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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Clipson Crochet Hook from Susan Bates

In December, 1949, the Susan Bates (C.J. Bates & Sons) Clipson Metal Crochet Hook was released to the fiber arts market. 

Photo from Etsy Seller DiVintageBlessings
The Clipson Hooks were sold in the typical sizes between 00 and 14.  Note the color 'knob' tips.   Each different color was used for size identification within your collection.  

The micro-ground hook with in-line head and permanent stitch saver -- makes your crocheting easier, quicker, more uniform and so much better looking.  This clip was a half page ad from Modern Knitting magazine.  (1950, I believe).    This advertisement also tells us of two Susan Bates Crochet Pattern Books.   I've found references to a number of Susan Bates patterns, but (so far) none dating back to 1950. 

The back of the packaging gave this sweet instruction sheet. 

Did you note that the hook carried the Good Housekeeping seal of approval?  Here the 'money-back' guarantee is offered. 

These hooks, in several renditions remained popular in the market into the mid 1970's.  The hooks can still be found on the typical selling sites - Etsy, Ebay, etc. 

There are a few patterns in the shop that call for these hooks.  These patterns are typically from magazines and were placed opposite of the Clipson advertisement.    Feel free to substitute any hook of the required size. 

Thanks for dropping by,

Bess Wiersma Knitting Patterns

I came across this advertisement in the 1949 issue of Modern Knitting Magazine, and of course, the hunt was on. 

And, besides this lone advertisement, a very brief hunt it was. Apparently Bess was a knitting entrepreneur that came forward to offer her expertise. 

In 1948, she copyrighted a 15 page leaflet titled "Answers to Knitters Problems, as well as 5 individual knitting patterns for family cardigans and a toddler dress.   It's interesting that the ad says the patterns are full-size.    It also informs us that Bess was a knitting instructor. 

"Patterns are my original designs, never before offered".   Mail in $1.00 and receive two of the patterns, and (I'm assuming) the leaflet.   (I note that $1.00 was on the expensive side for 1949, even if it does include postage).

And that's everything I learned.   I've set up alerts out there on the World Wide Web, and who knows, maybe something more will pop up.   Or ... perhaps you know something about Bess Wiersma and her patterns?

Thanks for dropping by,

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Double Quick Mercerized Crochet Cotton

Taking us back to 1953, Lily Mills entered their Double Quick Mercerized Crochet Cotton to the market.   This thread, most likely, was a follow-up to the heavier straw textured threads of the WWII era popular for hats, bags, mats, etc. 

Lily Double Quick Straw Crochet Advertisement
The Double Quick Crochet Cotton is a 8-ply cord, cable twist thread.  This advertisement promotion was issued in the 1953-54 issue of McCalls Needlecraft.  

It was sold in both rolls (as pictured from ebay seller Newthings61) and in skeins.  

Lily Double Quick Mercerized Crochet Cotton Sales Ad
  The price started at 29 cents but never went up much.  

LLily Mills Design Book 74, Wrought Iron Crochet

There were the typical promotions for the product.   Lily Mills supplied pattern pamphlets to the retailers to be given with the thread purchase, and Lily Design Book 74 - Wrought Iron Crochet was released.

The thread was apparently NOT a huge success in that it only made a four year market run, exiting in early 1958.

And, that's all I know.    Thanks for dropping by,

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Paula Bank Knitting Patterns

Tucked away ... all the way back on page 53 ... of McCalls Needlecraft (Fall-Winter 1953/54) is this small advertisement.

Paula Banks, Knitting Expert, Patterns and Fashion Catalog Offer

Send for Paula Bank's color card and fashion catalog.  Order the finest yarn and knitting instructions from your home!.  Send 50 cents for our Color Card of nationally known yarns, includes Fashion Catalog of our complete line of knitting patterns for the family

The line that sent me on the Google search was "Paula Bank, nationally known knitting authority".   Oh, and the idea that there might be a catalog out there that I've not seen.   Well, Google and resulted in nothing.   But, I'm putting the post out here as a placeholder.   AND ... perhaps one of you might have some of these patterns, or a catalog or know something more. 

Thanks for dropping by,

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Royal Crest Yarn Contest

Through time, the various companies have employed a number of marketing strategies.   There are, of course, the pattern books, kits and paks, state fair contests, fashion shows, representatives offering help in individual shops, etc.   But this marketing ploy for this 'get to know us', came as a surprise. 

