So, I finished knitting my little sweater for Bowie for the 30 Day Sweater Challenge (more pics soon), which means I've reached that exciting time that every knitter looks forward to. Soaking and blocking!
You don't skip this part, right? (Right?) Because you owe it to yourself to finish out these last steps properly on that amazing handmade garment that you spent so much time knitting. A good soak in a basin/sink filled with lukewarm water and rinseless wool wash will do wonders for how your hand-knits look and feel.
I soaked Bowie's sweater in a large mixing bowl with a teaspoon of Eucalan's eucalyptus wool wash. Which smells wonderful and has a ton of benefits. Not only does it have natural moth and flea inhibiting properties, but the lanolin and essential oils act as natural fabric softeners that made this sweater extra soft, also allowing the fibers/stitches to lay really nicely. Wool wash will clean and soften your hand-knits with amazing results and no rinsing.
Here's the soaking and blocking process I used, adapted from the 30 Day Sweater course.
- Soak finished garment in lukewarm water with one teaspoon of Eucalan per gallon for 15-30 minutes, gently squeezing out all air bubbles.
- Remove the garment and squeeze out excess water, being careful not to twist or wring fabric.
- Lift garment, supporting it from the bottom so it does not stretch and lay it on a clean, dry towel.
- Roll the sweater in the towel burrito-style and push down (hard) on the towel from end-to-end. Remove sweater.
- Fabric should feel damp but not saturated.
- Lay out your sweater in your desired finished shape, making sure to smooth all wrinkles. Pin down if needed. (I didn't this time, but for some hand-knits, I do.)
- Let dry completely, away from direct heat or sun. (I usually lay mine out on a second clean, dry towel.)
The absolute hardest part of soaking and blocking is waiting for your garment to dry. But usually (depending on your climate/humidity) it will be totally dry in one or two days.
Would you like to soak your next finished project in Eucalan? I know you would. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win your own Eucalan gift pack. This set includes one 3.3 fl oz bottle of each of the four original scents – Eucalyptus, Lavender, Grapefruit and Natural/Unscented. Winner will be drawn on Monday, November 4th at 12:00 am CST. Thanks for following along on my 30 Day Sweater progress and good luck!