Search This Blog

Friday, April 6, 2018

Leeward Mills, Crocheted Nylon Accessories Leaflet

In my stack of loose pattern leaflets (wish I could come across these more often!), is a two page pattern pamphlet from Leeward Mills.

Nylon Accessories to wear ... to give.    Nylon ... yes, the patterns for these designs are crocheted in nylon threads.   This leaflet originated in the 1940's; wool was scarce and nylon became a regular commodity in the crochet community. And, after WWII ended, a huge surplus from parachute production remained.     (Note:   It is still available today in the same sizes!).

The pattern on the front page gives three insertion, with matching edgings.  These insertions were designed for hankerchief ... dense and  luxurious.


The Classic Bag and Beanie grace and inside page.   Worked in Nylon size 5, I'd think these accessories would be on the stiffer side.

This narrow tie, in Size 5 Nylon thread might make an interesting addition as a scarf to your favorite button-down.   The pattern is available as a Free Download in the shop.


And then .... the pamphlet closes with the Leeward Mills Quality Guarantee, which was typically printed on the label of their products.

Hope you enjoyed the touch of 1940's accessory fashions.    Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Quite Popular Crochet Pineapple Doily

Some of the Mail Order Design patterns were more popular than others.   But how can you tell which ones were the 'most popular'?   That one is easy ....  by how many times it was duplicated.



Lets take this marvelous Mail Order Pineapple Doily as an example.  The doily, depending upon materials used, can be  made in six different sizes ranging from a small of 11 all the way to 25 inches in diameter. 

And, apparently the readers loved it ....


Design 869 (Laura Wheeler) was released in April of 1951.  "Crocheting this doily is time well spent.  Stunning in two colors; start the second color on the second pineapple round".   It was ran again in 1954. 

Design 7223 (Alice Brooks) was published in 1957.   "Crochet with an heirloom future - as centerpiece, placemat set - prize winning doilies.  Lovely in two colors, starting second color in second pineapple round".  It was ran again in 1959.  

And it was released in a separate syndicate column as American Weekly 3136.  (I don't know the dates or description), but would assume it was in the same time span ... or, based on the paper quality, no later than 1961.  I'm just beginning to understand that American Weekly was apparently associated with Readers Mail.  

And that's how the it went for the popular designs.   They are released, and if sales are more than typical, they are the sister name -- Laura Wheeler or Alice Brooks and even more sales were made.

I'd wonder how frequently the fiber artists buying these patterns discovered they bought the same Design twice !

Okay, I'll get back to work now.    Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Fern Crochet Doily and Chair Set, Mail Order Designs

I've said this a variety of times ... the Mail Order Design patterns have a tendency to build on each other.  You know, variations on a theme.    I imagine this allowed them (Household Arts and Readers Mail) to publish the HUGE number of Designs in their weekly advertisements. 

Here's another example of just that in a most delightful fern motif.


Alice Brooks, Mail Order Design 7044, was published on November 6, 1957.  "The fern design - a favorite at many fairs.  One of these doilies make a choice gift.  For a more lavish gift, think a buffet set of three, or luncheon set". 

And then ....

Alice Brooks, Mail Order Design 7209, was published on March 31, 1959.  "Add a fresh touch of Spring with this fern design set - its beautifully shaped to enhance a chair or buffet". 

The process is easy to envision.   The 'designer' needs to produce X number of patterns for the next month and a logical starting points is an 'already popular' Design.   Just half the pattern with a couple edge adjustments and Ta-Da -- it's a chair set.     Now, not just a variation of a design, but a matched pattern set.

I'm sure as I continue to work through the Mail Order Collection, I'll come across many more examples of the 'matched set'.   Now, if you came in looking for Fern motif recommendations, there are an assortment in the shop

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Crocheted Rugs, Star Book No 134

The year is 1956 and American Thread have issued yet another pattern book.

