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Yarn storage (keep away bugs!)

learning yarn

It’s (almost) springtime here in Minnesota. Despite Mother Nature fluctuating between highs of 35F and 58F, signs of spring are starting to show. Less snow, more rain. Some green, if you squint. And bugs. The boxelders were out in force the other day and it got me thinking about my yarn storage. So I’ve complied some information about storing yarn and preventing bug issues.

    The number one thing that will help keep your yarn safe and healthy is to prevent moisture from sticking around your yarn. Moisture isn’t good for fiber, in terms of storage. It will encourage mold and bugs if unattended to - what a poor way for yarn to go! Storing yarn in airtight containers is great to help keep them dry. But even then, it’s good to monitor your yarn and let it breath outside of storage every now and then. Taking yarn out to admire it and care for it…oh no…how horrible. 😂

    Creating an environment that deters bugs is also important for yarn storage (and not just for wool based fibers). If possible, keep your yarn from hanging out on the floor. On the floor = easier for bugs to get it (and potentially moisture depending on your home/climate).
    A common bug deterrent is cedar. It’s fairly easy to obtain: either buy cedar made for clothing storage or maybe you know someone who would be willing to cut some cedar for you. Cedar chests are also a great storage option and can last a while with the right care.
    Over time, cedar will loose it’s repellent qualities - but don’t throw it out! You can rejuvenate it with cedar oil. You should be able to find this at a local or big box hardware store, or ordering it online. There might be specific instructions for the oil you get, so follow what’s on the label. I am not a woodworking expert, so I can’t give advice on the exact steps for cedar oil.
    Making sachets with lavender is another popular way to deter bugs (peppermint, smelly soaps, and camphor were also mentioned in a variety of blog posts). With all of these, make sure you are using dry ingredients - we don’t want to add moisture to our yarn! Even if it might deter bugs.

    Something to keep in mind when using scents to deter bugs is keeping the ingredients away from your pets. While the scent itself might not be toxic, if your pet ingests the oil it could be very dangerous. So if you’re using cedar oil or making sachets, keep your pet away from the space until you’re done and have cleaned up. Always check with your vet on poisons/toxins. If you suspect your pet has ingested something, has gotten it in their fur or on their face, definitely call your vet or an emergency clinic.

    A clean and sealed home will also help reduce the chance of bugs. A great resource I found was this The Spruce article. There are more bugs than just the cloth-eating moths out in the world that want your yarn. My least favorite are silverfish (They also like to eat books and are just plain gross. Why do they have to move that fast?!), but it’s good to be aware of all these bugs.

    It might seem like a lot to keep track of (and this isn’t an exhaustive post), but I think the biggest thing is to keep your yarn safe in a container. I will be the first to admit that I don’t take my yarn out enough to check it. However, we have the internet and if something comes up, I know I can always look up solutions. I hope this was helpful! If there’s something I missed, let me know - I might come back to yarn storage again.

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