Hey hey darlings!
So, this topic has recently popped into some of my daily conversations with peeps who have received a crochet/knit item and are not sure of how to care for it.
Shockingly, as someone who gifts/donates/forces a TON of crochet items on loved ones, I have NEVER discussed with any of those recipients on how to care for it (FYI, my new personal goal in life is to include some simple instructions with each prize!) I have also ALWAYS taken it for granted that since I was raised in home with tons of handmade stuff that EVERYONE automatically knew how to care for their gifted goodies.
Guess what? Nope, not the case.
So, here is some VERY basic 411 on and suggestions I have learned over the years. Feel free to comment with any suggestions or lessons you have learned on this topic! Lord knows, all help is always welcome when it comes to keeping our beautiful creations looking amazing for years to come!
Before washing your gift, you might consider contacting the creator for specifics on what type of yarn they used and how they recommend laundering it.
Now, I can’t lie…do I throw my winter scarves I made in with my regular laundry, wash and dry it with everything else, and move on with life. Sure do.
However, you might consider following a different life path. I would always recommend a gentle cycle (consider even using a lingerie bag) or handwashing if you are concerned about damaging the item. I make so much stuff, if it falls apart (which it rarely does), I make a new one and move on.
To be safe, always air dry your items. One of the easiest ways it to lay an item out on a flat surface that is covered by a couple of towels. Feel free to “block” (shape while damp and smooth out to lie evenly) for this process to help the item retain a lovely shape. It is IMPERATIVE that the item is completely dry before it is folded and stored away. Yarn will get funky and nasty quick if it is stored damp. Imagine a wet dog smell forever, only worse.
A random end….
So, you have a glorious blanket that your Great Aunt Gertie handed down to you. It’s your fav. EVER.
One night while binge watching Handmaid’s Tale or Outlander, you spot a random tail peeking out of the edge of the blanket. You think, no biggie and you tie a knot in it and snip it short.
Worst thing EVER.
If you do not crochet or knit, you might understand the mechanics of how that tail works. Nor should you! It ain’t your gig to make this stuff!
That little tail however, plays a pretty important roll in the construction of your piece. Each time a color is changed or a new skein of yarn is added, there is a connection made. Those connections have two tails. Now, most creators, weave them back in using a tapestry needle. Over the usage of the piece, those ends can weave themselves back out. When you snip it short, you are getting dangerously close to where the two pieces connect and therefore closer to the creation of a hole. If you see an end, the best thing to do is to tuck it back in. You can use your fingers, a crochet hook or a tapestry needle to weave it back in.
Dum, dum dum….a hole.
Oy. This could be a problem. Your favorite winter scarf that you have sported for years and washed without a care in the world has developed….gasp….a hole.
Now, there are a couple of approaches on this. First, do NOT pick or pull at it. It will only get worse….promise.
Next, call your craftiest friend, offer to buy them wine, dinner, whatever and beg them to fix it for you. They most likely will do it without any payment minus the joy on your face when you get to wear your gem again!
You can always also contact the creator. I know personally, if I have made it, I will ALWAYS fix or replace an item. I back my work and I want people to wear and use the crap out of things! That is what it is for and should know that I have their back!
If you feel fairly savvy with a needle and thread, you can always try to repair it yourself, by catching as many of the loops as possible and “securing” things back in place to prevent any more unraveling.
Highly recommend jumping to YouTube for some guidance on this. You will most likely not have the exact yarn, so match it with thread or yarn the best you can. One quick Google search provided a ton of options, including this one!
Most likely, this will always look like a repair. I personally am good with that, because you can still love and use the item! It just has more character now that it is showing it’s age.
In closing, if you have been so lucky to be gifted a handmade gift, please NEVER insult the creator by not using it. They made it for you. They want you to enjoy it and love it forever. The best thing you can do is bring it into your life fully and just go with it. If it has an issue, contact someone. We are everywhere…us crafty folks…and all of us are awesome and amazing and would love to help you!
Don’t forget, comment with any advice you have to add! LOVE hearing from y’all!
Peace out peeps.