Monday, 8 December 2014

Looking after your stash

While rummaging through my big wooden box of yarns the other day, I noticed that some of them didn't smell....nice.  The fact that they smelt of anything couldn't be good!  I thought it was a musty smell and couldn't decide what to do.  I wondered if I might be storing them incorrectly or if they were just getting old.  I wrote to LoveKnitting.com and got a reply back from Julia:

The main issue would be humidity which can make the wool smell funny.  The first thing I would do is to unpack your wool and let it dry open and in a warm place to get rid of all the moisture.  To get rid of the smell I would opt for natural fresheners like essential oils or a bar of soap.  Add the essential oils such as lavender, mint, lemon or rosemary to a cloth or a bit of yarn or fabric you're not using anymore.  Once the yarn is dry pack it airtight in a plastic bag or similar so that moisture can't get to it anymore.

Today I unpacked everything!  I took the wool out their bags and arranged them all over the lounge, mostly on tissue paper as I didn't want them to get dirty.  (That makes my sitting room sound filthy, but you know what I mean....that odd mote of dust floating about...)  I realised that most of the yarns didn't smell at all, it was just the purer wool - and then, when I went to clean the box out, I realised the yarn smelt like BOX!  The wool has actually taken on the smell of wood!  Woody wool (or is that woolly wood?!)  Much relief - so it seems my stash hasn't been suffereing from humidity at all, just feeling a little boxed in.  However, I did repack everything into fresh, new closable bags and a couple of large resealable bags I happened to have spare.  Had great fun - everything is now quite visible and easy to locate.  Also, it was a great reminder of what I've got and what I could do with all those random leftovers (let alone entire bags of ten I haven't used yet....)  I liked the idea of a bar of soap to scent the box naturally so got a bar of lavender soap.  Amazing how LITTLE soap my supermarket had.  Don't people use soap any more?

Julia also sent me a link about storing wool, particularly helpful if you've got dreaded moths:

http://knitting.about.com/od/yarn/f/store_wool.htm

All this has been a huge reminder to KNIT MY STASH - a good idea considering my super-squeezed budget.  It's just that I think we've got enough jersies for now.......!

My wooden box



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