I should never leave balls of red yarn laying around. Pookie loves red and he can't resist the lure of balls of yarn. (You'd think I never make him any toys but I do!)
This is what I saw this morning when I went into the living room. See the red yarn on the floor? There's more but I couldn't get it all in one picture. Pookie stole a ball of yarn off the end table in the upper right hand corner of the picture. He then proceeded to roll it all over the living room, around the tables, into the kitchen, and finally down the stairs to the basement before it all unrolled. He lost interest in it once it wasn't a ball anymore. :)
This yarn was from some that I rescued several weeks ago. I had a huge box and grocery bag of acrylic yarn in the basement that, at one time, I was going to knit into cage cozies for Pet Refuge. That was before certain ancient kitties decided to do something bad to the yarn. (Believe me, they lose their minds when they get really old.) The yarn had been sitting on a shelf downstairs because I am too frugal to throw away that much yarn and didn't have a clue how to save it.
I spotted it on the shelf several weeks ago and got the nutty idea to wash it in the washing machine. I stuffed three zippered laundry bags full of yarn balls. So full that I thought they couldn't possibly move around. Oh, oh, you can see what's coming, can't you?
I put the bags into my front loading washer along with detergent, Oxyclean, cat enzyme cleaner, and a shot of white vinegar for good measure. Set the machine on hot water and let it run. When the buzzer went off, I opened the door and went "Oh, no!" One of the bags had burst open and I had a huge yarn blob. A little of the yarn in the other two bags that hadn't come unzipped was in knots too. The balls of yarn were dripping wet. Any more bright ideas?
Most people would probably have given up and thrown the whole mess away. Not me. LOL!
I couldn't put this mess through another spin cycle to remove more water (and create even more knots). It was also too wet to put in the dryer. If I had been crazy enough to do that it would have turned into one huge tangle! LOL!
I cut the tangled blobs off the remaining yarn balls. Squeezed them to remove as much water as I could. Laid them out on some wire shelving in our family room near our wood pellet stove to dry. After 24 hours, the tangled blobs were dry but the balls were still wet. Now what?
The yarn balls really needed to be skeined and hung up to dry. I couldn't use my wooden swift for the job as all that water would wreck it. What would work instead? Hmm, how about using the end of the counter in the kitchen? It was about the right length for a skein and the water couldn't hurt it. Took me a couple of hours to wind 25 balls into skeins and tie them up. Wet yarn is a little hard on the hands too. Now instead of a bunch of wet balls of yarn, I had a big pile of dripping skeins of yarn. Now what?
Where could I hang these up to drip and dry? I had visions of hanging it in the trees. But it was freezing outside and snowing. That limited my options to inside the house. How about the bathroom over the tub? That'll work. I have an extra shower rod that I've used to hang my dyeing experiments to dry over the tub. Found some extra shower curtain rings and put them over the rod before mounting it over the bathtub. I hung some of the skeins with the rings and tied the rest to the rod. Left them there overnight to drip. The next morning I moved them to the family room where they finished drying in another day.
With all the yarn that I rescued, I have enough to make a couple more scrap yarn blankets. The balls of yarn on the end table were from the last yarn blob that I had untangled and forgotten to put away.
And if you're wondering, yes, washing the yarn got rid of all the dirt and kitties cooties. :)