Getting those winter hats, scarves, and gloves out of storage.
The kids have started back to school; the nights are beginning to cool off, and soon, the leaves will change colors. Fall is on its way! It's time to get your cold weather gear out of storage, and I'm sure they need a little freshening up! Here are some helpful tips for cleaning and refreshing your crocheted and knitted hats, gloves, and scarves.
Always read the care label before washing your crocheted or knitted items. If the label says it's safe to machine wash, use a gentle cycle and put the item in a mesh laundry bag to avoid snagging. Use mild detergent and cool water, and skip the bleach and fabric softener. If it says "hand wash only," don't toss it in the machine. Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add a gentle detergent. Swirl the item around, then rinse it thoroughly with cool water.
What if you've removed the "made of (whatever type of yarn)" and care label? Air on the side of caution and handwash.
Does it have super cool sequins, jewels, ribbons, or a giant pom? If they can't be removed, follow the steps above for handwashing to avoid damaging the embellishment on the hat/gloves/scarf.
Don't use the dryer when it's time to dry your crocheted hat/gloves/scarves unless the care label says it's okay. Instead, gently squeeze out the excess water and lay the item flat on a clean towel. If you need to, reshape it a little by patting it into shape; avoid tugging or pulling so it doesn't magically get bigger. Then, let it air dry thoroughly, flipping it a few times to make sure it dries evenly on both sides.
Don't hang your crocheted/knitted items to dry, as that can stretch them out, distort the shape, or cause the yarn fibers to break.
When the last spring snowstorm has passed, launder your items before putting them up for the spring/summer. Store your crocheted items in a cool, dry spot, away from direct sunlight or heat, to keep them looking their best. This will help prevent fading and shrinking.
Also, opt for a covered container to prevent any critters from making home or dinner out of your garments. Mice and certain types of insects love to eat and nest in stored clothing. The Spruce has a list of the most common types of insects and how to get rid of them.
A Few Tips
If you see any pilling on your crocheted items, no worries! Use a fabric shaver, old razor, or manicure scissors to remove the pills. Just be careful not to snip any of the yarn fibers.
Snags happen, but it's not the end of the world; a snag can be repaired by pulling the loose threads to the wrong side or inside of the hat/gloves/scarf with a small crochet hook or straightening a paperclip and creating a small hook on the end. Turn the garment inside out and find the newly relocated threads, tie a loose knot in the threads, and add a dab of clear nail polish. Once dry, flip the garment right side out and check your handy work!
For those of you with kids who love to share, head lice can become a problem. My initial response is to burn everything! However, I know kids get super attached to certain items. So, in my book, you have two options: quarantine or freezing. Place all infected items in a sealable bag and leave them there for at least a week. Then, take the items outside for several good shakes and use a small vacuum or the hose attachment on your regular vacuum to get rid of the little guys. Death by freezer is a similar process; place all items in a sealable bag, place the sealed bag in your freezer for at least four hours (I personally would go longer, just to be sure), and finally take them outside for the shake/vacuum step.
Out With the Old
Ready for some new cool weather gear? Pom Hats and Chunky Beanies will soon be back in stock for Black Sheep Creations starting September 1st, along with new Adjustable Earwarmers and Braided Earwarmer Headbands.
Don't forget to donate your old hats, scarves, and gloves. What's old to you can be new to someone else!