The cleaning o' the closet

How many black t-shirts does one girl need?

Those of you with new homes won't understand the singular joy of living with 100-year-old closets. Come to think of it, I can't think of a single joy. But back in the day when homeowners had more pressing priorities than acquiring stuff, they built tiny closets. Real tiny.

The above photo gives a sense of scale. My little closet benefits from our tall ceilings. A previous owner thoughtfully built a few shelves and shoe cubbies. I've added some hooks and nails from which I hang a continually expanding handbag collection, totebags for yarn and clothes I'm too lazy to hang up.

Occasionally, the closet needs a good purge and the purgee, a good dose of reality. As in: That Nicole Miller skirt will never fit again in your natural life. So, bubbye.

Having a healthy respect for knits, they are the last to go. Mom made this in the late 1980s on a Brother knitting machine. The top is a textury seed stitch and the skirt the tautest stockinette you've ever seen. It's stunningly well made. I wore it with bone tights, shoes, shoulder pads and purls. I adored it.

But this sweet little suit hasn't seen the light of day in years. And now that I'm a gray-haired old couger, the color is wrong, and, That skirt will never fit again in your natural life...

Closet archaelogy is a trip down memory lane is it not? The blouse your wore on your first date with your husband? (Still in the closet). Wedding shoes? (On the top shelf.) Lavender silk pajamas a gift from a long-deceased friend. (Hanging happily from a bar.)

If Mom wasn't so prolific a knitter, the suit would have stayed. But I am the spoiled beneficiary of many knits, beautiful things I wear constantly. Time to pay this knit forward.

So now there's room for the clothes. But where to put the yarn?

Comments (3) -

November 24. 2008 00:55


My 114-year-old house has a surprising amount of closet space, but I need to do some purging, too.

If you think someone can still get some use out of the nifty knit, donate it. But another option is to (gasp!) unravel it and use the yarn to make something new.

Kitt |

November 24. 2008 12:01


Closet cleaning.  Oh, the things we find.  And the yarn...shouldn't you get rid of more clothes to make space for the yarn?

christie |

November 24. 2008 13:09


I like the underbed option for yarn storage.  If you google it, Lily Chin has a list of places to hide stash - unused teapots and such - it's pretty funny!

5elementknitr |

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