Monday, April 29, 2013

Ursula duBois Knitting Patterns

I came across the name Ursula Dubois in a 1966 issue of The Toledo Blade, and, picking up a new name, was driven to investigate futher.   (I love going through these old newspapers and can spend hours at a time. Thus the reason I get so little done, some days).

A number of knitting patterns were issued under the Ursula duBois name between 1964 and 1969.  Interestingly enough, these patterns were 15 - 75 cents higher in price than the norm for this time period.  Frequently, the pictures were low quality, making it difficult to see the merits of the garments.   Many of them, however, were modeled by actresses; in this case, Pat Woodell.    To a smaller extent, the patterns were syndicated across various newspapers.   I've found evidence of 5.

In addition to the patterns, several columns, in different cities, were written under the Ursula duBois name, and typically appeared along side, or underneath the pattern advertisement.  These columns were 'Let's Knit', 'Now Knit This', and Knit Clinic.  Both columns gave suggestions and advice, as well as answered readers questions.

There is two hints out there that Ursula duBois may have been an actual person, not a syndication name.  The first hint is that her name was updated to Ursula deBois Lewis in mid 1968, implying a marriage.  The second is business license was obtained under the name (whereas we do not see this with syndicated names).

And that's it.   I was not able to find nothing else.   Which, if Ursula duBois was an actual person, I would expect to find tracks like birth or death certificates, events, designer references.   But nope.   Nothing.  I did set up a couple Google alerts on her name/address and if something should pop up, I'll fill you in.

In the meantime, I copied off all the patterns/columns I found and my putting them out here and there in my daily stream over at Facebook.   They are set up in their own Album - Ursula duBois, should you like to take a look.

Thanks for dropping by,

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pineapple Doily Patterns

The year was 1946 and the Spool Cotton Company, in the form of their book No 230, announced they had 14 New Pineapple Designs.

Vintage Pineapple Doilies Tablecloths Bedspread Patterns
 See - 'Featuring 14 New Pineapple Designs' right there on the cover. 

Vintage Pineapple Doily Pattern Book
Their claim is 'the Pineapple Motif is the most popular' design of all.   They might be right in this, however, I'm not sure.   I sell more 'non-pineapple designs' as pineapple, but suppose that is not an apples to apples comparison.    But, I do have to admit ... there are marvelous pineapples in this book.   

Crocheted Pineapple Doilies are Vintage 1940s
No 7770 A/B Runner and Vanity Set :  This pattern features a runner at 12 x 30 inches, with variations of this pattern to crochet a 12 x 17 inch doily, as well as a round doily at 12 inches in diameter.  

Crochet Motif for Pineapple Tablecloth Pattern
No 7768 Doily - Centerpiece - Tablecloth :  This pattern starts with an 8-1/2 inch Doily and builds to a 23 inch Centerpiece.  A layout chart is included if you'd like to keep going to make an entire tablecloth. 

Vintage 1940 Pineapple Doily Pattern
No 7767 Doily - Luncheon Set - Tablecloth - Bedspread :  Like other patterns in the book, this set starts with a double pineapple motif that is made into a 12 x 14 night stand doily, a 12 x 35 inch runner, 14 x 15 inch luncheon mats, or perhaps a tablecloth or bedspread at 75 x 105 inches. 

Vintage Pineapple Edge Linen Doily Crochet Pattern
Pineapple Doily :  This pretty piece at 15-1/2 inches has a 5-1/2 inch linen center. 

No 7773B Apron :  This apron has a ribbon waistband and ribbon stripes that meet in small bows
 at the pineapple hemline. 
Pineapple Bread Basket Doily Pattern is Vintage 1940s
No 7772 Bread Basket Doily: Sized 6 x 13 inches and bound to make a pleasing performance in a basket near you. 

Square Pineapple Tablecloth Pattern
No 7776 Square Centerpiece; Square Tablecloth.   Both with ample pineapples, the doily measures 23 inches square and the cloth is 54 inches.

Vintage Pineapple Crochet Bedspread Pattern
No 7650 Pineapple Set :  This pattern is a threesome; almost a pineapple overload.  The instructions include a 65 x 84 inch Cloth, a 90 x 108 bedspread and an 18 x 38 inch runner (not pictured).    These are heirlooms in the making.

Six Pointed Star Pineapple Doily Pattern is 14 inches
No 7769 Six Pointed Doily.  Just medium in size at 14", but bold in design.

Crochet Pineapple Placemats Pattern
No 7777 Square Luncheon Set includes the center piece and place mat doilies and a round bread and butter doily.  All, of course, with a nice pineapple border.

