Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Save Your Sweaters!

 One of my Christmas gifts was so fantastic that I wanted to tell the world about it - especially the world of knitters!  I assure you that I have no interest in this product or the company that makes it.  I read about it on a Ravelry thread and my sister gave it to me for Christmas.  It's my new "must have" knitting accessory!

Now that I've been knitting for about 6 years, I've gotten to the point where some of my sweaters, even though I hand wash them with care, have started to look a little ratty.  I've tried hand-picking the little pills off, and I've tried one of those little battery-operated 'sweater shavers", but neither method really got the job done, so I wasn't satisfied.  I saw a Ravelry thread where a number of people were all raving about "The Gleener" as being the best method for making sweaters look almost as good as new, and for $22, I figured it was worth a try!  My sister saw me mention something about it just a couple days before Christmas, and I assumed I'd just order it after the holiday was over, so imagine my surprise when I opened a box on Christmas that contained a picture of the gleener inside and a note that told me it was on its way to my house!

I've used it on 4 sweaters so far - 1 heavy 100% wool sweater, 1 lightweight wool sweater, 1 lightweight acrylic, and the one in the photos, a heavy wool/acrylic blend.  It worked magic on all of them.  They all went from being quite "pill-y" and ratty-looking to going back to almost-new condition.  

Depending on the fiber and weight of the sweater you're working on, you choose one of 3 heads to attach to the handle.  All three heads are basically long, thin pumice stone in varying degrees of grit, and the one with the largest grit has a little wire cage over it.  You just lay the sweater out flat, pull the fabric taut, and pull the pumice stone end over the surface of the sweater.  You might think that the stone would tear up the surface of the sweater, but it does't - it just collects all the little pills from the surface and pulls them into a big strip of fuzz that's easy to discard.  

I'm not sure yet if the pumice strips last forever or if there will come a point where I have to replace them.  Even if this little device needs to be replaced in a few years, I'd happily buy it again - with about 10 minutes and willingness to give your arms a little workout, it restores your sweaters to a much nicer-looking state!

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