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It feels a little early, but even if spring is only casually flirting with us, it may be time to start thinking about protecting your woolens for the upcoming season. It’s A LOT easier and cheaper to avoid moth holes than it is to mend them. Even worse, if you end up hosting a moth infestation you’ll have to pitch everything. You can read up on the “How-Tos” in Storing Your Knits from last spring, but here are a few things you can do to get yourself started.
I just changed my moth traps and they were blessedly EMPTY. If you haven’t already, it might be time to change yours, and if you don’t use them I suggest you do. I only consider them a second line of defense, but they’re helpful, and they’ll let you know if you have moths. I use the Aeroxon Clothing Moth Traps.
Bugs like sweaters, but your stash is also vulnerable. There’s no time like the present to bag up yarn that’s floating around. Don’t forget projects on hold, laying fallow in project bags. If the majority of your stash isn’t already organized in sealed bags (like Ziploc) now is probably a good time to get on that. By the way, the picture above is pretty, but a good example of how NOT to store your yarn (stuff in baggies doesn’t make for good pictures). If you find yourself spring-cleaning your stash and need to purge, our next yarn swap is April 23, 2017, or you can drop off donations in a sealed plastic bag any time we are open.
Start washing the sweaters you wore this winter, especially anything that’s been in frequent use. Little bits of food & shmutz are what moths feast on, so shutter the buffet. If you’re like me and wear a lot of sweaters, getting them all cleaned is a bit of a chore, so you might as well start early and get it over with. I like to wash with either Eucalan or Soak, both are excellent no-rinse delicate washes that are very easy to use (I do not suggest you use the stuff from the grocery store).
Start bagging and storing any knits or woolens that you aren’t likely to use again this season. At my house this includes heavy wool sweaters, thick wool socks, scarves/hats/gloves that didn’t get used, felt hats, wool coats.
OK, this sounds really niggly, but I’m constantly learning from my mistakes in this particular area. Almost every year I come across some class of object that I forgot was made of wool – and of course I find this out the hard way (lots of tears and regret). I always think I’ll remember things but never remeber things, so I keep a running Moth-Proofing Checklist and add to it every time I find something new that needs to be stored. I keep my checklist digitally in a cloud-based form of storage (iCloud, Google Docs, Dropbox, etc), so I can get to it easily and it won’t get lost. This is currently what it looks like:
We are open Family Day, Monday February 20 from 11 am to 6pm!
I love the versatility of this sweater! It’s so simple, so classic, so easy to wear (I like things that are actually used and bring me joy). You can wear this pullover all year round; make it for spring in an unpretentious cotton like Cascade Avalon, or something for fall & winter in any of a number of wools (see below). It’ll look great in a solid, heather, or semi-solid colour. The sizing provided is generous, and it doesn’t suck up too much yarn. It’s partially knit in the round, so there isn’t too-too much seaming involved – yay!.
I love the simple lines of this light, top-down pullover. You can make it with any fingering weight yarn, variegated (Manos Alegria, Malabrigo Mechita, Koigu KPPPPM), semi-solid (Madeline Tosh Merino Light, Manos Alegria, Malabrigo Mechita), ombre (Cascade Heritage Wave), or solid (Cascade Heritage).
Manos Alegria: 3(3, 4, 5) skeins
Malabrigo Mechita: 3(3, 4, 5) skeins
Madeline Tosh Merino Light: 3(3, 4, 5) skeins
Koigu KPPPPM: 6(7, 9, 12) skeins
Cascade Heritage: 3(3, 4, 5) skeins
Cascade Heritage Wave: 3(3, 4, 5) skeins
Sometimes something small & colourful is just what you need to get through the second half of a grey winter!
Malabrigo Merino Worsted: 1 skein
Malabrigo Rios: 1 skein
Berroco Vintage: 1 skein
Smithfield is an easy to knit and wear top down pullover with a turtleneck, rib details and allover texture. It’s designed to be worn with a few inches of positive ease, but how much ease is entirely a personal matter. The best way to get just the right amount is to find a piece of clothing that fits just the way you want your sweater to fit and measure it. Lay the garment on a flat surface and measure the span across the chest from underarm to underarm. Then while you’ve got it there, check the length too. Top-down raglans are really easy to modify so measure the length from the under arm to the hem and again to the sleeve cuffs. Compare these measurements to those of the schematic and choose the size that most closely matches the measurements from the garment you measured.
Malabrigo Rios: 5(6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8) skeins
Cascade 220 Heathers: 5(6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8) skeins
Cascade 220 Superwash: 5(6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8) skeins
Berroco Vintage: 5(6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8) skeins