First, I have a little bit of business. I changed my Ravelry username from casystotyle to knitthehellout. I didn’t realize I could change it until the other day, and I thought I should mention it. Knitthehellout just seems like a more logical tie to the blog to help people find me easily if they want to. Let’s be friends!
Last weekend I started preparing for storing my knits for the summer. This is the first year I’ve tried to be vigilant about it, after I found several holes in my knits last November. That was devastating, and most of the items have been repaired to a satisfactory level. The holes in my Still Light Tunic were too large to fix in a really nice way (according to my limited experience with knitting repairs in finished objects), but I will still wear it.
I don’t know if these holes were the work of moths. From the horrifying conversation that happened at knit night last week (all about moths) it seems like there should have been some kind of sticky residue on the item if it was moth-related, but nevertheless, I need to take some precautions.
This is the first year I’m storing things in a cedar chest. My mom generously let me have one of hers. I know I will soon outgrow this and have to thing of other storage options, but it’s good for now. I have taken the added precaution of rubbing lavender essential oil all around the very inside rim to further deter bugs. I’m unwilling to use moth balls. That smell isn’t worth it. I’ve heard good things about neem oil too, but I don’t know what that smells like.
I’ve read that it’s important to store clean items, because moths and other pests are more attracted to things that smell like humans. To save some sanity, I started putting my hand wash sweaters (pretty much all of them) in the washing machine just on the soak and spin cycle. I let them soak in Euclan no-rinse wool wash for about 40 minutes or so and then spin out the water. I read about this somewhere before (maybe Yarn Harlot?) and it seems to be gentle, but also an easier process for getting a lot of hand knits washed at the same time.
The drawback to this method is that I don’t have enough space to dry all of my sweaters flat in my less than 800 sq foot house. I use a drying rack and try to drape them in a way that will retain their shape as well as I possibly can. So far, in the couple of times that I’ve done this, the sweaters haven’t gotten out of their original blocked shape.
There are a few cold days left in the season, but I won’t be wearing most of these until fall. Sweet dreams, winter knits.