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Flora Klickmann and the Home Art Series.

Flora Klickmann (1867-1958)

Although Flora is probably best known for her "Flower Patch" series, I first became interested in her when I came across "The Home Art Crochet Book" on eBay while searching for older crochet books.

The Home Art Crochet Book The book is full of patterns for lace borders and filet crochet.  Imagine my delight when I discovered that this was only the first in a series of fascinating books.   The designs in all of these books are elegant and intricate. They can be adapted to today's lifestyle which makes each design timeless and well worth the time and effort to produce a crocheted masterpiece.
Ivy Design

Emily Flora Klickmann, to give her her full name, was born in London on January 26th, 1867. She had graduated in music when she was a girl and wanted to be a concert pianist, but a due to a heart weakness was advised to give up her plans.   She began work as a music teacher at the age of 21.  A move into music journalism started her long career as a journalist, author and editor.

In 1908, she was appointed editor of the Girl's Own Paper (later known as The Girl's Own Paper And Woman's Magazine) - a highly successful periodical aimed at girls and young women.   Flora replaced Mr. Charles Peters, who had been the editor since the first issue.  She was very innovative and introduced new themes such as careers advice for girls, advice on style and dress, photography competitions and crafts, all of which proved popular with the readers.

Ivy Spray In 1912 she suffered a breakdown through overwork and stress.   While remaining as editor, she spent a period of convalescence at a rented cottage close to Brockweir in the Wye Valley, an area in which her grandparents had lived.   But no improvement meant that she was taken to London, where she was operated on in 1913, entirely successfully.   However she was starting to spend a lot more time at her retreat, and by the late 1920's she was essentially a long distance editor.

She married Ebenezer Henderson Smith, in 1913. He was one of the executives at the Religious Tract Society who had been instrumental in getting the 'The Girls Own Paper' up and running.   Her married name was Emily Flora Henderson Smith. Although she had lived mainly in South London, Flora had rented cottages in Brockweir over the years.   As a wedding present, Ebenezer purchased 'Sylvan View', a house in Brockweir.

Stitchery Quarterly Supplement In 1916 she published the first of a series of books of written sketches of life in her country cottage at Brockweir based on articles which she had originally written for the Girl's Own Paper.   In later years the stories grew to involve her household and the local people, combining nature description, anecdote, autobiography, religion, and humour.   In all, seven Flower Patch books were published, over 32 years.

She also published novels, advice books, children's stories and non-fiction on many topics including gardening, cooking, and needlework techniques, some of which have been republished in recent years.

The "Home Art" series of books were published while she was editor for "The Girl's Own Paper and Women's Magazine" and "Stitchery", a quarterly paper published as a supplement to The Girl's Own Paper".   This was consequently published in annuals containing the four issues.

Ebenezer died in 1937 and was buried in the Moravian Churchyard in Brockweir.   Flora joined him on November 20th 1958, aged 91.

The "Home Art" series

The Home Art Crochet Book was published 1912 in London by "The Girl's Own Paper and Women's Magazine".   The front over says, "Containing entirely new designs for Lingerie, Edgings & Insertions, Borders for Tray Cloths & D'oileys, Deep Laces for Table Cloths & Valences, Motifs for Inlet Work & Irish Lace."   For anybody interested in thread crochet, this book is full of delightful inspiration.

Rosette Edging The first section is for the "Average Worker".   However, the average worker at that time was far more accomplished than the average worker now.   The instructions for the "Rosette Edging" look very complicated in my view.

We have to remember that girls were taught to be accomplished needle workers at a young age.

The Boat Filet Pattern Today’s crocheter would think that half of the patterns are missing - as can be seen from this section of filet pattern for a Boat.

This is how patterns were written then, in a way which reflected the way girls were taught.   Nowadays, we expect every single action to be explicitly detailed for us.   In Victorian times, women instinctively knew how to turn at the end of the row and how many chain were needed to turn.

Venetion Centre The second book in the series is "The Home Art Book Of Fancy Stitchery", also published in 1912 and "With new ideas for applying Crochet to lingerie and napery bead-work and fancy stitches for dress trimmings, Feather-stitching, Smocking, Hardangerwork, Darned Filet Crochet, Knitting, Macrame Work, Darned net, Cross-stitch, Irish Crochet, Embroidery on Flannel."

Although this book is not dedicated to crochet, there are some more fascinating patterns in there.   This "Venetian Crochet Centre" is one of my favourites. It is made with Cleavers "Grass-bleached" Linen and Hicks, Bullick and Co’s No.42 Irish Lace Thread, with a No. 6 crochet hook.   There are detailed instructions for the centre motif and those around the edge.

Clones Knot In the third book of the series "The Craft of the Crochet Hook", we are actually given some lessons in both Irish crochet and "Plain Crochet".   She suggests a "rather course hook - No. 4 will suit" for these lessons. I rather think he idea of "course" is some what different from ours.   The "No. 4" which she suggests is about a 1.00mm in metric.

Flower Basket This book is the best yet for intricate patterns. The "Flower basket" is a pretty motif which has a variety of uses.   The Irish Crochet motifs are among the best I have ever seen.

Ten more books followed between 1912 and 1921, although only another four are dedicated to crochet.   They all give a unique insight into the craft work of the era.

