Vintage Halloween: Fortune Telling Apples

It’s no secret that I love Halloween. My college dorm room had pumpkin and bat garlands up year round (Let’s not even start with the number of Smashing Pumpkins posters, okay?) and even now I have a black cat die cut and pumpkin candy pail from the 1960s on permanent display. I love bad horror movies even when it isn’t October but I still love autumn and feeling the Halloween spirit inhabit everyone else for a little while. I don’t have too many plans this year save for a Twin Peaks-themed dance party in Brooklyn. (Last year it was a hoot.) I usually try to DIY as much of my own costume as I can but this year I’ve been dragging my feet a little. Mostly because I haven’t had an amazing costume idea yet but there’s still time to make and create.

For inspiration I’ve been reading a few vintage 1920s Halloween booklets and learning a bit about the beginnings of Halloween. While doing this, I kept noticing lots of references to apples. Apples?  When was the last time you got a Halloween card with a big smiling apple on it? Me neither. I bobbed for apples once as a kid but only because that was the only time I ever even had the opportunity to apple bob. I decided to find out why blindfolded children were always biting at apples on strings on vintage Halloween cards.

chloeheartsowls vintage halloween - apples

Hallowe’en or All Hallow’s Evening is believed to have originated with the Gaelic harvest festival of Samhain. The festival began on October 31 at sunset, half way between autumn and winter, and celebrated the end of the harvest and the beginning of that part of the year where the spirit world was nearest to our own. They believed that the barrier between the world of the living and the dead was weakened during this time and the souls of the dead could come visit them and help foretell their lives for the coming year. Feasts were had, bonfires were lit and costumes were donned. As Pagans associated the shape of the pentagram with fertility and the inside of an apple yields a five-pointed star, apples were seen as a promise of rebirth after a long winter and used in divination rituals. Offerings to the spirit world included burying apples to feed dead souls during their journey from this world to the next. You could also cleanse your soul by cutting an apple in half, “filling” the halves with your bad habits and diseases, putting the halves together and burying it in the ground. Supposedly, as it rotted, so to would your misgivings.

The apple has long been a symbol of fertility, also associated with the Roman goddess Pomona, and the game of apple bobbing or ducking comes from this. The star-shaped orientation of the apple pips or seeds has lead to its use in more modern fortune telling games. Suspending apples from strings or floating them in a barrel and allowing blindfolded guests to bite them was supposed to determine your future mate or who was first to be wedded. Another old Hallowe’en tradition, “apple peeling”, involves a young woman paring an entire apple, yielding one long peel which she then throws over her left shoulder. Whatever shape it lands in is the first initial of her future husband. If you peeled an apple at midnight on October 31 while gazing into a mirror, the image of your future husband would appear. Sometimes it wasn’t exactly what you had hoped for.

       

I’m not sure exactly why we stepped away from apple symbolism but it likely has to do with the shift from Halloween parties to trick or treating. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Halloween parties and dances started as a way to keep kids from getting into mischief and committing acts of vandalism. The city of Anoka, Minnesota claims to be “The Halloween Capital of the World” because it hosted the first organized Halloween celebration in 1920 which manged to keep pranksters from tipping over outhouses and opening livestock gates. (It took me all of another two seconds to find another city in Kansas that was also boasting to have created the first “Halloween Frolic” in 1914, so I’m hesitant to take the capital claim with any certainty.) It wasn’t until the 1930s that the holiday shifted its focus almost entirely over to children and the trick or treating that we now associate with the holiday.

I’ll leave you with a few more vintage Halloween cards and images and in my next post I will share some 1920s Halloween party decorations and games.

           

     

  

https://www.etsy.com/listing/206406677/superb-rare-art-deco-halloween-costumes?

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Chloe Hearts Owls: Fall Sale on Etsy!

In need of a classy, vintage style winter hat? I’m having a Fall Sale in my chloe hearts owls Etsy store until Halloween! Get 10% off any orders with coupon code FALL10. I can also create custom designs in any color!

Crochet Pattern: Bluebell Cloche

This hat idea was born during my quest to find crochet cloche patterns thanks to Bonnie and Clyde. I couldn’t find a pattern for what I pictured in my head so I made it up as I worked. Made entirely in the round using one ball of yarn and only 23 rows (!!) of crochet. Pretty quick and lightweight project. Download a PDF at link below, check it out on Ravelry, or purchase this hat on Etsy.

