Carolyn writes in with a question about my fall Knittyspin article:
I enjoyed your article in Knitty about yarn storage options. In the section about hanging wool in pillowcases from an attic ceiling, you mentioned adding a sachet of anti-moth herbs. What herbs do you recommend using? This certainly sounds more pleasant than mothballs.
Also, I have my stash in the storage bags that you vacuum the air out of. Am I doing a disservice to my yarn by doing this? Do fibers need to breathe?
The absolute best-smelling, most-effective, yummiest herbal anti-moth concoction I have EVER smelled/used is Simpler Thyme’s Herbal Moth Beware (available here or at fiber shows in their Got Soap? booth — the soap is awesome, too). Herbal Moth Beware smells great and it works. I found it the first time I went to Rhinebeck many moons ago.
Barring that, try cedar chips, mint (which is not only exceedingly easy to grow in your yard or a pot, but a snap to dry) or any super-strong smelling herb.
Fibers do benefit from the occasional airing out, I think, especially if you’re storing them somewhere that gets a little warm. Why? If there’s even a smidge of lanolin/etc remaining on the fiber, I’ve noticed it gets melty and “glues” things together. So take them out occasionally, fluff them up and doublecheck to make sure all is well. Re-wash if necessary, or give yourself an excuse to spin!