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Is there a yarn that

Posted by: Colleena (IP Logged)
Date: May 05, 2009 06:00PM

Is there a natural fiber yarn that isn't effected by moths? I thought that having my mohair in a plastic tub with lid and cedar balls. Well, I opened it up and sure enough, it had been eaten by moths ANYWAY! (I've had this yarn for about 5 years)

I know Merino is a wool, but how does it stand against moths? What about alpaca?

I was really surprised because I thought that because Arizona is so dry, that it wouldn't be much of a problem. I don't want to spend money only to lose it to bugs!


Posted by: knittingmom (IP Logged)
Date: May 05, 2009 07:13PM

I've had wool yarn in tubs for about 15 years, in the company of mothballs, and smelly though it is, have never had problems with those pesky critters. It does take a while for the smell to air out when you remove the yarn for your project, but well worth the investment in those smelly white balls, if it means saving your valuable yarn. I do know that bay leaves will deter bugs in grains, but whether that would work with wool I do not know, not having tried it. You might check the library for a book on natural remedies (going green they now call it), and discover a less scentful means of protecting your wools and woolens. Until then, Happy Knitting!!! Marian

Posted by: craftsman (IP Logged)
Date: May 06, 2009 05:38AM

With all the protection you gave that yarn, it is surprising (or amazing) that moths were still able to ruin it.

[At the risk of being called a fiber snob, I ask myself, half-smiling, "Do you think putting in a skein of cheap "plastic" (acrylic) yarn would have been an effective deterrent? Maybe something about it--detectable only by the sensibilities of a moth--would put off the critters."]

As far as other fibers being moth-proof, I wonder about some of the non-wool alternatives now available (cotton, silk and bamboo come to mind). You might ask at a local yarn shop (if you have one), or maybe inquire at some of the online shops.

I also remember seeing a fairly new book (can't remember the title) about yarns having non-wool, natural fibers. Your local bookstore may have a copy you can glance through to see if this kind of information is included.

Posted by: craftsman (IP Logged)
Date: May 06, 2009 05:53AM

The book I mentioned is No Sheep for You: Knit Happy with Cotton, Silk, Linen, Hemp, Bamboo & Other Delights by Amy R. Singer (Paperback - April 1, 2007), ISBN-13: 9781596680128, list price $22.95.

I also noticed another title: The Natural Knitter: How to Choose, Use, and Knit Natural Fibers from Alpaca to Yak by Barbara Albright (Hardcover), ISBN-13: 978-1400053520, list price $32.50.

Both are listed on Amazon.com so you can probably find new or used copies for less than list price.

Note: I have not looked at these so have no opinion; I'm just passing along titles in hopes there is some information that may be useful to you. I myself prefer to look through a book to be sure it contains what I need, before I make the purchase.

Posted by: craftsman (IP Logged)
Date: May 06, 2009 05:59AM

Here's another possibility: Go to [knittersreview.com], where they have reviews of yarns. Even if the reviews don't cover moth-proofing, you could check the forums and ask.

(Again, I'm not a member so have no opinion, but the site certainly looks reputable.)

Posted by: Alex (IP Logged)
Date: May 06, 2009 01:01PM

Check out this website:

I just gave it a cursory glance, but it looks like it's full of hints.

I'll add that I bought my mother a beautiful hand-knit import several years ago. The whole shipment had been treated with kerosene for mothproofing. I washed that thing about ten times before I got the stench out. Also I noticed that one of the home concoctions on the website listed above uses pennyroyal. I find that odor violently nauseating.

A devoted section of the freezer might be an unusual but certainly mothproof choice.

Posted by: Colleena (IP Logged)
Date: May 06, 2009 05:00PM

Thanks for all the info! I stay away from moth balls because of the smell and my kitties (who want to play with them!). I thought cedar was suppose to be effective, but sigh. I will follow up on those books! I knew this site would have infor for me!

Posted by: jeanette (IP Logged)
Date: May 09, 2009 10:44AM

If you can find a Fuller Brush person - they have moth cakes that are rose scented and are not so offensive to our noses. I live in the country and keep them in all my closets year round. I have not had any problems with any of my woolens or yarns in 11 years.