Uptight Yarn

I was recently given a large bag of handspun yarn. Lots and lots of tightly wound balls in all shades of natural brown.

handspun yarn

I immediately envisaged some fabulous beanies and maybe even a sweater! But then it occurred to me that I had no idea how long this yarn had been stored or how. I knew that the original spinner was an elderly lady so the yarn could have been quite old……did this mean it could also house some unwelcome stowaways. The type that would munch through my own stash or, worse (!), attack the shop yarns ????

A quick search online seemed to indicate that some time in the freezer was the perfect remedy but the length of hibernation recommended varied from a few hours to weeks. I knew I wasn’t able to do anything with this yarn for a while so into the freezer it went – for 2 weeks.

brown balls

Now I’m no spinner (although I have been tempted a couple of times) but some of the yarn appeared to be over spun/plied and it was very tightly wound into balls.

I decided to skein it and give it a soak in some tepid water with some wool wash to help ease out any kinks and relax the yarn a bit.


It took quite a long time but I threw each ball into a deep tub so it wouldn’t roll all over the floor and then wound it onto my umbrella swift. The hanks were tied in a few places so that they wouldn’t tangle.

tied off

Then it was into the tub for a relaxing bath! (the yarn, not me unfortunately)


You can see I used some trial packets of Soak – I wanted to experience all the different smells to see which one I liked best. The verdict? – they are all great! I thought some may be strong and overpowering but they were all quite mild and pleasant.

After a soak for half an hour or so for each batch it was out to dry.

line dry drying

The yarn has softened up a little and seems more relaxed. I think it will be a more enjoyable knit now…..although I haven’t decided WHAT to knit. Any suggestions?