It was a beautiful day today with clear blue skies and sunshine, and it was warm. I was working at Lee Mills sorting knitting patterns for most of the day, and the store only has north facing windows, so we aren't really aware of what the weather is doing outside - the internal temperature varies over the year between cool and very cold. But it was warm today enough to sit outside to eat our lunch-time sandwiches - astonishing for March. The surroundings aren't very beautiful - it's a rough stretch of tarmac with our cars and the skip parked on it, with a backdrop of various large bits of metal that belong to the other businesses on the site. Even so, it was lovely to enjoy the sun.
Most of the pattern leaflets in the collection were produced by spinners and other companies who published lots of them - it was part of their normal business. But I also have a file of "oddities" - knitting patterns that were produced by companies or organisations that normally had nothing whatever to do with knitting. Several oddities turned up today. Three of them are "oddities: subsection soap" and were published by manufacturers of soaps and detergents, to promote use of the product.
I suppose if you want to persuade knitters to use your product to wash their hand knitted garments, it makes sense to offer a free knitting pattern. It is an idea that has occurred to several manufacturers over a long period. The INO Flakes pattern dates from the 1930s, and was one of a series - this is no. 38. The Dreft pattern is from the late 1960s, I guess (before decimal currency was introduced in 1971). The Stergene pattern is more recent, from the era of picture knits. (Why the elephant? No idea.)
The final oddity is just very odd indeed. What's the connection between British Coal and knitting? Was the pattern free with a sack of coal, or what?