Dear readers, might I draw your attention for a moment to this crocheted girdle? It is apparently Princess Kathryn’s.
It’s from Corticelli Lessons in Crochet, published in 1916 by the Corticelli Silk Mills of Florence Massachusetts. Half the patterns in the book have princess names, but the best I can figure is that it’s because they are made with “Princess Pearl Crochet Cotton,” not because they bear any relation to royalty.
I enjoy browsing the free pattern section of certain yarn companies’ websites for the awkward pictures of models wearing ill conceived clothing. What I really should do is start keeping track of awkward models from the early period of crochet pattern books. It’s not that the sweater below is particularly awful, but I can’t help giggling at the thought of the photographer telling her “Look regal. Now put only the tips of your fingers into that pocket. Now raise your left hand as if you’re about to order a servant to do something”
Also note that the word princess is in quotation marks there, but only in the name of the yarn. A few pages later, princess appears in quotes in the name of the pattern, but not the yarn name. In some strange way, it’s comforting to see that their present misuse is not because we’re in a modern age of degenerate punctuation.
Consider this a long introduction to a very short question: Do I need a crocheted girdle?
As a followup: How ridiculous would it look if I wore one?
As an interesting side note, before it became the Corticelli Silk Mill, its silk thread production facility was run by the Northhampton Association of Education and Industry, an Abolitionist commune. Members lived together in the factory and seven houses in the compound. Sojourner Truth did their laundry. According to The History of Florence, Massachusetts, “Social life was unconventional and free, running to the verge of propriety, but never beyond.” When the commune dissolved after four years, due in part to mutual criticism sessions, the leader of the commune and inventor of the silk spinning machines took over the factory. Sometime in the 1890s the factory became the Corticelli Silk Mill.