Spring Clean Your Knits

© Knit Purl 

As the weather warms and my thoughts of cozying up with a hot cup of coffee slowly shift to dreams of relaxing on the front porch with a glass of iced tea, I start to get the Spring Cleaning itch.  And just as I believe that knitting a summer sweater in March will bring warmer weather my way, I also believe that once the windows can stay open for the afternoon, it is time for my favorite aspect of the annual spring clean: Knitwear care!

Being the avid knitters that we are, we all know that after 6+ months of self-made coziness, this task can be a little daunting, but with a bit of strategy and the right tools for the task, I find that it can be (dare I say it?) almost as rewarding as the knitting itself.  Almost.

Everyone has their own process for taking care of their knitwear, but I thought that today I would share mine with you.  Here is how I make sure all of my beloved hand knits are well preserved during their summer vacation.

1. Pull EVERYTHING out of the closet, or drawers, or baskets, or wherever else knitwear hides.

© Knit Purl

2. Grab the wool wash, and if you're like me, every single towel in the house...  I'm a big fan of not too potently scented wool wash with lanolin in it.  I'm a recent convert to The Laundress Wool Wash, it makes my knits feel great and they smell nice too!

3.  Let the washing up begin!  Fill the sink with lukewarm water and a splash of wool wash and add your first knit.  I like to let my knits really soak, and while they soak I like to take that opportunity to clear off every flat surface in my whole house... I'm going to need it.

©Knit Purl

4. Set up what I like to call "assigned seats"  Knits that really need to be blocked and pinned are assigned to my interlocking blocking mats on the dining room table.  Knits that need to be blocked to specific sizes get the living room floor and the check your gauge cloth on top of towels.  Everything else gets a towel on the remaining flat space (I'm looking at you, socks and hats.)

Pro tip: Keep the coffee table clear, you're going to need a place to enjoy your take-out tonight. (Dining table is full, remember?)

5. Time to get your knits out of the sink.  Gently squeeze out the excess water, roll them up burrito style into a towel, and decide where to let them dry.  I like to go ahead and get my next "batch" of knits soaking while I carefully block the previous batch.

6. Repeat until everything is clean, blocking, and potentially ALL over your house. Although this moment is not the most Instagram worthy moment of your knitting life, I think it's nice to take a moment to admire all of the lovely work your hands have created.

Now that you know all of my Spring Knitwear Care secrets, I'm curious, how do you show your knits love as the weather warms up? 


April 17, 2017 by Em Hanna
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Meredith MC said:

As a cat and dog person, I don’t have the luxury of tackling everything at once, so I do a batch per weekend and use a hanging drying rack my husband got me for Christmas. I can do two sweaters and a couple of socks at once. Large items like shawls get the bed and a heater- they usually dry pretty fast, but I have to do those first thing in the morning to be sure the bed will be clear at bedtime. I love the smell of freshly washed hand knits!

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