Bluebell Cloche

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Yarn:  1 ball of Knit Picks Palette fingering weight yarn in Bluebell or equivalent yarn

Hook: Size E hook or hook that yields appropriate gauge

Gauge: 10 sts = 2 inches in hdc

Measurements: Finished hat measures approximately 8.5 inches tall and 12 inches at widest

Abbreviations:  

sc = single crochet                    dc = double crochet

hdc = half-double crochet       sts = stitches

ch = chain                                   sl = slip

Techniques:

This hat is worked entirely in the round beginning at the crown. Be sure to chain 2 at the start of each non-eyelet round as the first half-double crochet. Each non-eyelet round is joined with a slip stitch into the first chain 2 of that round. Eyelet rounds are joined to the 3rd chain of the first ch 6 of that round. I used a magic ring to start my rounds but use whatever method you like best.

Directions:

1)    Make 8 single crochet in a magic ring, slip stitching into first sc. (8 stitches around)

2)    Ch 2, 2 half-double crochet into each sc around. (16 sts)

3)    Ch 2, 2 hdc into next stitch, * 1 hdc, 2 hdc into next stitch. Repeat from * around. (24 sts)

4)    Ch 2, 1 hdc, 2 hdc into next stitch, * 2 hdc, 2 hdc into next stitch. Repeat from * around. (32 sts)

5)    Ch 2, 2 hdc, 2 hdc into next stitch, * 3 hdc, 2 hdc into next stitch. Repeat from * around. (40 sts)

6)    Ch 2, 3 double crochet, 2 dc into next stitch, * 4 dc, 2 dc into next stitch. Repeat from * around. (48 sts)

7)    Ch 2, 4 dc, 2 dc into next stitch, * 5 dc, 2 dc into next stitch. Repeat from * around. (56 sts)

8)    Ch 2, 5 dc, 2 dc into next stitch, * 6 dc, 2 dc into next stitch. Repeat from * around. (64 sts)

9)    Ch 2, 6 dc, 2 dc into next stitch, * 7 dc, 2 dc into next stitch. Repeat from * around. (72 sts)

10) Ch 2, 7 dc, 2 dc into next stitch, * 8 dc, 2 dc into next stitch. Repeat from * around. (80 sts)

11) Ch 2, 8 dc, 2 dc into next stitch, * 9 dc, 2 dc into next stitch. Repeat from * around. (88 sts)

12) Ch 6, * dc in 3rd dc, ch 3. Repeat from * around. Sl st into 3rd chain of starting ch 6.

13) Ch 2, * 3 dc into loop, 1 dc in each dc. Repeat from * around.

14) Ch 2, dc in each dc.

15) Ch 6, * dc in 3rd dc, ch 3. Repeat from * around.

16) Ch 2, * 3 dc into loop, 1 dc in each dc. Repeat from * around.

17) Ch 2, dc in each dc.

18) Ch 6, * dc in 3rd dc, ch 3. Repeat from * around.

19) Ch 2, * 3 dc into loop, 1 dc in each dc. Repeat from * around.

20) Ch 2, dc in each dc.

21) Ch 6, * dc in 3rd dc, ch 3. Repeat from * around.

22) Ch 2, * 3 dc into loop, 1 dc in each dc. Repeat from * around.

23) Ch 2, dc in each dc. Finish off.

Knitting Pattern: Canceled Stamp Cloche

Here is another of the vintage-inspired hat patterns I created in my design frenzy last fall. I named this asymmetrical cloche “canceled stamp” after the 1920s term for a wallflower. The shaping is created using short rows along the bottom edge of the hat, one side is just a little longer than the other. Made of worsted weight yarn so it knits up fairly quickly for a vintage style hat. You can purchase this hat on Etsy. Download a PDF of the pattern at the link below or find it on Ravelry.

Canceled Stamp Cloche

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Materials
US 8 16” circular needle
US 8 double-pointed needles
2 skeins worsted/aran weight yarn in coordinating colors (I used KnitPicks Wool of the Andes and Classic Elite Yarns Renaissance from my stash)
Stitch markers

Gauge
16 stitches = 4 inches

Techniques:
Short row shaping: (I will only provide a brief review here as there are numerous tutorials available online.) On a knit row: knit the number of stitches to short row section, slip next stitch onto right needle as if to purl and bring yarn to front of work, return unworked slipped stitch back to left needle and turn work bringing yarn to the front with wrong side facing to begin purl row. On a purl row just wrap the yarn the opposite as you would when purling instead of knitting.

Remember to hide the wraps when you encounter them by knitting them along with the wrapped stitch.

Abbreviations
k = knit
k2tog = knit two stitches together, decrease
p = purl
ssk = slip first stitch as if to knit, slip second stitch as if to purl, knit the two slipped stitches together, decrease
sts = stitches
w&t = wrap yarn and turn work for short row shaping

Notes:
The main body of the hat is knit in the round but the short row shaping section is knit back and forth. Hat uses short row shaping only on one side and is worn asymmetrically as shown in photos.

Directions
Cast on 90 stitches using second color and join in the round. Place stitch marker for start of rounds if desired. Work in garter stitch for two rounds beginning with a purl round. At the start of the next round, change to main color and knit 22 stitches, place second marker (for center of short rows section), knit to start of round.

Begin short row shaping:
1) Knit to 6 stitches past short rows section marker (28 stitches past join in the round marker), wrap yarn and turn work.
2) Purl to 6 stitches past marker, w&t.
3) K to 8 sts past marker, w&t.
4) P to 8 sts past marker, w&t.
5) K to 10 sts past marker, w&t.
6) P to 10 sts past marker, w&t.
7) K to 11 sts past marker, w&t.
8) P to 11 sts past marker, w&t.
9) K to 12 sts past marker, w&t.
10) P to 12 sts past marker, w&t.
11) K to 13 sts past marker, w&t.
12) P to 13 sts past marker, w&t.
13) K to 14 sts past marker, w&t.
14) P to 14 sts past marker, w&t.
15) K to 15 sts past marker, w&t.
16) P to 15 sts past marker, w&t.
17) K to 16 sts past marker, w&t.
18) P to 16 sts past marker, w&t.
19) K to 17 sts past marker, w&t.
20) P to 17 sts past marker, w&t.
21) K to 18 sts past marker, w&t.
22) P to 18 sts past marker, w&t.
23) K to 19 sts past marker, w&t.
24) P to 19 sts past marker, w&t.
25) K to 20 sts past marker, w&t.
26) P to 20 sts past marker, w&t.
27) K to 21 sts past marker, w&t.
28) P to 21 sts past marker, w&t.
29) K to 22 sts past marker, w&t.
30) P to 22 sts past marker, w&t.
31) Knit around.

Continue to work all stitches in stockinette stitch for approximately 3 ¾ inches from unshaped cast on edge.
Begin decrease rounds:
1) K7, k2tog, k7, ssk.* Repeat from * around.
2) K around.
3) K6, k2tog, k6, ssk.* Repeat from * around.
4) K.
5) K5, k2tog, k5, ssk.* Repeat from * around.
6) K.
7) K4, k2tog, k4, ssk.* Repeat from * around.
8) K.
9) K3, k2tog, k3, ssk.* Repeat from * around.
10) K.
11) K2, k2tog, k2, ssk.* Repeat from * around.
12) K.
13) K1, k2tog, k1, ssk.* Repeat from * around.
14) K.
15) K2tog, ssk.* Repeat from * around.

Finish off by pulling yarn through remaining stitches. Be sure to block finished hat so that cast on edge does not roll!

©2013 chloeheartsowls
**Please do not sell or distribute this pattern or finished objects without permission. If anyone has any questions or corrections please email me at chloeheartsowls@gmail.com**

Knitting Pattern: 1930s Style Scarf -The Volstead

I am posting my new 1930s-inspired scarf pattern up here on the blog for free (Sorry! I have completed the new version of the pattern and they are both for sale at the link below!) until I put together the pattern for the multicolored version. I decided to name it The Volstead after the Volstead Act which helped establish prohibition here in the United States from 1920-1933. The pattern uses fingering weight yarn and short rows to create the wing-like shaping.

The Volstead

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I would love to see any photos if someone makes the scarf!

-chloe