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Thread: Vintage Collectible but not sewing machine

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Vintage Collectible but not sewing machine

    Over the last year or so, I've dabbled a little with knitting. I knitted (poorly) as a kid and then not again for probably another 30 years. I made DH a sock for his cast when he broke his toe last year, and did a little arm knitting after his accident. Yesterday, while we were out, I decided to check a thrift store for some needles for a particular project and maybe some yarn to practice with. It was there that I scored this:

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    Anyone know anything about these and why the likelihood of me finding one of these in Canada and in 2015 was so slim? I did find a little information last night (and no, I didn't know what I had until I Googled it) but I'd love to know if any of the QB members know about it.

    No, I don't think I'll use the needles original to the case. I guess they're made of celluloid which is both flammable and fragile by this time. I may use the crochet hooks though. I don't know if they belonged in there, but there were 4 in that spot and another 6 in a separate bag tucked inside the case.

  2. #2
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    Cool. Love the case.

  3. #3
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Very cool! It may not be a sewing machine but I'm glad you posted it here. The red white and blue makes me think American but I suppose it could be British as well. Either way it's a neat set-and that's coming from a non-knitter.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

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  4. #4
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Hey Rodney! It's definitely American. The set was made by Susan Bates for a very specific purpose.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Caroline94535's Avatar
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    I love the case and needles - and the crochet hooks - Score! I love vintage sewing/needlework/crafting anything.

    I tried knitting years ago. After poking myself in the eye - twice - I gave the knitting needles away and took up crochet; it's much safer.
    "Not all those who wander are lost." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

    -1974 Singer 252 Fashion Mate; 1954 Singer 15-91;
    1952 Pfaff 130-6; Bernina 230PE, and Pfaff Serger 4874.

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    It's a bit hard to see this on my monitor, but the needles are Red, White and Blue. I suppose now you'll be looking for the missing ones
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  7. #7
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    Well, the Canadian Red Cross encouraged knitting too - so far my favorite knitting poster is "Remember Pearl Harbor? PURL HARDER"

    http://elinorflorence.com/blog/wartime-knitting
    Last edited by Macybaby; 03-29-2015 at 11:18 AM.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  8. #8
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline94535 View Post
    I love the case and needles - and the crochet hooks - Score! I love vintage sewing/needlework/crafting anything.

    I tried knitting years ago. After poking myself in the eye - twice - I gave the knitting needles away and took up crochet; it's much safer.
    And see? I always thought the crochet hooks looked just wicked and was sure I'd stab myself with those! I use one tiny hook to pull stray threads out from under a light colored quilt top when it invariably gets in while quilting but otherwise have no crochet skills at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
    It's a bit hard to see this on my monitor, but the needles are Red, White and Blue. I suppose now you'll be looking for the missing ones
    Yes, exactly - red white and blue. They're white needles with both ends painted. I've seen a couple of photos online where the blue or red is almost completely worn away so this might be a relatively ununsed set - or the needles that aren't missing weren't used a lot. Being cellulose though, a lot of them likely broke before now too.

    From what I've seen of the few etsy and ebay auctions, the likelihood of getting the rest is pretty slim. They're very much in demand. Of course, should I come across some, I wouldn't turn them down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
    Well, the Canadian Red Cross encouraged knitting too - so far my favorite knitting poster is "Remember Pearl Harbor? PURL HARDER"

    http://elinorflorence.com/blog/wartime-knitting
    They did indeed but I don't know if we had special needles made for us. So you've seen these before?

  9. #9
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    I have not seen these before, but do come across war effort stuff occasionally with my vintage sewing machines. I love reading about stuff like this.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  10. #10
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    I still have a few crochet hooks from my hairdressing days. We used to use them to pull the hair through frosting caps (early days of highlighting). My grandmother taught me and a couple cousins to crochet and tat (still have a couple shuttles). Because of a very long story I won't go into, I tense up when I hold a crochet hook with yarn around it. You did great. Just a different kind of needle other than sewing, knitting still involves needles. Congrats on the score!

