Thursday, October 9, 2014

And we're under attack ...

What would be the opposite of a yarn along post? Probably something like this.

That's my husband's scarf that I didn't finish in time for Christmas last year. It's been sitting at the bottom of the basket for months. During naptime this afternoon, I pulled it out and put it back on the needles. I found my place on the chart. I turned on my podcast. I knit a row. I shook the whole thing out onto the couch beside me.

A piece of the end came off in my hand.

I blinked. I held it up. I saw holes. I saw ... mealy stuff. Maybe that milk I'd spilled on it and wiped off--not super thoroughly--shortly before I set the thing aside for the summer?

A worm poked its head out at me. The same shade of blue as the yarn. The beautiful Brooklyn Tweed yarn.

I dropped the scarf. Jumped off the couch. Maybe indulged in a little shriek before venting my horror on Facebook. 

Slowly I did what I needed to, working up the courage for each step. Shoved all the yarn in the basket into the freezer; wait five minutes. Take out all the papers that were in the basket and throw them out in a ziploc bag; wait five minutes. Shove the scarf into a plastic bag and then into the freezer. Wait again. Examine the basket, notice moth bodies in the bottom, set it outside to deal with later. Vacuum, put the vacuum bag into a ziploc and throw it out. 

I vacillated about the scarf itself. The actual damage was all within the first foot of the scarf. The remaining yard or so was hole-free. As it sat in my freezer while I looked at the stash on my shelf, I decided to just throw it all out. Better safe than sorry.

But when I unfurled it onto the deck ... it was a hard decision to make. I cut off the damaged part ... and noticed that the rest of the scarf was peppered with moth corpses. That answered my question.

still in disgrace

 I plan on washing the basket with hot soapy water and letting it sit awhile to make sure nothing else hatches. Because I really, really love this basket. And I'd really, really like to still use it for knitting projects. But I welcome any words of advice or warning.

I will probably throw out the yarn in the freezer, except for a skein I need for a sweater (should I just order another??) and half a skein of Tosh Sock, which I guess I'll have to wash.

And I will look through my entire stash. I am fairly certain it's safe, as it was in another room entirely (and had no milk spilled on it), but I need to check. But not until my husband comes home. And not without a glass of wine.

In the meantime I'll just sit here jumping a mile whenever I imagine I see a flutter in the corner of my vision. 


  1. [Hi from a random lurker: I've stumbled upon your blog before, through Ginny's Yarn-Along and by wandering down some spiral of blogs that inspire me (the source of which I forget) as a Christian newlywed struggling through unknown pain issues (maybe endometriosis). Saw today's post and had to comment!]

    But Rosemary, I literally JUMPED out of my seat when I read about the moth larva in your project! My own apartment was invaded by paper wasps for a few weeks, and let me tell, you, I STILL jump everytime I see something black or hear a curtain rustle. I also check every ball of yarn thoroughly, just to be safe. Hate when insects make life difficult! Praying the moth issue is taken care of soon!

    1. Ack, I hate wasps and stinging things!! Oh my goodness. The summer before I got married they made two nests in my parents' house ... one of which was right above my brother's closet. I am really glad it was in his room and not mine so I didn't have to listen to the little scrabbling noises! They are the worst, aren't they? They make your skin creep!

    2. It definitely was one of the worst things my husband and I have gone through in our almost 10 months of marriage (not that that is a lot of time). Luckily, it really seems like they were in the outside soffets and are frozen to death now in our chilly NY nights!

      And so sorry to hear it's a full-blown moth infestation! Praying it's not a horrific one and easily contained.

  2. Ugh, that sounds horrrrible. I would have had to take the 5 minute breaks, too (at least!) I hope you can at least save your basket!

  3. Oh dear that is painful. Though I think moths only go for really nice wool, so maybe you should take it as a sort of compliment.

  4. OH. MY. That is sad and horrible! I hope you can get rid of them with the soapy wash. That happened to my friend, she found worms in a basket of knitting but thankfully it was not in any stash. Phew!