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MISSION STATEMENT: Provide the bibliography details and information necessary so that researchers and crafters can pursue excellence, as well as historical context, for their craft.


I began this project in 2003, when I went hunting for information on a doll crafting magazine("The Cloth Doll") at the Library of Congress' website. I was trying to figure out when it ceased publication so that I would know when I had a complete run. I discovered that not only does the Library of Congress not archive a copy of all periodicals, it isn't even aware of most craft magazines. I felt betrayed! But I took a deep breath and thought it likely they just hadn't caught up to the 21st century yet with their website. Surely the information was safely locked in some microfiche cabinet or even a dusty card catalog, waiting for some poor intern to pull out and start entering it into the electronic record. But when I queried, I was informed "we can't concern ourselves with women's hobbies." It shocked me. Profoundly. Every English teacher I'd ever had informed me the Library of Congress collected everything ever put in print in the United States. I'd always envisioned an army of unpaid interns and an underground bunker full of metal desks lined in rows, each armed with a scanner, a microfiche reader(and then later a computer) and sharp-eyed Librarians passing among the desks to ensure their interns from the local colleges weren't sneaking in a game of pong on government time. The Library of Congress was my mecca for all our recorded history - ALL our recorded history. I've always thought that women's history is intimately tied to textiles, and has been expressed through them via their hobbies since, well, since history as we know it began. The published record of that history began much later, but still covers centuries. So what the Library of Congress effectively told me in my mind was that they couldn't be concerned with women's history. Now I know that can't be true - but in specific ways, it is true. Did you know there has never been a woman in charge of the Library of Congress until September 2016? The Library of Congress was founded in 1800. Only fourteen men have ever held the post, until Carla Hayden was sworn in. The crime here is so large in scope and so diffuse in responsible parties(the president of the United States makes the appointment of the Director for the Library of Congress, and the Senate confirms it) that I can't begin to define it. The history we've lost isn't calculable, because we don't know everything that's missing and we have no means of finding out. The contempt suggested in the email I received was a blessing in disguise. Without that e-mail, it would never have occurred to me someone needed to at least make the attempt. It baffles me that I am apparently the front runner on this issue.

I went searching elsewhere for bibliographies of various craft magazines - and came up with nada. Even Wikipedia was largely silent on the subject. (I have since discovered that the magazines "THREADS" and "PIECEWORK" keep searchable databases of all their issues(kudos to these awesome periodicals!!!) and that there are some women out there as dedicated to the dead publication "WORKBASKET" as I am - but there was no collective database of all of them as I'd hoped to find.)

I had also been discovering there were a great many magazines and newsletters out there that I'd never heard of, that had all sorts of wonderful information packed into their pages. Magazines for me are a source of patterns and recipes and inspiration for my own projects. I may not have made those leg warmers from "Workbasket" yet - but I know I will eventually - and it gives me a great deal of pleasure to know I can easily look up which issue and be able to go straight to the right box it's archived in.

Magazines both reflected and helped form our culture for nearly two centuries. They still have their effect - but the internet has been slowly leeching this power away, just as tv did to radio. One thing the internet cannot take away from old periodicals, however, is their permanence - which seems like a funny thing to say about a form of media that has always been considered as disposable as newspapers! Websites come and go like mayflies - the information they impart can be gone tomorrow without explanation. But I have magazines dating as far back as 1864! They will still be there when I die and this website is gone. My collection will go to a textile museum along with the database, so that it will continue to enlighten and inform on these small arenas of textile arts long after I am gone.

Between the books on Soft Sculpture I'd been finding and periodicals like "National Doll World" and "The Cloth Doll" I began to get a hazy picture of this huge renaissance in soft sculpture art that got started in the 60's and peaked in the '80's that I'd completely missed! I grew up in exactly this time period, sewing hundreds of (Barbie)doll outfits, making furniture for doll houses for my sister and cousins, making cornhusk dolls, applehead dolls, whittling articulated dolls, and designing stuffed animals that I could make out of my mother's scrap bag. I was completely unaware that there was this great movement going on at the same time. I was a rural kid, always too busy to be bored, but pretty insulated from the larger crafting community. My only contact was through books, which could be checked out for a week from the book mobile that came in from Grand Junction from the public library there. Did I mention that I was a (very) rural kid?

Which brings me to this long-winded point: 1) I felt that someone should be collecting, organizing(! - very important, that part) and archiving the documentation for this wonderful time period, 2) that most of it was quickly ending up in landfills as the generation before mine starts dying, and their heirs look at the amassed mountains of paper in the forms of patterns and magazines and catalogs(because we ALL buy and hoard more patterns and materials than we could ever use in ten lifetimes), and decide a shovel and industrial trashbin on the lawn is their best option for getting through the stressful mess, and 3) that the person who recognizes the problem is typically the person who should do something about it. So here I am. I have no formal training as a librarian or curator, and my research training was all geared toward lab work. I had to teach myself HTML and Javascript in order to build this website, so while it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles(though I'm proud of my slideshow on this page!), I can make any needed changes myself - and of course, continue adding information! I'm not wealthy - not even well off. My husband owns a comic shop. Comic shops don't make money - they make back-issue comics. But we are happy, and I've learned so much working on this project. Of course it has been worthwhile, and it has only barely begun. There is still so much more to accomplish! The website will get "prettier" as I get more of the important stuff done. That likely won't be until 2025.

I started with the soft toy, doll and teddy bibliography page, and it sort of swallowed my undivided attention for the first eight years of this project. You'll see why when you get down to the magazine reviews. There is a catalog of all the soft toy books I am aware of, and reviews of those books in the catalog I happen to own(only about six hundred - don't laugh, to my husband and me, that is a paltry number!), and what has turned out to be the black hole for time consumption - the magazine bibliographies. I have since put serious time into putting together the tatting bibliography - hopefully, it shows with over 1,200 reviews! I also have the beginnings of bibliographies for candle making(because I owned a custom candle shop), polymer clay, and chainmail knitting. I have other bibliography pages in mind - I have a very wide ranging interest in crafts - but those are the five I've started with. (2020- I've since added bib pages for quilting, quilling, crochet and leatherworking!)

I delayed putting the website on-line until I had a certain checklist of things done, which included completed bib pages for key magazine titles - but I kept adding things to the list! I finally realized I would never get the bibliography up if I continued to wait until I had the list all checked off. So keep in mind that this bibliography project is a Work-In-Progress, and that I only have about 30 hours a week that I can devote to building it. I have a full-time job, and help my husband out at his shop on the weekends - and I craft. I'm currently doing a LOT of tatting for a cloak for next Fall. That has turned into needing to learn how to dye variagated thread, designing a pine cone pattern I will be satisfied with, and trying to find just the right weight of olive-colored wool...

I've put thousands of hours into the soft toy magazine bib and still have a great many titles to add. General craft/needlework magazines that carried doll and toy patterns are included here, so if you're hunting for other information you may well find it here. Ideally, I would like to catalog everything considered a women's magazine, and all hobby magazines. I'll never accomplish that goal, but it will be interesting trying. Donations of magazines are greatly appreciated - the older the better. I try to have at least three quarters of a run before I start building a full catalog page for any given magazine title, and I have a great many partial runs that I'm still working on filling in. Even so, I have a backlog of material that needs to be data entered that will take about seven years to catch up on at the rate I'm working! And every time I start getting smug about having a pretty complete picture of what's been published, I run across yet another title or well established designer I was completely unaware of.

I will post updates on what has been completed in the column to the right of this introduction, so you can check back periodically and see if there's anything new you are interested in.

Please read the FAQ if you have a minute - at least skim the questions in bold to see if any are questions you might have yourself. Yes, it's dry and unentertaining, but there's a good reason why it's called "Frequently Asked Questions!"

Feel free to drop me a note with any questions, suggestions or complaints. If you find errors, PLEASE let me know. I try very hard to be as accurate as possible, but I have no one checking behind me, and if there's a broken link or misspelled word, there's no one to blame but me. Taking a minute to send me a note is always appreciated! And of course, I love creative compliments. :)


MAY 22nd, 2021:

Website: https://dresshistorians.org/journal/
The Early Summer 2021 issue has Cary Karp's marvelous article on early tatting "Knotting and Tatting: The Dual Role of the Shuttle as a Fashion Accessory and Instrument of Decoration", pages 8-47. If you are as fascinated with the early history of our discipline as I am, this is a must-read. We don't have a lot of historical documentation to draw from, but what there is, I think Cary found it. The Association of Dress Historians makes their professional journal available for free on-line, and I believe Cary's article isn't the only one that you'll find interesting. Cary also has a blog where he makes his other articles available: https://loopholes.blog/publications/#knotting-tatting

If you need to contact me, use "akamoraih[at]gmail[dot]com" and you know to replace the "[at]" and "[dot]" with the appropriate symbols, right? Spammers look for those symbols when trolling for addresses to try - hence the dumb encryption. There's a mailing address on the contact page now, if you need to mail me stuff, and if you're having trouble figuring out the incryption, I'm fairly active now on www.Craftree.com under the name Moraih. I enthusiastically encourage people to check it out!

MAY 11th, 2021:

Craft Industry Alliance has put up a useful article on copyright that I think everyone should read. Questions have come up a lot lately, and I found this article helpful. My general rule of thumb, is if there is doubt, don't do it. I research carefully, and when needed, make sure I have explicit permission to share in the form of a hardcopy letter to file with whatever I've been given permission to share. In my reviews, I will often mention whether the designer has given explicit permission to sell items made from their patterns/designs, because this is important information to many people. I wish more designers would state their preferences so that makers can proceed with more confidence. Reputable makers always give credit to the designer.

APRIL 20th, 2021:

So a peculiar thing happened. I noticed a stream of 6 new beginner's tatting books show up on ebay within two days of each other - all from the same publisher. They had similar titles, formats, pricing, write-ups, etc., but different authors and covers. I thought, "Aha! Someone is taking copyright free tatting instructions, slapping new covers on it, and having someone write an introduction so they can put their name on it." After all, one of the titles has a subtitle "Guide to Learning How to Tat, Other Tatting Patterns(Dover Knitting, Crochet, Lace)" Yeah, the "Dover" should be a giveaway that this publisher is maybe scraping names off other books to use, not actually understanding the titles used. Boy, was I wrong - not about the borrowing titles portion of this program. They are clearly cribbing titles. The books themselves aren't nearly as useful as a pirated reprint. As far as I can tell, foreign nationals were paid the equivalent of ten bucks or so to write an essay about tatting, which they took more or less seriously(two are straight essays with zero pics - one in huge type and double-spaced in order to cover the assigned 30 pages), then run through a translation program so that it looks like English, but no English speaker would ever confuse it with an English language book. The names are just generic enough in a WASPy way that I'm fairly certain they are not real people. Their scam more or less worked, because I bought 4 of them out of curiosity to see what they were doing and whose work they were filing the serial numbers off of. The seller on ebay is "Prepbooks", who reprints a lot of copyright free books we would otherwise have a much harder time finding accessible copies. So far as I can tell, the books are legal(they even have ISBN), just not good. The names on the books are Janie Smith, Thompson Perez, Marry Adams, Penny Martha, Elsie Crawford, and Jane Craig. They've all disappeared from Prepbooks offerings since I got my copies, but Prepbooks never contacted me to recall them. Maybe they assumed I was a collector of bad essays? WARNING: DO NOT BUY THESE BOOKS unless, of course, you find bad translations entertaining. I haven't checked to see if the ISBN numbers are real or bogus yet. I guess that's my next step, but I feel like I've wasted enough time and energy on these, and done what I'm supposed to do as a reviewer by warning you not to buy them. If you have anything else to add to this story, please do get in touch. I'm all ears.

APRIL 10th, 2021:

Norma Benporath

I've written a bio for an important tatted lace designer of the early 20th century, Norma Benporath and with Judith Connors' considerable help, have provided a catalog of all her books and the periodicals she published her work in - over 1,000 designs in a 23 year span. Yeah, that boggles my mind too. If you tat and haven't heard of Norma, then you're missing someone special. You can click on the picture of her to take you to that page!

If you have time on your hands and want to help, I could really use some researchers to help sift through Australia's newspaper archive for Norma's articles. I've made a start, but there are tons left to do. Contact me for details.

MARCH 3rd, 2021:

I've completed what I can of these three magazine catalogs:
Traditional Quiltworks
Quilting Today
Quiltworks Today

I only had a handful of each of the titles, but at least the pages are set up and I can fill in more as I find them.

FEBRUARY 3rd, 2021:

I've got the PDF files finished and uploaded for Doretha Albee's 1999 "Tatting Knots & Notes, Revisited, Book 1"! Thank you to Deana, her daughter, who not only saved the original files of the newsletter and manuscript along with all the samples Doretha tatted for them, but gifted us with permission to convert all the original issues and manuscript into pdfs for everyone to enjoy. I've printed off the pdfs and carefully compared them to the original manuscript to make sure I didn't make any mistakes in compiling the pages, and that they all printed out clearly(pdfs that are such low resolution they can't be printed are a pet peeve of mine). The book contains Doretha's famous "Pineapple Heaven" doily, with corrections to the original newsletter version. She didn't number the pages of the manuscript, so I've never been sure if the copy I got on loan from the IOLI lending library was complete. But these PDFs are from the original manuscript. I divided the manuscript into two parts to make it easier to download. Here's the link for the review page: DORETHA ALBEE. If you don't know who I'm talking about, use the link. I don't have the slideshow up yet of all the samples that Doretha tatted for her newsletter, so keep checking back. And here are the PDFs of her book:


I am currently working on two big projects at the same time, one of them is Doretha's newsletter PDFs, of course. I've about got all the scanning done, and Adobe came through with helping me get my beloved Photoshop back up and running on the new computers so I am no longer hamstrung.

If you need to contact me, use "akamoraih[at]gmail[dot]com" and you know to replace the "[at]" and "[dot]" with the appropriate symbols, right? Spammers look for those symbols when trolling for addresses to try - hence the dumb encryption. There's a mailing address on the contact page now, if you need to mail me stuff, and if you're having trouble figuring out the incryption, I'm fairly active now on www.Craftree.com under the name Moraih. I enthusiastically encourage people to check it out!

JANUARY 3rd, 2021:

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! I think we can all agree that 2020 was a blessing in that it is behind us, and we now have a benchmark that will make our new year look spectacular in comparison. I look forward to getting more done this year, and finishing many projects that got set aside momentarily while I sewed like a madwoman to make masks for everyone I knew. I ended up making a little over 2,000. It was a lot of work, but I think it did make a difference. Vaccination can't happen fast enough for me and my husband. We are so ready for this pandemic to be over. I know you all feel that way too. May you all stay healthy and safe while we wait for our government to get its act together.



(In Alphabetical Order, not in order of contributions)-

These are the wonderful people who have gone way above and beyond the call to provide obscure materials, solid advice and indispensible expertise. Thank you, one and all.

Karen Cabrera- Has joined the ranks of highly skilled agents contributing her knowledge and savvy to the Bibliography Project. Her facility with Spanish and impressive research skills have made her the obvious choice as Head Agent of the Spanish division. Her knowledge and insights have added substantial value to the BP. She provides excellent tatting tutorials and an entertaining blog at: http://entrelanzaderas.blogspot.com/

Becky Clark- has introduced me to the wonders of Excel in 2015 - and shared her Excel spreadsheets of the bibliographies(mine, Georgia's and IOLI's) with me as well as sharing her own research into what had been published in the way of tatting in Norway, Denmark and Sweden!!! She is a lot more conversant with WorldCat and those particular languages than I am, and dug out a tremendous amount of information I would have remained ignorant of. She is smart, knowledgeable and funny, and I am so glad to have gotten to know her. She's done an amazing job of entering books and links into Craftree's library, and has done a lot of badly needed proofreading for me. Becky is AWESOME!

