St. James in Hydrangea

I knew I would make St. James again, this was finished a few weeks ago. The pattern is so easy and wearable. I used Rowan All Seasons cotton again, this time in my husband's favorite color. Rowan calls it Geranium, but around here we call it Hydrangea, his favorite flower.

I am on a knitting sabbatical for a bit. I got a bad infection in the tendons of my right hand (from a rose thorn!) which required two surgeries and a stay in the hospital. I have more than 8 gruesome inches of incisions zigzaging down my palm from my pinky to past my wrist. My hand is healing and gaining mobility daily, but it will be awhile before knitting is back in by life. And oh how I miss it! Instead I am reading lots and slowly doing the necessary things of life with my incompetent left hand. My friends and family have been so good to me, I have needed so much help, but now feeling that I am definitely on the mend.

To complete the outfit I have these nifty flowery shoesies,
...and this great vintage Kate Spade bag (2001, soooo very vintage!)
...which also matches the hydrangeas about ready to burst
...and some "get well" flowers to make me feel loved.

sweater care and storage

This is a re-post from 2010, but since I just finished this business, I thought it might be time to share again.

I'm often asked how I store and care for all my sweaters. Twice a year I do a big cleaning that takes me a few weeks. This is how I do the big bi-annual sweater migration.

The first and most important step is to wash and block my winter sweaters that I want to store away for the summer.  I've heard that some people don't ever wash their wool sweaters, just air them out.  I cannot imagine that, mine get dirty, especially the cuffs, plus the suds remove any food spills and dirt that attracts moths.  I am careful to hand wash in a mild soap and rinse well.  I don't soak my handknits.  Next I roll them in a towel to remove excess water and block them outdoors on my mesh patio table and dry in the shade.  If the weather is nice, it will take only a day, but sometimes they have to be brought in at night to finish drying in the house.  I can fit about 3 sweaters on my table, and if I do this everyday I can have them all washed in a few weeks.

Next is to make any necessary repairs that I've ignored and try to remove the inevitable pills.  Some knits, such as the Kidsilk Haze sweaters benefit from a swift going over with a soft brush to fluff it up again. It's also at this time that I'm pretty brutal and gift/donate sweaters that I don't wear anymore.  I only keep what I wear!  Next they are folded and placed in my mother's cedar "hope" chest that is still fragrant with cedar after almost 70 years.  I don't use any moth protection in the cedar chest.

The summer sweaters are removed from their winter home, and since they were washed and stored 6 months ago, they are ready to be placed in my sweater armoire. It's filled with plastic sweater bins purchased from The Container Store. I organize them by color and/or weight with 3 or more per bin. Since the bins are somewhat clear it's not too difficult to find what I'm looking for, although sometimes the sweater search is like playing a game of Memory and I never seem to return them to the same bin.

I am petrified of a moth infestation and do use limited moth control in the sweater bins around the wool. I prefer No Moth , (limited use) so please tell what you use, if anything.

So that's the epic sweater care and storage a la Knitionary! Knitting is the fun part, and the upkeep is the not so fun part, but I don't know how to avoid it!  I'd love to know what you do!