DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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11 November 2015

How to store wool and cotton for knitting

I'm looking forward to receiving a parcel from Ecoyarns containing some of their beautiful 8ply hemp yarn. I also ordered two Malachite O-Wool Balance skeins and some of the new Clouds cotton range.  So I wanted to get my yarns in order. I usually knit in the lounge room and over the past six months or so I've had my vintage knitting basket on one side and a magazine holder on the other side of my chair, both full of wool, cotton, alpaca and various works in progress.  I knew I had to sort it all out and if I could do it before the parcel arrived, I'd be one happy woman. It doesn't take much to put a smile on my face.

These are mainly Eco-Organic Cottons that I've used for projects and have a little left over, or I've simply wound as balls from skeins.

Yesterday morning, after I had lunch in the oven, I started cleaning that corner of the room, sorting through my yarns, throwing out little bits of paper with instructions I'd written for certain projects, reminders of things I wanted to record on TV, the top of a nightie pattern I drew and some kimchi recipes from my friend Kathleen. The last two I kept. I discovered a lot of end pieces. I usually knit them into dishcloths but these had fallen to the bottom of their containers, so I put all the cotton together, packed away the wool in plastic boxes in my sewing room and sorted through half my knitting needles. I found a small jar in the cupboard and kept a darning needle (for threading in loose ends), embroidery scissors, stitch holders of different sizes, stitch markers and a needle gauge there in the jar.


These are my works in progress. 

Now I have to work out how to store my yarns. Many years ago, there was an outbreak of wool moths here that invaded my wool stash and I had to get rid of a fair bit of wool. After that I put all the wool in the freezer for a week to kill the moth eggs and larvae and then I bought some large Decor clear plastic boxes with lids. By sealing everything in those boxes, I've never had to waste any more wool. But maybe there's a better way. How do you store your wool?  How do you store all your yarns? Please share your ideas with me because I want to keep knitting for a long time and I want to make sure my storage system protects the yarns from moths and dust. I also want to be able to see what I have through the boxes so I don't have to rummage around to find what I need. Who knows, I may keep the system I've got but if there is some other way that's better, I'd like to know about it.

A friend sent me this book and I'm using it to learn a few new stitches. 

I've just started a forum thread about this topic in case you have any photos of your yarn storage you can share. Otherwise, just add a comment here and tell me, and everyone else, how to you sort your yarns.

17 comments:

  1. Good morning Rhonda! I like to use the large snap lock plastic bags as I can fit yarn into these ( usually packed for specific projects) and they stack nicely onto my craft shelves, but still are easily visible. The decor type clear plastic boxe are great for larger quantities or left overs, or perhaps a set of yarn I have earmarked for a blanket.

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  2. Rhonda, I also wonder what hemp is like to knit with? What types of things do you tend to make with it??

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  3. I keep my wool stash in plastic bags, inside vintage suitcases. I label each suitcase with details of content. My little balls of leftover wool I store in a huge glass jar, the boys think they look like big candy balls :). Pam in Norway

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  4. I keep my yarns and fibres separated into weights (sport, DK etc) in plastic totes and put highly scented soaps I have been given as gifts into each tote to mask the smell of the wool from moths. I regularly vaccum around the totes and quarantine any yarn destashed by other people or bought second hand. Raw fleeces are stored on the back verandah until they are washed and scoured. Then they are stored in pillowcases, double folded at the top and labeled.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! We haven't had a problem with wool mouths, so I don't have a storage system worked out. But I just started to buy wool secondhand, and this made me realize I should be thoughtful aboys how I store it just in case. Thanks!!

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  5. It is nice to know I am in stellar company because I keep my wool in what we call in the U.S. Ziplock bags. I buy the gallon size, stick my yarn in, and can write on the label what the project is for. Then, I can stand or stack them in pretty baskets on my storage unit until I am ready to use them. I keep a pretty box to keep the ends in for dishcloths and baby socks. The fiber is sorted by size and kind to use for these little projects. The pretty baskets make me feel happy because they keep the packages out of sight and away from my cats until I am ready to use it!

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  6. Like the others have mentioned, I use zip lock clear plastic bags so I can see what's there, and I keep all the end pieces in one bag.

    In fact, I use zip lock bags for storing a lot of things, When we lived in our house, I had a problem with cockroaches in one set of drawers. Would clean it out, wash all the stuff, use cockroach baits but they came back again. So. I packed everything in separate zip lock bags and found that it was great because it was easy to get to things and stuff fitted better in the drawers that way. I was also able to take the bags out regularly and respray the drawers....and eventually got rid of the cockroaches.

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  7. What about in a cedar wood box or a camphor wood box? I have been keeping my eye out on gumtree for my yarns and mohair.

    Xx

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  8. My wool is stored in just a large box under my coffee table in the lounge. My odds and ends and anything I am working on is stored in my knitting bag. I have never had any problems with moths etc.
    I too store my knitting needles in a jug.
    Rosezeeta

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  9. I have a drawer in a chest of drawers upstairs with yarn that is end of balls from projects and yarn I have bought to knit something with but haven't got round to yet. Downstairs I have two fabric buckets one with all my needles in, the straight needles are in a bag, the dpn's in a roll up case and the needles on cables in a case. In the other bucket is my projects that I am working on.

    I have never had a problem with moths in my yarn. In fact I seem to have gotten rid of them from the house completely now. I make my own washing powder which is unscented and use white vinegar and lavender oil as a fabric conditioner, even tho' the lavender smell is not particularly strong to us it just be to the moths! My granny always kept lavender bags in her clothes drawers and wardrobes and with her yarn and she never had problems with moths either.

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    1. How much lavender oil do you add to your vinegar? Could you let me know the ratio? (Like ten drops per cup?) We have carpet beetles that like to eat natural fibers, and I'd like to keep them out of my drawers....

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  10. Hi Rhonda, I have my yarn sorted into different ply's, textures etc and stored in 10 litre plastic boxes I buy at Officeworks. I use this size box because they're easy to lift and they stack beautifully.

    Marion W.

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  11. I use a Starmaid plastic storage box for my yarn. My circular knitting needles came with their own storage, but like others I used a jug or mug previously. Any project I am currently working on is just on top of my side table. If I have a few projects going (or several colours of wool) I use one of my (broken) tote bags to keep them together.

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  12. I just bought some wool yarn..I never that about moths..ugh!! I also bought a pair of long straight needles that I am having a hard time with..they feel so awkward compared to my shorter needles. I would love advice on how to get used to them. I want to use them to knit a blanket..thought they would be easier that circulars?

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    1. I'm pretty sure the moths came from a new batch of yarn I bought into the house. Two weeks later there was suddenly wool moths chewing through my wool. I find circular needles easier than long needles. The only long needles I can knit on are bamboo needles with a very light end. Anything with a heavy end throws me out of balance. When I knit up a shawl, it's always on circular needles.

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  13. i have always used fabric bags for all my wool, i have lots of bags, they either have drawstring or zips, i find these good for storing, though recently i have bought some clear plastic storage boxes as i am getting so much wool here i'm running out of bags & thought they would be easier to store seeing as they stack on top of each other. never had moths either.
    love the jug idea for the needles, mine are just in a draw, my fine needles are in a plastic needle container & my DPNs are in a lovely fabric case my daughter made for me.
    selina from kilkivan qld

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