I spent an enjoyable couple of hours this morning looking through the collection at the Antique Pattern Library (http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/). I saw some fantastic old patterns, and I discovered that fch stitch is not new at all. Apparently it's been around for many many years--I saw directions for it in one of the books.
Anyhooo . . . if you happen to have hard copies of antique pattern books (Jan, was that you?), you can donate scanned copies to this site and they will post them for all the world to see and use.
At the very least, take a look at some of the patterns. They are fabulous--and confusing--and intricate! And did I mention fabulous?!