Slowing the process

I think I’ve talked on here before about feeling like I need to slow down production on the handknits….it came up again the other day. I was trying to rearrange the pile of sweaters in such a way that the dresser would close, I realized that if I keep knitting garments at this rate I’ll own over 50 sweaters by the time I’ve 50. I do not want, not to mention need, anywhere close to that many.

It’s a strange notion – slowing down a hobby – when all you want to do in the beginning is knit faster!faster! You make yourself enough hats that you can wear a different one every day of the week, then saturate your friends and family until you fear they might be starting to dread your presents. And then you move on to projects that take longer, like sweaters. But because fit is tricky (and Goodwill has an alarming quantity of handknits) I’ve never quite felt comfortable gifting sweaters to anyone but my mother.

My friend suggested making more socks. They wear out more reliably and require replacements. For the first time in a long while I have some socks on the needles.

There’s pattern design, which I’ve done a little of. It’s so much trial and error for me that it takes about three times as long to make something. Spinning the yarn up yourself also significantly extends a project’s timeline.

So all of this was on my mind when I was at the local thriftstore and came across a wool/cashmere Max Mara sweater, knit top-down with a seamless yoked construction. A couple thousand yards of cashmere blend for $3. YES PLEASE.

sweaterI’ve frogged all but one of the sleeves, and am busy working on a seed stitch infinity scarf. The yarn is unbelievably soft. It’s all on sz. 1 needles so it’ll probably take me….oh two years. If recycling yarn is something you’re interested in trying, I recommend this post from weebleknits. She covers all of the dos and don’ts and even includes some photos of what to look for.

All of this hunting for ways to slow things down may have tempted fate, because this morning when I was reorganizing some spaces in the bedroom I made a HORRIBLE discovery. The stuff of knitting nightmares.


MOTHS!!!! Dozens of holes in my handspun sweater…so many that most of it was a complete loss. I salvaged what I could and swept up the revolting pile of what I can only guess is moth poop.


Yuck. Undoing sweaters because they’re half-eaten wasn’t how I hoped to reverse my accumulation of sweaters. I think the handspun was especially attractive for the larvae because I haven’t found them in anything else. Of course to be safe the freezer is now full of yarn and fiber, and there’s another bag waiting on deck for it’s turn. It’s always disturbing to find an infestation…all the more so when it’s in your handknits.



  1. Pingback: Goodbye two thousand and thirteen | Foxflat's Blog
  2. Kim · December 9, 2013

    Katie, moths suck! I’m so sorry. That makes me really sad. I have a few sweaters that have moth holes and it is a game of mine to pair them with other shirts and accessories to hide the damage. It is hard to part with a well loved sweater. If you get really jazzed to knit something but dont know what to do with it, I would totally trade some sort of baked goods (or money) for one of your sweet infinity scarfs :). They are beautiful! P.s. we have 7 inches of snow here. I’m sure you can imagine the craziness.

  3. Angela Hickman · December 8, 2013

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your sweater! What a nightmare.

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