View Full Version : wet wool trick

10-11-2006, 04:19 PM
Hello Knitters. First off, thanks again to ingrid. the sleeves are now sewed on, I went bravely ahead with mattress stitch. I posted a couple weeks ago about trying to soak some extremely itchy knitting in conditioner to soften it up. Well I've done it, that was easy. Its getting the wool to dry thats a problem. whats the best way to do this?!? there must be a trick!

By the way, does anybody else find the smell of wet wool somehow disgusting?

10-11-2006, 04:32 PM
The smell of wet wool is only marginally better than full-on skunk.

The best place to dry it is on a dead tree branch on the edge of a blasted heath - give it about five days in a brisk breeze before even thinking of approaching it and no matter what, check the wind direction first.

It's safe to take the face masks off and close the windows when you've had it home for a week.

Proceed with caution.


Old Knitter
10-11-2006, 06:11 PM
......oooooooor, you could roll it in towels a few times and then lay it out on a sweater rack to dry. My husband made me a rack I love. He built a huge frame and stretched screening over it. Wool items dry so quickly for me now.

I have no hints about the smell.....wet animals and all I guess.

10-11-2006, 06:57 PM
The smell is due to unprocessed wool. Most wool yarn sold commercially in USA has been processed, removing most of the natural oils that create the odor. I know that unprocessed wool yarn is much more common in the British Isles, at least it seemed that way from my earlier experience in the clothing trade. The unprocessed wool is much more resistant to rain/snow however than the processed variety. Nothing is quite like the aroma of damp sheep or a damp hunting dog. If you want to experience it firsthand, try locating a sheep farm on a rainy day.

Witchy Mama
10-11-2006, 08:33 PM
lol when my washing machine decides it doesn't like me anymore (usually ever few weeks) it will give me a load that smells like a wet dog, dunno why it does it, if I just do the load again it smells fine.

I usually put a towel over the top of one of those clothes airers and put what ever I am drying over the top, I usually have to change the towel though as it gets soaked and then the wool wont dry, usually takes a day maybe a bit more if it is humid or really cold (you know for that whole one week where we get down to 15 degrees (um thats 59 for you Americans hehehe).

10-12-2006, 09:48 AM
Put a fan on it. It works even better if you have a fan that tilts nicely, so you can direct the air directly at the garment.

10-12-2006, 10:42 AM
I just thought of something that I don't think anyone's mentioned yet. After you wash your sweater, you should be able to safely use the spin cycle on your washing machine for about 10 seconds to get the excess water out -- I'm talking about the cycle where it just spins to pull out the water from the clothes after rinsing so no water or agitation is involved. (You should probably put it in a sweater bag first.) This should reduce the amount of towel blotting you need to do before laying it out.

As an aside, I have successfully used an ionic hair dryer to hasten the drying process of superwash wool. You probably wouldn't want to try it with non-superwash wool, but I thought I'd mention it. I had a hank of sock yarn that I wanted to dry, and the blow dryer was much more effective than tucking it in a pillow case and tossing it in the regular dryer.

10-12-2006, 03:11 PM
I put mine on a sweater drying screen, similar to what someone mentioned above, but commercially made, and set it near the dehumidifier! That is the quickest way for me. It sucks the moisture right out! samm