Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fairly odd thing found inside a Little Free Library

Recently, while placing some books in the Little Free Library in downtown York, I discovered this torn-off magazine cover inside. It's kind of an odd thing to discover in a Little Free Library, especially given its age.

This is Volume VIII, No. 2 of Bernat Afghans, which, I believe, had an original publication date of March 1937 — making the above cover 79 years old. I can't find much information online about the history of this magazine, editor Paul Bernat or The Handicrafter — another magazine of that era that Bernat was involved with. I did find this undated advertising text for Bernat Yarns:
"BERNAT YARNS offer many possibilities for craft work in your recreational program. There are coarse warps and fillers for rug weaving, yarns and designs for hooking, also fine wools, silks, and cottons for hand-weaving, embroidery, knitting, and allied crafts. Our magazine, the Handicrafter published six times a year, subscription price $2.00 offers many timely articles on the crafts. There are projects suitable for children and for adults.
Write for samples and prices
EMILE BERNAT & SONS CO. Jamaica Plain, Mass."

The other side of this cover features a short essay titled "Afghans should be Heirlooms." Here's an excerpt:
"The pleasure and satisfaction of making an afghan is multiplied a hundredfold if while you work you know that it will be beautiful enough to someday pass on to someone dear to you ... and that person will cherish it during her lifetime and in turn hand it down with pride. A well made afghan is worthy of becoming an heirloom and we believe in presenting this, our first afghan book, we will actually help women create such afghans. We have searched far and wide for the designs in this book and they are diversified enough to appeal to all afghan lovers. When made of Bernat's Afghan Yarns they become valued possessions."
I wonder if Bernat Afghans was just a special edition of The Handicrafter, since the above excerpt mentions "our first afghan book."

Bernat, by the way, still produces very-popular yarns. One place you can find it is a site called Yarnspirations, which states: "Bernat is the go-to for the whole family, with great yarns for fashion, home décor projects, and baby! From tried and true basics, to cutting-edge textures, there’s a yarn for everyone, and every project."

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