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Moths in My Knitting

Recently, I found a little hole in the end of one of my mittens. A moth had gotten to it at some point in the last 8 years.

I panicked, naturally, and rooted all through the box for any other signs of creepy crawlies. It looks like whatever critter chewed through that mitten was long gone and none of its buddies were still hanging around, so I just packed everything up in plastic baggies with some cedar sachets and called it a day.

Since then, though, I can’t seem to get that mitten out of my head. See, if there’s one thing I struggle with as a knitter, it’s not getting too precious about my knits. I love cataloging my knit items, sifting through them and remembering what I was doing when I made them, where I bought they yarn, what prompted me to choose that pattern.

But I remind myself that, as much as I love them, my knit items are first and foremost utilitarian goods that are meant to be used. My shawls should be wrapped around shoulders as much as possible. My hats should be on heads. My socks should be keeping toes cozy. When that happens enough, they’re going to get worn down and eventually sprout holes.

So a little moth hole, in the end, isn’t so horrible. I can mend it, and I can even make the mend look interesting with a contrasting color or some such. That moth hole was a reminder that I can’t just keep my knitwear squirreled away forever – it’s meant to be worn and used and loved.

Today, I’m wearing all the knit things (well, all the knit things I can manage in Southern California). Thanks for the kick in the pants, you hungry critter. Hope you enjoyed my wool.

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