Last week I got an e-mail from a friend asking if I had any old swatches that I could donate toward a yarn bombing project at her kids' school. As it happened, I had a drawer full of them, most of them many years old and thus entirely unneeded, so I told her I'd pull them out when I had a moment. That moment came last Thursday, when I was home for the holiday.
It had probably been years since I'd looked in that drawer (part of a plastic storage system that was the original home of my stash, though the stash has long outgrown it), and some of those swatches were knit before we moved into our house six years ago; I can't even remember the last time I opened that particular drawer to look inside it. What I found both astonished and scared me. Quite a few of the swatches had what looked like pills on them as well as what looked like grains of sand. I had a feeling that this was evidence of some four-letter pest that likes to eat wool, and an e-mail to the friend who had requested the swatches confirmed it (I wanted to see if she still wanted the swatches even though they might be contaminated).
This incident freaked me out enough that I actually stayed away from the stash for a day or two until I was ready to fully investigate. Fortunately, it looks like any pest activity was contained to that one drawer -- there was no evidence of anything like what I saw in that drawer on any of the yarn in the storage unit. I pulled everything out, bagged it, vacuumed the entire space and every drawer, and put everything back with lavender sachets. Everything that was possibly contaminated was thrown out, so my fingers are crossed that that's the end of it.
Meanwhile, lest you think I've been spending every free hour thinking about moths, there has been knitting. The Baby Surprise Jacket for our neighbors is just about done -- there's just a few inches of applied I-cord left to do on the body. If they know the gender of the baby, they haven't shared, so I went with a color that could go either way. I did I-cord loops for the buttons rather than the traditional button holes; it's what I did for the BSJ Rainbow came home from the hospital in, and I found them a lot easier to deal with when trying to get a squirmy newborn into a sweater.
I'm also nearly done with the sample for my next shawl pattern; I finished the lace section today.
I predict I'll be done with this by the end of the week, so with any luck I can get the pattern finalized and off to the tech editor in the next week or so.