Salmon Run – A New Free Shawl Knitting Pattern for You!

Happy fall! We’ve been looking for a great fall project to knit, and today we’re delighted to share a free pattern with you!

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The Salmon Run Shawl has been designed for us by Laura Cameron of The Corner of Knit & Tea. This 2-color crescent shawl is the perfect project and accessory for fall. Simple to knit, this shawl is worked entirely in garter stitch, with some simple short row shaping to create color wedges for interest. Knit in Manos del Uruguay’s Alma, a new fingering weight singles yarn, this shawl is not only striking, but squishy and cozy. We bet it will be a favourite all season long!

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And the best part is that you can download your own copy of the pattern for free by signing up for our newsletter! (If you already receive our newsletter, you can still sign up and receive the free pattern.)

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Once you’ve knit your new shawl, check out our new video on Basic Blocking for Knit & Crochet. This short video will take you through washing your project in Eucalan Delicate Wash, to blocking and pinning for the perfect finish every time. We hope you’ll enjoy it!

We can’t wait to see what you make! Be sure to tag us on Instagram with the #eucalan so we can see what you’re up to.

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SalmonShawl

The Dreaded M-word: Moth

Moths. The dreaded m-word that sends shudders down every crafter’s spine. We get a lot of questions on how to prevent moth damage to your handknits, as well as how to handle damage when it occurs and what to do if you find moths in your home. Today we’ve put together lots of information on how you can prevent and deal with fibre’s ultimate nemesis.

brown clothes moth sits on fabric closeup
First, let’s talk about moths. A moth infestation can be devastating, yet no one talks about it! But there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Even if you have the cleanest, most organized house in the world, moths can still be a problem.

Moth Prevention

So let’s talk about prevention. Moths love fibre, and particularly fibres that contain oils from your skin, as well as any spills or stains from food or other substances. So the first thing you can do to prevent moths is to wash your knitted items, particularly those worn directly in contact with your skin, fairly frequently. Also, you should always launder all items before packing them away for the season (i.e. wash your hats, mittens and sweaters before packing them away when winter is over). We suggest using Eucalan in either our Lavender or Eucalyptus as both scents are naturally moth repellent.

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You can also store both fibres (yarns) and garments in clean, airtight containers. For yarn storage, we really like clear plastic tubs. These allow natural light in (moths love dark places) and keep bugs out. Any time you bring new yarn into the house, be sure that you place it in a clean, airtight container. To prevent any contamination, you may wish to place yarn in ziplock bags before you place them in tubs as an extra layer of protection. We also recommend the use of lavender sachets, cedar or other natural moth-repellents in those bins to stave off unwanted visitors. We NEVER recommend the use of mothballs as they are toxic to both humans and pets.

For garments, again we recommend airtight containers. You can use plastic tubs for garments as well, or many people use dresser drawers. Again, you should add lavender or some other scented sachets, or cedar (try cedar balls or blocks) to make your woollies less appetizing.

Our final recommendation is not strictly preventative, but more of an alarm system in case things go awry. To get some early warning in case you encounter moths, consider purchasing traps for clothes moths and placing them in areas where you store your fibre and garments. Again, the traps won’t prevent moths from entering your home, but these sticky pheromone traps will attract any moths that do. If you’re keeping a diligent eye on your traps, then you’re likely to notice as soon as a moth appears.

Dealing with Moths

Now that you’ve taken the above steps, let’s talk about what happens if moths do get into your fibre or garments. Let’s say you pull out your favourite sweater to find that it has one or two holes left by moths. First – don’t panic. It may be salvageable. The first thing that you want to do is quarantine the garment and make sure you kill the moth eggs that may still be lurking. You’re going to do this with the liberal application of heat or cold.

If you prefer cold, place the item in a ziplock bag and place it in your freezer (turn the temperature way down and try to keep the freezer frost-free) and allow it to remain at temperatures below freezing for 1-2 weeks. Then bring the item out of the freezer and allow it to come to room temperature. Repeat this process a few more times.

If you prefer heat, place the item in bags (dark trash bags work fine) in a car on a sunny day. The item should remain at temperatures above 120F for at least 30 minutes to kill any moth eggs. Note: you can also attempt to heat your yarn in the oven, but this is a little risky and requires constant attention. We prefer heating in a car, or freezing instead.

Once you have completed either of the two methods above, gently shake items and brush away any moth remnants.

Unfortunately, as you complete this process for the moth damaged item, you also need to examine each item stored near the first item, as well as other areas of your household. Any time you encounter moths you need to make a thorough inspection of your fibre and garments to ensure that none of the other items have been affected. Any items that you fear may have been affected should be subjected to all of the procedures we’ve described above. You will also need to do a thorough cleaning of any area affected including vacuuming, steam cleaning or wiping clean any surfaces that you believe moths have come into contact with.

This may take a while, and you will have to be vigilant. It isn’t fun, but it is necessary. There are other steps that you may need to take, up to and including consulting a pest control expert. We really like Haley’s post at Red-Handled Scissors for more tips on how to deal with clothes moths.

Once you have cleared your home of moths, then you can go back to our prevention tips (and monitoring with traps) to hopefully avoid future problems!

Dealing with Moth Damage

Once you have rid your house of moths, it’s time to consider what to do with moth-damaged items. Some may be beyond salvaging and you may need to dispose of these items. However, not all is lost. Last August we explored visible mending in Laundering and Mending Your Woolens. Since then we’ve also seen two wonderful books published: Visible Mending: Artful Stitchery to Repair and Refresh Your Favorite Things by Jenny Wilding Cardon and Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim and More by Katrina Rodabaugh. Both are excellent resources that may help you breathe new life into your affected garments.

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Dealing with the M-word is never something we look forward to, but we hope we’ve given you a few tips and tricks on how to make your home less attractive to moths, as well as deal with the problem should it arise!

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Fall Crafting Inspiration with Eucalan

Can you believe that summer is almost over? The kids are heading back to school and fall is just around the corner. If you’re feeling the urge to craft, check out today’s roundup of our favourite new knit and crochet patterns for fall to inspire your next project!

Sweaters

The start of fall always makes us want to knit beautiful sweaters and there’s no shortage of new patterns there! If you love gorgeous fall cables check out River Jumper by Jennifer Wood or Mrs. Grimmet’s Weskit by Carol Sunday. If it’s texture you’re after, try Gridlines by Susanne Sommer or the new Eno Pullover by Kirsten Kapur. If you want a bit of colourwork, check out the Yésica Fair Isle Pullover by Paula Pereira. If you want to mix your colourwork and your texture, Stonecrop Cardi by Andrea Mowry (also available as a pullover) is perfect for that! If you’re in need of that perfect neutral cardigan to wear all fall long, try Potomac by Devin Ventre. For our crocheters, we love the Olive Cardigan by Emily Truman and the understated elegance of Leaves Cascade by Ana D.

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Shawls

Fall always makes us want to wrap up in wool. There’s no better way to do that than to knit a warm, cozy shawl. If you’re looking for big chunky cables then Under the Oak by Jennifer Weissman looks so cozy! If lace is your jam then check out Autumn Rain Shawl by Susanna IC or Catch My Fall by Melanie Berg. If you’re in the mood for simple garter stitch with just a touch of lace, try Tsukimi by Angela Tong or Intermission Wrap by Veronica Parsons. On the other hand, if it’s fun and funky shapes you’re after try Hole Lotta Love by Emelie Björnkvist. Or tackle brioche with the Flying Foxtail Shawl by Stephen West. If you’ve got crochet on the brain then check out Succulent by Michele DuNaier or the Dragon County Shawl by Michele Costa!

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Winter Woollies

Fall is gorgeous with changing leaves and cooler days, but winter is coming! And when it does, make sure you’re ready with some gorgeous winter woolies. For a cabled hat, check out the Herrington Hat by Jodi Brown. Or take your brioche to the next level with Incidence by Hunter Hammersen. If you want to try colourwork, check out the August Hat by Sarah Solomon (and Kelbourne Woolens’s Year of Hats free patterns to try other techniques!) If your heart is set on  matching accessories try the Carneau Hat & Mittens by Amy Christoffers. Add some COLOUR to your dreary winter days with these cozy Bellevue Mittens by Knox Mountain Knit Co. Or again, try your hand at colourwork with the Evening Frost Mitts by Angela Tong. Keep your neck warm with this gorgeous cowl, Renly by Marina Lariz. Or grab your hooks and some bulky yarns and try the Berry Hat by Bobbi Intveld or the Unique Mosaic (Scarf) by the WoolAddicts Design Team!
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We hope you feel inspired to start crafting for fall and winter. And don’t forget to finish those gorgeous new projects with a bath in Eucalan and a proper blocking!

We can’t wait to see what you make! Tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #eucalan to share your projects with us.

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Fall Crafting Inspiration

 

Spring & Summer Crafting Inspiration

The weather is (finally) warming up! There are so many new knit and crochet patterns for spring and summer that you won’t want to pack away your needles and hooks for the season. Here, we share a few of our favourites to inspire your next project!

Tops and Tees

Spring and summer months are the perfect time to make lighter tops and tees in cottons and linens. These projects are more portable than bulky sweaters, and perfect to wear on warm summer days. Practice your crochet skills with Water Clover by Isa Catepillán, a runaway hit from the Spring 2019 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly. Or learn a new skill, Tunisian Crochet, with the Tunisian Drop Top by Stephanie Piper. Savour the hot sun with the Desert Tunic by Carrie Bostick Hoge or the Asymmetrical Tank by Norah Gaughan. Or just relax with some simple tees like Daybreak Tee by Destiny Meyer or Malaquite Tee by Amy Gunderson.

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Sweaters & Cover-Ups

Even when the temperatures are soaring outside you may need a sweater to fend off the chill of air conditioning indoors. Or you can whip up a coverup for lounging in style near the pool or on the beach! We love Opportune by Emily Ringelman as a simple knit cover-up. The Cropped Eyelet Pullover by Laura Zukaite adds a bit of sass to any outfit. The Olive Leaf Pullover by Ririko is the perfect ¾ sleeve top for warmer days, and Belmonte by Filipa Carneiro is a sweet cardigan that works with any outfit. For our crocheters, we found this fabulous Crocheted Coverup by Cristina Mershon in the newest issue of Vogue, and the Coffee Cup Pullover by Lee Sartori.

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Shawls and Scarves

Whether you’re looking for a show-stopping piece to add to your wardrobe, a light shawl to throw over your shoulders or the perfect accessory to accent summer outfits, we’ve found some hot new shawls for you! We can’t get over the stunning Wingspan by Kyle Vey! Tasha by Kirstin Omdahl adds a touch of lace to your spring and summer knits, and Eclecticity by Cheryl Faust adds luscious texture. The Desert Sunset Shawl by Amy Christoffers could be a great stashbuster and a fun way to add colour to your day, and the Jewel Wrap by Carmen Heffernan does the same with crochet. If you’re looking for a delicate piece for evening wear, we love From the Ashes by Rachy Newin.

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If you choose to knit or crochet one of the lacier patterns above, check out our tips on How to Wet Block Lace with Eucalan.

Socks

Socks are the perfect summer project because they’re small and portable and usually only require one ball of yarn at a time. If lace is what you’re after, we love the new Composition Socks by Mone Dräger. For a bit more texture, check out the Carmanah Toe-Up Socks by Catherine Knuttson. Stitch a pair of delicate summer socks with some pretty pink yarn and settle into the Summer Blooms Socks by Thistle Glen Designs or XO Socks by Leeni Hoi. If you’re up for some colourwork fun, check out the Avo Toast Socks by SpillyJane in the newest issue of Interweave Knits! And if you’re looking for an easy “vanilla” sock to make, spice it up with some self-striping sock yarn and grab your free copy of Trusty Toe Up Socks by Tanis Lavalee.