Crocheted Rugs - Star Rug Book No 134
This book is a promotion for their popular rug yarns - Aunt Lydia's Heavy Rug Yarn, and Aunt Lydia's Star Spun.  The book contains 9 rug and one craft pattern in a variety of designs with a common denominator ... they are all quite easy.

Play Pen Pal :  This rug is worked primarily in single crochet with the clown embroidered.   It was, as the name and picture represents, designed for the play pens of that time period.   It would make a wonderful play mat, measuring 36 inches square.


Time Marches On :  Childs crocheted rug is 36 inches and matching pillow is 12 inches in diameter.  What a fun way to teach time to a young one.
Sea Shell Rug:  - A literal shell motif perfect for any seaside inspired home decor.  The area rug measures 24 x 44 inches.

The Gold Standard:  A bathroom set that with a loop stitch border and diagonal pattern stripe.  It has a matching seat cover, but size is not stated.

Cape Cod:  A blue tweed design, with fine textural effect, that measures 28 x 34 inches.

Crab Pillow and Matching Toy:   American Thread have a long history of 'bits of whimsy', and these are a great example!

Stripes and Fringe :  A chunky two tone design -- super easy -- in oblong and oval sizes.  The oblong rug has fringed ends.


15 Blocks:   Just as the name suggests, this rug is created using 15 easy two tone blocks, joined with wide border all around, to form an attractive area rug at 24 x 37 inches.

Harlequin :  This pretty piece, crocheted in loop stitch, employs three colors for a rich diamond harlequin effect. 

The back page is the same as the front.

And that's it.   If you are needing an area rug for your decor, there's bound to be one in this small collection.     These patterns are in the shop, should you be interested; just follow the links below the pictures.

Thanks for dropping by,

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Afghans to Knit Crochet, Coats Clarks Book 108

Coats and Clarks brought us - Afghans to Knit and Crochet, Book 108 in 1959.   Just as you would expect, for this time frame, the photos are black and white, except for the cover, and a fair number of those are not great quality.   But, if you look close, you'll find there are a couple classics and well as some other intriguing projects.   There are 13 patterns in all.  A couple Knitting, and of course Knit / Crochet combos, along with Crochet and Afghan Stitch and there's a little embroidery tossed in, and just to keep us on our toes, they added in a handwoven afghan.  For the most part, this booklet is a promotion for their Red Heart Knitting Worsted.     So ... for your viewing pleasure ....

The front covers (back cover) gives us a color preview of three of the patterns. 

C-454 Palette Afghan - Crocheted in afghan stitch with multi-colored yarn - 49 x 65 inches.  I really like these multi-color yarn effects.  May the same afghan for every one in the family and they will all be different. Seems like it would be another great way to use up complimentary color scraps.  

B-129 Greek Key - Crocheted blocks, alternating between solid color and the Greek Key motif - 50 x 70.  The pattern calls for two colors.

B-130 Rosebud Ring - Crochet, Puff Stitch 4 1/2" motifs made up this 44 x 60 afghan.   This is a good example of a potentially nice afghan, but lousy selling photography by C&C. 

B-131 Mexicana - A Colorful Crocheted Afghan made up of 5 1/2 inch hexagonal motifs - 49 x 72.   This is another one using variegated yarns.

B-132 Chequerboard knitted afghan is Quaker stitch in triangles of knitting worsted - measures 47 x 64.

B-133 Ship's Cable - Knitted bulky afghan, bold and elegant at the same time, is worked in strips and has lush fringe - 42 x 64.

B-134 Symphony - Crochet Afghan - 48 x 69.  Look close; this is an attractive piece, but I'd think that it's calling on little fingers (or even larger ones), pulls on, or slipping things through, those textural loops. 

B-135 Shepherd's Plaid - Woven Tapestry - 44 x 55.  This masculine piece is created by drawing a long tapestry needle through curtain scrim.

B-136 Henry Clay Wheel - Crochet Geometric afghan.  The design is based on an Early American quilt pattern - 41 x 61.