This is a full half page add in the 1953-54 issue of  McCalls Needlecraft.   In case you can't read the small print, the gest is  ... knit a piece with Royal Crest Yarn.  And then finish this sentence ... I LIKE ROYAL CREST YARNS BECAUSE .....   in 25 words or less.   Then, mail in your entry.   Enter as often as you like. 

There are 31 prizes ranging from a 1st prize of $500 down to $10.00.  YOU CAN'T Lose, because whether you win a cash prize or not, you'll discover Royal Crest Yarns will save you money!

I did my typical Google, newspaper and book searches and came up with only a couple pictures.  Apparently the yarn was not a big success.     Here's three that I did find.

Royal Crest - Moonlight 

Royal Crest  - Petite Royal - 1 oz skeins, 75% Virgin Wool, 25% Rayon

Royal Crest - Royality Yarn

I'm sure I'll find more in other magazines as I go along and will come back here with any other details. 

Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Nomotta Sterling Silver Bracelet Award

Tucked in the 1953-54 issue of McCalls Needlecraft is the full page Nomotta Advertisement.

"Sterling silver bracelet award for outstanding knowledge and proficiency!  Earned by exceptionally gifted art needlework sales personnel after thorough individual testingNow you can tell at a glance that the person proudly wearing this coveted award is unusually qualified to advise you in the selection of hand-knitting materials, and to guide you to the successful completion of the design of your choice".  

Now, as you might image, this immediately prompted a multitude of questions in my mind.   Like ....
How did one apply to be certified?
 Was it an individual, or a needlework shop?
How was this 'award of excellence communicated to the customer?
How many of these awards were given out? 
etc. etc. etc

I, of course, headed right over to a Google and then figuring I'd find a gathering a marketing information for the bracelets.   Nope.   All I found was this auction image 

Description:   A Sterling Silver Knitting Needle Bangle Charm Bracelet, Nomotta, 
consisting of a knitting needle formed into a bangle bracelet and suspending a rectangular charm stamped with the Nomotta brand logo, the reverse inscribed in with German. 
And that's all.   Now, I've set up alerts in the typical places, and one day, when I least expect it (hopefully), something will pop up!   When that happens, I come back and update this post. 

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Spinnerin Candour Yarn

In 1944, Spinnerin introduced their new Candour yarn to the market. 

Vintage 1945 Spinnerin Yarn Newspaper Article
100% Virgin Wool, "a lightweight sports yarn" in 4 ply skeins.   In this 1945 ad, notice that the Spinnerin Candour is significantly higher in cost than the other brands. 

Candour Yarn by Spinnerin 100% Virgin Woll in 4-oz skeins
Here's another 1945 newspaper ad that details the range of colors.   It also has a fun typo ... 40 oz skeins.
Spinnerin Candour Yarn in 3 and 4 oz skeins

In this 1952 ad announce a packaging change "Now yours in the new 3-oz skein that reduces unit prices and eliminating overweight purchases!"  This change would move Candour more in line with the 'then' market price.

Candour Yarn Magazine Advertisement in 1956 McCalls Needlecraft Magazine

In 1956, Spinnerin ran a campaign to recharge their Candour sales.   This full page ad appeared in McCalls Needlecraft Magazine.

Spinnerin Vol 133, Hand Knits in Candour Yarn
And was accompanied by release of a pattern book - Spinnerin Hand Knits in Candour, Volume 133.  (It was also featured in Spinnerin Vol 177.  I'm sure there are others as well; I'll add them as I come across).    Not a lot, but I do have a few Spinnerin Candour patterns in the shop. 

Candour yarn began it's decline in 1963 and in 1965 had disappeared from the retail marketplace.

Photo from Ebay seller Namukale6014 

Should I learn more about Spinnerin Candour, I'll drop back in and update this post.
Thanks for dropping by,

Monday, November 20, 2017

Holland Windmill Imported Hand Knitting Yarns

Tucked onto page 11 of the Fall Winter 1953-54 issue of McCalls Needlework magazine with this wonderful color advertisement for Holland Windmill Imported Hand Knitting Yarns.

Now, I've processed a lot of patterns and had no recall of Holland Windmill in material listings. 

 I did discover, however, that I'd collected other advertisement for this company -- this one from 1952.  Actually, I have several renditions of this same ad dating between 1953 to 1957.  The only business difference is this ad shows Margo Trading as the importer, earlier ads showed Wool Trading Inc. 

