Sunday, September 30, 2007

HELP!!!!! Bad Skein or Moth Damage?

I had another FO to post today, but I'm going to put that on hold because I'M FREAKING OUT!!!

*deep breath*

Okay, here's what's going on. I wound up two balls of sock yarn that's been in my stash for a very long time. One ball wound just fine. But the second ball, oh my, the second ball was broken in eight places. EIGHT PLACES!!!!!

So, my question to those of you who are much wiser than me, and to those of you who have dealt with moth damage . . . . how do I know if I have moth problems or if it's just a bum skein? I haven't seen moths around the house. Maybe we saw three in the living room that we killed over the entire Spring season, but never any near the yarn. What do I check the other skeins for? Any good web-sites that can help me identify if I have moth problems? How alarmed should I be?

*sob* my yaaarrrrnnnnn *sob*

13 comments:

Sue J. said...

Karen, I wouldn't take a chance that there are 8 breaks in a skein of yarn from a manufacturer. Can't say whether it's critters or not, but here's what I do. I stuff dryer sheets (cheapest I can find that has a strong, pleasant odor) in all my baskets, bins, drawers, etc., anywhere where I stash my stash. I also use used up bars of soap in baggies that have a few holes punched in them. Between the two, I have yet to see moth damage, and out here we have plenty of mothes. If you use moth balls, the stink will stay in the yarn forever. Good luck.

Ragan Knits etc... said...

ACK!!!! Ok...airtight container...and cedar balls that you can get at walmart instead of moth balls (because of the smell). I have also heard about the dryer sheets thing working. I do not know how to check the yarn for moth stuff either...oh my. My grandmother swore that the cedar chest was the best place to keep wool...in lieu of that I use the airtight containers with those cedar ball things. Which...is where my little suggestion came from. I will see what I can find out for you.

The_Add_Knitter said...

What brand was the yarn? Was it Trekking by any chance? Because I've had this happen to me with Trekking, which I now despise...

Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

You need to check your stash. If you see any fine webby-like things, or little brown things that are wrapped in a webby-like substance, or little brown things that upon close inspection look like little shells... you have moths. We got them from our macaw's feed - they were in the feed when we brought it home from the grocery store (we feed him regular trail mix sans the chocolate - makes you never want to eat trail mix again).

Freezing is the best thing you can do to eradicate them. Things like cedar and lavender repel them because of their aroma, but they don't get rid of them. If they're already there, you can put dryer sheets, a field of lavender, or a 2x4 of cedar with the stash and it won't help. I used to have a chest freezer that I would just dump all the yarn into. If you leave it in there for about three or four days, you'll kill all the larvae at whatever stage of development they're in. Then put the smellies in with the stash after you've taken it out of the freezer.

There's been a lot of discussion about what attracts moths to wool. First it was thought that it was the dirt and lanolin in unwashed fleeces. Then it was thought it was the odor of wool itself. Then it was thought that it was the oils in wool. Now the scientists don't have a clue. Moths just like wool, and not all wool. They don't attack buffalo, or llama, or other exotics. But they sure love sheep.

If you have that many separations in a skein, you probably have moths. Look at the ends of the yarn. What does the break look like? Did it just drift apart, or was it a clean break? Drifting means moths; a clean break is the manufacturer's fault. If it's clean, then take it back to the store where you got it. Manufacturers don't want their yarn to have defects like that. Your yarn store should send the skein back to the manufacturer so they know what's going on.

Sorry this ran so long, but I was trying to get in as much info as possible.

Sonya said...

I hope it was just a bad skein! I'm going straight to the store for some dryer sheets.

Elizabeth said...

Good luck! For once I hope the yarn was at fault.

~Kristie said...

OH NO!! I sure hope it isn't moths because ... well, I won't go there.

Hate to comment & run, but I'm going to raid the laundry room of dryer sheets right now!!

Heide said...

Oh dear! I am so sorry for your poor little skein. I don't know which is better... to hope that it was an after-market problem or to wish that it was a manufacturing flaw. Both choices suck.

MissyJoon said...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!!!

Yikes--I need more dryer sheets, and a lavendar plant. Most of my stash is in the cedar closet. I say by a freezer!!!!

Zarzuela said...

OMG. I really am not much more help than what is already posted above, but I would definitely go the freezer route just to be sure if nothing else. I've also heard that after you take it out for a day or two put it back in again. If anything came out of dormancy after the thaw you'll kill it off with the second round. Do let us know how it goes! Hugs!

Jessica

Kelly said...

A knitter's worst nightmare. I've been fortunate (knock on wood) so far and haven't had a problem. I'm crossing my fingers that you just have a bum skein!

Jennifer said...

*shudder* I think Yarn Harlot has some thoughts on moth eradication. *shudder* I'm sorry I'm not more help...

Dipsy said...

Ohhh, poor you! I honestly don't know if this could be moth damage, considering the fact that you haven't seen any moths in your house - I'd say you must have seen them if there were any! And, the yarn I was working with lately (the cobweb for the lace doily), was broken all the time too, at least in 5, 6 places - and I know that we don't have any moths here. I'm blaming the yarn manufacturers and am perfectly angry on them, but if this is mad on them - but I honestly don't know if this is the case for you too. But, if you're storing your yarn in air-tight containers, I think you could prevent any possible damage before it happens!

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