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 What was Pauline Denham thinking?
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PatriciaS
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
537 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2005 :  7:05:19 PM  Show Profile Send PatriciaS a Private Message
When I came back to knitting last summer and then quit boycotting ebay last fall, one of my first purchases was some Pauline Denham vintage yarn. Vintage, obviously. And I got a good deal on it.

It's called "Sheer" and I have 10 skeins of it.

What kind of escaped me about it, even though the photos were pretty good, was how incredibly fine it is. We're talking crochet thread fine. 350 yards per 1 oz. skein, and they're itty bitty skeins at that.

The color is an opalescent or milky white, a bit translucent. 70% wool and 30% rayon (or perhaps 80/20 -- forgive me for not pulling it out from the bottom of my stash). it's quite lovely, but -- well,

My question is this -- what on earth did Denham DO with this stuff originally? (Edited to add: this is my main question, esp. for anyone who may be old enough to remember Denham and her yarns.)

And/or, would on earth could *I* do with it (other than resell it on ebay, of course)? The only other thing I can think of would be a really lacy shawl (3500 yards!!) or lingerie, but where do you get a pattern for ThAT?? LOL.

I have no idea what the gauge could be because I'm reluctant to break any of the skeins open. They yarn is in beautiful condition, though, well-preserved after all these years and that wool/rayon blend is very soft and luscious.

Also, does anyone know when Denham yarns were discontinued? I remember some of her patterns were SO beautiful, from the 60s and maybe early 70s.

Anyway, whatever insight or suggestions anyone can offer would be appreciated.

RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2005 :  7:21:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Well, you don't have to use all of it for the same project. You could make a shawl, placemats, tablecloth, doilies....

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2005 :  7:31:42 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
I have never heard of Denham but my guess is it was for delicate lace or crochet work. You could also multi strand.

"I firmly believe the Bible is the misinterpreted word of God." Mokey

www.femiknits.blog-city.com
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Peppermintstix
Chatty Knitter

123 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2005 :  12:36:31 AM  Show Profile Send Peppermintstix a Private Message
Why not knit a wedding veil?
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Suzann
Seriously Hooked

USA
869 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2005 :  06:16:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit Suzann's Homepage Send Suzann a Private Message
I googled Pauline's name and came up with a few sites that have her pattern books.
http://www.velona.com/items/categories/paulinedenhamyarns.html

http://www.velona.com/items/210/B21037.html

there are several web sites that list her yarns, including fiber content.

hope that helps

suzann

Making cables is like making love. There is a lot of foreplay before you get to the deed
http://www15.brinkster.com/lyricalarmy/lace/lace.htm
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jade
Permanent Resident

USA
1543 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2005 :  09:28:34 AM  Show Profile Send jade a Private Message
From the composition it sounds like cravenella, a very popular blend in the 50's. A lot of it was knitted on machines. St. Johns Knits uses a blend which is similar to this, I believe. Hand knitters knitted much finer gauges than we're used to now. My mother knitted many sweaters at gauges of 7 to 8 spi, and even finer lace work at 10 or more spi.

Cheryl
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littleturtlemama
Chatty Knitter

100 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2005 :  06:45:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit littleturtlemama's Homepage Send littleturtlemama a Private Message
You could hold it double or even triple to get a more workable gauge ;)

Theresa, knit-at-home mama to AJ, Ethan, MacGregor & my biggest baby:
http://www.littleturtleknits.com
Random Musings from a Knitterly Mind: http://www.littleturtleknits.com/blog/
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Renee77
Chatty Knitter

261 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2005 :  8:58:47 PM  Show Profile Send Renee77 a Private Message
I got out a 1957 copy of a McCall's Needlework magazine that I've got. They didn't have any Pauline Dedham yarns in it, but there was a lightweight cardigan, knit at 8 st. to an inch, that used a nylon/wool blend that was 340 yards to an ounce. The cardigan was one of those classic designs, with some simple cables up towards the shoulders; it would look perfectly fine today.

I did see, on the other hand, some bulky weight sweaters, knit at 3-4 stitch per inch.
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PatriciaS
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
537 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2005 :  6:11:53 PM  Show Profile Send PatriciaS a Private Message
Thanks, everyone, for your great replies. I appreciate the suggestions too. Funny, even those I'd thought of myself sound a little different and maybe more appealing when someone else suggests them.

Suzann -- thanks for the google links. I'd thought of google but hadn't gotten around to doing it. I did this evening, after seeing your success, and found this link again, which everyone who knits ought to have bookmarked somewhere, I think: http://www.vintageknits.com/vintyarn1.html

And yes, I just sent her an email about my Denham yarn so she can add that.

Renee -- Thanks for that info. I too have some old patterns from the 1950s and even 1940s (don't think I have any earlier than that) that call for fingering yarn, which is getting difficult to find new these days unless we're talking about sock yarn (which I presume is fingering yarn weight??). And yes, some of the most adorable patterns will have you knitting at them most of your life. LOL. The dresses with full skirts in fingering weight yarn are unbelievable. I love these old patterns, tho. And in fact fully intend to knit myself at least a sweater in fingering weight yarn from one of these old pattern books in the not too distant future.

Thanks, everyone.
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Renee77
Chatty Knitter

261 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2005 :  8:41:44 PM  Show Profile Send Renee77 a Private Message
I just double checked again on the yardage of that Bear Brand Nylon/wool yarn I mentioned above. I was originally wrong - this yarn is 175 yards/1 oz., not 340 yards/oz.

Anyway, there are some fingering weight yarns out there. Some of the thinner sock yarns would work. For the cardigan from McCall's, I've thought of using the Jaggerspun Zephyr silk/wool blend. If it's used doubled, it comes out to 283 yards/ 50 grams, which would make it definitely fingering weight (or lighter).
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BridgetG
Chatty Knitter

122 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2005 :  11:52:05 PM  Show Profile Send BridgetG a Private Message
Check this out:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=1362&item=8169605592&rd=1

Bridget

"All I need is a lot of money and a retired person's schedule." (M. Lant)
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