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We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to keep crafting this spring and summer. With any of the projects above – don’t forget to block! Wet blocking with a bit of Eucalan smooths out all the lumps and bumps and gives you a clean, fresh garment that smells great. We’ve got you covered!

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Euc Spring Summer

Getting Ready for Fall – Laundering and Mending Your Woolens

Though you may not be feeling the chill in the air just yet, fall and winter are coming. This means it’s time to pull out your cozy woolens and get them ready for wear!

We recommend laundering your sweaters at the end of each spring, before you pack them away for the summer. This cleans them of any oils from your skin and makes them less palatable to moths and other fibre loving insects. However, if you’ve missed that step, there’s no time like the present to launder your woolens.

Fill a basin with tepid water and add a capful of Eucalan or the contents of a single use pod. Add your sweater and let sit for 20 minutes, then remove your sweater, gently squeezing to release excess water. You don’t want to wring your sweater – this will only pull it out of shape.  Wrap it in a clean, dry towel and press gently to release more water. Lay flat to dry on another clean dry towel, gently pressing into shape, and dry away from heat and direct sunlight.

If you washed your sweaters before packing them away for the season, now is the perfect time to pull them out and freshen them up for wear!  To get rid of creases and reblock your sweaters for wearing, you can skip the full wash and just spray block your sweaters by lightly misting them with a spray bottle filled with a dash of Eucalan and cool water. Then press your sweater gently into shape and let dry.

De-Pilling

Given enough use and wear, even the nicest sweaters and woolens will start to have little balls of fiber appear. Pilling occurs when loose fibres push up from the fabric, eventually gathering in small balls – simply washing and wearing can cause this! You can remove these pills using a variety of tools: a Sweater Stone, a Gleener, or a fabric comb. We have a great video that demonstrates how to de-pill a sweater.

Mending

Even with the best care, sweaters and other woolen items may develop holes over time. With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can mend these items and continue wearing them! If you find a defect along a seam, or while you still have some of the original yarn used in the project in reserve, you may be able to mend your item invisibly. If neither of these are an option, however, you may consider visible mending.  

Visible mending is a new hot trend where you repair your garment using bright, fun colours or designs so that the mending itself becomes a feature of the garment. We found this great photo collection of mending for knit sweaters by Collingwood-Norris Design.

Interweave also has a couple of useful posts on visible mending. The first post has some tips and tricks on how to visibly mend your garments, though they focus on a pair of jeans rather than a sweater. The second post focuses on spinning yarn for visible mending. Either way, the steps are fairly similar:

  1. Gather your tools. You will need: sharp scissors, a tapestry needle, yarn or thread (various colours and weights depending on the yarn used in the garment), a flat surface for working, DPNs (double pointed needles) in the appropriate size for picking up stitches.  
  2. Lay your work out flat. Make sure you’ve got your garment laid out flat on a working surface in front of you. The garment shouldn’t be held taut, but rather laid out how you would block it. Isolate the areas in need of mending.
  3. Pick up stitches and trim loose threads. You want your working area to be clean and neat. Where possible, pick up stitches using your DPNs to stabilize the stitches from dropping further and making the hole growing bigger. Trim any long threads that might get in your way while you are working; shorter threads can be trimmed after you mend.        
  4. Decide on your mending process and start mending. There are a variety of ways to mend holes in garments. If you are picking up stitches on a fraying edge, you may wish to reknit that section. If you are darning a hole in an elbow, you may wish to weave a patch using needle and thread, much like you would darn a sock. Or you may choose to embroider the edges of the hole, or over the hole completely if it is small. If you’re looking for more resources on visible mending ideas and stitches there are a variety of books on Amazon as well as an article in one of the recent Mason-Dixon Field Guides, and the inspiring Tom of Holland’s The Visible Mending Programme.                                     
  5. Weave in and trim your ends. Once you have finished mending, you want to weave in your ends. This includes some of those shorter ends from the beginning, if you haven’t already worked those into your mending. Make sure everything is snug and secure so nothing pulls loose later on.      
  6. Launder your garment.  When you’re done, you may wish to launder your garment again. Fill a basin with tepid water and add a capful of Eucalan or the contents of a single use pod. Add your sweater and let sit for 20 minutes, then remove your sweater, gently squeezing to release excess water. You don’t want to wring your sweater – this will only pull it out of shape.  Wrap it in a towel and press gently to release more water. Lay flat to dry, gently pressing into shape, and dry away from heat and direct sunlight.

Photo credit: Interweave Magazine, Mending the Year: 3 Tips for Darning Well

If you’re looking for more details on getting your sweaters ready for fall, you can check out our previous post on Caring for your Handknit Sweater.

We hope this post has helped you get excited for fall and for wearing your warm woolens again!

Wet Blocking Knits: Tips and Tricks

There are lots of different ways to block knitted and crocheted items, but they all share many similarities. Here are some fantastic ways to block your knits- and you’ll definitely pick up some new tips. We’ve been fortunate to have some great reviews and love from all sorts of crafty bloggers, and we thought it would be great to share the tips and tricks for blocking your knits that have featured Eucalan!

How to Spray Block Your Knit and Crocheted Items. The Spray technique is a great way to cut down on drying time dramatically. Read all about it here.

Top Tips for Blocking Your Knits, from the famous London Loop yarn shop. Especially great tips for blocking lace, and swatches.

3 Different Ways to Block Your Knits – knits that need to be seamed, items made in the round, and the speedy steam blocking method- all great techniques.

How to Wet Block a Sweater, from Flax & Twine. Wet blocking larger items like a sweater takes a bit of effort, and this is a great step-by-step.

Knitting Expat has a great tutorial on how she wet blocks her knits, and her towel method for removing excess water after wet blocking is a must-do.

How to wet block a hat- hats can be tricky, but this is a great tutorial. With a little bit of guidance, you can do it!

Speaking of wet blocking hats,  knitted tams have their own challenges – here’s a great tutorial on wet blocking a tam (you need a plate!)

Are there any blocking tutorials you would like to see that we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments!

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Free Knitting Pattern: Eucalan Lattice Cowl

We have something special for you this holiday season- a FREE knitting pattern for a gorgeous two-colour cowl, designed by Julie Crawford of knittedbliss.com.  This is the Eucalan Lattice Cowl, which is knitted up in two colours of worsted weight yarn and shown here in Kristin Omdahl’s Be So Brave yarn, 100% American wool (worsted weight) in colours ‘Picket Fence’ and ‘Plymouth Rock’.

The cowl can be worn loose, or you can loop it around your neck twice to really amp up the cozy factor:

Not to mention that it is a pretty quick knit, so there is still time to knit one or two before the holidays- either to give as a gift, or to keep for yourself.  The main colour (Picket Fence) requires two and a half skeins of Be So Brave Yarn, and the contrasting colour (Plymouth Rock) uses only 2 skeins. And the best part? The cowl is super easy to knit! All the stitches are knit, purl, or slipped. The stitch pattern is easy to memorize, and is both written and charted.

You can get your free pattern right here, just by signing up for our newsletter!

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How to Wet Block Knitted Lace

Knitting lace can be a wonderfully satisfying challenge, but it takes a good wet blocking to see the complete transformation from a bit of crumpled up loops and stitches to the full beauty of a lace design.  Wet blocking lace can be intimidating, but it’s easier than you think! Here is a full tutorial on how to do it, step by step.

Tools:

  • Eucalan in the scent of your choice
  • Water and a sink/bowl large enough to hold your knit
  • Towels
  • Foam blocking boards, or a thick blanket
  • Pins (rust proof/stainless steel)
  • Tape Measure

Step 1:

Fill your sink or bowl with tepid water, and add one capful of Eucalan in the scent of your choice.  Gently place your knit in the water, and gently swish it around, ensuring that it is completely saturated.

Step 2:

Remove your knit from the water (no need to rinse with Eucalan!) and roll it firmly in a towel to remove excess water and moisture.

Step 3:

Lay your knit out on a large surface. You can use a bed, blocking boards, some thick blankets, anything that works for you. When pinning out your project, follow the main shape before pinning out any details. This means that you will start with the basic outline and pin all the straight edges before concentrating on more specific design features. Here is where the measuring tape can be very helpful – if you have two straight sides, you can measure to make sure they are both the same length.

When pinning out scallops or lace loops, use as many pins as you want, pinning each loop into place. it takes time, but it is worth it.

Step 4:

If your project has straight edges, blocking wires can be really helpful. You insert the wires through the loops in as straight a line as you can, and pin the blocking wires into place.

Step 5: Leave it to dry. once your knit is completely dry, unpin and remove blocking wires, if used.

Tips:

  • If you have pets or small children, pin out your lace somewhere where you can close a door to keep them out, or on something you can move to a place where they can’t touch it.
  • If you like to knit lace, it might be worth investing in T-Shaped pins and blocking wires for really crisp definition and blocking. Otherwise, stainless steel sewing pins will work just fine.
  • It takes a fair bit of time to pin out something with a lot of detail, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to do a good job.
  • If you would like to get everything you need for blocking all at once, we really like this blocking kit from Cocoknits.

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Best of Eucalan: Our Top Spring Posts

Ah, spring! A time when everything feels fresh and new, or at least you want it to feel that way! Spring is indeed a great time to freshen up your home and wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all work. Here’s a round-up of our top spring posts to get you in the mood to freshen up your wardrobe, your home, and your routine!

Click here for great Tips for spring cleaning your wardrobe.

Click here for the best tips for spring cleaning your home to get it feeling airy and fresh.

With Earth Day upon us, here are 4 ways to celebrate Earth Day all year round.

But it’s not all cleaning – you have to make time for a bit of fun! Click the links below for crafts, recipes and fun decor ideas.

Washi tape tutorial to upcycle old Eucalan bottles

Think Spring – Time for a bit of fun!

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without our most recent spring post, all about the best way to shift your wardrobe from winter clothes to spring.

Happy Spring, everyone!

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How to Recycle Yarn

This is a guest post from Julie Crawford, and previously appeared on knittedbliss.com. We loved it so much we asked to repost it here so that Eucalan fans can learn all these important tricks for recycling yarn!

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

I don’t often do tutorials, but I have recently learned SO MUCH about how to reuse yarn from a knit that I had to share it with you guys. In particular because I’ve finally decided to turn my Delineate Tank into a Manzanilla Sweater, using the Spirit Trail Fiberworks yarn that I loved so much the first time around. I had almost two full skeins leftover from the original project, so this sweater will be a mix of unused yarn AND recycled yarn, which will have its own considerations. First, let’s recycle the yarn.

Types of yarn- the ‘stickier’ a yarn is, the harder it is to rip back. if there is any mohair or angora in it, it will be cling to the stitches, and not want to be easily undone. It can still be done, but you’ll need to go more slowly.

You will need:

  • the knit
  • wool wash (my favourite is Eucalan)
  • a crochet hook or blunt tapestry needle
  • some waste yarn
  •  a sink
  • a towel

A note about the wool wash, in case you are wondering why I’m declaring Eucalan as my fave: I’ve tried other kinds, but I always come back to Eucalan because I get a lot of product for the price, which means more washes. It’s totally biodegradable and made with natural ingredients, and I also really like that the cap and top of bottle seem to magically stay clean and never get gummed up or sticky. My favourite scents are Pink Grapefruit and Jasmine Wrapture, but I’m using classic Eucalyptus scent for this tutorial.

