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Tips From The Team: Caring For Your Knits

July 07, 2022 3 min read 3 Comments

As you know, here at Making Stories, we're all about knitting sustainably, and one area of sustainability we haven't explored much is caring for your knits. That is until now!

Why does caring for your knits count towards sustainability? Because if the aim here is to create something that you will love and use for years to come, it will inevitably show signs of wear and environmental damage. So during that time, you're going to have to give it some love so it can keep loving you back!

If the thought of caring for your knits leaves you feeling a little - meh - worry not! I chatted with some seriously cool and knowledgable people (aka - the Making Stories Team), and they have some fantastic tips to share on the subject, and they won't seem like a chore at all. Some may even be a little controversial!

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Jess

I use a Gleaner on my sweaters to de-pill and I highly recommend it, mine has different attachments for fine or coarse teeth and it's really nice to tidy it up before storage. I keep all my sweaters in a wooden chest with sachets of lavender and cedar as moth deterrents. I love lavender-scented Eucalan for washing but I'd love to try our new solid wool soaps someday*!

*If you'd like to hear more about Hey Mama Wolf Wool Soap, check out our video here!

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Elsa

I have a controversial one I wash most of my knits in the washing machine using the wool programme (on some machines it might be called hand wash). It's cold water and without spinning (on some machines one has to set it to 'no spinning' manually). After that, I spin it but on full speed and without any water added to it again. If you spin it full speed the garment is pressed to the wall of the drum and doesn't move much. As for wool wash, I use just normal wool detergent from the drug store (it does have lanolin in it) but just very little. Never had any problems with felting. Exceptions are Mohair or any other very fussy yarn, unspun yarn and hand-dyed yarn. Cotton (blend) yarns tend to shrink though (like cotton fabrics) so either add some extra ease while knitting or wash by hand... (this might also be true for other yarns based on cellulose but I don't have experience with those). If I want to wash two things at once I use laundry bags so they don't rub against each other. Would recommend testing the machine with an old sweater or a swatch just to be sure...

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Hanna Lisa

I machine-wash all my handknit socks and my linen tees (they're actually getting softer and softer the more often you wash them, especially in the washing machine).

At the end of the winter, I usually (this year I didn't manage yet) hand-wash all my sweaters, let them dry and then put them away with fresh lavender sachets. During the winter, I don't wash the sweaters very often - instead, I air them out when I've worn them. I usually wear a thin T-shirt underneath them, so they don't smell.

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Claire



Since I've been terrible in the past about mending my knits, I've been focusing on, firstly, trying to prevent wear and tear before it happens, and secondly, making mending a little more exciting and trying new things!


I'm quite rough on my knitting, especially the elbows, so recently I reinforced that area on a vanilla sweater I made by embroidering some woolly flowers on there. I LOVE how they turned out, and it's not only practical but looks pretty cute! I've also been going over a fantastic book called Visible Creative Mending (which was thoughtfully gifted to me by Hanna Lisa last Christmas!) and it gives so many ideas and tutorials for different ways you can mend and reinforce your knits while adding some really fun details.

3 Responses

Mariane Martin
Mariane Martin

July 15, 2022

I was raised in Finland and taught to not wash knits blankets or duvets more than at the end of the season. I often lay them in fresh snow for a day and then bring it all in to air out indoors before using again or storing.

Mariane Martin
Mariane Martin

July 15, 2022

I was raised in Finland and taught to not wash knits blankets or duvets more than at the end of the season. I often lay them in fresh snow for a day and then bring it all in to air out indoors before using again or storing.

Leanna
Leanna

July 13, 2022

I love the suggestions! I live in a flat, and only have the basic, shared washing machine available. It has few choices for settings. So, I when I do wash my knitted items, I wash them by hand, usually with either grapefruit or eucalyptus Eucalan. Once they’re dry, they go into my cedar chest (which I occasionally rub down with a little cedar oil — being careful that it doesn’t go in direct contact with any items). Having said that, I don’t wash the woolens often at all, and I also find that airing them out a bit works fine. Thank you for this wonderful blog!

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