One of the most important steps in finishing our knitting projects is to wash and block them. Blocking is required to varying degrees depending on the item. Lace, as an example, demands hard blocking (check out my shawlette blocking tutorial). But I really feel that washing is always required, no matter what the item, and especially if it’s being given as a gift.
Why Wash A Finished Knitting Project?
It’s quite likely that your yarn and knitting has gotten dirty. The yarn has taken a long journey through machines, hands, and places. While I am working on a knitting project I carry it with me and it may be touched by more people. Plus, I live with three cats so every knitting project becomes covered in fur!
Most importantly, though, is the fact that yarn and knitted stitches change after washing. Yarn blooms. Stitches even out. Ladders disappear. When you wash your gauge swatches, the gauge changes too, right? (You do wash your gauge swatches, don’t you?) Anyway, washed knitting looks crisp, even, and beautiful. Sometimes a scratchy fibre will even become softer after washing.
Washing With Soak
When it’s time to get washing, a good fibre wash can turn what you may be considering a chore into an enjoyable experience. There are several choices out there but my favourite is Soak. Soak is a Canadian company which ranks highly in my books, but it is also a great product. It doesn’t require rinsing. It doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin like most soaps and laundry products. It comes in several different fragrances and I use whichever suits my mood in the moment. The scents are all fresh and light and there is a scentless Soak for those who prefer it. Soak is also great for washing other fabrics including lingerie and any other hand washable or delicate clothing items you may own. It can even be used in HE washers. In the photo below I am soaking a swatch in the Fig fragrance, my current favourite.
Soak is available in different sizes and also in handy travel packs. When I give a knitted item as a gift I always include a couple of little Soaks for the recipient. Soak also has a lovely line of hand lotions called Handmaid (Yuzu is in my photo above), a fabric spray called Flatter, gift sets, and various other related products, like my Phil Basin, shown below.
What makes Soak even more fabulous is the great people that work there. When I recently asked if Soak would sponsor a prize for my Spring Shawl KAL they immediately offered up a coveted bottle of Unleash. Unleash is a pomegranate and green apple scent and it’s a limited edition. It was inspired by Ravelry and comes complete with a picture of Bob on the label.
So, the next time you come to the end of a knitting project and dread the thought of washing and blocking it, pull out a beautifully scented bottle of Soak and turn this chore into a relaxing experience! Which scents have you tried?