If you’re a collector, it’s good to go through your collection every so often and make sure you still like it.

I collect 1970s crochet and knitting books.

It’s fun to hunt for them. We stop by antique and thrift stores when we travel. I look at garage sales. I find some online. Lately I have been using ads in my books to find other books. I have branched out to include European books. These techniques have opened up a huge new horizon for me.

Sports and books

When I was young, I didn’t understand why people watched sports. It looked like bodies crashing around and balls being flung. I rode horses as my sport but riding was rarely on TV. We never had games on like football, basketball or baseball. We were not a sporty family, much more on the bookish side.

Then my son played in school sports. I started to understand the appeal. Sports have a lot of drama and stories. Would this player perform after an injury? Would this new player live up to his potential? Could this coach motivate his team to success? Could the team overcome its obstacles?

In the same way, my book collection holds drama and stories.

When I was growing up in the 1970s, I didn’t realize I was part of a time that would change. I walked through beaded curtain doorways and on shag carpet innocent of knowing I lived in a trend. I can still remember the click click click sound as I passed through. I thought the 70s was how the world was and would be. I thought the Vietnam War was never ending and the Beatles would always be around. I didn’t know the clothes I wore would be dated. Patches on blue jeans were normal. Crochet was in its heyday.

When I look through my 1970s knitting and crochet book collection today, I see stories. It helps that I have a hilarious partner who can caption any photo for me and make me laugh. I like to look through my books and wonder how their lives turned out: the models, the copywriters, the photographers, the editors and the designers, and sometimes even the librarians.

Some treasures from my collection

The Mystery of the Stamping Librarian


A new book to my collection, this British book was a library copy in Minnesota. I LOVE the blank library checkout card still in the pocket. Most of all, I love the librarian who stamped the library name 13 times in the book, including on page 49. Why so many times? What do the numbers mean? This book isn’t just a crochet how-to, it’s a transatlantic mystery!

Not quite


Good try, but that’s not quite how it’s done…

Eastmas, or Christer


Which holiday as we celebrating here, Easter or Christmas? I know, we are celebrating the 70s!

Never throw away jeans!


“Never throw away your jeans,” reads the copy. Well, I never will again now that I know I could buy rickrack and make…this thing!

Wear red


“When in doubt, wear red.” —Bill Blass

Work it without getting ruffled


Amazing brown crochet pantsuit? Check. Attitude to match wearing a fully crocheted pantsuit, ruffled shirt and buckle shoes inside a greenhouse? Check and check.

Life curator

For almost 50 years, I have collected experiences. I have created a family and home. Now as I look toward the last part of my life, it’s time to go through my collection.

I’ll keep the memories I still like, and let go of the rest. I’ll keep the sound of beads in the doorway as I pass through life –click click click— and the soft abundance of shag carpet under my feet, a delight in fiber.  I’ll keep the happiness of crochet, in riotous colors, hopeful and bright.


Granny square afghan made with love from a mom to a daughter


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