A Vintage Crochet Project to Make: A Butterfly to Crochet

Do you adore vintage crochet patterns, but find yourself occasionally perplexed by the directions? You’re not alone! In the introduction to the project “A Flora Klickmann Butterfly to Crochet,” featured in PieceWork’s May/June 2011 issue, author and designer Karen C. K. Ballard recalls one time when she too struggled with a pattern’s instructions.

  • “Many years ago, I tried to follow a British crocheted snowflake pattern and couldn’t understand why the pattern was so wrong! By the time that I found the original of this butterfly pattern in Flora Klickmann’s The Modern Crochet Book (n.d., circa 1913), I knew that British crochet notation is different from American notation but still found the pattern to be extremely challenging. Not only is it in British notation, it is in antiquated British notation, and it was not always evident where to place the stitches. After much trial and error, I replicated the butterfly and rewrote the pattern so that it is easier to understand.”

The challenge was indeed worth the effort! And we thank Karen for sharing her adaptation of Flora Klickmann’s exquisite crocheted butterfly with PieceWork.

Butterfly to crochet

Karen Ballard’s crocheted butterfly, adapted from The Modern Crochet Book edited by Flora Klickmann (circa 1913), shown on the page of the book with the original instructions for the butterfly. Photo by Joe Coca.

Are you familiar with the work of Flora Klickmann? In the companion article to the crocheted butterfly project, “Flora Klickmann: Author, Editor, Needleworker,” Karen C. K. Ballard introduces us to this fascinating woman who was a publishing powerhouse in the early twentieth century. Karen explains, “For nearly twenty-three years, Flora Klickmann wielded tremendous influence over a generation of English-speaking women the world over through The Girl’s Own Paper.” In addition to this popular periodical, Flora published numerous needlework books and guidebooks for modern women making their way in the early 1900s.

To read more about Flora Klickmann and crochet her delightful butterfly using Karen’s modern instructions, pick up a copy of PieceWork’s May/June 2011 issue. Discover more vintage crochet projects from the pages of Weldon’s Practical Needlework and in our blog post “Weldon’s Mystery Project.”


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