Now Holland Windmill Yarn was the product of Gebroeders, Van Wuk & Co of Leiden, Holland (you'll have to hit translate to read the Wikipedia).   This is speculation on my part, but I'd suggest this product was marketed in the States between 1952 and 1957.   A couple of the ads indicate there are free instructions, however, a search of internet-land renders nothing.  There are also no traces of the yarn itself on Ebay, or a single mention over at Ravelry. 

The company had a long run, starting up in 1795.   In 1957 the company was merged and then later liquidated, coming to a complete demise in 1963. 

I have quite a number of magazines that I've not been through, so, should I find any additional information, I'll come back and add to this post.   

Thanks for dropping by,

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Walco Bangle Beads for Crochet Hats

Those of us old enough to remember the 1960's may recall that Bangle Beads were quite a hit in the needlework arena -- particularly crocheted hats. 

Introduced to the market by Walco Bead Co and marketed under the Walbead logo. 

The concept for bangle beads, of course, was there all along in the role of sequins.   Sequins were already a strong part of the Walco product line as seen here in this 1956 magazine advertisement.    (Note the rhinestone setter ... and younger generations thought the Bedazzler was a new idea!). 

In 1962, Walco made the sequins larger and in a variety of shapes with the hole situated on the edge, versus the middle - creating movement.    

There were a couple different magazine advertisements published in magazines as promotion. 

And three pattern books were released within a year time period.   And then .... all went silent on the Walco Bangle front, at least from a marketing standpoint. 

Walbead Inc remained in business until 1976 when it was turned over to Holiday Co. (who are now defunct as well)

These little gems are certainly not a forgotten part of artful history.   They've moved on, used in a wide variety of crafts and now called paillettes.   If you want to create crocheted hats, you'll have to really search for paillettes with a large enough opening to handle your yarn.  (Or use a hole puncher).

There are several Bangle patterns in the shop, should be wish to browse.   

I have quite a few unprocessed magazines from the 1950's and 1960's.  Should I come across more advertisements or information, I'll come back and update this post. 

Thanks for dropping by,

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Spinnerin Yarn Company

While researching Spinnerin Nylaine Yarns, I saw on a couple sites that indicated Spinnerin was in business from 1952 to the end of the 1970's.   This raised my curiosity as I have a couple Spinnerin pattern books in my (pending) collection that date back to the 1940's.   So, in bits and pieces, the investigation began. 

Werner R. Leimgruber, was born in 1916 in Zurich, Switzerland.   In 1939, at the age of 23, he was sent to the United States by Swiss Company. Wollgarn to start the Spinnerin Yarn Co.  Mr. Leimgruber set up the business in New York (which is now part of the renowned Garment District).

First address on record - 230 Fifth Avenue, New York.   This address served as office space.

They had a second address at 1407 Broadway, New York, which served their receiving, repacking  and shipping space needs.    

Spinnerin initially imports their yarns from Schoeller Textiles and for a time period shared a label.  In 1945, Spinnerin were granted a approval for their Spinnerin logo (shown above).

The business is a niche, and they market it very well.   Their products include not only yarn, but Ready Kits & Paks and a number of pattern books.   In addition, Spinnerin was involved with knitting classes and fashion shows

 In 1948, they finish building their South Hackensack plant.  At this time, Spinnerin are still importing their yarn from various sources and dying within their plant.   This would have been quite a large scale operation.  Imagine here, receiving the yarns, dyeing, packaging, storing, distributing to needlework stores, etc. etc. etc. 

Their operation grew to over 300 employees.  By the late 1970's, Spinnerin began a business transition.  Hook rug yarns and kits were introduced, as well as crewel patterns and materials.  They also entered commercial supply of threads and yarns to garment manufacturers.

By the mid 1980's the company all yarn and thread advertisements end, signaling the end of Spinnerin Yarn as a niche market supplying needlecrafts.

The company evolves into Spinnerin Dye, LLC, where it appears to operate until 2016.

And then .... well, I don't know.  There are a large number of holes to this story that I'd love to update, but have been unable to find any contact.  The website for Spinnerin Dye is non-functional, the telephone number is disconnected and the plant property is up for sale. 

And there, this piece ends.   Now, I've added a Google alert and will update this post should new information arise.   AND, as always, if you have information to share, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for dropping by