Pansy Bedspread

1970 Nehring, Laura Iowa State Fair entries Nevada Journal 600px

Nevada (Iowa) Evening Journal, 1970

“Hellooooooooooooo Wrestling Fans” – the introduction by Bill Kersten to Saturday night All-Star Wrestling in central Iowa in the late 1960s. It’s strange how memories become linked to each other, like professional wresting and crochet. In the late 1960s my parents belonged to a square dancing group and went dancing every Saturday night near my grandparents house. We children stayed with our grandparents. Grandpa read the newspaper and smoked his pipe in his overstuffed, red vinyl chair. Grandma knitted or crocheted in her rocking chair. As the night progressed Grandma made popcorn and Grandpa, my two uncles still at home and my sister and I migrated to the family room to watch TV. Of course my sister and I had no say in what was on TV so we watched westerns, the 10 O’Clock News and All-Star Wrestling. All-Star Wrestling was the most memorable for it’s (staged) violence and because my sister and I got to stay up past our normal 9 pm bedtime.

I remember Grandma working on her crocheted pansy bedspread from the start. Each Saturday night held a new wonder. First a little pile of pansies in variegated purple thread sprang up and grew. How I loved the variegated purple thread! Then she added the white square background to each and a pile of pansies in white squares grew as the pile of pansies shrank. Later a pile of plain white squares began and grew next to the pansy squares. This went on for months and the piles got pretty big. Finally one Saturday night all the piles were gone and Grandma had her new pansy bedspread on her bed.

Years later after my grandfather died and Grandma moved into a much smaller house, she asked me to bring an empty suitcase the next time I came to visit. She helped me pack it full of her quilting patterns, knitting needles and crochet hooks, pattern books and other needlework supplies. On top went the pansy bedspread. It turned out that of her six granddaughters, I was the only one who did any needlework (except for my cousin who did a little cross stitch) so I was getting all of her needlework supplies. And I got the pansy bedspread because I was the only one of her granddaughters who knew how to mend it – the seams holding the squares together were starting to go!

Among her patterns, I found the pattern for the Pansy Patch Bedspread. Grandma used a different set for her bedspread, in other words, she put the motifs together in a different pattern. The original pattern is reprinted here with permission from Coats and Clark. The thread used in the original pattern has been discontinued so the people at Coats and Clark asked me to provide substitute threads so you can try the pattern yourself. If you aren’t up to a whole bedspread, make a few motifs for a springtime pillow.

For Knit-Cro-Sheen Art. A. 64 (bedspread weight about size 10) substitute Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Cotton size 10 Art. 154.

Knit-Cro-Sheen No. 1 White  225 yds/ball    substitute   Aunt Lydia’s 1 White  400 yds/ball

Knit-Cro-Sheen No. 18-A Shaded Purples  150 yds/ball   substitute   Aunt Lydia’s 26 Shaded Purples  300 yds/ball

Knit-Cro-Sheet No. 110-A Terrace Green  150 yds/ball   substitute   Aunt Lydia’s 484 Myrtle Green  350 yds/ball

Knit-Cro-Sheen No. 43 Dk. Yellow  150 yds/ball   substitute   Aunt Lydia’s 422 Golden Yellow  350 yds/ball