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With fall fast approaching, you may be starting to think about getting your hand-made items out and ready to wear, at least if you’re anything like me. But chances are, if they've been stored in a box for a few months, they’ll need a little refresh.

Here are some pointers to help you become an expert in knitwear care and get your knits refreshed and ready for the cooler weather.

The First Step in Knitwear Care: Proper Storage

How you store your hand knits is just as important as how you wash or care for them. I like to keep most of my hand knits stored in a plastic box that has a secure lid; that way, dust or pests can’t get to my beloved knits. It may not be the prettiest, but it gets the job done. Other people like to store their knitwear in a dresser or closet.

Skip Washing

Wool doesn’t absorb odors like other materials do, so unless your hand-knit is dirty or hasn’t been washed in a while, you can probably skip washing it. I usually wash my hand knits prior to storing them, and in the fall, when it’s finally time to get them out, all I have to do is wait for a nice day so I can put them outside to air out for a little bit.

Use a Gentle Wool Wash

If your hand knits do need a wash, use a gentle wool wash. There are numerous wool washes available, with many different scents to choose from, as well as fragrance-free options for those who are sensitive to fragrances.

Dry Them Properly

After leaving your hand knits to soak for a while, it's time to dry them. I like to gently squeeze (never wring) the water out, then lay them on a towel, roll it up, and walk on it to get as much water out as possible. Then, you can lay them out flat to dry. You could also use the CocoKnits Sweater Care Pop-Up Dryer, which allows air to flow through it, so a sweater will dry quicker, and who doesn’t love that?

A Couple of Other Items to Keep Your Hand-Knits Looking Fresh

There are a couple of other tools that I love to use that will help keep your hand knits looking their best.

  • One of my favorite knitwear care items is the sweater brush from CocoKnits. It’s especially useful for mohair and alpaca fibers because it fluffs and de-pills at the same time.

  • Another item I can’t live without is a fabric shaver to remove those pesky pills. I prefer electric ones, like this one, just because I find them to be quicker, but there are also hand shavers and combs that work great, too.

I know we all want our hand-knit garments and accessories to last a long time, and if you commit to taking good care of them, they will.


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