  11. #11
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
    I have not seen these before, but do come across war effort stuff occasionally with my vintage sewing machines. I love reading about stuff like this.
    Well then, here's the extent of what I know about these needles. They were made specifically for the war effort - WW2. With that info - and the US' beginning of involvement in the war - it would date these to about 1942 - 1945.

    I don't know if they were sold or given to people (families, men or women, etc - everyone knitted then!) perhaps by the Red Cross to use for knitting for the cause.

    As I mentioned above, the set is made by Susan Bates. It was made possibly as part of the "Knit your Bit" campaign by the Red Cross.

    I'd sure love to know its story and how it ended up in Canada and donated to a thrift shop in 2015. Actually, I'd love to find any information about these sets because it's really slim pickings out there!

    The original "Knit your Bit" patterns are here: http://www2.redcross.org/museum/exhibits/knits.asp



    Quote Originally Posted by tessagin View Post
    I still have a few crochet hooks from my hairdressing days. We used to use them to pull the hair through frosting caps (early days of highlighting). My grandmother taught me and a couple cousins to crochet and tat (still have a couple shuttles). Because of a very long story I won't go into, I tense up when I hold a crochet hook with yarn around it. You did great. Just a different kind of needle other than sewing, knitting still involves needles. Congrats on the score!
    Tessagin, that sounds really close to what the process is when I find a sneaky little thread under a top. Sneak in with a tiny hook and snag it and pull it through. Not fun on loose weave, nerve wracking on a tighter weave.

    I'm sure all of use would be willing to hear your story,.. you know for therapeutic purposes.

    My projects have been pretty basic so far but I want to work up to these 2 that were both in the Fall 2014 issue of Interweave Knits:

    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/libr...eret-and-mitts
    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/meadow-tunic

    I'm just hoping I can learn well enough on my own to do it. I've found as I drive less (and passenger more) I feel like I'm wasting time. Tying and burying threads makes me motion sick, so I'm hoping I can keep my head up more with knitting.

  12. #12
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    Cool. I knitted a little in high school; mom only crocheted. As an adult I took a class and learned to tat. Love the war era phrases for posters. Thank's for sharing!
    Mavis

  13. #13
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    Tammi, I'm not that knowledgeable about knitting, but I've done a fair amount. I cannot count the number of knitted slippers, men's, women's and children's, that I've made. When I was recovering from my back surgery a couple of years ago, I had to keep my hands busy, but I couldn't stand to cut out quilts or anything like that for a couple of months. The shorter double-pointed needles look like (but may not be) cable knitting needles that I've seen in much more recent years than what the others in your set are. I started out knitting back at the time we lived on the Florida Space Coast and knitted several pairs of slippers for family members, then I knitted a three-piece suit for myself which I wore, I knitted a sweater for my husband, and I've long lost count of how many baby sweaters and sweater suits I've done. I know of three I did for my nephew who is now 30, plus a knitted afghan (baby). When I get where I can't be on my feet I need to keep my hands busy, and since I didn't have anything ready to quilt, I knitted slippers. All of my sisters, sisters-in-law, nieces, etc. got a pair of new knitted slippers Christmas of 2013. As I said, I'm certainly no expert, but I did win a blue ribbon on some slippers my cousin submitted in a fair in tiny Alene, Oklahoma. It wasn't even a typical ribbon ordered specially for the occasion -- that's how small it was -- they cut pieces of blue ribbon off a spool! That's a tiny fair. I didn't know she was even submitting the slippers until it was all over! I do enjoy knitting to some extent for short-term projects, but I don't deal very well with knitting large projects -- the reason for that being carpal tunnel and ligament damage many years ago for which I had repair surgery. My hands and arms don't bother me normally, but if i knitted a large project, I think I would pay for it. So, I don't. I try to concentrate on what I can do and not worry about the rest.

    Jeanette
    Last edited by Jeanette Frantz; 03-29-2015 at 03:39 PM. Reason: correct a word

  14. #14
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    This is an addendum to the above post. For the slippers, I use the short, half-length needles, which are lighter in weight since the slippers are not large and there is no need for the long needles to carry the knitting project as you proceed.


