Thursday, January 25, 2018

dirty laundry...

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with a new topic but I‘m sure this is something I haven’t addressed here before. You’ve heard me say I love Wool Crepe Deluxe and if you look in the right place(s), I’ve talked about blocking and steaming garments but what happens to a finished garment that is laundered? It looks like this! Yikes!  This is the 1RT raglan in ginger WCD that I made back in October,’14, http://knitwords.blogspot.ca/2014/10/a-bird-in-hand.html
 BTW, this isn’t the first time I washed it, just the first time I thought to tell you about it! ;-) OK, a quick review of how I laundered this. I use Eucalan, in warm water, in my top-loading washer, with just enough water to cover the garment – I don’t mean to brag here but I do several similar-coloured WCD garments at one time, so enough water to submerge all. Note, never button a cardigan – it will stretch out the bands and look awful.
After filling, turn off the machine. Swish the things by hand and let soak for 15-20 minutes. If there were any trouble spots/stains, I pre-treat with straight Eucalan before submerging. After the soak, turn the washer dial to drain/spin, full-on and let the machine do the work to take the water out. Eucalan is a no-rinse product, so that’s all there is to it. Sometimes, I add a little fabric softener in there too but not a lot, just like a teaspoon, maybe. Then I put all the items in the dryer, along with a one-yard piece of percale sheeting that I keep especially for this purpose – it helps to make the sweaters tumble instead of wadding up on the blades of the dryer and has no lint. Set the dryer to ‘air’ only for about 15 minutes – this will take out the wrinkles and because there is no heat, no danger of shrinking.
Then I take the things out, lay them flat on towels and let them air dry overnight.
This one-row-tuck looks bubbly and nasty because of the tuck and it is necessary to re-block it (this happens to lace as well). I do it in sections on my ironing board. For one side of the front, put a longer blocking rod in the edge of the front band and a shorter one through the hem band – make this one go about an inch past the side seam so you don’t get a point happening at the side seam. Pin the rods in place – I don’t use a tape measure for this, just eyeball it, but if you’re uncertain, measure and make sure the second front matches in length.
Don’t worry about the side seam - no need to have a rod there, you can hold/stretch that side with your hand as you are steaming with the other hand. On the neckline, I just put a few extra pins to hold it in place without stretching it out. I’m just using my regular steam iron    http://knitwords.blogspot.ca/2012/01/out-of-steam.html  and holding it just above the fabric until I get some steam into the fabric then I actually set it down for a sec to really steam it. After that section is done, walk away and leave it to cool for a minute or two.  Unpin, move to next section, blah-blah-blah. For the sleeves, I use the sleeve board and no rods. Good as new!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

eighties ladies...

It’s okay to laugh!  I am! All this reminiscing about the 80s - I came across this – my first headshot, from 1987 – look at that Elvis thing happening on top of my head! But, I was wearing one of my very first machine knit sweaters! It was Bramwell’s Montana 2 ply cotton used double-stranded and I knit a design that was in Modern Machine Knitting, a magazine from the UK.  
 And, OMG! I still have that issue! I’ve done a lot of purging but for some reason, I did save my first collection of MMKs, from 1986 to 1989. It was a monthly machine kitting magazine and I read those things front to back and knit the heck out of them! I would pick something I liked, knit it once and then knit it again, improving something until I got it just right. The written patterns were relatively simple, not much reading there but the diagrams were so full of priceless information and each issue had several articles of techniques and swatches, so you could learn about the various aspects and options for your machine.


That magazine was specifically for Knitmaster which was sold as Singer, Studio or Silver Reed in North America so I learned everything I possibly could from those – I always thought the second or third time making the same thing was invaluable, especially for a beginner because it reinforced the lessons. I remember practising and learning so much about necklines because I am not a scarf-wearer - I was always certain they used scarves and big jewelry to hide any glitches! :-)