Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Crocheted Owl Pattern, Mail Order Designs

I'd assume that Owl's have been popular forever.   I mean, seriously, who doesn't like an owl?  But, I think with the popularity of Macrame in the 1960's, the owl became a natural; the colors so perfect for the jute cords.  And, where macrame went, you can bet the crochet fiber artists were sure to follow.     #Among the most popular of craft patterns for the time period were the Mail Order Designs starting in the late 60's.   It was easy marketing, reaching the entire country through newspapers.    Here's a couple examples:  #

Design 481 - Crocheted Owl Wall Hanging 10 1/2 x 21 inches.   

Design 672 - Crocheted Pillow in two sizes.    A shell stitch beauty, the pillow and owl are worked separately and joined.    Do you see the resemblance between these two .... yep, same owl.   This is very frequent with mail order patterns; variations of the same design.

Design 496 - Crocheted Hot Plate Mat in two sizes - 9 x 11 and 7 x 8.  I've no doubt you could also attach a hook to the back and create colorful kitchen wall hangings with these as well.  

Are there more?   Of course there are.   And, as I get them reworked for the shop, I'll come back and add them in.

Thanks for dropping by.
Lorrie

Monday, May 9, 2016

American Thread Star Book 11 Bedspreads and Tablecloths

It's been some time since I've done a pattern book recap, and the current book I'm working on appears to be a great candidate for a review.    1940 was a tough year in which WW11 was in full force and women on both continents stayed behind.  One relaxing activity enjoyed was crocheting and knitting items for the forces, as well as items for their home, of course.

This book was issued in 1940 by The American Thread Company, is promotion to their Puritan and Trojan Brand Threads.

Book No 11, Star Book Bedspreads and Tablecloths

Windmill graces the front cover.  Frequently also referred to as a Pinwheel, or Whirlwind, this design is created in 6 inch blocks. 

Weathervane - a 7-inch square block that creates a pleasing geometric effect.

Lacet Stitch Bed Spread is worked in panels with an interspersed diamond motif and extra long fringe edges. 

Crib Cover is 46 x 58 inches.  It is worked in 6-1/2 inch blocks in a variety of (you choose) 
motifs.  

Knitted Spread is worked in 5 inch blocks that take on a textured diamond motif.  

The Puritan, a flower block motif, measures 5 inches.  

Irish Crochet is a lovely cloth that is created with rather large -- 9 inches -- 
medallions. 

Log Cabin - This class design is two toned in 4 inch blocks with a wide shell border. 

Large Mesh tablecloth, with a floral hint, is made up in quite large - 9 inch - blocks.

Snowflake Medallion at 3 inches each are joined to form scarves, runners, cloths sin sizes of your choice. 

Moonbeam Medallion is just 3 inches in diameter.  An easy medallion to keep your hands busy.

Two Toned square block measure 5 inches.  An attractive motif that lends plenty of potential.

Cluny Designs Tablecloth is created with 3 3/4 inch flower medallions, and a small joining motif.

And that's it;  one knitting pattern and 12 crochet patterns enclosed in the 32 pages.  Well, not quite - on the last page is the typical advertisement promotion ... 


And so, what's so unusual about this?  Well, not a single pattern in this book calls for Rug Yarn.  Typically pattern books were issued as a promotion for a new brand of yarn.  

The designs here, are all quite lovely, and deserve consideration in your upcoming projects and heirloom considerations. 

Thanks for dropping by, 
Lorrie 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Knitting in a Big Way, An Elephant Story

I've been working my way through the Fall-Winter 1951-1952 issue of McCalls Needlecraft Magazine.  I always enjoy these magazines for their variety and periodic surprises.   Like this one, tucked nicely on Page 124.

Now, I'd don't usually copy paste an entire story here in the blog, but this one is just too delightful to mess with.   If you have the time, it is definitely a fun read.

" If, halfway through a sweater for a size 46 husband, you have ever said wearily, "I might as well be knitting for an elephant!" you may be interested to know that Mrs. Susan Jarvis, of 1716 North Edgemont Street, Los Angeles, California, the pleasant-faced, motherly woman in the photo, actually did knit a sweater for a Ringling Brothers circus elephant. Mrs. Jarvis made the sweater—probably the largest in history —as her "consequence" on CBS' freakish television show, "Truth or Consequences."

One night this past year, Ralph Edwards, Master of Ceremonies of "Truth or Consequences," asked for a lady who could knit. Mrs. Jarvis,, in the audience, volunteered and was selected as the lucky contestant. When she missed her question, Edwards asked if she would knit a sweater for a friend of his, and puckishly ushered out Herman (elephant photo), presented stunned Mrs. Jarvis with a wheel barrowful of wools and told her to go to work.

Naturally, the audience roared. Whereupon Mrs. Jarvis, her dander up, accepted the challenge to her prowess as a knitter and announced that she would not only knit a sweater but a complete outfit.

Her first step in the project was to determine Herman's measurements. They were, as follows: waist, 192 inches; length, -10- feet; trunk, 5 ½ feet long; tail, 4 ½ ft.; head surface for hat, 1 ½ yards across, each way; boots, 2 ½ feet high, 2 ½ feet around.

