Thursday, May 13, 2010

Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning!

Kitchen Set place mat, glass jacket, and stool pillow from Kitchen Crochet, 1954

Were you heartbroken when Starbucks’ new 128 oz Plenta size turned out to be an April Fools joke? Is pouring Jolt cola over your bowl of corn flakes making you a tad jittery? Have you begun injecting Red Bull between your toes because drinking it no longer gives you wiiiings?

If you answered yes to any of the above, it’s definitely time to listen to your busybody Doctor and curb your caffeine habit.

But Victoria, you cry, how will I be able to wake up in the morning without freebasing four shots of espresso? Why, just decorate your kitchen like the photograph above, and the swirling shades of eye-bleeding red and terrorist-alert yellow will instantly jump-start your neurons. Caffeine Industry Insiders have hidden the existence of the “Speed-Cro-Sheen” Substitute for decades, but thanks to the crack team of investigative reporters at Handmade by Mother, you can now have your high without hitting the hard stuff.

Side effects of the Speed-Cro-Sheen Substitute may include high blood pressure, shaky spleen syndrome and avian appendages.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Kitchen Set . . . . . . . S-488
Kitchen Set is too bland a name for this potent pattern. Possible alternatives include Kinetic Kitchen, Psychedelic Sunrise, or Red Touch Yellow, Kill a Fellow.

COATS & CLARK’S O.N.T. “SPEED-CRO-SHEEN” MERCERIZED COTTON, Art. C.44: 8 balls of No. 126 Spanish Red and 6 balls of No. 10-A Canary Yellow.
Also, Spanish Red and Canary Yellow are much too mellow names for shades that can scrape eyeballs at twenty paces. I bet their gang aliases are Radioactive Red and L.S.D. Lemon.
Milwards Steel Crochet Hook No. 2/0 (double zero).

2 pads, 12 inches in diameter, 1 ¼ inches deep. 4 button molds, 1 ¼ inches in diameter.

GAUGE: 6 sc make 1 inch; 5 rnds make 1 inch.

Place Mat measures 15 inches in diameter.

PLACE MAT (Make 2) . . .
Stop kidding yourself, you’ll only need to make one place mat. Once your one night stand lays eyes on your nuclear powered breakfast nook, he’ll suddenly remember an early morning meeting.
Starting at center with Canary Yellow, ch. 6. Join with sl st to form ring.

1st rnd: Sc in ring, insert hook in ring and draw loop through, drop Yellow, pick up Spanish Red and draw through both loops on hook, thus changing color –always change color in this manner–* working over unused color make 2 sc in ring, changing color on 2nd sc. Repeat from * 4 more times, having 3 groups of each color (12 sc), ending with 2 Red sc. Change color. Join.

2nd rnd: 2 sc in same place as sl st (1 sc increased), 2 sc in next sc, changing color as before, * 2 sc in each of next 2 sc, changing color as before. Repeat from * around. Join (24 sc).
I don’t care if you are making pancakes, he’s already half-way to Albuquerque!
3rd rnd: 2 sc in same place as sl st, * sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, change color, 2 sc in next sc. Repeat from * around. Join (36 sc). Continue to work in pattern, making Yellow sc’s over Yellow sc’s and Red sc’s over Red sc’s and increasing 2 sc in each group on next rnd and 1 sc in each group on following rnd. Repeat last 2 rnds until piece measures 15 inches in diameter. Join and break off.

GLASS JACKET (Make 2)—Bottom . . .
Most 1950s household patterns assume that you’ll need at least four of everything: one each for you, your husband and Wally and the Beaver. However, Coats & Clark’s knew that kitchens like these led to divorce, runaways, and cancelled sitcoms.
Starting at center with Spanish Red, ch. 2. 1st rnd: 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook. 2nd rnd: 2 sc in each sc around. Now sc in each sc, increasing 6 sc evenly on each rnd until piece measures same as bottom of glass. Sl st in next sc.
However, you’re instructed to make two glass jackets, because, abandoned and broke, you’ll soon be a two-fisted drinker.

SIDE PIECE . . . Mark off last rnd into 6 equal parts.

1st rnd: Picking up back loop of each sc with Red, sc in each sc across first group, attach Yellow and, working over Red. * sc in each sc across next group, change color. Repeat from * around, ending with Yellow sc. Join.

2nd rnd: Sc in each sc to within last sc of group, * change color, sc in each sc to within last sc of group. Repeat from * around. Join. Work as for 2nd rnd until 12 rnds have been completed. Break off.

STOOL PILLOW (Make 2) . . . Work as for Place Mat until piece measures 12 inches in diameter. Join and break off. Make another piece the same way.
I’m beginning to suspect that this pattern is actually a bar set in disguise. Coats & Clark’s must have called it a kitchen set and tossed in the place mats to mislead the Powerful Crochet Censors of the time.
GUSSET . . . With Spanish Red, ch 8.

1st row: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. Ch 1, turn.
Quite clever really, as bar patrons would drink more to dull the pain of the pitilessly perky décor.
2nd row: Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn. Repeat 2nd row until piece is long enough to reach around pillow. Break off. Sew narrow ends together. Sew one side of pillow to gusset. Insert pad and sew other side of pillow in place.
Pillow? Pad? Neither of these was listed as a necessary material for making this pattern!

After loudly insisting you must use “SPEED-CRO-SHEEN” and Milwards Steel hooks, it wouldn’t have hurt to add a note: By the way, you’ll need to roll a drunk for his pillow.
BUTTON (Make 4) . . . Starting at center with Spanish Red, ch. 2.

1st rnd: 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook.

2nd rnd:Sc in each sc around, increasing 6 sc evenly around. Repeat 2nd rnd until piece is same as button mold. Dec 6 sc evenly on each of the next 2nd rnds. Insert button mold and continue decreasing until all sc’s have been worked off. Break off. Sew a button to each side of pillow at center.
And now you’re ready to renovate your kitchen and turn it into the KNIT-CRO-SHEEN SALOON!

Side effects of opening a Knit-Cro-Sheen Saloon may include delirium tremens doldrums, barfly barfing, and the irresistible urge to shimmy your stuff on the bar top.

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. You're hilarious. You never know what you'll find googling "Speed-Cro-Sheen."

  2. Yes, people have found me through some of the strangest searches. Yours at least makes sense and doesn't scare me like, "Poo porn". And thankfully, you were also amused by my post! That doesn't always happen, either.