 1944, see antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/H-ME001-1.htm
By the way, the Textile Research Center in Leiden very likely would be interested in taking the earlier ones. If those are sent as well, I’ll hand-carry them over.
Library Director of the Antique Pattern Library, a project of New Media Arts Inc., a charity registered in the USA.
@Dottie Weldman looking for Workbasket 35 No 8, if you do not have those pages yet, we have the scans of that issue including page 5-10. Notify me and I’ll put them where you can grab them.