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View Full Version : How long do your sweaters typically last?


CoolWool
03-07-2011, 10:33 PM
I'm in the process of ordering yarn for sweater #2 and the yarn alone will be about $120. That doesn't count the needles I'll need to get for it. So I was talking to a gal at my LYS about the expense and joking that I should just go buy one - it would be much cheaper. She said yes, but the store-bought one won't last as long. She said she's been wearing some of her handmade sweaters for as long as ten years. Wondering A) am I spending way too much on yarn, and B) are your sweaters that costly, and C) is it worth it?

(BTW, my husband was just standing behind me as I was typing this and his exact words were, "$120 FOR YARN? SERIOUSLY?" *sigh*)

Jan in CA
03-07-2011, 11:19 PM
I'd have a hard time spending that much, too. :zombie: I haven't even been knitting that long so I don't know, but I think if you take good care of it it will last a long, long time.

ZoeS
03-07-2011, 11:22 PM
I would imagine it depends on the quality of the yarn, of the sweater, and your care of the garment.

A $40 sweater from Walmart is not going to last as long as a knit sweater with quality materials. But if you're thinking a more expensive sweater, and maybe you're overpaying for your yarn a bit, it might be even in terms of longevity.

I'm starting to recycle old clothes from the thrift store and make my own yarns to reduce the costs. For the price of cheap acrylic stuff I can find/make my own alpaca silk blends or what have you.

Wanda Witch
03-07-2011, 11:27 PM
If you take care of your sweaters they should last for a very long time. As for the cost of knitting, well, it is all in the eye of the beholder. I spend a lot of money on yarn, not to mention the supplies; however, this is a wonderful hobby and one that you can do all your life. I also sew and the same thing: you really don't save money but it is the enjoyment and pride of looking at something you have created (well, in my case made as I certainly do not design). Enjoy your creative side of knitting and look at it as a past time that is absolutely worth the expense as I have told my DH for a veeerrrry long time and will continue to do so. :teehee:

Ingrid
03-07-2011, 11:37 PM
Knitting your own sweaters is cheaper than therapy.

Think about how much one would have to pay for a hand-knit sweater made of good fiber.

The Fair Isle sweaters that I have made with good wool look like I made them yesterday and they are years old. I am very impressed at how well they've held up.

I made a couple with Encore dk, and they look as good as new, too. Just less expensive to make.

Thinking about it, the only sweater that I'm disappointed in is one that I made from Karaoke (soy/silk) yarn. It still looks good, but it's gone from being a sweater to a dress :teehee: I suspect that it wasn't good for the stitch I used.

Some made with softer yarn have gotten pilly, but I've shaved them and they look good.

My feeling is that if you are going to invest hours upon hours of making a sweater, you might as well put the extra bucks into it, as well. It would really hurt to spend all that time and attention and end up with a rag.

I'm glad you asked this. It made me think about what I've made and how they've served me, physically and emotionally. :thumbsup:

ArtLady1981
03-08-2011, 12:22 AM
I am totally on board with Ingrid's post! :thumbsup:

Knitting your own sweaters is cheaper than therapy.And also:
My feeling is that if you are going to invest hours upon hours of making a sweater, you might as well put the extra bucks into it, as well. It would really hurt to spend all that time and attention and end up with a rag.Here are my own thoughts: $120 is spendy. Maybe too pricey for you to feel comfortable.
Otherwise, why would you be asking? You're nervous. Plus your husband isn't on board with it either.

There are many quality yarns that shouldn't cost you over $60-$70 for the sweater.
Try shopping at ELANN. (http://www.elann.com/Commerce.Web/) I've purchased many a sweater's worth of yarn from them for $50-$70!

Also, try WEBS Closeouts (http://www.yarn.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.browse/_/Mill-Ends--Closeouts/categoryID/c16e0ef4-271b-4811-a569-894076146d85/) and Grampa's Garage Sale (http://www.yarn.com/webs-knitting-crochet-yarns-closeouts-grampas-garage-sale/) yarns.
Some really great bargains on quality yarn! Be sure to get enough yarn at that time.

I'm haunting Elann (http://www.elann.com/Commerce.Web/) and WEBS (http://www.yarn.com/) all the time!

Another bonus at WEBS...if your purchase of non-sale yarn comes up to $120...they give you a 25% discount...bringing the yarn down to $90. Any yarn (not already on sale) in your cart will receive the 25% discount on the entire order. (yarn only)

ArtLady1981
03-08-2011, 12:30 AM
:waving: PS:

tell me what yarn, what color, how many skeins, how many yards you're looking at and thinking about...and I'll find it at a discount for you online! Or, half the price for a similar yarn!

Jan in CA
03-08-2011, 01:25 AM
Knitting your own sweaters is cheaper than therapy.


Oh how I love this!! :thumbsup:

I spent quite a bit on my last sweater, but I'm sure when it's done it'll last a long time. I put so much time into it there is no way I'd treat it like a $20 sweater from Kohls! I also spend quite a bit on supplies over the last 5 yrs, but it's totally worth it!

salmonmac
03-08-2011, 08:02 AM
I'm surprised, sometimes shocked, and often secretly delighted by the cost of knitting. Yes, it's therapy, it's entertainment, and over the years it's kept many friends and family members warm and cozy. It's a reminder of how loved they are.
It is there in good times and in difficult ones and always gives me time to solve problems and just think.
As for $120 for a sweater, it's about the cost of only one hour with a psychiatrist. Remember what my husband says, "One hundred dollars worth of yarn, one thousand dollars worth of labor." I'd say it's not too much to spend at all.

