Yarn. Moth. Bad.

October 19, 2009

This is disgusting.

My yarn stash. Infested. Moths, little larval wormy white things. Barf city.

Serves me right, I guess, for overstashing — even in Le Petit Maison. Just desserts, I suppose, for storing my piles of chunky Manos del Uruguay wool and the last of the Rowan Tweed Mouse lot saved for my mister’s Mister Rogers cardi and the bunny-soft worsted alpaca hand-spun and hand-dyed from the hair of this. very. beasty:

out in the open, where the burrowing parasites could spin their vile tents and lay their maggoty eggs. (This is disgusting.)

The point: I want to be Small; I want to keep my yarn, not toss and replace because of some bugs. But can I?

Any advice from the other knitters out there? Can I keep? Must I chuck?

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7 Responses to “Yarn. Moth. Bad.”

  1. Winnifred said

    Stuff it all in plastic bags and put it in the freezer for a while (sorry, not sure how long “a while” is – I forgot mine was there until my husband asked why there was no room for his fish) This kills the beasties and you can sort out the saveable from the rest. Good luck.

  2. Vismajor said

    I haven’t dealt with this personally, but Stephanie Pearl-McPhee wrote about ridding her stash of clothes moth larvae in “The Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter.”

    The chapter was pretty thorough, but in summary, her technique was to:
    1) Bag it all & freeze it; she used an indoor freezer & the Toronto winter. :)
    2) After three days, lay down plastic drop cloths; un-bag the stash a bit at a time & shake it over the drop cloths. The eggs would hit the cloths & sound like sand falling. Those are your “unsafe” items.
    3) Sort the stash so the items with animal fibers were separated from cotton, acrylic, etc. “Safe” items could go back in the stash.
    4) Microwave the unsafe items, watching carefully for staples in the ball bands, for a short time.
    5) Repeat that cycle for unsafe items until there aren’t any more eggs.
    6) Scour the stash area until it’s super clean.

    I recall there was something about the timing of it all, where the trip from cold to heat would trick the larvae into thinking it was time to hatch & thus make it easier to kill them.

    Good luck!

  3. Thank you both so much. This process sounds mega-grody, but I want my alpaca back!

  4. Kissley said

    don’t know what to say about that larvae…that ish is just gross. so sorry girlfriend.

    we keep conkers in our closets to keep moths away from our woolies. (something our granny has been doing for like a hundred years.) we also have these nice smelling cedar balls. one of these two works or the two combined. but i bet the conkers are the ‘greener’ choice. we pick them up during walks in the park. =)

    thanks for reminding to finish up a scarf i started knitting last year!

    love from london,
    the kissley & sasson show

    • Thanks, Kissley. Okay, so I had to look up “conkers” — though I used context clues to guess that they were the nut of some kind of tree. Go reading comp! — but they work, huh? I’m hoping the freezing technique leaves me with larva-free yarn. Yeeeeeeeechk.

      Good luck with your scarf. I hope it doesn’t have any living things in it. :)

  5. sweetcultivator said

    Take the leftovers that can’t be reused to put it out for the birds to grab to build their nests.

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