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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Spinnerin Coquette Yarn

Coquette = A woman who endeavors without sincere affection to gain the attention and admiration of men. 

Spinnerin introduced their Coquette Yarn in 1948.   It was post war time, beginning of the baby boomer generation, and the ladies were hungry for 'that something pretty' and this lightweight nubby yarn was one that fit the bill.  

At introduction the yarn was 100% Virgin Wool in 1-oz skeins. 

In the mid 1950's the brand was changed to 96% Virgin Wool and 4% Nylon.  Also note the change of the Spinnerin label to a 'more modern' look.  This is a thin 2-strand nubby yarn woven into the crinkly texture.   It is specifically designed for dress making.   More details can be found at Ravelry.

"For sentimental reasons ... the dreamy softness of Coquette".  This 1950 full page magazine advertisement  was a dual promotion with Spinnerin Startime; also a dress yarn.  

"Go everywhere classic boucle yarn with the smoother texture and the longer wear blended right into every lovely inch of your dress or blouse".   This 1952 advertisement is the first promotion I've found from newspaper sources.  

"Coquette - the Queen of dress yarns ... pure virgin wool".  This full page magazine promotion takes us back to 1952 and promotes an interesting twist -- a mail-away dress and bolero pattern.  

The yarn was frequently advertised by retail sellers into the early 1960's, when it began it's market decline.   In this 1963 advertisement we see the 'sale' price drop all the way down to 59 cents.   Also note that the regular price has dropped to $0.95 ... a $0.03 price drop from introduction (not to mention price of living differences).   

There are a fair amount of nice dress patterns out there that are still applicable today. There are a few available in the shop.   Just select yourself a substitute and knit on ....    Oh, and if you don't mind, add a note to let 'us all' know what you've used.    

Thanks for dropping by.  

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Bernat Cuddlespun Yarn

In 1954, Bernat added to their product line with their Cuddlespun 50/50 yarn. 

Just think of it, you can use Bernat 50/50 Cuddlespun for all kinds of stunning and colorful "Jumbo Knit" fashions .... washes up quickly ... dries like a breeze and it won't stretch, shrink or fade.  It's just as soft as it looks and and yet it's three times as strong.  

The 2-oz skeins in 17 colors premiered at $0.85/skein.   

 Individual stores selling the Cuddlespun yarn advertised frequently through the mid-1960's, as one would expect in the start of the big needle and bulky sweater phase.  

Bernat also ran full page ads in several of the popular needlecraft magazines.  

Bernat - Bulky Knits for Girls and Boys, Book No 68 was issued as the primary promotion.   The yarn also appeared in other Bernat pattern books and magazine publications into the 1960's. 

In the 1970's, the yarn fizzled out and was discontinued.    I'm sure I'll find other ads and information as I go through materials and will come back and update this post should there be anything interesting. 

And, do I have patterns that call for this yarn?   Of course I do have quite a few in the shop.  

Thanks for dropping by,

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Reynolds Danskyarn

Reynolds Danskyarn, a Danish import, was brought to the market in early 1964.   It was an additional 'bulky' yarn for the Reynolds collection.

As is apparent in this promotion, the yarn was aimed towards the sweater and hat market and came in a wide variety of colors.  (Unfortunately, when I scanned this, I did not capture the bottom of the page, however did find over on an Ebay Page).   When I have this magazine out again, I'll update my photo).
Yarn photo courtesy of Ebay Seller Gretl3042.  

Sporty Designs for the entire family are in Reynolds Volume 42, only $1.00 at needlework counters and yarn shops.  The pattern was issued as the primary promotion for Danskyarn.   The yarn did make an appearance in a number of other Reynolds pattern books as well. 

The yarn had a moment of fame when a sweater knit in the yarn was awarded first place in the 1965 National Wool Needlework Contest.   The true fame, of course, went to Shirley Braxton.

The product remained active in the market until 1974 and then was discontinued.    Now, I have no doubt I'll find more about Danskyarn (there are quite a few magazines awaiting review), and when I do, I'll come back and update this post.   And, there are a couple patterns in the shop, should you want to look. 

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Leeward's Nylon Thread, Lustra

It's the end of WWII and there are, of course, large amounts of materials available that were used in 'war production' is now surplus.   As in the case of this 1948 ad from The Workbasket magazine.

There certainly was no need to produce parachutes in mass quantity!   So, the excess materials were salvaged and it appears the Leeward scooped this up.   "Dupont Nylon Thread -- "perfect for crocheting"  -- a great fit for the Leeward craft market.    This ad, as well as a similar rendition displayed in a variety of places through 1948 and early 1949.    

The product, in the Leewards market, was apparently a success as they gave the product an official name -- LUSTRA -- and broadened the offering to different weight threads and cords.

  I'm not going further here (at this time), as there is a wonderful post over at Illinois Quilt History about Leeward Mills and this product line that I would never outdo  (It's a great read).    As I find further ads I'll come back and update this post.
Update - April 6, 2018 :  I've just finished processing a Leeward Mills pattern leaflet, which calls from Nylon thread, size 5 and size 30.   It's reviewed in a blog post at Shoptalk, should you be interested. 

