I'm still finding bits of information about the company and the shop. This week, I found some Bestway patterns from the late 1940s for Greenwoods Wools.
Bestway patterns often specified generic yarn, such as 3-ply wool, but otherwise, they had a company logo on the front and the pattern was written for that company's yarns. So for instance, in the late 1940s, many Bestway patterns had Sirdar or Emu logos on the front. It must have been good for the yarn company, as an extra way of advertising their yarns. I think, too, that Bestway patterns were sold more widely than other knitting patterns, in newsagents as well as yarn shops.
During World War 2, Greenwoods shop started to sell their own brand of knitting and crochet yarns - the shop had had a mail-order service for several years, supplying knitting wools and other needlework supplies all over the country, and advertised the service in Vogue Knitting. But they hadn't yet started producing their own knitting pattern leaflets to support their yarns. The Bestway leaflets would have been a way to test the market, and also to get the name known more widely.
In fact I recognised one of the Bestway designs straightway.
I had already seen an illustration of the jumper in a Greenwoods ad in a 1946 Vogue Knitting magazine..
|Ad in Vogue Knitting 28|
The ad says "Write to-day for LEAFLET 1446, 4d post free from us or from any Wool Shop." I did wonder how Greenwoods managed to have a leaflet numbered 1446, without any previous leaflets, but now I know - it was Bestway 1446.
I don't recall any other yarn company advertising a Bestway leaflet, but Greenwoods (and later Wakefield Greenwood) were very good at seizing any advertising opportunity.
I have found two other leaflets for Greenwoods Wools. One is an underwear set - a (very long) vest and (very long) knickers.
The yarn is Silbro, described as Underwear Silk, and it may indeed have been real silk.
And finally, there's a little jumper knitted in mercerised cotton yarn, "knitted in stocking stitch with lacy yoke and front panel". It has a neat little collar and a buttoned opening at the back neck - very pretty, if you like 1940s vintage knitwear.
I haven't found any other Greenwoods Wools leaflets published by Bestway in the Knitting & Crochet Guild collection, though there may have been some. But shortly after these were published, Greenwoods started to produce their own pattern leaflets, so perhaps they didn't need the Bestway support any more.