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Week of Old Knits
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Week of Old Knits

Last month, I shared some of my photos from my “Year in Photos” (YIP) project.  Today is Day 44 of the year, and I am still on track!  I am happy that I have been able to stick with it this long – more than 12% of the way through!

This week, I decided to do something new and fun – I declared it my “Week of Old Knits” and dug around for knits that were at least 1.5 years old.  Re-photograph and review how they are wearing and what the yarn looks like after the time has passed.  It’s been a fun project so far, and something I think that more people should do.  What happens a few years later?  How are they holding up?  Are they ever worn?

I would love to see and hear more about your own knits – we spend time on them when we knit and purl – so tell the rest of their story too!  It’s only fair, right?

Hoodie Weather - 39:365

Street Smart Hoodie

Finished: December 2007
Yarn Review: Doesn’t look a day older. This yarn, Cottage Craft wool, is one of those lovely rustic wools that will just keep ticking.  It was a joy to work with back then, and I would use it again in a minute.  Perfect for cables, textured pieces, and for colorwork.  I bought it at Stitches East in 2006 from the producers, and since then, they have made a nice website where you can see and shop for their wools and patterns online.
Wear Review: Until last winter, this knit didn’t get much wear… it was so pretty, but just sat in the closet. Last December, I pulled it down and wore it a lot over the winter. With the cold temperatures right back in Maryland now, I have already worn it several times this fall. No pilling, no stretching – it looks brand new.
Verdict: Love love. Would knit it all over again. This garment makes me want more hoodies in my wardrobe!

Bobble Hat - 40:365

Twiggy Bobble Hat

Finished: January 2008
Yarn Review: Lovely natural alpaca from Kraemer Yarns; however, like most alpacas I have worked with, this yarn stretches.  It lacks the elasticity factor of wool, but it is almost forgivable because of the lovely halo!  It’s a tad scratchy right against the skin of my forehead.  It is very warm and toasty though, so perfect for the cold days of winter.
Wear Review: For a hat this lack of elasticity is fine, but a sweater in this yarn would be an issue… it would sag too much and just not fit.  The hat just gets some more slouch.  The pattern’s bobbles have not worn as well over time, and many of them get inverted and look more like dimples.  It’s not unattractive, it’s just the way it is.  If I had the real inclination, I would go back and stitch up the back of the bobbles… or if I ever made this again, I would do so after knitting each one – one or two stitches would do the trick.
Verdict: It gets a lot of wear because of the warmth. Plus, I love the chocolate brown and the general fit of it. A few things I would do differently next time, but still a nice knit.

Koigu Feetz - 42:365

Koigu Indigo Anklets

Finished: January 2006
Yarn Review: Koigu is still a hot topic and a well-loved yarn. The colors and the saturation was what drew me to this yarn in the first place, and they haven’t faded a bit since I made them. They have pilled with wear, and the bottom sole is kind of “felted”, but there are no thin spots or areas where a hole might form. The yarn has eased quite a bit, and they are a little baggy on the top of the foot.
Wear Review: These get a lot of wear – as around the house socks or slip on with tennis shoes socks. Considering this, they have held up well.
Verdict: Great color saturation and color fastness, decent socks. I don’t think I would make any more Koigu socks, but I would be happy to use the yarn for something like a shawl or scarf – something that wouldn’t be so likely to pill and lose shape.

I have completed 5 Days in the *Week of Old Knits* series along with reviews (although the ones written here are much more comprehensive than what is on Flickr) and I am planning another sweater and another pair of socks to finish out the week.  Stay tuned… :)

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26 Responses

  1. Beth

    Great post idea! It is an interesting exercise, plus useful information. And fun to read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jacey

    They are all gorgeous knits. I love this post concept, of sharing old knits again. I especially love the bobble hat. You’re adorable in it, and the color of your your Street Smart Hoodie is amazing.

  3. Josiane

    Great idea! I’m off to check out the rest of the series!

  4. Anne

    Interesting to see the patterns, the yarns and how they’re wearing – great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kala

    What a cool idea!

  6. Deb in PA

    Love the blue sweater. It looks great with your blue eyes!

    I think you’ve got a great idea, revisiting older knits. Everyone loves their project when it’s done, but the real test is how does it do in the long run. Some yarns are great to knit with, but they don’t hold up well.

    Thanks for the great idea!

  7. Preeti

    I love the blue hoodie, the color complements your lovely blue eyes! So many times the knits and purls are forgotten and the garments get stashed in the closet never to see the light of day, I think that this is a great idea.

