A box of crochet magic

I recently received a box of goodies from a friend who is sorting through the pieces of her life and deciding what to keep as she moves forward.

The box, a top-loading medium flat rate number from the U.S. Postal Service, had been filled to the brim by a packing ninja at the post office in Arbuckle, California, who seemed to have been able put more stuff by volume into the box than the box could hold:

USPS medium flat rate box
The magic priority mail box that inexplicably contained more than it’s volume in crochet patterns

As I pulled out one thing and then another and then another, I felt a bit like a magician’s assistant pulling out an endless stream of handkerchiefs from a top hat, not knowing when the scarves (or this this case crochet goodness) would end.

There was this stack of Workbasket Magazines:

Workbasket Magazine crochet patterns
A stack of Workbasket and Home Arts Magazines

along with the cover of a Women’s Day Magazine Published in September of 1986

Paperweight crochet hexagon African flower crochet hexagon
Women’s Day September 9, 1986 issue

which features a crochet afghan made of hexagons.

The hexagon design was, in this iteration, called the “Paperweight.” Years later, the last round of the pattern was modified, and the design achieved greater reknown as the “African Flower” crochet hexagon, which I used as the basis for my crochet soccer ball design:

African flower crochet hexagon motif soccer ball
Crochet soccer ball

Diving in even deeper, I found that the box also contained the pattern for this blast from the past, crochet hot pants ensemble:

hot pants crochet pattern from coats & clark
Hot pants to knit and crochet

as well as this tome:

The Complete Book of Crochet crochet book
The Complete Book of Crochet

Elizabeth L. Matheison’s compendium on all that was known about crochet at the time the book was published in 1946,

and then, there was this official looking notebook:

Journal of ideas including some crochet magic
How we stored information before the internet

which was how information was stored for future access before we had the internet. My friend’s grandmother had used it to store all manner of patterns and recipes for future reference.

And then finally among the assorted books and magazines was a note from my friend that read, in part:

“I ran across this old book from 1946 that belonged to my grandma — I knew it would have a good home with you– so many patterns that have your name on them.”

And now I all I have to do is sort through them all and find the ones that say “Leslie.”