Thanks for dropping by, 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Reynolds No 1 Mohair Yarn

This beauty of a yarn was a French import by Reynolds Yarn Inc.   It was introduced to the U.S. market in March, 1962 with two full page ads in Needlecraft magazines.  (that I know of).

"Softer than the petals of a snapdragon, and even more beautiful ... Extremely simple to knit using #5 or # 9 needles ... 35 fashion right colors.

Soft as a south wind ... bright as the noon-day summer sun.  How suburb, how fashion right in sixteen exciting colors.  (It's interesting there is a different number of colors available between the ads).

Reynolds Yarn also released their pattern book - Designer Sweaters by Reynolds - Continental Collection, Vol 28 with patterns featuring the new Mohair No 1 yarn.

Picture courtesy of Ebay seller Gretl3042

As you might expect, you'll find some additional details over a Ravelry.   According to a 1963 ad:  "Reynolds Mohair No 1 is the lightest weight mohair, not as fuzzy as many, it has a slight amount of synthetic for buoyancy".

The product remained active in the market until 1973 (a good 11 year run), with all references after that being inventory liquidation type sales.

Should I come across more ads or relevant information, I'll come back and update this post.
Thanks for dropping by, 

Reynolds Place Concorde Yarn

In 1963, Reynolds released their Place Concorde Yarn, a French import presumably from Paris. 

This super bulky yarn, no doubt was in response to the many 'Big Needle' patterns that became popular in the 1960's.   This particular 1963 magazine ad, using Place Concorde Yarn, was actually for a kit -- another big Reynolds seller.  

Yarn picture from Ebay seller Gretel3042

Yep, super bulky yarn, perfect for those winter coats, sweaters and dresses.    The yarn achieves it's tweed effect by having a mohair strand of contrast color running through.  

I didn't find a price reference at introduction, but in 1968, the price ran an approx. $1.29 a skein.  

And then .... it simply disappeared from the market as is referenced in this 'searching for' questions from 1971. 

All In One Knitted Dress
At this time, I have just one pattern calling for this yarn, but I'm sure more will follow as I work my way through the pending books.  

 Should I learn more about Place Concorde Yarn, I'll update this post.    
Thanks for dropping by, 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Martha Madison Needlecraft Pattern Syndication

Martha Madison Needlecraft patterns were introduced in January 1956.  Originally a syndication service of General Features Corp, New York.   (This was timed with the sister offering -- Iris Lane Patterns).   This new syndication made its debut in Pennsylvania newspapers, where it exclusively remained

The scope of the Martha Madison patterns included needlework, crochet, embroidery, color transfers and sewing patterns. 

The syndicate purchased single column ads, which would appear one to three times per week, depending upon the newspaper agreement.   The patterns rotated between categories and seem to have sequential numbering, however, the offerings did not appear in any order.   New patterns ran 1956 and 1957; the majority of 1958 were repeats.    There were only a few instances where a number was repeated on two different patterns. 

In 1959, the Martha Madison Banner was removed from the top of the pattern offering.  The syndication also spread to a number of other states - NY, ID, WA, TX, VA, IL and CA ... this spread continued over the following years, but was never syndicated country wide.  When new papers came along, they did not necessarily start at the early numbered patterns, and the weekly pattern offering differed from region to region.

The Martha Madison pattern syndication remained active into the mid 1960's and then began a decline.   The last remaining state to carry the syndication was California, which then ended in 1972.

I've seen reference that the Martha Madison Needlework patterns originated from Progressive Farmer.   I've also seen note that the Progressive Farmer patterns originated by the Spinning Wheel syndicate.   I'd say there is quite a web of of ties within the syndication, which I hope to learn more as I go along. 

I have dozens of questions about this syndication, which I hope to learn some answers too as I go along.

Through searches, I've put together a photo album (Knit and Crochet patterns only) that appeared between 1957 and mid 1961.    The album below resides on my Facebook page.   There are also a number of the Martha Madison patterns in the shop.

If you know more about the Martha Madison syndication, please share !
Thanks for dropping by,

Friday, December 15, 2017

Star Blend Yarn, American Thread

American Thread Co., introduced their Star Blend Yarn in 1948. 

"For knitting, crocheting, tufting, weaving, braiding.  75% rayon; 25% cotton in a range of fast colors, advises this 1951 newspaper advertisement.

American Thread issued a couple patterns book that featured this yarn into 1954.  It was periodically cross-referenced with Aunt Lydia's Heavy Rug Yarn (same composition) as a substitute for each other.  (Which would be my recommendation for these old patterns).    Now, why American Thread would want to have two yarns that compete with each other .... I have no idea.

The yarn never gained great popularity and fizzled out well before 1961 ... according to this salvage sale notice.

There are a couple patterns in the shop that call for the Star Blend yarn.   I would recommend you substitute a heavy rug yarn, in brand of your choice.

Thanks for dropping by.

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.    I've just two (at this time) patterns calling for Lily Double Quick

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