Yarn Terrors

Horrors! I had a knitter’s worst nightmare – while awake!

I recently switched phones and despite backing up my data, the yarn inventory on my Vogue knitting app did not carry over. I’m certain it was user error because most of my other data transferred.

I didn’t mind though. It was a perfect excuse to take out the yarn stash and air it out. I do that from time to time. It reminds me of the beautiful skeins I’ve picked up here and there and sparks project ideas.

Yarn Stash May 2014 2

To my horror, as I was halfway through taking it out of its bin, out flew a moth! Noooooooooo! You can imagine the waves of panic that shot through me. I chased the culprit around the room and away from my yarn. I then turned to my stash and immediately examined every single skein, ball and hank for damage. Alas, there were several casualties.

The next couple of days were devoted to separating the damaged skeins from the rest. I threw out three skeins that seemed to have gotten the worst of it. Thankfully, the damage seemed contained to a corner of one bin.

I was surprised to find the cursed critters in my stash. I periodically inspect and reorganize my stash (yes, I am a bit OCD about it) and keep a pile of cedar balls in each basket. But it was not enough.

Yarn Stash with Cedar Balls

After taking photos and entering my stash inventory into the app, I began storing the yarn inside plastic bags. I bought some lavender-scented moth balls wrapped in light paper and put one inside each bag, like little lethal sentinels guarding my treasures. I know those fibers are better off with circulating air but I was in defensive mode. I figured I could wash out the moth ball smell later. Better that than having to toss away yarn. My stash is a few skeins smaller but otherwise intact.

Yarn Stash May 2014 1

Now I really have to knit it down rather than risk losing any more of it. Yarn protection suggestions  are welcome.

42 thoughts on “Yarn Terrors

  1. What a nightmare! I´ve bought a nontoxic and biodegradable specific detergents for wool and silknthat smells rather nice to me, but it is said to be a deterrent to moths. You can buy it from http://www.fargkraft.com. I´ve also heard that you can put the yarnl in the freezer for some days if you suspect vermin.

  2. How awful! I switched phones and lost about half of my telephone numbers. I’d rather lose my numbers than a list of my stash! Glad there wasn’t more damage to your yarn stash. Darn moths!!! JoJo at BluegrassFiberArts.wordpress.com

    1. Thanks for the moral support. I have all sorts of project ideas for the yarn so that I can put it to good use. Even though I do love just having it around!

  3. Ah the beasts! I just found some in my wardrobe, they’d eaten a throw :( I do often wonder what they do about this in yarn shops – I guess the yarn doesn’t sit there very long with customers like me about! I’m sorry to hear you suffered casualties but glad there weren’t too many

    1. I wondered the exact same thing. Agree they must rotate it by selling it. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons my LYS has a huge end of year inventory sale – to reduce the amount of yarn they have to count and perhaps to reduce the risk of moths.

  4. Nightmare indeed! Makes me wonder about my stash, I probably shoud inspect mine too, especially after I discovered a tiny hole into a beloved cashmere sweater. And I probably should invest into cedar blocks and so on. Another lesson from your painful experience is that we probably should not stock too much at a time, or together. Strenghtens my resolution to go on a yarn diet and tackle all these projects I have stashed yarn for…

  5. oh no! you’ve made me want to go home and inspect my stash immediately!

    I do have a number of scented bar type thingys – they look like soap but are waxy kinda and covered mostly in a paper wrap… every now and then I scratch the surface to release a stronger scent and then tuck them away safely with my yarn… So far so far good and i’ve been using them for a couple of years – they were a wee pricey to purchase $15 each, but cheap insurance on the ridiculous size of my stash! :-)

    I’ve been thinking about bagging some up in snap lock bags too as I have run out room in cupboards… is it really that damaging to the fibres to not ‘breathe’?

    1. Sounds like you made a very good investment in those bars. Do you have the brand name? As for breathing, I read somewhere that you ought to let natural fibers breathe, especially woolens, i.e. not wrap them. But given that I will still take the stash out and admire the softness from time to time, I’m sure they will be fine!

  6. OMG.. you are really organised here.. and I got heaps to learn from you.. what kind of app do you use to keep track of your yarn stock.. i really have to learn from you to tidy things up.. :D

  7. I have started recording my stash on Ravelry. Two things work well for me. First I can link the stored yarn to projects so I have a record from raw yarn to completed item and don’t have to worry about the app as it’s backed up by Ravelry on a cloud somewhere.

    Moths, ick!!! *shudder*

    1. I started using the app before it occurred to me to use Ravelry. Still I like having the info at my fingertips with the app. Hopefully i won’t lose my entries again!

  8. Oh my goodness, that sounds absolutely awful!
    I don’t keep a large stash, I tend to only buy yarn when I have a project in mind. I do however have a huge stash of wool sweaters, those are kept in plastic bags in a cedar chest.
    I’ve been lucky, I’ve never seen a moth indoors, ever!

    1. Unfortunately I have. One ate away at a cashmere sweater. That’s when I went into action and placed moth balls and cedar balls everywhere, especially in my yarn stash. But the pesky little things still got to them. Hopefully they are gone for good.

  9. oh that’s awful! I fortunately don’t have much wool in mg stash. The majority of it are acrylics. I have never heard of lavender scented moth balls. Where can you get them?

  10. My husband and I just went through the exact same thing. We put all of our wool (and I felt and spin as well as knit, so it was a lot), into airtight containers. That stops larva and moths in one batch from spreading to another. Then, we froze the containers for a week, thawed them in the sun, and re-froze them, and still keep everything stored in airtight containers.
    Also, after you sort and store your yarn, vacuum. Vacuum, and then throw away the vacuum bag. This is our second moth invasion, and it happened because we missed a few larva the first time. Good luck!

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