Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How I Wash Woolens

The two rules for washing woolens are:


Other than that, woolens are much hardier than most people think, although I believe most knitters have figured this out already.

My woolen washing routine is a great exercise program. It requires five trips up and down the basement stairs to the washer. This is how I do it.

For this system to work, you need a washing machine that will agitate but not spin with the lid up.

If you have any concerns about the outcome, try your washing technique out with a swatch.

  1. Trip 1.
    • Set washer for small load (optional), warm wash, and warm rinse.
    • Start wash cycle with lid up.
    • Add 1 capful of baby shampoo.
    • Do NOT add the items you're washing.
    • Go back upstairs, letting washer go through wash cycle with lid up and no woolens. It creates bubbles from the shampoo. It stops before it spins out.

  2. Trip 2.
    • Washer is now ready to spin out.
    • Add woolens to warm water.
    • Carefully swish around to throughy wet, but DO NOT AGITATE.
    • Go back upstairs leaving woolens to soak for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Trip 3.
    • Woolens have been soaking.
    • Give a final, gentle swish around in the water.
    • Shut washer lid.
    • Stand by washer while it drains and spins with woolens inside.
    • Before washer starts to fill for rinse cycle, remove woolens and set them aside.
    • Go back upstairs leaving lid up.
    • Washer fills with rinse water and agitates with no woolens in the water. It stops before it spins out because the lid is up.

  4. Trip 4.
    • Washer is ready to spin out.
    • Add woolens to water and gently swish around. DO NOT AGITATE.
    • Put lid down and go back upstairs.
    • Washer will drain and spin with woolens inside.

  5. Trip 5.
    • Grab woolens out of washer.
    • Lay them out to dry on a flat surface, patting them into the desired shape. This is my version of blocking.

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