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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, here's another advertisement from a 1955 magazine advising locations where you'll find this trained Nomotta knowledge.

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Crochet Angora Cape Pattern Story, Alice Brooks 6135

Here's a fun story (or at least, I think so).   There is no way that I can tell the story better than the March 29, 1964 Shreveport Times newspaper article, so I'm going to share it excerpts.   (If you have the time, I do recommend reading the whole article). 

Mrs Gleason came across a newspaper clipping for mail order pattern Alice Brooks 6135, Crocheted Angora Cape, in her late Mother-in-Law' belongings.   The pattern was just what she was looking for to make for her grand daughter, so she mailed away for the pattern. 

The Shreveport Times researched and identified the pattern back to their February 14, 1939 issue.   Ultimately, the request was sent to New York for fulfillment.   The pattern had been stored on microfilm, which has deteriorated. Several experts carefully restored the pattern and sent it to the requester.

A very happy Mrs. Gleason crocheted a cape for each of her two grand daughters.   

P.s.   There's also some very interesting Mail Order Pattern history in here. 

Thanks for dropping by,

Monday, November 13, 2017

Spinnerin Yarn Ready Paks and Knit Kits

I assume we all know about Yarn Kits.   You know, an offering where you receive the pattern and materials for a complete project.  In the needlecraft yarn industry, it appears this business practice began in 1946 by Emile Bernat and Sons.  Coming in second was Spinnerin Yarn Co in 1949. 

The official 1949 description for the 12-Style Sock Pak (pulled from another ad) :  Knit any one of the 12 handsome styles for men in any one of 12 rich color combinations.  Pak includes 3-oz of non-shrink virgin wool, sufficient for one pair of mens socks" 

The concept here was your local yarn and needlework shops obtained the kits (unknown if purchased outright and resold, or handled on a consignment basis).  The individual shops then ran the advertisements themselves with the newspapers to bring in their customers.    There's a second win (an excellent marketing ploy) on Spinnerin' part.   The kit gave you 12 patterns with materials for just one pair of socks.   Thus, if you want to knit the other designs as well, you'll go back to the shop and buy additional Spinnerin Yarn.
By the mid 1950's the concept had branched out and taken off.   Interestingly enough, however, Bernat and Spinnerin remained the primary Pak (or Kit) marketers. 

This 1957 advertisement expands to show a variety of kits available.   It is, of course, presumed a store would have multiple design selections.  In these cases, only one pattern is being offered.

 In the early 1950's, Spinnerin advanced to an additional service for their 'Ready Paks'.   In this 1956 magazine advertisement, Spinnerin will 'hand-loom' the skirt for you, while you make the matching top from the 'Ready-Knit Pak".
This 1956 'shop' advertisement shows the same offer.   Apparently it did not meet with large scale
response, as the offering does not continue in the following years.

The majority of the Ready Paks were geared to womens' fashion.  Once in awhile a mans selection would show up and just as seldom was home decor ... the every famous afghan.

I'm fond of this one ... marketing to the niche -- "Club" Women.  Again, this is a store ad, not Spinnerin specifically.

Here, in this 1965 ad, is a return to the 'additional patterns'.   Although only one dress is shown, the script indicates there are three patterns to choose from.

Vintage Spinnerin Magazine Ready Pak Advertisement, 1963
This full page 1963 add is the only one (so far) that I've found that shows Spinnerin selling ready-paks directly to the customer. 

The newspaper ads for the Ready Paks began to decline in the early 1970's and almost disappear by 1978.   I do not know if this was due to the Spinnerin transition to their business changes, or if the 'kit' market underwent a change.   (Perhaps I'll learn the answer to that when I study Bernat). 

Should I learn more about Spinnerin Yarn Kits, I'll be sure to come back and update this post.

Thanks for dropping by,

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Spinnerin Nylaine Yarns

It's 1956 and Spinnerin Yarn Co. starts introducing to the U.S. market a line of yarns branded as Nylaine.   I believe these yarns were imported from Schoeller Mills.  (I'm still researching this subject).  And I'm thinking that Nylaine is their designed name for the crimset nylon.

"Spinnerin Nylaine Yarn is lavishly fashionable, yet wonderfully practical, thanks to its soft-strength blend of 50% virgin wool and 50 crimset nylon".

I've found five yarns in the 'Nylaine' line from newspaper advertisements.  These yarns were introduced between 1958 and 1962 and stayed semi-active into the early 1970's.   Interestingly enough, I've (so far), not come across any magazine advertisements for any of the Nylaine yarns.

Nylaine Germantown Sports Yarn  for sweaters and lightweight afghans
50% Virgin Wool / 50% Crimpset Nylon
2-oz skeins / 215 yards

Nylaine Fingering Yarn
50% Virgin Wool / 50% Crimpset Nylon
1 oz skeins, 3 ply

Nylaine Quick Knit
50% Virgin Wool / 50% Crimpset Nylon
Nylaine Knitting Worsted - Newspaper Advertisement 

I found no online photos or history as to Nylaine Baby Yarn or the Sparkle.   I've also found a reference to another product Spinnerin Midget Nylaine, which also has no other tracks.

Spinnerin issued a couple pattern books that featured these yarns .... a 1956 Spinnerin Nylaine Bulkies Vol 134 and Afghans Traditional and Contemporary Vol 148.    I have a number of patterns in my shop, should you care to browse, that call for the various Nylaine yarns.

 I have set up Google alerts so I'll know when new information emerges and will update this blog post at that time.   If you know more about this brand, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for dropping by,

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Ungers Les Bouquets Yarn

In 1962, another William Unger and Sons yarn (an import from France), was introduced to the U.S. market.

It all started with this newspaper advertisement ...  with a list price of $1.39/skein.  

Followed by a series of Magazine advertisements.

1962 -- "Designed for the American Woman's flair for the Chic".  This ad also promotes Unger's Fashion Book (Vol 15, I believe), which contained a number of patterns calling for Les Bouquets, along with other selections.   The dress in the middle and suit on left feature the promoted yarn.

"Les Bouquets flower of the fabulous French Welcomme Moro Collection; a delight to knit with, a joy to wear ... deservedly the most popular quality imported yarn in American".  This add also promotes two of "Unger's Fashion" pattern books.

This 1965 magazine add tells us that Les Bouquets comes in "harmonizing shades of solid and tri-color tweeded yarns'.  And, of course, a book promotion.

About the yarn itself ....

                                                      (Photo courtesy of Gretl3042 ebay seller)

Ungers Les Bouquets  -  Imported from France
80% wool / 10% Mohair / 10% Vinyon
1 3/4 oz / 110 yards per skein   
Deluxe Worsted Weight -- Beautiful French Yarn in 4 ply weight

It remained in the market until 1972.   Interestingly enough, it didn't increase much in price.  

I've a number of patterns calling for Ungers Les Bouquets yarn in the shop, should you be interested in seeing what this marvelous yarn created, or perhaps substituting with a current 'chunky' wool and mohair blend.  

I've many magazines in my collection awaiting processing.   As I come across more ads or information, I'll add it to this post.  

Thanks for dropping by.  

Footnote -- 3/21/2019

Came across this advertisement in the 1959 issue of McCalls Needlecraft Magazine.  This disproves my original statement.   Les Bouquets was not introduced in 1962, by 1959, or perhaps earlier!