Here are authentic crochet directions for a beautiful crocheted card basket. These baskets, during Victorian times, came in all shapes and sizes. Calling cards
were used by visitors when visiting the home. The card was presented,
and if the Lady of the home consented, a visit followed. If the Lady of
the home was unable to entertain the guest or she was not at home, the
caller left her or his card. These cards were placed in a card holder which
was usually located on the hall/foyer table.
A card basket was a perfect item to use as a showpiece for the fancywork expertise of the women of the house. These baskets were crocheted, knitted, embroidered, as well as purchased and adorned with home crafted flowers or other artistic items.
Below is a Crocheted Card Basket pattern from The Lady's Album of Fancy Work, 1850 (no author or publisher named). This article was edited for use on this site.
Materials - Shaded green, shaded amber, shaded
geranium-colour, Berlin wool; two skeins of blue, two of green, Berlin
wool, and two yards of wire, will also be required.
With shaded green make a chain of nine stitches; unite and work ten rounds in close double crochet, increasing in every stitch in the first round, in every alternate in the second, and in the same stitch in each of the succeeding rounds. -
11th round. Work along stitch in each stitch, missing every ninth stitch. -
12th round. 3 long, 3 chain, miss 2. -
13th round (with amber). 3 long worked in the 3 chain of last round, 4 chain; repeat. -
14th round. Close double crochet. -
15th round (with shaded green). 3 long worked in one stitch, 1 chain, miss 3; repeat. -
16th round. Close double crochet. -
17th round (with amber). 3 long worked above the one chain of 15th round, 2 chain; repeat. -
18th and 19th rounds. Close double crochet. The last of these rounds is worked over a wire, and a round in close double crochet, with amber, is also worked over a wire in the 10th round, to form the bottom of basket. Wrap four pieces of wire, the height of the basket, with green wool, and attach to the inside at regular distances. Prepare a piece of wire, in like manner, for the handle. Work the handle as follows:
With shaded green make a chain the length required. -
2d row (with amber). Close double crochet. -
3d row (with green). Close double crochet; sew this to the wire, which must be placed in the under side.
Prepare the flowers and leaves which ornament the edge of the basket in the following manner:
Geranium. -With geranium-coloured wool make a chain of five stitches, unite, and work a round in double crochet, increasing in every stitch; work a round without increasing, then work 1 single crochet, 2 chain, 3 long, 2 chain, 1 single crochet, in one stitch, miss 1, and repeat in every alternate stitch.
For the Cup of the Flower. -With green make a chain of five stitches, unite, and work 1 single, 2 long, 1 single in every stitch. Make the stamens with amber wool, and sew the stamens and flower to the cup.
For Geranium-bud. -With geranium-colour make a chain of three stitches, unite, increase in the second round by working two in each alternate stitch; work 2 rounds without increasing; then work two rounds decreasing in every stitch. With green make a chain of four stitches, unite, and work 1 single, 3 long, 1 single; repeat three times, and draw the bud through this, leaving a piece for the stem, which must be wrapped with green wool.
Forget-me-not. -With blue make a chain of five, unite, and into this ring work 1 single, 2 long, 1 single; repeat four times.
For the Cup of the Flower. -With green make a chain of four stitches, work 1 single, 1 long in every loop; make stamens with pieces of amber wool; place the flower within the cup, draw the stamens through, and sew at the end, leaving a piece of wool for the stem, which is wrapped with green.
For the Leaves. -With green make a chain of 18 stitches; work down one side of these for 11 stitches in single crochet; turn to the other side, work 1 single, 2 long, in the first two stitches; (a) 1 single, 1 long, in third stitch; 2 double long in the fourth; 1 long, 2 chain, in the fifth stitch; repeat from (a) once, and work 1 long, 2 double long, in the ninth and tenth stitches, and in the last stitch work two treble long. Work the other side of leaf to correspond. Work down the chain to the fifteenth stitch; from this work a chain of 11 stitches, and work a leaf from the directions already given. Work a third leaf on the reverse side of stem. Seven geraniums and three buds will be required, and fifteen forget-me-nots and seven sprays of leaves will also be needed.
Arrange the flowers and leaves on the basket as seen in illustration, and sew on the handle.
Don't forget - if you make one of these, please share the results with
the rest of us. We would love to see your interpretation of the instructions as well as hear your comments on the making of this card basket as well as any tips or tricks you may like to share.