B-137 Pompon Posy - Afghan Stitch with embroidery details and little pompons - 47 x 67.

B-138 Lattice Lace - Knit with Crochet; a lovely afghan with alternating strips of openwork lace and diamonds - 45 x 66 .  This pattern was also featured in a Coats & Clark's leaflet, as well as making an appearance in the Workbasket Magazine.  

B-139 - Cottage Garden - Created with an afghan hook and enhanced with a delightful embroidery motif - 51 - 65. 

B-140 - Sugar N Spice - Crochet afghan blanket of dainty pastel colors - 46 inches square.   This motif is designed for a baby blanket or carriage cover.

B-141 Carriage Trade -  A knitted cable for baby, perfectly sized for carriage or cribs - 32 x 42. 

Truth be told, with the exception of the Cottage Garden, which just isn't my style, I like all of them.   I find Ship's Cable close to perfect in a stately simple standpoint.   And, I find myself taking a second peak at Chequerboard; it's quite interesting.     I checked each pattern, and they done an above average job with this booklet getting all the charts and graphs included.

Now that I've officially shared this one ... I can now move it from my pending review box and onto the Official 'Finished' drawer.

Thanks for dropping by,

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Crocheted Pineapple Cape

The pineapple stitch in doilies have been a favorite design for .... well, a very long time.   But clothing, that appears to be a different story.  I've processed over 5000 patterns for the shop, and of those, find that pineapple stitch in clothing became prevalent in the late 1950's, with the Mail Order patterns (Laura Wheeler and Alice Brooks) leading the charge. 

As was typical, the Mail Order patterns built on each design ... i.e., create a pattern and if it proves popular, start making slight deviations in another pattern .. repeat, repeat, repeat. 


Crocheted Pineapple Cape Pattern with small collar
Design 833 - "If you want a lovely cover for chilly weather, why don't you crochet one yourself.   This little cape in the lacy pineapple pattern is easy to crochet"  1955

Short Pineapple Cape, Capelet Pattern, Design 7249
Design 7429 - This crocheted pineapple cape is a close match with the variation being a different collar. 
Long Crochet Cape Pattern in Pineapple Stitch
Pattern 7329 - Multiple variations in this pretty design.  

Crochet Pineapple Cape in easy shell stitch
Design 617 - "Graceful cape to star atop fashions -- in pineapple design combined with easy shell stitch".  

Crochet Pineapple Cape Pattern with open yoke
Design 716 - "Rows and rows of pineapples topped by open crochet yoke and band collar - a pretty capelet for any season wear".  

I still have several hundred Mail Order Design patterns to process and, I have no doubt, there will be  more pineapple capes.  

Thanks for dropping by, 
Lorrie 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Serviceman's Knitting Patterns, 1951

It was post World War II, and into the second year of the Korean Conflict and Smart Knitting decided to run a feature on desired military fashion.


Now, who knows if they really 'surveyed the boys themselves" .. I'd think not, but still it's a fun retro look at 1951 Military fashions.

Square Neck Pullover; an easy knit in a combination of stockinette and garter stitches.   This pattern is available as a Free Download.

Sleeveless Pullover, waist length with V-neckline is knit in Beehive Scotch Fingering Yarn.

Spiral Knit Socks, sized 10-1/2 to 12-1/2, for those Officer dress-up needs.  This pair is surprisingly easy.


Turtleneck Pullover, sized 36 to 44, modeled with that (perhaps weather) blimp in the background.  Notice the Navy pants with the button flaps and slight bells.   I wonder when the style changed?

Long Sleeve Pullover, with the standard V-neck and ribbed edges.

Now, I don't figure that many (if any) of these patterns will sell, but the photo themselves were worthy well work the day spent processing and listing.   Did you notice that the model in each photo is slightly characterized, versus standard snapshot? 

I hope you enjoyed the '1951 Military Fashion Show' as much as I did. 
Thanks for dropping by,