Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Yarn Stab from the Past

One of my crochet students, Kathy L., brought in this huge blanket, a family heirloom.  With her permission, I have pictures for you.

She wasn't sure how old it is, but here is some history she has given us:

"My mom told me it belonged to my paternal grandmother.  My grandmother lived from 1872 to 1934.  I don't know if my grandmother made it, or if her mother (my great grandmother) made it. My great grandmother lived from 1849 to 1916.  The family lived in Quebec until just after the Civil War, then lived in Chicago.  So most likely it was made in Canada or Illinois.  For sure, it is more than 75 years old, because I just turned 74, and it was old when I saw it as a child!"

We all gathered around and tried to determine whether it was acrylic or wool or what, and therefore, when the yarn would have been manufactured, so we could get a better idea of when the blanket was made.

It seemed to be a combination of types of fibers, in the spirit of thriftily using up scraps.

Some of those bright colors and variegated yarns sure do look like good old Red Heart.  I just checked the Red Heart website, and they say they have been making their yarn for 75 years.  So… maybe, maybe not.

It's a simple but effective shell pattern, with a fancier border of arches tacked together with a tiny bit of thread so they would hang together.  Not sure I would want to bother with the thread myself, but it was interesting to see.

My favorite color combo is the Southwesterny one of turquoise and earth tones.

Time and use and maybe a moth or two have created a couple of holes in the blanket, and a couple of strands of yarn were poking out.

One woman was eager to try a burn test to figure out the fiber content, but a chorus of students and myself hastily nixed that idea, to the relief of the owner!


  1. Very interesting. I love the southwesterny section too. I know that stitch pattern as "crazy stitch" but I bet it's had other names over the years. Gives me an idea for a new class......

    1. I hadn't heard it was called crazy stitch, so naturally I had to research this! Looks like it has been called crazy stitch, shell stitch, crazy shell, slanted shell, even brick stitch! And as you say, probably many others as well. Thanks for the info!


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