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Tips From You: Caring For Your Knits

July 21, 2022 4 min read 2 Comments

At the beginning of the month, I shared the tips from the team about caring for your knits, and we've loved hearing how helpful you've found them! Since then, you have been generously sharing your own tips, and as always, they are awesome!

Something that has struck me since we started talking about caring for your knits, is just how easy it is to care for wool and knitwear. I think growing up with fast fashion and knitwear that can easily be thrown in the washing machine at 40 degrees and hung on a washing line to dry, left me with the perception that caring for knitting is actually hard and time-consuming. And it really isn't! Let's take a look at how you care for your knits...

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Tip 1: "I wash my hand knits in as natural as possible wool wash. The one I make has water, Casteel soap and lanolin. I feel like the lanolin helps to maintain the qualities of the wool."

I love this tip, because I love washing my hand knits, especially when you have a lovely wool wash to use. I've never tried making my own, so I am definitely going to give this a go! I too like a wool wash with lanolin in it because I knit primarily with wool. It's good, however, to try to see how the lanolin has been sourced if you can, because if it's been mass produced it's not always in the best conditions for the sheep.

If making your own wool wash isn't something you want to try, you may want to check out Hey Mama Wolf Wool Soap! They are made by hand by Sabine Baeslack of Wiesengeister Seifenküche in Breddin, Germany, about 2 hours outside of Berlin and all ingredients, including the lanolin, are organic and locally sourced where possible. The also come in three scents; Pure (scentless), Lavender, Citronella.

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Tip 2: "When I'm wearing them I store them folded up in the closet and not hung up."

Oooooh, I totally used to hand up my woollens when I first started knitting, and it wasn't a good idea! They're look so nice on the hanger, but then I'd come to wear them and there would be hanger marks at the shoulders making these weird bumps. Folding is definitely the way to go!

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Tip 3: "Over the summer I keep them stored in a plastic IKEA bag and add a sachet of lavender or another herbal mix to keep the creepy crawlies away."

I also learned this the hard way. I do understand why moths like wool so much, I'm a huge fan too, but quit munching on our hand-knits! Another idea are those plastic packages new bedding comes in. Not so much the ones for sheets, though thinking abut it, they probably would be good for individual sweaters, but the ones new comforters come in with the zips. I store a lot of my stash yarn in one of those and they're perfect, because you can easily see what's inside and they squish down really easily!

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Tip 4: "When I'm getting ready to start wearing my knits again, I like to air them out outside in the sunshine. In winter you can clean them by throwing them in the snow, and it works the same way as laying them in the sunshine, it will kill any bacteria or possible crawlies."

So I knew about the snow bath method, but I didn't realize you could do something similar by laying your knits out in the sun! I'm totally going to try this at the weekend. I guess one thing to be careful of is if you have knits with dyed yarn where they could be prone to fading in the sun. Naturally dyed yarns in particular could be at risk of fading, but I'm certainly not an expert! If you want to try this but are a little unsure if it will cause fading, test it out on a swatch of the yarn first if you have one, or try getting in touch with the yarn dyer to see what they recommend!

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Toff & Zürpel soap holder, the perfect partner for Hey Mama Wolf Wool Soap!

Tip 5: "I hand wash all of my hand knits. I know some people will wash them on the gentle cycle in their washing machine, but that makes me nervous. But since I'm only washing once a year, it doesn't bother me to handwash. In fact, I feel like doesn't take me any more time to do this than throw them in the washing machine."

This is what I always do, I honestly didn't realize people were living so dangerously to use the washing machine! I think I will give it a go though. I may just start with a plant fibre yarn first though. But hand washing has never bothered me, and really, it's only once or twice a year at the most!

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 So what do you think of these tips?! Did you know all these already, or have some come as a surprise? We'd love to know, so please do comment below!

2 Responses

Almut
Almut

July 27, 2022

My woolly knits, new or old, are placed in a plastic bag and have to stay in the freezer for 3 days. I already had moths and know that just defending them with lavender is not enough. I am also storing the woolly knits in special plastic bags that you close with a zipper and squish all the air out by rolling it.

Cindi
Cindi

July 26, 2022

Great tips. I wash mine with my gentle shampoo by hand. It doesn’t strip any lanolin out of the wools and is perfect for silks

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