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Alice's Restaurant
12-22-2006, 11:29 AM
I posted a couple of weeks ago about a hat I'd knit for my daughter, using Lorna's Laces Shepard superwash.

The hat was cute, my girl loved it, and it fit nicely when it was done. But, the more she wore it, the more it grew! After about 2 weeks, it was big enough to fit her dad.

So, I've ripped it out, and I'm planning to start again this weekend. This was my first experience knitting with superwash, and the first time this ever-expanding hat thing happened to me. Is this common with superwash? Anybody know how I can avoid this next time?

I'll obviously be knitting at a smaller guage, but I'm sort of baffled at figuring what it should be.

Any advice is appreciated.

Here's the hat in better times:

Louisa
12-22-2006, 12:27 PM
Okay, silly me, but what is superwash? I see it referenced a lot on this board and I don't know what it is!

Thanks

Liliyarn
12-22-2006, 12:45 PM
Superwash is wool that has been treated so it can be washed with out felting.

And I've never had Lorna's Laces grow like that. I'm stumped.

Jan in CA
12-22-2006, 01:06 PM
If the fabric is washable then washing it might bring it back into shape. It works for other clothing so why not hats? :shrug:

Alice's Restaurant
12-22-2006, 01:12 PM
Thanks, Jan. That sounded like a good idea to me, too, so I tried it, and it grew even more.

I'm starting to wonder if I should just be using another yarn for this hat?

janelanespaintbrush
12-22-2006, 01:17 PM
Thanks, Jan. That sounded like a good idea to me, too, so I tried it, and it grew even more.

I'm starting to wonder if I should just be using another yarn for this hat?

It definitely sounds like the yarn doesn't want to be a hat! Maybe it would work better in something like a scarf where growth doesn't matter.

Jan in CA
12-22-2006, 01:41 PM
Thanks, Jan. That sounded like a good idea to me, too, so I tried it, and it grew even more.

I'm starting to wonder if I should just be using another yarn for this hat?

Did you toss it i the dryer? If that is possible I would try that. Anything wet gets big and droopy.

Alice's Restaurant
12-22-2006, 02:28 PM
Yep, I put it in the dryer too. :shrug:

I'm wondering if re-knitting it with the already washed yarn might help some--maybe it got all of its stretching out of its system? Hmm.

candy
12-23-2006, 08:58 PM
Okay, silly me, but what is superwash? I see it referenced a lot on this board and I don't know what it is!

ThanksI see you are from Canada too. I did not know what superwash was either. I asked three yarn stores here and they did not know either. It must be more of an American term. I can only find acrylic yarn here which is washable and wool yarn that is not washable in my LYS.

spinnknit
12-23-2006, 10:41 PM
I've never heard of superwash growing like that. Most often, I will use it alone (or with angora) in knitting socks. The purpose of superwash merino is so you will have the softness of the merino and the convenience of machine washing.

Any chance this was blended with acrylic or polyester?

I would really like to know the cause of this mystery.

mwedzi
12-24-2006, 01:24 PM
Okay, silly me, but what is superwash? I see it referenced a lot on this board and I don't know what it is!

ThanksI see you are from Canada too. I did not know what superwash was either. I asked three yarn stores here and they did not know either. It must be more of an American term. I can only find acrylic yarn here which is washable and wool yarn that is not washable in my LYS.

Superwash refers to fibers that aren't normally machine washable, animal fibers, but have been treated so they won't felt when you wash them in a machine.

Ingrid
12-24-2006, 01:28 PM
I made a sweater out of merino superwash and it grew to enormous proportions when I blocked it. I wet it and put it in the dryer, so it was wearable, but it's still bigger than I knit it. Next time I do a superwash project, I'll wash the swatch first.

janelanespaintbrush
12-24-2006, 01:44 PM
I would really like to know the cause of this mystery.

One possible contributing factor is the construction of hat. I thought about it last time I read this thread and dismissed it as a plausible cause, but maybe I'll throw it out as a theory anyway...

Maggie Righetti talks about the importance of "resting places" in knitwear -- for example, in a pullover sweater, these would consist of the ribbing at the cuffs and at the bottom of the body. Because they cling to the body, these areas keep the weight of the fabric from stretching downward. It's possible that since roll brim hats don't have ribbing (a resting place), they would be susceptible to downward pull, causing "growth." The problem with the theory is that I can't imagine the hat is very heavy, and lots of people make caps like that without any complaints. It also doesn't explain what happened to Ingrid's sweater. I really think something else must going on. Probably mischievous hat goblins at work. :teehee: