Tag Archives: yarn

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

If you follow me elsewhere on the internet, then you already know my heartbreaking tale of woe and destruction. But, for those of you not on the Twitter and the Instagram: In late summer, I lost a third of my wardrobe, a third of my yarn stash, and a sizable portion of both my fabric and felt collections to the dreaded clothes moth. Around my craft studio, this horrifying incident is referred to, in appropriately hushed and reverent tones, as either Moth Hell or The Mothing. And, in sharing my story (spoiler: I defeat the moths and emerge victorious), it is my hope that I can help save other crafters from the same terrible fate.

Clothes Moths: How to Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe, and Sanity During an Infestation | The Zen of Making

OMG, MOTHS!
At first, I was deeply embarrassed. And I must not be alone in that initial reaction, because, bouncing around the crafty/home-related internet, there’s tons of information about how to protect your fiber and fabric from an infestation, and even what to do after you’ve seen your first moth, but there’s precious little reliable information about how to actually save your stuff when a full-blow infestation is already underway. This lack of visible online guidance and commiseration made me feel alone and ashamed. But, then I looked around at my clean apartment and organized workspace (that was still, nonetheless, infested with clothes moths), talked to fellow crafty friends who whispered about their own past infestations, and I got the hell over it. Because, you know what? Moths don’t care if your apartment is clean. If they get in, they’re still going to eat your yarn, your wool sweaters, your silky underthings, and anything else that might have ever come into contact with sweat, your skin, or pet hair. And they’re probably going to be pretty stealthy at first—they’ll hide away in your yarn bins, coat closet, or in the back of your drawers where you keep the stuff that you never wear—and it won’t matter that you vacuum twice a week and put away clutter, because you won’t even know that they’re there. The fact is, if you’re not specifically looking for signs of clothes moths on a regular basis, you can easily have an infestation on your hands before you even see that first moth fly out of your craft room. And it doesn’t matter how those stupid moths got there in the first place—perhaps you brought home an infested skein of yarn, or picked up the wrong wool coat at the thrift store, or maybe one of those little buggers just happened to flitter in through an open window—all that matters is dealing with it quickly and thoroughly and the FIRST time around.

After successfully dealing with my own moth problems, I decided to put together a guide to help other crafters who find themselves in the same situation. I live and work out of my Brooklyn apartment, and I have two very curious cats, so I did not use unnecessary pesticides or chemicals. Instead, I used common sense, good old fashioned white vinegar, and a whole lot of cleaning. These aren’t preventative measures. This is the unvarnished truth about what to do when a clothes moth infestation is definitely already happening, and now you have to fix it.

If you’ve got moths, this is how to save your stuff:

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Craft Tip: Keep Balls of Yarn Tidy with a Pair of Old Tights

Craft Tip: Keep Balls of Yarn Tidy with a Pair of Old Tights | The Zen of Making

I’m working on a Color Affection shawl right now, and, while the knitting is super-easy, several weeks of juggling three separate balls of a particularly cranky linen/cotton blend has been just about enough to make me cry. So, after the 23rd time or so that the center-pull ball of my main color went supernova without warning (read: collapsed, then exploded around everything else in my project bag), my fiber-addled brain started coming up with some rather elaborate yarn-containment solutions. Luckily, before I went too far down the crazy invention rabbit hole, I remembered that tights existed, and my sanity was saved.

Craft Tip: Keep Balls of Yarn Tidy with a Pair of Old Tights | The Zen of Making

Is your yarn running amok? Do you have a drawer full of old tights (or stockings or hose or nylons) that should never again see the light of day? Perfect—we’ve just solved both your yarn and your tights-hoarding problems! Because, turns out, there’s no better place for your misbehaving balls of yarn to be than nestled snugly in the toes of old [clean] hosiery.

Here’s how it’s done:

Continue reading Craft Tip: Keep Balls of Yarn Tidy with a Pair of Old Tights

Sunday Snapshot: Pixel the Yarn Cat

Sunday Snapshot: Pixel the Yarn Cat | The Zen of Making

Due to the unscheduled post-trip death of my beloved laptop—and the subsequent acquisition of the MASSIVE 27" iMac desktop and iPad Mini that replaced it—my studio space is currently undergoing an expansion and complete reorganization. Yesterday, I tackled my out-of-control yarn stash. (Read: I wound everything and I emptied all of the bags that I had hidden around the apartment.) Pixel-the-cat helped.

Not only was he absolutely adorable, he was also shockingly well-behaved. Yarn cat, FTW!

Sunday Snapshot: Hello from VOGUEknitting LIVE New York!

VOGUEknitting LIVE

I’m getting ready to trek into Times Square for the last day of VOGUEknitting Live New York!

Since I just got back from CHA, I’m already feeling a little bit of trade show overload, so I spent most of yesterday wandering the marketplace floor and stopping to chat whenever I saw someone I knew. The highlight of the day: I stopped by the Kollabora booth and Brett Bara taught me how to make a pom pom! (She also snapped the photo of it on my head.) As I’ve mentioned before, I can only make complicated things—if you ask me to do something really easy, I’ll screw it up spectacularly. Turns out, pom poms are no exception. Mine was pretty bad. (Mind you, I tied it onto my head and wore it all day anyway.) Today, I think I’ll do a little shopping—I’ve got my eye on some needles and a few skeins of yarn—then park it in a random spot and knit with whomever passes by. I mean, a girl’s gotta take a break sometime!