Kristy Effinger- Colette Wolff's biggest fan and a fellow collector of all her patterns - Kristy has been a huge contributor to the CW bib page - it would look very thin without her contributions!

Jennie Gaskin- Jennie has been very generous with her time and knowledge of the amazing crochet designer Elizabeth Hiddleson. She was instrumental in making the page as informative and complete as it is. She also still has a large stock of the books and single patterns for sale! Jennie can be reached through her website at: http://www.countryyarns.com and she has a blog at: http://countryyarnscrochet.wordpress.com/.

Phyllis C. Keller(In Memoriam, Oct 12, 1918 - Jan. 7, 2011)- Doll Making and collecting were her hobbies and passion for 40 years. Her loving husband Bob donated most of a decade of "Doll Castle News" and "Dolls" to the bibliography in her memory, enabling me to put both titles on the list of bib pages I can set up! In memory of this lovely lady and her generous husband, you have my heartfelt thank you.

Carolyn Kotlas- I think of her as a renaissance woman - superb at anything she puts her mind to. She was finally convinced to submit some of her work for competition at the state fair this year(2015), and came home with a stack of blue and red ribbons - Not surprising at all for those of us who know her. She opened her tatting library to me so that I could expand the tatting bibliography - and her generosity has taken the review count to over 900! Carolyn made that possible. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Barrett and Susie Lagerquist- started sending me quilting books and magazines in 2019, while I was getting through the first round of my mom's big library and I'd started ordering books to fill in some holes mom had. They didn't just send me the books I ordered, but other stuff as well that they thought would be useful. It's 2020 now - and they're still sending me little gems! They clearly love books as much as I do, and have an extensive collection. I'm deeply grateful for their willingness to share it with everyone.

Marian Lynn(In Memoriam)- Her loving daughter, Linda, passed on her mother's collection of "The Toy Trader" spanning from January 1954 to March 1972 to the bibliography. Linda's words about her mother- "My mother was kind and generous. She started her first doll collection when she traveled through Europe with my Dad, and upon her return gave the collection to her friendís daughter who was starting to collect dolls. Later she started collecting dolls again. She taught (us) her children to share and that good deeds are a reward in themselves. She would be happy to know that her collection of The Toy Trader Publication went to someone who will appreciate them." Linda is also a fellow tatter along with being an accomplished knitter and crocheter. Thank you for your generosity, and for allowing me to help keep memories of your mother's many kindnesses alive in thought and memory. It is an honor to acknowledge her living legacy - the family she clearly cherished. Best wishes to you and yours, Leigh

Anitra Stone- Has been a mentor and friend for several years now - shoulda added her name to this list a long time ago for all the information she has hunted down for me and funneled my way. I'm so deeply grateful. I remember I was very excited to meet her for the first time. I already knew her for years, you see, from the eye-catching Captain's Wheel tatting pattern she published in my beloved "Workbasket"! She is a very talented designer we hope to encourage to put out her own books. Anyone who has seen her array of birds can attest. Her help with the tatting bibliography has been substantial and long running. Her friendship and patience have been deeply appreciated. Thank you.

Ruth Wilson- Librarian extraordinaire and another fellow Colette Wolff fan - also clued me in and introduced me to Joan Chiara Cigler's amazing work, gives advice freely on this arcane business of documenting and archiving vintage materials, and has helped complete several runs of important doll magazine titles from her private collection. Lovely lady, you Rock!

Hope Wright- Yet another goddess of tatting information disguised as a Librarian Without Portfolio who out of the blue contacted me with so much information it's going to take me a while to add it all! I've started with her complete list of all the tatting references found in the pages of the famous Godey's Lady's Book of the 19th century.

Zendelle- Donated an obscure run of "Milady In Miniature" out of the blue after seeing my website during the first time I was able to put it up - the only issues I've ever been able to locate of this title. Zendelle is a veteran doll collector and very knowledgeable in this field. She's had to take her original website down, but she still has a blogspot: https://vintagedollcollector.blogspot.com/ and has some educational videos up on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSc1GqCu4B83wGMpSM3OVCw

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