Friday, October 10, 2014

Infested

Unfortunately I think I can say we have a moth infestation. I found eggs in some of my stash, larvae cases on a shawl, more cases and holes in some sweaters.

I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed right now. All of my yarn is in the freezer. Sweaters are going to be going to my mom's freezer. I'm going to have to take a trip to the laundromat and clean out my closet (which is where Gregory naps) very thoroughly, and will be steaming all handknits in the microwave. And vacuuming very thoroughly.

Typing it all out like that makes it sound somewhat doable, right?

8 comments:

  1. oh I am SO SORRY my friend. One step at a time. I am sure you are googling like crazy. I quickly found this: http://www.marthastewart.com/264609/the-basics-of-mothproofing ... of course in that it says if really bad, consult a professional... I will pray for you!!!

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    1. Thank you for the link! Thankfully they don't seem to be in the rugs, so we haven't called a professional (though you'd better believe I'm vacuuming every day still!!).

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  2. You know I was with you when you chronicled this horror on Facebook, but now I have a question.

    You use a lot of wool. And a number of people I've met (including my boyfriend) have sensitivities or allergies to wool. Would the damage have been as bad, do you think, if you'd used acrylic yarn or other fibers? Is there a reason you prefer to use wool blends?

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    1. Definitely it wouldn't have been as extensive ... in fact moth larvae can't survive on synthetic fibers (or cellulose fibers like cotton or linen). They need protein based stuff like wool, alpaca, etc--stuff that comes from animals.

      The reason some people are sensitive to wool is because all animal hair/fur has little scales, and some breeds of sheep have more prominent scales than others. (I think a true allergy is something else, but the itchiness most wool-sensitive people feel is just the scratchiness.) Some breeds have much finer wool, like merino.

      And, in conclusion to my longwinded answer (lol), yes, there are many reasons that I prefer wool. :) Acrylic has its uses--a lot of people use it for baby knitting and other things you'd want to throw in the washer and dryer fairly often. Here is the list of reasons I don't generally use it (ha). 1. It is not as nice to knit with. You can buy nicer, softer acrylic, but once you touch the softness of merino, silk, or alpaca, you can tell that it's "fake," manmade. (Or at least people who are into touch can.) It also has much less elasticity than wool and other animal fibers so knitting with it a lot can be a pain. 2) There are some things you can't make with it. Lace knitting, for example; you can block natural fibers to open up the pattern, and wool has a natural memory that makes it retain its shape (think curly hair--you can straighten it but once it's wet it curls again). Artificial fibers simply don't do that. There are some things that doesn't matter for but to knit "nice" things like lace and sweaters that have a good fit, you will need animal fibers.

      Wool also is the only fiber that still insulates and retains heat while wet! So perfect for hats, mittens, etc.

      If you go into a yarn shop (as opposed to Michaels) you will find some acrylic, but mostly it will be natural fibers.

      Probably more than you ever wanted to know about wool ... :)

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    2. Oh my gosh, I didn't realize how long that was til I posted it ...

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  3. Not sure that acrylic would make a difference. We had moth larvae in our kids' out of season pj drawer once and the pjs were not wool. Combo of cotton and man made stuff. I vacuumed for days inside and under that drawer. I kept finding wiggly larvae in the rug and a few stragglers in the drawer.
    They also eat or scratch through thin plastic. A different time they got into our pantry. When I began opening boxed food up I discovered larvae growing inside the plastic bags that had never been opened by human hands. In fact dozens of moths flew out at my face when I opened the first box! I opened all the others outside and with great care after that. All of this was pre- knitting.
    Hope you get those little monsters! I'm going to try and remember that microwave trick just in case they get in again.

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    1. Oh no!! I wiped out my son's sweater drawer with pinesol just in case ... maybe I should do all his other drawers too!

      My parents have had problems with moths in their grains, we haven't had that yet. But this experience has made me wonder if perhaps I shouldn't moth-proof my pantry!

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