How I Rescued My Hand Knit Accessories

It's not too late. Rescue your hand knits today.

Until last week, my hand knit accessories lived in a tangled, disorganized pile in a dirty storage bin in the bottom of the bedroom closet, chaotically disorganized amidst the non-knitted accessories. Plus a few old cottons tees.

I will pause while you gasp and then regain your composure.

It is criminal, I know.

A hand knit shawl should not smell musty. It simply cannot be.

Sadly our house is tight on storage space. The fact that we are minimalists doesn’t seem to comepensate.

The gravity of the situation hit me. Hard. I quickly freed up a basket and rolled the scarves, shawls, and hats just so. Tidy. Safe. Easy to find.

If only I can find a situable place to store the basket.

What struck me the most was this: after a near two decades of knitting, mostly accessories at that, this is all that remains. Of the zillions of mittens, scarves, shawls, and hats that I have created (some prettier than others), all I have kept for myself are the knits in this basket. Nothing more.

Except for the pair of fingerless gloves stashed in my purse for cold driving mornings.

And the hat knit in 1999 that resides in my car for emergencies. (Best not to be car-stranded without a good hat in the event Pure Survival is an issue. Be prepared for emergencies. Knitting just might save your life.)

Otherwise, it has all been gifted. Holidays. Birthdays. Babies. Just because. Such is the way of the knitter. And rightly so. How many scarves does one person actually need? Five? Less? More?

All this leads me to think of the hand knits that have been passed on to friends and family over the years. I cringe a bit to think of the particularly ugly ones…the leg warmers knit in too heavy a wool, gifted to the yoga teacher who surely buried them in the bottom of her own closet. At best. Some friends were luckier. They received nicer knitted gifts. Soft. Lacy. Pretty.

I hope they are well loved.

A knitter wishes the best for knitted gifts as they make their way to a new home, just as a mother frets and hopes for her children, even after they are grown.

Now, where should I put that basket?

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  • Reply Anna Prasad October 2, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Well done for rescuing those gorgeous handknits, I love how they look in your basket. Like you I knit mainly for others, isn’t it a shame? Anna from

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life October 5, 2015 at 9:23 am

      It is a shame. Although I think it assuages my guilt about buying myself holiday gifts when I do my end-of-year shopping for others. Otherwise, I never get what I want…

  • Reply Karin October 3, 2015 at 5:25 am

    I’m trying to get my finished things better organized. It’s helped that I moved this time last year and can approach the (monumental) task at my leisure.

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life October 5, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Very nice, although I find the my projects that can occur “at my leisure” actually never happen. This includes getting fit, organizing boxes of lifetime keepsakes in the hall closet, and painting the window trim in the living room. Bad on me.

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life October 5, 2015 at 9:33 am

      My at leisure tasks includes things I NEVER manage to get to: getting fit, painting the trim on the living room windows, and organizing childhood memorabilia and other “keepsakes” stored in the hall closet. This is why I need to win the lottery and hire a personal assistant.

      • Reply Karin October 5, 2015 at 12:19 pm

        Same here! I need to check this week’s numbers πŸ™‚

  • Reply Alina October 3, 2015 at 9:11 am

    A basket full of hand knit treasures should be put on display! Maybe in some cozy corner, this way each time you walk in the room you’ll smile and want to knit again! at least that what happens to me πŸ™‚

  • Reply Mimi October 3, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I do think of the things that I’ve knitted and given as gifts – how they are faring, whether they are loved. Isn’t that funny? I thought I was the only one!

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life October 5, 2015 at 9:36 am

      For sure. I am going to devise a GPS tracking system/Nanny Cam to sew into my holiday knits. For sure.

  • Reply Louise October 4, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Great organization, the basket is a wonderful idea. I like to think all our hand knit gifts are being used until they wear out. Then I can knit more πŸ™‚

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life October 5, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Tragic to admit that they sometimes DO wear out, although mine tend to live on for near-eternity, pilled and thread bare. Sigh.

  • Reply DKnits October 4, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Rolling your knits in a basket is a great idea! Knitting is caring right? I like the idea of my knits warming a neck, a pair of hands or feet somewhere πŸ™‚

  • Reply knittedblissjc October 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    oh man, I hear you on this- it’s hard to be a minimalist and a crafter, I find! I’m int he midst of a huge purge in our place, but the proper storage of knits is high on my priority list- the only problem is now that i’m in the habit of putting away my seasonal knits in big ziploc bags, I find it heard to find them again when the season comes back around! Caring for our knits is totally a challenge.

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life October 5, 2015 at 9:43 am

      I sometimes put away seasonal clothes…Then it feels like Christmas when I (finally) remember to pull them back out of storage six months later. New clothes! I also felt this way when I finally put away my maternity clothes and dug my old normal clothes back out. Very thrilling indeed.

  • Reply pumpkin sunrise October 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    I bought a shelf for the foyer and my first shelf holds baskets with knits, so go furniture shopping!! Love that you organized and tidied, I love to do stuff like that.

  • Reply Lina October 6, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    ha! I have my knits in a canvas box so they’re easy to find but it’s overflowing… I have way too much stuff. Even though I swear I do knit for others too. πŸ˜‰ I love your rolled up accessories basket. So pretty!

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