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In Northern California there is little need for wool sweaters. Never that cold. Most of ours are blends or even cotton. But my husband has this wool British army looking sweater with leather on the shoulders and a rolled collar. He loves it. Thinks it makes him look like a Brit. It got pretty cold last night (45) so he pulled it out. The moths have been very busy. There are several serious holes in it. Aside from cleaning out that drawer and fumigating, more mothballs, what can I do? He is sure I can fix it. After all, I knit. Does anyone have any advice or should I start looking for a replacement.
 

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For favorite sweaters I have repaired numerous holes by duplicating the stitches.
When I could not find a yarn match. I have carefully sewn the holes closed. My daughter has been thrilled!
I wish I knew the secret to protecting our wool items from the bugs. I have done so many things...
 

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Since you're a knitter, you know the basics. Thread in some lifelines above and below the hole, the ravel it back to an even edge, and knit a patch right in there, picking up the edges as you go. At the bottom of the patch, you can graft it, or even just do some kind of mattress stitch. I've never done this, but have seen it described. The only reason I'm even responding is because I find I'm getting braver in trying things as I age, gracefully. And with what we've been through, and still getting through, we've learned there's no certainty about much. So, go for it. Find a You Tube, imagine it in your head, and try it. What's to lose? Send us a picture of your success!
 

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I've been lucky and rarely have had a problem with those destructive moth larvae. The best to pack away winter woolens in is a cedar chest, but lacking that, you can use cedar chips. Use a plastic bag put a cup or two cedar chips in then add the sweater. Sweater will just require shaking out when you want to wear. Cedar chips are easy to find inexpensively, anywhere with pet supplies.
I like the idea of a few decorative patches sewn over holes. You can get soft faux swede patches, cut small squares and sew on with yarn, maybe a blanket stitch or such.
 

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Can you math the yarn? If so, you can mend the holes. It's a bit fiddly until you get the hang of it, but not too hard and fast once you get the hang of it. Easier if you use a crochet hook. I can't find a link for it right now but basically you put a knitting needle or darning needle in the bottom row of intact knit stitches to keep it from raveling farther. Then sew as many rows of yarn as the hole is deep across the hole. Keep it loose. I weave each end for about an inch on each side. Then with a crochet hook, put the hook into one of the intact knit stitches, then go up and catch a loop from the yarn above and pull it through the loop bottom. Continue on across the hole then continue up to the top of the hole.
 

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JoanAbrams said:
In Northern California there is little need for wool sweaters. Never that cold. Most of ours are blends or even cotton. But my husband has this wool British army looking sweater with leather on the shoulders and a rolled collar. He loves it. Thinks it makes him look like a Brit. It got pretty cold last night (45) so he pulled it out. The moths have been very busy. There are several serious holes in it. Aside from cleaning out that drawer and fumigating, more mothballs, what can I do? He is sure I can fix it. After all, I knit. Does anyone have any advice or should I start looking for a replacement.
yes a replacement husband, Damn the sweater.LOL
 

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First thing you need to do is clean the sweater of any remaining larvae. Patch it as best you can and when it is not the season, pack it in a vacuum bag, again, it needs to be clean first before storing.

In my opinion, moth balls do not work. A cedar chest, or vacuum bag is intended for winter clothes storage.
 

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Our school super had a sweater his son had given him years earlier which had been badly chewed on one sleeve (dog). It was a lovely Irish knit, braids and lattices, in aran white. He asked, without much hope, if I thought it could be fixed. I managed to repair it so you could hardly tell it was ever damaged, including all the pretty patterns, and matched the tension. He was so grateful.
Since the sweater is one of hubby's favorites, I'd sure give it a shot, as well as work on the eggs or moth remnants. Can you match the yarn? I suspect your climate makes sweater storage a challenge.
 

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Do try to get rid of any moth eggs/ larvae as they are likely to infest any natural fibres they find, including real hair (eg hair pieces). Putting items into a deep freeze for 48 hours is recommended by some experts, as well as making sure you air out any susceptible clothing at intervals as they don’t like disturbances. As for repairs, you’ve had good advice, but do make sure you have found all the areas that have been nibbled, as many will be very tiny and may not show up easily until the item is stretched a bit eg worn or washed. Good luck!
 

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Do you do any needle felting. I've got one of those 12 needle felting machines, and it is great for making repairs in seconds. I've had better luck with long lasting repairs using it, than raveling back and knitting in a patch. If the hole is less than 1/4 inch, I just felt it closed, and give the area around the hole some passes. For bigger ones, I've put a patch behind it, and felted it on. Slick.
 

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Susan P said:
Here's some more advice in addition to all the helpful suggestions from our KP friends.

I just came across this article a couple of days ago on how to repair knits:

https://www.treehugger.com/learn-lost-art-mending-knitted-garments-4858681
Thank you for the link, very helpful.
 

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You really do NOT want to use moth balls or other toxic methods to rid your clothes of moths. Instead use dry ice. Place garments and or skeins of wool in a thick trash bag, add about 1 - 1/2 lbs. of dry ice, seal the bag shut with duct tape and let the bag sit for a few days. Don't squeeze out all the air because as the dry ice sublimates (returns to its gas stage) the bag will expand and you don't want it to pop. I recently had to do this with my yarn stash as I received some yarn from a individual and I didn't realize it had "creatures" living in it. I treated all my yarn with the dry ice and all is fine now. FYI the cedar chips & blocks fragrance diminishes over time and it is the smell that deters the moths.
https://www.pesticide.org/moths_clothes
Good luck.
 

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I live in So. Calif. I have had problems with moths for years and years. In frustration I looked on the net and found a site that sells these little "tents" that contain a "moth attractor scent". They really do work!! I have not had a moth problem since. The ones that eat those little holes are not the large moths, it is those little pesky ones that also can get into your pantry and make your rice, flour, and wheat products ready for the trash. (although some say it is ok, just added protein????).

The name of these helpful items is "The Pantry Pest trap." And they are made by "Safer" brand. Order on line. They really do work! I always make sure I have a couple of boxes handy when I throw out those that get unsightly and contain too many moths. Try them, you'll like them
 
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