Life can seriously slap you in the face sometimes.

Take last Monday. It’s finally getting cool out, and the blub’s been complaining of his cold head in the mornings.

Time to pull the knits out.

Now normally, this is a happy time of year for me. I get to wear wool again, yay! And the first part of this ritual was very enjoyable. I got the plastic tubs of coats and hats and scarves and sweaters down from the attic. The blub and I even went through the winterwear and got rid of some of his old stuff, which lit me up with joy because getting rid of stuff is something he is really not good at. And when you live in a 900 sq ft house with slanted walls and no closets, this gets to be a big deal.

So I spent a happy hour, throwing scarves upon scarves upon scarves on the Goodwill pile. (Seriously, he had about ten. How many scarves can a person possibly wear?) Then I went to unpack my winter sweaters.

Now, I just want to take a moment to say that I do not store the handknit sweaters up in the attic. It’s actually over the garage, not the house, and it can get a bit dank up there during the summer. It’s humid here. ‘Nuff said. And now I am very very very glad that I keep this policy. Because I found something not-so-happy when I opened up the sweater box.

A mouse had gotten in there.

sweater horror

Some disgusting little rodent had used my sweaters as a summer abode. And ripped up my very favorite sweater. A small-gauge angora/wool blend with a huge cowl-neck. And it had sentimental value to me too, since it was the sweater I wore to my Grandma’s funeral. It didn’t make me sad, as you might think. Instead it made me think of her, so I really loved to wear it. And now it’s in tatters with mouse poo and pee all over it.

It got a few others, too.

sweater horror too

This was my second favorite sweater. I might be able to fix this one. There’s only one hole, and it’s in the hood.

lovely vintage skirt horror

It also got this fabulous vintage skirt. Totally destroyed. It got two other sweaters too, ones that I cared less about. So now I’m down a total of four winter sweaters. And one skirt.

&*%$* mice. I’m so setting traps up in the attic next year. And not the nice catch-and-release ones that I normally use, either. Total vendetta time.

So once I got past scheming about little mousy deaths, I had to go shopping. I need some more sweaters.

Has anyone been sweater shopping lately? Holy crap! Retail sweaters suck!

A lot of my problem is that I don’t particularly like the fashions out right now. It’s like the retail industry is out to make everyone look a) like a time-traveler from 1984 and b) pregnant. How else would you explain something like this? Or this? And what is with all these bulky knits with short sleeves? I love how the website describes it as “a long, tall silhouette.” Um no, it’s more like a four-year-old-wearing-mummy’s-vest silhouette.

And on the rare occasion I found something I did like (that wasn’t crazy-expensive), I was appalled at that little content tag. “Seventy bucks for an acrylic sweater?!” I yelled in the middle of American Eagle.

(I left right after that, and I swear it had nothing to do with the nasty looks I was getting from the sales staff.)

Dammit, I want wool! Wool! Isn’t that kind of the point of sweaters? And the thing that really chaffs my ass is that I can think of about ten sweaters that I love right now. And where did I find them? Ravelry.

Like this Monon. This beautiful cardigan, made from the knitter’s own handspun. This fabulous Mrs. Darcy. Baby cables and big ones, too. Silken scabbard, although I would worry about the increasing size of the cables making my butt look big. Indigo playmate, which I have the yarn for. I also heart this one, and I recently learned that Stephanie Japel put the sweater I’ve been lusting over for years, her big brown cardigan, into Glam Knits.

I also saw a beautiful color of Paton’s classic merino about two weeks ago at Michaels. It was on sale for $3.99/skein. So I could make that last sweater for about…$30.

I did end up getting some good deals at Goodwill. Three sweaters and a pair of (really cute!) shoes for $17. And I got this at Target. (Even though the blub says I look like an old lady trying to look chic in it. He can go screw. I like it.) So that will tide me over for a bit. I am also actually knitting a sweater right now, but have put it aside for Christmas knits.

But when those are done? Sweaters and socks, baby. Sweaters and socks.