Wednesday, June 27, 2012

An embarrassment of riches.

I've been feeling a bit "meh" about most of my knitting lately.  And I think a lot of it has to do with the sheer volume of sweaters sitting around here, many of which I've never worn, or have only worn once.  Here's an example:


I made this top back in May of 2008.  Today is the first time I've worn it.

As I was knitting it, I was sure that this was going to be my best project ever; that it would go with so many things; that it would make me feel like a million bucks.  And as soon as I finished it, I set it aside and moved on to the next thing.

This is usually the way it goes with me and knitting.  I think I have to finally admit that I'm a process knitter.  And yet, if it's not something for me, a knitting project usually holds little interest.

I'm a fast knitter; I tend to complete 12 - 15 sweaters per year.  Multiply that by the many, many years I've been knitting, and you can imagine that storage has become an issue.  I've recently been trying to weed things out a little, but I'm not finding too many things I'm willing to part with.

How do you guys handle storage?  Do you regularly let go of sweaters you're not wearing?  Do actually wear the things you knit?

37 comments:

  1. I have a drawer and 2 storage boxes of things I've knit at the moment, along with about 10 pieces in a suitcase along with all the other stuff I've got that doesn't fit me right now but will someday soon (taking steps to make this happen!). I realised I wasn't wearing the stuff in the boxes as they were in a cupboard so I'm going to buy some underbed storage things next time I'm in Ikea and hope that as I'll be able to pull them out easily and quickly I will wear things more.

    I didn't think I was a process knitter until I looked at how much I've made and how little I wear a lot of it, but I guess I am! I just like to make STUFF and have a lot of sewing projects that go the same way, I just want to make it and don't really think about wearing it!

    Very pretty colour that sweater!

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  2. I AM NOT THE PERSON TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, Gail.
    I'm struggling with a similar situation.
    hugs

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  3. I want to have that problem, but I'm not there yet. Really, I need to learn to knit faster and I think I need to move to a colder area. It's really hard to love wool and live in the deep south!

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    1. You could love cotton! Or linen!

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  4. Oh, really good question. I'm a fast knitter too, apparently. I've given most of my projects away. Those I've kept get very little use. I wear 2 of my sweaters occasionally though I do wear my shawl all the time. I'm making a second version of my City Cardigan (just completed) in a totally altered size (same yarn and needle size so gauge is a known commodity) because I'm starting to realize that I like a fair amount of negative ease. Because I've been learning technique, and because I give things away, it's all fine. I use the sweaters as skill building exercises. Mind you, I really hope the next City Cardigan fits awesomely and that I wear it all the time.

    I have noticed that knitting projects are far less wearable, for the most part, than sewing ones.

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    1. When I was still working, I wore my me-made items all the time. But now that I'm home, jeans or yoga pants and a tee shirt is sooo much easier!

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  5. I'm actually just beginning to reach the storage problem situation, which has make me more reluctant to work full steam on my current larger garment projects. Although I certainly do not knit as fast as you do (12-15 sweaters a year! I'm so impressed!). I also think that it is a crime not to wear that top, it is so pretty and looks fantastic on you too!

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    1. I'm actually trying to do knitting of intensive projects like the Alice Starmore sweater, just to slow down my output a little. Mind you, at this stage, I still think it's a magic sweater that will change my life. But the reality is that it probably won't get worn either.

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  6. That's such a cute top! You were right that it'd look great on you.

    I'm nowhere near having this problem, since I'm slow and a n00b. But I do try to plan very practical projects, and not too many of the same thing. And some for Jef.

    Could you frog some of the sweaters and reuse the yarn? Or sell them on Etsy? Project: Stash seems like a good solution, too.

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    1. Heh. But if I make sweaters for Hubby (which I do), they still have to get stored in this house!

      The Etsy is an intriguing idea . . .

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  7. wow, i'm completely impressed with how many sweaters you make up a year! i love sweaters and wear them all the time but hate spending big bucks on long lasting nice ones. haven't tried knitting yet, but i'm sure it's only a matter of time... i say put them on etsy and see what happens!

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    1. Somehow, I think you would like knitting, Lisa!

      Again with the Etsy . . . hmmm . . .

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  8. As you know, I'm in the process of weeding out my closet. The hardest things I've had to let go of are the few things I have left that I sewed (keep in mind, I haven't sewn regularly for over 12 years, so that tells you how old those things are). However, it's very liberating to have let them go (okay, I still have 3 left, but that's a lot less).

    My goal is to eventually do a similar process with my clothes that are not on hangers. I'm going to put little stickers on them that will get taken off when they're worn. The only reason I haven't started this is that I'm really dreading it! I have worn everything I've made at least twice, and some have been worn quite a lot, but there are a lot of things I've simply stopped wearing, and I need to let them go. I have shelves in the middle of my closet, and that's where my sweaters live. I didn't have storage problems at all until I did the 12-sweaters-in-a-year knitalong a few years back. Now I really have too many!

