[HNW] question re tapestry yarn

Kathryn Newell cknewell at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 10 06:18:46 PDT 2007

I am pondering (and bothering the good folks on HIstoric Knit listserve) 
about a project I want to do. It's from the 1940's but is similar to some 
Victorian projects. The background for an afghan is either knit or crochet 
(in afghan stitch). The background stitching is used as a foundation cloth. 
The pattern is then embroidered over it in tapestry yarn. Most of the 
samples/directions  I've seen from the 19th century are for a crochet 
background, but I have seen one (in color) for a knit background from the 

The 1940's afghan I want to make is an Anne Orr design. She uses tapestry 
yarn but  I'm puzzled. The little  b&w photo she has for showing how to do 
the cross stitch is of a tapestry yarn that looks thicker than what we use 
today. The only 1 ply needlepoint/tapestry yarn I have in the house is DMC, 
lefltover from a project. All the rest I have is Paternan.

I crocheted up a Sample Swatch. I've used all 3 strands of Paternan to cross 
stitch a small bit. The coverage isn't what I'd like. I confess I'm using a 
dark background (burgundy) and used a chartreuse to embroider over it. The 
actual project design uses ivory for a wide band in the middle. There is 
also some embroidery done over a red.


1 does anyone know if tapestry/needlepoint yarn of the 1940's was thicker 
than that in use today? IIRC, needlepoint canvas was easy to find in 8 or 6 
mesh per inch back in the 1970's and 1980's -- hard to find today. Is it a 
case of tapestry yarn being finer today because most projects call for finer 
holed canvas?

2. does anyone know of a brand of tapestry y arn that is thicker than the 
1-strand DMC (*not* DMC Medici, which is a finer yarn) or Paternan?


SCA: Kathryn Goodwyn
"too many centuries..too little time" 

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