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Saturday, May 11, 2013

What about the National Needlecraft Bureau

I recently came across a packet of old 1940s pattern that were issued by The National Needlecraft Bureau. This lot is mostly craft related, and quite fun.  Such as ....

Pattern S14-3 :  Jointed Horse 

E-284 Stocking Dolls (Mammy & Clown)

I took up a search to see what I could learn about National Needlecraft Bureau.   Their patterns were largely mail ordered through newspapers, however, seem independent of the other mail order firms (such as Needlecraft Services).  I find tracks of their activity between the early 1940s to the late 1960s.  An old newspaper article indicated they, in support of the poor economic times (WWII) were putting out a number of craft patterns to be made as childrens presents.   

National Needlecraft in the 1940s and 1950s also were active in the various state fairs, hosting a number of crocheting and sewing competitions.   I have a feeling that many of the award winners at the state fairs may have been the pattern source.  Although, I do not have any facts that specifically state that.  

Crafts were not the only patterns.   I have several other that are of the home decor category. And in old newspaper archives I have found quite a few references to clothing and accessory sewing and crochet patterns.

Crochet Rose of Erin Doily Pattern

Braided Rug Pattern from National Needlecraft is Leaflet 13-40
13-40 Braided Rug 
I particularly like the feel of the 1940s in this one.   There's the blazing fire, the centerpiece rug, and on the end table, not only is there a very out-of-scale burning cigarette, but a stand-up holder and flower bouquet. 

But the information I could find ends there.  Was National Needlecraft Bureau actually an organization formed to promote the arts during the war era, and continued on?   Their involvement in imply far more than a mail order pattern operation.     There are trails to two different address in New York, but as far as who started it, how did it end, who were the people involved, etc, I've hit a dead end.   

I have started posting these patterns on one of my Facebook Album pages to get them all in one place visually.   They are in my shop, of course, as well.  

If you know any of the details regarding The National Needlecraft Bureau ..... please share !

Thanks for dropping by 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Crochet Hot Mit Potholder Pattern, Meet Handy Andy

We all know that the old issues of The Workbasket are historical for their lousy pictures.   They were lousy way back then and they, of course, have not approved with age.   But, some of them are just so fun that we must look beneath the grain to see the prize.     Like this one from 1956.

Vintage Mans Face Crocheted Oven Mitt Pattern
Meet Handy Andy.   He's has an extra long face and a really thick neck, which are nicely matched in size by those big ears.   

And then, using this chart (or branching out on your own) and some felt, you create his facial features.  

This would be a fun project to work with your grade school sized kids.  You crochet, they help decorate !  

If you'd like to make a Handy Andy of your own, he is available as a Free Download in the shop.   There are also a fair number of other potholders in the shop as well  (some free, some not).

Thanks for dropping by,