Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recession Chic!

Cotton jewelry from Star Variety Show of Knitted and Crocheted Models, 1942

Cotton jewelry – nothing gayer, nothing newer, nothing more talk-provoking.
The United States had just entered the war the previous December. What else could there be to talk about, other than cotton jewelry?

Although to be fair, the designers are trying to support their boys overseas. Why waste metal in foolish frippery, when it could be better used in munitions?

Yarn munitions don’t work nearly as well.

Thankfully, nowadays supporting our troops doesn’t require us to sacrifice our metal jewelry. Still, diamonds are too high maintenance to be a girl’s best friend during a recession, so it’s time again to start talking about cotton jewelry!

Um… er… it could be worse?
For ONE complete pattern (and a full serving of snark!):



26 Yards Peach or any Color desired.

I do like a pattern that gives me a little choice, just in case I can’t find peach yarn.

Choice is important during hard economic times, whether it’s the 1940s or today. Like how women are choosing to spend their money on food and shelter, while the menfolk are choosing hip-hop bling!
11 Yards Green.

Bone Crochet Hook Number 4 or 5.

Four OR five, take your pick. It doesn’t really matter. There’s no gauge for this pattern. It’s footloose and fancy-free!

But before you reach for your size Q rug hooks, remember that bigger isn’t always better for cotton jewelry.

Leaving 8 inches of yarn free...
Yarn free! As free as the wind blows, as free as the grass grows, yarn free to follow...

... any other pattern!

Why stick with this one? Like your last home loan, you know it’s not going to end well.
...* ch 6, slip st to 5th st from hook for ring, (shell) ch 3, 1 d c, 1 s d c, 1 s c, 1 sl st in ring, repeat from * 25 times for necklace about 18 inches long. Ch 1 after last shell. Break yarn leaving about an 8 inch length. Attach Green in last s c leaving an 8 inch length free. * Yarn over needle 3 times, insert needle in loop of s c above shell, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through, 2 loops, yarn over, through 2 loops, yarn over, pull through all loops on needle. Slip st in s c between shells, repeat from * across shells. Chain the Green and Peach ends together for ties.
And now you’re the proud owner of this!

I guarantee that if you wear a shell bracelet to your next shindig, it will be talk-provoking!

“Look at poor Sally, she had to sell all her jewelry after she got laid off at the factory. Oh well, I suppose it could be worse!”

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. Do you have a pattern for the crocheted grenades? I would love to make some! Very cute!

  2. Bridget - I don't have a pattern for them myself. I'd recommend just searching the web. I'm sure you'll find some highly entertaining patterns, and eventually the one you really want to make.