Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Needlewoman and Needlecraft

I have often spoken of the magazines Alex collects.  
These ran in conjunction with the Radio Times up until September 1939.

I thought I would show you my collection(s) of  magazines

WW2 issues (slightly smaller than A5)

   Forties and Fifties
My late mum (born 1933 so she was six when WW2 started) had a few of these magazines in a drawer (so working on that they must have been my grandmothers) I loved looking at them as a child I even practised reading patterns for crochet and knitting, I loved the old patterns and in one magazine there was a pair of mittens which I knitted and was the envy of friends at school.  My parents lived in the same house for over twenty years and then went and built a house in Devon so everything was packed up and put in storage.  At this time I was not interested in vintage and also had two boys under three (born 1981 and 1982) so I was busy to say the least, not much time for crafting, then a few years later mum asked me if I wanted certain things and I asked for the needlework magazines, she said she gave them back to nanny soon after I left home but they were not in amongst nanny's stuff after she died so mum assumed she had given them back to me or they had been chucked out because mum said a lot of stuff was missing after nanny died so thinks granddad must have go rid!  I did have a few copies that interested me which I had kept but now I wanted the rest.  So it was then I started buying them whenever I saw them at boot fairs etc, they were quite cheap then!  Because I  knew what mum had off-by-heart I haven't yet managed to replace a few copies including the one with the mittens pattern in!  But........I always believe in things come to those who wait!

You see inn the above photos that there is paper protruding from the magazines I have managed to repatriate the transfers so I know which magazines mum had, I have also managed to match transfers which had to be sent for into some of the magazines too!

I have managed to source many of these wonderful magazines from the lovely ladies at Milly & Dottie and EBay.

I also have in my collection which were mums



These magazines I have purchased over the years

These ones are just Needlewoman I have a few from
1932, 1933, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938
nothing from 1934..........not sure why!

these are 1918 to 1923


I have these which are WW2 and fifties.

I also love fine crochet and tatting, 
I have even adapted a fine crochet doily pattern into
a baby shawl using 4ply baby pure wool!

this 1960's brown paper bag once belonged to my grandmother, it contains many old fashioned embroidery transfers.  You cannot buy these wonderful transfers anymore because good old health and safety has stopped the manufacture of them, oh yes you can buy books with transfers in that are useful because you can re-use the transfers many times over, but the original ones the transfer printing contained lead.

These two tatty transfers belong to Needlewoman and Needlecraft Nos. 70 and 98.
Reasons only beknownst  to my mum she removed all the transfers from the magazines so I know these two must have passed through our hands!

These were mums and grannies too.  
I have two more of the Good Housekeeping books about sweets and meals for two.  
I actually use these a lot.

In the eighties I use to purchase these wonderful German magazines.  
These were printed in English although I have German ones too.  All the advertising even in the English publications are in German.  They were very much like the Needlewoman and Needlecraft in their format and included a transfer (which can be used many times) in the centre pages just like Needlewoman and Needlecraft!


  1. What a super collection!

  2. Do you know which Needlewomen mags you are missing as I have quite a few in my stock and could look to see if I have any of the ones you need.

  3. What a fantastic collection! You'll have fun with those.

  4. What an amazing collection. Our gran was a wonderful needlewoman but never had anything like that. She was born in the 1870's so maybe well before magazine's became popular. x Jo

  5. Lovely collection, i have some old patterns and booklets that belonged to my late MIL, i often wonder how many things she made from them in her lifetime and where she got some of them from.

  6. A great collection Julie! I bet you have loads of fun looking through them all. x

  7. What a lovely collection! Good luck with your search :) x

  8. Fab collection.....I'm glad I have been able to help you add to it!

  9. Wow Julie that's quite a collection! Thanks for the lovely mention, it's very kind of you. Would love to have a cup of tea and sit down with all those magazines and plan some projects! x

  10. What an amazing collection! Some of those patterns and ideas would be very popular again now - what a fantastic resource.

  11. My goodness Julie...You have such a wonderful treasure trove here!...I could spend hours looking through your fabulous collection...I do hope you find the magazine with your mittems in..that would be such a wonderful ending to the story...Fingers crossed that it will turn up one day!
    Hope you have a lovely weekend,
    Susan x

  12. Hi Julie, what a wonderful collection. Have you mentioned which copy has the mittens in? You never know what might pass our paths.
    Fancy you having a poodle too! Our Prince liked females but would snap at men, think it was reaction to going to the vet. He used to go bonkers when the dustbinmen came. Had quite a taste for Mum's yellow dusters, so he used to leave some strange coloured "parcels"!
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Carol xx

  13. A woman after my own heart Carol! I foolishly started collecting Stitchcraft magazine some years ago and am embarrassed to say I have every issue from 1944 to 1969 plus a couple of dozen pre1944. I made myself stop at December 1969! However I also have smaller collections of Needlework Illustrated, Needlewoman & Needlecraft, Good Needlework, plus a couple of hundred knitting and crochet patterns. I've recently started buying Needlewoman from the 1930s as there are some gorgeous Art Deco designs in them...... but I must STOP - my tiny house can't take any more. If you know which issue has the mittens in it I'll see if I've got it Carol.


Please leave a comment. I love reading them and I read every single one!