Friday, December 22, 2017

Bug Be Gone!

What strikes fear into the lives of fiber loving yarny people?  Moths and/or any other natural fiber eating creepy crawly flying insect.  One random sighting of something flying or crawling near a fiber/yarn stash is enough to make a fiber-ista plumb apoplectic. 

This is nothing to mess around with people!  And the suggestion of switching to man-made fibers is abhorrent at best.

Some of the common remedies to prevent a heartbreaking infestation include:  quarantining all new purchase of fiber and yarn, a little time in the deep freeze, storing in a black plastic bag in the trunk of your vehicle during the hottest time of the year, slipping some aromatic cedar sachets in with your lovely fiber, and my least favorite suggestion of throwing a few mothballs (YUCK!!!) in your stash.

Another remedy, that is my favorite, is the use of lavender.  Cedar would be my next favorite, but I lack cedar trees to provide me with an ongoing supply with which to make my own sachets.

Lavender is quite hardy in my growing area.  It is also a very forgiving plant.  Basically, I made a one time purchase of a few plants and stuck them in the ground and ignored them until they were blooming and I was ready to harvest.  There are several varieties of plants to choose from.  If you prefer, you can always choose to start your plants from seed, but I have had limited success with this option.  Some sources suggest that harvest should occur when the flowering stalks have just begun to bud, while others suggest waiting until the majority of flowers have opened.  My approach:  get to it when I can.  I cut handfuls of flower stalks, tie with twine and hang upside down on my sunporch to dry.  Once dry, it is quite simple to twist the stalk between your fingers making the dried buds/flowers pop off. 

The smell...oh, the smell. 

This year, as a little gift for some of my yarny friends, I made sachets with some of the lavender that has been harvested from my garden. 

First, using some scrap muslin, I cut out about 3-1/2 inch squares and stitched two pieces together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  You could certainly make the pouches whatever size you desire. Be sure to leave a small opening to both turn the little square pouch and also to use to fill with the lavender. 

In a bowl, mix equal parts plain, uncooked white rice and lavender buds.  The rice adds some weight to the sachet and also adds an abrasive quality to help "rough up" the lavender buds and release more of their oils.  If you wish, you can also add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to the rice to boost the scent.  Use a funnel to spoon your desired amount of the rice/lavender bud mixture into the pouch, then hand stitch the opening closed. 

Perfect little lavender sachets ready to save the day and protect the investment of your stash!

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