too many sweaters

It's time I admit it: I have too many sweaters. Strange, isn't it? You'd think a knitter would believe there is no such thing, especially if said knitter lives in a northern state with long, cold winters and wool weather a good 6-8 months out of the year. How do I know I've got too many?

1. My sweater drawer is stuffed full.  I live in a small house with tiny closets, so I have to be careful about accumulation of clothes and shoes, which really isn't so hard for me except in the area of knitwear. I simply don't have room for more sweaters.

2. I don't wear them all. I've got my favorites, for sure. By far the sweaters that get the most wear are frumpy jacket-types because they are warm and comfortable. But there's this itchy cardigan I never put on, that pullover that would be totally and perfect if the sleeves weren't 2" too short, the beautiful striped sweater that fits me perfectly except that it's made out of wool and has 3/4 sleeves that are too warm for cool weather and not warm enough for cold weather, the alpaca vest that bunches around my middle in a completely unflattering way, and this other cardigan that is just lovely except that I'm convinced it makes me look old and for my age I have a lot of gray hair so I'm kind of sensitive about that...

3. But I plan to knit more sweaters. Lots more. Duh. Have you seen my stash? (No, you probably haven't, come to think of it, because I prefer to give that whole "flash your stash" thing a skip. My stash, my business. Anyway, it's big. I could knit a lot of sweaters without spending another cent for a long while.)

4. There are so many more potential sweaters in the stash. Like, lots more. I could knit my way into the next Ice Age, yo. I guess this ties in with #3.

So why hang onto sweaters I don't wear, that don't fit, that itch, that never suit the weather? Simply put: I'm not sure what to do with them. I'm not really attached to the finished objects. I'm a product-oriented process knitter, if there is such a thing. I like being highly productive and churning out lots of finished items, but not because I am sentimental about keeping them. I love the process of knitting and I have a very strong need to have something to show for how I spend my time, but I also have no problem giving a lot of things away. I love knitting for new babies and I knit socks for my family and once things are off the needles and lovingly wrapped and sent off, I more or less forget about them.

I think I could give half my sweaters away and I wouldn't miss them. Seriously. I can always knit more, and I will. The problem is, what do I do with the sweaters I am willing to part with? Donate to a thrift store? That seems like a waste, frankly. I don't go to thrift stores often, but hand-knit sweaters would be a big step up from the usual fare. I don't know anyone my size who would want all my hand knit rejects. These sweaters are not suitable for overseas charities, like Afghans for Afghans, since they request new items.

What to do? I guess I could always just give them to a local thrift store and forget about them. I may do that just to clear some space and get a clean start. Do you guys have any better suggestions?


ann said…
My first inclination is to say call around to some local churches and see if they have a clothes closet.
Anonymous said…
Why not frog them to make other things out of them. That what I'm planning to do with 2-3 of mine that are not for me wearing.
WildflowerWool said…
Reusing the yarn (except the itchy one) is a good idea or what about a woman's shelter?
Jessi said…
Look around for a consignment store. Some will only take certain brands which lets out handmade stuff, but you'd get something out of it and have more assurance that it's going to someone who would love it.
canadahauntsme said…
Donations are always a great idea. I know you participate in afghans for Afghans. Is there something like that you could donate them to?

I only say this because I'm pretty sure they wouldn't fit me, so I can't take them off your hands =)

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