Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Washing Woollens

Today I decided that it was about time that I washed some of my woolly sweaters. I have several from Norway that I live in every winter and as the weather has become quite chilly again, I thought it was time to freshen them up a little.

It's quite a job, but one that's well worth the time and trouble if you plan to keep your sweater for any length of time. Woollens tend to be timeless and are an excellent investment even for someone who finds wool itchy. Today I am actually wearing a cream woollen jumper (sweater) with a small stand up collar. To keep the wool away from my skin, I've added a little cream, blue and white cotton scarf. It looks very chic - almost Parisienne in fact!

I have washed four sweaters in luke warm soapy water, rinsed them in cold water in the bathroom sink and placed them between towels on the white tile floor. Walking gently across them in my slippers seems to have squeezed out a fair amount of water and then leaving them for 15 minutes has given the towels time to absorb a lot more. I now have all of them laying flat on airers in the bathtub. Obviously it'll take a few days for them to dry now, but I think they'll be glad of the TLC.

Here's a link to more info about caring for hand knits.

Meanwhile, the sleeves for the Central Park Hoodie are finished and I've just started blocking them. Here's one pinned out on the ironing board about to be covered with a damp tea towel and then gently steamed.

Now I am going to join the shoulder seams (probably using a three needle bind off to get a flatter join) and then it's on to the hoodie.

BTW, please feel free to leave any advice you have on washing woollens or blocking handknits in the comments section. I'd love to hear about your experiences (good or bad) as it's always good to share tips!


Rudee said...

Must have been in the air. I hand washed 2 cashmere sweaters today and one beautiful wool/cashmere blend. The last one has a stain on it and I worried about felting this spot. It didn't come out and now either I find a wool to match and stitch over that spot or I did the whole thing. If it wasn't smack in the middle of the right front chest, I wouldn't think twice about a little stain. I'm thinking dye.

Wilde Thyme Knits said...

The blue sweater in the picture has a couple of small spot stains on the bottom ribbing and I was going to ask you if you had any tips about removing stains?

Rudee said...

As I blocked my sweaters today I noticed they are all cream colored. Hahaha. Beautiful but not practical. I'm going to try to match the color of the yarn in my sweater and do a duplicate stitch over the stain. If that fails, I'll be dying it. It's too pretty to let it go for a stain.

knittingqueen said...

I can't WAIT to see that Central Park Hoodie! I'm so jealous you're getting to knit something fun for yourself!

Rositta said...

I don't know if you've mentioned it but I did a row of "hooking" across the neck area to keep the hood from stretching, on advice from the Yarn Harlot, link here,

You might already have known about this, your hoodie looks lovely...ciao

Anonymous said...

We're pretty sure the recipe in the pub was apple pie. Yes, I would like a copy of your recipe! As far as the sleeves, I like to knit both at the same time, but on occasion have gotten confused and made the mistakes you were talking about (in earlier post).

Wilde Thyme Knits said...

Rositta - thanks for the link. I hadn't heard about that so I'll check it out.
Quilty - I'll get the recipe to you. Sure I have one from an old Cornish cookbook. A friend gave me a tip yesterday for knitting the two sleeves along side each other. She puts one coloured marker between them and another different colour on the end. That way she knows where she is if she has to put her knitting down half way through.

Kate said...

Det var ullvask på skikkelig gammeldags vis ja. Jeg gjør det på samme måte med store plagg, sokker og votter får seg en runde i vaskemaskinen på ullprogram.
CPH blir flott, den har eldste datteren min ønsket seg og garn er kjøpt inn, går for dobbel babyull, i ei nydelig blå farge.

Kimmie said...

Thank you for the advice on washing the woolen things ..... I've noticed that wool is really a very clean fiber that doesn't need washing often at all - it seems to repel stuff. I also handwash silks. My mom said that any natural fiber can be handwashed - she says, "don't believe all the dryclean only labels.' I've had good luck except for one sweater that was called a "boiled wool jacket." I thought that meant it had already been shrunk as much as it would go ..... wrong! It shrunk some more after I washed it in overly warm water.

Rose said...

Just catching up on blog reading; you have some beautiful projects finished! Love the strawberry hat!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin