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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.

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,






Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hand Knits for Men, Spinnerin Volume 141

I was scanning a few booklets, when I came to this Spinnerin Men's Book.  To the head of the stack it immediately went.   Men's patterns, in comparison to women's is so minor that they deserve to be handled first.    So, for my 'next up' book review ....

Spinnerin 141 - Hand Knits for Men was issued in 1957.  Frequently pattern books are issued for a specific brand of yarn as a promotion.   In the case of this pattern book, however, it appears Spinnerin featured a number of their different yarns.   Perhaps their 'most popular' yarns for the time period.

Style No 4046 - V-Neck Cardigan graces the front cover.

Style No 4033 - Sleeveless Cardigan Pattern, V-Neck and slightly below waist length 
Style No 4035 - Sleeveless pullover (on right) features narrow stripes in two colors with contrast bands and trim.
Style No 4031 - Mans Sleeveless Pullover in two tones of Nylane Fingering Yarn, with contrast trim.
Style No 4045 - Mans Cabled Pullover pattern has a defining touch of 'just a bit' of contrast color trim on the V-neck.
Style No 4063 Mans Pullover with patterned yoke features cable and pebble stitches.

No 4036 - Mans Raglan Sleeved Pullover with ribbed edges.   A casual design perfect for every (winter day) wear.

No 4030 - Mans Sleeveless Pullover Pattern is hip length, v-neck and contrast color bands.

Style 4041 (on left), mans sleeveless pullover with tri-cable bands.
Style 4048 (on right), a different variation of the sleeveless pullover, in an easy basketweave type stitch.

Style No 4042 - Mans Pullover Vest Pattern, below hip length in easy pattern stitch.

Style No 4043 - Mans knitted vest with slot pockets, lowered v-neck, below waist length.

Style No 4044 - Mans two tone checked sweater with contrast sleeves and ribbed bands.

Style No 4028 - Pullover features extended shoulders and a grand buttoned yoke collar.

Basic Mens Sweater include sleeveless, crew neck and raglan sleeve options with or without turtleneck.

Two pairs of mans basic knitted socks.

Style No 4013 (on left)  and 4047 (on right) - mens patterned pullovers.  (Not processed as the charts had been scribbled all over).  

And, gracing the back cover, Style No 4029, Mans Pullover (with an interesting wavy ribbed pattern stitch).  

All of the patterns are written for size small (36-38), with changes for medium (40-42) and large (44-46).   There are nice designs in this book, albeit some a little short for todays' fashions.   Perhaps you have the skills to lengthen.     The materials referenced in the book, of course are outdated (Spinnerin no longer in business), however finding substitutes should not be too difficult.

Hope you enjoyed the book review. 
Thanks for dropping by,
Lorrie








Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Crocheted Medallion Pattern by Alice Brooks

For this post, let's go back 81 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.  

Each lovely lacy 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 and is a large (20 x 30") sheet of paper and includes stitch detail diagrams to assist you in the design.  

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'd like to see more squares or medallions, there are plenty in the shop.  If you are trying to find a specific design, you might want to try the bedspread or tablecloth categories as well.  

Thanks for dropping by, 
Lorrie