Welcome to our latest blog post series Caring for Your Handknits. Many of our customers question how to care for and store their precious handknits and we hope to answer those questions.
Firstly, with just a wee bit of planning ahead, care and storage becomes much easier. If you are giving a handknit item as a gift, a few little touches make the gift even more special. Keeping track of the yarn information is the key to treating your handknits properly.
Instead of having a stack of yarn labels hanging around, I write it all down on an index card. I include the brand and yarn line, the color number, yarn content and any care instructions that were on the label. If I’m really on top of things, I also include the pattern name and the size I am knitting (this does not always occur). If spreadsheets are your thing, creating one for your handknits can be invaluable. I’ll tell you why I prefer the index card – it involves the next part.
Once I am finished with my project – everything is seamed up, zippers sewn in, buttons on, I take about two yards of the remaining yarn and wrap those around part of the index card. If I need to make a repair in the future or I want to match the yarn without hauling my garment along, this bit of yarn is handy. If I have an extra button or two, I’ll tack those onto the index card as well.
If it is a gift item, I try to make it look a little nicer – making the tag on the computer and including a picture of the finished item.
Of course, once you’ve done all this work, you have to keep this information in a safe place. It doesn’t do you much good if you can’t find the index cards with all these valuable facts. I wrapped a cardboard box in fabric (so it isn’t “borrowed” by anyone else in my house) and keep the index cards in there.
The crucial information is all stored away safely and I can use those parts of my brain for remembering something else besides which sweaters are 100% wool vs. 100% Superwash Wool.
Now, clearly, this is a system that works for me. I’ve seen binders with each projects information stored in a sheet protector. Someone else uses an accordion file. Any organization system that works for you could be adapted to keep track of your projects and spare yarn. The important thing is that you have the yarn information from each project available.