Thursday, 23 January 2014

Copley's Cobweb

A couple of weeks ago, one of the other volunteers working on the Knitting & Crochet Guild's collection was sorting through a box of balls of vintage yarn - from the 1950s and earlier.  Some of it was really delectable, including these four balls of Copley's Cobweb yarn.  Cobweb was a fine lace-weight yarn, sold in half-ounce balls.  (Half an ounce is about 14 grams.)    From the range of designs on the ball-bands, it seems to have been in production for a long time - the green ball on the left might be pre-war, while the yellow ball on the right is labelled "A Donbros product" - Donbros took over Copley's maybe around 1960.  The four balls here are such a nice combination of colours too. 

Since it was such a long-running yarn, I thought that there must have been an equally long-running series of pattern leaflets for it.  But so far I have only found leaflets from the early 1950s.    Some of them are lacy scarves, which could easily be current patterns, or lacy evening stoles which look more typical of the  1950s. 

Copley's 1919
      I especially like the evening stole from Copley's leaflet 1954.  The leaflet had four scarf/stole patterns in it, but the lace pattern on this one is particularly dramatic.  (The photo seems rather carelessly staged.  though - the model seems to be sitting in a classroom.)    
From Copley's leaflet 1954
 There are also several pattern leaflets for women's jumpers - often in more or less plain stocking stitch.  The jumper in leaflet 1862 is knitted mainly on size 11 needles, with a tension of 38 stitches and 46 rows to 4 inches/10 cm., over stocking stitch.  That's a lot of knitting.  

Copley's 1862
The jumper in leaflet 1922 is also very glamorous, again combining stocking stitch with areas of lace. 

Copley's 1922
 And others are lacy all over - very pretty, though it makes a more or less transparent jumper.  They didn't seem to bother about that in the 1950s, though.  

Copley's 1910


  1. Lovely yarn and fascinating patterns. I just wondered, could it be that 2 ply cobweb remained very popular because 2 ply was often used for knitting underwear, not to mention lace and dolly clothes!

    1. You could be right, though I haven't seen Cobweb patterns for underwear or doll's clothes, and I think that many patterns for both (from other spinners) used slightly thicker yarn.


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