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Monday, April 22, 2019

Dritz Luxury Bellastraw

Working through the 1952 issue of Modern Needlecraft Magazine, I again came across a pattern which calls for Dritz Luxury Belastraw.   And, as usual, I thought  "one of these days I'm going to have to find out some information on this discontinued products".    Well, perhaps this is the day.

This is the pattern I'm referring to.

It is a quite lovely Table Mat that is crocheted in 3/4 inch medallions that will form a finished piece that is 20 inches square.    It calls for an obsolete thread that was called Dritz Luxury Belastraw.   Most of the patterns in magazines also appeared in pattern books and I'm making a guess this one would have appeared in Table Mats & Doilies of Dritz Belastraw - Vol 23 from 1951

 (Picture used with permission from Cheryl12108)

Now, there are quite a number of these discontinued yarns from the late 1940's and early 1950's.  Why so many, well let's attribute part of that to World War II.  During the war there was a shortage of cotton, as majority of the product was designated to uniforms and other material supplies.  A fair amount of alternative materials were substituted.

Dritz Belastraw was a 100% Viscose Process Rayon thread, 5 ply, that was distributed by John Dritz & Sons (now Prym-Dritz Corp).   The thread is reported to be a bit like a soft nylon straw and was fashioned for making of bags and hats.  It's was a strong thread that was worked tightly.  The fibers were prone to stretching when wet, and dry cleaning was sometimes recommended in the pattern books.  There was also a sparkle option.

 And, other than a couple of newspaper sale clippings, that's all I've been able to find.   This one from 1951 . . .

Now, back to the pattern.  In looking at it, I'd say it's an easy medallion design that would be quite delightful in a number of heavier threads.    I've listed it in the shop as a Free Download, should you be interested in giving it a try.   (If so, I'd really appreciate your reporting back as to which threads you used !).

Okay, back to work.
Thanks for dropping by,

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Crochet Baby Dress Pattern, Mail Order 846

Some of the Mail Order Patterns were marketed using different pattern pictures and descriptions to catch different audiences.   Sometimes they were also identified under different brand names, or no name at all.   A good example of this is the little girls dress, which was marketed under number 846.

My copy of Mail Order 846 shows this sweet toddler.   I've no doubt this image appeared in newspaper print, however, I've not yet found it.  It portrays the younger child size of the pattern - Age 2.

Here, in this February 14, 1948 advertisement from the Los Angeles Times, we find the picture promotion being aimed towards the order girl - Aged 6.

Again in the Los Angeles Times, May 12th, 1948, the photo portrays the mid range size of the pattern - Age 4.   Released again, with same picture in 1950.   February 15th, released in the Chicago Tribune as E-846 - also Needlework Bureau.   The pattern was released in New York in the same date spans - 1948 to 1952 under the name of Ellen Bruce, which was also the Needlework Bureau Brand.

Many of the Needlework Bureau patterns were also re-released under the Martha Madison Brand name in the 1960's.  Same pattern with one addition -- it has a size option between 6 and 18 months.
I've not yet found the relationship between Needlework Bureau ad Martha Madison, but have no doubt one day I will.

This pattern is available in the shop in the 6 to 18 month size), should you be interested in creating it for your own 'Special Miss".

Okay, on to the next pattern!    Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Bear Brand Lanadown Yarn

I came across a second pattern today calling for Bear Brand (Bucilla) Lanadown Yarn.   As I know nothing of this yarn, thought I'd take a little bit of time to see what I could learn.   Periodically I get asked for substitute information. 

Now, this is a bit of an obscure yarn; evidenced by it not being referenced over at Ravelry!  A Google search rendered nothing, but did find a few tidbits in the old newspapers. 

 Bear Brand Lanadown Yarn made it's appearance in a limited market early 1948.  As usual, the introduction referenced the product 'on sale'.

This advertisement, mid 1950, tells us the yarn was a 3-ply Fingering yarn.  The two patterns I've found indicate the yarn was also sold under the Bucilla name, but I've found no such tracks.  

And, after a very short run, the last couple advertisements show it as closeout (discontinued) pricing in early 1953. 

Picture from Ebay seller CaliforniaGold

So, what did we learn?   Lanadown Yarn was marketed under the Bear Brand (Bucilla) labels between 1948 and 1953.      It was a 3-ply Fingering Yarn, 100% Virgin Wool, in 2-oz skeins.   

I have only two patterns, at this time, in the shop that call for Lanadown yarn.   They both come from magazines.   I don't know if any of the Bear Brand pattern booklets promoted the yarn, but have many in reserves waiting on me .... who knows!

So, should you come across a pattern calling for this yarn, hope this will help you finding a substitute .... any 3-ply fingering weight yarn should do you.  

Thanks for dropping by,