Daylilydayzed
03-08-2011, 12:11 PM
I am on a limited budget so I can only buy the inexpensive yarn that I can find online, but I like the quality of KnitPicks yarn so I try to find skeins there that are on clearance or discontinued colors and buy them. That is how I got the yarn for my daughter-in-law's smoke ring she wants me to make. When I have the funds I will buy more of Knitpicks needles.

Ellieblue
03-08-2011, 08:40 PM
I have been getting some good buys at DBNY.com. They have bags of 10 for $39.99.

Mike
03-10-2011, 10:42 AM
Cost of yarn has nothing to do with longevity.

Most of my $15 sweaters from Walmart have been around a few years without showing signs of washing machine or elbow wear. Puppy tooth wear is a different story.
Not only are they cheaper than therapy they're cheaper than buying sweaters.
One is pilled but that's the style of yarn.

The should've been $350+ wool blanket I made does have some pilling. That is not from the style unless you consider bad spinster design a style of yarn.

I will never spend $100 for yarn for a sweater unless I suddenly become rich, but I would say before diving in and paying that much yourself play around with cheaper yarns and learn what types of twists last. Then research the specific yarn you're looking at.
Forget the cost of the yarn, you don't want to put the time in a sweater only to have it fall apart.

Jan in CA
03-10-2011, 01:52 PM
I generally agree with Mike. Yarn whether it's expensive or not can pill and that's mostly due to how loosely it's spun. More tightly spun yarns tend to pill less.

Our hand knit sweaters are precious so we tend to take good care of them which may account for some of their lasting ability.

TEMA
03-10-2011, 03:25 PM
I have been buying cheap yarns... no wool for sure... but then I figured that I might as well go for cheap when I'm really just learning. That being said... I'm now looking at the 'good' yarns with my mouth watering, thanks to Artlady (hugs).

If I can really get something for a bit less then I'm sure I will go for it.

The socks I knit my hubby for Christmas now have great big holes in them... acrylic... ugh! But I'm now knitting him a bulky pair - house socks with a mixture of acrylic and sock yarn held together. They are also being knit on smaller needles than the yarn calls for... making them very bulky indeed. I think he will be happy with them.

I feel that I'm gradually going up the scale where yarn is concerned and that's a good thing.

Like everyone has said, the therapy alone is worth it. I'm my hubby's caregiver... knitting saves my life! (a tad over-dramatized..lol)

Hubby has no qualms with me ordering the more expensive stuff... it's just me that's balking. He figures it's worth it... besides it is my recreation, hobby, therapy and entertainment. Cheap at the price!
TEMA :knitting:

Jan in CA
03-10-2011, 03:37 PM
Hubby has no qualms with me ordering the more expensive stuff... it's just me that's balking. He figures it's worth it... besides it is my recreation, hobby, therapy and entertainment. Cheap at the price!


My DH is the same way! I do buy the vast majority of my yarn in the yarn store now, but I still rarely buy the expensive stuff. My mainstays ares Plymouth Encore and Jeannee, and Berroco Comfort with a few others thrown in of course. I try to compromise. :lol:

Mazie
03-10-2011, 04:29 PM
For socks, try sock yarn with 25% nylon, 75% wool or acrylic. Ether will outlast any yarn without the nylon. That is all my daughter will use for the kids socks because they last so much longer.

Jan in CA
03-10-2011, 06:29 PM
Use any yarn with nylon content and it'll help. My acrylic and acrylic/wool didn't last either. I bought some Berroco Vintage in worsted weight and it's wool/acrylic and nylon so I'm hoping it'll make my house socks last longer.

dddebbb3
03-10-2011, 06:51 PM
I spent about $70 on good wool yarn recommended by my LYS fifteen+ years ago. I nearly choked at the time, but I've worn that sweater VERY regularly and it still looks like new. Bargain bin yarn sweaters have pilled and are now house sweaters. My commercial sweaters have been trashed or Goodwilled.

A dear friend justifies buying pricey yarns not by the end product, but by the cost per hour of the pleasure they provide. She gets to select the yarn, handle and enjoy it for hours while she's knitting, then enjoy it again while she's wearing it. She figures it's very cheap entertainment!

By the way, if you buy all your yarns online, LYSs will be driven out of business, and you won't have anywhere to go to fondle the yarns, see the real colors, select the needles you want, or get good advice, classes, and support. Buy locally!

CoolWool
03-11-2011, 08:35 PM
By the way, if you buy all your yarns online, LYSs will be driven out of business, and you won't have anywhere to go to fondle the yarns, see the real colors, select the needles you want, or get good advice, classes, and support. Buy locally!

Yes, I agree. I'm also trying to stay away from chain stores for materials... :wink:

ArtLady1981
03-11-2011, 08:59 PM
I am on a limited budget so I can only buy the inexpensive yarn that I can find online, but I like the quality of KnitPicks yarn so I try to find skeins there that are on clearance or discontinued colors and buy them. That is how I got the yarn for my daughter-in-law's smoke ring she wants me to make. When I have the funds I will buy more of Knitpicks needles.

I agree with your choice to shop for your quality, affordable yarn at Knit Picks! I've been pleased with every thing I've ever purchased from Knit Picks! From A to Z!

Breezed
03-11-2011, 11:39 PM
By the way, if you buy all your yarns online, LYSs will be driven out of business, and you won't have anywhere to go to fondle the yarns, see the real colors, select the needles you want, or get good advice, classes, and support. Buy locally!

That's good advice in theory but not for all locales. The few LYSs near me are VERY expensive. My only other options are retail chains like Micheal's and Joann's but those have a very limited selection. It would be nice if I had an affordable LYS but I don't so I will continue to buy all of my yarn online.