I began Free Pattern Friday as a way to share all the vintage patterns I love with everyone else who might not have access to them. Quite often originals can be hard to find, especially pre-1940s (with some exceptions, including Iva Rose Reproductions). I also believe strongly that sharing information and getting others interested in it is what keeps it alive. Without a person actively digging into a subject deeply with glee, many facts, skills, arts, and works are lost to time. So imagine my joy at finding the National Library of Australia had scanned numerous newspapers and periodicals from the 1800s-1940s, and even greater joy at realizing their interface allowed for easy searching, public tagging, and public text correction.
A number of these publications contained ‘Women’s Supplements’, separate sections of the paper filled with all sorts of patterns and gossip on the latest stars and scandals, presumably because looking at national news might hurt womens’ heads. Still, there is a treasure to be dug out of these pages! Ravelry person shabbyknits found these beauties:
…and I only searched ‘knitting’ and came up with these wonderful patterns amongst many, many others (click for the pattern):
They’re out there! I didn’t even look for crocheted stuff! Oh, did I mention they have a one-click option to save as a PDF or image file? Your choice, at whatever zoom level you want (admittedly it gets a bit fiddly, breaking up into strange pieces sometimes, but thems the breaks). I ask that anyone reading this who has an interest in vintage patterns hops over there ASAP and starts searching, tagging, and correcting where possible, and if you’re on Ravelry, add them to the database! Even if you just add a link and the title, one of the obsessives (such as myself) will come along and add the rest of the information, and so another pattern will be shared with the world.