    Jeanette

  15. #15
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liking quilting View Post
    Cool. I knitted a little in high school; mom only crocheted. As an adult I took a class and learned to tat. Love the war era phrases for posters. Thank's for sharing!
    I had to look up tatting. I'd heard of it, knew it had something to do with lace but I don't know that I would have recognized it for what it was before Google educated me. Gorgeous!

    My mom tried to teach me to knit but I didn't live with her so there was little time spread between large absences and no reinforcement from my dad (the same dad who wouldn't let me take home ec class or take me for the classes that came with my sewing machine... I think I'm noticing a trend here! ) Eventually, I think both mom and I gave up teaching me. Her because it was too infrequent and me because I was always picking up stitches and neither of us could figure out how I was doing it. I figured out today how I was (am) doing it, and can stop to now that I know what to look for. I cast on 27 stitches and I still have 27 stitches after about 12 rows. I know the feel of it when I'm about to double my stitch.

    I think the most fun about the war era research is the posters and other communications. It's like there was more "fun" had with some of it but tastefully and intellectually not the base irritating "humor" now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanette Frantz View Post
    Tammi, I'm not that knowledgeable about knitting, but I've done a fair amount. I cannot count the number of knitted slippers, men's, women's and children's, that I've made. When I was recovering from my back surgery a couple of years ago, I had to keep my hands busy, but I couldn't stand to cut out quilts or anything like that for a couple of months. The shorter double-pointed needles look like (but may not be) cable knitting needles that I've seen in much more recent years than what the others in your set are. I started out knitting back at the time we lived on the Florida Space Coast and knitted several pairs of slippers for family members, then I knitted a three-piece suit for myself which I wore, I knitted a sweater for my husband, and I've long lost count of how many baby sweaters and sweater suits I've done. I know of three I did for my nephew who is now 30, plus a knitted afghan (baby). When I get where I can't be on my feet I need to keep my hands busy, and since I didn't have anything ready to quilt, I knitted slippers. All of my sisters, sisters-in-law, nieces, etc. got a pair of new knitted slippers Christmas of 2013. As I said, I'm certainly no expert, but I did win a blue ribbon on some slippers my cousin submitted in a fair in tiny Alene, Oklahoma. It wasn't even a typical ribbon ordered specially for the occasion -- that's how small it was -- they cut pieces of blue ribbon off a spool! That's a tiny fair. I didn't know she was even submitting the slippers until it was all over! I do enjoy knitting to some extent for short-term projects, but I don't deal very well with knitting large projects -- the reason for that being carpal tunnel and ligament damage many years ago for which I had repair surgery. My hands and arms don't bother me normally, but if i knitted a large project, I think I would pay for it. So, I don't. I try to concentrate on what I can do and not worry about the rest.

    Jeanette
    Jeanette, I'd say if you were winning ribbons and making whole suits, you're way more knowledgeable than you're giving yourself credit for! There's a lot to learn in knitting as in sewing or fixing machines and you got past the techniques, the tensions, the yarn types, weights, etc!

    I can completely believe people even just used a regular dpn for cables. Really, the ones that we have now - the v shaped ones and the U shaped ones I think are just for extra security... I would think a good knitter could get away with securing the stitches on a spare dpn. (I've looked over the process very briefly but not tried it yet but it's one of the things I'll have to learn to do the hat and gloves I want to do.) I'm quite sure I saw a straight cable needle in Walmart when I went looking for one. There's the V shaped one I grabbed and the straight one that was for chunky yarns?

    I have some carpal tunnel as well (18 years in computers will do that) and I can't go for long but I figure even 30 mins here and an hour there while we travel somewhere is enough to accomplish something eventually.

  16. #16
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    Wow! From World War II. That is pretty cool. What a special find.
    Kathleen

    Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!

