Monday, September 27, 2010

mmmm, delicious jumpers

A Bad Thing happened the other day. Bit of a chill in the air lately, I thought, time to dig out some of those nice woollens. So I skipped merrily into the child's bedroom and pulled open his jumper drawer. As I did so, the tiniest, most insignificant looking winged creature flapped lazily from its resting place and perched on the windowsill. I'd never seen one of these critters before, but my blood ran cold as our eyes met. Mine simple, hers compound. We both immediately knew we were mortal enemies.


A ferocious battle followed, which thanks to the difference in body size I won pretty easily tbh, using a judiciously squishing finger. And then there was a frenzy of activity while I assessed the extent of the damage, removed the creepy crawlies, threw some dettol around and washed quite a lot of jumpers. Once the initial panic had subsided, I had to concede that it could have been an awful lot worse. My own woollens and yarnstash are mercifully untouched. The only jumper that was eaten was the five fruits I made last winter. It was stacked between the painstaking 4ply stranded efforts of the baby norgi and an heirloom jumper that had been mine as a toddler, so I was really very relieved that the moth had gone for my yarn-scraps-busting project. Having read a little bit about the habits of these insects online, I think I had it coming. They like damp, grubby clothes with food stains, so the jumper drawer of a toddler must be the moth equivalent of the curry mile. The most delicious yarn, it appears, was the Rowan pure wool DK. The moths had good taste really. Interesting, the damage stopped exactly at the edge of the stripe, so they obviously weren't so keen on the Patons Diploma Gold wool/acrylic blend below. Which was really very fortunate, as I happened to have a teeny tiny bit of the Rowan left, and none of the purple at all.
new collar
I did wonder whether it was really worth repairing the jumper, as there's not much growing room left in it and it's partially felted in the wash. But it just seemed a bit of an ignominious end for a handmade garment, and it does fit the wee man perfectly right now. And it does seem to have suddenly become baltic outside. Then I found the leftover matching yarn, and did a happy dance. This jumper was clearly destined to be rescued. So I knitted another neckline. And I am glad I did, because I actually think I prefer it now to its original state.

It's weird, because it was a top down raglan, and I reknitted the green stripe upwards, so I thought it would look really obvious. Which is why I did a fold-over collar, to disguise the join. I basically unravelled the green stripe, put the purple stitches back on the needle and did a couple of rows of stocking stitch then went to 1x1 rib which naturally wanted to fold back on itself. But actually, you can't see that there was a change in direction at all - you can just see that the collar is slightly less worn than the rest of the jumper. This hurts my brain a bit trying to work out why (it doesn't take much!) but the results are pleasing. It means you can get away with having the collar turned up, if required to give extra protection from the elements, or pretend to be a supersleuth.
collar close up
So all in all, I am really not too upset. The child is still warm, his jumpers are clean (until the next teatime), I have been given a much needed kick in the arse to sort out my woolly hygiene, but in a remediable way. Knitters, heed my cautionary tale and learn from my foolishness before it happens to you! Maybe wash stuff occasionally, and keep yarn in ziplock bags!
collar up
rubbishknitterjunior wears: (a) partially scranned jumper (b) two hour toddler trousers for the full on dressed-embarrassingly-by-mum look