Inherited Stash

This February just gone, my family lost its oldest member, my great Aunty Di who was aged 96. It is sad for us that she is gone but we are all very grateful that she stayed in her own home until the end, and that she didn’t suffer for long.

She was actually my husband’s great aunt, and so I only met her for the first time at her 90th birthday party. She was very cheerful and finished off the party by having an argument with (a much younger) friend about the fact that she wanted to do the clearing up. It could have been just the celebratory atmosphere, but I quickly learned she was always like that! Cheerful and determined to look after people. Even though I only a knew her for a few years, I know I will miss her, and in a way it is good to know that no matter what age you are you can still make an impact on people.

As she stayed in her house until the end, there has been a lot of sorting out of all her things to do, by my father-in-law and his siblings. Something which came to me was a full bin bag of yarn and knitting and crochet patterns. So the last few days I have been having a look through because it’s nice to think I can make something out of what she left behind.Inherited Stash 2

Well, as you can see, some of the patterns had clearly been kept for a long time.

Vintage Crochet

Vintage Crochet

Aren’t these vintage photo’s amazing? How thin women were!

Knitted vintage shrug

Knitted vintage shrug

Lots of the patterns are very dated, so I’m not sure I’d make any of them, but I do love this simple shrug- in my size!- so here’s hoping I get my knitting needles out again soon.

Hairy peach jumper for men!

Hairy peach jumper for men!

There are a few patterns which just made me smile. How about this hairy jumper for the man in your life? I love how the camera catches the light reflecting off the filaments. And in peach too!

Retro hair and vintage bonnets!

Retro hair and vintage bonnets!

The styling on these is quite amusing too!

There was also a plethora of His-and-Hers, and “for the whole family” patterns. I wonder if this concept will ever make a comeback?!

His and her's patterns

His and her’s patterns

Lots of the patterns are actually quite classic, and if you updated the haircuts and colours they would seem very up to date today.

Vintage patterns which would work today

Vintage patterns which would work today

This advert was on the back of one of the patterns. You have to read the text to realise it’s vintage and not modern!

Vintage advert

Vintage advert

Now back to the yarn. This was interesting to go through, because it makes you realise just how far fibre content has come on over the years. I often hear people that complain that they don’t like wool because it is scratchy and heavy. Well some of these old fibres (which still have the ball bands on them) make me realise why people think that! There is quite a few here that I couldn’t wear because of the “scratch factor”. However, I’m thinking of experimenting with some felting on the pure wool bits and pieces.

Scary yarns

Scary yarns

Some of the colours and colour combinations are also a little crazy; this red is so bright it freaked out my camera and I had to change the light settings for the picture to not come out as a scary blob! And the pink/blue option here – well, I suppose it works for Sully from Monsters Inc! Finally, mohair – this would make great soft toys, but one of the balls looks almost exactly like what I pull off my hairbrush that it’s a bit scary! It does make me wonder though – what colour combinations are in fashion now that will seem awful in 20, 30, or 40 year’s time?

Linen-mix vintage fibre

Linen-mix vintage fibre

This linen blend yarn has potential. It feels a little stiff but I’m wondering if blocking it would alter that. And, not only are there several balls, but it’s z-twist, so great for crocheting with!

Watch this space...

Watch this space…

Finally, there was an embroidery hoop in amongst the midst of all this. It’s getting my creative brain ticking over, so watch this space!

I know some of you are wondering what on earth can be done with all these odd balls of stash. Well, I have a project coming up tomorrow which can answer that question!


27 thoughts on “Inherited Stash

  1. Great to see some of those old patterns which look sadly reminiscent of my earlier years!!

  2. What a treasure trove! There are folks out there who would love those vintage patterns–I think there’s quite a market for them. But maybe you’ll have fun making things with them!

    • Yes, well if anyone reading this is interested they should drop me a line because there’s no way I can make them all! I will definitely be keeping a few though. :)

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  4. I think you should make an afghan to remember her by. be careful with the older yarn, it may have become fragile & break easily. I had that happen with some not-so-old yarn-so give it a tug test in a few places before you work on it.
    Happy knitting (or crocheting).

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  6. I found your page quite by accident. The story of your aunt’s stash brought back so many memories. I am 80 and my sister is 90. 3 years ago my sister found an afghan which our mother had been making when she had died 40 years before with some more squares needed. I finished it and it is a treasured heirloom. I haven’t been able to put the hook down ever since and renewed an old hobby. The pattern for the bolero also made me smile. I made a similar one when I was 18 and when I wore it to the office my wise-cracking boss asked had I not had enough wool to finish my cardigan. Thanks for happy memories.

  7. What a wonderful woman, and what a great stash!

    To soften wool, wash it with shampoo, and after rinsing soak it in water and hair conditioner. There’s no way to know how much it will soften, but it will be better. If nothing else, you can make rugs!

    Also, that linen blend will soften with washing and wear; that’s one of the wonderful things about linen.

    Korina, dashing back to Ravelry.

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  9. Hi ! I was wondering if the above vintage crochet patterns (the 2 black n white blouses) are still available? They looked wonderful and i would like to make one of those !

    Thanks very much !

  10. I finally decided to look at the lattice work basket that’s been sitting in my queue forever and I was surprised to see many of your patterns are apparently in my queue (or have been at one point!) I don’t typically click around a page, I’m more of a ‘get in, get the pattern, get out’ type. I’m glad I stayed. My Grandfather was recently moved into a seniors’ complex after setting fire to his microwave (honest mistake, but when you’re deaf, BIG deal). My mom went through her late-mother’s craft room (which she wasn’t allowed to touch before) and started thinning things out. As the only crocheter in the entire White family brood, I inherited the greatest treasure of all. All of my great-grandmother’s vintage crochet patterns, unfinished lace ornaments and angels, and best of all, the hand carved crochet hook and drop spindles my great-grandfather made for her shortly after coming to Canada. I’m so glad I found this section of your page because it gives me the perfect excuse to tell you that the hand made hook carved at the turn of the previous century is the hook I’ll be using to make the basket :). Thanks for sharing your inheritance, and giving me an excuse to share mine!

    LB (aka Qumran @Ravelry)

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