A Knitter in Crisis

On November 7, 2015 I uttered the words I thought I’d never say: “I think I need to stop knitting.” And I was dead serious.

Earlier that day I had picked up the sweater I finished this year for Loopy Academy, Freshman Year, Semester 2: Slipped Stitches and was stunned to find a small moth hole in the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater. Don’t believe the hype – they DO ABSOLUTELY eat new yarn.  I only wore this sweater for a few minutes to take photos. That was it.

Suck Factor: infinity.

As I looked at it I thought, well, maybe I could repair that small bit.  It was only a couple stitches, I caught them in time, and any knitter worth their salt should be able to fix something like that, right? Thinking I’d catch those motherf*&%^$ing moths while they were sleeping, I decided to soak the sweater first to drown any remaining munchy perpetrators. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a Modest Sweater with more holes the size of reindeer. It’s probably good I gave it a bath and saw just how much damage was caused, or I might have tried to repair it first and realized later it was a lost cause. I wasted enough time knitting it, I didn’t want to waste any extra time repairing it.

After the sweater debacle in the morning, I was decidedly (and deservedly) down. What was the point of it all? Why should I continue to knit if this kind of thing is going to happen (it’s happened on a smaller scale before)? Why why why? What a waste of time and effort.  There were tears in my voice when I told my husband I should just quit knitting. He looked at me with as much sympathy as a non-knitter, non-hand-knit-wearer could muster and said, “But you love it.  It’s not about finishing things for you. It’s about the process.” Does this man know me or what? Everything he said rang true.

I haven’t given up on knitting, but I am taking a small break to regroup and fortify my spirit against the evil moth hordes. I am …gasp… crocheting with perle cotton and purchased acrylic (ick) for two projects. There are reasons for those things not entirely related to the wool hell I’ve been in, but there’s definitely a correlation. I’ve been burned.

But like a moth to a flame…. or more like a moth to wool….. I’m sure I’ll be back.

In the meantime, please answer me this: Why do you knit/crochet/create? I absolutely need to know the meaning of (knit)life!

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11 thoughts on “A Knitter in Crisis

  1. I also had a crisis with moths at some point and it really let me with a horrible feeling too! I also considered (and bought) acrylic yarn, because I didn’t want another blanket to get eaten by those pesky creatures… But it’s not the same to knit with acrylic and with wool. In the end, I decided that I didn’t want to renounce wool.

    The items that had little damage were stored in the freezer for a couple of weeks – that kills both the pests and their eggs – then taken out and washed. After, I bought a pile of zip bags to store the items and protect them from the moths. Finally – it had to be done – I bought all sorts of anti-moths, starting from the gentle ones (lavender, sorry it doesn’t work really) then anti-moth strips, sachets, sticky traps, spray (at that point I was desperate to protect my woollens and my stash)… at some point the things worked and now the moths are gone. Still, I’m carefully storing the woollens in the sealed bags with anti-moths sachets. I found that these scented sachets really worked: Acana Moth Killer & Freshener Sachets; their scent is pleasant and not overpowering, but beware, they seems to contain pesticides. And there are many other anti-moth products.

    Don’t give up your knitting… fight back those horrible moths!

    • Thank you so very much for sharing your experiences with me! I’m so sorry to hear that it happened to you too, but so glad you’ve eradicated them :) Most of my stash was frozen & stored in zips inside tubs after the first time. I just left this sweater out and really should have paid closer attention. I definitely won’t give up wool, but I’m a little disheartened right now. Still, going to give everything a good wash & keep a closer eye on things! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  2. That must suck… Makes me want to google to find out what I should put in my knitting drawer to avoid this…

    I knit because it’s fun, although since I have a daughter, I don’t have much time for it anymore… I don’t wear my knits that much so I guess I do it for the process too :)

    • So lovely to hear from you Maryse! And how sweet that you have a daughter – how did I miss that?! Congrats :) Glad to know I’m not the only process knitter out there. Hope you’re doing well! Thanks so much for visiting!

  3. I knit because I need to create. Knitting has just become part of me. I don’t sit still well and this gives me something pretty to do with my hands while I sit.

    I live in complete fear of moths. I think I’ve probably passed this fear down to the girls as well because we go on a moth hunt every time we see a moth in the house – they are not going to get my yarn. I’m so sorry this has happened to you! :(

  4. NOOOOO!!! OMG I’m so sorry. I thought it was a dropped stitch that ran. UGH. Check the box/area it was living. Make sure no more are around. I had that issue with a pair of socks and it does kill you.

    • Thanks Lynn! Yes, I’m going to quarantine some things & there’s a nice pile of projects hanging out in the deep freeze until I think I the risk has passed. Super stinky :( I’m sorry you had to go through that with your socks too!

  5. Gah! That must be so frustrating.. I’m sorry it happened to your lovely new sweater (why can’t they choose the stuff that’s completely worn out, right?).
    Picking up a crochet hook and yarn that’s not so tasty to moths sounds like a very good call at the moment. Keep on creating!

    • Thanks so much Josiane!! I know, I wasn’t so mad about the slippers I’d pretty much worn out, but the new sweater? That was awful :( Thanks for all your supportive words! I don’t think this will keep me down for too long ;)

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