  17. #17
    Super Member Mrs. SewNSew's Avatar
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    That's pretty cool! I've never heard of these or the story behind them before. How cool that you found it and found out about it!
    Christy
    Starting the year out fresh

  18. #18
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    Tammi, I was thinking about the knitting program at the onset and during WWII. I seem to remember that the soldiers' socks were falling apart due to extremes in climates. As a result the soldiers would acquire what was rather crudely known as "foot rot" because there was nothing between the harsh leather of the boots and their feet when the socks gave out. This may just be hear-say, but the patterns you linked to would seem to indicate something of that nature and also many of the refugees from WWII had no clothing, including warm clothing. As to how the needles got from America to Canada, well I can again only theorize. During the 60's and early 70's America was involved in a war in Viet Nam where many (some 58,000) Americans lost their lives fighting the communist regime of North Viet Nam. At that time, the draft or call from the government agencies for young men in America to serve their country, including service in Viet Nam, was mandatory. I remember that thousands of Americans fled to Canada and other countries in attempts to avoid the draft for military service, and subsequently made their homes in those countries. That ought to tell you about how old I am -- like almost anyone, sometimes I feel a LOT older than I really am. I, too, have worked on computers/typewriters for more years than I can count. In fact, March 18 marked 30 years that I have worked for the same employer. I've been working in office work, typewriters/computers, etc., since June 1963, which makes about 52 years! Oh, my, it must be getting time to retire! LOL! Who can afford to??? Not me!

    Jeanette
    Last edited by Jeanette Frantz; 03-29-2015 at 09:37 PM. Reason: correcting sme wording

  19. #19
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    Tammi, I was thinking about the knitting program at the onset and during WWII. I seem to remember that the soldiers' socks were falling apart due to extremes in climates. As a result the soldiers would acquire what was rather crudely known as "foot rot" because there was nothing between the harsh leather of the boots and their feet when the socks gave out. This may just be hear-say, but the patterns you linked to would seem to indicate something of that nature and also many of the refugees from WWII had no clothing, including warm clothing. As to how the needles got from America to Canada, well I can again only theorize. During the 60's and early 70's America was involved in a war in Viet Nam where many (some 58,000) Americans lost their lives fighting the communist regime of North Viet Nam. At that time, the draft or call from the government agencies for young men in America to serve their country, including service in Viet Nam, was mandatory. I remember that thousands of Americans fled to Canada and other countries in attempts to avoid the draft for military service. That ought to tell you about how old I am -- like almost anyone, sometimes I feel a LOT older than I really am. I, too, have worked on computers/type-writers for more years than I can count. In fact, March 18 marked 30 years that I have worked for the same employer. I've been working in office work, typewriters/computers, etc., since June 1963, which makes about 52 years! Oh, my, it must be getting time to retire! LOL! Who can afford to??? Not me!

    By the way, I've never done cable stitch and am not sure I want to try!

    Jeanette

  20. #20
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    There is a Knitting Paradise Forum similar to this one. You might join that and post there. Someone may know more about them.
    Aurora

    "A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot." -Robert A. Heinlein

  21. #21
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    This is sort of off topic - not about the needles but when my sisters were in elementary school we were living in Northern Wisconsin. A woman moved there from England and she taught all of the children to knit during recess. They knit hats and mittens. The teacher some times supplied the needles and the wool. What was surprising was that they had an exceptionally high rate of reading in that school.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  22. #22
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    Right now I'm on a knitting kick and have made some 10-11 pairs of socks and am now working on some legwarmers. That's just in the last two months. I'm still learning. I wanted a stretchy cast on for the legwarmers but only knew one way to cast on and it wasn't stretchy. I learned tubular cast on and it's stretchy. Google and YouTube to the rescue (along with a lot of frogging).
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-03-2016 at 10:31 AM. Reason: language

  23. #23
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Suzanne, what is frogging?
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  24. #24
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    My mother taught me to knit when I was 5 yrs. old. I will be 62 in Sept. Still like to knit. Have knit quite a few different things along my way. Now I do a lot of lace shawls and scarves. Cables are not hard to knit once you get the hang of it. Just follow the directions in your patterns and you will be fine. PM me with questions if you want. I teach knitting and crochetting for free. My mom taught me to crochet when I was 8 yrs. old, right affter she leaarned.
    Dirty1mom
    Cleveland, OH

  25. #25
    Senior Member sews's Avatar
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    Looked around the net.... One seller claims his set was made of bone. Also, the empty space is for sock needles.
    I'm a knitter, but your chosen projects would be too difficult/tedious for me.... .

    Frogging = unraveling
    Sabine

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