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Monday, March 1, 2021

Anne Cabot Introductory Pattern Offer

How about a bit of Anne Cabot trivia?   The brand of Anne Cabot, often referred to as Mrs. Anne Cabot's Needlecraft Corner, entered the pattern market in March 1941 with an assortment of sewing, crochet and embroidery patterns.   This was a syndicated column that began in Iola Kansas and quickly spread across major metropolitan areas.  

The Anne Cabot brand had touch competition from the likes of the Alice Brooks and Laura Wheeler brands, which also were advertising Mail Order Patterns that were established in 1939 and had a strong customer following.   

In an attempt to gain following, Anne Cabot offered a coupon promotion on their individual patterns. 

This SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER was printed in the bottom corner of the individual patterns.   The concept being, purchase five patterns and get one free with an expiration of December 1st, 1941.  In this particular instance, the pattern was a nursery rug with bunny cross stitch marketed under No 5228.  

Simply collect the coupons printed on your purchased patterns and mail  in, with a note showing your requested pattern, to the New York city address.    The value of this free pattern ... 10 cents, which was the cost of the patterns purchased in this 1941 time frame.    

To date, among the mail order needlework pattern suppliers, this is the 'Promotional Sale' that I've seen.   I wouldn't be surprised, however, if others show up.  

Thanks for dropping, 

Brand first appeared in March, 1941

Peggy Roberts - started 1937

Jean McDonald - started 1937

Needlework Bureau - 1938

Price per pattern = 10 cents.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Crochet Medallion Pattern Story, Alice Brooks 6406

In processing the Mail Order patterns, I've seen this particular story repeat many times.  I thought I'd take a couple minutes and share it with you.    The centerpiece of the story .... 

Crochet Star Medallion Pattern Design 6406

Alice Brooks 6406 - Crocheted Medallion - 5 or 8 inches

This particular story takes us back to 1939.   Every couple days in newspapers across the country, an advertisement for a pattern would be printed in the women's section.  The advertisement were written to resemble an article, a woman' feature.  

Medallion Crochet Pattern Newspaper Ad

Such as this article, which appeared in the Denver, CO paper on June 8, 1939.   Miss Doris Biggar, read the ad, and decided to purchase the pattern.    She mailed her letter, along with 10 cents to the newspaper's department.   On the bottom of the pattern clipping, she wrote in the date she mailed for the pattern.  (I frequently find this in the Mail Order patterns - the pattern and clipping inside the original mailing envelope).  

A couple weeks go by, and the pattern is returned.   (Note, the envelope reads mailed from the Denver Post, however, the Post Office stamp reads San Francisco).  

Now, what happens next I cannot say.  Did Miss Biggar stitch this medallion?  Did she make a tablecloth or a bedspread?  Did she later tuck the pattern away, or give it to a friend?  That part is a mystery.   What I do know, is someone came across this pattern, probably at an Estate sale, listed it as a lot on Ebay, and I purchased it ..... some 81 years later.  

And now, I've processed it into PDF format and listed in my shop.   It's been carefully preserved in a sleeve and store away with all the others.   And what will happen to?   Well, that I cannot say.  Perhaps, before I die, I'll donate them, or someone will take over the shop and continue to preserve, or perhaps they'll end up at another Estate sale 20 or 30 years from now.   

If you have these mail order patterns or catalogs, tucked away in drawers, I'd truly appreciate your sharing them.   I am trying to create a historical collection of these little 'Bits of History'.  

Thanks for dropping by, 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Molly Darling Crochet Chair Set Pattern No 1275

 Last night I picked up the next Mail Order pattern waiting to be processed and was surprised that it had an actual name -- "Molly Darling Chair Set".   

This pattern was marketed under number E-1275 in January 1949 by The Needlework Bureau.   The "E" designation on the pattern number indicates it was also marketed under the name of Ellen Bruce.

  Now, I know that a number of Anne Cabot patterns (who's in the Needlework Bureau family), have an official name with a background, such as the Lincoln Memorial Doily, but I knew nothing about Molly Darling.     And, it took only a couple Google searches to find the answer!

