Hi, and welcome to my blog.
So who am I? Well, it’s a long story but my name is Ruby. I’ve come from the city to country, been overseas, and now I operate online businesses selling vintage crochet, knitting, sewing and needle-craft patterns. One continuing thread throughout my life is my love of all things vintage and fiber–and all things handmade.
I have a few online properties. There’s my eBay store, www.dazespast.com along with the digital store, www.vintagepatternsdazespast and www.freevintagepatternsdazespast. Ruby’s Fashion Doll World will be added later this year.
I’m also a certified eBay Trainer and an Internet Marketing Professional doing businesses as Marketing Your Product for Profit.
You will find Facebook pages for Vintage Patterns Dazespast, Free Vintage Patterns Dazespast, Ruby’s Fashion Doll World, Marketing Your Product for Profit and Adirondack Farm to Market with Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest profiles.
Finishing the story will explain the why and the how of these ventures. You see, I have always loved working with fiber. I’ve been sewing off and on now for over 40 years. My other passions include crocheting, photography, gardening, fashion dolls and all things handmade.
So, you’ll probably ask, how did I get into the collectible needlework pattern and book business? It all began with a doily. I started collecting vintage patterns back in the mid-’90s, all because I could not find a ruffled doily like my mother made when I was a girl.
As an avid shopper of garage sales, second-hand stores, antique shops and flea markets, I’m usually not looking for anything in particular but am lucky at finding all sorts of goodies. One day I went looking for ruffled doilies. I found all sorts of doilies but they were all flat. Needless to say, I was flabbergasted. All those doilies and none were what I wanted.
We lived in city back then but were fortunate to have a computer connected to the Internet so I decided to surf the web for ruffled doilies. I found a grand total of four websites. The name was different back then but one was what we now know as About.com. The others were Yesteryear’s Vintage Patterns, which sold copies of old pattern books; Soft Memories, which today still offers vintage crochet pattern membership packages; and Crochet Memories, which now offers e-patterns.
At the time I wasn’t sure if I wanted a membership so About.com provided me with the perfect pattern – Waterfall Double Ruffle Doily, 1949 Spool Cotton Company – which, by the way, I’ve made six times over the years. In fact, I like that book so much so much, I’ve made every doily in it.
I’ve crocheted as long as I’ve been sewing, but made mostly wearable pieces. After making that doily, I was bitten by the thread crochet bug. That doily starched-up beautifully. Here are a couple of pictures of my very first ruffled doily.
So why did I begin collecting?
I decided to sign up for memberships with Crochet Memories and Soft Memories. At that time, your membership allowed unlimited download to the database of your choice. My job required me to travel to Europe, South American, Mexico, and around the automotive belt in the Mid-West, so I had lots of travel time to crochet.
Before I would leave home, I would download all the patterns I liked. Well, I must have downloaded too many and the site owner canceled my membership, probably thinking that I might be trying to sell the patterns. Truly, that thought had never crossed my mind.
As I downloaded the individual patterns, I became fascinated by the intricate fine lace pattern detail and wanted to look through the real pattern book. I never liked copies anyway, although they served my purpose at the time.
The Internet allowed me to replace my loose pattern pages with the real pattern books. By the time I returned from Europe in 2003, I had 64 4-inch binders filled with collections of pattern books. Amazing! They were delightfully full with patterns from Spool Cotton Company, Canadian Spool Cotton Company and Coats and Clark, Lily Mills, American Thread Company, Royal Society, Dritz, DMC, Priscilla, Corticelli – and that’s just the crochet books.
At the markets I would find Russian, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French crochet magazines and books using the International Crochet symbols. Lang is one of my favorites and now select yarn supplies online carry their pattern books. Here’s one of my favorites.
I spent three years in Europe; the markets were a treasure trove of crochet books, handwork like I had never seen. So in addition to those 64 binders, I also came home with four steam trunks full of all kinds of needlework and fine crochet threads in every color imaginable and then some. Take a look. Here are a few more pictures of my crochet work.
Remember, I did tell you that this was a long story. Now I’m back in the USA, pushed into retirement and wanting to continue my career in the technology sector working with small businesses. I wanted project work, not an actual 9 to 5 job, and I wanted to move out of the city; move to a rural area with water and the woods. I just wanted to slow down. I’m happy to say, I did it!
I have a son in the Army who was in Iraq during my stay overseas and I got to see my grandson born, which, by the way was a wonderful experience. Here’s a picture of Caleb and his Daddy (my son) after Iraq.