The 2 items that I think stand out in vintage crochet books, are hats and pot holders. They are incredibly fun and creative. I love anything whimsical, and these pot holders are a prime example of whimsy at its best!
I have many crocheted pot holders that my grandmother lovingly made, but I don't actually use them. They are too pretty, and I don't think they would protect my hands from heat. That doesn't stop me from wanting to collect vintage pot holder patterns though. I think the patterns could be a launching pad for creating appliqués, purses, jewelry and afghans.
Heres's hoping you might find a little inspiration in these:
See my posts about amazing crochet hats: here and here.