Molly Darling, a song, was originally released the Haydn Quartet in 1907.   It then was re-released by Eddy Arnold in 1948, where it went to the top of the charts where it remained for a long time period.    

Won't you tell me Molly darling
That you love none else but me
For I love you Molly darling
You are all the world to me

Oh tell darling that you love me
Put your little hand in mine
Take my heart sweet Molly darling
Say that you will give me time

Molly fairest sweetest dearest
Look up darling tell me this
Do you love me Molly darling?
Let your answer be a kiss

Molly fairest sweetest dearest
Look up darling tell me this
Do you love me Molly darling?

                                                           Let your answer be a kiss 

A very sweet song indeed!  And that, is the answer to the Molly Darling Chair Set.   It was named, in 1949, after a top of the charts song.    And the motif .... well, she's reminiscent of the then current crocheted chair set -- Old Fashioned Girl, or Sunbonnet Sue.   

Should you decide to crochet this piece, perhaps you should learn the song so you can hum it whenever you walk by.    

Okay, I'm going back to work now.   Thanks for dropping by. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Dritz Luxury Chennile Yarn

 This afternoon I was updating one of my old patterns, which included Dritz Luxury Chenille and decided to take a bit of time to learn more about this yarn.    Here's what I learned . . . 

Dritz Luxury Chenille - A Velvety yarn in colors, or combinations, for personal accessories.   The yarn, containing 72 yards per skein, is 80% Rayon (for luster) and 20% cotton (for additional strength).   

Luxury Chenille was introduced to the market in 1950 with the first newspaper promotion advertisement appearing in May.   The introductory price was 49 cents/skein.  The yarn was first sold at 49 cents, no doubt to span interest, and went to the regular price of 79 cents within a month.

In 1951, Dritz issued a pattern book, and a promotion blitz on four of their popular yarns on the market. 

In these time periods, the yarn makers typically published pattern books to promote their product.  Dritz did not follow this course.   Instead, they printed pattern mail away offers in newspapers and published their patterns in the monthly magazines, such as McCalls Needlecraft and Modern Knitting.  

Dritz also ran advertisements (in the format of an actual newspaper article) for mail order patterns for  featuring their yarn.   In this case, the pattern(s) include Dritz Luxury Yarn.   The majority of their patterns were distributed through magazines.   Most of the patterns in my shop coming from Modern Knitting and McCalls Needlecraft. 

The Luxury Chenille peaked at 85 cents a skein, and at it's final appearance in 1957 dropped down to 50 cents.   Why it was discontinued ... well, I of course, do not know.   However, this was a novelty yarn for the time period and it's profitability was most likely of issue.   

There are many vintage patterns calling for Dritz Luxury Yarn.   I have a number in my shop, as well as others out there in internet land.  So, what do you substitute?   Any chunky chenille yarn that meets the pattern stitch gauge will fit the bill.   Debra, over at Vintage Crafts suggests Lion Brand Chenille Yarn.  

Okay, it's time for a break and then I'll get back to pattern processing.   
Thanks for dropping by,  Lorrie

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Spinnerin Touchdown Yarn

I was working on a pattern last night that called for Spinnerin Touchdown Yarn.  Out of curiosity, I slipped over to Google to see what it was.   Well, sometimes, these vintage yarns can be quite challenging, which is the case with this one.  Google results, other than a couple pattern references, had nothing.   That means, not a single skein for sale on Ebay or Etsy, a blog post showing off a stash., nor a single detail page at Ravelry.  Nothing.  Now, the challenge was on.  I headed right over to   

The yarn was introduced to the market in late 1948.

This 1949 advertisements tells us, it's 100% wool in a variety of colors and white.  

This 1950 advertisement advises it's tough, lightly spun and soft and springy to the touch in a range of 36 colors, including tweed. 

This 1951 advertisement, doesn't shed any additional information, but it's the closest I could find to an actual picture of the yarn! 

And this 1952 advertisement sheds a few more details.  'Fine hard twist, 4-ply virgin wool yarn, Non-shrink, moth-proof.  

