With the article shown here, from the October 1899 issue of McCall’s magazine, you can actually crochet a shawl that would have been worn over a hundred years ago.
I find it absolutely incredible that with these basic vintage instructions, it is possible now in the twenty first century to make the same pattern of shawl that a woman would have also made back in 1899. If you are looking for help with a vintage clothing look, this would be perfect because it will be authentically vintage yet not as delicate and fragile as an actual antique shawl would be.
Unfortunately I do not crochet, so I’m not sure how difficult these instructions are or even if they were written in the same way as they are today. But hopefully they will work for you!
The picture of the shawl directly above this paragraph shows the crocheted shawl. Of this shawl, the magazine says:
“The pretty crocheted shawl shown in our first illustration may be made of fine wool in the usual manner, but it is much prettier to crochet it of thin silk.”
And the photo at the very top shows the “square netted shawl.” The magazine article explains a bit about netting here:
“As inquiries have lately reached our needlework columns with regard to netting, the illustration of these may be of especial interest to some of our readers. This kind of work was popular in years gone by, being a favorite employment of the ancient Egyptians, who, as Pliny tells us, made nets of flax so delicate that ‘they would pass through a man’s ring, and a single person could carry a sufficient number of them to surround a whole wood.’ History seems to be repeating itself in the recent revival of netting as a pleasant occupation.”
So, if you would like to give one or both of these shawls a try, you will find the complete article with instructions presented here. Simply click on the scans to enlarge so you can read them clearly.
If you do make one of these shawls, please come back and share the results!