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View Full Version : Am I being the epitome of lazy here?


cookworm
11-13-2007, 11:32 PM
I think some of the best inventions were created to make life easier on us, right? That said, I was wondering...

Handwashing my animal fiber knitted items isn't really a big deal, but it does take time and some effort. I started thinking of the equation, "If hot water and machine washer agitation equal felting, then..."

What if I put my washer on gentle cycle, used cold water, AND put my item in a lingerie bag (the mesh ones used for delicate items)? Lower agitation on the gentle cycle, cold water versus warm, and even lower agitation because the items aren't spinning freely in the washer, right? I suppose I can knit up a gauge swatch and try it, but it won't yield the same results as a full-sized item.

Anybody else ever thought to do this? I'd kind of feel better washing in the washing machine, like the article of clothing is "cleaner" somehow, rather than handwashing.

Ingrid
11-14-2007, 12:18 AM
If you decide to take the plunge, please let us know how it works out. I always have sweaters waiting to be washed, and I've never dared to put them in the washer, even though there is a knit cycle.

Jan in CA
11-14-2007, 01:27 AM
I've always wondered how much different the knit/gentle cycle really is. :think: I don't have any sweaters to wash anyway so it doesn't matter, but let us now if you try it!

hocns
11-14-2007, 06:16 AM
I machine wash lots of knitted items: I have a front load washer that has a very gentle delicate cycle.

You can also do a mix of hand and machine washing with a top load: fill your machine with cool water, add soap and agitate to mix in soap. Add knitted garments. Let soak for a few minutes. Agitate for a few seconds, or let soak some more. Let drain, but if you have large items like a sweater, make sure it is properly lined up when the spin starts: if one sleeve is up and the other is down, one could end up being longer. Both should be down. Anyway, remove your knits while the machine is refilling, and repeat.

The thing I HATE with handwashing is that stuff is left so wet. They tell you to use towels, but you could use a gazillion towels and still have puddles on the floor. This way, your stuff comes out reasonably dry.

cookworm
11-14-2007, 09:26 AM
The thing I HATE with handwashing is that stuff is left so wet. They tell you to use towels, but you could use a gazillion towels and still have puddles on the floor. This way, your stuff comes out reasonably dry.

See, this is what I hate too! And one of the reasons I was really hoping I could machine wash.

Ingrid
11-14-2007, 07:32 PM
Well, I bit the bullet and am giving it a shot. I put my Karaoke sweater in the wash. I figure that it's half soy silk, so it won't be as prone to immediate felting as wool.

It's in cold water, on the delicate cycle, and I only let it agitate for a few seconds with the sweater in there.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

If I ruin it, at least I have an excuse to order more Karaoke.:yay::cool:

Debkcs
11-14-2007, 07:50 PM
It's in cold water, on the delicate cycle, and I only let it agitate for a few seconds with the sweater in there.

I do this frequently. A couple of sweaters, gentle cycle, Costco handwashing liquid. I don't let the machine agitate very much. I dunk the sweaters by hand, if there are any 'spots' they get worked out by hand. Then they get rinsed. I pick them up while the machine is spinning for the rinse cycle, then put them back. They get a very gentle spin to get out SOME of the water, then off towels for the rest. I haven't lost one yet.

Ingrid
11-14-2007, 08:01 PM
It survived and looks good!:woot:Now all I have to do is keep the cats away.:teehee:

momwolf
11-14-2007, 11:55 PM
Ingrid,did you do all the cycles or just wash?

Ironlung21
11-15-2007, 03:43 AM
Oh no - you mustn't!
I posted a thread about a dread recent disaster some time ago - 'shrunken pain' - to share my misery at spinning a cable cardigan that shrank and felted to a tiny size.

I cant even laugh about it yet - it was too horrible. All that work wasted. Oh me. The weather has turned cold here and even now I find myself wandering around in my early morning near coma state trying to find it to put on - before remembering all over again that I stick it in the washing machine like a lazy idiot.... I know this is a bit nuts - but it was a serious blow.

So if you want to take the advice of someone still in mourning for the loss of a favourite cardi - dont do it, stay away from the washing machine - it is not safe.

Ingrid
11-15-2007, 09:11 AM
The delicate cycle on my machine is just a wash, soak rinse. Very little agitation in the wash cycle, and none in the rinse. I only let it agitate for a few seconds, but I did let it spin. It's almost dry this morning!

I don't know if I'd do my Shetland wool sweaters that way, but I'm going to do the cotton.

Ariane100
11-15-2007, 10:14 AM
I read somewhere that combining any two of: heat, agitation, or detergent, will lead to felting. I did put my 100% wool Rogue in the complete delicate cycle twice with no ill effects, but it was just with water for blocking purposes. I haven't tried it with detergent yet.

cookworm
11-15-2007, 10:18 AM
Ingrid, you are so brave! :cheering: I've seen some of your knitting and if I knit as talented as you I'd NEVER put my stuff anywhere near water!

Thanks for sharing your results with us. I have been wondering about doing this for a long time because I'd like to be able to feel like my stuff is getting a good wash in the machine, and I want to spin out that extreme excess of water. I don't mind leaving my stuff to lay flat to dry (except that it takes a longer time to dry), but if I can spin that water out of it, it won't take so long. Thanks for giving us your results!

lauraknits
11-15-2007, 10:38 AM
I have a front loader with a handwash/wool cycle. It is an LG machine. I wash my hand-washable socks in it on that cycle with some Soak all the time and then toss them on top of the dryer to dry, and they do fine. Some of them are a little fuzzy, but no more so than my machine washable socks.

I have washed my Rogue sweater on that cycle in a lingerie bag once so far and it has done fine. No shrinkage, no sign of felting, and it is Cascade 220, NOT superwash! I would be very careful with doing this, but some things may work. I think I can get away with it with my Rogue because I knit it at a very tight gauge.