Crocheted Pineapple Doily of eight point star
No 7778 Doily has a small star surrounded by 8 pineapples and a just right amount of lace
with scalloped edges.

Pineapple Medallions Crochet Pattern
No 7775 Tablecloth :  This lovely cloth, made up of 180 4-1/2 inch motifs measures
54 x 68 inches when completed.

Pineapple Edged Doily Crochet Pattern
No 7779 Luncheon Set - This set includes doilies at 16, 12, 9 and 6 inches.  It will make a stunning luncheon set, or a variety of individual doilies to scatter through your home.

No 7774 Luncheon and Chair Set :  This is a pattern set to crochet both the (single) place mat and the chair set pictured.   Simple, yet quite attractive.
Crocheted Pineapple Motif Doily Pattern
No 7771 Centerpiece - You just might recognize this beauty from the front cover.
 It measures 20 inches in diameter.

And, as usual, the back cover is the same as the front.   Now, remember the cover said 14 'New' Designs?   Well, there are over 14 base patterns here, not to mention the variations within the patterns.   I wonder which ones aren't new?  

It's a delightful book of pineapples.   For those true pineapple lovers, this one has the potential to keep them up at night trying to decide where to start.  The patterns are listed individually in my shop, just follow the links, should you be interested. 

Hope you enjoyed the photo journal.   Thanks for dropping by, 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Knit Mittens Earmuff Pattern - What were they thinking?

This is going to be my last Modern Knitting Rant ... at least as related to the Spring 1949 issue.   This is the pattern in question - a knitted set - mittens and earmuffs.

The first issue - There is no stated size in the pattern; not even a hint in the pattern name (you know, mens, misses, childs).   Now, I assume they are intended for a child based on the pattern design and visual size.   Okay, so these companies will add 'fillers' here and there in their magazines, but would it be too much to expect a size range?

As for the mittens - the design is a braid that is stitched into place.   Ya right !   Gives these to almost any child and they are going to pull at those braided threads until they exist no more.

And, moving right along to my largest grievance - the earmuffs.  To make these, we are going to cut 48 strands that are two yards each and braid them together, folding over and securing the ends.  Then, we will roll up the ends to form the circular muff part and stitch together.  Done.   DONE???  How are these supposed to stay in place on the head ???  Usable as earmuffs - definitely not !!!

Modern Knitting -- what were you thinking?

Thanks for dropping by.

P.S.   I've listed this pattern in my shop as a FREE DOWNLOAD, in case you'd like to give them a try anyway.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Modern Knitting Magazine Rant

I know that I just had a Modern Knitting Magazine rant the other night, but, when an opportunity to rant presents itself, I must proceed !

So, the subject is incomplete patterns and ridiculous requirements.   And, here's the most recent example.
Okay, it's a nice little layette set; knitted with the usual crochet.  There is a blanket, a long sleeve pullover shirt with shoulder tie, booties and there in the back - a pixie hat.  So, what's my beef?   Well ....

There is no size beyond the reference to baby - no 0 to 3 or 3 to 9.  Yes, a baby is a baby, but even I know babies come in different age sizes.
And ....
That sweet little Bow Tie motif is not included with the pattern.  The instructions read - Mail for Embroidery Chart.   So, Mrs. Modern Magazine Reader, after putting up her money to buy the magazine, now has to put a stamp on an envelope and mail off for the pattern .... waiting however, many weeks it may take to receive. That just seems so trivial.  

Okay ... now, trying to be open minded ...  It is a nice basic layette set if you are looking for no frills.   (Although the little Pixie is adorable).   I don't sell incomplete patterns, but as this one certainly has merit, so I've listed it as a Free Download in my shop.

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vintage Bead Bag Crochet Pattern

One of the things that drives me nuts in processing these old patterns ... particularly those form magazines ... is the lack of details in the front end.   Take this beaded bag, for example :

Free Vintage Beaded Bag Pattern

Now, it is a cute little bag.  Round like a little cylinder with a box top type lid that fits over, and both the bottom and top bands are beaded.   There's a nice thick strap there, for ease of carrying and the bag is lined.

So, what's my complaint you might ask?   Well, it's a bit lacking on (believable) details.   The actual crochet directions indicate the bottom of the bag is 4-1/4" wide and the top is 4-3/4.   The height is not stated at all, and the handle is 14 inches.   Now, to me, a 15" handle sounds mighty out of proportion if the bag base is just 4-1/4 inches.   And, the bag calls for a lining part number.   I suppose these must have been sold where you would have bought the yarns; which may derive the size.   But now, you'd have to make the bag and then make a pattern for the lining ... or go unlined.

