The thrill of wearing something you’ve made never goes away. It might fade a little if you’re a seasoned knitter wearing something you’ve had for years, but if you stop for just a moment, and remember that you knitted every stitch, and felt every inch of yarn run through your hands, a warm, satisfying, “I did that” feeling bubbles to the surface.
It’s actually amazing, not only do your own hand-knits make you feel warmer, but wearing something you’ve knitted has the wonderful added bonus(es!) of putting a smile on your face, as well as helping you feel a little more confident.
With so much power in those stitches, it’s probably wise to do our best to look after our knits, right?!
Some might say, that caring for your knits is actually caring for yourself, and, in a roundabout kind of way, I think it is.
WHAT DOES CARING FOR YOUR KNITS LOOK LIKE?
Aside from trying hard to not spill food down your front when you’re wearing them, there are four things we can do to keep your hand-knits looking gorgeous.
Depending on what you’ve used, and depending on what you’ve knitted, you may find that you don’t need to wash your hand-knits very often, or even at all.
Socks might get the most stinky, but if you use wool, you’ll find that they don’t need to be washed as often as you might think. Wool has self-cleaning properties and airing your socks after every few wears will usually be enough to keep them reasonably fresh.
Sweaters and hats are much the same, and you’ll find you only need to wash them once or twice a season provided you use natural fibres.
It’s questionable whether shawls need washing at all, although some may benefit from re-blocking at the end of the season, if they’ve lost their shape.
Machine-washable fibres can tolerate being chucked in the washing machine, but hand-washing will be gentler on, and preserve your knits, over the longer term. Give it a try! It’s very satisfying taking time to care for your precious knitting and doesn’t take nearly as long as you think.
Spring and early summer are a good time to sort out your knits and slowly starting washing them to store away for next winter. Either tackle them one by one, or use the bath to soak a big pile together, and lie them flat, out of direct sunlight, to dry naturally.
Pills can quickly turn a gorgeous cardigan into something you’d only wear at home. Fortunately, pilling on natural fibres is easy to fix.
Spend a little time researching how to de-pill your yarn. There are many tools to choose from including stones and shavers and they each have a role for different kinds of yarn. Want to keep the halo? Avoid a razor and try a de-pilling stone! Using the right tool can make all the difference.
Careful folding can help reduce lines in your sweaters and rolling can be space-saving, but at the end of the day, the jury is out on whether folding or rolling handknits is best.
One thing is certain though, whatever you do, don’t hang your knitted sweaters. Well, not unless you want lumps in your shoulders and a hem down by your knees.
Prolific knitters may find they quickly start to run out of space for all their knits. Don’t see it as a knitting problem, this is purely a storage issue ;)
Once your drawers and shelves are full, big plastic tubs are perfect for storing extra knits. Baskets might attract critters that love to eat yarn, so empty them often, bang them outside, and let air and light circulate and get to the dark corners.
If you want to steer clear of smelly mothballs (I don’t blame you), try tucking lavender sachets, cedar blocks, bay leaves, and simple bars of soap into your knits to ward off nasties that want to eat your stitches. Your knits will smell delicious!