How I wash my hand knits

Hello everyone,

I hope you are keeping well and enjoying your weekend. Today I thought I would share with you, how I wash my hand knitted items. Each and every one of us probably has a different technique to this. Some people probably put them in the washing machine, others like me hand wash them. So for those of you who are new to knitting and aren’t sure what to do to care for your new hand knitted item, I thought I would demonstrate one way to care for them!

Ever since I started knitting I have generally hand washed everything (the only exception being an acrylic jumper and a superwash scarf that I have washed once). Today I hand washed all of the knitted socks in this house (21 pairs it would seem) so thought I would take some photos to show you what I did with them. I hand wash them because despite the yarn I use being labelled as machine wash, I am always a little worried that they may felt/ shrink/ get eaten by the washing machine monster/ or just generally wear a bit quicker. It doesn’t take me long to hand wash them so I like to do it, just in case it makes them last a bit longer.

So first up, I dunk them in a sink of warm water, in this water I add a little shampoo. I reason if it is okay for human hair, then it probably will be fine on other animal fiber. You can buy specific wool wash and I guess if you wanted something slightly gentler then baby/dog shampoo would also work well. I just use what I have on hand. I find if you add conditioner too then your knits end up really soft!

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Once they have soaked for about 20 minutes (long enough for the water to permeate through all the socks) I then rinse them in warm water to remove any excess soap/ other dirt etc. After that, I place them flat on a towel and then roll the towel and lean on it a bit so that the towel soaks up all excess moisture. Here are my socks flat on some towels. The towels take up a lot of moisture so I use a new one for each set of socks.

So many socks!

Following the removal of most moisture I then use every available surface to dry them! Mostly I drape them over radiators, or in the summer I peg them onto the line. But for the socks with lace/ colourwork/ cables, I pin them onto some blocking mats so make sure that their pattern is blocked out properly.

I hope that was helpful in some way. I am most definitely not against machine washing socks and other knits. I just feel that as I have time currently I may as well treat my knits. I imagine if my life got busier and I no longer had time, then I would probably submit them to the mercy of the one sock eating washing machine!

Now I have finished washing my socks, I am going to knit some more! Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone.

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2 thoughts on “How I wash my hand knits

  1. I also wash my socks by hand. I use liquid dish washing soap. I once put a pair of socks in the washing machine, even though the label said the yarn was washable, and the socks shrank. So I always wash by hand now. I love your photos. I only wash two or three pairs of socks at a time πŸ™‚

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    • That is interesting to know what you wash yours with. Sorry to hear about your shrunken socks! It is a pity after all of that hard work making them. Thank you πŸ™‚ I do normally only wash half at a time, so 10 pairs. But today I was apparently feeling industrious and got them all done. It feels a bit weird not wearing woolen socks today.

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