The Spinnerin Touchdown Yarn stayed active for several years, disappearing from the active market in 1959.  

There are a number of vintage patterns out there in internet land that have 'worthy' all over them.  I have a several in the shop as well.  Should you decide to knit one, let's suggest as a substitute - a 4-ply, 100% wool fingering or sock yarn that meets the pattern stitch of your particular pattern.   

I've set up a Google alert to search for additional information to update this post.   Should you have pictures, or know more, please let me know!

Thanks for dropping by,  Lorrie  

Friday, August 7, 2020

Filet Crochet Deer Pattern, Mail Order

As I've indicated many times, I consider each one of these mail order patterns a small bit of needlework history.   And, my fascination continues grow.   Each time I figure one bit out, additional questions arise.  

Filet Crochet Deer Pattern No 334-N

I processed this sweet Filet Crochet Fawn Chair Set pattern yesterday - No 334-N.   I've seen the 'N' designation on mail orders a couple other times, but had not taken the time to investigate.   Now is the time .... 

This newspaper advertisement, for the exact same pattern, was released as Anne Cabot 2387 in February and March, 1953, primarily in the Northeast.  The Anne Cabot patterns in the 2000 number series tie back to Needlework Bureau patterns marketed by that name, as well as Peggy Roberts.  I've not (yet) found the advertisement for the initial release.  I have a number of the Needlework Bureau catalogs to be processed, perhaps I'll find it there.  

Filet Chair Set No 334-N from Philadelphia Inquirer

 This newspaper ad takes us to September of 1960 and was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper.   I've seen the 'N' designation before, but have further study to determine if this was used solely by the Inquirer, or if it simply ties it to the original pattern by Needlework Bureau.  I also found 9/1960 advertisement showing it released as Audrey Lane in Oklahoma.  

Typically the pattern numbers did not change when rebranded.   For example, the American Weekly designs were all Alice Brooks Designs.  I'm sure I'll find more references to rebranding of numbers.

See what I mean?   The more I learn, the more I wonder about.  Perhaps you know something about this mail order history and can help fill my gaps?  

But, back to the pattern itself .... It's a simple filet crochet design that can be created in two sizes depending upon materials used.  I have a number of filet crochet deer patterns in the shop, this is, however, the first time I've seen one that represents a fawn alone. 

Thanks for dropping by, 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Mayfair Needle Art Designs, Mail Order Patterns

Next up in my stack of Mail Order Patterns to process is a crochet pattern branded as Mayfair Needle-Art Design.  I recalled I already had one Mayfair pattern, however, had not yet taken the time to learn more.  Well, now is the time!
The official name of the pattern line - Mayfair Needle-Art Design.   In the newspaper clippings they simply branded 'by Mayfair'.  They marketed a line of sewing, knitting and crochet patterns in 'The Tribune' franchise of newspapers across 17 states. The advertisement promotions appeared bi-weekly in the Womens Pages.   The ads first appeared in April 1936 and ran through October, 1937, then disappeared .... no more 'by Mayfair' tag lines.   
There were approximately 140 marketed, all three digit numbers ranging between 120 and 350.  Now this number range implies there may have been more patterns.  If so, I've not found them!  There was also no sequence to how they appeared, one week 220, the next 135.   
I've just two of these patterns .... 

This blouse an unusual factor - perhaps consistent with it's age.  It was ordered by size (32 to 38), and came with tissue patterns for blocking purposes. 

I looked to see who preceded Mayfair Arts in the Tribune publications.   Well, for sewing patterns, it was Household Arts.  At that time, Household Arts did not market knit or crochet Designs. Perhaps, Mayfair was, for a short time period, a part of Household Arts.  

And who followed Mayfair Needle Arts?  Household Arts, of course, under the name of Alice Brooks. 

And, that's all I (currently) know about Mayfair.   Should you know more, or perhaps some of these patterns in your collection that you would be willing to share, I'd be most appreciative.   I'm trying to create a directory of mail order designs for that 'Bits of History' concept. 

Thanks for dropping by,   Lorrie