How to wash hand knits?

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Joined: 09/26/03
Posts: 21
How to wash hand knits?

Now that I'm knitting this sweater, I've realized I've never washed a handknit item before. I didn't think I'd have to until I was finished but today my dear dear son that I love so much (I have to keep telling myself that) spilled a Dr pepper on the sweater back. How do I clean this without ruining it?

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

I'd just wash it gently in lukewarm water. Then dry it flat on a towel. Don't handle it very much or it could stretch etc..

Read this:

Joined: 09/26/03
Posts: 21

Thank you! I did just wash in lukewarm water without rubbing or stretching then blotted it on a paper towel a little bit to make sure the soda was out before laying it on a towel. It needed to be blocked anyway.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3403

I washed some handknit items front loader has an ultra handwash cycle that I will use on them.

I dry them flat....i did tumble dry one baby sweater that was done in a chunky cotton and knit tightly...on ultra low heat.

If I didn't have the ultra handwash cycle i would do them by hand...gently wring, no twisting...reshape and dry flat. Oh..mild detergent. A lot of people suggest something like Eucalan for wools as its mild and contains lanolin...but its darn expensive :evil: I have even heard people suggest using dishsoap like dawn!

Joined: 08/14/03
Posts: 162

Strangely enough I hadn't even considered I know...

Bonita's picture
Joined: 02/11/02
Posts: 1066

Check the label on your yarn. It will tell you how to take care of the garment. Another one of my "going to get myself organized" ideas is to start a photo book of what I've made- This idea came from seeing a similar sample book of one of my weaving instructors. She included-
a picture of the completed item,
a sample swatch of the yarn in pattern, knitted- or crocheted.. or woven, whatever- and
the label. and a piece of the yarn ( for her knitted pieces)

Some people use woolite with everything.
I know there are special soaps out there if you are using 100% wool. I took notes in my weaving class on this, but now they're in a box somewhere in the barn. Eventually I'll be able to dig them out and get them back in the house.

Also, the time in the washer and dryer- Time how long you put it through the agitator. It doesn't need a full cycle. Try it for 3 minutes and check it. My instructor put his through for 2-5 minutes max, depending on what the item was. Pull it out before it's completely dry too, and let it finish air-drying.

I put the wet garments in a double layer towel and roll it like a jelly roll to get as much water out as I can before I dry it fully.

batbird's picture
Joined: 08/29/06
Posts: 325

Do what Bonita said, follow the directions on the yarn. Usually the yarn says use a mild soap and wash on normal to delicate. I have some knitted booties I have worn religiously for years that I wash and dry on regulary cycles. They are still ok. Usually thought, it is the dryer that is the villian to hand knitted items.