See what I mean?  Vague.   Oh, I forget to mention ... it's 1949 from the Spring issue of Modern Knitting,

Well, I'm certainly not going to list a pattern for sale that I can't, at least with some comfort value, give you a good description.    So, I'm offering this one as a Free Download .. should you be interested in giving it a try anyway.    It does look like it might be a great little bag to hold stuff .... like bottles of finger nail polish on the counter.

Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Linen Doilies, Free Crochet Patterns

Of the many different doilies, I think the linen doily is the most functional.    I have very little table or shelf space in my home for display, so everything has to have a plan.   Say, I'm going a flower vase one the sofa table, how could I do that on a doily like this.
Pineapple Doily Pattern, Mail Order Design 898
See, even the photographer of this Pineapple beauty knew that you couldn't cover up this beauty, and staged that tiny little vase over in the corner.   (What is it ... like 3 inches wide?).

But, a linen doily ... well yes.  A linen doily would work wonderfully under a large flower vase.

Mesh Edging Crochet Pattern for Linen Doily
Put the large base on the linen and no guilt complex about covering up the design.
Linen Doily with Ruffled Mesh Crochet Edging
Or put your flower pot on this one and if it drips and leave a little stain, no problem.   Just wash and put the same old plant right on it.

Well, you've probably got the point.  And, just in case you'd like to follow through on it, I have several listed in my shop as Free Downloads ... and of course tons of other doilies as well.

Thanks for dropping by,


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Knitted Crocheted Pattern Designs

This booklet, Knitted and Crocheted designs, as featured at the Better Living Center at the New York World's Fair was a special edition pattern booklet by American Threads (WF1) to commemorate ... yep, you guessed it .. the New York World's Fair.  This booklet, Original Dawn Yarn Designs was a promotion for that specific brand of their yarn. 

 This pattern book came out in the 1964/1965 time frame.  These are quite subdued to other American Thread books around this same time line.   There is truly not a pattern here that would not be desirable.

Let me show you. 

Irish Crochet Dress : "I went to the World's Fair and I saw - Cover Girl in White Evening Sheath.  The skirt is divided, the attention is not !"  The shell is sized S-M-L; the skirt is one size.   Iridescent sequins and small crystal beads further highlight the Irish crochet.  

  Gold and White :  "I went to the World's Fair and I saw - Striking pair with Midas Touch ... bold gold stripes mated with white call attention ... to his ... to hers".  Knitting pattern sized for were at 32, 34, 36 and for him at 40, 42, 44.

"I went to the World's Fair and I saw -- Forecast of Things to Come .. a Chevron Knit Dress that scoops fashion with an impish neckline, hemline ... a debonair striped shell, with basic skirt, to whip up in the briefest of time capsules"  Both patterns are knitting and are sized S-M-L.

Vintage Cardigan Jacket in Block Square Motif
Motif Sweater : "I went to the World's Fair and I saw - The Box .. crochet the motifs as you go.  Perfect for flights of fancy"  This Box Motif Sweater pattern is crochet and sized S-M-L.  

"I went to the World's Fair and I saw ... The pullover Authority .. newest pullovers made good travellers ... on helicopters or World's Fair Express".  The Opal and Antique Gold Sweater is knitted and sized 32, 34, 36.  The Coral and White Sweater is also knitted, but sized 34. 36, 38.

Vintage Coachman Sweater Knitting Pattern
"I went to the World's Fair and I saw  -- Drop-Shouldered Coachman .. this perfect spectator gets the play of attention too for its classic beauty of line and color".   This Coachman Sweater calls for both knitting needles and a crochet hook.   It is sized S-M-L.    

"I went to the World's Fair and I saw -- A Shell and Popovers .. pom-poned, looped, and squared away to steal the show and make your day".   The Buff Shell, Looped Topper and the Square Topper are crochet, The Pom-Pon Popover requires both knitting and crochet.
Shell Patterns

"I went to the World's Fair and I saw -- Traveling Companions .. Big, bold stripes in her comfortable shift dress and cables in his casual pullover".  The Bold Stripe Sheath is knitted and sized 10, 12, 14 and 16.  The Man's Cable Raglan is also knitted and sized 40, 42 and 44.

"I went to the World's Fair and I saw -- The Stop-Light Sheath ... Red on Red on Red".  This dress is crochet and sized S-M-L.  

