New Garments for Old

A couple of days ago I posted about ‘wool economies’, how women reused old woollen garments during and after the war, reworking them and reknitting them to make attractive and useful clothes at the time of wool shortages. In the book Knitting For All, there is a whole chapter with illustrations on how holey, shapeless and felted old woollens can me unpicked, washed, wound and skeined, and then knitted into something else, never wasting anything!

Woollen garments wear out or become unbearable in certain definite ways. They wear into holes – in the case of grown-ups – in places where there is pull or friction – the extraordinary and inexplicable way children wear things out will ever be a mystery! Children grow out of woollies; woollen garments become felted or shapeless through wear and washing; sometimes they’re frankly a mistake and ought to be abolished anyway.

img005 It’s a great mistake to think that if you can’t unravel a garment and re-knit the wool you can’t do anything at all about it. You can do plenty of other things as this section will show.
Now here were eleven disreputable and deplorably unattractive ancient woollen garments (in the ensuing chapter) They showed very evident signs of distress due to one or more of the causes already stated. They underwent a re-making treatment and you can see for yourself how brilliant are th results. Their history gives you ideas of how to treat garments which are worn in a similar way. You’ll find that extraordinarily few of the pathetic collection buried in every knitter’s rag-bag drawer need finally to be given up for loss.


  1. David Lewis

    When I was in college I was given the job of doing laundry one day and mistakedly tossed my roommates sweater in the load. It came out barely big enough for a four year old. We all got a great laugh about it and nailed it on the wall where it stayed for the year. Never thought to unravel it and make something else. Too busy with beer and biker chicks!

    Liked by 1 person

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