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    1. Oh, P.S. I like that Polaroid effect for your photo!

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    2. Do you think you'll give them away, or unravel them to make something new? I have one sweater that I really like, but that has never fit properly, and I am thinking of frogging that one to make something else.

      I really love picmonkey.com! I was missing picnik.com when it first shut down, but this one is almost as good!

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  9. I had that problem too. It eventually got to the stage where it was either the knitwear or me, one of us was going to have to move house. So I collected up all the old sweaters, photographed them so I had a record and took them down to the Oxfam shop. It was painful at the time but has left me with loads of space for new knitting.

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    1. I find it so much harder to let go of the things I've made - not too surprising I guess!

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  10. Oh my goodness, 12-15 garments a year! You must have quite the wardrobe! I can't really relate to that, lol! I sort of have the opposite problem! I hope you find a solution but I totally get how you just want to make something! Creating is so fun....

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    1. I keep trying to interest myself in making something that won't take up so much room, but no luck!

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  11. I knit a lot too, but tend to pass garments on rather quickly when I get tired of them or do not wear them as much as I intended. So several of my friends who do not knit have quite a knitted wardrobe to chose from. My friends appreciated my passed on knitted garments and I could continue to knit. I have also had years when I knitted sweaters for family and friends for Christmas. But now I have started designing and have no time to knit to myself anymore. I still have 2 cupboards full of knitwear.

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    1. I just discovered your designs yesterday! I'm sure that's how you linked to here: I favorited a lot of them!

      I have given lots of my sweaters away in the past, but at the moment, I don't have any friends or family nearby who are the same size as me!

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  12. Well, if it is the process that attracts you and not actually the use of the item, it seems to me that you should start knitting for others, for money. However, not on a deadline. Make whatever you want and then offer it up for sale, this way you have the option of keeping it if you want.

    p.s. If you do take my suggestion, a pumpkin orange chunky cowl-neck cropped sweater would be very appreciated as a thank you. ;)

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    1. Except that I'm not sure it's legal? Usually designers don't allow their designs to be knit for sale, only for personal use.

      You would look great in the sweater you describe! I think you should learn to knit - I'm sure you'd be a natural!

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  13. You have got to wear this top! it looks fab on you!

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    1. Wore it all day yesterday! I really don't know why I've never worn it before!

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  14. Wow, this tank is so cute! Hmm, I don't knit fast enough or for myself enough to really accumulate stuff-- my sweaters get a lot of wear, so they look a little ratty before I have time to replace them! But I can see how you could enjoy the process so much!

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    1. You have more of a life than I do, LOL! So you have places to wear your sweaters to!

      When we lived in St. Louis, in our drafty 60-year-old house, I wore sweaters indoors all the time. But now that we're in a very well-insulated new house, I'm still in t-shirts most of the winter!

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  15. Well, I'm a ruthless purger. Quite a few of my sweaters and sewn items have ended up at Goodwill and while I felt sentimental about them for two point five seconds, at the end of the day I can't deal with the clutter that results from storage issues so I apply the one year rule to everything and if an item has not seen the light of day in a year, then out the door it goes. Like you, I take more pleasue in the making than in the wearing so I figure someone else can enjoy the wearing down the line.

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    1. Maybe you should purge some of your stuff in my direction, since we're the same size! Like that Nani Iro Sorbetto ;-) I really admire your commitment to the one year rule! Wish I were that strong!

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  16. I'm with you. I've made tons of beautiful knitted things and the ones I wear the most tend to be shawls and hats in the winter! Go figure huh? I think like you I'm definitely a process knitter. I love planning and making the project, just not necessarily wearing it? Hmm, I may need to change this and dust some of them off this weekend.

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    1. I keep wanting to do a "Me-Made" type thing to make myself wear thema nd document it, but I'm just too darn lazy to take pictures most of the time!

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  17. Gail,

    You have to wear this more often. It's beautiful. I love the color and the style. You look great in it.

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  18. this little top suits you! Do you feel meh about the shape or the colour? Because for the latter, some dyeing could change everything.
    The first sweaters I knit were not really good: not enough planning, bad quality yarn, the fit was wrong and the finishing was not better. So I've parted with these sweaters some time ago and do not regret it. If I really like the yarn, I tend to unravel the sweater (I've done this 3 times with a cotton yarn before finding the right project). But now I try to think more about the sweater before casting on: will the style/colour fit me? If I'm not sure, I try to leave the idea aside for a moment and see if it pops up again.
    But I'm definitely starting to have storage problems and I'm nowhere near solving the problem: I don't plan to stop knitting and I'm 32, so many many sweaters will be knitted in the future years.

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    1. No, I was feeling meh about the projects I was currently working on. I like this top, but I always have a hard time figure out what to wear it with!

      I've set aside some time this week, and I already have a few sweaters in mind that will be going to the Goodwill pile. It won't make a huge dent, but at least it's a start!

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