Knitting, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Drying Washed Knits Outside

Hey Everyone!

Now that the warm weather is upon us, whenever I get a pair of socks done, I wait until there is going to be a sunny day with a high temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit and preferably below 30% humidity, to wash and dry them. I like to pin my just washed socks to sock blockers and hang them outside on the clothes line to dry. It’s not as easy and takes longer to dry them in the winter, and I have to find an alternative way to hang them to dry. I have yet to really wash a lot of socks in the colder months, though I have a few ideas of how to dry them during that period of time, which if I resort to, I will have to write about and post pictures of. Beings that the weather is more ideal for hanging washed socks outside to dry, I am able to do so.

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I love being able to hang my socks out side to dry on hot summer days, because they dry a lot faster, and there is something about hanging outside that helps decrease the amount of wool wash scent that is left in the socks when I bring them in. While I love the scent of Eucalan Wrapture Woolwash, but sometimes it can still be very strong and over powering. I have noticed that when I am able to let whatever I have washed with it, dry outside, the scent that is left behind is not as strong as tends to be when I have to let it dry indoors.

While I personally detest the heat, and am currently camping out in a nice cool, air conditioned house (because it is 95 degrees outside), it has been a perfect day to wash and then hang socks out to dry. While I would typically say I would rather be at the beach, the beach is as bad as it is here in the valley, which is weird. It shouldn’t be 95 degrees on the Oregon Coast, 75 maybe, but 95 is just down right nuts. It’s crazy when the coast is hotter than Eastern Oregon, which was the case in some places today.

Knitting, Knitting Essentials, Tips, Wool

Washing My Wool

Today, I spent the day washing the woolen accessories I have knit up. Today is the official first day of fall, and it certainly feels like fall. I decided to spend the day washing, and letting my woolen wears air dry. Many of which I have yet to wash since I made them. Over the past year I have learned why you should wash your woolen accessories. When they are new, and never been washed before they still have all the chemicals and waxes in them that they were produced with. Washing them gets the chemicals and waxes out. Chemicals are used to treat the wool for various reasons. Waxes are used especially on wool’s that are used for machine knitting so that the wool knits up, and holds up better when being used on a machine. The waxes help the wool’s slide through the carriage and over the needles so much easier. Some of the yarns I had used at my previous jobs were so full of waxes that within 20 minutes my hands were sticky from the waxes. We washed everything at the studio, which was where I really learned about how to wash wool. Through that experience I learned that once the garment has been washed, and much of the chemicals, and all the waxes and stuff are washed out, the garments are so much softer. I have found that with my own knit goods, once they have been washed the first time they are so much softer.

After the first time I wash my wool, I only wash them when they absolutely need it. Wools don’t need to be washed very often after the first time, and when they do, they need a very delicate hand wash, or the gentlest setting on an HE Washer that does not have an agitator. Agitation = one of the worst things you could do to wool. You will also want to use a wool wash when washing woolen items. I would recommend either Eucalan Wrapture which is made with Jasmine Oil and enriched with Natural Lanolin, though any of the Eucalan line of no rinse delicate washes would be fine (I am just familiar with the Wrapture line). I like the smell of the Jasmine oil, which is also a natural antiseptic (helping to get the chemicals and any germs and such out that you wouldn’t want on your skin) The Lanolin in the Wrapture wash also helps with adding some water resistance to your woolen items. I have also used The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo, this is what we used at the studio with the garments that we made.

I always lay my washed woolen items flat on old bath and beach towels on a hard surface like the floor. It usually takes them several hours to dry. I sometimes even will use two or three towels underneath each item so that there is more layers for the moisture to go.

I figured today would be a good day to wash my woolen wear, because it actually is feeling like fall, yet is warm enough to open out the house to get fresh air in, and help my garments dry. It is also to help air out the Wet Sheep smell. It honestly smells like a wet sheep in the living room, so I am hoping it gets aired out by tonight. Having the Wet Sheep smell with having washed wool is a given. I don’t mind the smell so much, but I don’t think the other people I live with want to come home to the smell of wet sheep. This time of year is perfect for opening up the house anyway. It is overcast and cooler, but not pouring down rain.

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Eucalan Wrapture
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The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo