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Crocheted gown would make bride's day


© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 8, 2001

Needlework requests loom large in the mail this week, with all sorts of projects represented. Of course, the folks working on items for holiday giving start hearing time's winged chariot drawing near during September, but some quite different, equally timely, efforts are also on the needlework docket.

For example, a crocheted wedding gown. That request comes from Melissa Shaw, who lives in Alaska and happened to see the column while visiting a friend in St. Petersburg. Melissa's daughter is going to be married and asked her mother to crochet her gown. Of course, Melissa would love to -- if she could only find a pattern. But crocheted gowns for adults seem to be about as scarce as gardenias on the tundra.

If our clever readers can help out, Melissa is waiting to hear from you in two time zones. She has returned to Alaska, where her phone number is (907) 235-6845 and the time on the clock is four hours behind ours; her e-mail address is You may also use her local friend's e-mail address, which is The last words in Melissa's message are, "You are my last hope." We know how our readers eat up a challenge like that.

Helen Salvini of St. Petersburg is trying to hold on to a family needlework tradition of 25 years. Her mother made a mobile for each of her grandchildren when they were born. The mobiles consisted of six or seven knitted birds (a robin, a bluebird, a cardinal, etc.) attached with a dowel and fishing line.

Helen's mother has passed away, leaving no instructions for making the mobiles, probably not even guessing that the family would carry on her tradition. But Helen's sister is awaiting the arrival of her first grandchild and is very eager that the baby have the proper welcome. Do you have this mobile pattern in your needlework file? The family doesn't care whether the pattern calls for knitting or crocheting. Helen's phone number is (727) 864-2889; her e-mail address is

In addition to needlework requests for rites of passage like marriage and birth, we have a couple related to a holiday theme. First, Arlene wants a pattern for a knitted or crocheted Christmas tree skirt. Please contact Arlene at (727) 785-1083 or send an e-mail to

Next, Jane Knofczynski is looking for a smocking pattern for Christmas ornaments, not the most ordinary item. Jane's church will be having a Christmas fair soon, so she is eager to get started. Her phone number is (727) 723-0947.

A group of needleworkers is hoping to turn out 100 knitted or crocheted afghans by Christmas to be presented to Kimberly House, a facility that helps underprivileged new mothers. Any completed afghans or donations of yarn will help these folks speed toward their goal. Please contact either Jan Sprenger at (727) 733-4724 or Mary Broward at (727) 524-7470.

Vivian Stanton of Clearwater would like old 10-cent and 25-cent crochet books with patterns for doilies, tablecloths, etc., and steel crochet hooks, sizes 9-14. Vivian is a prize-winning needleworker who just prefers the older patterns. Call her at (727) 796-1693 if you can help.

Well, let's pop the lids back onto the sewing baskets for now and turn to other important issues. Like the one discussed in Sue Stubblefield's e-mail. She is looking for a wheelchair in good repair and with footrests for a 90-year-old friend who has difficulty walking and just being on her feet. If you can help Sue and her friend, please call Sue any time on weekends or after 3:30 p.m. on weekdays at (727) 525-5952. Or e-mail her at

Beth Liddane of Palm Harbor is looking for Coronamatic cartridge (side loading) ribbons for her Smith-Corona Communicator I electric typewriter, which is about 14 years old. Office supply stores no longer routinely carry them; they are available by special order only, from a different company, and are very expensive. If you have some of these ribbons left after your switch to the computer, Beth would like to hear from you at (727) 787-2375.

- Send requests to Reader Exchange, Home & Garden, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731 or e-mail Only questions of general interest will be answered. Requests will be accepted only by mail or e-mail; no phoned requests, please.

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