The series is listed below in the order in which they were published.   The ones I have managed to collect have accompanying scans of the front covers in colour. The monochrome pictures are taken from adverts within these books.

Antique Pattern Library All of the pictures used are scans from the original books which are now in the public domain.   If you are interested in seeing more, or brave enough to attempt some of these patterns, a few of the books can be downloaded from the Antique Pattern Library.

The Home Art Crochet Book
Published 1912

The Home Art Crochet Book

Containing entirely new designs for Lingerie, Edgings & Insertions, Borders for Tray Cloths & D'oileys, Deep Laces for Table Cloths & Valences, Motifs for Inlet Work & Irish Lace.

This book was reprinted by Pastime Publications as "Crocheted Edgings, Insertions & Fancywork; Crocheters' Historical Pattern Series Vol 3".   These pdf scans are from the original.  Dozens of laces of all difficulty levels, and many of them are unusual and beautiful. Also filet charts, Irish Crochet motifs, and patterns for crocheting with manufactured braids and rickracks.

Download PDF 1   Download PDF 2   Download PDF 3

Scans donated and photo edited by Judith Combs Jan 2006.

The Home Art Book of Fancy Stitchery

The Home Art Book of Fancy Stitchery
Published 1912

With new ideas for applying Crochet to lingerie and napery bead-work and fancy stitches for dress trimmings, Feather-stitching, Smocking, Hardangerwork, Darned Filet Crochet, Knitting, Macrame Work, Darned net, Cross-stitch, Irish Crochet, Embroidery on Flannel.

Details Page   Download PDF 1

Scanned and Donated by Enfys 2006

The Craft of the Crochet Hook

The Craft of the Crochet Hook
Published 1912

A book on new ideas in Crochet work of various kinds showing novel methods of applying them to personal and household linen and home decoration.

Details Page   Download PDF 1   Download PDF 2

Scans donated by Enfys, edited by Judith Adele 2011

The Modern Crochet Book

The Modern Crochet Book
Published 1913

Containing original ideas for combining Crochet with Embroidery and with Fancy Braids, together with new and Unusual Designs for use on Household Linen, on Underwear and as Dress Trimmings.

Details Page   Download PDF 1   Download PDF 2

Scans donated by Enfys, edited by Judith Adele 2011

Artistic Crochet

Artistic Crochet
Published 1914

containing - Novel Beadings, Insertions and edgings suitable for underwear and Dress trimmings, exquisite floral designs in Irish Crochet, also practical suggestions, both simple and advanced, for tea-cloths and bedspreads.

Download PDF 1   Download PDF 2

Scanned and Donated by Enfys 2006

The Cult of the Needle The Cult of the Needle
Published 1914

Giving directions for Bulgarian, Catalan, Hungarian and Baro Embroidery, Amager Work, Hemstitching, Netting, Wool-work, Bohemian, Carrickma-cross, Innishmacsaint and Reticella Lace, and other forms of needlecraft.

The Modern Knitting Book

The Modern Knitting Book
Published 1915

Beautiful Crochet on Household Linen

Beautiful Crochet on Household Linen
Published 1916

showing - Table Cloths, Toilet Covers, Curtain Tops, Towel Ends, Sideboard Cloths, Tea Cosies, Dressing Tale Runners and other items.

Download PDF 1   Download PDF 2

Scans donated by Enfys, edited Judith Combs, 2007.

Hardanger and Cross-Stitch

Hardanger and Cross-Stitch
Published 1918

Showing Handsome Hardanger Borders and Corners, also Natural Designs in Cross-Stitch for Violets, Cyclamen, Creeping Jenny, Nasturtiums, Daisies, Roses, Fern, Daffodils, Clover, Cherries, Wild Birds, with Butterflies in Hardanger.

Details Page   Download PDF 1   Download PDF 2

Needlework Economies

Needlework Economies
Published 1919

A book of Making and Mending with Oddments and Scraps.

Preface: War is a hard, stern teacher, and its lessons are bitter in the learning; yet some of its teaching we badly needed - and not the least important of its many lessons is the one it inculcated on the criminality of waste.

Distinctive Crochet

Distinctive Crochet
Published 1919

showing - Edgings, Insertions, Inlets, Corner triangles & Camisole tops in English, Irish Venetian & Filet Crochet with beautiful designs of natural birds and flowers.

Download PDF 1   Download PDF 2

Scanned and Donated by Enfys 2006

Pillow Lace & Hand-worked Trimmings

Pillow Lace & Hand-worked Trimmings
Published 1920

Containing Directions for making Brussels Duchesse Lace, Cluny Lace, Torchon Lace, Maltese Lace, and a variety of designs for decorative embroidery stitches.

The Popular Knitting Book
Published 1921

Other Books

The Little Girls Sewing Book

The Little Girls Sewing Book
Published 1915

The Little Girls Knitting and Crochet Book The Little Girls Knitting and Crochet Book
Published 1916

The Stitchery Annual Vol 1

The Stitchery Annual
Published from 1912

"Stitchery" was published quarterly as a supplement to "The Girls own Paper and Womens Magazine".

Each annual contains 4 issues of "Stitchery".

I have numbers 1 and 12 and am working on collecting the others.