  8. Leslie

    What a GREAT idea. I would love to read reviews like this when I’m planning new projects. I actually wrote a similar post not too long ago about knits that I was debating whether to give to Goodwill: http://morewithles.wordpress.com/2009/08/25/time-to-let-go/

  9. katebee

    You know, I find that with a lot of my garments, I don’t wear them a lot right after I’ve knit them–maybe I can’t stand looking at them anymore right then?–but then a while later I’ll pull them out of the closet and wear them all the time. I wonder if this is common behavior?

    Of course, I do have stuff that I put right on and pretty much don’t take off, but that tends to be smaller stuff, like gloves and hats.

  10. AnaB

    I love this! Being able to read about how things are holding up… Love it! I often wonder how yarns I haven’t used hold up, or if someone is actually wearing something they worked hard on… Thanks for sharing!

  11. Mick

    Such a cool idea, Lolly. And I love that these are your “old” knits! Mine from my first days of knitting are a mess. Well done!

  12. Chandler

    This is a great idea, and since I tend to finish things at a snail’s pace, I’m always on the lookout for yarn that’s going to stand the test of time (both because I always have plenty of time to find yarn for the next project, and because I take so long to finish things I want them to be worth the effort!). Thanks for being my go-to yarn expert!

    I knit some Endpaper Mitts out of Koigu, and they get pretty heavy wear in my cold studio. Almost three years in, they’re still going strong, with only a small halo in the palms.

  13. Yarndude

    What a great idea! I love seeing all your “old” projects.

  14. Yoga Witch

    Love this idea.

    I remember seeing that hoodie in your archives when I was reading through your blog a few months ago. I LOVE it, and hope to be courageous (and skilled) enough to try it someday. Soon. ;)

  15. Jill

    I love hearing about how things wear after they are made and how much they get worn. Usually people don’t talk about this much in their blogs, but it is a great idea and something I have been thinking about doing for a while now. Great post and I look forward to hearing about more of your past knits!

  16. Birgit

    This is a really nice idea! You might find some things that you haven’t worn in ages and love them now, which is like buying new stuff in a way :)

    I think it’s really interesting how I can not predict how much wear an item might get. Sometimes the most “planned” project (when I really think about a pattern and search for the right yarn and buy expensive yarn and even frog prortions so that everything is perfect ) get the least wear! And then the total impulse buy and fudging this yarn to a pattern that calls for something entirely different gets worn everyday! And then, it’s the exact opposite… I really never know what I will get. Is it the same for you?

  17. Jennifer

    Lolly – I love this idea. Sometimes we knit things that we love and other times our handknits get put in the unloved pile. It’s good to revisit our past and see how it’s doing. Must go dig through my handknits now. I love the cute pictures, too. You’re such a great photographer/model. : )

  18. Koigu boy


    What I have done with my Koigu socks is this. I wear them in Birkenstock all the time to show off the colour ways. If they do become loose or get a little thin O wear them in my studio and home to keep my feet warm during the colder months. I actually like some of them when they get a little baggy as I think it gives them a neat look.

    Koigu boy

  19. Melissa A.

    This is a neat idea. I might do this if I can remember.

  20. mai

    i love the idea of breaking out older handknits and doing updated photoshoots! that street smart hoodie is so many kinds of awesome, and you’re right! it looks new :)

  21. Stephanie

    Great reviews. I still love that hoodie. I think I really need to make myself one.

  22. Jenna

    This is such a great idea! I know that there are many knits that I loved when I originally made them that no longer hold the same place in my heart. Know how yarns hold up is really useful, too. Your experience with the Koigu is interesting, as I have a pair of socks I made from them and have found that they wear like iron. A little pilling on the heels, but otherwise, they’re in some of the best condition of any socks I’ve made!

    Hope you and K are well! xoxo

  23. Linda

    I am ashamed to say that the only knits I wear are socks! So I wouldn’t be able to review my knits. I think I need to drag them out as its cold now and wear them!!

  24. Maureen

    You look so gorgeous in that Street Smart Hoodie! PERFECT color for you, I love it!

  25. Steph VW

    OMG – Cottage Craft – I grew up in a town near their shop and have a respectable pile of CC sweaters that belonged to my mom and some that belonged to my brother when he was a kid. They wear so well – they’re amazing. Something tells me that their yarn is made for them by Briggs and Little, another staple of the New Brunswick knitting scene!

  26. Week 9: Old Knits « Anti-Quotidian

    [...] (I can never be interesting and precise at the same time) does not make for good blog fodder. Enter Lolly. This blogger is always filled to brimming with excellent ideas that other knitters can get in on. [...]

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