Washing Yarn Tutorial

Sometimes you get a ball of yarn that just smells like chemicals or perfume. If you’re like me and get headaches when around chemicals and perfume, knitting with smelly yarn is not an option. When I purchased several balls of yarn online they arrived with a faint smell to them. I let them sit outside for a few days and thought they were safe, but when I started knitting I got a migraine. The headache came and went for 4 days before I put two and two together and realized that the yarn was the cause. 🙄 I masked up and finished the knitting project outside so the yarn wouldn’t be in the house contaminating our air. After 2 washes in the machine the finished project was safe and I was quite happy with the little mat I made for the few dishes that I keep on the counter.

Now the remainder of the yarn needs to be washed before knitting and this is how I did it. I completed this process outside so that I wasn’t contaminating the indoor air quality of the house with the chemicals in the yarn. This yard was 100% cotton, worsted weight, with instructions for machine wash warm and tumble dry. A delicate yarn might not be able to handle the steps below.

  1. Pull the yarn from the middle of the ball and wrap it around the back of a chair or two.

2) After it’s all unwrapped, use chip clips (or something similar) to hold the yarn together. I clipped mine where the tails of the yarn were.

3) Remove the yarn from the back of the chair and place it in a container of water mixed with soap. I used fragrance-free soap because I don’t tolerate fragrance. Let it soak for 10 minutes, or more if necessary, swishing it around every few minutes. **Another option here might be to use a vinegar and water mixture.**

4) Spray the yarn with a garden hose while in the container to really get the water moving through the yarn. Then rinse until the water no longer suds up. I had to go through the soap + soak + rinse twice for this yarn.

5) Squeeze the water out of the yarn without wringing or twisting, then hang to dry outside in the shade to prevent fading. I let mine hang outside for a day, moved the clip to another spot so the yarn under the clip could fully dry.

6) Rewrap your dry yarn into a ball and get ready to knit! This was actually the most difficult step because the yarn kept getting tangled, but it helped that the finished balls were so cute!

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