Popular Posts

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


With all of your precious time and effort poured into your crocheted creation, you certainly don’t want it to be ruined the first time it is washed. Pay special attention to the materials you will be using and keep records for proper care, then you can minimize the risk to your handmade treasure.

If the instructions of your simple easy crochet pattern call for more than one color of yarn, type of yarn, or material, be sure the care instructions are the same for everything you use. For example, if you crochet edgings to apply to purchased kitchen towels and/or bathroom towels, the laundry care for the thread used to make these edgings should be the same as that for the towels themselves. If you have a sweater that is crocheted with a nubby yarn but assembled with a smooth yarn, the washing instructions for both yarns should be the same.

Be sure the materials you select for a project are appropriate for the way the finished item will be used. You might choose a dry-clean-only wool yarn to create an elegant sweater jacket; but if you are crocheting a child’s pullover, a washable cotton or acrylic yarn would probably be a better choice. Dishcloths need to be machine-washable in hot water. You may enjoy using an exotic textured yarn that is definitely dry-clean-only for a seldom-used guest room afghan, but an afghan for the kids’ room needs to be a durable, machine-washable acrylic.

Keeping accurate records of the materials and care instructions for each project makes it easier to launder crocheted projects safely and can extend the life of the items. A journal of the projects that you crochet from simple easy crochet patterns is an excellent place for storing this information. If keeping a journal is not your style, other record-keeping systems such as index cards or file holders work just as efficiently. As long as you have this important information in a place you can find easily, you’ll never have to worry about how a particular project needs to be taken care again. I have another blog about journaling on this website and maybe it will be helpful to you, too.

For wearables and gifts, always make care labels. The quickest and easiest way to make a care label is to simply write the care instructions on an index card and include it in the box with the crocheted gift. This works especially well for three-dimensional objects such as toys, or for starched decorative items, or for open-work projects like tablecloths and wearables where a sewn-in label might show through to the right side of the item. Another way to make labels is that you can purchase a laundry marking kit that includes a permanent, washable laundry marker and tape; you write directly onto the tape, cut it to size, and then fuse it to your project with a hot, dry iron. Instructions are included with the kit.

Since displaying all your crocheted goodies all at one time is next to impossible, knowing the basics for storing your treasured is a smart ideas – with proper care, they will stay spiffy and be ready to come out of the closet in a jiffy. Here are a couple simple guidelines that need to be remembered. First, always make sure your projects are squeaky clean before storing them. If a crocheted piece is soiled when it is stored away, it may take a miracle to remove the stains when the item is pulled back out.

If at all possible, store your items flat. Be careful not to stretch or distort crochet, and if folding is necessary, refold your articles every few months to minimize permanent creases. Do not store your pieces in plastic bags. The fibbers of the yarn or thread cannot “breathe” when wrapped in plastic, so mildew-causing moisture is easily trapped. Instead, store your treasures in cardboard boxes lined with acid-free tissue paper or in clean cotton pillowcases. My son works in a cardboard factory and I had him make me a very large, shallow box so I could lay all my doilies completely flat. It was wonderful! A cedar chest is a great place for storing woolens, but beware of cedar when you store cotton items. The oils from the wood can permanently stain cotton. If you need to store cotton articles in your cedar chest, make sure they are safely wrapped in layers of acid-free tissue paper.

Be kind your precious crocheted items…

No comments:

Post a Comment