Step 1

If you look closely at your hems and where you bound off, and pull a bit at the fabric, you will be able to see the tiny tail of where the ends were woven in. You can use a crochet hook or a blunt tapestry needle to begin pulling it loose, until you can then undo the cast off. If at any point prior to this you can’t find the end or the knot you pulled when you cast off was so tight there’s no way you’ll undo it, then you can always get some scissors and snip out the cast on edge.

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

Step 2

Start pulling. You may need to pause now and then, especially with flat knitting, as the sides tend to be a bit stickier.

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

As the yarn comes away, you will need to wrap it into a ball. If you have a yarn swift you can attach the loose end to the swift and unwind the sweater that way. But you can also just use your hand, like this:

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

You will need to make a new ball for each section of yarn that you have. So, as you are winding and come to the end of the skein in the knit, put that ball aside and start a new one with the new end that you find.

Step 3:

Once you have unwound and have all the balls of crinkly, ramen-noodle style yarn, you will need to get it ready for a bath. You can use a swift if you have one, but I used the backs of two chairs, one of which had the high chair on it. And it had so much crusted baby food and weird stains that I couldn’t bear to snap a photo. So, it should look like the photo in this link, where the chairs are clean. Then, using the waste yarn, loosely tie 2-3 sections of it to keep all the strand of yarn corralled together. This will be very important for keeping the yarn from becoming a snarled mess later on. It will look like this:

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

Step 4:

Bath time! Pour a capful of Eucalan into a sink filled with warm (not hot) water. Immerse the yarn.How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

You want to ensure that the yarn is fully saturated, and not floating on the surface. Push it down until it’s absorbed a fair quantity of water, and let it sit for about half an hour to help the fibers get fully relaxed. After 20 minutes, take a look at the yarn – is it still a bit crinkly? Then it needs more time. Continue soaking. If it’s relaxed, then drain the water (no need to rinse), squeeze out the excess water gently, and roll in a towel to remove more of the water. Hang to dry away from heat or light, a shower is a good place for this.

Step 5:

You can then wind your yarn into a ball, or into a hank, both are shown below. Here is a 1 min video showing how to wind your yarn into a hank (the long one that looks like a pastry), which is ideal if you aren’t going to be using it right away.

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

Hedgehog is just for visual interest. I was trying to get one of the cats to lay beside it, but when was the last time a cat did anything you wanted it to do?

Now, before you dive into your knit, if you have a mix of yarn you have recycled AND yarn that hasn’t been used (like me!), then you want to keep the following in mind. I would like to give a big shout out of thanks to Celeste, a previous commentor who emailed with me about this, and had wonderful tips to share.

  1. Cotton and acrylic might not change a lot in the process above, but wool, wool blends (and alpaca) can stretch a little or a lot.
  2. It could also have stretched a bit, if you hung your washed yarn up to dry, rather than laid it flat.
  3. Once a yarn is washed, it plumps up, filling in the space between fibers. Unwashed yarn won’t have done this yet. So you know that this will affect your….
  4. Gauge!! You will need to do a gauge swatch in both your washed yarn AND your unwashed yarn to compare, and see if there is any difference. There could be a very big difference, and you want to know before investing a sweater’s worth of time into a knit.

Then Celeste also suggested this brilliant step:

“Another way to do a quick check is to lay the two yarns parallel to each other. You likely won’t see a difference in thickness. If you do, then it’s a sure sign. What you’d want to look for is the twist of plies of the yarn. If you lay a ruler next to them count the times the plies curve over the yarn in 4″/10cm segment (like a swatch the larger the measurement the greater accuracy). Then do the same for the second yarn. If they match up perfectly you can choose where to go from there.”

Genius, right? So if your yarn is showing a difference, then simplest solution is to wash all of it, both the used and unused yarn. If it is treated the same way and more likely to behave the same from one skein to the next.

There you have it! How to reuse your wonderful, precious yarn. If you’ve invested all that time into creating a knitted piece, it should be something you love to wear. If it isn’t (once you have completed the 6 emotional stages of frogging a project) and you love the yarn, why not give it a new lease on life? You might knit something you can’t live without this time!

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