Tag Archives: wool scarf

Tutorial – Blocking a Knitted Scarf – The Soak & Spin Method

20 Feb

As I move on to more robust and chunky woolen knits, I find that the steam method of blocking just isn’t up to scratch.

This scarf was more of a tube than a rectangle...

This scarf was more of a tube than a rectangle…

Maybe the wool isn’t getting wet enough to be reshaped properly or I’m not leaving the scarf pinned in place for long enough?

Either way I thought it was time to take the plunge and try a new approach – the soak and spin method!  I’ve been far too cowardly to try this in the past for fear that my scarf unravels or felts into a big fuzzball before my eyes.  However,  seeing as my last scarf decided to fold in on itself in such a stubborn fashion, I knew that my usual Steam Method just wouldn’t cut it.

I found this method after perusing many crafty articles online and decided to share my own experience and my own take on it:

Blocking – The Soak & Spin Method

You will need:

A bedGreyScarf2[1]
Towels
A lot of dress making pins
A washing machine
A basin or bucket
Wool detergent
A pillowcase

1. Following the instructions on your wool detergent, fill a basin or bucket with the appropriate amount of detergent and luke warm water and pop the scarf in to soak for about 10 minutes.

GreyScarf3[1]2. Roll the scarf up carefully in the water and remove from the bucket.  Empty and refill the bucket with clean water before popping the scarf back in to rinse.  Give the scarf a gentle swirl before re-rolling it up and squeezing as much water as you can out of the scarf.  Be careful not to twist the scarf and support it as much as possible as you get rid of the excess water.

3. Put your rolled up scarf into the bottom corner of the pillowcase and tie a strong knot to ensure that it can’t move around.  Pop the pillow case into the washing machine for a fast spin cycle.  [Optional – Sit with a cup of tea and worry frantically that your scarf has somehow escaped from the pillowcase and is now getting into a right mess in your washing machine – this won’t actually happen, but I couldn’t help but stress the first time I did this!]

This pic isn't necessary - I just always thought looking into a washing machine whilst on spin was mesmerizing!

This pic isn’t necessary – I just always thought looking into a spinning washing machine was mesmerizing!

4. Once the spin has finished, take the scarf out and gently unfold it onto the towels – I find it easiest to spread the towels out onto my bed so no one should accidentally step on it!  Gently shape the scarf into your desired width and length before pinning it down – the more pins the better to ensure it retains its shape.

5. Leave for a good few hours to ensure that the scarf has completely dried.  Ideally do this in the morning and leave all day, or if you have a spare room then leave it overnight.GreyScarf5[1]

I was so happy when I pulled the scarf out of the pillowcase and discovered it hadn’t miraculously untangled – I don’t know why I had been so nervous about attempting this method before!  There’s actually not a lot of work involved and giving your scarf a proper wash means it smells especially nice and fresh!

GreyWoolScarf2This Grey Wool Ribbed Scarf was knitted using 100% British wool from Suffolk and is available to purchase in my Etsy shop.

A Scarf for Every Budget

27 Jul

With this recession and all I’ve been thinking a lot about material costs lately and trying to keep mine as low as possible.   I’ve avoided more expensive and luxurious wools like malabrigo merino and instead headed for acrylics, polyester and wool/acrylic blends.  (I’d like to add that I also use these yarns because I think the end result looks fab and they seem to be popular!) 

Red Tango Ribbon Scarf

I also look out for good deals and cheaper places to source my yarns so that I can keep my prices at a reasonable level.  For example I’ve just managed to source my ribbon yarn for a cheaper price than before and as a result my Tango Ribbon Scarves are now more than 10% cheaper !

Although we’ve all been hit financially in some way or another, I’ve also realised that there must still be plenty of people out there who would happily pay a bit more for a good quality, luxuriously thick woollen scarf.  Afterall, a lot of hours goes into knitting a full length wool scarf so not only are you paying for the more expensive material, but for the labour as well.

Purple Malabrigo Merino Cable Scarf

My aim for this year and next is to focus on creating a wide range of good quality, hand knitted scarves made from a variety of materials in order to suit all budgets.  From the cheaper, fluffy polyester scarves right up to the more expensive malabrigo merino wool numbers, each scarf would be knitted with love. 

In recent times I’ve been hesitant to invest in the luxurious brands of wool for fear that the finished scarves will be deemed too expensive and sit unwanted in the back of my shop.  In the meantime I have been using a merino wool/acrylic blend which is 70% merino wool and 30% acrylic.

Red Merino/Acrylic Blend Ribbed Scarf

My question for you is this – how much would you be willing to spend on a scarf that was hand knitted with luxurious, top quality wool?  I’m just looking for ball park figures here , but would be so grateful if you would leave a comment below!