Okay, so I am done with the FRONTS, BACK, and SLEEVES of a cardigan called VIVECA. My method of blocking is to wash, rinse, pat dry, and lay out on the blocking board til bone dry. I use UNICORN Fibre Wash and Rinse. You will NOT BELIEVE that this Right Front piece needs washing til you see the wash water!
RIGHT FRONT before washing & rinsing. Looks sparkling clean, doesnt’ it?
I washed the BACK first. This is the wash water left behind:
This is the wash water left behind after the FRONTS & BACK had been washed…shocking, isn’t it?
Here are my 3 little suspects, waiting in the basket while I am preparing their rinse water:
Here are the 3 pieces (both FRONTS & the BACK) idling in their rinse water. I have gently squeezed and massaged the rinse water through the fibers 12 times, and they are resting for a bit:
Here is the rinse water, after all 3 pieces were removed. Still more dirt was removed. Shocking.
This is the wash and rinse product that I use all the time. Just 3 squirts per 2 quarts…and look at how it cleans and removes hidden dirt and soil!
Prior to washing the pieces, I laid them out on the blocking board and put pins along the outside edges, making an outline of the garment pieces. When the pieces are wet after the washing, they are, of course, out of shape completely. By making the pin outline of the garment pieces prior to washing, I have a “guide” in which to lay them into. Follow me?
Making the outline ensures that I will not block the pieces either too narrow, too wide, too long nor too short. It really helps me jockey the wet pieces back into the right shape and outline.
You may wonder why I am so excited about this product Unicorn Fibre Wash and Rinse…and why be so worried about the hidden soil and dirt in the fibers? Well, hidden dirt and soil will act like teensy razors in the fibers. Hidden dirt is not good for the yarn.
Obviously, this natural fiber yarn (MALABRIGO MERINO) was not washed and rinsed enough. [I]Just enough[/I] to market!
BTW: I didn’t knit these sweater pieces on vacation in the outdoors. The pieces were knit quickly, and always in my family room. We’re not smokers…and I don’t “grill” in the house. So, the yarn was not soiled by me is what I’m saying. The yarn came with its own hidden stash of dirt!
I made a 3/4 hooded coat this past spring, using the same cream MALABRIGO. It also let loose of a lot of hidden soil and dirt upon the wash and rinse process! And I will tell you…I could see a remarkable difference in the cream color after it dried. It truly ‘brightened’ the color. I guess that makes sense! It’s really clean now!
I highly recommend this product for natural fibers!
With dyed yarns, you might not see the amount of soil that is loosened because this product will also loosen and remove excess dyes that lay on the cuticle of the fiber. So you will see the color of your yarn in the wash water. When the excess dye is removed, the yarn becomes softer and much fuller (called Bloom). I knit a Central Park Hoodie for my DD a few months ago…using the Tahki Donegal Tweed. Ouch, it was an itchy scratchy tweed. But after washing, rinsing and blocking, it became much softer. Not like cashmere, don’t get me wrong…but it became wearable!
Anyways, I hope this photo tutorial will inspire you to treat your natural fiber yarns to a day at the SPA! :teehee: