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CRAFT: Cozy Up to Yarn
Lion Brand Yarn

This week’s question comes from past-Becky, who asks:

I have a substantial yarn stash, but I’m moving across the country. How do I minimize its volume and work it into my packing schema? I’m nervous about packing it next to things that might get it dirty or damaged.

Well, fortunately for past-Becky, I’m all done packing and can share some tips for moving your yarn stash (these tips work well for fabric, too, which is another plentiful item at my house).

Seal it up

Depending on how you’re moving, your boxes could be in danger of encountering scorching temperatures and possible moisture through humidity or a leaky truck in the rain. A hot box (some freight companies claim to expect temperatures around 120 degrees F) brings melty things. Stuff you didn’t even know could melt is suddenly all over the inside of that box, and if your yarn is in there unprotected, you can forget about salvaging it come unpacking time. To protect your boxes, you can cover them in a plastic sheet inside the truck, but you should also think about putting your yarn in plastic bags.

Squish it down

While I never liked infomercials, I gotta hand it to the folks at Space Bags for their awesome product. Fill the thing up with yarn, then seal the top and use your vacuum to suck out all the air. Pretty soon you’ll have a lumpy biscuit of dense fiber, and it’s waterproof. Packs like a dream.

Sprinkle it around

I used yarn to temper the weight of some of my would-be heavier boxes, like pictured above. I made a habit of filling a box half with books, then half with yarn or fabric. I have knee problems, so lifting with my legs is easier said than done! If you have friends helping you move, they’ll thank you when they see the label on top: “Books/Yarn,” instead of just “Books.” You can also use yarn as a packing material around fragile items like dishes and glasses. Just make sure it’s in plastic in case one of those items does break, so you don’t end up with with shards of glass in your skeins. A gallon zip-top bag of yarn at each end of a box filled with dishes (and newsprint or bubble wrap, of course) can be just the ticket.

What are your packing tips for moving your yarn stash? Share them with us in the comments!

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

  • Aromy

    Sometimes I have so much yarn that I have to use giant vacuum bags!

  • Marie-Christine

    SpaceBags aren’t just waterproof, they’re dustproof and most importantly MOTHproof. Yarn and fleece pop out years later in perfect condition. Definitely worth the investment imho, if you’re going to be investing in woolies anyway.
    Apart from that, I’m not sure whether I shouldn’t be cursing the friend who turned me on to them – you can definitely accumulate more :-).

  • wynk.pip.verisignlabs.com

    I also highly recommend space bags. And if you don’t have a vacuum that could suck the air out, they do make ones where you can roll the air out. Just check the box. And they’re really not that expensive.

  • birkatchaverim.com

    you can also try the large and extra large ziploc bags with a vacuum. They’re cheaper, come in multiple sizes and the vacuum seal holds long enough for moving. Really useful in suitcases too for regular travelling.
    Afterwards you can still use them for storage. The plastic is thick enough so that holes don’t develop when resealing.