Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ten Yarns RIP

Gone but not forgotten: these are yarns which have stopped manufacture since 1995. Some, like Cotton 100, were old standbys; some, like Mistral, just never caught on, or were ahead of their time.

1. Mission Falls 1824 Cotton Machine-wash, tumble-dry, worsted-weight, nubbly texture cotton.

2. Classic Elite Waterspun “Pre-felted” wool singles, 5 sts per inch, in a warm ethnic palette. Fantastic stitch definition for knit/purl or cable patterns.

3. Rowan Linen Drape DK-weight linen/viscose blend that had exactly that: drape.

4. Rowan Polar Alpaca blend at 3 sts per inch, shed a bit but you couldn’t ask for a softer, warmer, cushier yarn.

5. Berroco Europa Multicolor wool plied with a slubby cotton/rayon—and yet not a flashy novelty yarn. Great for kids and bulky socks.

6. Baruffa Cash Silk Disappeared when Lane Borgosesia changed distributors; may still be available in Italy. A sport-weight cashmere/silk blend with a spiral spin.

7. Classic Elite Mistral Apparently the knitting world wasn’t ready for a cotton/alpaca blend. Good drape, nice dry hand.

8. Classic Elite Tapestry If you had any of their Ethnic Knitting Kits, you had Tapestry. Wool/mohair blend at 5 sts per inch—incredibly durable, and incredibly lustrous colors.

9. Classic Elite Tapestry 2-Ply The same as the above, in a sport weight. Before socknitting became a craze, before there were any sock yarns from American manufacturers, there was Tapestry 2-Ply.

10. Berroco Cotton 100 You may know it as Conshohocken Cotton or Softball—roving bound with a tiny thread; soft and lofty; easy-care; worsted weight; lots of colors.

Honorable mention: Berroco Mohair Classic. Unlike most of these others, it doesn’t leave an unfillable gap (Classic Elite’s La Gran is pretty much the same); but it was a great yarn, in a wide palette, that was around for a long time; and it’s still a type of yarn that sells well, so it’s hard to figure why it’s gone.

Add yours in comments . . .

And by the way, congratulations to Eliza C., winner of the Bagsmith Project Tote from Friday's doorprize drawing, and Jon G., winner of "The Little Box of Scarves" from yesterday's.


krista said...

Polar was my very favorite. I'll be sad when I can't find it anywhere anymore. :(

Karen said...

I'm thinking Classic Elite Willough? Nice weight, nice blend, nice colors.... and Maya. As for Rowan, (sigh) DDK and LDK and Donegal and, and...

Jennifer said...

I really likes Kidsoft from Rowan. It didn't re-invent the wheel or anything, but it was just so soft and fuzzy. I loved it for cobweb-like scarves.

Lisa M. said...

Kidsoft has a loyal, bereft following--or maybe it's just that all the patterns for it underestimated yardage requirements; anyway, it's one of the most common things for people to be desperately seeking one last ball of. But I didn't include it in part because GGH's Soft-Kid is surprisingly close.

As a knitter, I miss LDK, too--but as a shopowner, what a nightmare! Having to carry 200 colors of anything (or decide which to skip) is no fun (there's a reason I don't run a needlepoint shop!).

I'd forgotten Willough (maybe because there's still a cone of it at the back of my stash closet . . . ?), but yeah, that was a good one.