Literary Pursuits

The Workbasket – January 1952

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Workbasket post… and I still have quite a few I haven’t share with you yet. I know you’re just so excited about that, aren’t you? This one is from January 1952, and as you can see, the cover was torn off.
For some reason, this issue seemed to have more than its share of ads for selling greeting cards.I wonder if they were as easy to sell as the ad makes it sound?

Here’s a crocheted doily pattern I’d like to try for Easter. Doesn’t it sound pretty with colored irises and open-work crosses?
wb3And here are some more greeting cards we can sell to all our friends! I’d really love to run across a box or three of these at a garage sale or thrift store sometime. Wouldn’t that be fun? It actually seems to me like my Grandmother had some like this when I was a little kid. Wonder if she bought them from some enterprising homemaker friend?wb4Selling greeting cards not for you? Not to worry. You can always sell your hair! You send it in and they’ll make you an offer. If you don’t like their offer, they’ll “return your hair intact”!! My question is, how did they expect you to put it back on your head? I know people in those days were much handier at making things at home than we are now, but I never heard of anyone making herself a wig out of her own hair! So… what would you do with it if they returned it to you?wb5Besides reading the humorously archaic ads, I actually do like looking at the patterns in the Workbasket. And here’s one I tried!
wb6I didn’t mess with making the picots around the edge, because I thought it looked just as pretty without it. And contrary to the description, I would not use “simplicity” to describe the pattern. It was a little tricky, definitely not for a beginner.
For the health-minded among us… or those who would like to “reduce” a bit, I’m sure we would all be interested in the Fat Girls’ Diet. Doesn’t that just sound like something you want to be a part of? The thing that baffles me about this ad is, what exactly are we getting for our quarters (or dollars, if we want all five)? I would assume they are booklets or brochures or some-such but it really doesn’t say.wb8Aww… look at this! We can whip up some cute little aprons from all our surplus hankies. Isn’t that so sweet?
wb9I always enjoy looking at the pattern page, too. Check out that slip pattern. I’ve seen dresses that were less modest.


  • Dori

    Please feel free to practice the iris doily on me! Ok, so I spelled it wrong but I LOVE irises…HINT!!! Yea, I was wondering what you would do with “intact” hair once it showed back up in your mail box too…

  • petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway?

    Being a writer, I cannot say enough about creators! You’re creations are beautiful and love your post’s vintage feel.
    Thank you for stopping by petra michelle. You may enjoy “The Hunchback of Hollywood” on my other blog “Whose Role is it Anyway? I post a mini-script every week, and list polls of actors to play the roles of the characters. I hope you enjoy it.
    Have a wonderful day and thank you
    again for your comment! Petra :))

  • A Romantic Porch

    Karla, I love those workbasket posts! The aprons from vintage hankies are fabulous…how ’bout that “beau catcher” one? And if you need to practice the iris pattern on me, that’s fine! xo rachel

  • Coloradolady

    This was a fun post! But let me answer your question about how easy it was to sell greeting cards. True. I swear.

    When I was about 8 years old in the 60’s, I did just that. I sold Christmas cards and all occasion cards. I remember walking the streets at my grandmothers house. I sold enough cards to win a black and white television. And back then, it was a big deal. The screen was about a 10 inch screen. I thought I had really done something when that tv arrived. I think back now, and it was really simple to sell the cards….must have been, because I am sure I had to sell a lot to win a TV.

    This post made me smile today at that memory!!

  • Miri

    Oh I love a Workbasket post-can’t wait for the next one! Your pot holder is beautiful. I’ve been thinking about a hanky apron but my hankies are smaller, I’ll have to improvise.

  • SueLovesCherries

    Selling the Greeting Cards ad brought a smile to my face! My siblings and I used to do that as kids in the 60’s – of course only the relatives would buy anything – thank goodness there were plenty!

  • TattingChic

    Oh, I LOVE Vintage WOrkbaskets! I inherited the collection of my grandmother’s from 1940’s-1960’s. They are a treasure trove of vintage patterns of all kinds of needlework! I keep them for their many fabulous vintage tatting patterns (and some not-so-fabulous, LOL!) I love looking at the ads, too! 🙂

  • Geraldine Webster

    I really need the instructions for the placemat on the cover. Found it in my grandmothers Workbasket with a crochetedvsample. But pages were torn and need instructions for the edge

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