Caring for your knitwear......

Knitwear can last a long time if it’s cared for properly. With the advent of a new year and people making pledges to buy less and live more sustainably by looking after what they have, I thought a blog post on how to look after your knitwear might be welcome.  

Some of you may have been given a neck or wristwarmers for Christmas so I’m targeting this post on wristwarmers but most of these points will be applicable to any sort of knitwear.  

Wristwarmers in particular get a lot of hard wear, they stretch as your hands move and become dirty from picking up things and generally being worn! One of the ways in which you can bring them back to tip top condition is to give them a wash. 

Soak the wristwarmers in lukewarm and mild soap - I use Ecover Delicate but I’m sure there are other detergents which would be just as good. 

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Squeeze the soapy bubbles through the gloves but be careful not to agitate or rub too much as it will result in felting the wrist warmers further. Do not stretch or wring! 

Rinse in clean water until you cannot see anymore suds coming from the gloves.  

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I lie the wristwarmers out on a clean tea towel and gently use the towel to absorb any excess water and shorten the time it will take them to dry.

Again, it’s very important that you don’t wring them out as that will result in stretching and misshaping the gloves. Once all the excess water has been removed, reshape the gloves and pop them somewhere warm to dry flat. I pop all of mine in the airing cupboard on top of a pile of towels. Do not tumble dry! 

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Pressing can be done lightly with the iron set to a wool setting. You can carefully use a bit of steam to help with this process.  

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As the weather gets warmer and you no longer need to be wearing your knitwear, it’s advisable to give it one last wash and then store it away carefully. 

If anyone else has any tips on how to look after their knitwear I’d love to hear them?! 

My story........Kate Box Knitwear

I’m always fascinated to learn more about the amazing small business owners that I meet - to find out more about their personal stories and how they came to be doing what they do now. So, this week I thought it would be fun to kick-off my weekly seasonal blog with sharing a little bit about myself and my career path.

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I always knew I wanted to go to art college and started with a foundation course at Winchester to try out lots of different art and design disciplines. Textiles just clicked for me. I went on from Winchester to Chelsea college of Art where I did a degree in Textile design and then finally did an MA in Knitwear at the Royal College of Art.

 

My final collection at the Royal College of Art was spotted by the designers from Ghost and I was offered a 3-month placement with them over the summer. It was very creative and I worked on some one-off pieces for their catwalk show which was exciting. After my placement had ended there I took a job as a design assistant at Pringle which was very different, as you would imagine working in a large corporation to be. Designing was all about sales figures and what would be most commercial, I absolutely hated it but with hindsight I can see the benefit of gaining that experience. I was only there for a year when I got the job as design assistant to Orla Kiely which was a dream position. It was a hugely creative company that put emphasis on good design. The design team were well supported and looked after and Orla was/is an incredible designer.

 

After I had my daughter we knew that we wanted to move out of London and with that meant leaving my job at Orla Kiely. Moving to Hampshire was a new start and I accepted that that would mean moving my career in a different direction.

 

It wasn’t really a conscious decision to set up a business designing knitwear. I just sort of fell upon it by making things for friends and then finding a shop in my local town that would stock a few things that I was making. When I look back, the products to begin with were very hit and miss but things slowly evolved and I hope they keep evolving.

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I like to walk or cycle my children to school- I enjoy getting out for some fresh air before I start working. When I get home, I make a coffee and then normally tackle any emails that need doing as I’m much better at computer/written work first thing in the morning. I’ll start knitting on the machine around 10 and tune into Woman’s Hour. After that I’ve been known to knit and watch any type of gardening programme I can, Monty Don presenting if possible! At 3pm, I down tools and resume my other role as mum, collect children from school and normally offer a taxi service to football or Brownies. Once everyone has been fed, washed and put to bed the work will sometimes resume. I’m not one for working too late though as I really like my sleep!

 

I find colour and design quite intuitive, everything influences it subconsciously- exhibitions, seasons, films, etc. I’m not sure I could pin point one thing that is a big influence. I really enjoyed the Vanessa Bell exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery this year.

 

My favourite part of running my own business is definitely the flexibility around the children coupled with being my own boss. My least favourite is that it’s very difficult to turn off – it’s like having a third child that I’m always thinking about!

 

The best piece of business advice that I’ve been given? It’s better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly – Robert Schuller. I have to constantly remind myself of this quote!

 

If you haven’t entered already, at the moment I’m running a competition on Facebook to win a pair of wristwarmers - follow the link to be in with a chance! 

 https://www.facebook.com/KateBoxKnit/posts/1499580833463429:0