Cashmere yarn question

This is not so much a “How-to” question as it is a “What the heck happened” question.

I bought a hank of cashmere yarn to crochet a scarf a few years ago. I started making the scarf about a year ago, then I put it away just in a cloth tote bag that I used to carry the project around. It was in my sewing room which is a cool dry place. the other day I brought out the tote bag and reintroduced myself to the project with the intention of finishing the last few rows of the scarf and being done with it. As I crocheted the first few stitches and pulled out the new yarn from the middle of the ball, I very quickly came to the end of the yarn. So I dug around inside the ball and found the matching beginning and added it on to my working yarn and continued crocheting. I figured there must have been a knot in the yarn from when I was working on it last year and I must have cut the knot just before putting it away. So then I continued crocheting and not too much farther down the row, the same thing happened. I gently pulled the new yarn from the ball and it was broken again, but this time it was also broken about 6 inches further along on the yarn! Ugh! So I reconnected it and continued, and a little further down the same thing happened, breaks in the yarn about 6 inches apart! After that, I was able to crochet for quite a long way with no more breakage.

So, here’s my question…What the heck is happening with this yarn?

I purchased it in a hank, so I had to open it up and wind it on my yarn ball winder before I could use it. It was all in one piece when I wound it with no knots that I noticed and no breakage.

This is also my very first cashmere project so I have never dealt with cashmere before.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated!


Since you wound it yourself you’d know if it had been wonky so this is a strange thing. I’m wondering if a moth, larva, or something has been nibbling?

Yeah, what Jan said about you wound it yourself. I thought of some small yarn-eating monster too. Do you see any signs of invaders? I’ve never used cashmere myself so don’t know if there is anything about it that could contribute other than it being a natural fiber that the little monsters would snack on. I hope you figure out this mystery.

I have had trouble too with cashmere being fragile and breaking easily, but agreed that if there was going to be a problem you should have encountered it already when you wound the ball. I think I heard somewhere that yarn gets stretched over time if left in a ball, if you don’t see signs of any type of pest perhaps this is what happened and why your yarn is breaking now when it didn’t before?

I’ve knit with cashmere before and not had any problems. Sadly, I think larvae are a likely explanation.

I get the creeps thinking that some little crawly thing was cruising around inside my ball of cashmere nibbling away at it, but that seems to be the only reasonable explanation. The yarn must have been chewed in one area on the inside of the ball which would account for the breaks being at such regular intervals. I did a thorough check on the tote bag it was in and found no evidence of creatures, dead or alive, and I’m not sure if that is good or bad!

Anyway, this scarf will NOT be showing up in my Etsy shop as planned. I guess I will keep it for myself as a reminder of what can happen when expensive yarn is left alone too long!

Thanks for all the responses!


I think if there had been critters of some sort, they’d have left calling cards. Should we call Sherlock Holmes? He’d get it figured out! I’m glad it was still usable, whether we ever know the real reason for the breaks or not.

I don’t see any other reason for it to have regular breaks like that. If a bug was chewing straight through the breaks would be at close intervals in the center. Eww! Could it still be IN there somewhere?

Personally I’d seal it up and toss it then wash my bag. I keep wool in a sealed container when it’s not being used.