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TwistedStitchers Posted - 11/18/2008 : 12:24:26 PM
I've completed several projects, all knit from natural fibers. I have dutifully submerged them for a good soak, carefully pressed out excess water, pinned to a board and waiting a good day or so until completely dry. AND YET, some of my pieces still curl! A lace scarf, curls completely upon itself, and a silk shawl didn't retain its look. Am I doing something wrong, or perhaps were these fibers not "100%" as the label indicated? Anyone else have issues like these?

Tina Pautz-Troshynski
Hand Knits for Eccentrics
5   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
queen of the east Posted - 11/19/2008 : 10:20:41 AM
I do wash silks, but as I mentioned above I don't leave them in the water for longer than 15 minutes. Most machine wash cyles are not terribly long, and the spin cycle does a good job of removing excess water. I hand wash or machine wash my silk clothes rather than dry cleaning. The problem is when silks are left to soak for periods longer than 30 minutes. Also dampness is not good for silks so I don't recommend leaving wet silk knits rolled up in a towel for very long either.
The key is to get as much excess moisture removed from the silk as quickly as possible. When I wash my favorite silk shawl I roll it in a large towel to remove the excess water and then repeat the process with two or three more towels. I like to put my shawls on a frame to dry, it takes very little time.

Ann in Montreal
yarnlover Posted - 11/19/2008 : 07:42:21 AM
Water is not a great friend to silk so keep them in each others company as briefly as possible.

And yet, when I first married I had several silk dresses in the laundry room waiting to go to the dry cleaners. My late husband, darling housekeeper that he was, did the laundry one day and yes, all those dresses went into the washer. When he told me, my response was OMG, but all came out just fine and only needed a light pressing. I never took another silk item to the dry cleaners, but none of these were knit things, so perhaps there is a difference.

Chemcats Posted - 11/19/2008 : 04:34:38 AM
OK Ann, I have an idiot question. I'm not ashamed that it is stupid. How do you clean them if you don't put them in water?

TwistedStitchers Posted - 11/18/2008 : 5:59:42 PM
Thanks Ann, I'll give that a shot!

Tina Pautz-Troshynski
Hand Knits for Eccentrics
queen of the east Posted - 11/18/2008 : 3:10:05 PM
Silk fibres are best not soaked before blocking,in fact I don't wet them at all. A light steaming works best. I like to use blocking wires and pin the garment in place. I use a steamer but you could use a steam iron, just make sure the surface of the pressing plate does not touch the knitted item. After steaming I like to leave the item in place for at least 8 hours. When I wash silk or silk/wool blend handknits I never leave them in the water for more than 10 or 15 minutes. Water is not a great friend to silk so keep them in each others company as briefly as possible.
For wool/silk blends I steam or I will lightly mist the item with a spray bottle.
You might try blocking your scarf or shawl with the right side down, facing the blocking surface. Good luck with your blocking.

Ann in Montreal

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