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How Long to Knit Some Basic Items?

March 8th, 2010 · 4 Comments · Basic Knitting

I’m involved in historical reenactment and am writing an article about handicrafts. I was hoping some of the knitters here could tell me approximately how many hours it takes them to knit the average mitten, scarf, stocking cap or sweater. Information on any other knit items you have experience would also be greatly appreciated.

<G> Again, it depends on the size of the garment being knit and the size of the yarn being used to knit it. Garments such as socks for most reenactment periods dating prior to the Civil War reached above the knee. Children were the usual sock knitters (as young as 4) and were expected to knit at least an inch a day. A pair of mittens could be knit in about two days, between other chores. Socks would take a couple of weeks, more or less,depending on whether or not they were for an adult or a child. Scarves could take a week. Weskits or vests would take a week or more. Stocking or voyageur caps could take a day to a week to knit (depending, again, on what other work had to be accomplished). Along with the very young, a lot of knitting was done by the elderly who could knit and watch children at the same time, as well as shepherds who could knit while watching their flocks.

For myself, in yarn of a gauge similar to what Colonial socks would have been knit, I can, if pressed, knit a pair of modern adult socks in a week. However, that said, I also run a household, work full time, and care for a small child, a flock of sheep and several cows. I prefer to knit in a much more leisurely fashion. I can also spin enough yarn for socks or mittens in two days.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dolly O // Mar 8, 2010 at

    Whatever time it takes, you also have to take into consideration that a swatch has to be knitted first to determine your guage. Each new yarn you knit has to have a guage swatch done.

    When I knit a sweater by hand, it takes me a month because I can only put in a few hours each day. This is assuming that it is a sleeveless one. Two sleeves make the job longer. A scarf takes a week if it is a simple one done in either garter stitch or ribbing (2 knit, 2 purl). I imagine that a mitten would take less time, except you have to make two, one for the right hand and one for the left hand. I would think it would take about a week for each. A stocking cap takes about a week, also depending on the complexity of the pattern.
    References :

  • 2 mickiinpodunk // Mar 8, 2010 at

    <G> Again, it depends on the size of the garment being knit and the size of the yarn being used to knit it. Garments such as socks for most reenactment periods dating prior to the Civil War reached above the knee. Children were the usual sock knitters (as young as 4) and were expected to knit at least an inch a day. A pair of mittens could be knit in about two days, between other chores. Socks would take a couple of weeks, more or less,depending on whether or not they were for an adult or a child. Scarves could take a week. Weskits or vests would take a week or more. Stocking or voyageur caps could take a day to a week to knit (depending, again, on what other work had to be accomplished). Along with the very young, a lot of knitting was done by the elderly who could knit and watch children at the same time, as well as shepherds who could knit while watching their flocks.

    For myself, in yarn of a gauge similar to what Colonial socks would have been knit, I can, if pressed, knit a pair of modern adult socks in a week. However, that said, I also run a household, work full time, and care for a small child, a flock of sheep and several cows. I prefer to knit in a much more leisurely fashion. I can also spin enough yarn for socks or mittens in two days.
    References :
    I have been knitting for 54 years and crocheting for 37.

  • 3 hairbender // Mar 8, 2010 at

    I’ve already answered this in your other (repeated) questions.

    Time is not something you would consider. It needs to get done, so you do it. How long it takes doesn’t matter. And no one would work on doing the same project continuously for long periods of time. Life gets in the way.
    References :

  • 4 vnelson85 // Mar 8, 2010 at

    okay for me it takes 3 days to make mittens using worsted weight yarn with size 6 needles, a scarf with 2 colors 8 inches by 6 feet took me 5 days, a hat with cables took me 5 days, a basic sweater took me 10 days.

    Ive made everything from a extremely basic scarf to a complicated fair isle sweater and everything else inbetween.
    References :

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