On my Victorian crochet collar project i have started to make some progress too. After my first initial fruitless searches for Victorian patterns i have at last have found some. Google Play has some free e-books (scanned copies of Victorian crochet books). I was definitely overly excited at finding them.
These old crochet books make for an interesting read, i love reading old knitting and crochet books. The way the crochet and terminological is presented has not really changed. The book i have chosen to use "The Crochet Book" has some good illustrations of the stitches, so could be used by a beginner. There are also some interesting patterns for bags in other books that i might give a try, but there are no pictures, so it will be a case of follow the instructions and see what takes shape. Which will be fun to do when have the time, but for now my focus is making some Victorian crochet collars for the Shifnal Arts Festival. It starts in only a month so i cant really experimenting as much as i would like.
So first i am making this collar:
The ref is: Eléonore Riego de la Branchardière, 1847, The crochet book, Simpkin, Marshall.
I have never done crochet, using crochet cotton and small hooks before. Working with fine cotton and small hooks is definitely a skill, and it took me a good couple of hours to get the knack of hooking the cotton. But the result is rather attractive. Despite spending all afternoon and evening on the collar, progress is slow, my work still fits easily into the palm of my very small hand.