Spotlight On: Blocking a Multi-Colored Project

Have you ever blocked a multi-colored project and had the colors run? I have, and let me tell you, it is so disappointing. Before I owned the store, I knit a beautiful shawl with a mix of charcoal grey, deep plum, and natural color yarn. It took me ages to knit, and I loved it. I popped it into the Eucalan and lukewarm water bath and left it to soak for 30 minutes.  I was met with a big, muddy-looking mess when I returned to the sink.  I tried to rinse it out, but the damage was done, and I, using a few choice words, threw the project into the trash. 

I don't want you to experience the same disappointment, so let's discuss how to prevent color bleeding, especially when using strong colors like reds and hot pinks with lighter-colored yarn. By taking the proper precautions, you can avoid this issue and feel more confident blocking and washing your knitting projects.  

The first thing you can do is test for color fastness. While I could have filmed myself doing this, I will instead turn it over to my favorite person for knitting tips, Very Pink Knits. Her video on Knitting Help: Testing Color Fastness is excellent, and if you have any worries about your yarn, please watch the video and test your yarns. I have done this many times, and it is worth the extra step! 

I am a bit of a worrier, so even if all of these tests turn out okay, I will take precautions to ensure that my project comes out just as I hope. No matter what, when blocking strong colors, I add white vinegar to my wool wash and water. If I am worried about bleeding, I will add a Shout Color Catcher to the basin.

If my yarn is likely to bleed quite a bit, I will wash it ahead of time in a vinegar bath to remove some of the over-dye and set the color. (Keep an eye out for that blog post in a couple of weeks.)

As always, a bit of planning and preparation will ensure your projects are a success. I'm so pleased with my results...


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