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:

:passedout: wow!

thank you so much for the photos and the step by step explanation of what you did! i’m just now knitting my first sweater…and your post is invaluable for what to do!


I really enjoyed the pics and the commentary :slight_smile:
Thanks Artlady . I cannot believe how much dirt came out :wink:

wow…Thanks for the photos…I hadn’t heard of the product before and will have to check it out :happydance:

oh yuck! I never block anything, bar a few things I kinda shaped with the steam iron through a tea-towel. I’m amazed that much dirt came out…

Wow! Thanks for posting that information.


Whoa! I cannot believe how much dirt came out of those!

I’m still in disbelief! You saw the garment before washing…it looked perfectly clean to the ‘eye’. I don’t think that much soil would be embedded in acrylics or other synthetics. But the MALABRIGO MERINO comes right off the sheep…and the natural, undyed cream color that I prefer doesn’t get the extra “dip” into the kettle of dye! BUT, the natural, undyed cream color is THE SOFTEST of all the Malabrigo colors. The dying process does harden the fibers a smidge…enough that I can really tell as it passes through my fingers.

I discovered this when I was knitting the Irish Hiking Scarf for my DSIL. The color was Taupe. It is a combination of the lightest of grey, taupe, beige and pure cream. As I was knitting this colorway, I noticed that the pure cream was always softer than the other portions. That led me to try the natural, undyed cream by itself! Oh, I love it!
Here is the color taupe: (the label says TAUBE, but I think they misspelled “TAUPE”)

WOW I can’t believe how much dirt you got out of it. I use euculan and I got dirt out of some of mine but never that much. I think I am going to switch to your wash from now on!!

What type of store would carry that fiber wash? I’ve never seen it anywhere.

I put a link to the Unicorn Fibre Wash and Rinse in my initial post #1 of this thread. I have never seen it in a LYS. I saw it advertised in a Wild Fibers Magazine. It is the best stuff I’ve ever used. The Unicorn people are quick to ship, and seem very reputable. I have placed several orders with them.

I noticed that also, with Malabrigo, Dollyce. Knitted a scarf for the woman who does my hair, as a Christmas gift and when I washed it, the water was amazingly dark. Part dye (dark green) and part oil from my hands. It took three trips through [I]Soak[/I] and many rinsings until I was happy with the results.

Many thanks to you for the picture tutorials you have given us. I’m going to be using your washing and blocking methods soon on a sweater.

Holy cow! That’s amazing on the dirt.

Thank you so much for the name of the product and the blocking hints.:happydance:

I couldn’t see the photos! I usually have no problems… <shrug>

Did you try to hit the F5 key? Sometimes that will bring something to the front.

I dunno what the problem could be! Darn!

Do you use both wash and rinse? I’m thinking of ordering the sample package. Each bottle is 4 oz. I’d only use it on wool socks for now, so how far would a 4 oz bottle get me?
Do you use it with every wash or just the initial? What about with socks?

I like the fact it seems to help take the itchiness out of wool. Maybe I could finally wear wool socks!:happydance:

Hi tokmon! I use BOTH. I use a couple squirts of the Wash in 2 quarts of water for the wash…dump that out…and make a rinse using a couple squirts of the RINSE product in 2 quarts of water.

I use Unicorn for the initial wash/rinse/block process…AND also use it to wash all of my fine knits when they need a cleaning. I don’t use anything else.

You are right. It does take the itch out of wool. If you have an especially itchy woolen, you can add an extra squirt or two of the RINSE product to the rinse water. I did that with a particular sweater…and it sure did help ‘tame’ the fibers.
Don’t get me wrong…it doesn’t change the overall character of a fiber…but it WILL tame the scratchiness.

I vote for this to be a sticky thread in the how-to forum (we don’t have enough stickies, don’t you agree? haha)

Thank you! I will try the sampler and see if it helps with the itch factor. Once I get to knitting clothing (fingers crossed:teehee: ) I will get the larger bottles.
Thanks for the recommendation. :slight_smile:

ITA, on the sticky. :thumbsup: