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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found 9 balls of 100% wool in a cellophane bag which was stored inside a large plastic bag with other yarn and discovered an oily surface on nearby bags. Thankfully I could wipe off the oil, but am puzzled how it got there in the first place. It must be these as they are the only ones with waxy labels and it appears the oil is coming from the inside of the bag and obvious it has to be the yarn.
Any idea as to how I can rescue this yarn? I would appreciate any thoughts on this. I thought of removing the labels and spreading it out paper towelling on a tray and left out to dry out naturally. If that doesn't work, then it may mean washing it as it couldn't be used in the current condition.
Has anyone had yarn so oily they couldn't touch without getting oily hands?
 

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Now you know why I cannot touch plain wool.

That 'OIL' is lanolin. Merino doesn't seem to have that quality...lower amount?

You might wash the skeins (hopefully well tied so that they won't knot up) in cool water with Wool lite two or more times. Rinse well and dry.
 

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Wool comes from sheep; so does lanolin. It's possible that the yarn was spun with lots of lanolin left in. That's a good thing, especially if being used for machine knitting or weaving. For hand knitting, it's not bad either; your hands get moisturized while knitting!

That said ... plastic and oil are chemically attracted to one another. If you've any older Tupperware that's been sitting on a high shelf in the kitchen for a few years, you'll know what I mean. Minute particles of oil/fat from cooking gradually build up on any plastic surface available. This oily build up occurs throughout the house, even if one uses a stove hood fan full-blast every time there's anything cooking; it's just more visible/tactile on things in the kitchen. Plastic bags are oil magnets.

So, you may have both lanolin (or spinning oil) in the yarn and oil layered on the outside of the bags.

If it were my problem, I'd plow through the knitting up of the yarn and then wash the finished item. If you're feeling less adventurous, you might rewind the yarn and - assuming you find a knot in the rewinding process - work up a small (4"x4") swatch and wash it. The yarn may surprise you and bloom into something wonderful!

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Many thanks for your reply. I think I will have to rewind the balls into long skeins so I can get the yarn washed evenly and hang to dry. A very messy job. I guess I will need to cover the back of the kitchen chair with plastic and wind the yarn around that and tie it at intervals before I wash it. Probably not the easiest to do with gloves on, so I would need a towel handy to occasionally wipe my hands. At least I won't have to worry about lack of hand lotion for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Jessica-Jean! I did think it might be a chemical reaction between the cellophane and plastic and the lanolin. It's as if the oil passed through the cellophane to the outside of the bag. Maybe it's not really cellophane. Sure is odd that no other yarn has reacted this way.
 

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It would have come from the wool,some wool is so oily you don't wash it,you put it in a plastic bag and let it sweat.I cleans its self in the bag,the oil in the wool makes it water and wind proof. :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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I used to work in a yarn shop. Do not. I repeat, do not wash any wool in Wool-lite!!! I know what the label says, but the truth is it is only safe for tricot items, think your undies. Wool-lite has been know to cause shrinkage and color stripping in wool. Wash in shampoo. Wool is the "hair" of sheep after all.
 

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fibrefay said:
Thanks Jessica-Jean! I did think it might be a chemical reaction between the cellophane and plastic and the lanolin. It's as if the oil passed through the cellophane to the outside of the bag. Maybe it's not really cellophane. Sure is odd that no other yarn has reacted this way.
Cellophane: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellophane
"low permeability to air, oils, greases, bacteria and water" does NOT mean impermeable. Those items do not pass through plastic. I have things stored in plastic bags for years. The outside of the bags has become tacky with oil; the things inside are pristine. I don't keep anything in it's original cellophane packaging.
 

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StitchDesigner said:
I used to work in a yarn shop. Do not. I repeat, do not wash any wool in Wool-lite!!! I know what the label says, but the truth is it is only safe for tricot items, think your undies. Wool-lite has been know to cause shrinkage and color stripping in wool. Wash in shampoo. Wool is the "hair" of sheep after all.
Why not Mane-and-tail shampoo then? Sold in Tractor and Feed stores.
 

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kaixixang said:
StitchDesigner said:
I used to work in a yarn shop. Do not. I repeat, do not wash any wool in Wool-lite!!! I know what the label says, but the truth is it is only safe for tricot items, think your undies. Wool-lite has been know to cause shrinkage and color stripping in wool. Wash in shampoo. Wool is the "hair" of sheep after all.
Why not Mane-and-tail shampoo then? Sold in Tractor and Feed stores.
Why a special purchase? Assuming most of us have hair on our heads and shampoo and conditioner in our houses already, why not use it. If it's good enough for my own hair, I don't see why it's not good enough for yarn. Just sayin ...
 

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Jessica-Jean said:
kaixixang said:
StitchDesigner said:
I used to work in a yarn shop. Do not. I repeat, do not wash any wool in Wool-lite!!! I know what the label says, but the truth is it is only safe for tricot items, think your undies. Wool-lite has been know to cause shrinkage and color stripping in wool. Wash in shampoo. Wool is the "hair" of sheep after all.
Why not Mane-and-tail shampoo then? Sold in Tractor and Feed stores.
Why a special purchase? Assuming most of us have hair on our heads and shampoo and conditioner in our houses already, why not use it. If it's good enough for my own hair, I don't see why it's not good enough for yarn. Just saying ...
I don't have Mane-and-tail shampoo. But if I did...?

My main attempt was to help reduce the amount on the person's hands...if objected to. Wearing plastic gloves is not an option...you'd drop your needles or hurt yourself trying to do a 'different' knitting/crochet move. I don't use extra padding on my crochet hooks because it makes my hands ache. Let's just see what is needed more before we go too far arguing about something we can't fix long-distance or off topic.
 

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kaixixiang, We are not arguing with you. Jessica and I are telling the other lady what not to used on her yarn. Plus a less expensive alternative. That's all.
 

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Having had lots of experience with wool on cones, which is waxed or coated with some sizing to make it better to use in machines, I'd back up Jessica Jean. Knit it up, and then wash it in shampoo and enjoy the bloom. All that lanolin is what made Aran sweaters waterproof for the fisherman.
I have heard the negative stuff about Wool Lite too. I buy inexpensive shampoo to handwash my handknit socks and sweaters. used to be ablt to buy Orvis Gel Horse Shampoo which is pure sodium lauryl sulfate but the tack store that handled it closed. that worked really well for all my laundry. Joan 8060
 

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Many, many years ago - I purchased wool with the lanolin still in it to make a waterproof poncho for my DD (then a teenager). It was quite expensive & I ordered it from the UK so shipping was also high. It was a joy to work with & my hands were as soft as a baby's bottom - LOL. She got just 2 years wear from it befor it was stolen at an event she attended. Someone got a jewel - it was aran knit and ankle length on her. She is a grandmother now & still laments its loss.

hugs
Shirley in Indiana
 

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Olegranny, thank you for the beautiful story. It sounds like you and your DD have had a loving relationship for many years. Bless you.
oleganny said:
Many, many years ago - I purchased wool with the lanolin still in it to make a waterproof poncho for my DD (then a teenager). It was quite expensive & I ordered it from the UK so shipping was also high. It was a joy to work with & my hands were as soft as a baby's bottom - LOL. She got just 2 years wear from it befor it was stolen at an event she attended. Someone got a jewel - it was aran knit and ankle length on her. She is a grandmother now & still laments its loss.

hugs
Shirley in Indiana
 

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I haven't been able to use wool for over 40 years, so may be no help.

Wonder if a lite white vinegar rinse after the shampoo wash would help take out excess oil.It helps take out the build up of softeners/ dryer sheet residue, the waxy substance left in towels.

wish I could work w/ oily, lanolin loaded yarn,
my hands need something to soften them.
 

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kaixixang said:
Jessica-Jean said:
kaixixang said:
StitchDesigner said:
I used to work in a yarn shop. Do not. I repeat, do not wash any wool in Wool-lite!!! I know what the label says, but the truth is it is only safe for tricot items, think your undies. Wool-lite has been know to cause shrinkage and color stripping in wool. Wash in shampoo. Wool is the "hair" of sheep after all.
Why not Mane-and-tail shampoo then? Sold in Tractor and Feed stores.
Why a special purchase? Assuming most of us have hair on our heads and shampoo and conditioner in our houses already, why not use it. If it's good enough for my own hair, I don't see why it's not good enough for yarn. Just saying ...
I don't have Mane-and-tail shampoo. But if I did...?

My main attempt was to help reduce the amount on the person's hands...if objected to. Wearing plastic gloves is not an option...you'd drop your needles or hurt yourself trying to do a 'different' knitting/crochet move. I don't use extra padding on my crochet hooks because it makes my hands ache. Let's just see what is needed more before we go too far arguing about something we can't fix long-distance or off topic.
Ummm, having kept horses for many years, I know they don't have lanolin, so I don't know why one would choose Mane-and-Tail shampoo. Folks who buy wool with lanolin intact pay extra for that, often used for fishermen/sailor's sweaters; if you don't care for it, why not swap with someone who does and avoid a lot of extra work?
 

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Well after reading all the posts it looks like you have a very expensive or at least pricey wool... I would just move it to a paper bag or cloth bag and make something beautiful out of it.. its coming on winter time and your hands will love you for the extra moisturizer, I love the shawl/poncho idea if you had enough.. or maybe gloves or mittens.. if you had enough bed socks would be great.. no more chapped heels.. :) it sounds like you have a great product here.
 
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