With this information in hand, Mrs. Jarvis was set to go. The question; 'Where do you start with an elephant? bothered her. She decided to make a waistband first. In a week she had completed a strip 8 inches wide to go around Herman's waist with 8 inches for button lap. It fitted. Knitting for an elephant took on a more reasonable aspect. From there on, the job went smoothly.

To keep the work from becoming monotonous, she varied her colors from week to week. The entire project took thirteen weeks. Mrs. Jarvis grew to love her mammoth knitting chore and felt really sorry when the last row was bound off and Herman ready to be decked out in his knitted finery as you see him above.  "

I hope you enjoy the story as much as I do.
Thanks for dropping by,

Lorrie

Monday, May 2, 2016

Crocheted Cape Pattern, Vintage Alice Brooks 5360

Each day I strive to process one or two mail order patterns for the shop.   Today, at the top of the pile (or, actually, at the front of the container) was Design 5360, which seemed as good as any a place to start.   Now, at this point, I could call this pattern .... how I spent a good portion of the day.

This pattern is best described as fragile .... as it should be ... going all the way back to 1936.

Fortunately, I'd scanned this pattern back in 2014, before it became quite so fragile.  Still, it needed taped back together at the folds for the checking process.   An interesting note about this Alice Brooks Design pattern is it is written entirely in caps (which made it a real bugger to check).   I do not recall seeing this in any others.  

 Now, I do not crochet so I cannot truly attest whether this is a difficult pattern, (the directions say it is a simple stitch), but it is definitely a large pattern .... lots of directions.   It's a lacy delight with a jabot type neck tie and a one size below breast / above elbow design.   Some might even call it a capelet.

Here's the official 1936 write up, which is delightful as well.   I have to say, as far as pattern descriptions go these days, nothing is this charming!

The pattern is now available in the shop, should you be interested.  

Thanks for dropping by.
Lorrie

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bedspreads and Tablecloths Crochet Patterns Book No 301

For this review, let's take it all the way back to 1953.  (I don't know about you, but that's before even I was born!).  In this time, the flight to the suburbs continues, many women continue to be stay-at-home mothers, and fashions are on the sleek side, which were termed Modern.  (Relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past).    The book is ....

J&P Coats & Clark's Book No 301Bedspreads and Tablecloths
The inside cover promotion:  AMERICAN MODERN ... the prettiest, most practical style of home decoration that flows more and more popular every year.  To prove that creative crochet is always charming, we have chosen representative examples of contemporary American furniture and have designed harmonizing bedspreads and tablecloths.  And, as an outlet for your imagination, we give you a selection of motifs, to make whatever you desire in the thread of your choice - which, of course, will be the best -- Coats and Clark's O.N.T. Crochet Cottons.  


S-435 California Modern is made of 4" medallions.

S-436 Pennsylvania Modern - The two color display gives this design a bit of a geometric look.  Square are 3 1/2 inches.
S-437 Maryland Modern is the first 'fitted' spread I've seen in any of the pattern books.   It is accompanied by a 10 inch bolster.  The medallions are 3 inch.

S-483 Texas Modern is a 6 inch medallion in an octagon shape with a circle center.  A quite appealing design.

In the middle of the book, Coats & Clark's decided to take a bit of a shortcut and give us samples of the medallions only, with a small sketch next to it to further imply possible uses.  The theme .. let your imagination to wild; use these for cloths, chair sets, whatever.  Note that the bottom left square is actually a hairpin lace panel.  (P.S. -- I'd imagine most of these, crocheted in knitting worsted, would make great afghans).  These individual medallions are available in the shop.

S-446 Virginia Modern is not technically a crocheted tablecloth, but a tablecloth with crochet detail.  The pretty motif is 1-1/2 inches and is joined to and sewn to the cloth to form borders and edges.

And the back cover is graced by the stunning S-447 Oregon Modern.   This beauty, in wheat motif, measures 66 inches in diameter and will become the central focus in any room.
 
And, that's it.  At first I though it was light on tablecloths until my thinking cleared and realized the medallions in the center of the book were all multi-purpose.

There's some nice selections in here.   Those of you who may have inherited some of these designs ...
what a delight.  For the rest of you, perhaps you should get those hooks ready and create future heirlooms.

Thanks for dropping by,
Lorrie

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hand Knit Fashions in Tweed, Vol 32

This pattern book, Volume 32, is just the 4th book that I've worked through in the Bernhard Ulmann collection, and I must say, it's quite delightful .... as well as a nice deviation from the doilies and bedspreads I've mostly been working through lately.

This book takes us back to 1957; designs have not yet taken on the mod colors of the 1960's, but are not entirely the form fittings styles of the earlier 1950's.  

Knit Pattern Books Coats Sweaters Jackets
Hand Knit Fashions in Tweed - Volume 32

Volume 32 was created as a promotion tool for Bernhard Ulmanns Tweed brand yarns, Bear Brand Tweedmoor and Fleishers Glen Tweed, as well as Bear Brand Sport Tweed and Fleishers Sport Tweed.  That goes to say, then, that all of the patterns in this book will feature these specific yarns (a quite attractive selection!). 

Windbreaker Jacket Knitting Pattern
No 668 Windbreaker Suit - The skirt, as is typical, is a straight design and quite standard fair.  But, what a splendid jacket.  

No 667 - Box Coat is made an above standard design with the fabulous collar and fold-back cuffs.  This loose fitting design is one that would be so comfortable. 
No 679 Ribbed Sheath Dress is an elegant design that became quite remarkable with the all over rib pattern stitch, then taken over the top with the contrast collar.  

No 672 - Ribbed Stole is a quite easy design that is simple rib stitch with long fringe ... a warm and elegant choice.  
No 673 - Lace Stole is also an 'extra easy' design perfect for beginners.   This pattern is offered as a free download. 

No 681 - Cable Cardigan gives bold and broad cables that definitely pop out on the tweed background.  The back is cabled as well.


No 676 Girls Clock Socks .... remember this term?  (Clock socks have a narrow pattern (not usually clocks) that runs up the leg and along the foot. Looks like clock hands when viewed from the side).  


No 674 - Two-Tone Weskit.  This fitted vest has the marvelous checked pattern stitch on the front and a striped motif (created by the tweed yarn), on the back.  This design yells 'Fun'. 

No 675 - Jiffy Knit Jacket:  How cute it this?   Chunky and Bulky and, well, cute!  And it's an easy design that beginners could tackle.
No 678 - Fringed Shortie - Another cute design with the subtle patterning of the tweed.  The fringed collar adds that bit of 'fun' as well.

No 677 - Men's Classic Socks - a marvelous tweed for the professional man.
No 666 - Sleeveless Pullover for our men features the grand argyle design on the tweed background with extra wide ribbing at the bottom.

No 669 - Jumper is a simple, attractive design perfect for everyday wear.  The tweed yarns give the design just a bit of texture.

And, that's the complete book.   The book cover being the same as the front.   I found it interesting the socks pattern did not contain a size, but I'm not a knitter, so perhaps it's a knitting skill that one just knows when to add on or subtract (?).    

My favorites here are the Ribbed Dress and the Jiffy Knit Jacket; either of these would be a welcome addition in my closet.   You; what are your favorites?  

These patterns, complete with listed material requirements, are listed in the shop should you be interested.  

Thanks for dropping by, 
Lorrie  

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Bedspread Patterns to Knit and Crochet, Book 232

Taking us all the way back to 1947, is Spool Cotton Book 232 - Bedspreads.  Other than a dab of color on the front and backcover, the pattern pictures are all lower quality black and white.   This fact (what did we expect of 1947), certainly does not, however, detract from the exquisite designs that are in this pattern leaflet.

There are 11 patterns in all; but two crocheted.  The book was obviously issued as a promotion to Clarks O.N.T. Mercerized Crochet Cotton, as that is the material called for in each of the patterns.   None of the patterns were identified by name, just by their assigned number.   (In some cases, I've identified the name).

Pattern No 6132 graces the front cover ... and appropriately so, being a splendid piece of Irish Crochet.  The designs is made of raised floral hexagon motifs that measure 12 1/2 inches each.   I've seen references that this pattern was called Marguerite in other publications.

No 6124 - This interesting medallion design has nicely supplemented detail in large and small flower fill-in motifs. 

No 6130 - Knitted Bedspread  This design is worked in attractive 2 1/2 inch strips and finished with long tufts of fringe.  

No 6131 - Crocheted Bedspread is worked in large - 8 inch - blocks with an 'almost' geometric motif.  
No 682 - Crocheted Bedspread featuring pinwheel medallions in popcorn stitch. 

No 6128 Crochet Bedspread.   This 5 inch rose motif has appeared in a number of SPC pattern books and is typical known as Rambling Rose.

No 6133 Crochet Bedspread - Worked in 10 inch panels in diamond and popcorn stitch. 

No 6123 Crochet Bedspread made up in lovely raised flower block centers surrounded with petals edged in popcorn stitch. 

No 6129 - Knitted Bedspread is an elegant design of staggered raised leaf and plain 10 inch blocks. 

No 6126 Crochet Bedspread is created in 6 1/2 inch hexagon blocks in a floral motif

No 6127 Crocheted Bedspread in 4 3/4 inch pinwheel medallions goes beyond to an almost geometric effect.

And that it ... all 11 crochet patterns.   All quite exquisite and all worthy of heirloom quality.    

The opening jacket statement : "Every woman loves the feminine touch in her home ... Why not add to your bedroom a beautiful handmade Bedspread that would express your individuality?  In this book we have designed a variety of Bedspreads ... one to suit every taste .. they are simple and decorative.  Choose the one that best serves your purpose, and you will be proud to say that you have made it yourself".  

Although these designs are 1947, no reason you can't still crochet your future heirloom. 

Thanks for dropping by, 
Lorrie