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