Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Welcome Cherished Collections Summer 2011 Tour: my Vintage Yarn Stash

1. My first skein of Evermatch yarn, a blue green skein, against a background of labels.
2. Mogor Gimp, part of a small collection of matching skeins I bought on eBay. Probably from the 1940s.

3. Glosilla Corde, scored at an estate sale, along with purse in a project.
4. More Evermatch yarn, this time in yellow. Probably from 1970s.
5. Published in April, but I just discovered it at the Evanston (IL) Public Library.
Welcome Cherished Collections visitors. I'm thrilled to share with you my growing collection of vintage yarns, which I actually use. What vintage yarn, you ask? Because I can, if it's out there and in good condition, I'll use it. There's a myth that all old yarn is riddled with moths, and just beyond brittle. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let's start with no. 1.

1. This is Evermatch Sport and Sweater yarn, which I got from my mother who's into knitting hats, socks for charitable causes. I told her I wanted to knit her a pair of footsies (socks without ribbing, for a lack of a better word). Did she have any yarn that I could use? She did, and this was it. After three skeins and a finished pair of socks, I was hooked on Evermatch Sport and Sweater, a discontinued yarn probably from the 1970s. I searched high and low for more skeins, nothing. I only found more back with my original source: my mother. Unfortunately, all the green was gone! But she had a motherlode of yellow, which I'll get into in no. 4

2. Mogor Gimp. You've probably seen the crocheted bags from the 1940s in the antique stores, all faded black, brown and navy. That name of that yarn is corde (or cordette), it was extremely popular during World War II years for hats and purses. It's a rayon yarn with a cotton core, which makes for an extremely stiff material when crocheted (I haven't seen it used for vintage knits, but I'm sure there's an example floating out there).  I bought this batch on eBay. What makes it interesting is that it's a light pink. I've yet to see a 1940s crochet bag or hat in this color, but here it is. I started to use this for a late 1930s handbag pattern, didn't like my stitch gauge, so I unraveled the whole shebang, but the whole batch continues to be begged to be used for something special. I would love, love to recreate Casey's grandma's bag someday.  With a little studying and charting, that wouldn't be difficult. Corde is still made today for purses, but you would be hard-pressed to find it in a knitting shop. I've seen similar yarn in an online UK store, very expensive...the most comparable yarn widely available would be Berroco's Seduce.

3. Glosilla Corde. This was an amazing find at an estate sale in Chicago a few years ago. It was part of an incomplete purse project. It came with something like 90 like crocheted circles already made. Unfortunately, a good number of those circles got destroyed by my late cat. It was right after Hurricane Katrina, so how could I complain about something so minor in comparison? No, I couldn't wash the urine out without the ruining the yarn's sheen and composition. So I sadly tossed those destroyed. The good news? I still have the above skeins and enough circles probably to make a little handbag or a pillbox hat. 

4. The Evermatch yarn in yellow. I trade some more contemporary yarns to get a whole bag of the Evermatch in yellow! I had something like 30 skeins, all matching! I made the Sun-Ray ribbing sweater last year. I started a cardigan from 1970s Stitch in Time, still not finished. Now most recently, I working on the Jan sweater from the second edition of Stitch in Time, coming out this year. I probably could squeeze one more yellow sweater out this collection of Evermatch, but I need a break. I'm thinking of something more contemporary like Dream in Color's Everlasting sock yarn or Three Irish Girls's Springvale Sock in Mimosa.

5. Knitting Vintage. Last but not least. A new vintage knitting book I just discovered at the library. It's in my hands, so I'm going to make a couple projects. My favorite for leftover scrap is the lacy collar, which I could make by the dozens with half-used lonely skeins in my collection. I see no one has uploaded any completed projects for this in Ravely. My competitive juices are in full gear. I better get started to be first! The collars should go well with the stretch lace (think Free People) tops I've sewed to date.

Finally, a commercial plug for my iPhone/iPad app, Yarn U. There's not a discontinued skein in the list of 170 yarns in this database, but there are score of ideas and plenty of contemporary yarns at a shop near you.


  1. How fascinating! I didn't realize Vintage yarn was out there!
    Laurie...visiting from the blog tour

  2. It is so nice to know that all that orphan yarn out there is cherished by someone. I inherited a bit and ended up donating it to a Goodwill group because each amount was too small, but the groups leader told me of all the uses they would find for it. I have enjoyed this blog tour so much because it is introducing me to so many other bloggers with great style. Thanks for sharing. Corinne

  3. What a great idea! Everything is better vintage, isn't it? I love the idea of making new things with old supplies.

  4. Very nice collection. I like that fact that you use what you collect. And your post was very interesting.