Gifted old dirty wool Yarn

I was given a wonderful gift of some lovely Irish Aran cream colored yarn
it came in a tin, and has been thoroughly frozen, so moth free
but it is over 10 years old, and a bit dirty

I recall a thread about this, but it was LONG time ago
and when i searched for it, I did not find it

So, do i wash yarn before knitting and streach out on a 7L (Twisted T inverted) shaped thing?
or knit and then wash since i will wash again later anyway


I would gently handwash it first (maybe in wool lite?) and then lay it flat to dry on some white towels. it’d also let you see the shape it’s in before you go to work with it.

I’m a sweater recycler so I use all kinds of ‘old wool’ so to speak. I wash it with Ivory Snow in really hot water and that generally does the trick to get out anything including cigarette smoke

I was gift some wool yarn this past summer that had been in a plastic bag in an attic for 30 years. It was suggested to me at my LYS to knit with it dirty into a project I want to felt - that way the dirt comes out & the yarn isn’t ruined by trying to clean it prior to using it.

I was wondering if I should fiber scrub it (like my Unicorn wool wash, but their stronger product)
and wrap it wet on a yarn stretcher thing like my Mom used to have
its like a T but it has another cross piece pointing the other way at the bottom of the T
so if U look down from top to bottom all U see is +

Should I knit it up first, and then wash the finished Blanket
I even bought a storage bin and installed a pop drain so I can hand wash in this instead of my smaller kitchen sink

I hope I M making sense
I want to knit up a small blanket and give back to the wonderful woman who gave me this yarn


I would wash it first, just incase some of the dirt don’t come out. Would not want a dirt mark on a newly knitted sweater or blanket.

Unless it’s truly filthy I wouldn’t use the stronger product; that’s for washing greasy fleeces right from the sheep. The twisted t-shaped thing is a niddy-noddy and it is used to make skeins from the yarn. There’s a special way of winding the yarn, shown here:

You can wind the yarn on the niddy-noddy, slosh it around in hot water and Eucalan or another wool wash product, and hang it to dry. It will then be ready to be wound into balls and knit. Don’t wind the yarn too tightly; you don’t want it to stretch. Making something for the woman who gave you this lovely gift is a sweet idea.