"I went to the World's Fair and I saw -- Two Fashion Noteworthies .. button-free and easy shaped cardigan ... smashingly striped drop-shouldered pullover".  TheCocoa and Tangerine Trimmed Cardigan is crochet.  The Striped Sweater is knitted.   Both are sized S-M-L.

"I went to the World's Fair and I saw -- Capricious Cardigan .. turn the sleeves on or off -- it's a fashion coup either way you crochet it.  Why not have both?"  This bulky cardigan is crochet and sized S-M-L.

"I went to the World's Fair and I Saw -- Turn About .. knit-easy, wear easy shift with decollete worn front or back, unbuttoned as low as you dare".  This dress is knitted and sized S, M, L.  Note:  If desired, dress may be worn with opening at back.

"I went to the World's Fair and I saw -- A Pink Lady ... with deepening interest, from the palest to the most forthright declaration of Star-bright color".   This Tri-Tone Cable Sweater is knitted and sized S-M-L.

This is the back cover and a replay of the marvelous Red "Stop-Light' Sheath.

This book was issued as a promotion to American Thread Brand Yarns.  This delightful lead-in was included on the first pages. 

One of the back pages gave us a handy reference to the different Dawn Yarns that are used in this book.

Hope you enjoyed this Fashion Show of the 1964 -  Latest in Knit and Crochet Wear.     In this particular time period, American Thread put out a number of pattern books that were, well, on the funky side.   This book, however, makes up for that with several quite elegant pieces.    

I have restored and reformatted these patterns to crisp, easy to follow, documents which are available in my shop - just follow the links below the pictures - should you be interested.

 Thanks for dropping by,

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Crochet Flower Block Afghan Pattern

I received an email this morning from a very nice woman in Australia that has been looking for a specific mail order crochet pattern.   She has been searching for the pattern as part of her pattern was destroyed.   I'm assuming that she found me through my Design Inventory Page, however, I'm not sure of that.       She had indicated that it was through the Parade Mail Service.

This is a quite nice, and VERY LARGE afghan.   Made up of 11 inch floral blocks, that are joined to make an afghan that measures 69 x 95 inches.   This is more than a afghan, is is a blanket.

 I did a few searches and figure it must have come up late 1980.  A newpaper search shows it was advertised in the Finger Lake Journal on 11-8-80, the Lewiston Morning News on 5-15-83 and The Leader Post on 6-9-84.

 Each of the advertisements are basically the same, and consistently marketed by Laura Wheeler.

Anyway, I pulled it out the pending drawer and completed the scans, converted to word doc, reformatted, put into a PDF (whew!) and listed it in my store.   It needed done, and now it is !

Perhaps she'll send me a photo when she's done ... these design pictures are never that great.

Thanks for dropping by,

Friday, April 5, 2013

EZ Duz It Crochet Frame

One of my bigger issues is staying on task.   I'll be working along on this or that and then .... hours simply disappear.  For Example.  I've been scanning many of the old magazine advertisements and listing in one of my Facebook albums.   I'm not sure why, but do think they will be useful to someone ... besides just being public domain art.
This was the clip I selected, it is from the 1949 issue of McCalls Needlework.  I updated the clip in Photoshop and, started thinking all those things that get me sidetracked.   Like ... 

Verla E was born November 27, 1904 somewhere in Minnesota.  
She grew up and married Carl Upstill,  they had a daughter, Dolores, and lived together in Hennepeg and Des Moines, IA. 

Verla loved crochet and, in 1946,  invented a device, which she called the EZ-Duz-It Crochet Frame.   

This is the official direction sheet.   It shows the location as Long Beach, which would lead me to think this is where she had it manufactured.
She arranged manufacturer of the device and took up marketing it herself in shops in her, and neighboring states.   Her device was sold for $1.00.
In 1948, Verla applied and received a patent for her device.  

1952 - Advertisements continue in newspapers, but Verla is no longer the demonstrator. 
Price is still $1.00 and instruction booklets are available for $0.25.   (Online I've only found reference to one volume)
1953 - sometimes advertised in conjunction with Fleisher's Yarn.  The price is now $2.00

There continue to be a few advertising clips online in old newspapers up until 1958.  After that, I am unable to find any reference until a death notice in August of 1980 in Long Beach, CA.

There's an online manual at Needlework Books, which will give directions as well as a few patterns, if you happen to come across one of these tools.  

And now, it's been three hours and I still haven't got the original advertisement I started with posted to Facebook!    But, I must say, I did learn a few things that I didn't know!

Thanks for dropping by,