I went to Morocco* in early 2001.
I froze my ass off, so I bought a huge sweater from a man who was knitting them on the street.
He said it was made of camel hair, but it was also dirt, vegetable matter, shit, and even a dead tick. And it had a strong pissy odor.
But it was warm.
I washed it well when I got home.
But then it was thoroughly and viciously attacked by moths in the great wool annihilation of 2002. Obviously I had not washed it enough, for the little wriggly f*ckers ate it up like it was smothered in delicious shitsauce.
I washed it well again, and again, and sealed it up and froze it for months.
A year later, in 2003, while spending time in New Mexico, I found some Navajo Churro bulky yarn scraps that somewhat matched the colors. Some of my fixes and mends were good and blended well, some not at all, as seen in the right half below.
I wore it around the house for a few years, but not often because it was a bit sheddy, and I’d still get poked and annoyed by residual vegetable matter.
When I moved a few years later, I was still dubious of its trustworthiness and I feared that it could still have moth eggs – I didn’t have any evidence of them, but instead I felt a ghost of an ominous presence. Not wanting to potentially infest our new place, even with phantasmic creatures, I triple-bagged it, froze it again, and didn’t bother to deal with it for a few years.
However, after a month living with a not-quite-working-right furnace, and wanting its warmth, I just dug it out during the Polar Vortex to wash it
once thrice more and assess its condition.
I still can’t get over the beautiful greys and browns.
But good god, it was still a dirty beast and a few more holes and seams opened up from the wash – but it also softened quite a bit. I’ve got some tri-color Jacob fleece that I could spin to make a convincing mending yarn, but I may just keep up with my more motley repairs and call it full of character.
(And please let that be all that it’s full of.)
*An awesome trip, and I was quite lucky to get there before all hell broke loose here months later. I’d share pics, but those were my pre-digital (better) days. I went with my mother who was approached by a man with an offer to trade me for a camel. I think she had to think about it for a minute – the camel was quite lovely and had blue eyes.