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Friday, June 11, 2021

Vintage Crochet Medallion Pattern, Alice Brooks 5560

 For this post, let's go back 87 years ... all the way to July, 1936.  In newspapers across the country, Alice Brooks Needlework Design pattern 5560 was offered. 

It's a mail-order design.   Just "write plainly pattern number, your name and address, along with 15 cents.   And then, several weeks later, your pattern arrives in the mail.  

Vintage Crochet lace Medallion Pattern

Each lovely lace square medallion measures 5 inches.   -- "the best bedspread, the dressers matching scarf.   You'll have reason indeed to be proud of this lacy pair, to say nothing of a tea or dinner cloth, buffet or vanity set, which grow little by little as you crochet a simple medallion".  

Alice Brooks 5560 arrives; printed on a large (20 x 30") sheet of paper and includes stitch detail diagrams to assist you in the design.  

Design 5560 was quite a popular pattern in this time period as evidenced by additional newspaper promotions.   The newspaper promotion was offered several times over a two year time period.  The picture here is quite historic for the time period.  Here, the woman dressed up every day, even if the major plan was to crochet!   I'm sure this pattern would have also been offered under the Laura Wheeler, and possibly American Thread, brands as well, however, I've not yet identified the specific pattern numbers. 

This is just one of the many Mail Order Medallions for this time period.   My search will continue to find more to add to my collection.    If you have any of these patterns you'd be willing to share, please let me know.  

Thanks for dropping by, 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Laura Wheeler 2040, Jiffy Crocheted Cloth Pattern

Some of these vintage patterns are so lovely, they deserve a blog post all of their own.   And this, is not only lovely, but has a few interesting bits (or not), as well.   Typically, the syndicated mail order patterns appeared in newspapers with just one picture .... the same that showed on the printed pattern itself.  In the early years, however, there were a (very) few, that had multiple picture promotions.   As is the case with this Design ...  Mail Order 2040.. 
This is the original pattern picture, that appeared on the over-sized pattern page (when marketed under the Laura Wheeler name).   It's a 'most lovely design' that ranges in size of 17 inches to 60 inches.   It's marketed as Jiffy Crochet.  When marketed by the 'others', only the 'Jiffy Crocheted Cloth, Pattern 2040" would be printedl

In this advertisement we have an actual person displaying the finished cloth.  Note that the marketer on this ad is referenced with the newspaper itself being the marketer.  Send to 'newspaper name', c/o of Needlecraft Dept.   An interesting note on the ads with the newspaper name .... they sold for ten cents, versus fifteen cents if through The Sewing Circle and Laura Wheeler

Here is the third advertisement version.  This design shows the marketer as The Sewing Circle, 82 Eight Ave, New York.   This was the same address for Laura Wheeler in this time period.

In the pattern sales for this time period, postage was included in the price.  

Friday, April 2, 2021

Crochet Baskets Pattern Numbers, Laura Wheeler 619

 I was processing Laura Wheeler 619 for two crocheted baskets, when I realized I already had a basket pattern numbered Design 619.   But, this post is really about the pattern numbers, versus the pattern themselves.   Let's go ahead anyway, and take a look at the two patterns.  

This is the Oldest of the two Design 619 patterns, dated 1957.   It's for a pineapple basket that measures 7-1/2 inches. 

The second basket pattern, dated 1976, also Design 619, are crocheted in two slightly different styles.  These baskets feature a handle and are also 7-1/2 inches in diameter.

So, why did Needlecraft Services give two different basket designs the same number.   Well, I course, do not know for sure, however, I'd venture to say "they" (whoever the numbering person may have been), gave it a thought.   

I keep a rather extensive spread sheet of these Mail Order Design patterns (knit, filet, crochet only) and have come to realize that an individual pattern number was reused multiple times.    In the case of (Laura Wheeler) Design 619, 

1943 -  Filet Crochet Rose Chair Set
1945 -  Crochet Waffle Weave Hats
1947 -  Crochet Two Color Oval Rug
1949  - Embroidered Sacred Heart Panel
1957 -  Crochet Pineapple Planter
1958 -  Crochet Pineapple Doilies
1963 -  Crochet Afghan Squares
1972 -  Embroidered Vest Sewing Pattern 
1976 -  Crochet Baskets in two styles
1978 -  Knitted Hip Length Jacket

See what I mean?   In this case, the pattern name Design 619 was used 10 times.   When I research an individual pattern number, I typically find there will be between 6 and 12 repeats.   The highest duplicator among doily patterns - because there were so many of them.     I continue to study the pattern number sets to determine if there is some hidden logic.   So far, I have not, BUT I'm waiting for the AHA moment.  

Both of the Basket patterns are in the shop, should you be interested.   Just click on the links below the picture.    

Time for me to get back to work (I'm quilting today!).   Thanks for dropping by. 

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, 

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